Simple Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro Review – Worth Buying or Not?
The recently released (at time of writing) Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro is an upgrade from its predecessor (the Elegoo Neptune 3). It features certain improvements that were missing in the hardware of the Neptune 3 to improve its reliability, quality, and usability.
At around $230, the features on this printer make it a steal for that price. This is because the Neptune 3 Pro ensures you are not missing out on the premium features present in top-end 3D printers.
This article is going to be a fairly simple review of the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro. We would be going over various aspects such as its features, specifications, benefits, downsides, and unboxing process. Keep reading to learn more.
Features of the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro
- Dual Gear Direct Drive Extruder
- XY Knob Belt Tensioners
- Filament Runout Sensors
- Power Loss Print Recovery
- High Precision Dual Z-Axis
- PEI Coated Spring Steel Sheet
- 3-Inch LCD Touchscreen
- Integrated LED Light Bar on its Gantry
- Automesh Bed Leveling
- 32-Bit Silent Motherboard
- Quick Assembly
- Titanium Nozzle Kit
Dual Gear Direct Drive Extruder
Unlike the Elegoo Neptune 3, the Neptune 3 Pro features a dual gear direct drive extruder system. The dual gear drive extruder is made of SU303 high-quality stainless steel with a 3:1 reduction ratio and a stronger extrusion force for feeding the filament smoothly.
This dual gear direct drive extruder ensures stability and accurate printing. It also helps prevent nozzle clogging and under-extrusion issues. The dual gear drive extruder is compatible with multiple filaments like PLA, ABS, PETG, and even flexible filaments like TPU.
XY Knob Belt Tensioners
The XY Knob Belt Tensioners are a nice upgrade on the screws used in other models to hold the XY belt in place. The knobs make the belt tensioning process and operation much easier and faster.
Now all you have to do is twist the knob on the X and Y-axis to either tighten or loosen the belts until the tension is just right. With this method, it’s easy to get the best quality with optimal belt tension.
Filament Runout Sensors
This feature is one important perk that every 3D printer should have. This small simple device can be a lifesaver when your filament runs out on a very long 3D print, or when the filament breaks during printing.
When you run out of filament, the sensor recognizes that and immediately signals the printer to pause. This allows you to insert the filament and continue printing. Once you resume printing, the hotend returns to the last location where the filament ran out and continues printing.
While this may be a great feature, you may get a visible layer line depending on how well the layer adheres to the previous layer.
Power Loss Print Recovery
Just like the filament runout sensors, the power loss print recovery feature is another smart printing feature on the Neptune 3 Pro.
In an event of an unplanned power outage or an accidental plug removal, you can rest assured that you can continue your print without having to start again. After you turn the 3D printer back on, it will prompt you to continue printing from the last location.
High Precision Dual Z-Axis
This is also another feature that was missing from the Neptune 3 3D printer. Getting this high precision dual Z-axis on the Neptune 3 Pro is very exciting.
The high precision dual Z-axis with synchronized lead screws and dual motor drive, ensures a more stable movement of the print head and high printing accuracy. It basically helps to prevent deviation, layer skips, and other imperfections caused by a single Z-axis lead screw motor.
PEI Coated Spring Steel Sheet
The magnetic PEI coated sheet for the Neptune 3 Pro is designed to allow prints easily pop off nicely after cooling. The print surface has a special coating with a gritty texture that helps improve adhesion and anti-warping in prints.
You do not need to use a scraper to dig into the magnetic sheet, you just need to remove the magnetic printing platform from the base and flex it to remove your prints easily.
4.3-Inch LCD Touchscreen
The 4.3-inch LCD touchscreen is very easy to use.
The touchscreen can either be operated hand-held or attached to its magnetic base. It features a very simple user interface with four main options on the home screen to access whatever setting you may need.
You can also preview and monitor the progress of your print on the LCD using the built-in print model preview function.
Assembly is really simple. You need to first screw its magnetic holder into the gantry which serves as the base for the touchscreen. Then plug in the wire from the LCD to the port in front of the LCD.
Integrated LED Light Bar on Gantry
Unlike its predecessor, the Neptune 3 Pro has an LED light bar integrated into its gantry. At first, they may seem gimmicky, but they come in handy by illuminating the printer whilst preparing and actually printing your models.
It also comes in handy during overnight prints and in poor lighting conditions so that you can properly observe your prints. The light can also be turned on or off at any point during your prints using the LCD screen.
Automesh Bed Leveling
The Neptune 3 Pro comes with Automesh bed leveling that uses a high precision inductive probe to automatically scan 36 points (6 x 6 grid) on the hotbed. This helps to measure height differences across the hotbed and compensate for it on the Z-axis during printing.
After leveling the bed, you then set the Z-offset manually by placing a piece of paper under the nozzle and lowering it, until there is a slight resistance when you pull the paper. Or you can calibrate the Z-offset while running a test print.
32-Bit Silent Motherboard
Most modern-day printers have been able to solve the issue of noise generated during printing and the Neptune 3 Pro is one of them. It uses an STM32 motherboard together with silent stepper motors on all axes for a quieter printing experience.
The main cause of noise on Neptune 3 Pro is the dual fans which only generate a faint hum while in operation. The noise levels recorded from the Neptune 3 Pro are as low as 47-48dB.
The Neptune 3 Pro comes pre-assembled with most of the components held together already. It only requires a few bolts and nuts to get the machine up and running.
The whole assembly process should not take more than 15 minutes. There is also a video included in the SD card sent with the printer to help guide you while you assemble the printer.
Titanium Nozzle Kit
The extruder assembly on the Neptune 3 Pro contains a TC4 titanium alloy throat pipe, an aluminum alloy flat heat sink, and a brass nozzle. The aluminum heat sink is much wider and is paired with a dual fan assembly which ensures better heat dissipation.
This ultimately reduces the possibility of the nozzle clogging.
Specifications of the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro
- Frame Material: CNC Machined Aluminum Extrusion
- Modeling Technology: FDM
- Rated Voltage: 115/230V 50/60Hz
- Rated Power: 350W
- Build Size: 225 x 225 x 280mm
- Printer Size: 475 x 445 x 515mm
- Nozzle Temperature: 260°C
- Hotbed Temperature: 100°C
- Connection Types: Micro SD Card, USB Port
- Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm
- Layer Height: 0.1-0.4mm
- Print Precision: ±0.1mm
- Printing Speed: 30-180mm/s
- Display Screen: 4.3-Inch Color Screen
- Printing Platform: PEI Coated Spring Steel Sheet
- File Format: STL/OBJ/AMF
- Supported Filament: PLA/ABS/TPU/PETG/Wood/Marble
- UI Language: English/French/German/Russian/Italian/Spanish/Japanese/Chinese.
- Resume Printing: Yes
- Filament Detection: Yes
- Net Weight: 8.1KG
Benefits of the Elegoo 3 Neptune Pro
- Assembly is very quick since it only requires just a few screws to attach the gantry to its base and a few wire connections.
- Dual synchronized lead screws and dual motor drive on the Z-axis help to ensure more stable movement of the print head and better printing accuracy.
- All axes are driven by silent stepper motors for a quiet and more precise movement during printing, noise levels during printing are usually as low as 47-48dB.
- Knobs for the X and Y-axis make belt tensioning much easier.
- Semi-intelligent fan control, the fans will turn off once the hotend reaches below 50°C which in turn helps to reduce noise and save power.
- Compatible with many filaments including flexible filaments due to the direct drive extruder.
- Bed leveling is automatic, making it much easier and faster.
- LEDs light bar integrated into the gantry helps to ensure you can monitor the print at all times, even in a poor light conditions.
- Toolbox model pre-uploaded on the Neptune 3 Pro’s SD card fits seamlessly
Downsides of the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro
- There is no Wi-Fi support on the Neptune 3 Pro, but it can be created.
- The position of the filament detection sensor means that it’s difficult to feed from a filament dryer unless it’s positioned above the 3D printer.
There really aren’t significant downsides with the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro.
Customer Reviews of the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro
At the time of writing, the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro is still quite new so there are not many customer reviews on it.
The reviews are mostly positive reviews about the new features added to the Neptune 3 Pro.
Uncle Jessy made a great review you can watch it below. He commented about the dual gear direct drive extruder and how he was able to print TPU filament which was not possible on the Neptune 3.
You can also check out this video review from Lost in Tech about the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro.
Unboxing and Assembly of the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro
The unboxing and assembly of the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro was quite straightforward. The box comes in a large compact package housing the pre-assembled 3D printer.
The box is a two-tier setup with each layer housing various components. Once you open the box, you are greeted with some warning fliers and instruction manuals at the top layer of the box.
Still on the first layer, the printer’s gantry, spool holder, power cable, a bag containing 3D printer tools and accessories, and a magnetic display holder all fitted nice and snug into the custom foam inserts.
In the second layer of the box, the LCD Touchscreen and the printer’s base are fitted in the custom foam inserts, including the magnetic PEI sheet.
You may have to lay all the parts on a table and compare them to the parts on the instruction manual to ensure all the parts are intact.
The assembly process should take about 15 minutes or thereabout even if you do not have prior knowledge about installing one.
- Place the gantry on the base and insert the screws labeled HM5*45 from under the base to hold the base and the gantry together. Insert two screws on both sides and tighten with an Allen key.
- With the screws labeled PM4*20, attach the magnetic base for the display to the right-hand side of the gantry with an Allen key. You can now place the LCD on the magnetic base and connect the telephone cord from the LCD to the port in front.
- Screw one part of the spool holder into the other and screw it to the top of the gantry. Attach the filament runout sensor to the spool holder using the remaining screws for the display.
- Connect the cables from the base to the Z-axis stepper motors.
- With your screwdriver, select the appropriate voltage for your mains on the Neptune 3 Pro (115V or 230V).
- Plug in the connectors for the limit switch and the filament sensor to their respective connectors.
- Plug in the connectors for the X-axis stepper motor and its limit switch.
- Insert the Ribbon cable for the hotend and secure it to X-axis for proper cable management using the R-shaped buckle.
At this point, the main assembly is complete. Ensure you select the right voltage level based on the supply from the mains in your area. After this, you can plug in the power cable to the 3D printer, turn it on, start the leveling process.
Here is a video showing the unboxing experience and assembly of the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro.
Leveling the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro
The bed leveling process is simply straightforward. Once the printer is powered up, simply select “Level” on the LCD’s home menu. Follow the prompts to confirm the bed leveling process.
Once that is confirmed, the bed leveling sequence will begin. The automatic 36-point leveling process will operate across the bed, in a 6 x 6 grid to measure and compensate for the bed distances.
After the bed-leveling process is completed, set the Z-offset with the prompt that pops up at the end of the bed-leveling sequence.
Print Results of the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro
This multicolored T’Challa model came out really nicely on the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro. It was done with a 0.2mm layer height and was designed by Fotis Mint. You can get the model by joining his Patreon.
The detail in this Bane model is really excellent. A lot of the features are great, but there were some blemishes with the face mask and the supports mixing together. I should have used some custom supports instead of normal supports so it would come out cleaner. This was also designed by Fotis Mint.
Print–in–Place – Distance Measuring Tool
I made this cool print-in-place distance measuring tool out of gray PLA on the Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro. You need some pretty good tolerances to be able to 3D print a model like this, and this 3D printer did the job well.
Here’s a cool starfish I 3D printed with TPU. It’s a direct drive 3D printer, so you can 3D print flexible filaments with ease.
Easter Island Head
We have the classic Easter Island Head in a gray PLA as well. You can see the layer lines and the Z-seam. I did notice a blemish at the bottom of the model, but overall, it looks great. This was printed with a 0.2mm layer height.
Finally, we have the legendary print-in-place box, created by Turbo_SunShine and found on Thingiverse. I 3D printed it with a nice multicolor filament,the same as the T’Challa model. The gears didn’t bind together so the 3D printer has great tolerances.
The Elegoo Neptune 3 Pro is a 3D printer I would recommend to 3D printing newbies as well as 3D printing enthusiasts. The price to quality offered is one of the best for 3D printers out there.
It shares similar features with very expensive 3D printers, making sure you do not miss out on the premium 3D printing experience.