Good day everyone!
Today we will tell you about the new 3D printer from Anycubic – 4MAX Pro. Despite the name 4MAX is already familiar to many, it would be a stretch to call this printer its Pro-version. By and large, Anycubic released a completely new printer, only the Makerbot kinematics and a few details migrated from the previous version.
Its print area is 270x205x205 millimeters.
The printer has a touch screen, a filament end sensor, print recovery after a power outage, a brush to clean the nozzle from adhering plastic, an air filtration system, a passive heat chamber and an automatic power off after printing. Everything in order.
The printer is delivered, again unlike its predecessor, in a fully assembled state. All you need to do for the first start is to unpack it, remove the shipping ties and stops, screw the filament end sensor on the back with two bolts, hang the plastic holder in the same place, refill the plastic and that’s it, the printer is ready to work.
The complete set of the printer, as always with Anycubic, is notable. There is everything you need and even a little more. All the tools necessary for assembly and further operation, a flash drive with a card reader, a USB cable for connecting to a computer, side cutters, a wide sharpened spatula, tweezers, rubber gloves, a half-kilogram PLA plastic reel, belt tensioners, a spare limit switch and a whole additional hot-end assembly with nozzle, heater and thermistor.
On the left side there is a port for connecting a USB cable, an SD card slot and a carrying handle.
On the right is a second carrying handle, a power cord connector with an on / off button, and an air vent for cooling the power supply.
At the back, there is a filament end sensor and a spool holder screwed on during assembly.
The front of the printer has a plastic door that is held in place by two magnets, a tilted touchscreen and a power button.
On top of the hole, which can be closed with a special plastic transparent cover, which allows you to print without any problems with plastics that have shrinkage and require a heat chamber. A hole has been made in the cover for a Teflon guide tube.
Inside the printer is the power supply on the left and the air filter on the right in the corner.
There is also a backlight inside – this, of course, is very good. The fact that she is blue is bad. Backlighting is a useful and convenient option, but its color spoils everything. It is in harmony with the appearance of the printer, but watching the print in this light is not very pleasant, after a while the head starts to ache.
Let’s take a closer look at the printer device.
Kinematics, as mentioned, is Makerbot. Not the fastest, but simple and reliable. Each motor is responsible for its own axis, which helps to identify the causes of printing problems, if any.
The X axis moves the carriage of the extruder left and right on linear bearings along two 8 mm shafts and is driven through the GT2 belt by a motor that is mounted on the left and moves with the entire X axis.
The Y-axis moves back and forth, has 2 linear bearings on each side and two 8mm shafts synchronized by two GT2 drive belts on the left and right. One of the shafts is driven by a NEMA17 motor located on the back wall through another ring belt.
And the Z-axis is a table that goes up and down on two 12mm shafts with large linear bearings. It is driven by a motor, which is hidden in the bottom of the housing through an 8mm screw guide with a brass spring bushing.
The table is cantilevered, that is, only on one side. This simplifies the design, but has its drawbacks. The unsecured side may wobble slightly. In this case, the frame looks reliable, but how much it wobbles and how it affects print quality will be revealed a little later during the tests.
The heated 24-volt table consists of an aluminum plate on which Anycubic’s proprietary Ultrabase glass is installed. This glass has a special micro-pore surface on top. Thanks to them, the parts adhere very well to the heated table, and when the table cools down they literally peel off themselves.
There is a small brush to the left of the table; it is designed to clean the nozzle from adhered or leaked plastic before printing.
The 4MAX Pro has a direct extruder, that is, a motor with a feed mechanism is mounted directly on the print head. The Teflon tube only acts as a guide for the plastic from the filament end sensor to the extruder. The feeding mechanism is geared, it increases the torque and improves the accuracy of the plastic feeding.
The heating unit is similar to the E3D V6, the same as on the Anycubic i3 Mega. The radiator is its own, seemingly not very large. How well it insulates the hot zone of the hot end from the cold one will be seen during the tests.
The radiator is cooled by a volute fan 5015. The Teflon tube runs from the feeder through the radiator and thermal barrier straight to the nozzle. The part is also cooled by a 5015 volute fan with a printed air guide on one side. The entire extruder is hidden in a plastic casing and looks very much like the extruders of some Flashforge printers. All components are connected internally to the distribution board, and from it to the control board there is a loop. It is difficult to say how reliable it is and how long it will last, but you should be careful with it so as not to accidentally damage it.
The 4Max Pro has a 3.5-inch touchscreen. It is located obliquely at the top of the bezel. The screen is convenient to use, it is responsive, all the elements are large enough not to miss them with your fingers, no false alarms were noticed.
In terms of functionality, nothing special. On the main page, the current temperature of the extruder and the table is visible on top. Below them are three large buttons.
Print is choosing a file to print and launching it.
The Setup menu contains: Language Selection, Temperature Adjustment, Motor Shutdown, Print and Feed Speed, Status Screen, and Mute.
In the Tools menu: Axle Parking, Manual Axis Movement, Preheat for ABS and PLA, Turn Off Heating, Reset Parameters, Load / Unload Filament, Help, Description, and Turn On / Off Backlight.
During printing, all the necessary information is displayed on the screen, and you can also check the Auto Shut Off checkbox on top, then after printing is completed, the printer will automatically turn off the power.
In general, the screen is good, it has everything you need. But there are no fine settings (accelerations, jerks, steps per millimeter of motors) in it. All of this can be configured by sending commands over a USB connection.
In order to get to the insides of the printer, you need to unscrew 8 bolts from the bottom, 4 of them are hidden under the glued legs. The entire bottom cover is removable. All electronics are hidden under it.
The brain of the 4Max Pro is the Trigorilla control board. Removable stepper motor drivers are installed on the board. On the X and Y axes – TMC2208, on the others – A4988. For reasons we do not understand, there are already three A4988 installed, although there is no motor for one of them.
Separately, the SD card reader module, the distribution board for the extruder loop and the relay module are taken out.
Cooling raises questions. On one side, the board is blown by a turbine fan, with air flow parallel to the board. It is unlikely that the air flow will be enough to cool the entire board and drivers. At the same time, on the other hand, a fan blows on the board, which draws warm air out of the heat chamber. An extremely strange decision.
Anycubic suggests using an old version of Cura as a slicer. But it is better, of course, to immediately install and configure the latest version of Cura, it has many times more settings and it lays much more optimal paths of movement when printing. In order for the printer to wipe the nozzle on the brush before printing, you can take several commands from the gcode file that came on the USB flash drive with the printer and add them to the starting gcode of the slicer.
G1 X-3 Y40
G1 X-3 Y10
G1 X-3 Y40
G1 X-3 Y10
image foreign language
These commands will cause the nozzle to travel back and forth across the brush twice before printing.
Let’s move on to examples of printing.
At the very beginning of testing the 4Max Pro, we faced some obstacles. Early tests showed that the printer has problems with retracts. A variety of settings have been tried: retraction length from 2 to 6 mm, speed from 20 to 50 mm / s. But nothing helped. It became obvious that the matter was not in the parameters, but in the hotend itself.
It was decided to disassemble and check the hotend. It is not very convenient to shoot. You need to unscrew 4 bolts, remove the plastic cover, disconnect the heater and thermistor from the distribution board, unscrew the bolt holding the radiator a little in front, unscrew two more bolts to remove the unit with the motor and fans, otherwise it will not be possible to pull out the wires of the hotend. When the hotend was finally removed, it turned out that the Teflon tube, which should go straight from the feeder to the nozzle, is shorter than it should be, and also not cut straight off the nozzle side. Naturally, during retracts, the tube began to move inside the hot end and a plug formed between it and the nozzle. They took a new tube, cut it straight so that it would fit snugly both to the feed mechanism and to the nozzle. Collected everything back. Thus, the problem with retracts was resolved.
We tried to print a calibration cube with a lock inside. And it turned out that the airflow also leaves much to be desired. Despite the fact that the cube was turned by a complex slope directly towards the blowing outlet, the angle was curved up very strongly. And also the corners on the letter Y were bent, which turned out to be on the opposite side of the blowing. Blowing upset.
XYZ 20mm Calibration Cube – Castle
Plastic: Raise3D PLA black
Speed: 50mm / s
Since the printer is new, there are few alternative airflow models on thingiverse. We tried to print almost the same as stock, but slightly cropped at the bottom. Black ABS from Esun was used for the blowing print.
Max pro enhanced fan duct
Plastic: Esun ABS black
Speed: 50mm / s
Although the new airflow is not much different from the original, the printing is better. Not perfect, but perfectly acceptable. At least from the fan side, the slopes began to turn out smoothly.
They printed a boat, no, not Benchy))) Benchy is already pretty tired. This is Ben, about the same, but more interesting. During printing, he was turned nose to blow. Therefore, the front part turned out fine, on the back, on the slopes, the plastic lifted up a bit and defects appeared. In general, the boat turned out well, except for the rear slopes and a strange thickening in the place where the deck finished printing. The railing, steering wheel, pipe and cockpit printed without problems.
BEN the floating BENCHMARK
Plastic: Raise3D PLA transparent orange
Speed: 50mm / s
Once it went well, we decided to try to print something more complicated.
Coliseum. The model is rather complicated and takes a long time to print. It has a huge number of small elements, slopes, small bridges. During printing, retracts are constantly occurring, and normal airflow is necessary. So this is a great test to test them.
It turned out great. There is almost nothing to find fault with. There are no strings, all arches, small elements, holes and bridges are printed well. There are minor inaccuracies in places where the arches were closed, but this is already nit-picking. The model was printed very well.
Roman Colosseum Completley Detailed See The World
Plastic: Raise3D PLA orange transparent
Speed: 60mm / s
The 4Max Pro had no problems with Esun PETG. The Joker model was increased to 180 cm. It was printed with supports. The Joker turned out just fine. The surfaces are quite smooth and even, all the details are well printed, including the hair. There were few strings on the head, but they were easily removed with a knife.
Plastic: Esun PETG Magenta
Speed: 50mm / s
The 4Max Pro has a thermal camera, which means it can print normally with plastics that tend to shrink, such as ABS or nylon. The printer coped with ABS without any problems. Printed a small clamp. It consists of several parts, which are then assembled into a single piece mechanism. Printed in black and red Esun ABS plastic. No raft (backing) and no supports. Before printing, the surface was smeared with PVP based glue stick. Thanks to the heat chamber, it is possible to use airflow and not be afraid of delamination and shrinkage. They put it at 50%. The clamp turned out not perfect, but pretty good, and most importantly, it works properly. The details did not come off during printing, the corners did not bend, nothing separated. The thermal camera works even though there is a hole at the top.
Plastic: Esun ABS black / Esun ABS bright red
Speed: 50mm / s
Another type of plastic that is very demanding on the ambient temperature is of course nylon. Only very small models can be printed with nylon on an open printer. A slightly more complex or larger model will distort and the corners will start to bend. Very often, nylon models come off the table altogether. The 4Max Pro tried to print a nylon carabiner. Printed on raft (backing) to improve adhesion. The table was previously greased with glue stick. The carbine turned out well, nothing came off or bent. The model had a few strings and in some places small lumps of plastic from them. But all this was easily removed with a knife. The Raft also detached easily.
Plastic: Esun ePA Natural (nylon)
Speed: 50mm / s
We tried to print with Flex-plastic.
Ninjatek Cheetah is 95 Shore A. It is not very soft and easy enough to print. Unfortunately, we failed to achieve high-quality printing with this plastic on the 4Max Pro. We changed the speed, temperature, tried with retracts and without them. Whatever one may say, the plastic was fed unevenly, occasionally skipping layers appeared. The first model is a mini-wallet with compartments for plastic cards. It was printed to the end, the filament has never jammed in the feeder. But the surface quality is poor.
TPU SLim Wallet
Plastic: Ninjatek Cheetah blue
Speed: 30mm / s
The second model is a simple vase. It was printed to make sure that not too many carry-overs were causing the wallet under-extrusion. The vase was printed in a spiral mode, that is, it has no transfers, transitions between layers and retracts at all. From the floor to the top, the vase was printed in one solid line in a spiral. Again, it can be seen that the plastic was fed unevenly. The line got thinner periodically. But again, the vase was pre-printed, the layers stuck together well. It even almost holds water, except for one place through which it seeps drop by drop.
Plastic: Ninjatek Cheetah blue
Layer: 0.2mm (vase / spiral mode)
Velocity: 30mm / s
What conclusions can be drawn from the tests done …
Let’s start with the cons. This should include the not very successful blowing of the print area; in the drain, it showed unsatisfactory results. A simple upgrade solved the problem. Quite a strange solution with the removal of warm air directly to the control board. Literally outrageous moment with too short and sloppy cut of Teflon tube in hot end. The problem is also solvable, but it’s not even serious. Despite the fact that in the spare hot end, the tube was also short and uneven. It is a pity that it was not possible to get the 4Max Pro to print normally with flex, perhaps a more careful selection of parameters would have solved the problem.
The rest of the printer performed well. Quiet, fairly fast, capable of printing a decent range of plastics: PLA, PETG, ABS, Nylon. It is not advisable to use higher-temperature plastics on 4Max Pro with a stock hot-end. With long-term printing above 250 degrees, the Teflon tube begins to burn out, while releasing harmful substances.
The cost of the printer is 42,900 rubles. and in our opinion it certainly costs its money. 4Max Pro is shipped fully assembled and ready to print in minutes. It has a fairly large print area and a full-fledged thermal camera. It has useful and convenient features such as filament end sensor, power outage recovery, touch screen, air filter, auto shut off after printing, and so on. The only thing missing is Wifi or LAN connection.