I’ve been getting a few 3D Printers sent to me and I’ve quickly realised I need a way of listing these in some kind sensible order – taking into account cost, assembly, ease of use, build quality and features. So here is the list – 1 is at the top.
Anycubic 4Max Pro / https://youtu.be/E2zX6Z-WVgo /
Pros: 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 at start up. The printer also has an auto off feature which shuts down the machine at the end of a job. Enclosed printer makes printing feel safer and there is also a filament sensor.
Cons: The light is a horrible colour, and there is no auto bed levelling or flexible bed like competitors. It is hard to monitor the print as visibility is obscured.
Prusa Mini+ / https://youtu.be/Zee6GDZ9ZEo /
Pros: Competitively priced, very good print quality, easy to use and assemble, bed levelling works well, first layer wizard is helpful, magnetic flexible print surface with great adhesion, made from higher quality parts, newer slicer software is good.
Cons: Build quality could be more rigid, fixings methods between X-Z and Y axis use M3 threads which can be damaged if over-tightened, prints are easily skewed if X and Y axis are not properly squared, no skew compensation in firmware calibration.
Anycubic i3 Mega / https://youtu.be/-ZlAcRJ8QGg /
Pros: Solid steel construction, two part assembly, great ultrabase build table, free 1kg spool of PLA in box, filament sensor, electronics are enclosed in base but easy to access, on/off switch, small footprint. All belts are accessible, and z axis uses rigid couplers and two limits on either side.
Cons: Uses three linear bearings instead of four to hold hotbed, price is higher than some other DIY versions. Fan inside body is noisy when turned on but seems to quieten down after a while. Start-up beeping sounds like the circus just came to town.
Tevo Little Monster / https://youtu.be/DwAjnfK7l2s /
Pros: Quick and easy to assemble, fast printing due to delta design, large build volume, assisted bed levelling with probe, touchscreen, rigid onboard spool holder, real-time print speed adjustment using touchscreen,
Cons: No manual bed levelling or fine adjustment of bed level, no filament sensor, auto bed level didn’t work from touch screen – had to be completed manually through terminal. SSR failed and resulted in bed heating to 160 Celsius – no failsafe built into electronics. Wiring is messy.
JGAurora A3S / https://youtu.be/VqrIyoDTmaQ /
Pros: Quick and easy to assemble, super quiet, assisted bed levelling, colourful touchscreen, rigid onboard spool holder, filament sensor built into extruder, real-time print speed adjustment using touchscreen and the start-up beep is quiet.
Cons: Bed levelling knobs are very close to main body of machine, which makes it hard to reach and adjust, no auto bed level sensor but I don’t think it needs it. Wifi doesn’t seem to work. PSU is external and without fan. Extruder is fixed to metal frame which means PTFE tube is longer effecting retraction.
JGaurora A5 / https://youtu.be/RTkYKlWWRPo /
Pros: Large bed. PSU is internal. Quick and easy to assemble. Super quiet. Assisted bed levelling. Colourful touch screen. Rigid onboard spool holder. Filament sensor built into extruder. Real Time Print Speed Adjustability. Start-up beep is quiet.
Cons: Bed levelling knobs are very close to main body of machine, which makes it hard to reach and adjust. Stepper Drivers were not set to correct voltage when sent. No auto bed level sensor but I don’t think it needs it. Wifi doesn’t seem to work. Difficult to open up.
Tevo Tarantula / https://youtu.be/UrfSWJJCB3s /
Pros: Adaptable DIY build, good first printer to learn assembly, v-wheels are quieter than linear bearings, large maker community to help fill in blanks, heat bed has insulation underneath which is convenient closest part is acrylic.
Cons: Build process is time consuming, you need to be patient to build this, wiring is really messy and annoying, large community of users can make accessing information confusing, needs a lot of upgrading such as adjustable triggers for limits, exposed PSU and no on/off switch, manual has errors in procedure.
Anet E10 / https://youtu.be/mTbC4h8Avkg /
Pros: Quick and easy build, large print bed, enclosed electronics.
Cons: Hot-end takes time to heat up, display times out while bed levelling, electronics looks like standard stuff with Anet A8, uses micro SD card, linear bearings don’t support hot-bed mounting metal from extremities.
Anet A8 / https://youtu.be/cFKPWOUGScY /
Pros: Nice build process, easier to build than Tevo Tarantula, classic design, super cheap.
Cons: Plastic is flexible, electronics let it down, hotbed wiring risk shorting, exposed PSU, no on/off switch, need considerable upgrading, doesn’t come with manual so you’ll need to rely on secondary user generate sources.