Anycubic Mega X Review

The Anycubic Mega X is the largest printer in the Mega family, but is it also the best? Read on for our extensive review.

The Anycubic Mega X joins the market for medium-sized FDM 3D printers with an installation space of 300 x 300 x 305 mm . An overflowing Anycubic Mega S , if you will.

The market is already overflowing with inexpensive FDM printers, making it difficult to judge which printers are worth your money and which ones should be removed from your cart.

With a price of around € 320, it is certainly not the cheapest device in its category, but do the features justify the price?

We put the latest version through its paces in our test and our expectations have largely been met and occasionally exceeded. Read on for our report on the Anycubic Mega X and find out where it shines.

The technology

Anycubic has with the publication of Anycubic i3 Mega created in 2017 a solid level in the low-end market, followed by a refreshed version of the Anycubic Mega S .

While maintaining the same design throughout, the Anycubic Mega line has remained popular in part because of the ease of use of the printers. Unsurprisingly, Anycubic is sticking to what it can and expanding that for the Mega X. Why shouldn’t they do that either?

The power supply unit, the mainboard and the touchscreen are housed in the base unit. Coupled with the neat cable management – as opposed to a large number of inexpensive desktop printers and the amount of spaghetti-like cables they come with – the Mega X makes a slim impression.

SMART DESIGN

But looks are not everything. The all-metal frame and the robust frame of the Mega X leave nothing to be desired. It is equipped with two Z-axis threaded spindles and a bed-stabilizing Y-axis slide with two rails. The result is a solid printer with the foundation for consistent printing.

This solid setup is complemented by something that is seldom found in the Mega X’s price range – double Z-axis end stops. A measure that eliminates any bumps that can creep in over the X-axis. This inclusion means the Mega X will effectively realign the X axis every time it pulls back.

In contrast to the mechanical end stops on the X-axis, Anycubic has chosen a contactless sensor for the end stop of the print bed (Y-axis). The sensor strikes when the mechanical slider comes close.

All in all, the design of the Mega X exudes a distinct workhorse atmosphere. Once this tank-like machine is up and running, there is little reason for you to tinker with it.

THE PRINT BED

Surrounded by all this robustness is the heart of the 3D printer – the spacious, 300 x 300 mm Anycubic Ultrabase print bed , which sits on four spring screws for manual leveling of the print bed.

In a nutshell – having a huge print bed is fantastic, especially when it comes to an Ultrabase print bed. This once new (but now widely imitated) glass bed is coated with a porous microstructure, which, in our experience, is unsurpassed for printing adhesion. Especially when printing with PLA.

The bed can heat up to 60 ° C in two minutes, has a maximum temperature of 90 ° C and – most importantly – it brings this heat over the entire printing surface.

This is essential for successful large-area prints, as objects warp due to possible temperature differences – a problem the Mega X still has when printing ABS. We suspect the cause is the limitation of the print bed temperature to 90 ° C. If it got a little hotter, 100 ° C or more, we might have achieved better results.

The spacious print bed, in combination with a 305 mm feed through the Z-axis, results in an impressive installation space of 27.5 cubic liters. There are printers in a similar price range – such as the Artillery Sidewinder X1 – which offer about 10 cm more on the vertical axis, but the space of the Mega X is not to be despised.

THE EXTRUDER

The print volume is filled layer by layer by a titanium extruder, paired with a hotend that can reach up to 250 ° C.

Hotends like the one on the Mega X use PTFE tubing to route the filament to the melt zone. If you print hotter than 250 ° C for a longer period of time, the PTFE will degas, melting the end of the hot end and releasing toxic gases. The Mega X is limited to 250 ° C, which is more than sufficient for the range of consumables. We had no problem printing PETG at 245 ° C, a high temperature material that is usually extruded at a slightly higher temperature.

As with the previous Anycubic 3D printers, the filament holder protrudes laterally at the bottom, which takes some of the load off the frame in which the holders are usually installed – but leads to the filament feed being reversed. Combined with the filament outlet sensor – mounted on the side of the gantry – the filament is always a little stretched.

It is not translated twice like a Bondtech extruder, but the feed mechanism works surprisingly well and ensures a continuous feed. Changing the filament only requires a bit of fiddling because you have to insert the filament the wrong way round. Conveniently Anycubic has attached a small plastic funnel to the feed opening of the extruder. This will help you feed filaments more easily into the feed mechanism. Unfortunately, Anycubic does not deliver an additional copy with the included extras.

Rigid filaments such as PLA, PETG and ABS are not a problem for the extruder, but it reaches its limits – as known with Bowden extruders – when it comes to running flexible filaments.

CONNECTIONS AND USER INTERFACE

To monitor the entire printing process, the Mega X has a 3.5-inch color touchscreen. Apart from the somewhat confused menu, the software gives you all the information and options you need. Connection options are SD card or USB cable.

The above features are all well and good, but other than that, the Mega X doesn’t have much new to offer when compared to its predecessor, the Mega S. If you consider that the previous model was launched a few years ago, it would have been time for innovations and new features. However, things like WLAN connection, automatic print bed alignment or quieter printing shine through the absence of the Mega X.

Our experiences

CONSTRUCTION

Assembling the printer is a breeze. The Mega X is neatly packaged and delivered pre-assembled, with suitable instructions both on the USB stick and in the instructions for use supplied.

In addition to the usual spatulas and scissors, Anycubic also supplies a 1 kg spool of PLA, as well as spare parts, such as B. Hotend and PTFE hoses, with. The assembly mainly consists of the task of attaching the gantry to the base unit with a few screws. After connecting a few cables, the whole procedure can be completed in a few minutes. Make sure to set the switch of the MeanWell power supply to the correct voltage.

The bed alignment must be done manually. However, with the large adjustment knobs of the printer, this requirement is a minor matter for printing.

All you have to do is automatically bring the printhead to its home position and then use a sheet of paper to level it, adjusting each knob as needed. Compared to the tiny levers that some low-cost competitors install, the large buttons make this boring but necessary work bearable – you don’t have to dislocate and twist your hand to reach them (yes, we’re traumatized by past printers and their stupid little bed adjuster buttons ).

TEST PRINTS

With hands free from strain, we started our first prints. The Mega X delivers satisfactory results right away. To be honest, we weren’t expecting anything different based on our experience with previous Anycubic Mega-Series products, so it’s comforting to see this confirmed. Especially in the budget sector, it is not uncommon that you have to make a few adjustments here and there so that the device works properly.

As I said, the Ultrabed is a dream equipment, and that is also evident here. The prints adhere well and then peel off the plate easily. And the best part is that you can do without glue at all. Not only does this give the print bed a consistently new, fresh look, but, more importantly, it also gives the first layer a smoother finish, resulting in more aesthetically pleasing prints overall.

We have already pointed out the Mega X’s ability to process different materials, depending on the technical requirements of the printer. We don’t want to go over it all again, but as always, testing is the necessary evidence. We’ve experimented with a few flexible filaments and in our experience it comes down to a bit of luck. Some flexible filaments will get tangled up helplessly in the feed mechanism ( Filamentum TPU ), others – with an identical Shore hardness of 98A ( Kodak TPU ) – work perfectly. In any case, it is essential to turn down the print and feed speeds in order to get a manageable flow rate without the filament jamming and unwinding from the extruder.

However, despite all the fiddling with temperature and fan settings and even the (heavy hearted) application of adhesive, we were unable to cope with the warping problem in the middle of our ABS prints.

The fact that the print bed can only reach 90 ° C is indeed a disadvantage, so ABS prints are basically off the table. However, the Mega X prints numerous PETG materials pretty well, so you’re not limited in choosing the tensile strength of your filaments. The same goes for your everyday prints with PLA. There is no catch, just smooth printing.

In previous reviews, we presented the Anycubic Mega Printers as a one-hit PLA marvel. The Mega X gets rid of this and easily withstands a filament-based test.

USABILITY

Prints can be processed for the Mega X with most popular slicers. We used Cura as recommended for the device and the supplied printer profile, which is on the supplied USB stick. The standard PLA settings worked just fine on our first test prints, with the exception of the Z-axis distance between the support and the print, which was too small, which caused the supports to fuse on some of our early prints.

In general, the Mega X from Anycubic convinces with its user-friendliness, even if the user interface is a bit confused. The menu items are large and easy to read for ease of use; it’s just sometimes unclear which submenu contains certain tools and options. However, we recommend that you mute the unpleasant key press noise that is made every time you touch it.

While we are loud on the subject. The Mega X is as stable as a tank, but unfortunately it’s just as loud. The Z-axis lead coils in particular are deafening. Fortunately, the Z-axis really only moves a lot when the printer is approached at the beginning of a print.

The rest of the printer is not necessarily quiet. The Trinamic drivers and cooling fans inside result in an operating noise level of around 70 dB.

We intentionally leaked the filament on one of our prints and got the leak sensor to act. After quickly changing the filament, he resumed printing without any problems. Remember that this is a mechanical sensor. Compared to the expensive alternative of an optical sensor, which could also detect blockages in the filament, the mechanical sensor only triggers when the filament runs out. It is an inexpensive solution, but a welcome and necessary one nonetheless.

However, we could not use the advertised print resume function. After unplugging the power cord, in this case on purpose, you will be offered the option to continue printing. Choosing this didn’t do anything and left us no choice but to start over.

Is it worth the money?

Testing a printer inevitably leads to finding out the essentials, but all in all the Mega X lived up to our expectations and on occasion even exceeded them.

The robust appearance of the printer is directly reflected in its build quality. No unsound parts, but punched steel plates mean that this printer is set up once it is set up – you don’t have to realign or readjust every time you even touch it.

Its installation space of 300 x 300 x 305 mm gives you enough space to tackle ambitiously large prints. Granted, some printers in the same price range offer 100mm more on the Z-axis. But the great functions, the good design and the ease of use make the printing process as smooth as possible and it is worth overlooking the slightly smaller installation space.

Ultimately, however, the Anycubic Mega-X does not differ much from its predecessor, the Mega S , except in the installation space. It would have been nice to have new features like Wi-Fi, auto-leveling of the print bed, and quieter fans, but maybe you just can’t expect everything in this price range and size of the machine.

The Anycubic Mega X convinces as a new, large, inexpensive 3D printer with a decent printing behavior and print quality.

Technical specifications

Here is an extensive list of the Mega X’s specs:

GENERAL DATA

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3D PRINTING PROPERTIES

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MATERIALS

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SOFTWARE SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

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MEASURES AND WEIGHT

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Alternative printer

You may also be interested in the following printers:

Anycubic Mega S

The Mega S is Anycubic’s previous member of the Mega series. With the same stable construction and the same capabilities, the installation space of the Mega X is 210 x 210 x 205 mm, which corresponds to approximately two thirds of the installation space of the Mega X. With a price of around € 220, it is an inexpensive alternative if you don’t want to do without the accessories of the Mega X series and you don’t mind the smaller installation space.

Artillery Sidewinder X1

The Sidewinder X1 is Artillery’s top of the line 3D printer. The Sidewinder costs around € 355 and looks similarly elegant, but has a larger installation space of 300 x 300 x 400 mm and a direct drive system. The standard print quality drops a bit compared to the Mega X, but with a little tweaking it can be very good.

Original Prusa i3 MK3S

For just under 1000 € the Original Prusa i3 MK3S offers the complete package. From excellent print quality, a fast-heating flexible metal construction plate, a direct drive system to automatic bed leveling. The MK3S really offers the best value for money right now.

The judgment

ADVANTAGES

  • Slim and sturdy design
  • Ultrabase print bed that heats up quickly
  • User friendly

DISADVANTAGE

  • Medium sized print bed
  • Relatively loud
  • Resume printing function does not work

The Anycubic Mega X impresses with a decent standard print image and good print quality.

The print volume of 300 x 300 x 305 mm results in a respectable installation space or, as the company puts it, enough space to print a helmet in its original size in one piece.

The all-metal frame and compact housing not only ensure a slim appearance, but also ensure that the printer does not move much and that the overall quality of the construction is high. Once that printer is set up, that’s it – you don’t have to reset it every time you touch it.

In connection with the Anycubic Ultrabase, the Mega X produces consistently high-quality prints with your usual filaments. This makes this printer not only a solid entry-level entry into the world of 3D printing, but also a dependable workhorse with the scope to tackle some more advanced printing ideas.

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