Anycubic Mega Zero Leveling

Posted on  by admin
I'll start by saying that I have a background in high-precision technical trades. I have worked with 3D printers in the past, but didn't own one personally until purchasing this model, the Mega Pro. I settled on this model as it has several quality of life features and appeared to have a robust build quality. My intent for this printer has been to learn and refine baseline skills, dial it in so as to produce consistent results, and then look forward towards upgrades or a more performance-centric platform.
Overall, the initial impression of the build quality was solid. There was no worry that it would rattle itself to pieces, as the frame is stout and is assembled from two primary pieces. That said, the experiences I've had following assembly have been very concerning - I will not be purchasing again from Anycubic.
In terms of work-space management, I am not impressed. The SD card slot and cable port are positioned on the right side of the printer, in the front. This is also where the arm to hold the filament is mounted by default, meaning your filament spool will sit in front of both of the communication ports. You can maneuver the cable under the spool but it feels like a half-measure, at best. The power port is positioned on the left side of the machine, in the back. Although not a function-critical issue, it is indicative of sloppy design.
3D printing can get messy and produce all sorts of scrap pieces and clutter, and as such, is often a high-maintenance process. When the inherent design of a tool makes work-flow, space management and standard upkeep a *more* tedious process, be wary. These oversights have left me wondering if anyone bothered to put the design through it's paces before releasing it for sale. I cannot stress this enough, the company producing the tools you use should *always* be thoughtful of *how* the tools are used, not just trying to fulfill a feature checklist.
Moving on to functionality, where my machine has fell flat in a very hard way...
For those of you who are still relatively new to 3D printing, one of the first techniques you should learn is how to properly calibrate your new tool. Make no mistake, whether your printer is part of your career, hobby or otherwise, it functions as a tool to meet those ends. Precision is the name of the game, and consistent results will always be based on consistent calibration techniques.
Bed leveling is at the top of the calibration list. Leveling the bed with the included sensor has been unreliable - it will get you close, but it won't get you there all the way. You'll still need to make manual adjustments with the leveling knobs. The feel of the knobs has been inconsistent. Two of them feel firm in their response and instill confidence in feathered adjustments. Unfortunately, the other two are loose and sloppy. Normally this would be a small quibble, but it turns out that another design oversight rears it's head here! On my machine, the natural resting place of the Y-axis cables is in the direct line of fire of one of the leveling knobs. It is completely feasible for the print bed to move across these cables, and for a loose leveling knob to be moved by them. I'll let you guess how I know this.
To Anycubic's credit, the print bed with this machine has been a pleasant experience in terms of adhesion and consistency. I've had to do little to prepare between prints. Clearing the bed of waste material and wiping off any oils from my hands is about all that's necessary. Be careful when using the included scraper tool to keep the beveled edge facing up; it's not hard to etch some new marks into the textured surface.
The hot end has been a bit of a hit and miss experience. I have not had any clogging issues with the extruder, which has been a relief, but the fans mounted within the print head itself have been unsettling at best. There is some sort of unholy amalgam of rattles, vibrations and cries for mercy that have developed in the short time I've had the printer. Noise isn't the worst issue for me, though...
This leads me to why my machine has a single star review - my printer has failed to complete all but a handful of relatively quick prints for a couple of weeks now. When the prints fail, I will find the nozzle pressed into the print. The point of failure has been inconsistent in terms of print head position and print time. I have no clear indications why these prints have failed, aside from a "hotend finished" message on the display.
Incomplete prints are not the worst part of this repeat issue; the biggest concern is that I will find the print bed and nozzle temperatures maintained at their print settings indefinitely, despite the failed print and "hotend finished" message on the display.
Let me say this again :
The printer has failed to complete it's job and will display a message stating the heating stage is finished
BUT
WILL REMAIN HEATED, INDEFINITELY, until I order the machine to abort the print or pull the power.
For reference: printer firmware is updated and operated via included Cura software (updated to 4.10 as of writing this review) from a dedicated laptop. The environment is temperature controlled. I have rebuilt the print head with the spare hot end that was included but still have not found success with this issue. In terms of troubleshooting, the next thing I'll check is the soldering. There are numerous reports of poor soldering leading to resistance (overheating) issues that can lead to similar failed print scenarios. If and when I have something meaningful to review in terms of technical support, I will update this review.
As far as I am concerned, this printer has now become a fire hazard. Does Amazon have a fire hazard category? It should. For this printer. This printer is a fire hazard.