After a fair amount of frustration trying to fix the hotend/extruder on my Velleman K8200 3D printer I finally decided that I should just go ahead and buy a new printer.  I really like the K8200, it has a large build area (20 x 20 x 20 cm) and has worked reliably for 6 years.  But recently I've been having lots of problems with it.  I think it started with some bad filament.  I kept getting jams in the Delrin isolator in the extruder due to expanded filament.  I replaced the isolator but that only helped a little and then I ended up with a clogged nozzle that I couldn't manage to clear.  So, I bought a new nozzle assembly and when I tried to replace the old one I realized that filament had oozed out onto the heater and created quite a mess.  I debated whether or not to buy an upgraded extruder assembly and to fix my z-axis mechanism which was wearing out.  Decided that I should look for a new printer instead.

 

I was debating whether or not it was worth it to buy a fully enclosed unit with auto-leveling.  I found that units with an equivalent build area to the K8200 were quite expensive and some used proprietary filament and/or software.  Then along came Amazon Prime Day and I saw the AnyCubic Mega-S printer for under $300 with Prime delivery.   I was a little concerned about such a low cost Chinese printer but the reviews were generally good, so I went ahead and bought it.

 

Here's the new printer next to the K8200.  It actually has a slightly bigger build area (21 x 21 x 20.5 cm) but has a smaller footprint and is about 15 cm shorter.

AnyCubic and Velleman 3D printers

 

 

The major complaint that I've seen about this printer is that it is very noisy.  It also has loud fans in the base for the electronics.  Here's a short clip showing how noisy it is.

 

 

Here's the test print of the owl pair.  I'm satisfied with the print quality.  One concern that I have is that I now have a new tool flow.  I used to use Repetier software with a Slic3r slicer.  The recommended tool for this printer is Cura which should be fine although I haven't used it so may have a learning curve.

Owl pair test print

 

One feature that I really like is the Ultrabase bed.  It has stippled glass with a special coating that improves print adhesion when it's hot and print release when it is cools down.  Seems to work really well.  The bed has a little warp (higher in the center), so I'm not sure how well it will do with maximum size prints.

AnyCube Ultrabase surface

 

I'm currently using the SD card interface to print.  I'll be testing the USB interface with my Mac Mini shortly.  I'd like to use a Raspberry Pi with Octoprint but I've seen some reports of problems on the forums.  I'll try it after verifying the USB interface is working reliably.

 

The good news and hopefully not the bad news is that this printer came with a lot of extra stuff.

  1. 1kg spool of white filament
  2. 5 x 10m of different color filament samples (red, blue, green, yellow, beige)
  3. Spare print head assembly with filament tube
  4. 5 spare nozzles (0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.7, 0.8 mm)
  5. Spare limit switch
  6. Filament cutter
  7. Tweezers
  8. Toolkit (hex wrenches, open end wrenches, screwdriver)
  9. Nozzle cleaning rods
  10. SD card (with test print and software)
  11. USB SD card reader
  12. USB cable
  13. Print removal spatula
  14. Pair of latex gloves

 

Just hope it doesn't imply a lot of repair