Anycubic Mega S

Posted on  by admin
An inexpensive open-frame 3D printer, the Anycubic i3 Mega S ($269.99) has an ample build area, a sturdy metal chassis, and decent print quality for a basic filament-based machine.

It supports a variety of filament types and employs fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology. The price is attractive for those new to or wanting to experiment with 3D printing, but know that its print-bed alignment proved to be finicky in our tests, which had an impact on the print quality of at least one of our test objects.

Still, although it may involve some tinkering and a learning curve, the Mega S is easy enough to assemble and is a good choice for beginners—just make sure that youngsters don't get too close to the exposed, hot extruder. The Mega S is made by Shenzhen, China-based Anycubic, a major manufacturer of 3D printers.

A Good Starter 3D Printer

Although it has its own online store, in the US it sells chiefly through Amazon.

Some Assembly Required

The Mega S is typical of today's budget 3D printers, with an open frame and a relatively large build volume, in this case 8.1 by 8.3 by 8.3 inches (HWD).
That makes its build area larger than that of the Original Prusa Mini (7 by 7 by 7 inches), and nearly as large as the Original Prusa i3 MK3S (9.8 by 8.3 by 7.9 inches).
The price is low, a bit more than the Monoprice Mini Delta V2 3D Printer ($179.99), but the Mega S has a much larger build area.
Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions.
(Read our editorial mission.).
Before you can start printing, some minor assembly, starting by screwing the printer's frame to its base, needs to be completed.
The steps are detailed in the user manual, which comes in both a paper version and on an included SD card, which also includes one test print file and from which I launched all our test prints, using the printer's on-chassis LCD.
The main step in assembly is fastening together the two main components, the base—which includes the print platform, the LCD, various ports, and electronics—and the frame, a squared-off arch that stands astride the base and holds the extruder, the X-axis motor, and the X- and Z-axis carriages.
The last allow the extruder to move vertically and horizontally (side to side).
You fasten the base and frame together using eight screws, which you tighten with an included Allen key.
You then connect several cables (for motors and the filament detector), plugging them into their sockets according to diagrams in the user manual.
Then you fasten the filament spool holder to the side of the base using additional screws.
(The spool holder is awkwardly positioned, as its placement—especially when a spool is attached—makes it tricky to reach the USB port and, especially, the SD-card slot.).
Once you plug in the printer and turn it on, you are ready to level the printing platform.
You accomplish this by using the LCD to lower the extruder incrementally until it nearly touches the print platform.

Anycubic Vyper

(You should be able to slip an included thin card between the extruder nozzle and platform, meeting only slight resistance.) Under each corner of the platform is a knob, the turning of which raises or lowers that corner.

Monoprice Mini Delta V2 3D Printer

You move the extruder to each corner in turn, slipping the card between nozzle and platform and adjusting the knob if needed, to make sure the alignment is correct.

You then repeat the process at least once, re-checking all four corners plus the platform's center. This is an important part of the setup process, and worth doing meticulously, as we shall soon see.

Once you place a spool in the spool holder, you slice the free end of the filament at an angle and run it up into the filament sensor and into the white plastic tube that leads to the extruder.

You can get the filament to automatically feed by clicking the icons Tools > Filament > Filament In. The Mega S ships with just a small coil of filament, enough for perhaps two prints, so you will want to order a full filament spool at the time of purchase.

When sold through Amazon, the Mega S is frequently bundled with a 1-kilogram spool of polylactic acid (PLA) filament, which is how our test unit was equipped.

Anycubic sells both its printers and filament in various types: PLA, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), and polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG).

All of those filament types an be handled by the Mega S. Although we recommend that beginners stick with PLA because of its ease of use, more experienced users may want to experiment with the other filaments.

For software, Anycubic offers the open-source Cura package. Cura comes with most consumer 3D printers we have reviewed, as a download on its site.

When installing it, do not be dismayed if you do not see the Mega S in its list of supported printers. It showed up for me only after I had updated the program (when prompted by the software) twice. Cura is a full-featured suite, which lets you load, modify (move, scale, rotate, mirror, add supports), slice (cut a 3D object file into layers for printing), and save 3D files.

The Mega S handles object files in the common .STL and .OBJ formats, as well as the more obscure .DAE and .AMF file types. Standard resolution settings range from Draft (300 microns) through the default setting, Normal (200 microns), to High (100 microns). I printed eight test objects, all at the Normal resolution setting.

Dremel DigiLab 3D45 3D Printer

Their quality was mixed, ranging from below par to good, with most of them average for a lower-priced filament printer.

Although the Mega S completed the main geometric test object we use—comprising various shapes and text emerging from a steeply angled face—and did well in printing its very small type, parts of the object were warped and some of its elements misshapen.

After a close examination, I concluded that the print platform must have been slightly misaligned with one corner down, causing the object to print slightly askew. I had run through the alignment routine twice during setup, and it had appeared to be okay, but clearly it needed a little more tweaking yet.

As a rule, the greater the width and depth of an object, the more it is likely to be affected by any misalignment. If you just can't seem to get the print platform aligned perfectly, sticking to smaller objects will help mitigate any misshapenness. With a low price, a large build area, and decent print quality, the Anycubic i3 Mega S is a good choice for someone getting started in 3D printing.

The assembly is minimal and could prove to be a fun project. Youngsters should be supervised when using it, though. Due to its open frame, there is always the possibility of a burn should someone come into contact with the hot extruder. The Cura software is easy to learn and use.

That said, we've tested other low-priced 3D printers worth considering. The Monoprice Mini Delta V2 sells for less than the Mega S and put out a large number of prints with no misprints in our testing.

MakerBot Replicator+

It has a tiny build volume by comparison, though. The Editors' Choice-winning Original Prusa Mini consistently churned out high-quality prints once we got it calibrated correctly. But if you crave an even larger build area, or you'd rather not need to have your printer shipped to you from the Czech Republic, the Mega S is an appealing and cost-effective alternative.

Modestly priced. Supports a variety of filament types. Uses well-known Cura software. Finicky print-platform alignment. Poorly placed spool holder.

The Anycubic i3 Mega S, an inexpensive open-frame 3D printer, produced decent-quality prints in our testing. To get the most out of it, though, may require precise calibration. Sign up for Lab Report to get the latest reviews and top product advice delivered right to your inbox.

This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time.

Toybox 3D Printer

Your subscription has been confirmed.

Keep an eye on your inbox!

Original Prusa Mini

This printer stands out for its versatile applications. The cost of just under $300 makes it a useful product also in the home environment, as well as for professional purposes.

This is an easy-to-assemble printer. In 15 minutes after opening the box, you can be printing.

It is an intuitive printer designed for starters. It has a solid construction for durability and requires low maintenance.

Being quite fast, it achieves a quite remarkable print quality. The printer is ideal for those who need a budget-friendly machine. You can consider having five Mega-S printers, at the price of a professional one. With its production capacity, you’ll be able to set up a 3D printer farm by getting a couple of the machines.

Whether you are a maker going for production, or a 3D printing novice who wants a tool, for another hobby, this is a very attractive printer.

On the performance of the printer, we have to mention one of its nagging downsides. The fans are very noisy – they are indeed from the devil! So, it’s not optimal if you want to use it at home at night, or in a shared office. The noisiness can however be solved by scratching your pocket on some new fans and opening the guts to change them.

Creality Ender-3 V2

For the most part, the Anycubic Mega-S is an improved version of the Mega i3 with many of its design features. However, it includes some important changes.

Ultimaker S5

The 3D printer has a build volume of 210 mm by 210 mm by 205 mm. That is equivalent to around 8.3 x 8.3 x 8 inches. It consists of a rigid frame made of full metal, which is intended to improve the stability of the machine and improve precision.

Running the Test Prints

The layer resolution of the Anycubic 3D printer is 0.05 to 0.3 millimeters for greater accuracy. In addition, it produces at a printing speed of 20 to 100 millimeters per second.

The Software Experience

As for the positioning accuracy of the extruder, the Anycubic Mega-S ensures an excellent result. The dual Z-axis cutting motors provide synchronization to optimize printing accuracy and reduce the likelihood of printing errors. A strong extruder should help to achieve a better print result.

The margin of error is only 0.0125 mm on the x and y axes and does not exceed 0.002 mm on the z-axis.

The printing precision, and therefore the thickness of the individual layers that make up the final model, can vary from 0.05 to 0.3 mm. These values are influenced to a certain extent by the diameter of the extruder.

This offers the user some flexibility, allowing the use of interchangeable solutions in addition to the one supplied (0.4 mm), which reach 1.75 mm, depending on the project you are working on. These data can guarantee an extremely faithful result to the digital model in three dimensions, even for model lovers.

Original Prusa i3 MK3S+

The Anycubic Mega-S is a semi-assembled 3D printer. It takes about 15 minutes to connect all the pieces and be ready for the first print. The assembly instructions are clear and simple: everything you need to proceed is provided inside the package. Also supplied is a 1 kg spool of PLA filament, the memory card, and a second print extruder. It is also easy to use, thanks to its ease of connectivity, its display screen, and compatible software.

LulzBot Mini 2

The Anycubic Mega-S is equipped with a touchscreen that is user-friendly and can be controlled in several languages. It has a 3.5 inches TFT touch screen which is user-friendly, simple, and smooth to operate and has rich functions. On the display screen, you can make a one-touch switch from Chinese to English and vice versa.

Connectivity

The ANYCUBIC MEGA-S 3D printer can be connected via a USB port and offers space for an SD card. However, there is no option of WiFi or app connectivity, which is a shame. Nonetheless, for the price, you have to understand that these features can only be found in more premium models such as the Anycubic Photon Mono X.

With the USB port and SD card slot, you can transfer your data to the printer via a memory stick, memory card, or data cable.

Compatible software

Also concerning the flexibility in the use of different operating systems, files, and materials, the Anycubic Mega-S leaves us very satisfied. It can be used by Windows, Mac OS, and Linux users, as it works with completely free and easy-to-use software.

Connection to a computer is via USB cable, while those wishing to print directly could simply use the SD card slot. Finally, this model is not equipped with wireless connectivity and therefore does not allow remote control.

The supported file formats are various: STL, OBJ, DAE, AMF. The first two are extremely common and well known to CAD software users, the others are less popular, but can be opened with a multitude of programs.

Slicer software

The Anycubic Mega-S works with multiple slicer software. These include Cura, Smplify3D, and Repetier-HOST. As earlier mentioned, the software input formats are .STL, .OBJ, .DAE, and .AMF. The previous version, the i3 Mega notably works with Cura.

Generally speaking, Cura is the most stable and fantastic software for this printing machine, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or advanced user. It has expert and beginner options that will give you great printing profiles for your applications.

What Comes with the Purchase?

The 3D printer comes with everything you need. These include:

  • The printer itself
  • Tools
  • A manual that explains everything with photos
  • 1Kg of Anycubic PLA
  • 5 small rolls of PLA of different colors
  • Lots of spare parts

Other notable machine-specific features are its titanium extruder for more precise extrusion, color touch screen for easy work, and the filament sensor. There’s also the comprehensive starter pack and an automatic resume function against unexpected power interruptions.

What Makes It Worth Buying?

The Anycubic Mega-S is a cheap printer compared to other models, which offer the same results and have higher prices.

It also comes pre-assembled, so in less than an hour, you will be printing your favorite designs. Its calibration is very simple and it has a very intuitive manual for the user.

The device incorporates a touch screen, color, and is very sensitive. It has a filament sensor and when there is a cut in the light, it stops automatically and resumes where it left off when everything returns to normal with just one click. This feature is usually found in high-priced 3D printers.

Overall, it is a printer for the most demanding for a reasonable price. In addition, we must not forget its ultra-base bed, with which you can choose a series of specific materials.

Warranty

Like most 3D printers marketed by Anycubic and even for others that are a bit above its price range, the printer comes with a one-year warranty.

The Anycubic Mega-S comes with a manufacturer warranty of three months on the print head. There’s also a 6-month warranty on the print bed and 1 year on the rest of the components.

Price Tag

The Anycubic Mega-S is a powerful 3D printer with great value for money. For just under $300, you have a good 3D printer for your prints and designs. It’s a printer, which despite being cheap, does not disappoint. Its high-quality work and finishes will leave you satisfied.

With this quality, and for this price, this printer is very good for commercial production. Since you get very good finishes for a fraction of the price of a semi-professional (you can have 5 printers for the price of one), which is something to consider for production capacity.

PROSCONS
  • It comes configured, calibrated, and nearly assembled
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • PLA included
  • Easy to modify
  • High-speed and accurate printing
  • It is not the quietest printer
  • No WiFi or app connectivity

Conclusion

The Anycubic Mega-S printer is an entry-level printer that is very popular among users. This is thanks to its very high accuracy, with an error margin of only 0.0125 mm on the x and y axes, and 0,002 mm on the z-axis. This model is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, can support STL, OBJ, DAE, and AMF files, and works with Cura, Smplify3D, and Repetier-Host.

However, as we mentioned in the Anycubic Mega-S review, connection to a computer can only be done via USB cable, as the Anycubic Mega-S is not equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity. The usable materials are different, from ABS to HIPS, to PLA, up to composite materials with wood fibers.

We recommend this model to those looking for an entry-level device without compromising much on the final print quality. Those looking for more complete products, probably with WiFi and app connectivity and for larger commercial and professional production, should instead look at higher-end models like the Anycubic Photon Mono X.