I have been 3D printing for a little more than a year after having purchased 2 used Makerbots of which worked really well. However, I felt for my use case - making miniatures for fun - FDM just couldn't do what I wanted it to do. I wanted a resin printer - SLA or DLP and had been looking for a while but most were out of my price range. I couldn't justify spending $3,000USD on a Form 2 and my options were the kit Peopoly Moai or the Wanhao D7. I chose the D7 because of it's entry price point and strong Facebook community and support groups. I followed them for about 2 months and felt that Wanhao made a solid product.
I read a lot on the Facebook groups and watched a bunch of YouTube videos on how to setup and run the D7. When I got the box, I knew exactly what to do and setup the machine in about 45 minutes. That's the easy part.
Now the hard part - Resin printing is potentially a bit more messy requiring you to wash your prints in IPA alcohol and then curing them in a UV light. These items are NOT part of the kit so you have to research what's available. I sourced my 99% IPA from Safeway (grocery store) and my UV nail curing device from Amazon. Get a box of Nitrile gloves from your pharmacy and a few rolls of paper towels too. Printing with resin - smells. There's no other way to get around it. It smells bad so you need to ventilate the room and not be in there - otherwise you might get a headache or worse. I run my machine in my attic workshop so this isn't an issue. Don't run it in your living room or bedroom! If you have roomates - this is a no go unless you move it to the garage.
The Wanhao Creative Workshop software can generate the file for the printer reliably. However, you will need to use other 3rd party software to modify your models for DLP printing - 1) Making them hollow, 2) adding drainage holes and 3) creating the support structure. In Windows 10, 3DBuilder is awesome for hollowing and manually adding holes. ChiTu - is great for adding support along with the B9 Creator suite. Now bring it all back in to Wanhao CW 1.2.4 (latest as of Nov 2017) to generate your CWS file and copy it to your USB Drive.
Resin printing requires resin profiles where the Wanhao software has support for Wanhao, Monocure and a bunch of others. You will need to run a calibration for your resin that matches your computer. This can get messy and frustrating because you can end up with partial prints AND junk stuck to the vat FEP film. I bought an extra bottle of Wanhao Gray resin and a bottle of Monocure Rapid Gray. I have almost 100% success with the Wanhao resin but next to NO success using Monocure. I will for now just stick with Wanhao Gray.
The Good Stuff: Once you get your printer working and make a few new FB "friends" that help you out. You can start making prints and the output of a DLP resin printer is AMAZING! The details are so well preserved it makes the BEST FDM machine look like junk. If you are patient in preparing your models adding support and fixing supports - you will be so happy at the quality output of this little DLP printer. The price of $499 is awesome too! An Ultimaker at $3K can't even come close to the quality of the Wanhao D7. Yes, the D7 build area is small but hey - I'd take that vs hours and hours of sanding and prep work!
So if you want to print and finish some miniatures, the D7 is a good machine to look at. Lots of support world wide from users and a price point that won't break the bank. I'm so happy with it, I'm getting another D7 and selling one of my FDM printers. FDM still has it's place but I no longer need 2 FDM printers. Oh, Wanhao is coming out with the D8 which has 2X the print area of the D7..... I might have to wait and get that one once the specs come out.
Be sure your computer can handle the software and connections. Turn off screen saver, sleep mode, wifi, and internet on your computer. Any disruption during the print causes a problem in the print. Check your resin, many require a high % IPA to rinse off excess resin. Also be weary of ventilation requirements. Highly suggest an ultrasonic washer to help clean off the resin, a non-VOC, low ventilation resin, and a UV curing lamp to finish curing your prints. Make sure you calibrate your resin for the printer. The results of the Wanhao 7 are amazing. I had .010 diameter by .006 high rivets on my print and every one of them came out. It may sound like many things to remember, but after three or four prints, it becomes routine. Overall, I am very pleased with this printer.
Amazing entry level DLP printer; not the best customer support but thankfully outside sources are starting to stock parts and the Facebook group is fantastic for troubleshooting. Software options are extremely limited and buggy but it can do wonderful things when you get everything set up right.
The printer match the price. Few ready-made templates for different resins. To change the slicer need to rewrite. Regular slicer does not support filling shapes. A little off automatic placement of supports. Translation Of Google
My ratings and experience for this printer come from my use of it over the past 3 months. I have to mention the price first, the old saying "you get what you pay for" certainly is true, but this printer breaks that stereotype. Having used only a few printers, and research a handful more I can see why people love this printer, for the price and type of building material ( UV resin) it certainly is worth every penny, I paid 500 for mine but the prices vary from marketer to marketer.
If money's tight and you definitely need a dlp resin printer I would definitely recommend this one.
All that being said, there is space for improvement, the software works great, there are actually 2 options, one is Creation workshop, which is the first recommended software, the second is Nanodlp, which is a program to be used with a raspberry pi 3, different style but seems to work similarly to creation workshop. Unlike other printers which works with most older computers , to a limit of course, the D7 REQUIRES an HDMI output from your computer, so if you don't have an extra few hundred bucks or so laying around for a brand new pc with an HD MI output then you can settle for the raspberry pi for $35 and install nanodlp (which is what I did) , now I know this may not make most people happy but the main advantage of using the raspberry pi 3 is that itsomething wifi capabilities allows you to put the printer in a whole other room or part of your building, as some resins may have a strong smell. Not only that, it also frees up your computer from running the printer while doing other tasks.
All in all its great, I've had all successful prints so far (about 10 prints) but it varies, from the large group of wanhao d7 users on Facebook this can been seen, as the group is very large and is always active with post of successful and unsuccessful prints, reviews, comments, support, suggestions and tips are abundant there. Most problems with prints usually come from the resin profile data put into the printer program, or resins that are not compatible as this is a different technology than SLA printers. It is compatible with most printer resins, but just make sure before purchasing, to save time and trouble.
If you do purchase this printer I wish you best of luck, and please check out the facebook page, it's very helpful.
(P.S. the version printer I have is the wanhao d7
V1.4, I can't vouch for an earlier or later model, although just as v1.4 was better than v1.3 I assume the same would be for the v1.5, but again I haven't used or reviewed those, so I can't vouch for them.)
the printer was easy to use , rigid, quality is accepted comparing to price.