Best Tevo Tornado Upgrades: All You Need To Know

By | July 13, 2020

Last Updated on

Even though the Tevo Tornado 3D printer is fine ‘straight out of the box’, with the best Tevo Tornado upgrades you can really ramp up the capability of your 3D printer.

3D printers are much more affordable these days as well and the Tevo Tornado is a model that is within the price range of most people who are interested in investing in this hardware.

We’ll look at why you should upgrade your Tevo Tornado 3D printer, which parts are commonly modified for better performance and also I’ll go into the best upgrades you can get right now.

What is the Tevo Tornado?

Before we get into the ins and outs of upgrading the Tevo Tornado, first let’s look at this 3D printer itself.

Tevo is a Chinese company that has been around since 2015. Their Tornado 3D printer is firmly set in the affordability category in many ways it rivals the Creality CR-10 and we’ve compared these two 3D printers before.

The Tevo Tornado is one of the most user-friendly 3D printers in this price bracket as well. While it has a fairly basic design, it is small enough to fit on a desk in your home so it benefits from being powerful enough to print out some great 3D designs without taking over a large amount of space.

Even though the Tevo Tornado is a very decent 3D printer in its original form, you are able to add upgrades and mods which will drastically improve its performance. This also extends to safety because one of the criticisms of the Tevo Tornado is the wiring.

The Tevo Tornado wiring which operates the power supply is directly attached to the bed by soldering. There is a not so unrealistic chance that the live wires could come loose and fall into the frame which would cause an electric shock. It might not happen the first few times you use this 3D printer but over time it does pose a real safety hazard.

Why do you need to add upgrades?

The more you spend on a 3D printer then, in many cases, the less likely you’ll need to upgrade parts of it. It isn’t always true and upgrades and modifications exist for high-end 3D printers that are perhaps out of the price range of hobbyists and casual users.

With affordable printers like the Tevo Tornado, upgrades can massively improve many aspects of it. The printer itself is usable and very good as it is however there are some reasons why investing in some upgraded parts can make all the difference.

Safety

Enhancing safety is one of the main reasons why you may want to upgrade parts of your 3D printer.

The Tevo Tornado for example does have a safety flaw in its wiring. While it isn’t a critical issue (otherwise it wouldn’t be as popular as it is), it is something to take into consideration. Adding modifications and some new parts can drastically improve the safety of the 3D printer overall.

Improved performance

It isn’t just safety that causes many enthusiasts to upgrade their 3D printer, having better performance is another reason to invest in some new components.

This isn’t just better printing but it also extends to keeping the printer cool so it doesn’t overheat which means you can use it for longer as well as reducing filament slips and upgrading the processor for new features and improved performance.

Better 3D printing

With an upgrade and a new part, you can make better and more accurate 3D printers.

After all, this is the main function of the device and while the Tevo Tornado does deliver accuracy for its cost, getting better 3D printing with a few choice upgrades will increase the performance of your printer.

What parts of the Tevo Tornado can you upgrade?

The good news about 3D printers and especially the Tevo Tornado is that it has many components that can be changed for better versions or even completely adding new parts to the printer.

These are some of the most popular parts of the Tevo Tornado that you can upgrade.

Extruder

The extruder is the part of the 3D printer that you feed the material into and is then heated up to be moved into the X, Y, and Z-axis which is then used to make layers for your prints.

They work by being heat sensitive so there is a minimum temperature that is required to keep everything flowing smoothly and maximum temperature to prevent overheating. In fact, you can get 3D printers with dual extruders now.

Print Surface

This is the part of the 3D printer that forms the foundation for your prints. An issue with many 3D printers especially in the budget range is that the prints tend to stick to the surface.

By replacing this with an upgraded component, there is less chance of your prints sticking which will reduce damage to your prints as well as your 3D printer.

On-board computer

Whatever 3D printer you choose, it has an on-board computer that essentially runs the machine.

Some are better than others and upgrading the computer and processor can make a big difference to how your 3D printer performs, the features it has, and how accurate your prints will be.

Smoothers

The smoothers on a 3D printer are a common upgrade but one that can make all the difference to your prints.

Some 3D printers suffer from not having a smooth finish to their prints and this comes from a discrepancy between the supply voltage and the printer’s motor voltage. With the addition of smoothers which are installed between the mainboard and the stepper motors, you’ll get better finishes to your prints.

Cooling Fan

3D printers are notorious for getting hot and overheating. The cooling fan is one of the most important components you can buy and in many 3D printers, an upgrade is necessary.

By upgrading to a better cooling fan, you’ll be able to create better temperature-sensitive prints and also use the 3D printer for longer.

Buying upgrades v printing upgrades

Before we get into the best upgrades that you can get for your Tevo Tornado, we should mention that there are two kinds of upgrades – ones that you can purchase as hardware and upgrades that you can actually use your 3D printer to print yourself.

Some of the upgrades I’m going to show you below are upgrades you can buy and some you will be able to print. By being able to print some upgrades you can modify your printer in a more cost-effective way so it is worth looking into this if you’re on a budget.

Best upgrades for the Tevo Tornado

So, let’s find out the best upgrades you can get for your Tevo Tornado.

#1 – E3D Titan Extruder

Upgrading your extruder is a common modification with any 3D printer and the Tevo Tornado is no exception. The extruder that comes with this 3D printer is perfectly fine and it is actually a version of the E3D Titan so it will work well but upgrading to the property E3D Titan will add much better performance.

It is compatible with 1.75mm and 3.00mm filament and it will add more power and reliability to your printer. This is a pretty lightweight extruder that has been manufactured using injection molded parts so you’ll get reliability as well as longevity so you shouldn’t need to replace it for a long time.

E3D Titan Universal Extruder
$58.85

This is a pretty lightweight extruder that has been manufactured using injection molded parts so you’ll get reliability as well as longevity!

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#2 – Borosilicate Glass Plate

A common problem with the Tevo Tornado is that the printing bed often causes the print to stick to the surface. Removing it can not only be a bit of a challenge but it can damage the print and also the print surface.

Upgrading this to a glass plate that sits over the printing bed means you’ll get less ‘stickiness’ and a better chance of getting your print off the actual printer. The Borosilicate Glass Plate is specifically made for Tevo Tornado printers and the screw holes are pre-drilled which is a big bonus in my opinion.

The fact you can remove this print bed, as well as a great feature and the glass construction, is one of the common upgrades that make your 3D printing so much easier.

Borosilicate Glass Plate
$59.95

Borosilicate Glass Plate is specifically made for Tevo Tornado printers and the screw holes are pre-drilled which is a BIG bonus!

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#3 – TL Smoother

If you remember I spoke about some 3D printers not having a smooth finish to their prints and the Tevo Tornado can suffer from this – it’s called the ‘salmon skin’ effect.

Smoothers negate the need to try and replace the drivers which are good because the Tornado has these fixed onto the mainboard so getting them off is going to be a pain. With a TL Smoother which is installed between the mainboard and the stepper motors, you’ll get a smoother and more refined finish to your prints.

They are really easy to install as well so they are one of the most straightforward but worthwhile upgrades you can get for your Tevo Tornado.

TL Smoother
$9.99

With the TL Smoother is installed between the mainboard and the stepper motors, you’ll get a smoother and more refined finish to your prints.

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08/12/2020 02:09 pm

#4 – DC Blow Radial Cooling Fan

There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with the cooling fan that comes with the Tevo Tornado. It will do the job pretty adequately however if you want an increase in performance and better temperature regulation, the DC Blow Radial Cooling Fan is a recommended upgrade.

It’s 24v which is compatible with the Tevo Tornado and it should add to the longevity of how long you can use the printer for as well as helping with better temperature-sensitive designs.

DC Blow Radial Cooling Fan

If you want an increase in performance and better temperature regulation, the is DC Blow Radial Cooling Fan a recommended upgrade.

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#5 – Raspberry Pi with Octoprint

This is an upgrade that can really change the overall performance of your Tevo Tornado. Octoprint is a web interface for your 3D printer and it’ll add wireless printing capability and you can even keep an eye on the status of your printer too.

The Raspberry Pi single-board computer will boost the power of your 3D printer and it isn’t even that expensive to purchase. As an upgrade, it can make a world of difference to what you can do with the Tevo Tornado 3D printer. You can even print off a case for the Raspberry Pi processor itself which will make everything look a bit tidier.

Raspberry Pi with Octoprint
$39.99

Raspberry Pi with Octoprint will boost the power of your 3D printer and it isn’t even that expensive to purchase. As an upgrade, it can make a world of difference to what you can do!

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#6 – BLTouch: Auto Bed Leveling Sensor

The print bed on the Tevo Tornado has a single aluminum extrusion which means that the print bed can become unlevered pretty easily. This can happen when you are trying to remove prints.

With an Auto Bed Leveling Sensor, you won’t need to do any fine-tuning or manual work to level the print bed. The BL Touch uses a push pin that detects any tilts in the print bed across a number of points and then feeds this back to the 3D printer and will let you know if your print bed is leveled properly. It is a tough little sensor as well so shouldn’t be impacted by any humidity, temperature changes, or different materials.

BLTouch: Auto Bed Leveling Sensor
$37.98

With an Auto Bed Leveling Sensor, you won’t need to do any fine-tuning or manual work to level the print bed and will let you know if your print bed is leveled properly.

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08/12/2020 02:09 pm

#7 Shock proofing your Tevo Tornado

One of the main criticisms of the Tornado 3D printer is around its safety over time. It doesn’t have a MOFSET and the way in which it has been wired means that a live wire could potentially hit the frame and cause a very real threat of an electric shock.

This probably won’t happen if you’ve just got the printer and even down the line it may never happen but the point is that the potential is very much there. So, enhancing its safety through a few choice upgrades is recommended. By purchasing an Electric Ring Terminal, Grounding Wire, and an RCD Protector you can ground the printer to improve the safety of the Tornado overall.

#8 Filament Holder

You can print many upgrades for your Tevo Tornado yourself and a Filament holder is one of them.

Many 3D printers come without a filament spool holder and with this quick addition to your 3D printer you will have a handy holder for your filament so that it comes out continuously and smoothly. It is really easy to print and is a cost-effective upgrade that will make a big difference in how you use your Tevo Tornado.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it easy to upgrade my Tevo Tornado?

This really depends on what type of upgrades and modifications you are hoping to make. The vast majority of the changes to the stock Tevo components or adding new ones completely are fairly straightforward so you shouldn’t have many problems installing them. Some are a bit trickier but there are plenty of online guides and videos to help.

Do I really need to upgrade my 3D printer?

Not necessarily. Even though the Tevo Tornado is an affordable printer that isn’t going to eat too much into most people’s budgets, it is a powerful enough device straight out of the box. These upgrades however will not only make your 3D printer better but safer too so it is recommended that you install at least some if not all of the top modifications.

Is Tevo a good 3D printer manufacturer?

For the most part, yes, Tevo is a good manufacturer. They are based in China and even though their Tarantula 3D printer perhaps left a bit to be desired compared to some other models, their Tornado printer is one of the best in its price category.

I’m worried about the safety of my printer – does upgrading solve this?

One of the things to be wary of with the Tevo Tornado is the possibility of the live wire falling onto the frame. It’s pretty unlikely but the more you use the printer the higher the chance this will happen. By upgrading your printer by shock proofing it, this should sort any safety problems out.

Conclusion

The Tevo Tornado is among one of the best affordable 3D printers. It isn’t setting the world alight as such but for the price it does a very decent job especially when you compare it to some other 3D printers in the same category.

While the straight out of the box version is sufficient for many people, adding some choice upgrades can really help to boost its performance which will not only add functionality to the printer but make it safer and more efficient too.

You don’t necessarily need to implement all 8 of the upgrades I’ve spoken about here and even two or three will help you notice a big difference in how it performs. The top upgrades for performance and safety with the Tevo Tornado are:

The Raspberry Pi addition will improve your overall functionality of your Tevo Tornado as well and there are some upgrades you can simply print off too.

The Tevo Tornado is a worthy budget 3D printer and with some sensible upgrades, you can turn it from a decent out of the box model to one that is more powerful and better suited to your needs.

Author: Jodie Chiffey

Jodie is a cross-functional 3D designer and blogger. She has special interests in open source 3D printing for R&D and has spent a lot of time at different projects across the globe to learn more about 3D printing. Most of what she has learned is from hands-on experience.

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