Getting into 3D printing can be a daunting prospect. Aside from choosing a printer, there’s the rigmarole of assembling it, making sure it’s level, finding a spot where it will fit and won’t be disturbed, the list goes on. The Weedo Tina2 aims to simplify this whole affair and, as a quick look at the company’s website confirms, is aimed at both beginners and children.
The Weedo Tina2 is also sold under a few other brand names including the Monoprice Cadet and comes in two models; The Tina2 Basic model (the one we tested) has a MicroSD slot (for direct printing) and PC connectivity via PC. The upgrade model adds a finger-guard nozzle guard and WIFI, although we’re not convinced the latter upgrade is worth it.
Construction itself is simple, not least because the entire compact unit is encased in a metal frame about ten inches high, suitable for short-term relocation. The downside is that the print bed works well for figures and small busts, not so much for larger pieces.
But if you’re taking your first steps into the world of 3D printing, you probably won’t go all the way until you’re familiar with the technology. The Weedo Tina2, while perhaps lacking a few bells and whistles of the best 3D printers, definitely knows its audience. But how well does it deliver?
Weedo Tina2: design and set up
The Weedo Tina2 is clean and compact and unlike some bulkier 3D printers that resemble an industrial device, it can easily be hidden in a corner of a room or on an extra wide shelf. Yes, the noise it makes mid-print will probably give it away, but visually it’s about as intrusive as a regular inkjet printer
Setup is a breeze and you can be printing in five minutes using models on the included micro SD card. Once you’ve unpacked the Tina2, plug it in, remove a piece of cardboard from the nozzle area, connect the filament hose (one end is already attached), power it up and you’re good to go.
Our only gripe in terms of design is how tiny the PLA reel seat is which is designed for smaller and thinner and less cost effective 500/600g reels. You can just about place a 1kg roll on the holder, but luckily there are several larger roll holders that you can print out and attach to the Tina2, or you can Purchase a freestanding mount (opens in new tab).
Weedo Tina2: specifications and features
We initially balked at the Tina2’s monochrome display, which, controlled by a dial, seemed unwieldy. But we got used to it very quickly, to the point where navigating the UI has become second nature.
Operation: 2.5 inch LCD screen
Software: Wii Builder 2, Cura 3
Connectivity: USB/Micro SD
layer resolution: 0.1-0.4mm
Print speed: 40mm/s
Printer size: 215*200*270mm
build volume: 105x105x105mm
Material: PLA thread diameter: 1.75 mm
max. nozzle temperature: 260℃
The Tina2 is extremely portable and has features you might not expect from a small device like this. Not only does it automatically level before each print, but it also allows you to save a print mid-run and come back to it later. So if you have it on a table and suddenly need the space back, no problem.
The included micro SD card contains two different slicing programs, WiiBuilder 2 and a custom version of Cura 3. Both programs are easy to use, although we found Cura 3 to be a bit more intuitive. WiiBuilder 2 allows you to print from your PC (via USB cable), but since the micro SD slot is on the top of the printer, we found it more convenient to use the card (you can use any micro SD card) for the bring printer. Yes, the updated version of the Tina2 supports wireless communications, but Weedo’s requires you to use their mobile app, suggesting it’s not proper WiFi, or at least as basic as WiFi connectivity should be.
The Tina2 has a print area of 100mm x 120mm x 100mm (the maximum size a model can be), which is smaller than most, but it encouraged us to explore the basics of 3D modeling . Using Autodesk Meshmixer and Microsoft 3D Builder, we experimented with splitting models in half, adding tabs so we could reconnect the pieces, and creating a spider using Clint Eastwood’s head (don’t ask).
However, there is a catch with the print area that has nothing to do with its size. Most modern printers have a heated print bed that helps the first layer of print adhere to the bed, and while you can print a base or “raft” for the model to sit on, this isn’t always necessary.
However, the print bed of the Tina2 is not heated; Instead, an adhesive square of masking tape material is used to ensure adhesion for the removable build plate. The decal will eventually wear off, in which case you can purchase additional decals from Weedo ($15 for 10) or use duct tape instead.
You need to print a raft using the Build Plate Adhesion field in Cura, which is automatically on by default. You’ll then have to manually peel this layer off the underside of your model – it’s easiest if you do this right after the print is complete – but that’s a relatively minor inconvenience.
Weedo Tina2: print quality and speed
As with all FDM printers, using the Tina2 means living with level lines, although the visibility of these lines will depend on the quality you are printing to. With Cura 3’s default setting of Fine, we got excellent results with prints where the layers were only visible at a distance of about 40cm. Setting the quality to Extra Fine made them almost invisible, although it tripled the print time it’s not really worth the trade-off.
At an average speed of 40mm/s, it takes between five and eight hours to print a 9-10cm model, although this depends on how many removable supports are needed. Cura 3 highlights overhangs and, if you tick the box, adds supports to the model, although knowing if you can get away without supports is a matter of practice.
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Due to the smaller print bed, we had to downsize some models – which is easy to do with Cura 3’s user interface – but we had good results all round. Ranni the Witch from Elden Ring (her hat printed separately) looked amazing, as did Luigi’s nemesis Waluigi, although we had a moment when it came to removing the supports from his mustache.
We printed out a detailed model of an Apollo 11 astronaut and at 6cm tall we could see the hose connections on the suit. It wasn’t until we started going under 5cm that we lost a small detail; Even at Extra Fine, Neil Armstrong’s crow’s feet didn’t make it onto the print despite being on the original file we downloaded.
Weedo Tina2 Review: Price & Guarantee
The Weedo Tina2 Basic is available at weedo (opens in new tab) or Amazon (opens in new tab) for $149.99 and AmazonUK (opens in new tab) for around £135, making it one of the cheapest 3D printers on the market. It seems a little unfair to make the heat protection exclusive to the Tina2 upgrade, but it’s up to you whether protecting little fingers (or the big fingers of unwary adults) is worth the extra £40.
Other companies sell the Tina2 and they can sometimes be even cheaper. The Entina Tina 2, which looks almost identical, is Selling on Amazon UK (opens in new tab) for £119.99 (including a £30 voucher discount to tick). If you decide to make a purchase, it’s worth keeping an eye out for similar promotions.
Should you buy the Weedo Tina2?
If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way into 3D printing, or want to teach someone else something, you should definitely do it. Yes, the build area is small, but that should be fine for beginners. And thanks to its compact size and auto-leveling ability, you can take it out and put it away at will without binding a specific area.
The use of floor panel decals seems a little low-tech, but it’s a reasonable concession to keep the Tina2’s price point down. At some point you might want a bigger and faster machine, but if you keep going you’ll have learned a lot.
If this 3D printer is not for you
If you’re already experienced with 3D printing or want to print larger pieces, a large bed FDM printer like the AnyCubic Kobra ($269 from Amazon (opens in new tab) / £269 from Amazon UK (opens in new tab)) maybe more suitable. It’s a more expensive purchase, but its print area and print speed are double that of the Tina2.
Or if you want to go even bigger, the AnyCubic Kobra Plus (currently $447.99 on Amazon (opens in new tab)) has a massive 350 x 300 x 300 mm; You can read our review of the Anycubic Kobra Plus.
On the other hand, if you want to create small but detailed durable pieces, e.g. B. Tabletop characters, a resin printer like the Elegoo Mars 2 ($225 from Amazon (opens in new tab)) might be just the job. You can look at ours Elegoo Mars 2 review to see all our thoughts