I've been interested in either building or buying an IDEX for a while now, and the Climber7 appeared to be a decent choice for an inexpensive one to start with.
Instruction manual is decent. Good even. Almost entirely photos, some added captions where necessary. Also includes leveling and calibration instructions. The manual and Cura 4.6 (plus profiles and instructions for different printing modes) are sent as a dropbox link from the seller after purchase.
The cheapest shipping option available (at least for me) was DHL. It ended up going FedEx IP, which is no big deal really. It arrived a week after purchase (it would have arrived a day earlier, but there was an address mix-up though no fault of myself or the seller).
Build time: 3 hours. This is not the first printer I assembled, so with less experience it may take a little longer.
Again to the manual. Most of the pieces are in bags labeled with the corresponding steps
. A simple yet very nice touch that I haven't seen with many other kits. Parts bags
Initially I had thought it came with a glass bed. It doesn’t, it’s either PC or acrylic. The odd bed size may make finding a different build plate interesting, if you're not using glass/mirror custom cut from the hardware store. This confusion was my own fault for not reading the ad thoroughly and seeing that it's advertised as flexible.
Feels solid, good combination of sheet metal and extrusions. The heatsinks appear to be a v6 clone, with tiny heat blocks. Extruders are creality-style. Hotend Extruder
Wiring it up was a bit of a mess, though I've never been great at wiring. Still would have liked some of the wires to be a little longer (I haven't done much for making the wiring look pretty, as the printer will get an overhaul shortly)
The control board is a MKS Gen L, with a single driver expansion. Comes with A4988 drivers. They are not soldered so you can replace them.
The SD card slot is coupled with the screen. Notice I said SD, not microSD. You'll need an adapter or full size SD card. One is not included. Screen
Although I knew this before purchase, it does come with 9mm rails for X and Y, which is a nice touch for a printer in this price range. I did not feel much play, either I got lucky or they source half decent rails. Movement could be a little more smooth, but lubrication should fix that (lubrication instructions are included as part of the manual).
It is 24v, which is nice as well. Came with a euro plug and preset to 220v, but switchable to 110v.
I was not a fan of the bed levling system, basically just standard m3 nuts with a tool provided for adjustment. I had planned to keep this printer 100% stock for the review, but I gave in a bit and printed knobs for the bed adjustment.
My main complaint about assembly is the rods. They're not secured very well at the bottom, but at least they are at the top. Linear rod base
So, all of that was prior to the first power-on.
I powered it on, and initially the screen did not work. At this point I'm not sure if I screwed up the instructions, or they were incorrect, but swapping the two cables between the screen and board solved the issue.
Standard monochrome screen with wheel for settings. This is actually the first printer I've had with this type of screen, I imagine it's not much different than others, but it is farily easy to navigate, including the second hotend and IDEX settings.
One issue I ran into early was that the initial SD card I used wasn't recognized. I blame it on being a 64GB card, I switched to a 128MB card and it was fine.
Bed leveling wasn't bad at all. You level the bed to one nozzle, then there is a screw to loosen the hotends, you can loosen the second one and raise/drop it to the level of the first.
This being said, the heatsink mounts are friction fit and not groove mount, which is a bonus for IDEX leveling.
I am assuming that the heat break is PTFE lined, though as of this moment I haven't checked.
I did a dual-benchy print (duplicated). This was with the provided Cura 4.6 installation with stock profile (for duplication mode), no changes whatsoever.
I was thoroughly impressed with the result, considering this came from a $415 (incl. shipping and Aliexpress PayPal fee) IDEX printer. Benchy in progress Right Left Front Back Bottom
I'm not sure if I would recommend this for someone's first printer, but if you're looking for a cheaper dual extruder option, this is definitely worth consideration.
**Edit: It was requested that I check thermal runaway protections, so I tested that.
- It appears that it will continue attempting to heat for approximately 80 seconds without seeing a change in temperature before it errors out and prompts for a reset. This is enough time for the hotend to reach 275c+ (tested by swapping the thermistors between the two hotends, heating one and seeing the temperature reported by the other before shutdown, prompted a maxtemp shutdown, not a heater error).
- Hotend max temp is set to 275, which with the heatbreak being PTFE lined, I see as a potential issue.
With this in mind, still a great printer for the price.
Edit 2: I provided feedback on the above testing and received a response from the manufacturer:
”You can modify the thermal runaway time in the firmware. I will send you the source code of the firmware later. You can modify its value in "Configuration_adv.h" according to the actual situation. The maximum temperature of the hot end is 260℃, but the temperature will overshoot during the heating process, so when the temperature exceeds 275℃, the protection will be activated. thank you very much!”