Construction volume: 300x300x350mm
Memory: SD card
mouthpiece size: 0.4mm
Low height: 0.05-0.30mm
Bed: Carborundum glass
Materials: PLA, PETG, ASA, ABS, Flex
AnyCubic is known for its solid, well-priced machines, with the Kobra series the company’s latest release. As with previous AnyCubic 3D printers, the build and design are solid and the approach is simple, solid, reliable and usable.
There are no great upgrade options or the ability to swap and change parts; although the nozzle can be replaced, this is a simple, high-quality 3D printer.
The range is well priced and follows the same design aesthetic throughout, with only marginal changes depending on size. Ease of use is the main theme here, with the solidly built and easy-to-navigate LCD touchscreen, making the AnyCubic Kobra ideal for beginners and advanced users alike.
The Kobra Plus has one of the largest print platforms of any of the fused filament printers of this size we’ve looked at. The Kobra Plus has a lot to live up to, following on from AnyCubic’s previous solid performing FFF 3D printers, and the fact that it’s a bit more expensive than many of its large-scale rivals also means it has a lot to do to prove its worth. .
The AnyCubic Kobra Plus is the largest 3D printer in the Kobra range. It features a massive 400x400x450mm print platform that allows you to produce models much larger than most other 3D printers in this price range, such as the Mingda Magician Plus 320x320x400mm.
Using plastic in the construction of 3D printers, AnyCubic has played it safe with mass-produced injection molded parts, mixed with a metal structure that provides a solid printing base.
When the printer arrives, it is relatively quick to set up; the size and weight make it a bit tricky though, especially when screwing into the vertical frame. Some builders may require an extra pair of hands.
Once the main vertical is installed, the jumper wires can be connected and the machine can be turned on. As with most machines, there is a quick calibration process and a few test prints will show any adjustments needed to fine-tune the first prints. We found that there was a need to refine the Z-axis, and probably because of the ambient heat in the workshop at this time, the retraction and PLA material settings were also adjusted.
When it comes to design, the filament reel is mounted on the side of the machine meaning the machine takes up quite a bit of counter space, and there is no option to mount the reel from above – unless you have a custom print makes mounting that you design yourself.
The socket and switch are neatly tucked away on the side behind the filament reel holder, which helps to keep everything tidy.
One design issue was the amount of space the printer takes up. It is large in height, width and depth. The filament reel extends the width and then the depth is increased by a stepper motor sticking out at the back and the belt tensioner at the front and another at the side.
Once enough space was found for the printer, the initial setup was complete and a few test prints were run through the system, and the early signs were encouraging.
The Kobra Plus is physically large as a machine and in platform size with a built area of 300 x 300 x 350 mm. The physical dimensions of the machine are 605 x 560 x 546 mm, which also makes it one of the largest machines of its kind, weighing 11 kg, which is about average.
AnyCubic has also packed in advanced features that would not exist on a printer at this price until recently. These include a twin screw motor that provides precise movement through the Z-axis, AnyCubic LeviQ, a smart automatic leveling system and filament run-up detection that pauses printing if the filament ends or breaks during the printing process.
In addition to the advanced features, the Kobra Plus offers a 0.4mm mouthpiece, and this mouthpiece is replaceable. It can reach a temperature of 260ºC, which means a wide compatibility with the most common filaments. Made from ultra-strong textured Carborundum glass, the print platform offers plenty of space and good adhesion and can be heated up to 90ºC
Print speeds are impressive at 18cm/sec with a print accuracy of ±0.1mm and layer thickness choices between 50-300m – but it’s not too noisy for this. We measured the printer at ≤ 60 dB, so while you can hear it, you can handle other jobs without being too distracting.
AnyCubic supplied the new printer with its own 1.75 mm PLA filament, which we used in addition to filaments from PRUSA and ColorFabb. The quality of the AnyCubic filament was comparable and enabled the Kobra Plus to make very fine prints.
As mentioned, the setup for the Kobra Plus was simple, albeit a little clunky, due to its volume and weight. Once done, the 3D printer was quick to calibrate with only a minor Z-axis height adjustment needed before the test prints could properly run through the machine.
The Owl model pre-installed on the MicroSD card printed flawlessly with the precision and finish you would expect from a sample model.
When we started printing my own 3D models, we had to create the Kobra Plus profile in Cura. Cura is a piece of software that essentially breaks up a 3D model into a series of coordinates and layers that can then be understood by the 3D printer. Since the profile was pre-installed at the time of the review, the initial setup took a little longer than expected, but was by no means difficult – there are plenty of instructions online to walk you through the process.
Once those Cura adjustments were made, there was little to do with the machine; insert the MicroSD card in the front, select the model using the touchscreen interface and click print – all very simple.
In the usual AnyCubic styling, the interface to the touchscreen is functional rather than beautifully designed, but that functionality is unaffected.
After testing the printer with a series of tests, the printer started to come into its own. The simplicity of use is really the core of this printer. Do you want to print large? That’s no problem; the Kobra Plus is relatively fast, quiet and extremely reliable.
When printing at this scale, having a printer with a filament run-up sensor is essential. This is where the AnyCubic run-up sensor does a great job, stopping when the filament runs out and allowing you to install another reel before continuing to print.
When it comes to performance, there’s little to complain about.
Dimensional Accuracy – score of 4
Target 25 = X: 24.61mm / 0.39mm Error | Y: 24.88mm / 0.12mm error
Target 20 = X: 19.70mm / 0.30mm Error | Y: 19.97mm / 0.03mm error
Target 15 = X: 14.74mm / 0.26mm Error | Y: 14.96mm / 0.04mm error
Target 10 = X: 19.89mm / 0.11mm Error | Y: 10.00mm / 0mm error
Goal 5 = X: 4.93mm / 0.07mm Error | Y: 5.09mm / 0.09mm Error
X Error Mean = 0.23
Y Error Mean = 0.07
X&Y Error Mean = 0.15
Fine flow control -score of 2.5
Nice negative qualities – score of 4
overhang – score of 5
bridging – score of 5
XY resonance -score of 2.5
Z-axis alignment -score of 2.5
Adding up the totals gives a final score of 25.5 out of 30.
The AnyCubic Kobra Plus is a great company 3D printer that lets you print big on a cheap machine.
The size is the first thing you notice about the machine – not just the huge print volume, but also the overall physical size and weight. Although compared to other machines with this print area, the Kobra Plus is actually quite lightweight.
What is striking about the Kobra Plus is that all the features are so embedded in the design and function of the machine that you forget they are there. This is how automatic bed leveling works as soon as an initial adjustment to the Z axis has been made. Then there’s the filament detection and touch screen that all combine to make life easy in 3D printing.
However, a few areas started to annoy me during the review; the glass print bed can be a nightmare when extracting prints. Most were removed without a problem, but a few, including the owl monster, wouldn’t budge even after standing for a few hours to cool down properly. A flexi-metal bed is certainly a requirement these days.
A metal bed and the design of the UI could all be a bit more refined, but then you have to keep in mind that this 3D printer is not that expensive, and you get a lot for your money.
The AnyCubic Kobra Plus is a 3D printer that impresses in size, print quality and reliability.