Anycubic Kobra Max 3D Printer Review

3D printer manufacturer Anycubic recently released two new printers: the Anycubic Kobra and its bigger, badder uncle, the Anycubic Kobra Max. We were interested in testing both products in our search for the best entry-level 3D printers. We’re looking for ease of use and affordability, as well as build and print quality.

We’ve published some Anycubic 3D printer reviews – for both FDM printers like the Anycubic Vyper that print with spools of filament and SLA resin 3D printers like the Anycubic Photon Mono X 6K which use a liquid resin as raw material – and we can say that the Kobra Max has quickly become one of our favorites.

Features of the Anycubic Kobra Max 3D Printer

The most obvious feature of this printer is its size. It’s absolutely huge. That means you can print huge items in one piece. Think of a full helmet or a full ukulele – these are things you wouldn’t be able to print in one piece on a full size 3D printer. Really, the word “Max” doesn’t adequately reflect how big this printer is. Good luck placing the packaging in your waste or recycling bins!

We were skeptical that a Cartesian printer of this size (which relies on a movable print bed) would perform well because it has a lot of weight to move. Granted, it’s not the fastest printer out there because of those design trade-offs, but it works great.

The Kobra Max has an impressive list of tech specs:

  • Leveling: Automatic, 25 points leveling using the Anycubic Leviq technology
  • Panel Area: 7.95 in² / 51.3 cm²
  • Filament Loss Detection: Support
  • Printing Material: PLA / ABS / PETG & TPU
  • Mouthpiece size: ø 0.4 mm (replaceable)
  • Nozzle Temperature: ≤ 500°F / 260°C
  • Warm Bed Temperature: ≤ 194 °F / 90 °C
  • Average speed: 3.1 – 3.9 in/s (80 mm/s – 100 m/s)
  • Control panel: 4.3 inch LCD touch screen
  • Z axis: double threaded rod
  • Print size: 17.7 x 15.7 x 15.7 in / 45 x 40 x 40 cm (HWD)
  • Build volume: 19.02 gal. / 72.0 L
  • Machine dimensions: 72 x 71.5 x 66.5 cm

As far as we can tell, the extruder is identical to the extruder and printhead on the Anycubic Vyper. Furthermore, the Kobra Max has the same automatic bed-leveling system as the Vyper. The system uses a pressure sensor instead of an inductive sensor.

The bed level sensor is located directly on the nozzle itself, allowing it to examine every printable area of ​​the bed. And since the sensor is pressure based, you can replace the glass bed with any other material and the bed leveling system will continue to work. (Inductive sensors require metal to work, so you won’t find them on glass-bed printers.)

Because the Kobra Max’s print platform is a rigid glass plate, you can’t remove it and bend it to get your prints off. We prefer removable spring steel baseplates, but glass is still a nice printing surface. If your printer doesn’t have a removable bed, glass is ideal as you can use metal scrapers to remove your prints without worrying about scratching the surface.

The LCD touchscreen is identical to the screens used on many other Anycubic printers.
As usual it is responsive and easy to use.

A note about filament types: the Kobra Max will print with PLA, PETG, TPU and ABS. However, if you really want to print with ABS and get the best possible results, the printer needs to be housed in an enclosure. Given its size, it can be a challenge to build a suitable housing for the Kobra Max.

Assembling the Kobra Max 3D printer

When assembling the new Kobra Max, make sure you have enough working space. Since the bed moves forwards and backwards, you need more space than you might think. We put it on a 30″ folding table and when it prints it will need about 36″ front to back.

Mounting the Kobra Max is no more difficult than mounting the Kobra or Vyper. The only extra items are the diagonal braces that add rigidity to the frame, reducing mechanical vibrations.

It took two people about 15 minutes to assemble. Double-check that you have cut all of the zip ties that were used to stabilize the printer during shipping. There are many.

Calibration

The auto bed leveling system is easy to use. Anycubic recommends checking the x and y axes to make sure they don’t wobble. If so, you can adjust the eccentric nuts until the wobbling stops. Our printer didn’t wobble, so we didn’t have to do anything.

In addition, the x and y axes have belt tensioners. We had to tighten up the x-axis on ours a bit. The tensioners are easy to use and have features that many other printers lack. Who wants to take the extruder unit apart to tighten the tires? We don’t, and you probably don’t either.

Build quality of the Kobra Max

The addition of the diagonal braces makes the frame really stiff. The twin z-axis propellers are an improvement over the smaller Kobra. They virtually eliminated the sagging of the x-axis structure.

The spool holder is located on the base of the printer, reducing wobbling when printing tall items. Better than having the coil on top like the Kobra.

This printer is built with aluminum extrusions with aesthetically pleasing plastic covers for the hotend and tensioners. It has an optical z-end stop. The x and y end stops are mechanical. The whole feels solid.

First print

For the first print, we used Anycubic’s test file. Appropriately, the owl is about double the print volume of the owl test print that comes with the smaller Kobra. Given the bowden setup (which makes sense for a printer of this size), we were surprised that the ears on the owl turned out so well.

The ears look better than on the owl printed on the Kobra which has a direct drive extruder system. We suspect this is due to the slower print speed. Often times, retractions on bowden extruders will create artifacts, but we didn’t notice any blobs or stringing. It approaches the quality you would expect from a direct drive.

We then printed a vase with a large, flat base with a layer height of 0.2 mm. Removing prints from the glass bed is certainly not as easy as removing prints from smaller, flexible beds, but it’s not a deal breaker either. We had no bonding problems. The prints did not release as the glass bed cooled, which we expected and hoped.

Wondering what the power requirements would be for a printer of this size, we were concerned that we wouldn’t be able to run multiple printers on the same circuit. We measured the power consumption while the Kobra Max was printing and, as expected, the power consumption is highest while the printer is warming up. Ours came out at 473 watts. During printing it was a more manageable 200-300 watts. We thought it would be more than that. You could probably run three of these printers on a 20 amp circuit.

Cut to the chase

To drive home how big the Kobra Max is, we put the Kobra on the bed of the Kobra Max. Disturbed. (We recommend that you do not try this.)

A small printer is restrictive, so if you find yourself printing large objects into small pieces and putting them together, consider getting a Kobra Max. If you’re new to 3D printing, keep in mind that it takes a long time to print large objects — possibly days and days. We’d normally recommend a smaller printer for beginners, but at the price of $569 if you buy it on the Anycubic site, it’s worth considering as an entry-level printer.

One drawback is that smaller prints take a little longer than on a smaller, faster printer. That’s just physics. Larger printers have more slowness to overcome and take longer to move. For example, the printing time of our vase was thirteen hours. On our Prusa MK 2.5 with similar settings, it would have taken about twelve hours – not a huge difference.

Buy the Anycubic Kobra Max on AmazonAliExpressor the Anycubic website

*Special thanks to Former Lurker for help reviewing AnyCubic’s Kobra Max 3D printer.

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