Anycubic i3 Mega Pro Review (3D Printer & Laser Engraver)

Read our Anycubic i3 Mega Pro review to find out the features, specs, quality of print and price of the 3D printer.

Editor’s Note: This 3D printer has been discontinued by Anycubic. Check out the more advanced alternative, the Anycubic Kobra Max

The Anycubic Mega Pro is an affordable 2-in-1 device: an FDM printer and a laser engraver. In this guide, we’ll look at the capabilities and performance of the printer.

About Anycubic

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Anycubic, one of the most popular 3D printer manufacturers based in China. The company was founded in 2015 and now has over 300 workers. The core business of Anycubic is providing modern technological solutions and services, including services for operating 3D printing systems, renting 3D printers and consulting in the field of additive technologies.

Anycubic i3 Mega Pro Review

Specifications

anycubic i3 mega pro review

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The Anycubic Mega Pro is not just a 3D printer, but also a laser engraver,. The printer has a build volume of210 x 210 x 205 mm, and can also be used to engrave on paper and wood, reaching an area of 220×140 mm.

In addition to the laser module, the device comes with TMC2208 silent printing drivers, a Dual Gear extruder and a function to resume printing after a power outage.

Anycubic i3 Mega Pro 3D Printer Features

Here is an overview of the Anycubic i3 Mega Pro features:

Technology FDM
Print size 210 x 210 x 205 mm
Layer height/thickness 0.05-0.3 mm
Nozzle diameter 0.4mm
Number of extruders 1
Print speed 100 mm/s (60 mm/s recommended)
Working ambient temperature 8°C – 40°C
Supported filaments PLA, TPU, etc.
Positioning accuracy X/Y – 0.0125 mm, Z – 0.002 mm
Extruder operating temperature max. 260°C
Printer size 405 x 410 x 453 mm
File formats .STL, .OBJ, .DAE, .AMF
Connection SD card, USB cable
Filament detector Yes
Power supply 10-220 VAC, 50/60 H
Net weight 15kg

Anycubic i3 Mega Pro Laser Engraver Features

Here are the specifications of laser engraver:

Image format BMP
Engraving area size 220 × 140mm
Engraving mode Bitmap
Rated power 1.5W
Pixel size 0.05–0.4 mm (0.1 mm recommended)
Recommended laser intensity brown paper – 15%, wood – 25%
Laser height 1–100 mm (50 mm recommended)
Materials leather, paper, wood, etc.

The printer is shipped in a large box. The parts are well-packed and are accompanied by a separate table and guides with steps.

See the unpacking video for more details.

video

Anycubic Mega i3 Pro Review: What’s in the Box?

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The Anycubic i3 Mega Pro comes with the following items:

  • Power cable;
  • USB cable;
  • Laser module;
  • Leveling module;
  • Card reader;
  • SD card;
  • Set of tools;
  • Side cutters;
  • Scraper;
  • 8 M5 screws;
  • Protective glasses;
  • Manual.
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The Laser module
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Laser module, goggles and manual

Assembling the Anycubic i3 Mega Pro

Assembling the Anycubic i3 Mega Pro is easy and takes just a few simple steps:

  1. Take the base;
  2. Take a portal with an extruder (assembled);
  3. Install the portal on the base;
  4. Secure with screws.

The construction is rigid to ensure the printer works fast.

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All wires are connected in bundles for convenient operation and to avoid accidental jerking.

The Anycubic i3 Mega Pro is fitted with a Bowden extruder. Unlike is the case with printers that have Direct extruders, printing elastic plastics will not work on this printer. This is because an excessively flexible Rubber or Flex bar will bend and get stuck even before reaching the extruder.

However, a Bowden extruder allows faster printing with standard plastics, due to a lighter carriage and a larger working area along the axis Z. When printing with a Bowden extruder, both the nozzle and the table move, which means the acceleration is faster only along one axis.

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The Bowden extruder with an adjusting knob
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Carriage body assembly. Be careful of the high temperatures, especially when you want to remove the plastic from the nozzle.
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Ultrabase table with comfortable adjustment knobs.

The Anycubic i3 Mega Pro 3D printer is equipped with a filament breakage sensor. In case the plastic runs out unexpectedly, the printer will automatically pause and wait while you load a new spool. When paused, the table and extruder continue to maintain temperature.

The printer is controlled using a touch screen, and the menu has everything you need to set up and calibrate the printer. The control display is screen 3.5 inches.

Generally, the screen is comfortable to use. Thanks to the large menu icons and the optimal font size, the screen responds without delay when you press it.

Software

The Anycubic i3 Mega Pro uses Cura as its slicer.

Ultimaker Cura

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Cura is a free slicer from Ultimaker. Anycubic Mega Pro comes with a version with ready-made settings for it

Anycubic i3 Mega Pro Design

The most important feature of the Anycubic Mega Pro is a 1.5W laser engraving module that attaches to the print head and turns the 3D printer into a device for imaging paper, wood, fabric or leather.

There are a number of 3-in-1 devices on the market, i.e., those that combine a 3D printer, a laser engraver and a CNC milling machine. A good example of such as device is the Snapmaker 2.0 A350.

Anycubic considered that the release of a simplified (and much cheaper) version of a multifunctional device, without a milling module, would be in great demand among users.

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The Anycubic i3 Mega Pro has all the design features of the previous models:

  • Reliable metal frame
  • Metal platform of the press
  • Large print area
  • Filament breakage or end sensor

In addition, some improvements have been made to the design. These include:

Laser Engraving Module

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The module is installed on the print head and connected to the controller of the 3D printer. The device will automatically recognize the connected module.

Roller Extruder

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The Bondtech Dual Shaft Extruder grips the bar from two sides to reduce the chance of slippage.

Multicolor Printing

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While not technically a full-fledged “multicolor” printing, meaning the machine cannot automatically switch between different plastics, the printer has the ability to pause at certain layers so that the user can manually replace one filament with another. During printing, you can make up to six such pauses.

TMC2208 Stepper Motor Drivers

The unit has TMC2208 drivers. These drivers provide smoother, more accurate stepper motor movements, resulting in smoother printed parts and significantly reduced printing noise.

Platform Adjustment Knobs

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Anycubic increased the size of the platform adjustment knobs from 2.2 to 4.4 cm. This change has made the platform calibration process easier. In addition, the handles now have a secure locking system to avoid slipping during operation.

Intelligent Calibration Assist

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This feature automatically detects where the platform is leveling and prompts the user to take action.

Quality of Print

Anycubic suggests using the i3 Mega Pro with the popular Cura slicer. The slicer is available on a USB flash drive. You can also download it from Ultimaker website.

If you wish, you can use some other slicer to configure the printer profile in it. For this test, we were using the Ideamaker by Raise3D. We’ve uploaded the already configured profile for the Anycubic i3 Mega Pro. You can download and use it to test the printing yourself.

We started printing with PLA. Here are the settings we used.

Download Model Files

From the Anycubic i3 Mega Pro video we posted on YouTube, you can estimate the noise level of the printer when printing. Generally, with this printer, production as a whole is noisy.

Here are the settings of the print job:

  • Plastic: ST-PLA from SolidFilament
  • Layer: 0.2mm
  • Speed: walls 20mm / s and 35mm / s (outer / inner), infill 50mm / s
  • Temperature: extruder 200 / table 60
  • Dimensions: 118.6 * 124.1 * 190mm

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The Anycubic i3 Mega Pro prints high-quality models, keeping in mind that most of the parts were supported and the model is large. The layer properties are also good. I

During the printing, we encountered a small bug: there is a long retraction when starting the second, third, etc. printing. This has nothing to do with the starting G-code or the slicer. Apparently, the bug is as a result of the from heating. However, it does not affect the quality of the prints

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Download Model Files

Here are the settings we used:

  • Plastic: ST-PLA from SolidFilament
  • Layer: 0.2mm
  • Speed: walls 20mm / s and 35mm / s (outer / inner), infill 50mm / s
  • Temperature: extruder 200 / table 60

Having successfully printed a medium-sized model, we decided to try something bigger. For this second model, the printer also coped without too many problems.

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Download Models

Download Pterodactyl model

Download the Eagle model

  • Plastic: ST-PLA from SolidFilament
  • Layer: 0.2mm
  • Speed: walls 20mm / s and 35mm / s (outer / inner), infill 50mm / s
  • Temperature: extruder 200 / table 60

These test models are small and have a lot of details. To print such models, it is not always possible to set everything up the first time so that the parts have the gap required for bending.

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While the models are quite small, the printer coped with the gaps and insertions of parts into each other well. The airflow also, as can be seen on small parts, did not disappoint.

3D printing errors usually depend on the type of plastic and the geometry of the model itself. The Anycubic i3 Mega Pro gives an error in the range of +/- 150-200 microns, taking into account the movement of the table and the extruder.

Third Party Sample Print

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Anycubic i3 Mega Pro Quality of Print

Pros

  • Stable printing. The printer keeps up to stated speed and print quality
  • High build quality
  • The price is affordable, considering the functionality of the printer

Cons

  • There is a slight wobble of the wall (perhaps you can still experiment with the settings and achieve a perfect wall).
  • Difficult and sometimes impossible printing with flexible plastics.
  • Does not have an enclosure. Therefore, you cannot print with flexible plastics.

Anycubic i3 Mega Pro Laser Module Review

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Let’s check the engraving capabilities of the Anycubic i3 Mega Pro.

According to Anycubic, this module can be used to engrave paper, wood and leather.

The Laser module produces 1.5W of power. Therefore, you won’t be able to cut something with it. However, you can engrave images in bmp format – a raster image format that is usually read by all lasers. When saving or creating your images, keep in mind that bmp must be 24-bit or 2-bit. Otherwise, it would be read incorrectly.

The Anycubic i3 Mega Pro laser module can be of a different power rating. Our unit’s rating is 1.5W and is categorized under class 4:

“Lasers and high power devices capable of causing severe damage to the human eye with short pulses (<0.25 s) of a direct laser beam, as well as specularly or diffusely reflected laser beams. Emitters and laser systems of this class can cause significant damage to human skin, as well as have a dangerous effect on flammable and combustible materials.”

For this reason, Anycubic provides protective glasses in the kit. There is also a brown paper in the box, which you can use for your first laser engraving test.

Paper Engraver Test

To start engraving, we first need to install the laser module. The installation process takes just a couple of minutes. The engraver module attaches with magnets to the hotend, has metal positioning rails and a gougeon (fixing screw) for fixing.

The engraver wire is connected to the same connector as the hot end. After that, you can start engraving.

Detailed information about the installation process is found on the the flash drive.

In addition to the bmp file, you need to set the parameters of the speed and power of the engraving. This can be done in the printer menu. We set 15 percent of the laser power and started the engraving process.

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The laser copes well with both brown and white paper. Since white paper is highly reflective, you’ll need to add a little more power to the engraver

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Plywood

Our next test involved engraving a 4 mm plywood. We launch the file attached to the flash drive, increasing the power to 30%.

You can download the source file from this link .

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Next, we wanted to test a bigger and more complex picture, such as a portrait or photograph. This time, the engraving took much longer because the images are big.

Also, after an hour of engraving at 30% power, the laser radiator was slightly warm while the pyrometer recorded a temperature of 39 degrees.

Link to the picture.

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The laser module does not leave any carbon deposits on the material. This is an advantage compared to the same CO2 laser, which has high power and can cut the material. However, the Anycubic laser moduel outperforms it both in size and accuracy.

We carried another test on plywood, but with pseudo-vector graphics. The image we used looked like it was made in Adobe Illustrator, then converted to png, and then to bmp.

Original Image:

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Here is the result we got:

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In this image, you can see carbon deposits at the place where a piece of plywood was cut off by a laser with a CO2 tube.

Of course, a small step of the laser is still visible. However, for 1.5 W and non-core equipment, this is an excellent result.

The working area for engraving images is 220 x 140 mm, i.e., 2200 x 1400 pixels, with a pixel density/resolution of 10 pixels per millimeter, i.e., pixel size of 0.1 mm. The size is perfect for engraving gift items.

Acrylic & Plexiglass

We also tested the the laser on acrylic or plexiglass. Unfortunately, the laser did not take on white glass even at 90% power – its surface is too shiny and light.

But on black acrylic I did a great job.

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Synthetic Leather

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At a power of only 20%, the laser did an excellent job. All lines are clear and contrasting, even in thin elements.

Original Image:

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Silicone

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Image source:

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Rubber

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Original Image:

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The laser module did a great job with dark material!

Anycubic i3 Mega Pro Engraving Review

Let’s look at the pros and cons of the laser engraving module:

Pros

  • The engraving is split into blacks and adjusts automatically. There is no need to sit and slice power/speed like a conventional CO2 laser to achieve the same effect.
  • Perfectly engraves dark materials (black polystyrene, acrylic, leather, silicone, wood, paper, etc.)
  • Simple setup.
  • Due to the dimensions along the Z axis, you can engrave large objects (everything that fits into the dimensions of the table, minus 5 cm of the focal length).
  • Very quick and convenient installation of the module. Simply attach the module, screw on the gougeon, connect the power supply and start engraving

Cons

  • The engraver only only supports bmp raster graphics with a resolution of 0.1 mm. Therefore, you cannot engrave something more accurate.
  • Cannot engrave materials that are too light or white due to the wavelength and low laser power.
  • The low laser power makes it not suitable for cutting.

Anycubic i3 Mega Pro Alternatives

What about the price? And is there something similar in the same price segment?

At the moment, the price of the printer is less than $500, which is affordable for its “printer + engraver” functionality, budget.

For alternatives, there is the 3DQ one v2, which has about the same functionality but is more expensive.

Instead of a bowden, the 3DQ One v2 he has a direct extruder. This makes it suitable for working with flexible plastics. The laser engraver has a power of only 1W but the construction area is larger at 290 x 220 x 210 mm, versus 210 x 210 x 205 mm of the Anycubic i3 Mega Pro.

Another modular printer that competes with the Anycubic i3 Mega Pro is the Snapmaker A350T. The unit does not just have printing and engraving capabilities but also milling. Of course, its price is also higher than that of the Anycubic i3 Mega Pro.

Conclusion

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The Anycubic Mega Pro, given its very low price for devices with a similar set of functions, has very successfully occupied a niche between cheap 3D printers and expensive multifunctional devices. At the moment, there are no competitors in the price segment up to $500.

The Mega Pro laser module greatly expands the machine’s capabilities, allowing users to create unique artwork, prototypes or models.

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