Anycubic Kobra Max Review - Large Format Printing

Anycubic Kobra Max Review – Large Format 3D Printing


The Anycubic Kobra Max is a large format FDM 3D printer that features a 400x400x450mm build volume and has been designed from the ground up to offer an uncompromising experience to the prosumer market. The Kobra Max shares many design elements with the Anycubic Vyper, but offers superior features in nearly every category. The adjustable belt tensioners on the X and Y axes, the dual threaded Z rod, 500 watt power supply, and other features make the Anycubic Kobra Max a contender for one of the best large format 3D printers on the market.

Anycubic Kobra Max Specifications:

Build Volume: 400 x 400 x 450 mm (15.7” x 15.7” x 17.7”)
Nozzle Size: 0.4mm
Bed Leveling: Anycubic LeviQ Automatic Bed Leveling Sensor (25 Point)
Material: PLA, ABS
Build Platform: Removable Carborundum Glass Plate
Connectivity: MicroSD Card
Interface: 4.3” Color Touchscreen LCD
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Accessories and assembly hardware
Accessories and assembly hardware
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

Kobra Max Review – Hardware Features

The Anycubic Kobra Max is a feature-rich 3D printer that is packed with functionality aimed squarely at the prosumer market. The extruder features an adjustable tension dual-gear filament drive as well as a filament run-out sensor. The hot end uses a 0.4mm E3D Volcano-style nozzle and has a small LED mounted underneath, which makes it easy to see parts as they are printing. The Kobra Max ships in a partially assembled state, and the hardware assembly is limited to attaching the Z axis stage to the base and connecting all the wiring terminals, which can be completed easily in under an hour.

Kobra Max during automatic bed leveling
Kobra Max during automatic bed leveling
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

Innovative LeviQ auto-leveling system

One of the most impressive features of the Kobra Max is the automatic bed leveling, done using Anycubic’s LeviQ strain gauge leveling sensor. This strain-gauge based approach works by touching down at 25 points on the bed to create a mesh that compensates for any irregularity in the print platform. I used this system to level the bed after assembling the printer, and did not need to be re-leveled or adjusted once in over 100 hours of testing. This is an impressive feat given the large volume of the Kobra Max and should be a major selling point to any users who are interested in a printer that doesn’t require manual leveling. This consistent printing experience is ideal for anyone using this printer for production: for example; this would be perfect for Etsy sellers making 10-100 parts per week.

Kobra Max - Dual Y Axis Belts
Dual Y-Axis Belts
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink
Y Adjustment for Kobra Max
Y Adjustment for Kobra Max
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

The dual Y axis belts on the Kobra Max are a feature that is not often seen on printers in this price range. The dual aluminum extrusions that run under the heated bed allow for a high level of stability during Y axis travel. By adding a second extrusion (along with pulley, belt and tensioner) on the Y axis, Anycubic has given the Kobra Max the ability to print large, heavy parts without worrying about Y axis wobble.

Z Axis Stabilizing Rods

The Kobra Max is a large format printer, and this directly translates into a large frame. The i3-style design (aluminum extrusions in an inverted T format) of the Kobra Max results in a Z axis frame that sits over 27” high from the base of the machine, which could wobble if not correctly constrained.

Z Axis Stabilizing Rods
Z-Axis Stabilizing Rods
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink
Z Axis Stabilizing Rods for Kobra Max
Z-Axis Stabilizing Rods for Kobra Max
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

The dual Z axis stabilizing rods are used to anchor the Z axis to the base of the printer and prevent it from moving or wobbling during printing. This design is well-implemented: the setup of these rods was quick and easy and they are a low-cost way to keep the frame stable while printing tall parts. In addition, a synchronization belt links both Z lead screws together to prevent the X axis from moving unevenly.

Color LCD touchscreen on the Kobra Max
Color LCD touchscreen on the Kobra Max
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

4.3” Color LCD Touchscreen

The Kobra Max uses a 4.3” color touchscreen as a primary user interface, and it is bright, responsive, and filled with useful information. During printing, the Z axis offset can be adjusted in small increments (sometimes referred to as baby-stepping), a useful feature for adjusting a print on the fly. The LCD also shows a progress indicator during printing which can be used to estimate the amount of time left on a print.

3D Printed on Kobra Max - Test Print Owl
Test Print Owl
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

3D Printing Included Test Print

The Kobra Max included a single test print on the microSD card titled ‘owl.gcode’. Printed using Fillamentum Vertigo Galaxy PLA, this model printed perfectly on the first attempt. The detail is sharp and the smooth contours of the model are consistent with no banding, which is what I would expect from a printer in this price range. The owl model itself is fairly small, measuring under 4” tall and 2” wide.

Given the large volume of this printer, a more suitable test print would be printing multiple models at various points on the bed, or a tall thin part to show off the Z axis height. I liked the quality of the printed demo, but I would have been happier with something that couldn’t also be done equally well by a small format printer.

Test Print Owl on Kobra Max Bed
Test Print Owl on Kobra Max Bed
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

Cura Slicer Settings for Kobra Max

The Kobra Max is compatible with Ultimaker Cura, a popular slicer app for 3D printers that is feature-rich enough for most users while being accessible for beginners. Anycubic shipped this Kobra Max to me before the initial release, so profiles for the printer weren’t available directly within Cura. Instead, Anycubic included these profiles on the microSD card that came with the machine.

I used the profile included with the printer to slice a few files, including the Frog model by Hairald on PrusaPrinters. The included print profile has a few quirks (such as printing infill before walls, which typically results in a deformed skin), but it’s a great place to start for this printer. The instructions included with the Kobra Max also cover the basic set-up for this printer, and I didn’t encounter any issues while preparing prints for the machine.

Toolpath preview in Cura
Toolpath preview
(Screenshot: Cura)

Cura Settings:

Layer Height: .2 mm
Wall Thickness: .4mm
Wall Line Count: 1
Infill Density: 15%
Infill Type: Grid
Print Speed: 60 mm/s
Extruder Temperature: 200° C
Build Plate Temperature: 60° C
Retraction Distance: 6.5 mm
Retraction Speed: 25 mm/s

3D Printed in PLA Frog model by Hairald
3D Printed in PLA Frog model by Hairald
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

3D Printing on the Anycubic Kobra Max

Printed using Anycubic Green PLA, the frog model printed out well at various sizes, with lots of detail visible and no real major defects. The Kobra Max ships with a 0.4mm nozzle, which is the same nozzle size as used in smaller printers such as the Sculpto PRO2. This isn’t an issue when printing small models, but printing models that take advantage of the large build volume of the Kobra Max will quickly reach the 24+ hour print time mark.

Frog models printed at various scales on the Kobra Max
Frog models printed at various scales
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

Shipping the Kobra Max with a 0.6mm (or 0.8mm) nozzle instead of a spare 0.4mm would be a quick way to reduce print time and make the printer more appealing to users interested in printing large parts quickly.

3D Printed Citadel Paint holder by Zimlorog
3D Printed Citadel Paint holder by Zimlorog
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

Printing functional parts (like the Citadel Paint holder by Zimlorog) would print much faster with these larger nozzles without sacrificing detail or quality. To learn more about how nozzle size can impact print time and quality, be sure to read our article on nozzle size settings. Alternatively, using a quick-change nozzle system like the E3D Revo would be an ideal solution to this situation.

Benchy vs Vase - Kobra Max Volume Printing
The Kobra Max is perfect for printing large models (Benchy for scale)
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

Ideal for Large Format 3D Printing

The large build volume of the Kobra Max makes it ideal for printing large parts that wouldn’t fit on a smaller printer without splitting into pieces. For example, the Curved Honeycomb Vase by eggnot scaled up to 320% fit comfortably within the build volume of the Kobra Max with room to spare. Printed at this scale, it measures nearly 15” tall and printed in just under 18 hours using the Spiralize Outer Contour setting in Cura, which prints the model as a single continuous toolpath.

Anycubic Kobra 3D Printer with a Spool Holder
Anycubic Kobra
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Will Zoobkoff

Anycubic Kobra vs. Anycubic Kobra Max

Along with the Kobra Max, Anycubic has also released a smaller 3D printer called the Kobra which features many of the same hardware features with a smaller build volume. The Kobra features a build volume of 220x220x250mm, a direct drive extruder, a single Z axis threaded rod, and has been designed to be a lower-cost alternative to the larger and more capable Kobra Max. You can read more about the Kobra in our review here.

The Anycubic Kobra Max
The Anycubic Kobra Max
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

Watch Will Zoobkoff’s Unboxing and Setup video to get a picture of what’s involved:

Conclusion

There’s no doubt about it; in our Anycubic Kobra Max review, we found that this is a no-holds-barred large format FDM 3D printer that offers ample build volume and an impressive set of features. The automatic bed leveling using the Anycubic LeviQ strain gauge sensor worked flawlessly during testing and allowed me to print edge-to-edge on the build platform with no issues, and required no adjustment between prints. With a retail price of $569, the Anycubic Kobra Max is not a small investment. However, if you need large volume, trouble-free operation, and repeatable performance, the Kobra Max is likely a good fit for you.

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Amazon
AliExpress
Official Website

Read more: Anycubic Kobra Review

The Kobra is a user-friendly 3D printer that can be set up and used in less than 30 minutes after opening the box. Let’s have a look at the machine, weigh in on the benefits and drawbacks, put some difficult filaments to the test, and see what the new Kobra’s firmware has to offer.


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