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Anycubic Kobra Max review: we like big prints and we can not lie

The Anycubic Kobra Max will tick many boxes for fans of 3D printing which are fed up with splitting larger models into sections. However, its sheer size could possibly be difficult for most users who might battle to think it is a permanent home.

Pros

  • +

    Huge built capacity

  • +

    Accurate automatic bed leveling

  • +

    Self-releasing glass print bed

Cons

  • Occupies lots of space

  • Doesnt include larger nozzles

  • Large size means it prints slowly

Key specs

Printing technology: FDM

Build volume: 17.7 x 15.7 x 15.7 inches / 450 x 400 x 400 mm

Print resolution: 0.05 mm – 0.3 mm

Positioning accuracy: X/Y 0.0125 mm; Z 0.002 mm

Extruder number: Single; Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm (can support 0.6 mm)

Print speed: 20 – 100 mm/s (recommended 80 mm/s)

Operational nozzle temperature: 500 F / 260 C

Operational hot bed temperature: 194 F / 90 C

Connection mode: SDCARD; USB cable

Machine size: 28.3 x 28.1 x 26.2 inches / 720 x 715 x 665 mm

Weight: ~16 kg

The Anycubic Kobra Max is really a large-capacity FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printer that needs to be on the radar of individuals who are fed up with needing to split models into sections to print on smaller machines because of its massive 450 x 400 x 400 mm build capacity. Large 3D printers arent exactly a fresh concept, however, its only fairly recently that machines of the size have grown to be available as a hobbyist or general consumer product instead of those reserved for used in larger businesses.

As the size of the machines obviously brings some advantages with regards to the capacity of the models which can be printed, in addition they need you to have sufficient space to create them up. Actually, the only real location we found suitable to create the printer during our testing was on the household dining table, because the foot of the machine was too big to match onto a traditional-sized desk. If you don’t want a 3D printer to become permanent fixture of said table, you’ll probably need to ensure that you have sufficient room to create the Anycubic Kobra Max before you get it.

Obvious gripes using its sizing aside, it is a fantastic 3D printer that will be a perfect purchase for cosplayers, prop makers, and anyone thinking about making large capacity models that could battle to fit on an inferior printer. As there is no requirement to slice up larger models before loading them in to the printer, it might also be said that is likely to be a less strenuous experience for folks not used to the hobby since it will require one to have less software knowledge and experience.

When it comes to quality, speed, along with other features beyond sheer print capacity, the Anycubic Kobra Max is simple to create, a joy to use, and intensely user-friendly its one of the best 3D printers around. There are some small complaints which may be found by people that have more 3D printing experience, like the decision never to include larger nozzles and the slower speed which the machine must operate (again, a victim of its size), but overall it is a fantastic product offering you have the area for this.

It is also worth noting that alongside the Max, there are many other printers in the Kobra range – the Anycubic Kobra (opens in new tab) and Anycubic Kobra Plus both offer smaller, cheaper alternatives to the Max, as the newly released Anycubic Kobra Go is really a DIY printer that provides excellent printing at a budget price, unless you mind building it yourself.

Anycubic Kobra Max review: Design & set-up

Anycubic Kobra Max Extruder

(Image credit: Future)
  • An easy task to create
  • Includes all required assembly equipment

Most consumer FDM printers share a familiar design as its simpler to ship, and the Anycubic Kobra Max is not any different. It includes a heated nozzle that squeezes a melted polymer-based filament in 2D layers across a build platform that may eventually fuse together and build your model from the build plate up. This specific model also offers a striking resemblance to the Anycubic Vyper (opens in new tab), an inferior FDM printer from exactly the same manufacturer, though it really is noticeably larger.

The printer comes partially assembled and flat packed inside a box, filled with some free accessories (a USB-A flash drive and a plastic scraper) and all of the tools that you’ll require to put together the device. Accompanying instructions claim that assembly ought to be done by two individuals due to its size, nonetheless it can be done to assemble the machine on your own in a pinch. It took around around 30 minutes to totally assemble the printer and obtain it operational, so, theoretically, it is possible to go from the flat-packed box to your first print in a hour if youre pretty quickly.

Anycubic Kobra Max label

(Image credit: Future)

The instructions provided to put together the printer were incredibly clear and written in fluent English, as its sometimes a risk that printers from Chinese-based regions will come with poorly translated instructions. I’ve never found this to function as case with Anycubic, plus they also provide an electronic PDF of the assembly instructions on the flash drive provided.

It ought to be noted that you cant place the Anycubic Kobra Max flush against a wall as the bed moves forward and backward during printing, so youll need space behind the printer so that it can move. This means, unlike smaller FDM printers, you can’t have this sitting on a normal desk or cabinet. We did discover that a typical-sized kitchen worktop provides a lot of space, as does a four-seater table, so it is not impossible to help keep the printer inside a home environment, however, it might be best stored in a garage or workshop.

Anycubic Kobra Max review: Specs & features

Anycubic Kobra Max ports

(Image credit: Future)
  • Reliable automatic leveling system
  • Glass hot plate for self-releasing prints

As the main feature of the Kobra Max is without a doubt its generous build capacity, it doesn’t mean it generally does not also have various other interesting features worth mentioning. Automatic bed leveling is becoming commonplace recently, but we’re still routinely impressed by the grade of the Anycubic leviQ system. It’s incredibly an easy task to create, only requiring one to navigate through the easy-to-use control panel, enabling you to completely level the build bowl of the printer with the single press of a button.

Automatic bed leveling eliminates the majority of the complexity and frustration connected with establishing a brand-new printer, causeing this to be a perfect choice not only for seasoned professionals but additionally newbies to the 3D building hobby.

A thing that is more unique to the 3D printer may be the material of the build plate. Where previous build plates featured on Anycubic printers have already been created from a flexible magnetic PEI Flexplate sheet which can be easily removed and peeled from your finished prints, the build plate on the Kobra Max is manufactured out of borosilicate glass covered in Anycubic’s proprietary Ultrabase texture which becomes ‘sticky’ when warm.

Anycubic Kobra Max print bed

(Image credit: Future)

This, theoretically, implies that your prints will adhere firmly to the build plate through the printing process and after the build plate has completely cooled off will release themselves. We say theoretically because this feature actually garnered rather mixed results.

The self-releasing quality certainly worked also it was actually rather alarming sometimes to get that completed prints could actually be taken off the build plate after trying to cool off as though that they had been previously peeled away, however the sticky quality of the glass sheet was a persistent and frustrating disappointed of what must have been a satisfying printing experience.

Luckily, there’s an inexpensive and easy treatment for fix this. A typical PVA glue stick could be swiped over the surface of the glass build plate, which we found provided the required sticky quality necessary for the models to properly stick to the build plate itself. This solution could also be used across other FDM printers that could encounter an identical issue with build plate adhesion. As PVA glue sticks are water soluble, that is also a straightforward cleanup as all that’s needed is is really a warm, damp cloth.

Other downsides included this textured surface was much harder to completely clean, often leaving hook residue even with cleaning with isopropanol alcohol and acetone, and that on the rare occasion the completed model didn’t release itself, it felt riskier to use forcibly removing it as you may risk breaking the fragile build plate.

Anycubic Kobra Max review: Print quality & speed

Anycubic Kobra Max side view

(Image credit: Future)
  • Doesnt ship with 0.6mm hotend
  • Slower speeds because of large size

The default printing settings for the AnyCubic Kobra Max are fine, though we did notice some excessive stringing. These can simply be adjusted within the slicing software, but that may catch out anyone who’s unfamiliar with making these tweaks. The standard of the models made out of the default settings tend to be more than ample for projects which will require some post-production work anyway, such as for example cosplay props or prototyping. This at the very least means that you are not obligated to help make the adjustments to the printing settings, although this might be considered a valuable learning experience for anybody not used to the hobby.

An unavoidable negative to printing at this type of large scale and on this type of big machine is your projects inevitably take longer to perform, which is a thing that you should remember if you’re seeking to scale up a preexisting model to a much bigger size.

We attempted the out-of-box quality of the Kobra Max by printing this stunning Lithophane Moon Lamp (opens in new tab). Despite several comments from other users experiencing print failure near the top of the model because the print lines become increasingly sloped and close nit, the only real failures that people experienced were because of the addition of the build plate, rather than through the printing process itself. Once a light layer of glue have been put on the build plate, we could actually print the moon lamp without trouble sufficient reason for no issues.

Anycubic Kobra Max lithography moon start

(Image credit: Future)

The moon lamp took over 53 hours to print after being scaled up, and in this current financial state it’s worth mentioning that the Kobra Max includes a peak power draw of 500 watts, which means this isn’t probably the most budget-friendly printer to create and run. Still, large printers need a lot of capacity to operate, so we can not exactly fault the device itself for an inescapable limitation.

We earlier mentioned size as both an upside and a downside to the Anycubic Kobra Max, but one of them can be the weight of the printer. Its quite heavy so its a headache to relocate or move in the event you have to, but its size does mean that the extruder itself can’t move as quickly as an inferior machine can. It is possible to raise the print speeds within the slicing software of one’s choice, however pushing this too much you could end up a poor-quality print and lack of fine details because of ghosting or ringing.

The Anycubic Kobra Max ships with a 0.4 mm Volcano hotend, the typical size nozzle for FDM 3D printers. While we are able to attest that does an excellent job and produces high-quality prints, the sheer size of the printer implies that it might also accommodate a 0.6 mm nozzle. Although these larger nozzles are less perfect for fine detail, they are able to help reduce the print time of larger models since it includes a 50% wider line width which may improve rigidity and print speed, and at a big enough size most models wouldn’t visit a loss at length.

It had been slightly disappointing to note that the printer didn’t include larger nozzles alongside the typical size, so we suggest separately purchasing a few in the event that you were thinking about purchasing the Anycubic Kobra Max.

Anycubic Kobra Max review: Price & Warranty

The Anycubic Kobra Max retails for about $570/540 and can be acquired to get almost globally (check the Anycubic website (opens in new tab) for regional restrictions). It is possible to either purchase it directly via Anycubic or by way of a third-party retailer such as for example Amazon. Weve seen the cost of the Kobra Max drop around seasonal sales, so that you can likely snap one up at a discounted rate if youre patient and monitor listings.

For the size and the features, the Kobra Max feels affordable, so while its a pricey purchase we certainly dont think youre wasting your cash should you choose decide to make the leap. Wed also prefer to explain that the warranty period for your Kobra series from Anycubic is 12 months.

In the event you choose the Anycubic Kobra Max?

Anycubic Kobra Max end caps

(Image credit: Future)

Its getting harder to examine 3D printers nowadays due to how few negatives you can find, and the Anycubic Kobra Max is not any exception. The printer is with the capacity of outstanding quality once you gain some experience with how exactly to tweak it, and its own large size helps it be ideal for individuals who either print large batches of products for your small business, or people that want to create large models and dislike needing to split said models into pieces to print separately and reassemble.

It’s with the capacity of printing a whole adult-sized Stormtrooper cosplay helmet without trouble for instance, with really the only negatives being just how long which will take (3-5 days based on quality and nozzle size) and the energy consumption necessary to operate the printer for that long. It could have already been nice to visit a larger 0.6 mm hotend included given its size, nevertheless, you can purchase these being an aftermarket purchase.

If youre a cosplayer with a lot of space, the Anycubic Kobra Max may be the ideal printer to check your hobby, and certainly among the best 3D printers in the marketplace right now. Make sure to check up on the build plate adhesion soon after starting a print and keep a glue stick handy in the event of emergencies.

If this 3D printer isn’t right for you personally?

As the Anycubic Kobra isn’t probably the most expensive FDM printer weve seen, you can find certainly less expensive possibilities if youre with limited funds. The Creality Ender 5 Plus (opens in new tab) is really a rival offering of an identical size with a build capacity of 350 x 350 x 400 mm which retails for $579, and Anycubics own Vyper (opens in new tab)(which as stated, includes a striking resemblance to the Kobra Max) supplies a much smaller build level of 245 245 260 mm and costs just $359.

Or, in the event that you fancy trying your hand at dealing with resin, then your Anycubic Photon Mono X 6K is the greatest all-round resin 3D printer. Not merely does it look great, but its also simple to use and kicks out great prints too, though it could be a bit noisy.

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Jess is really a freelance writer for Space.com, and in addition serves as TechRadar’s Computing writer (@Zombie_Wretchon Twitter), where she covers all areas of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She’s been interviewed being an industry expert for the BBC, even though her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her real love is in tech and she’s built numerous desktop computers during the last 10 years for gaming and article marketing. She also loves to dabble in digital art and 3D printing, and will often be found doing offers of both Video and Tabletop variety, occasionally streaming to the disappointment of everybody.

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