SeeMeCNC’s second delta printer, the Orion, ships with an assembled frame and a low price that could go a long way to increase delta adoption in the maker community.
Setting up the Orion
The Orion arrives (mostly) preassembled with the Cheapskate carriages, delta arms, and EZStruder bowden extruder already connected to the towers, a tremendous relief for those who have studied the early delta printer kits. The online manual clearly guides you through plugging in electronics, LCD interface, and power supply.
Unlike a few recent deltabots, there’s no autoleveler — you must calibrate the Z-height manually. The correct height for printing the first layers is determined by measuring down from the Z-axis endstop at the top of the machine, so time spent tuning this carefully will be rewarded later.
Wobbles and Eccentricities
One of the Orion’s handiest features is the Cheapskate carriage. The “eccentric cams” on each carriage can be rotated to tighten or loosen their grip on the aluminum extrusion tracks. After a few unusually low-quality prints, we discovered that one of these carriages was loose. After tightening, we reran all of the parts again.
Shootout prints were run using the vendor’s recommended host and slicing software, but the Slic3r-prepared test probes proved problematic. It scored poorly on almost all tests, even after the prints were rerun. Exceptions include high marks on the difficult Overhangs probe and a “pass” on both the mechanical XY and Z Resonance tests.
Slow Down and Use Cura
After tallying our test data, we noticed that the Orion’s provided profiles were WAY too fast — over twice the speed of any other machine tested. Experienced Orion users report that their results have been superior using Cura with their own settings rather than the provided Slic3r profiles. Fellow tester Matt Stultz reports that the Orion is his go-to production machine and advises new users to use Cura from the start.
Although this printer did not perform well during our testing, makers who slow down their print speed, use Cura, and spend the time upfront to carefully fine-tune the Cheapskate carriages’ Z-height should be pleasantly surprised with the performance of this affordable delta.