I got an email today with the tracking number for the shipment of my printer. An hour later UPS was here with the printer. <sarcasm_mode>Now that’s quick service.</sarcasm_mode>

It took about half an hour to put together. Here’s a picture of it:

It has some issues. I didn’t expect perfect for $79 (I bought the developer version). So, let’s get to it…

Wiring is a bit of a pain:

That’s the controller. Some of the wires are short enough that it can only go in one location. At least all of the connectors are labelled A, B, C, D, etc. It takes a full-size SD card for file (one file only - no way to select from multiple files). SD card not included with the printer.

It comes with a circular piece of glass and a roll of masking tape. With clips to hold the glass on the base.

Loading filament is a pain. Undo two screws, open the front door of the extruder, push the filament in, then close the door and screw it shut. No controls, no screen so the filament will not come out for a while when you tell it to print. Print something smallish to get the filament through to the nozzle.

And the extruder motor is mounted above the extruder and nozzle. With the connector rods at the bottom of the unit, there is some shaking as the head moves.

One button. Load the file onto the SD card, put it in the controller and push the one button. After a minute or so, the extruder will get up to heat and the extruder starts moving. Up to the top to hit the limit switches then down to print. Not fast, but it doesn’t have to be.

Movement is jerky. I’m planning to lubricate the rods although the instructions say it’s not necessary. I’ve got one vertical that binds and doesn’t move to the top without my help. One that left a bearing behind as it moved and one that seems okay. I’ll play with it to see what I can do.

I think I’ll have more fun with the 3D pen that came with it (you can see it in the first picture). It was a nice bonus for the stretch goal. Unfortunately, there was only one power supply, so I can use the printer or the pen. Not both at the same time.

Okay. I have more calibration work to do and see if I can get it printing reasonably. At the very least, for $79 I got all the electronics for a DIY printer.


Cool pics. Glad to see it actually shipped! A proper tinkers toy!


1 Like

Thanks. I ordered a green one, but that would be at least another month wait. They had lots of blue parts built first.

I’ll update when I can get it working and actually build something - like a Marvin.

And, no, I will not add this printer to a hub. I don’t think it’s reliable enough and certainly not up to my standard (I’m used to printing with a Taz 5 and Ultimaker 2+).

1 Like

Haha - you have to put it as a hub printer! Get some crazy cheap prices going… get that $79 recouped back, haha!!

All the best,



I can see my slogan now: When speed and quality just don’t matter…

Update on the 101Hero.

The upright that was binding will now only go up about two thirds of the way and then stop. It won’t move even if I add some force with my hand. The stepper motor just buzzes. I will continue to work on finding out why it’s binding at that spot.

I did get a start on a Marvin. Got the legs and first couple of layers of the body before it broke loose from the build plate. Every layer was shifted because of the one upright binding and not moving smoothly. It was interesting, so I thought I’d let it finish. Until it broke loose.

At this point, I can make better prints with the pen.

I didn’t expect much for $79 and I got what I expected (not much).

hearing about your experience with the 101 is interesting. i assume there’s no warranty for a $79 printer? truly though, is it worth buying just for the experience?

1 Like

Interesting findings, keep 'em coming!

The one thing that only worries me about this printer is someone getting it who knows nothing about 3D printing and thinks “oh, that’s a cheap one, i’ll get that to see if I like 3D printing” and their experience will be bad, and association with 3D printing as a whole, rather than the printer, will be tarnished.


1 Like

I have thought of that.

Their slogan (it’s on the box even) is, “My First 3D Printer”.

This is not a good choice for a first printer. There are a lot of little quirks that you need to know. Like when you put your one file on the SD card, the file name has to be “101hero”. No extension and no capitalization. They also warn that if you move the head by hand while the power is on, you stand a very good chance of breaking the unit.

I’m thinking that the one upright is already broken after the way it jammed.

I would never point a newbie to this printer. This is a toy to play with and not a serious printer. Maybe a good learning tool for how things move, but that’s about it.

There is no paperwork that mentions a warranty. There’s very little paperwork at all. Really, the instructions for how to assemble it are terrible and you’re much better off to go to their blog and watch the video.

I will talk to them to see if I can get a new upright (they come assembled) and get the thing to print something.

I think my previous remarks say what I think this is good for. It’s certainly not a serious printer. I’m thinking it might be parts for a small DIY project.

Thanks for the article! my experience from this printer is that it is a total waste of money. Not suitable for newbies, parts are shaky, their service is awful (!) and the documentation… well, there is no documentation! you’re pretty much on your own with this so called “3d printer”. Beware and don’t buy it.

1 Like

You have one as well? Cool. Have you gotten it to print anything yet? Even their “test print”?

I have not heard anything back from them when I asked about a replacement stepper. I’ve taken a good look at it and checked out the stepper online - it uses nylon gears and they appear to be stripped. When the upright bound, it seems to have stripped the gears.

I can’t seem to source the stepper online either. I can get one with the same part number and voltage, but they are all 1/64 steppers and not 1/32 like the ones in the 101Hero. I have yet to find a way to access the firmware settings. If I can, I will see if I can change the steps setting.

Hi Robert, yes, as a matter of fact I just ran a couple of prints a few hours ago. You don’t want to know what the results were. Instead of a cat figure I got a weird mass of strings which resembles nothing - no resemblance whatsoever to the original model. This printer is a total joke, I’d rename it to “101-ZERO” instead of 101-Hero.

1 Like

I know what you mean. If I can hack into the firmware so I can use it, I’m seriously thinking of a new DIY project. Use the existing controller (maybe with updated drivers) and build up something with real stability and steppers.

I found some information and sites for this printer. Try this link for information. Yes, it’s a spreadsheet for a group buy of new stepper motors, but there are links to a number of forums and web sites for the printer.

The most complete forum is this one for the 101Hero.

I will still try to get something printed.


My printer does not print at all- the fan roams. Nothing else. I would be glad to obtain help of some sort. I’ll continue my search :slight_smile:

If you haven’t checked already, there is a lot of good information and help on the 101Hero user forum at: http://101user.com/

Someone there may have run into the same problem.

Agree that they didn’t meet their design goals of “simple 3D printing for everyone”. It’s been a PITA but I have mine working fine.

Typical Kickstarter project – late delivery (don’t fault them for that; of eight KS I’ve backed, not one has delivered on time). Lots of DOA parts and creator is focused on delivery while ignoring customer service and communication. Probably the worst KS I’ve had but at least I got a working printer. You can read the story at my blog.