As 3D printing has gotten more popular, companies have made inexpensive options. One example is the Anycubic i3 Mega, an affordable printer which produces high quality prints.
Here’s a brief review to help you decide if the i3 Mega is all the company says it is.
Table of Contents
What Factors Am I Looking At?
When buying a new 3D printer, you want to consider which factors are important.
The first factor you want to consider is print quality. This evaluates if the printer produces high resolution models and if it can handle complex models.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hobbyist, you need to evaluate how easy it is to set up the printer. Set up is important because there are users who just want to start printing right away. And, there are other times where a user wants to build something to understand how something works.
Another factor to think about are the features of the printer. This includes accessories, filament materials, and control interface. The last factor to consider is the design of the printer which influences the printer’s usability and durability.
These four factors are important to consider before purchasing the Anycubic i3 Mega:
1. Print quality
2. Set up
Anycubic i3 Mega
The company, Anycubic produces the i3 Mega 3D printer.
They are based in China and design printers for affordability. Unfortunately, their customer service fails to respond to requests in a timely manner, and they might not even get back to you. In addition, some people have been sent used or dirty parts.
The i3 Mega 3D printer produces high quality prints. The printing interface is easy to use, and it’s simple to set up. However, the printing has design flaws that make it lack durability.
To summarize, the i3 Mega may not be the best printer for beginners, but it’s an inexpensive option for people who don’t mind tinkering.
Let’s go in-depth on the Anycubic i3 Mega now.
- High quality prints
- Resumes after power outage
- Filament versatility
- Intuitive user interface
- Loud when printing
- Semi-automatic bed leveling
- Poor customer service
- Poor design
Breakdown Of The Anycubic i3 Mega
The best thing about the i3 Mega is the print quality. The printer makes high resolution projects, even complex ones, and can handle a variety of filament types.
It can print down to 0.05 mm and can even print with wood! For those who don’t know, the 0.05 mm is referring to the layer resolution. It defines how thick a layers is. The smaller the number, the more precise and complex your models will look. The i3 provides a great layer resolution compared to industry standard within its price range.
This printer uses FDM technology which stands for “fused deposition modeling”. I talk about printer tech in my “3D Printer Technology Types” post if anyone is interested. FDM is great because it’s simple, reliable, and affordable. Perfect for new 3D printer users.
When a printer combines great print quality with fast print speed, I’ll always give it a great remark for print quality.
The i3 Mega is easy to set up due to its modular design, though it’s definitely not plug and play. You assemble it with eight provided screws. In addition, the touchscreen interface makes it easy to start a print.
Once you receive the i3 package, you’ll see there’s a lot of components. There’s the base, frame, hotend, and much more. They also provide a manual which gives instructions, tips, and data on how to set everything up.
Anycubic also came with a tool kit. This toolkit gives you the necessary tools to assemble the printer. If you’re looking for a printer which doesn’t require any manual work, don’t get this printer.
My favorite feature of the printer is the resume print setting. The printer can keep track of the print when it shuts off, on purpose, or unexpectedly.
Unfortunately, many of the accessories are cheaply made, such as the provided filament and SD card. While you can do a test print using the provided filament, you’ll need to buy more if you want to make anything unique.
This printer also comes with a filament sensor. It lets the user know when filament is low. Although this is a convenient feature, I dread hearing this beeping sound because it means I got to spend more money.
The i3 Mega has an all metal frame which makes it very sturdy, so it will not wobble during a print. It also has a reasonably sized print volume at 210 x 210 x 204 mm^3, but there are other 3D printers out there with much larger print volumes if this is your priority.
Unfortunately, it has several design flaws. While it prints, the i3 Mega is very loud, so you probably don’t want to print at night. Plus, the fan setup is bad.
There is only one fan that cools the print and it is only on one side, so your project will get unevenly cooled, which could lead to issues.
A small inconvenience is the SD card reader location. It’s right next to the filament holder which means accessibility is hard. Nothing you can’t handle, but still annoying.
Alternatives To The Anycubic i3 Mega
- Large print volume
- Auto levels print bed
- Easy set up
- Great customer support
The Sovol SV02 is more expensive than the i3 Mega, provides similar features, and you can print with multiple colors. Plus, the company that produces the printer, Sovol, is very engaged with its customer base. They have a YouTube channel, Facebook, and a weekly live stream video.
The Sovol SV02 has a print volume of 280 x 240 x 300 mm^3. It has auto leveling, and the same nozzle size as the i3. Unfortunately, the resolution of the print is only 0.1mm, worse than the i3 Mega.
The SV02 comes 95% assembled so it’s easy to set up. And, if you have any questions about the set up, just head to their tutorial videos.
TRONXY XY-2 Pro
- Easy set up
- Large bed
- Filament sensor
- Lack of customer service
- Assisted leveling
- Average print quality
The XY-2 Pro comes from the company TRONXY, a Chinese company. Like Anycubic, they are not very responsive. However, they do respond, which is better than Anycubic.
The 3D printer comes partially assembled, only taking about 30 minutes to set up, which is great for beginners. The printer also assists you when leveling the bed, making your prints better while also teaching you how the mechanics work.
One of the best features is the filament sensor, which lets you know when you’ve run out of filament so you can continue your print. Like the i3 Mega, it also has a touch screen that helps you run the printer.
Printing quality of this printer is average at most. There are some noticeable blemishes here and there so I wouldn’t try complex models with this.
Creality Ender 3 Pro
- Power recovery mode
- Great customer service
- Difficult to set up
- You have to buy filaments separately
- Printer ships with technical problems
Unlike Anycubic, the company that makes the Creality Ender 3 Pro, Comgrow, has excellent customer service and response times. The company will also respond quickly to replace any broken parts if there are any.
The Ender 3 Pro’s print quality is solid. It’s not the highest quality you can get, but it gets the job done. Compared to the i3, I would go with the i3 for print quality.
In addition, the Ender 3 Pro has a slightly larger build volume than the i3 Mega at 220 x 220 x 250 mm^3. Therefore, it can handle bigger projects. It also has the same diameter nozzle as the i3 Mega as well as power recovery mode.
A huge con for the Ender 3 Pro is the set up. It takes several hours, up to 5, to actually put the printer together. If you’re just starting out, it’s probably not the best printer for you.
This is a highly reputable printer if you’re looking for something reliable. Creality is known to bring quality products to market and this is no exception.
Is The Anycubic i3 Mega Worth It?
It’s really a toss up. The i3 Mega produces high quality prints for an incredibly low cost. But other than that, it’s not a great printer overall. Anycubic is not a supportive company, which is fine if the printer did not come with issues.
There are plenty of printers out there at similar prices that could provide a much more pleasant experience than the Anycubic i3 Mega.