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Sovol SV06 Review: Affordable 3D Printer with Remarkable Capabilities
For those who are new to 3D printing or who are looking for a low-cost, dependable performer for rigid filaments, the Sovol SV06 has all the makings of being a fantastic option. The build quality feels good, the cost is reasonable, there is a lot of build volume, and it has a lot of quality-of-life features like automatic calibration routines, quiet operation, and reliable extrusion using a planetary-geared direct extruder.
After a relatively small amount of fiddling (because there's always some fiddling), we were able to get the SV06 to produce some high-quality results when we tested it using default settings and profiles. That doesn't mean it's faultless, though, as we encountered problems printing flexibles because they frequently became entangled in the elaborate planetary gearing.
Ease of Use8
Explore our comprehensive review of the Sovol SV06, a budget-friendly 3D printer that packs impressive features and performance. Learn why this low-cost option could be a perfect fit for your 3D printing needs.
The Sovol SV06 ships flat-packed in difficult-to-recycle black foam, like the majority of machines in this price range, protecting it from collisions during transit. There is plenty of (2D) printed documentation inside the box that is written in adequate English to help you start printing right away. Additionally, it comes with a coil of cheap and nasty PLA to use for your first print before exchanging it for better-quality material, a set of Allen keys, snips, a MicroSD card, and a USB SD card adaptor. The Sovol SV06 only accepts 1.75 mm filament, like the majority of FDM 3D printers today, but that’s okay because it’s the most popular size and you’ll have plenty of options.
Printing & Usability
The Sovol SV06 is both dependable and practical when in use. An induction probe is used in the bed leveling procedure to establish the ideal separation from the build surface. Simply slide an A4 sheet of paper between the nozzle and the bed until the nozzle begins to lightly pinch it to set the Z offset—this is standard procedure.
The machine will probe 25 points on the bed in order to determine the best distance for a trustworthy first layer.
The flexible steel magnetic powder-coated sheet that serves as the build plate makes it simple to remove prints. The coating also provides a good surface for adhesion. We haven’t yet needed to add glue or other adhesion aids. We anticipate this was done on purpose because the build volume just barely outperforms the MK3S+ in terms of specs. Even though a few extra millimeters don’t really matter, it’s always nice to have a little more room.
Naturally, we printed a Benchy using the PLA that was included in the box. The print produced pleasing results in an hour and a half. Even the bow section, which frequently fails due to inadequate cooling, appears well-kept. Although it isn’t particularly quick, speed isn’t everything.
The next test involved printing TPU 95A, a material that Sovol claims this machine can handle, so perhaps we became overconfident after this. We didn’t have much success with it; all of our tests came back negative. The planetary gearing would become jammed up with the filament deviating from the filament path, rendering it useless. Similar problems have been mentioned in a few community reviews on Reddit. We acknowledge the possibility of user error, but we tried multiple times and experienced the same outcomes. Every time it happened, we had to go through the laborious process of taking apart the print head and manually removing the jammed material.
On the plus side, it allowed us to carefully examine the planetary gearing system (although after doing this two times it got boring and we switched back to PLA).
By the way, the box comes with every tool you need to perform this type of maintenance. Does this imply that Sovol has foreseen such a problem? We don’t believe a novice would feel at ease performing this kind of maintenance. However, if you’re just starting out, you should probably stick to PLA or other rigid materials, both of which have worked out just fine so far.
We put everything back together and put it to the test with a lengthy, intricately printed bust of Walter White from the television show Breaking Bad. Sid Naique, who kindly gave us permission to use his modeling for this, created this.
Because of the realistic detail, this is an excellent test model because it demonstrates the printer’s capabilities. The model, which stands about 180 mm tall when assembled, was scaled to fit both the head and torso sections of the bed. It took about two days to complete the print.
Actually, this was the second attempt that failed. Due to filament runout, the first attempt failed. Sadly, the SV06 lacks a filament runout sensor in a glaring manner.
We already mentioned that the Sovol SV06 does not have a filament runout detection system. We wonder why Sovol decided not to include this feature since other entry-level machines frequently have it. One can be added manually, but doing so requires some knowledge of firmware compilation. On the extruder PCB, there is a spare port that we noticed; perhaps we could use it for this.
The machine’s mainboard is mounted at the back, and there is a hidden MicroSD card slot there. If you’re in a small space, it can be a little awkward because you have to reach around the gantry to get to it. It can be tricky to insert the card the right way because the slot is also unlabeled.
For Sovol to make the CAD data of the injection molded parts (of which there are many on the SV06) accessible as a starting point for modifications would have been a motivating, community-focused gesture. Although it would be nice, they haven’t.
Does It Pay Off?
After everything is said and done, we believe the Sovol SV06 represents a significant advancement in accessible, dependable 3D printing. Despite the fact that this machine isn’t perfect, it’s a huge step in the right direction because the price-to-feature ratio is insanely good.
Printing flexibles is where it fails. When we first tested TPU with the SV06, the fancy gearbox of the printer’s fancy gearbox always resulted in a tangle of filament caught up around the trio of gearing. Even though we did follow the instructions in the box, it’s possible that we made a mistake.
Even so, the SV06 is still a good printer as long as you stick to rigid filaments like PLA. Although the possibility of having to crack the print head open when dealing with finicky flexibles may be too much for some, the balance of price, functionality, and features is still a great onboarding experience for newcomers to 3D printing.
The Sovol SV06 has all the same upgrade potential as a Prusa MK3S+ does, but for a lot less money, if you’re into tweaking and upgrading your 3D printer. It is a great starting point based on what we have seen so far.
Temperature, Build volume, and Speed
A high-temperature nozzle is offered by most competitors, but the print bed can still reach 100 °C.
The SV06’s build volume is 220 x 220 x 250 mm, which is fairly conventional. High temperatures of up to 300 °C are possible with the all-metal hot end, enabling the use of some uncommon filaments like nylon and polycarbonate.
80 mm/s is the recommended top printing speed, which is standard compared to other products on the market. Since the firmware is accessible on GitHub, you can modify it as you see fit.
All-Metal Hot End
The SV06 lacks a PTFE tube and has an all-metal hot end. You no longer need to replace used PTFE tubes on a regular basis because it can reach temperatures of up to 300 °C thanks to this.
Since these kinds of materials are frequently difficult to print, Sovol advises only experts to use this option, despite the fact that it does support high temperatures.
The brass MK8 type nozzle that is currently installed will be destroyed by abrasive filaments like carbon fiber. You will need to switch the nozzle to something like hardened steel if you want to use these kinds of materials. If you’d rather burn through them, a spare brass nozzle is included in the package.
Planetary Direct Extruder
The direct extruder, which Sovol created specifically for the SV06, uses planetary gears to push the filament through to the hot end.
By design, planetary gears produce more torque from a smaller motor. Planetary gears also have the accuracy and toughness you want in an extruder.
Automatic Bed Leveling
At this price point, automatic bed leveling is practically a given, and the Sovol SV06 has one. It measures and corrects for any unevenness on the bed using an induction sensor that uses its metal print bed.
It accomplishes this by measuring the separations between the probe and the bed at 25 points on a grid. These calculations create an imperfect mesh that the printer corrects for to produce consistently accurate prints.
The SV06’s G34 Z auto-align feature depends on the ABL as well.
Dual Z-axis & Auto Z Align
Dual Z-axis lead screws are typically one of the most coveted upgrades for inexpensive FDM printers. It offers stability and reduces some of the sag that is present when using a single Z-axis lead screw for printing. You’ll be happy to learn that the SV06 has dual Z-axis right out of the box.
Additionally, it can automatically level the Z-axis by using the G34 command without further alterations. In order to keep the X-axis parallel to the bed and eliminate any irregularities on either side of the Z-axis, G34 uses independent stepper drivers, motors, and automatic bed leveling.
32-bit Sovol Mainboard
Sovol is separating itself from Creality, as was already mentioned, at least for the SV06. The 32-it mainboard that powers the entire printer is one of the components that they have once more customized. If G34 is to function, this custom board, which runs Marlin, needs to have at least five stepper motor drivers. Additionally, we can infer from its documentation that it employs silent TMC2209 drivers.
Other features include:
- Filament sensor: Today’s standard magnetic build plates are PEI-coated spring steel sheets; they perform well with the majority of materials and are simple to twist off prints.
- Belt tensioners: Another feature that, despite being common, is great to have is belt tensioners. There is no other way we can think of to quickly tighten the belts.
- Partially assembled: Being able to start using the SV06 in minutes rather than hours is fantastic for those who are new to the hobby. It comes partially assembled.
- Rotary Encoder-controlled screen: Sovol cut corners in a few areas, including the screen. A monochrome screen without a touchpad or fancy icons powers the interface.
|Technology||Fused deposition modeling (FDM)|
|3D Printer Properties|
|Build volume||220 x 220 x 250 mm|
|Print head||Single nozzle|
|Nozzle size||0.4 mm|
|Max. hot end temperature||300 °C|
|Max. heated bed temperature||100 °C|
|Print bed material||PEI-coated spring steel sheet|
|Display||Knob-controlled monochrome display|
|Filament diameter||1.75 mm|
|Filament materials||PLA, ABS, PETG, Flexibles, Carbon Fiber, Nylon, ASA, PC|
|Recommended slicer||Sovol3D Cura 1.5.3|
|Operating system||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|File types||STL, OBJ, AMF|
|Dimensions & Weight|
|Frame dimensions||497 x 388 x 611 mm|