Aldi, the brand known for the groceries and an occasional deal on bike/car/bicycle accessories will offer a 3D printer from 19 November for £299.99 (later discounted to £249). The news made rounds around tech portals creating waves of marketing goodness. Is it just a marketing stunt or Aldi is indeed offering a solid entry to the 3D printing world?
Aldi’s 3D Printer
Every year this article picks up some traffic before Xmas. 2021 is no different and despite this article being 3 years old, shoppers are checking the printer out. I checked Aldi’s website but the printer is still listed as not available right now (updated 29/11/21) – but Aldi had been consistent with offering one every year. Let’s hope 2021 is not any different.
Balco 3D is hardly known to anyone brand. The 3D printer model listed on their site has very little in common with Aldi’s 3D Printer. I feel that Aldi has snatched the 2.0 version to advertise on their behalf. As pointed out by Daniel Söderlund the printer resembles Wanhao Plus even more. Perhaps both companies are using a 3rd party design.
I totally see the appeal of picking up a 3D Printer from a shop around the corner (or in most cases – having it delivered to you), especially that Aldi middle island is famous for delivering inexpensive goods at fairly decent quality. Unlike orders from Banggood and AliExpress – buying locally shortens the delivery time and removes the hassle of purchasing.
On the other side, shopping on web stores placed in China is no longer risky with AliExpress looking after western consumers and resolving disputes and Banggood doing the same and offering services like Klarna to split the cost of the purchases. I ended up getting Creality Ender 3 for less than £200 and I’m really happy with it. A purchase that was quickly followed by getting another 3D printer (Ender 3v2) as it turns out – one printer isn’t enough.
And there is Aldi’s 3D Printer.
A quick glance at the specs:
|PRINTING MATERIAL:||10 Ft. of PLA Filament (Standard)|
|TOP HOTEND TEMPERATURE:||260°C (Short-term), 240°C (Long-term)|
|COOLING:||40mm Extruder Cooling Fan, 40mm Drive Block Cooling Fan, & PSU Cooling Fan|
|LAYER CAPABILITY:||0.1mm (100 microns)|
|BUILD ENVELOPE:||200mm x 200mm x 180mm (8in x 8in x 7in.)|
|BUILD SURFACE:||Heated Bed Plate and Wanhao Adhesive Sheet|
|FILAMENT CAPABILITIES:||PLA, ABS, PET-G, Nylon, HIPS, PVA, Metal, Wood, Flexible, Carbon Fibre|
|COMPATIBLE SOFTWARE:||CURA (Wanhao Edition), MatterControl (Free Download Online), Simplify 3D|
|FILE TRANSFER:||SD Card & USB|
|FRAME COLOR:||Steel Frame (Powder Coated Black)|
On paper, this is not a bad printer, especially when you consider the price. It gives you a decent print volume and can handle temps up to 240°C which can handle all but most exotic printing filament. A touch interface (mind the pun) is a nice touch, easy to navigate and quick to start the prints.
Let’s be honest, this is an entry-level device, probably aimed at parents that struggle to pick a gift for Xmas for their curious kids. I’m not a stranger to Aldi products, and I’m not talking here about eggs and bacon. Aldi’s deals on cheap bicycle kits come often recommended across my social cycling groups. The same goes for motorcycle’s accessories. I have an entire winter riding kit from Aldi, which served me well for a long time.
Assuming my experience with Aldi’s ‘curiosity shelf’ the Aldi’s £300 3D Printer could be a really good pick to get you started. I had emailed the team back in 2018 to give you a hands-on experience, but that’s the response I got back then and it doesn’t look this would change any time soon.
While at the moment, I can’t give you a personal recommendation, I can assure you that if this is your first 3D printer, you will love the hobby. If you want to drop the entry price even further, shop for Ender 3 (review) or Ender 3 v2 (review) as you can snatch these on sales between £130 – £190. I own both printers and I swear by it.