My first 3D printer was a Prusa i3 clone, which I got as a kit, installed and made some changes to reduce noise. It proven to be full of problems. I could never print ABS with it, there were consistent extrusion problems. The glass bed and glue for adhesion took a while to get going, was time consuming and dirty. Some of the 3D printed extruder parts were constantly failing and I had to print replacements. Getting frustrated, I decided to try a new one, considering prices have dropped and quality has improved.
Anycubic i3 mega
Meet the Anycubic i3 mega, which I had for about 9 months. You can grab one from Amazon.de paying the same low price and helping support my website (Disclaimer!). Also consider the i3 mega S, the newer improved version.
There is no point in making a full review, there are plenty online. So here are the pros and cons i found.
- Prints much better.
- The ultrabase is light years ahead of glass and glue or tape. Almost perfect adhesion with zero effort.
- Custom made metal parts are far superior to 3d printed ones on my older model.
- Almost assembled, meant minutes to first print instead of many, many hours.
- Nicely hidden cables.
- Solid, metal built.
- Touch LCD is far superior to the 4 line LCD, even if it uses cheap rezistive touch.
- I could print ABS, PLA, PETG and TPU (slow) out of the box, others should work but did not try.
- Full size SD card, not microSD.
- It is loud.
- Airflow is not optimised, fans are partially blocked.
Fixing the noise
There are some things I did to fix the noise of the printer
- Use TMC2208 stepper drivers. Grab them here.
- Cut the metal grid of the power supply fan to improve flow.
- Use a larger fan to ventilate the controller board. (Actually this was not intended, but the old one disintegrated due to a misbehaved screwdriver).
- Replace the extruder cover with the honeycomb one which uses a larger and quieter fan.
To 3D printer manufacturers
Please make the printer in a quiet version or, better yet make them quiet from the start. Not everyone has a shed in the garden to keep the printer, some of us use it in our home and most are noisy enough to disturb others or sleep. You can use the various TMC drivers and larger and slower rotating fans.
My old printer started as a mess of wires. And ended like a pile of scrap parts. Any ideas on how to reuse them?
I am very happy with the now modified Anycubic i3 mega. It is quiet and prints well. The Ultrabase bed gives good adhesion without effort, I just print what i need and it sticks until it’s cooled.