Direct Drive Extruder For Anycubic

Posted on  by admin

Clogged nozzles - they happen. This informative guide will help you get your 3D printer back up and running. Add a Comment | View Comments. Every so often, you might find your prints are looking stringy, sparse, and with missing layers.

If you check through our 3D printer troubleshooting guide, you'd figure out your nozzle is more than likely clogged. No worries - this guide will help you solve the issue and get you printing again in no time.

Method Three: "Cold Pull" With Nylon or Cleaning Filament

To understand a clog, it's probably best to know a few things that can cause the issue in the first place. Keeping filament sealed up and clean is a good practice to help avoid clogs.

Filament stripping in the extruder gear and the filament left in the nozzle solidifies into a plug. Dust on dirty filament forms a plug.

What Causes 3D Printer Nozzle Clogs

Something as simple as not cleaning out the nozzle after changing between materials. Disengage the extruder gear lever and push filament through by hand. If it curls, is hard to push through, or doesn’t come through at all, the nozzle is clogged.

It doesn’t take much force to get it through, so don’t press on it too hard. If you are using all the methods to unclog your nozzle below, you will need the following tools. We recommend trying them all and finding one that works best for you. Cleaning filament or nylon filament in the diameter your printer uses.

Method Two: Acupuncture Needle

Method One: Brass Wire Brushing

A brass wire brush (steel wire can damage the nozzle). Acupuncture needle. Crescent wrench. Heat gun or blowtorch. Checking the force needed to push filament through the nozzle. Using a brass wire brush, clean off any debris from the nozzle.

Make sure that you use a brass wire brush - do NOT use a steel wire brush, as it can cause damage to the nozzle. Preheat your printer to the print temperature of the last material you were printing with. Gently and carefully insert the acupuncture needle up through the nozzle.

You aren’t trying to remove the particles, just break them up so they extrude the next time you extrude filament. *Do not use on Olsson Ruby Tip Nozzles*.

Using an acupuncture needle to break up a blockage. To do a “cold pull” use Cleaning Filament or Nylon Filament in the same diameter filament that you normally print with.

Heat up the nozzle to 250°C and push the filament through the nozzle until you don’t see any of the previous filament coming out of the hotend. Cool down your extruder to room temperature to solidify the filament in the nozzle.

Set the hotend to 115°C. At 90°C, pull on the filament until it yanks out of the nozzle. This should leave the shape of the inside of your nozzle on the end of the filament.

Tools Needed to Unclog Your 3D Printer's Nozzle

You should be able to see the particle in it. Again, heat up the nozzle to 250°C and push the filament through until it comes out clean and easy. Heat up the nozzle to the print temperature of the last material you used.

Use a crescent wrench to hold onto the heater block, while you use the socket wrench to twist off the nozzle. Be careful not to touch any of the hot parts, it’s really easy to slip and burn yourself. With the nozzle removed, use chemicals to dissolve the filament and wash out the clog, or use heat to burn it out.

If your printer clogged after using ABS, simply drop it in a container of acetone and the ABS will dissolve away. There are chemicals you can use for other materials, but they tend to be more caustic or hard to find.

In those cases, a heat gun or blowtorch (using the proper safety precautions) can melt out the remaining filament. With a heat gun or blowtorch, wave the heat over the nozzle like blow drying your hair; direct heat from a blowtorch can actually melt your nozzle. Place the nozzle into acetone to remove ABS filament clogs.

Carefully using the heat gun to remove clogged filament. As you can see, there are quite a few good ways to fix a clogged nozzle.

How To Check if Your 3D Printer Nozzle is Clogged

Find the right way that works for you, and keep on printing.

Unfortunately, the heat break used by Anycubic seems to be proprietary. The cold side of the heat break is 15mm and 7mm thick which makes it quite unique.

The heat block looks somewhat similar to a V6, but it doesn’t have the same dimensions. Either way, it seems to be working just fine but don’t expect to be printing super fast with big layer lines. The nozzle looks quite similar to the Mellow NF Sharp which I really like.

Method Four: Removing the Nozzle

The Anycubic Kobra is a budget machine, so there’s no surprise that it only comes with a single Z lead screw. Fortunately, this works fine and I did not encounter any drooping issues for the right side of the gantry.

Sure, having dual Z lead screws would be better, but this increases cost, and for a small format 3D printer, the benefits are not that apparent compared to a machine with a larger print volume like the Anycubic Kobra Max. As long as you take your time during assembly, to check every v-slot wheel, and tighten them correctly, this system will work.

TriGorilla Pro A V1.0.4 32 bit board with silent stepper drivers

For the Anycubic Kobra, we get a TriGorilla Pro V1.0.4 board with an HC32F460 Cortex-M4 chip. I don’t know much about HDSC, the company which produces these chips, but a quick Google search reveals that they are one of China’s earliest IC design houses and one of the leading chip suppliers in China.

While I would have liked to see an STM chip, the chip shortage is here and printer manufacturers also have a bad time sourcing them. I just hope these chips will be well supported in Marlin and Klipper firmware.

I also need to mention that Anycubic decided to tin the wires, which is to be avoided. The solder can get crushed over time and cause an imperfect connection. So I recommend cutting the end of the wires and installing proper ferrules.

An 80mm fan acts as an intake fan for the electronics compartment, and it’s quite noisy. Sure, it moves a lot of air, but I don’t think that’s needed. Using a slower RPM fan would have made the printer a bit quieter without compromising cooling.

Maybe we’ll be able to control its speed in Klipper firmware. If not, you can easily make it quieter with a buck converter.

Anycubic LeviQ Auto Bed Leveling

As previously mentioned, the Anycubic Kobra comes with an inductive probe for bed leveling. I found this probe to work quite reliably and it doesn’t seem to be impacted by temperature.

The bed is probed in 25 points, then the mesh is saved for future use. After I probed the bed once, I didn’t have any issues with bed adhesion or the first layer consistency. Everything worked great.

What needs to be mentioned here is the fact that this LeviQ leveling technology is patented by Anycubic. To be honest, I don’t really know how this feature can be patented, because there were other companies out there that used similar leveling technologies in the past. Besides that, as far as I know, this is already open source.

Sensorless Homing

When I first homed the printer, I didn’t hear the specific end stop clicks. And after doing a quick check, I was surprised to see that there is no end stops installed and the Anycubic Kobra uses sensorless homing.

Having the sensorless homing feature enabled means that there’s no need for regular end-stops on X and Y saving a few dollars on the printer BOM while also simplifying wiring.

The homing sequence works great and I didn’t have any kind of issues with it during my review.

4.3-inch touchscreen

The included 4.3-inch touchscreen doesn’t come with any special features compared to the other printers in the Kobra line. The screen is responsive and works well but the white theme and thin fonts used are not my favorite. If you previously used the Anycubic Vyper screen, then you know what to expect.

No-name 400W 24V Power Supply

Probably to save costs, the Anycubic Kobra comes with a no-name 24V power supply. Unfortunately, there are no markings on it, so I can’t share more information about it. But considering the relatively low power draw of the machine, it should be good enough not to create any issues in the future.

Belt Tensioners

Another helpful upgrade that comes as default with the stock Anycubic Kobra is the plastic belt tensioners for both the X and Y axis.

They aren’t as fancy as the belt tensioners included on the Vyper, but the change was probably made to save costs and also to make them easier to use. On one side, this makes belt tensioning easier for users, but on the other side, it’s easy to over-tighten the belts and cause other print quality defects.

Heating time and power consumption

I tested the heating time for both hotend and heat bed and here are the results:

Hotend

  • 200C in 1 minute and 15 seconds
  • 250C in 1minute and 40 seconds

Heatbed

  • 60C in 2 minutes and 20 seconds
  • 100C in 8 minutes

Power Draw.

Idle power draw is around 15W. When the hotend and heatbed are heating up, the Anycubic Kobra draws around 260W. After it starts printing, the power draw stabilizes to around 110W.

All these measurements were taken with a Blitzwolf smart power socket which indicates the power draw, and it can also be used for remotely powering on and off the printer.

Bed Temperature Uniformity

I tested the temperature uniformity for the Anycubic Kobra bed with the FLIR Camera installed on the CAT S62 Pro. The bed has been set to 60C and I waited 2 minutes for the temperature to stabilize.

The bed temperature uniformity is not terrible, but it’s also not as good as you might find on other printers. On the top right side of the bed the registered temperature is about 5 to 7 degrees lower compared to what you get in the middle.

The PEI print surface will compensate for this and you won’t have issues when printing PLA and TPU, but for PETG/ABS/ASA you could see some corners lifting up if you print a large model.

Some bed insulation would help with this and probably solve the issue completely.

Anycubic Kobra Noise Levels

The Anycubic Kobra is a bit too noisy for my liking. The PSU fan is almost always on, and the board cooling fan is spinning too fast, contributing to the noise. Some mods can be done for the printer to be a bit quieter, but I really wish manufacturers would consider making the printers quieter. It’s not super useful to have silent stepper drivers, only to have more noise generated by the fans.

IdeaMaker and Prusa Slicer Profiles for Anycubic Kobra

During my time with the printer, I tuned IdeaMaker and Prusa Slicer profiles for the Anycubic Kobra using the tools available in the 3D Printer Calibration Guide using IdeaMaker article. These profiles are tuned for the stock printer and are available to my Patreon supporters.

As usual, the flow rate will still need to be calibrated, according to your filament.

Test prints on Anycubic Kobra

3D Benchy

As I do for most of my reviews, I printed a 3D Benchy to see what kind of print quality I get from the base Anycubic Kobra profile. The print quality is decent, but some tuning was needed for better results.

  • Material:Sunlu Grey PLA
  • Layer Height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle Temperature: 195C
  • Bed Temperature: 60C
  • Print Speed: 60 mm/s

Tiny Tugboat

I will start adding the Tiny Tugboat model to my test prints because it’s a model that prints fast and it has all kinds of intricate details that gives you some information about the print quality you can expect. This one was printed in PETG and I think it looks pretty good.

  • Material: Devil Design Pink PETG
  • Layer Height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle Temperature: 230C
  • Bed Temperature: 70C
  • Print Speed: 60 mm/s

200% Calibration Cube

I also printed a 200% calibration cube to see how clean are the corners produced by the Anycubic Kobra. Some bulging is present, but otherwise the print looks pretty great. With pressure advance/linear advance this cube can look much cleaner.

  • Material:Sunlu Grey PLA
  • Layer Height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle Temperature: 195C
  • Bed Temperature: 60C
  • Print Speed: 60 mm/s

Phil-A-Ment

I also printed my regular Phil-A-Ment model which tests overhangs and bed adhesion. The first print didn’t come out that great and the extrusion was not consistent. This was caused by improper tension on the extruder idler. After tightening the idler, the results can be seen in the second Phil print.

This one came out great and even the overhangs from the gloves look good. The 4010 radial fan does a decent job if your print settings are dialed in correctly.

  • Material:Sunlu Grey PLA
  • Layer Height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle Temperature: 195C
  • Bed Temperature: 60C
  • Print Speed: 60 mm/s

The Planetary Egg Container

To test the print accuracy of the Anycubic Kobra, I also printed The Planetary Egg Container from 3D Printing World. It’s a relatively easy print if your slicer profile is correctly tuned, and it puts to the test the capabilities of your printer. As you can see, the Kobra did really well.

  • Material:FilamentOne Glint Red PLA
  • Layer Height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle Temperature: 205C
  • Bed Temperature: 60C
  • Print Speed: 50 mm/s

MechEGG

We’re close to easter, so I printed another egg. This time, it’s the MechEGG from Bugman_140 printed in silk filament to show off any ringing or extrusion inconsistency. I’d say this is a perfect print and you can’t expect more from such a print. There is a tiny amount of ringing, but otherwise everything came out better than expected.

  • Material: Extrudr BioFusion Metallic Grey
  • Layer Height: 0.15mm
  • Nozzle Temperature: 215C
  • Bed Temperature: 60C
  • Print Speed: 40 mm/s

TPU Tugboat

The Anycubic Kobra can also print TPU without any issues. Even the tiny details of the Tugboat are printed successfully and with good detail. The bridging settings might need a bit of tuning, but considering that I printed this model at 50mm/s with the stock firmware, I’m happy with the results.

  • Material: Polymaker HFTPU
  • Layer Height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle Temperature: 215C
  • Bed Temperature: 50C
  • Print Speed: 50 mm/s

Torture Toaster

Unfortunately, I was not successful when printing the Torture Toaster. I tried this model three times, but It failed every time. All three failures were caused by the nozzle catching some part of the print, and causing a skipped step in the motor. The flow rater has been calibrated correctly, but this is where the low airflow of the 4010 radial fan shows is weakness.

When printing the small details of the Torture Toaster, the layers don’t have enough time to cool and they start to curl up. And when the nozzle moves to another part of the print, it catches onto the curled section of the print and skips steps. If a better part cooling fan is used, or this model is printed slower, I am sure it will complete successfully, but this is the stock performance you can expect.

  • Material:Sunlu Grey PLA
  • Layer Height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle Temperature: 195C
  • Bed Temperature: 60C
  • Print Speed: 50 mm/s

Flexi Fox

The Flexi Fox from Cults was printed using PETG. It was a 2 year old PETG roll so it had some moisture which can be seen on the tiny imperfections. But the model still looks good and the Kobra did a good job. Fortunately, I finished this roll so you won’t see it again in the future 😀

The Thing

Finally, The Thing was printed to check the extrusion quality, consistency, and the kind of stringing you might expect. I used ~1 mm of retraction, and it was enough for the Kobra. Overall, a really good print from a budget 3D printer.

  • Material:Sunlu Grey PLA
  • Layer Height: 0.15mm
  • Nozzle Temperature: 190C
  • Bed Temperature: 60C
  • Print Speed: 50 mm/s

Conclusions: Is the Anycubic Kobra worth it?

This isn’t hard to answer. Yes, the Anycubic Kobra is worth buying if you are looking for a relatively cheap 3D printer that works great. It’s a good purchase for a beginner and also for a more experienced user who is looking to add an extra printer to the farm.

My only concern is the part cooling fan which is a bit underpowered if you print fast, and the somewhat noisy fans used with this printer. But the price and the features you get for less than 300$ make it worthwhile.

For me, the Anycubic Kobra is the printer I will recommend as a budget machine, instead of the Creality Ender 3 V2 or Artillery Genius Pro. There is no reason to even have them on the shortlist, considering the print quality and the features you get with the Kobra.

Anycubic Kobra Rating

Specs
Ease of use
Price

Anycubic managed to create a new budget standard with the Kobra, and the rest of the manufacturers need to start bringing better features for the same price if they are looking to stay relevant in this price bracket.

Where to buy the Anycubic Kobra?

The Anycubic Kobra can be purchased from the following sites:

Anycubic
Aliexpress
Banggood
Amazon
Geekbuying – NNNAK3DPB

I recommend checking out the Discount Codes page before purchasing. I regularly update the article with discount codes for various online shops, and you might find one for this particular model.

The Anycubic Kobra was provided free of charge by Anycubic for the purpose of this review. While the article includes affiliate links, all opinions are my own.Nobody reviewed the article before it was posted, following the Review Guidelines.

Liked it?
Consider supporting 3DPrintBeginner if this content helped. You can also join Patreon for exclusive perks!