Hi. Just ordered a cheap 3d printer from ebay but i know nothing and arent really shure what i orderd. Trying to read up on everything regarding 3d printers, hardware and software but there are so mutch information im going nuts… Just starting reading about calibration and getting the best print i figured that i dont even know what software you need and witch firmware i should use. A link to the printer is http://vi.raptor.ebaydesc.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemDescV4&item=171817301832&category=1245&pm=1&ds=0&t=1481545865189 and i would be greatfull if someone could point me to the right software and firmware. Thx guys and sorry for such a dumb question…


YouTube is your answer to a lot of this… That’s a Geeetech i3 which is a cheap are cheerful i3 clone. You will see a lot of love and even more hate for this printer. It’s cheap for a reason, but it does work if you are willing to put some time into it and improve on it.

First steps would be to watch all videos on YouTube if you search “Geeetech i3”. That will give you a huge amount of understanding into how to assemble and set it up. Trial and error and testing is all part of 3D printing, it goes with the badge really!

Best of luck with the new printer. Sorry I can’t be more specific now, but there’s so much to go through you can’t really generalise advice.



That machine lists that it uses/supports Repetier. This is the firmware and also a way to serve the machine files to print.

All your needs and documentation are here: https://www.repetier.com/

If I understand things correctly, you will need to assemble your 3D Printer. Of course you might not, I’m not sure how much you paid for it.

If you end up having to assemble it, I think you’re in for a bumpy ride if its your first time!

If your machine comes assembled, there’s a good chance that there is little to no calibration and firmware editing that you will have to do, excluding leveling the bed (which appears to be done via wingnuts on that machine).

DON’T discredit the importance of leveling the print surface. Level it once at each corner and in the center by checking to make sure the distance between the bed and the nozzle is a little tight with a business card. Then check it again. Then check it a third time. If after all of this it’s level everywhere all the time, you got very lucky with a cheap and unwarped printer.

In any case, when I first got my machine I had a lot of the same questions as you.

You can download any slicing software and start hacking up models before you have the machine to familiarize yourself with the software.

For newbies I always recommend Cura, but I’m not sure about the newer versions of it, I’m not upgrading from my old version.

Slic3r, Cura, or Craftware work easily enough, I’ve used all three.



My advice is to open up tabs for every term you don’t know on reprap wiki or something.

Ok, so your slicer chops up an STL file into print code (Gcode) and your host software sends that to the printer. Nowadays the slicer and host are one and the same, thankfully.

Commonly used:




-Mattercontrol (my favourite) it’s got a nice, simple and clean layout with help functions so good for beginners too.

Coincidentally your printer seems very similar to mine.

Your printer will come preloaded with the firmware (turns Gcode into motion) and it’s probably the last stable version of Marlin. If you’re new to programming hold off changing your firmware until you’ve read some tutorials on it.

If you do plan to upgrade your firmware (I recommend) then you can get some of the settings off your machine by digging around in the LCD menu. The rest is more trial and error (such as pinpointing what thermistor is used, tuning it and also making sure motor directions are fine). But basically you just iteratively run your firmware with your settings updated until the fit is perfect.

Things to research:

-your motherboard type (looks like it’ll be a GT2560)

-are your endstops NO or NC

-leadscrews (general understanding is good, I upgraded from threaded rod to proper leadscrews for £15)

-thermistors (100K EPCOS are recommended standard)

-Marlin and how to configure it

Also feel free to ask if you need any help and you may find some of my videos here to be useful or interesting: http://www.youtube.com/user/acrimoniousmirth

I also recommend checking out Tom Sanladerer’s channel.


Thx i have been on YouTube all week. I did read about all the hate and some, not much love. I guess im not to afraid of tweaking and i have quite a lot of patience when it comes to things you do hand on since i dont do it in my work. Thx for the answer and i guess i need to get it home before asking really but im so impatient haha


You made a bold decision! You will spend a lot a time with that machine until it will print in a good quality.

Don’t get frustrated its not that difficult.

The machine you purchased is a Prusa I3 variant cheap Chinese printer. This printer is like a VW beetle its bit ugly and not so fast but there are tons of upgrade parts, and huge community behind.

It should have the Marlin Firmware pre-loaded into it(usually pretty old version) , and for a slicer program I advice to use Cura 15.04.6 first.

We are here to help, so don’t be afraid to ask. Yes there is google, you can search for any question, but usually it will just get you confused.

Watch some Prusa i3 build videos on youtube, it will help you to get the idea how these machines work.



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You use a business card instead of a sheet of paper?

Im gona build it, i think i learn alot but dont have to start from nothing. It sound fun and if something things are not straight or dont look ok i can machine it with perfect precision here. I love building stuff so i have a wood and metalshop with old but accurate machines. A big thx for answering about firmware!


This is a great printer for the price, but does take a good bit of tweaking and patience. I’ve made numerous modifications and documented some of them in a blog here http://www.nutz3d.com/

I had trouble finding the stock firmware for it and had to start with current Marlin release and modify the parameters by recording the values from LCD and then translating them in to the firmware parameters.

You might also find that the boot loader hasn’t been programmed in to your Mega2560 processor which will stop you uploading new firmware. I did manage to crack this and have detailed it in the blog too.

I had some great prints intially but got a few jams to have upgraded to a proper E3D v6 hotend after trying the E3D clones - go straight for the real thing. I also only use Verbatim filament as it rarely jams. Make sure your bed screws don’t come loose, use some loctite on them as this will affect accuracy and layers will not be on top of each other. I’ve also upgraded the threaded bar to lead screws which much improved my layer step.

Good luck and I’m happy to share my Marlin branch with you or help out with anything else.



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Well here’s some more love for the machine… It printed immediately and acceptably out of the box, once I designed and installed my E3D V6 upgrade and the Z leadscrews print quality has been excellent, on par if not better than an FF Dreamer I’ve had prints from. I also only ever print with cheap ($10) filaments and have never had a reason to complain.

Most of this is due to budget, I don’t have the money to throw around for expensive filaments and a genuine E3D, but for the very low prices I pay for this stuff I’m getting very good results!

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Thx and nice channel! Im home with a sick kid today so while he watches minecraft ill plow true you videos and subbed. I am quite overwhelmed by the amount of people giving advice and helping. Thx!

I hope he watches Mumbo Jumbo! While still completely kid friendly Mumbo’s style is advanced enough that this 20 year old enjoys it (or at least that’s the excuse I keep telling myself)

I tend to upload on Wednesdays, in fact tomorrow I’m uploading a rather interesting E3D V6 hotend upgrade you may like.

And it’s true, a community that shares together cares together :slight_smile:

thats pretty simple:
in the description is REPETIER-HOST and PRINTRUN (i.e.) the Software for your Computer:
Instead of Printrun you can use similiar software like CURA etc.
Mostly MARLIN is installed as Firmware, but depending also on the Board the printer has.
i.e. GT2560…

I will check your blogg. Thanx for tips!

Oh i hate beetles… You can only change so much to make it better but i think i will learn more with this than a off the shelf good printer. I have always learned more from fixing problems and solving them. For me its more fun. I only wished i had more free time. And google and youtube arent always the best way to learn. Forums like this is awsome! Thanx

Hes only 8 so he looks at Swedish video mostly but i will show him the channel. Good tip!

First let me say that I purchased one of these cheap printers made in China.

I had lots of problem assembling it as one of the lead screw nuts was bad (z axis).

Next the circuit board (arduino processor) has had nothing but problems.

I cannot seem to push enough power to the z axis motors infact the wires from the power supply began to melt.

The driver chips (driving the motors) do not have heat sinks and acutally are under rated in my estimate which is probably why I cannot deliver enough power to the z axis motors. Then I have had display problems, which I still have, I plan on buying a different control board and hopefully resolve the problems associated with this one.

I am not saying you will have these problems but they are some things you may run into with cheap Chinese printers.

Get on youtube and find thomas sanladerer’s channel. He covers printer basic and the firmware and software tool chain you will use.

Welcome to the fun, frustrating world of 3D printing. There’s a lot to take in, so don’t worry.

Building your own 3D printer is a great way to get started, since you know what everything does. You won’t treat it like an Epson that you’re afraid to open up. When building a printer, make sure everything is square. It is absolutely important that the three axes are perpendicular.

You’re more than likely going to need the Arduino software. Go ahead and grab that, and read up about how Arduino works. The controller board that comes with your printer is more than likely going to be Arduino compatible, and this is the software you need to use to get the firmware onto the board.

You’ll probably start with Marlin firmware. It’s a big series of files but not to worry, the only one you really need to deal with is Configuration.h. All the settings for dimensions, temperatures, end stops etc are in there.

You’ll want to have a functional understanding of G-Code. G-Code is the language of CNC machines. It looks a lot harder than it is, and a complete reference can be found on the Reprap wiki (google 'g code reprap" ). This will help you set up your before print and after print routines, makes it a bit easier to calibrate the machine, and will eventually allow you to pull off some cool printer fu by directly editing part files.

I recommend Tech2C’s youtube channel. In addition to his fun Oz accent, he’s got some great information on calibration, upgrades, different filaments, and even building your own printer from scratch.

Thingiverse is a good resource for objects to print. You’ll probably want to start out downloading STL files rather than designing your own models. There you can find parts to help calibrate and test your printer.

You will need a slicer. That turns an STL model into G-Code your printer can read. I have experience with three: Slic3r, Cura, and Simplify3D. Slic3r is free, and it gives you a lot of options for how to set the printer up, but it can be difficult to dial in if you’re new. Cura is made by Ultimaker and released to anyone who wants it for free. It’s my go-to slicer as it’s simple to use and has some neat “magic” features, but it can be difficult to customize and it’s a little schizophrenic when doing things with a lot of bolt holes. Simplify3D is the best on the market, but it costs $150.

Good luck, have fun, and enjoy the process of drinking from a fire hose!

Sturdy and Reliable But you have to Calibrate runs on Merlin with a All in one board and electronic Motor tuning worth what you payed for it Limited to PLA and ABS but you can use PETG and HIPS I warn you not to get a Nozzle smaller then 0.035 thicker more viscus plastics and low Temp plastics (if you intend to cast part’s) will burn and Jam the Nozzle. Also throw out that Aluminum hot end and Use a Block, Cartridge Heater and Brass Barrel. Pain to set up but if you get a Jam it is easy to clear.