The all new, amazing E3D Revo! E3Ds new Hotend made to replace the V6 and continue on giving us 3D Printing folks a universal, easy and good solution for our printers. But – is this really the case?
E3D claims quite a few things for their new Revo flagship: Rapid nozzle changes, increased safety, light weight as well as being drop-in for normal V6s – at least with the Revo Six.
These claims are fair and important for E3D to make. But how do they do it?
Rapid Nozzle changes are enabled through E3Ds new proprietary Revo Nozzles
These Nozzles combine the Nozzle and Heatbreak of a 3D Printer to a uniform part that screws into the Hotend. This means there is no manual seating to be done in between the Nozzle and Heatbreak that can lead to clogs due to a gap. With the Revo, this threat is eliminated.
Increased Safety is brought through E3Ds new Heater Cores, which replace the old V6 Heatblock
These HeaterCores use a PTC Heater(Positive temperature coefficient) which eliminates risks due to Thermal Runaway by increasing resistance and stopping heating of the heater element once it gets hotter and hotter, which pretty much every modern 3D Printer Mainboard coupled with the right firmware can eliminate on a default ceramice heater anyways, but if the risk is there, it is a nice feature to have indeed.
The Revo is also built lighter than the V6, reducing the weight from around 50g to 40g from V6 to Revo 6 (according to User reviews).
You might think to yourself: Awesome! A high Quality, light-weight Hotend manufactured by one of the most popular and high quality 3D Printing manufacuteres – that has previously empowered open source, helping to drive the community further and empowering creativity in 3D Printing Enthusiasts.
But then.. you see this
Extreme Pricing for the performance it offers, Patents on pretty much the only critical components, lock on Brass Nozzles and costly replacement parts.
This is where the identity crisis kicks in
Now, the Revo is out – but who is it made for? Let’s take a look at a couple of “common” people in the 3D Printing Community, from every region:
- High-Level Enthusiast(Speedprinter with/without custombuilds)
- Gimmick-Printer / Custombuilder (Tripteron, Reverse Delta, etc.)
- The High- and Low- Budget “average” User
- The High- and Low- Budget Beginner / “Tool-User”
But, who is the Revo for? Let’s take a look at each category:
The High-Level Enthusiast
Extreme Speeds, Expensive Builds, High Performance and squeezing every millimeter per second (squared) out of 3D Printers. I personally belong to this kind of category, even tho i am a huge low-baller and try to get costs down to a maximum and save wherever i can. The Revo has something these High-Level Enthusiasts want – a low weight. But hold on – the Revo has a huge limitation concerning flowrate, it can barely even push over 15mm^3/s of Filament – Revo nozzles are also Brass only – Enthusiasts on the other hand want a much higher flowrate as well as High-Flow Nozzles like CHT / plated Copper in their machines, we’re talking 70mm^3/s upward, just for their speedprinting. So, the Revo is nothing for them.
The Gimmick-Printer Custombuilders
Crazy Monorail printers, Tripterons, kinematic calculations that will blow your brains up if you even think about how they work – that’s our elite, the Gimmick-Printer / Custombuilders. They don’t always have a high budget and mostly they are here to experiment around, most of them use cheap solutions like V6 clones or MK8 Hotends to just power their experimental Printers / Concepts – most of them don’t make extremely finalized or perfect machines, so a Revo is not always worth it for them – they could be a potential target for the Revo due to it’s easy use – but definitely not the main one due to it being so pricy. Also, Custombuilders tend to be 3D Printing Pros – changing a Nozzle or fixing a clog is no problem to them, and they want a good price-to-performance ratio on things they buy, usually.
High- and Low- Budget average Users
X5SA or Ghost5? Mega Zero or Vyper? SV04 or Gemini? One, two, three or four printers? The average 3D Printing user is the kind of User looking to use printers half as their hobby, half as a tool. They typically look for a good Price/Performance ratio, especially on the Low-Budget sectors. They are comfortable with modding their machines and tinkering/fixing things. So, where does the Revo stand here? On the Low-Budget sectors, we won’t even be considering it, but on the High Budget? Well, if we’re going after Price / Performance, those Users typically prefer hotends like the Phaetus Dragon (which also features easy nozzle swaps), having better Heat and Flow characteristics over the Revo, as well as featuring easy and cheap to replace thermistors / heat cartridges and other components. The Revo doesn’t have the price advantage, as pretty much everything around it is expensive – bringing up many potential side costs if something does go wrong.
High- and Low- Budget Beginners / “Tool Users”
3D Printing- or not? Tool or Hobby? Good Investment or financial disaster? The Bloody Beginners in the 3D Printing space are usually here to dip their toes into 3D Printing – the Low-Budget typically goes for low Budget machines like the Anycubic Mega Zero 2.0, the Anycubic Vyper, Fookos Odin or Kingroon KP3S. The High-Budget goes for things like Prusas and QIDIs. They don’t necessarily want to tinker, and just have something that works and that they can work with – especially the “Tool Users” that just want a 3D Printer as a tool in their garage or crafting space with no tinkering needed. For them, it would only make sense for the Revo to be shipped with the Printer itself due to the unwillingness to Tinker or do things like a Hotend surgery – which is a daunting challenge for any beginner, possibly involving firmware changes, PID tunes and more. The Revo is not necessarily for them, unless it’s shipped with a printer.
So, what do we learn of this?
The Revos Identity Crisis
To sum up the past few paragraphs: The Revo has no solid place in any of the typical Categories of 3D Printing Users, and is technically only useful for a few people, mostly ones that want to buy E3D for them being a British Brand or to support the Makers of the V6. These people are not the majority, though, and with the Revo not being fully open Source, there won’t be any cheap clones of it, which is good for E3D, but bad for people with low budgets.
It lands in it’s own identity crisis – with no belonging in common nieches or categories – who is it for? What’s the main audience behind the Revo?
The current and the future
As of now, the Revo is still not extremely widespread, even across 3D Printer manufacturers. And if this goes on like it does currently, the Revo won’t have a huge market for itself. The only big chance they can take is being included with Printers like the Prusa MK3S, where people that just want the printer to work will buy the machine. The Problem for E3D in that sense is, a lot of 3D Printing manufacturers like to use high temp, high flow, abrasive filament, etc. as a marketing point – all things that the revo does not allow due to being locked to brass nozzles and being designed with a short melt path. The biggest customers of E3D – 3D Printer Manufacturers themselves that ship their hotends with the printers themselves are driven off by the Revo in some aspects, attracted by others. It’s a true dilema and contributes to the Revos total identity crisis.
Personally, i can’t recommend the Revo to anyone except for people wanting to specifically support E3D or people that don’t mind paying extra for easy maintenance/nozzle changes. There are many better alternatives like the Phateus Dragon, the original V6 (and it’s high quality clones by Mellow and Trianglelab), or even a NF Crazy. But what you buy is up to you – and your moral standards.
If you are interested in checking out a huge collection of all kinds of 3D Printer Hotends yourself – check out my own List of 3D Printing Extrusion System Parts.
If anything new happens to the Revo, i will be linking it in this article and in the usual channels where i post my articles for feedback – as well as writing a new article about it. I’ll try my best to keep you updated.
Keep your head up, and Happy Printing!
Keep it up! I really enjoy reading your articles and it really helps me to learn about all that kind of stuff! ThumbsUp
Thanks a lot! The revo certainly is a challenging topic.
jes really much of 1a banger
Top site ,.. amazaing post ! Just keep the work on !