Diagonal Calibration Cones Test: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4140075
In this video I receive, and unbox, and use an Anycubic 4max pro 3d printer. I chose this as I have had some past experience with the brand. I had an AnyCubic i3 Mega which was my go-to printer for quite a while. And it was a fairly successful printer which I worked consistently until some cables finally failed. I then repaired those cables, and upgraded some of its components to carry on using it for a while longer – so I’m expecting good things from this one.
The 4Make Pro is a fully enclosed printer which is supplied well packaged, with filament and tools, plus spare parts and an easy to follow manual. The print bed is 270mm along the x axis, 205mm along the y and 205mm along the z.
The homing position is to the front left of the machine and there’s several new features including a nozzle brush and an air filter within the enclosure. The setup is very simple, and you can follow the instruction provided to get it running – so I’m not going to go over this in too much detail.
After cutting any cable ties and removing all the packaging I added the filament run-out sensors and the spool holder. I then made sure the voltage was set correctly, and finally plugged and powered the machine up. It made a horrible intro noise – which if you’ve used an anycubic printer before will know that’s a feature for some reason.
I then quickly navigated the menu to check if I could turn that off – which also saves to memory so it doesn’t sound the following time you turn the machine on. I then manually levelled the bed – being extra careful to not touch the surface with my hands. It’s a shame they haven’t moved to an automatic levelling system but the process is easy enough – and again documented in the manual.
I then downloaded the latest version of Cura and set up the printer details. They have a pre-set for the 4Max which is the smaller version which I selected and changed to accommodate the differences of the 4max pro. Here are some screen captures of those details with a descriotion alongside the g-code. And for some reason I had to delete a semicolon on this line to stop the printer from crashing when moving backwards at the end of a job.
The first thing I printed once up and running, was a test cube which I downloaded from thingiverse, and that came out well and measured accurately.
That’s really impressive for a first print.
I also printed a retraction test I found online until I tweaked the settings and got the results I wanted.
I then drew up a diagonal calibration test to check the x and y axis were square. The idea with these is the measurement between opposite cones along the diagonals will be identical if the x and y axis are square. I use a similar method to check my CNC machine so it’s tried and tested – but not something I’ve seen used on 3D printers.
Ok it’s just finished so I’ll turn the light back on…
This version was a little too big to use a vernier caliper but I was able to tighten the dividers along one diagonal – and then compare to the other. This came out pretty good so I’m a happy boy. If you’d like to download a model of the diagonal calibration test, I’ll add a link to the amended file in the description below. The downloadable file will be a little smaller so the diagonal reading can be checked with a 150mm vernier caliper.
The last thing I’ll do is open the bottom of the printer, and have a quick look at the electronics to make sure it is all installed correctly. Obviously I’ll unplug the power while I do this.
The thing I don’t understand is why there’s five stepper drivers but only 4 wires? Anyway the wires look ok so I’m going to put this back.
On the anycubic i3 mega – some cables eventually broke because the bend along them towards moving parts was too tight and the constant movement back and forth wore the flex. It’s hard to see where this might happening on this machine, but there’s definitely not drag chain to prevent it.
So what are the pro’s and cons which I’ve noticed so far.
The main arguments for the printer are the larger print surface, easy to use touch screen, a convenient nozzle brush and internal air filter. You can turn off the annoying intro noise and harsh light – although the noise setting is saved to memory, but the light always turns on. The printer also has an auto off feature which shuts down the machine at the end of a job. Not that you should leave the printer unattended but if you have printed 30% you can feel confident it’ll probably make it to 100% but still, I wouldn’t leave it.
The main arguments against the machine are the light is a horrible colour and after a while began hurting my eyes, there’s no auto bed levelling which is a bit outdated now, and no removable flexible bed. Because the enclosure is made out of plastic you do get some creaking noises while everything heats but that doesn’t seem to impact the performance. It’s also hard to monitor the print as visibility is obscured and there isn’t an internal camera.
Anyway thanks again for watching – the usual links are in the description and I’ll add some more detailed images of the machine in the accompanying article.