Voxelab Aries 3D Printer Review

Read our Voxelab Aries 3D printer review for an overview of what to expect from the unit in terms of features, performance, quality of print, and price.

Following the success of Voxelab Aquila, Voxelab unveiled a new 3D printer with a completely different design. The new 3D printer, Voxelab Aries, is an FDM printer that boasts of several standard features.

This unit is more expensive than the Aquila. Therefore, in this Voxelab Aries 3D printer review, we’ll try to find out if it’s worth the higher price tag.

Voxelab Aries 3D Printer Review

Voxelab Aries 3D Printer

AVAILABLE ON FLASHFORGE

Delivery and Packaging

Voxelab Aries 3D printer comes in a large cardboard box with cardboard protection inside. I prefer 3D printers shipped with cardboard protection instead of regular foam protection because the former is more environmentally friendly. Moreover, it can easily be recycled.

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The table glass surface is located at the top of the package. This is surprising since it can crack during delivery. If it were already installed on the table, it would be more secure.

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All moving parts are secured with large zip ties to hold them in place and ensure they do not move or get damaged during transport.

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Design

Voxelab Aries has a cubic plastic design that reminds me of the FlashForge Finder. The body of the printer is tough and sturdy.

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The printer has a large touchscreen and USB port at the bottom front. There is nothing worth mentioning on the left and right sides.

The back of the printer houses the power connector and extruder. However, I am not a big fan of glossy black plastic as it scratches easily and collects fingerprints.

You’ll find the side panels convenient if you plan to completely close the printer, since there are special recesses in the case. For example, you can stick on aluminum foil to protect the print from drafts that can cause problems. Alternatively, you can use cut-to-size acrylic sheets glued into the grooves.

I’ve seen a few DIY Aries with acrylic panels and a top cover. So, perhaps in the future we might see a Voxelab Aries Pro with a fully enclosed case. Or maybe an upgrade kit for this printer.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see a USB port for connecting Voxelab Aries to a computer or Raspberry Pi. This can be a problem for some users as it means you cannot use OctoPrint or Klipper with this 3D printer.

Voxelab Aries Specifications

  • Number of extruders: 1
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
  • Print resolution: 0.2mm
  • Software: VoxelMaker
  • Max table temperature: 110°C
  • Max nozzle temperature: 250°C
  • Compatible filaments: PLA/PETG/ABS/TPU
  • Operating mode: print from internal memory/USB storage/Wi-Fi
  • Printer size: 406 x 424 x 469mm
  • Layer resolution: 0.1-0.4mm
  • Build area: 200 x 200 x 200mm
  • Input power: AC 115/230V 50/60Hz
  • Output voltage: 24V DC
  • Power supply: 350W
  • Print speed: ~ 180 mm/s
  • Weight: 12.2 kg
  • Gross weight: 15KG

Cubic Design

While Voxelab Aries looks like a CoreXY 3D printer, it uses the same Cartesian mechanics as the Ender 5, where one of the stepper motors moves the entire portal along the Y-axis, including the X-axis stepper motor.

Hotend with PTFE tube

The Voxelab Aries has the same type of hot end found in other printers that use a similar Creality style PTFE tube design. Therefore, the maximum safe printing temperature is around 240°C. If you exceed this limit, the PTFE tubing will begin to decompose faster, releasing harmful vapors and clogging the hot end.

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On the right side of the carriage, there is a 4010 radial fan for cooling the model, and a 4010 fan for cooling the hot-end radiator. This fan is turned off when the printer is idle. When you start heating the nozzle, it quickly turns on and makes quite a lot of noise, similar to what we experienced with the Voxelab Aquila. In the future, Voxelab should install more silent fans.

There is a white LED on the left side of the carriage. The LED will illuminate the print and help you calibrate the first layer.

Coming back to the hotend fan, the air flow is good. However, some of it comes out through the bottom of the hotend casing. This helps with PLA printing because it improves the cooling of the model. However, it also makes printing ABS impossible.

I tried printing ABS several times, adding and not adding a little glue to the table for better adhesion, and each attempt failed. The layers began to peel off due to the air flow created by the hot-end cooling fan. Of course, you can fix this by gluing aluminum or Kapton tape on the bottom. Still, in the standard configuration, ABS printing is not possible.

At the top of the carriage, all wiring is done with a separation board that also includes a connector for a BLTouch sensor.

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The standard tube fitting is taller than other printers and likely not easy to find. However, it can be replaced with a standard fitting. If you opt to do this, you will have to remove the hot end cover to replace the tube. This is not a big deal, but the devil is in little things like this.

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The carriage moves along the X-axis on three three brass plain bearings. I’m not sure how long these bearings will last, but the movement is smooth at this point.

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The Y-axis uses two standard LM8UU bearings on each side. I noticed that the movement on the right side is not as smooth and this leads to small vibration artifacts on the right side of the models.

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Single Feed Extruder

The single feed gear extruder installed on the Voxelab Aries is nothing special. It is similar to the extruder found in Flashforge 3D printers and works relatively well. While it’s certainly not as accurate as a geared extruder, it does its job.

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I do not like that it’s placed at the back of the printer because loading filament is more difficult if you install the printer on a shelf or in an area that does not provide access to the back of the printer.

Superb Touchscreen

I love the Voxelab Aries’ touchscreen. It’s large, has good viewing angles and produces vibrant colors. There are many menu options that can be easily selected using the touchscreen. However, some of the controls are very small and require some skill or even a stylus to select them.

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I would like to be able to preheat the printer for some standard filaments like PLA, PETG, ABS and so on. But the only option that is on the menu is to select one preset temperature or set it manually. By default, the hot end is set to 210°C and the table is set to 100°C. This is not a normal temperature pair.

210°C and 60°C would be better for more commonly used PLA. In addition, simultaneous heating of both the table and the hot end is impossible. First, the table is heated, and after that, the hot end is heated.

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I don’t like the loud startup sound like you can hear in Flashforge Creator Pro 2. Fortunately, you can turn it off.

When you cut a model with VoxelMaker, images of the model are created immediately in the slicer and are then displayed on the printer screen. This makes it easy to see which model you are going to print.

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The touchscreen also has an internal storage of 8GB that can be used to store GCODE files. You can either plug in a USB stick and move the files to internal storage, or send the sliced model remotely over Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

A distinctive feature of budget 3D printers is the Wi-Fi connection, which Voxelab Aries also has. Using the touchscreen, you can connect the printer to a Wi-Fi network. After that, you can remotely send files cut to VoxelMaker from your computer directly to the printer. These files are stored in the printer’s 8GB internal memory.

Unfortunately, this feature is only available in the VoxelMaker slicer, which doesn’t have much functionality compared to other popular slicers like ideaMaker, Cura or Prusa Slicer. Hopefully, we can use the Wi-Fi connection in the future with other slicers after a firmware update.

We experienced some Wi-Fi connection issues. When I first got the printer, I was unable to connect to my hotspot. After some troubleshooting, I found that Voxelab Aries does not support WPA3/WPA2 connections that are available in newer routers. I changed my Wi-Fi network settings to WPA/WPA2 and that fixed the situation.

Motherboard

Voxelab Aries uses a proprietary 32-bit board with silent stepper drivers. The specific board model is Driver_Board_V1.0.2_20210225. This board does not use the regular ARM STM32 chip that we get on other 32-bit boards. Instead, it uses the Nation N32G352.

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I recommend checking the VREF of the stepper drivers because I had two of them set too low (~ 0.4V). This caused several printing failures when I was getting layer shifts. I thought these problems were caused by overheating of the stepper drivers, but this was not the case. I manually increased the VREF to ~ 0.6V for these two stepper drivers and this seems to have fixed the situation.

Since the electronics housing is poorly ventilated, heat builds up quite quickly. There is no fan for exhausting hot air, and the small cutouts at the bottom panel do not save the day.

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The power supply fan blows hot air into the electronics enclosure, causing the temperature to quickly rise to the point where the stepper fan cannot keep them up to par.

At first, I expected the electronics to be in the back of the printer. However, after removing the back cover, I was surprised to see a bunch of empty space. There is room at the back for a fan.

ALL electronics are located at the bottom of the printer.

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Cantilever Glass Table with 3-point leveling system

Voxelab Aries has a removable glass printing surface on top of an aluminum heated bed that moves in the Z-axis. Print adhesion to the surface is a hit or miss. With some PLA filaments, the first layers do not adhere so well. Therefore, you may need to either wipe the print surface a little or add a little glue or other solutions to improve adhesion.

There are two levers at the front to facilitate removal of the print surface.

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An interesting feature of Voxelab Aries is the location of the Z end switch. Instead of the standard attachment point at the top, as in most printers, the Aries optical sensor is located at the bottom of the printer. I like this solution because you can add a final G-code to start the printer after printing is complete. This will make it easier to remove the model from the table.

The disadvantage of this feature is the time it takes for the printer to perform the initial calibration due to the longer travel time required.

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Unfortunately, Voxelab Aries does not use an anti-backlash clutch. Therefore, in the event of a power outage, the bed will start to drop by itself due to its weight. Still, Aries has a power loss recovery feature and will set the bed before resuming printing.

This of a missing anti-backlash clutch can be easily eliminated by installing a clutch with backlash protection. Still, it would be better if it was immediately included in the kit.

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The table is aligned using two handles. Having a 3-point alignment system should make the alignment process a little easier. To level the table, you only need to adjust the two handles, while the third point remains fixed.

When you begin the alignment process, you first need to set the Z offset for the fixed point and then manually adjust the table at the second and third points.

There is no thermal insulation under the bed, which could make the printer a little more energy efficient.

Power Supply

Voxelab Aries uses a 350W MeanWell power supply. This is one of the best power supplies for 3D printers. The fan speed is controlled relative to temperature, turns on when printing starts, and turns off when the printer is idle.

Since the electronics housing is not well ventilated, the power supply fan will mostly be on during printing. As a result, the printing process will be quite noisy.

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Slicer VoxelMaker

Speaking of VoxelMaker, I need to understand how well the profiles are set up for Voxelab Aries. I did some test prints using the default settings and they came out great. This is great for newbies or people who don’t want to mess around with slicer settings too much and just want to start printing as soon as they get their 3D printer.

The slicer only has profiles for PLA and ABS. We hope other materials will be included over time. When slicing with VoxelMaker, files are in the .gx format. Moreover, a thumbnail is displayed both on the computer and on the printer’s touch screen.

Once connected via Wi-Fi, you can remotely send gcode files, monitor the print status, and even control the printer.

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Heating Time and Energy Consumption

I checked both the heating of the table and the heating of the hot end, and this is what came out for me:

Hotend

  • 200°C for 1 minute and 20 seconds
  • 250°C in 2 minutes

Table

  • 60°C in 2 minutes and 30 seconds
  • 100°C in 5 minutes and 45 seconds

Power Consumption

Power consumption in idle mode is approximately 9W. When the table and hot end are hot, Voxelab Aries draws about 305 watts. After it starts printing, the power consumption stabilizes at around 110W.

Table Temperature Uniformity

The table temperature was set at 60°C and I waited 2 minutes after reaching this temperature for it to stabilize.

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Noise Level

Voxelab Aries is completely silent in standby mode because all fans are off. But it becomes noisy after you start printing. When you start a print, all fans of the power supply, hotend and board pick up speed, and generate quite a lot of noise.

3DBenchy

As with all printers I’ve reviewed, I first printed 3DBenchy using the default VoxelMaker profile. It turned out much better than I expected. However, this can also be explained by the slightly slower printing speed.

Print time for this model was just under 2 hours.

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  • Material: Gray PLA Gembird
  • Layer height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 215°C
  • Table temperature: 60C
  • Print speed: 50mm/s

Phil-A-Ment

The Phil-A-Ment is a good test model to check overhang printing and adhesion. The print quality is excellent with a good surface of the ridges. There are a few printing artifacts on the astronaut’s chest, but these are caused by the Z-seam that is not aligned in the default VoxelMaker slicer profile.

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  • Material: Gray PLA Gembird
  • Layer height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 215°C
  • Table temperature: 60C
  • Print speed: 50mm/s

200% Test Cube

Another classic print test I did with Voxelab Aries is a 200% larger calibration cube. The corners were sharper than expected for a printer that does not use Linear Advance. Also, I was impressed with the excellent quality of the top layer. It almost looks like it was printed using the top layer alignment found in other slicers.

Overall, this was a great test cube.

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  • Material: Gray PLA Gembird
  • Layer height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 215°C
  • Table temperature: 60°C
  • Print speed: 50mm/s

Toaster Puzzle

After a few setbacks, I was finally able to print the toaster puzzle. The print quality is good with acceptable overhangs. Unfortunately, the accuracy tests mostly failed and I was only able to move 0.5mm. Probably better tolerances could be obtained by calibrating the flow.

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  • Material: Blue PLA Anycubic
  • Layer height: 0.15mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 215°C
  • Table temperature: 60°C
  • Print speed: 60mm/s

Flexible Turtle

The turtle does not look as good as other models, mainly due to small under-extrusion problems present in some areas. I think this is caused by the 210°C print temperature I used, where an extra 5°C might have helped.

The under-extrusion problem seems to be more noticeable in small areas, most likely due to too much rollback.

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  • Material: Devil Design Azure Blue PLA
  • Layer height: 0.15mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 210°C
  • Table temperature: 60°C
  • Print speed: 60mm/s

Fluffy Unicorn

The unicorn is another example of a good print bounded by a Z-stitch that I didn’t align properly. You can install it manually in VoxelMaker, but it seems I was unable to do so.

The rest of the model looks great, with slight vibration artifacts on the right side of the model.

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  • Material: Gembird gold PLA
  • Layer height: 0.15mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 210°C
  • Table temperature: 60°C
  • Print speed: 60mm/s

Decorative Cube

I also tested the PETG printability on Voxelab Aries. As mentioned, the adhesion to the glass printed surface is not that great. For good adhesion to PETG, I needed to apply a light coat of adhesiven. Still, the print quality for PETG is excellent, with some banding in some areas.

I used the same PLA profile as VoxelMaker, with 240°C for the hot spot and 70°C for the bed. I also set the part cooling fan speed to 50%.

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  • Material: Devil Design Purple PETG
  • Layer height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 240°C
  • Table temperature: 70°C
  • Print speed: 60mm/s

Scarlet Witch

The scarlet witch came out great. However, one of the bottom corners lifted up a bit during printing. While the table was correctly aligned, I found that in some cases, the Z offset does not remain constant and you may need to use the babystep function to ensure a good first layer. This problem can be caused by the extra movement required when leveling the table.

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  • Material: FilamentOne Red PLA
  • Layer height: 0.15mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 215°C
  • Table temperature: 60°C
  • Print speed: 60mm/s

Mr Belz

You can see that all areas of the model look great. However, some vibration artifacts can be seen on the right side. In any case, I am quite happy with the result.

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  • Material: Extrudr BioFusion Epic Purple
  • Layer height: 0.15mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 220°C
  • Table temperature: 60°C
  • Print speed: 60mm/s

Failed Prints

Unfortunately, my printing experience with Voxelab Aries hasn’t been as good as with other 3D printers I’ve reviewed in the past. This was mainly due to layer shifting issues that I got on several models.

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I contacted Voxelab to inform them of this issue. At first, I suspected it was caused by overheating of the stepper drivers. However, they mentioned that it was due an error that caused files sent over Wi-Fi to be corrupted. And this happened the models that failed with layer shift.

At the time of purchase, the corrected firmware was already there. After I installed a new version of the firmware on the printer, all printing problems were eliminated.

Hopefully all printers will ship with the already patched firmware as promised by Voxelab.

Conclusion: Should You bBuy Voxelab Aries?

Voxelab Aries is an interesting printer. It can create beautiful models with ease using the profile offered in the VoxelMaker slicer. It also features a multi-function touch screen with internal memory for wirelessly sending files to the printer.

But not everything is so great. Fan noise in particular continues to be one of the biggest problems with Voxelab printers. In addition, the supplied electronics can overheat rather quickly, which means the electronics will not last long. Finally, the printer movements are noisier compared to models that use rollers in a V-groove.

It would also be nice to have an anti-backlash nut out of the box to compensate for the weight of the table. Layer displacement issues were resolved with a firmware update.

Advanced 3D printer lovers won’t like this unit because it uses closed source firmware (which means no custom Marlin firmware). Also, the lack of a USB port for connecting to a computer will prevent you from using it with OctoPrint.

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