Anycubic Kobra Max Review

The Kobra Max is a large format FDM 3D printer from Anycubic that comes with a few features not found on the Anycubic Vyper. Read our review for the low down of this printer.

Our new favorite printer is the Kobra Max, and XL successor to the Anycubic Vyper. Let’s review this large format FDM printer to find out why it’s among the best printers out there.

Anycubic Kobra Max Review

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AVAILABLE ON ANYCUBIC 

The new Anycubic Kobra series benefits greatly from the innovations of the previous Vyper series. Anycubic introduced the fully automatic print bed leveling with this series. This relieves the user of the annoying adjustment of the print bed and guarantees a perfect first layer and thus good adhesion. Anycubic has also integrated double component cooling into the design of the print head.

The tried-and-tested Bowden extruder system has been retained in the Kobra. However, the extruder has been upgraded. The revised dual-gear extruder is now embedded in a stylish transparent plastic housing. As a result, you can easily recognize errors more quickly, for example, in the filament feed.

With the Anycubic Kobra, the material guide works reliably and you can achieve decent printing speeds, even with TPU. We saw these features in the Vyper, and Anycubic has largely carried them over into the Kobra series.

With the Kobra series, Anycubic has pushed the limits of the maximum build volume. The Kobra Max and Kobra Plus models offer significantly more space than the classic Vyper. On top of that, Anycubic has launched its first direct drive extruder with the small standard cobra.

Anycubic Vyper vs. Kobra (The Differences)

The Vyper and Kobra series printers use identical touch screens, roll holders and belt tensioners, and a comparable frame. The printer’s user interface has also remained the same.

The Vyper, Kobra Plus and Kobra Max have the printhead with double component cooling, automatic bed leveling and transparent dual-gear extruder in the bottom hose system. Kobra and Vyper both rely on PEI spring steel sheets. Experience has shown that these are well suited for all types of filament – even for materials that shrink significantly during cooling, such as ABS, ASA and PC. However, when printing using these filaments, we still recommend applying additional adhesives such as Magigoo .
Kobra Plus and Max used carborundum glass plates as the printing surface. These are ideal for large objects made of PLA, PLA+ and PETG. Due to strong tension differences after cooling, the finished printed objects come off easily by themselves.

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The spring steel sheet from the Anycubic Vyper

The autoleveling of Kobra Max and Kobra Plus uses the so-called sensorless homing and probing. This is controlled directly via the motors, the motor drivers and the software. In a nutshell. When the motor moves the print head down, the software counts the motor steps to be expected. As soon as the nozzle touches the print bed, the motor controller registers lost steps. The lost steps are caused by the resistance the nozzle encounters when it hits the print bed. This is how the software knows where the zero point of the pressure range is.

On the other hand, the little Kobra uses an inductive sensor. The small rod (on the right of the direct drive extruder) generates an alternating electromagnetic field. When the tip of the rod approaches the printing bed, this alternating electromagnetic field experiences a voltage change. The software thus classifies the zero point of the print area and measures the entire print bed.

The most exciting innovation in the Kobra series is Anycubic’s direct-drive extruder. Due to the greatly shortened path of the filament from the extruder to the print head, direct drive extruders work more precisely than Bowden extruders. In addition, they are better suited for flexible filaments such as TPU. TPU and other flexible filaments quickly compress when passed through Bowden extruders due to the feed pressure in the tube.

With direct drive extruders, higher retract speeds can also be used. This retract is used to reduce liquid filament seepage when jumping from one pressure area to another. The so-called spinning (pulling threads) is also significantly improved by the direct drive extruder.

Let’s see how the Kobra series printer compare to the Vyper:

Printer Build Volume Extruder Auto Leveling Print Run
Anycubic Vyper 245 x 245 x 260 mm Bowden Sensorless PEI spring sheet
Anycubic Cobra 220 x 220 x 250 mm Direct Drive Inductive sensor PEI spring sheet
Anycubic Kobra Plus 300 x 300 x 350 mm Bowden Sensorless Carborundum glass top
Anycubic Cobra Max 400 x 400 x 450 mm Bowden Sensorless Carborundum glass top

Assembling the Anycubic Kobra

Assembling the Anycubic Kobra was easy, as is with most modern 3D printers. The lower chassis and the upper U-frame are already assembled. Therefore, they only have to be screwed together. After that, attach the inclined stabilizers and remove the cable ties used for transport security. Next, join the clearly marked connectors and connect the touch display.

From our point of view, Anycubic has found a nice solution for the often seen cable clutter of the upper motors and extruders. The Kobra has two separate cable harnesses that are only connected together at the top of the connector board.

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The instructions for the Anycubic Kobra Max are very detailed – that’s a good thing!

We then have to put on the glass print bed, remove the protective film and fix it with the supplied stainless steel clips. After that, check the tension of the belts, and stable guidance of the carriage and print head. For example, in our case, the slide was very loose because of the lack of contact pressure on the ball-bearing guide rollers.
One of the opposing guide rollers has a hexagon nut with an asymmetrical guide. When turning the nut, the distance from the guide roller to the guide rail, and thus the contact pressure, can be changed. This principle also applies to adjustment of the print head guide. A loose carriage or a slack belt often occurs. Here, you can quickly and easily readjust the belt yourself.

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Anycubic Cobra Max

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Software

The assembly instruction manual even has a detailed section on the included Cura slicing software. In addition to the installation, Anycubic describes how the printer profile is correctly entered into the program. The information is detailed.

The user interface on the touchscreen of the Kobra Max is clear and simple. Important settings such as preheat, filament in & out, and others are easy to find. The printing parameters, such as printing speed, nozzle temperature, heating bed temperature, and the direct option to adjust the Z-Babystepping in 0.05 mm increments are displayed.

If the basic setting is too imprecise, you can readjust the distance from the nozzle to the print bed at the beginning of the print job.

Design

The Kobra Max and Plus are similar to the Vyper. However, they have a much larger installation space. The installation space of the Vyper measures 245 x 245 x 260 mm. This is a rather unusual size given that most FDM printers have a footprint of 200 × 200mm. However, the Kobra Plus has a larger installation space of a whopping 300 × 300 × 350 mm. That’s pretty decent, but not huge. The Kobra Max goes a step further here with its size of 400 × 400 × 450 mm.

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The coated glass print bed of the Anycubic Kobra Max.

Anycubic uses a tried-and-tested carborundum glass bed for the pressure bed. Here, the finished print models can easily detach, which is useful with such a large base area. Also worth noting is the dual Z-spindle guides, connected by a strap at the top. This ensures that the X-rail is raised evenly.

All in all, the Kobra Max is an oversized Vyper with rather small improvements. Are there some downsides of the the printer? We don’t think so. In fact, we only have good things to say about it. Two years ago, such large printers were still significantly more expensive and, above all, less reliable. The Kobra Max is a reliable XL printer with proven components and costs less than $600. This is really good.

Let’s get to the most important point, the print quality. Good printing results always depend on the printing speed.

Anycubic specifies a maximum print speed of 90 mm/s for this printer. However, that’s too fast for great results. When printing cable picture holders, we started with the stated 90 mm/s and the curves started to look unclean. After reducing the speed to 50 mm/s, things look quite different. We really like the print here.

Like many printers, the Kobra Max has slight problems with a clean finish on top models. Since the print head is almost stationary at a high peak and only performs minimal horizontal movements, the component cooling is not strong enough to compensate for the waste heat from the hot nozzle. But that’s complaining at a high level. So far, we’ve only achieved really good results with sharp parts with tuning parts and radial fans.

Next up is a classic stress test, the little Benchy. To make things a little difficult for the Kobra Max, we decided to print the complex model from flexible TPU. Here, we are positively surprised by the result. Despite the high speed of 35 mm/s for TPU, the boat printed very cleanly.

Finally, we printed a block with different infill types at 50mm/s. As expected, the record becomes more unstable in the upper area due to the vibrations. For a perfect result, the print speed should be further reduced in the top quarter.

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Overall, the Kobra Max delivers good results even with the standard profile. With adjusted slicer settings and more patience (i.e., slow print speeds), flawless results are possible.

However, what really stood out from the test was the reliability of the system. During the test, we had no problems even after well over 100 hours of operation. We didn’t have to cancel any prints, there was no snapped filament, material jams, or adhesion issues. This is how it should be in practice. With the Kobra you can concentrate on your 3D objects without constantly investing time in the printer.

Nevertheless, we found a limitation. The Kobra Max has a maximum print bed temperature of 90°C. Therefore, processing filaments such as ABS, ASA, CPE, PMMA is not possible. They all require print bed temperatures of at least 100°C, better still 1100°C. Therefore, the Kobra Max is a printer for standard filaments such as PLA, PLA+ PETG and flexible TPU.

Price

In terms of print quality, equipment and size, we find the current price to be fair and appropriate.

If you are interested in Vyper or the Kobra series can currently save a lot by signing up at 3DTechDeals.com The email newsletter regularly shares unadvertised offers that Anycubic offers to its customers.

Conclusion

The Anycubic Kobra Max is a large and reliable printer. While it doesn’t seem very innovative at first glance, it has become our new favorite printer in the last few weeks.

The combination of a great print image, huge installation space and high reliability make the Kobra Max an ideal tool for everyday use. If you want to print big and don’t want to tinker with the printer, the Kobra Max is the best choice.

If less installation space is sufficient, the Kobra Plus and the small Kobra will be better. If you plan to mainly print small objects from TPU, you should get the standard Kobra with a direct drive extruder. If you want small prints and the lowest possible price, the older Vyper is also a good choice.

AVAILABLE ON ANYCUBIC 

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