The Tevo Tornado was released in 2017 to compete with other large-volume printers such as the Creality CR-10. Since the release date, it has become an extremely popular option for those that demand a large print volume 3D printer and require the ability to create high-quality prints.
In it’s early iterations, it was plagued with quite a few issues such as ‘salmon-skin’ patterns on prints and boot up bugs that made it undesirable for some. Those days are in the past with the release of the Tevo Tornado Gold Edition.
They’ve included an upgraded board and stepper drivers to eliminate the ‘salmon-skin’ issue, a bare-glass mains-voltage heated print bed that heats up in less than a minute, a titan extruder, and great looking gold accents that really make it a beautiful piece of engineering.
Frame: 20 x 20mm, 20 x 40mm Aluminum Extrusion
Print speed: 150mm/s
Filament Diameter: 1.75mm
Print Volume: 300 x 300 x 400mm
Printer Physical Size: 50 x 60 x 62cm
Z-axis resolution: 50 microns (.05mm)
Control Voltage: 24V
Heated Bed: 120/220V mains, 60-110C
Hotend: recommended 210C , up to 260C
Materials: PLA, ABS, TPU, PETG
- Mains-powered heated bed comes to print temperature very quickly.
- High resolution in the z-axis means more accurate prints.
- Upgraded boards and drivers all but eliminate layer shifts.
- The 24v system makes finding parts slightly difficult.
- The frame, though very well built, isn’t quite stiff enough at such a high print volume.
- Stock part cooling isn’t sufficient for prints with lots of bridging.
The Tornado is a fantastic printer for its price range. After printing for a year or so with it, I have come to learn quite a few tricks that make 3D printing with this machine a breeze. Before I get to that though, I’d like to explain out of the box performance.
My very first benchy left a lot to be desired. Much of it was lack of printing experience, but the machine itself did have a few issues out of the box.
The first problem that I encountered was a loose lead-screw follower nut. This induced quite a bit of mechanical backlash on the first few layers, which made bed leveling (and therefore first layer quality) all but impossible. Once the issue was discovered, my print quality instantly improved.
The second issue that I had was a constant need to level the bed. I had to go through the tramming process at least once every 3 prints, but usually more often than that. The reason for this issue is the factory bed mount springs. Without having the z-axis limit switch almost all the way down, there is no way to get enough tension on the springs for them to stay put.
My solution was to remove them entirely and install a solid bed mounting system which consisted of 8 printed pieces and 8 – M5 nuts. After installing this mod, I level my bed no more than once every 3 months. It just stays put!
*Word of caution – If you use an auto bed leveling system such as the bltouch, I would recommend against a solid bed mount. If for whatever reason the bltouch fails, the hotend may not stop and crash into the bed which in the worst case scenario means buying a new bed.
Being such a large printer, even the very strong aluminum extrusion frame is not quite stiff enough. This manifests itself in ringing and ghosting which gets worse as the print gets taller. Though for some folks this may not be a huge issue, however in my pursuit for perfection I installed diagonal frame braces.
The brackets were printed from a .stl file obtained on thingiverse.com, and the threaded rod was sourced from a local hardware store. In total, the cost for this mod is around $5, but by far the most effective mod that I have done to this printer for improved print quality. I used 5/16 x 18 threaded rod, but M8 will also be effective. You can just use whichever is available to you, locally.
The Tevo Tornado has gone through quite a few design changes in its short time on the market. The latest generation is the Gold Edition which comes with an MKS GEN V1.4 control board and A4988 stepper drivers.
This gives you the ability to adjust the stepper driver VREF voltage which can be used as a cure to layer shifting issues. To avoid that in the first place, I configured my x, z, and extruder drivers to run at .95v, and my y driver at 1.1v before printing anything substantial.
Like many consumer-grade desktop Prusa clones, the Tevo Tornado has a single knob that is used to select menu options, which is then clicked to confirm your selection. Within the menu, you have various options to help with bed leveling, stepper calibrations, and movement settings.
The only real complaint I have is that there is no way to set a custom to preheat temperature before printing; the preheat PLA selection automatically sets the heated bed to 80C, and the hotend to 200C and the preheat ABS selection is set for 110C on the heated bed, and 240C for the hotend. If you would like to control the preheat temperature, a raspberry pi loaded with octoprint is your best bet.
I give the Tevo Tornado Gold Edition a 4/5. At a lower price than the Creality CR-10, the Tornado is a strong competitor. The mains heated bed makes for a very quick print setup, and most of the configuration is done properly at the factory.
The only reason it doesn’t get a 5/5 is because of the spring-mounted bed, and the lack of proper bracing on the frame. However, all Prusa-like large printers will suffer from this, and it’s a cheap-and-easy fix. I would highly recommend this printer for the first time buyer and the veteran printer alike. Simply put, it prints really well straight out of the box.
Artillery 3D Sidewinder X1 First Impressions – by William Saunders Sr. – I could drop this off a freight truck and there would not be any damage to the printer. We all know how important this is, as it is shipped from China and can take a lot of abuse. Could this be better than Tevo’s newest 3D printer? the Nereus.