In one of our recent articles, we suggested that we are witnessing the era of High-speed desktop printing. It’s difficult to believe just a year and a half ago that manufacturers would offer a fast entry-level 3D printer. However, fast 3D printing is a brand-new category now, with at least ten fast and affordable 3D printers. The printer we have with us for review, the Anycubic Kobra 2 3D printer, is also a part of the high-speed club.
If you remember, we also cautioned in the same article that speed cannot come at the expense of print quality. And if it does, then the speed won’t make a difference. So, does the Anycubic Kobra 2 hold true to this principle? This is exactly what we’re trying to figure out with this review.
Read the review to find out if you should consider buying the Anycubic Kobra 2 3D printer.
About Anycubic Kobra 2
The Anycubic Kobra 2 is a relatively new addition to the Kobra line of low-cost FDM 3D printers. The Kobra line of printers are designed with beginners in mind, making it as simple as possible for new users to enter the world of 3D printing. And the Anycubic Kobra 2 maintains this approach. The Kobra 2 is ideal for those looking to purchase their first 3D printer or to expand their existing collection with something less expensive but much faster.
Yes, Anycubic Kobra 2’s printing speed is its most talked about and desired feature. Printing speed has become a major factor in users choosing or rejecting a printer in the last year. And the Kobra 2 boasts printing speeds of up to 250mm/s, which is nearly 5x faster than the previous Kobra printers and even most competing models.
It has new features compared to the previous generation, such as a dual gear direct drive extruder, a filament runout sensor, dual Z-axis threaded rods, and a PEI coated magnetic spring removable build plate.
Later in the review, we’ll go over the top 3 features and how they perform. Overall, the Anycubic Kobra 2 is a printer that one should explore. Continue reading to learn more about its features, benefits, performance, as we as our final verdict.
|Product Model||Kobra 2|
|Build Volume||220 x 220 x 250 mm|
|Machine Size||400 x 435x 486 mm|
|Net Weight||8.4 kg|
|Build Platform||Powder-coated PEI sheet | Heated Bed|
|Print Speed||300mm/s (Max), 200mm/s (Avg)|
|Touch Screen||4.3-Inch Colour Screen|
What’s in the Box?
The Kobra 2 is a semi-assembled printer with a small number of separate parts. Along with the core 3D printer parts, the printer box contains the below things: 3D printer frame, build platform, touchscreen, PEI sheet, extruder, filament runout sensor, spool holder, screws (4 pieces of M3*16, 2 pieces of M5*6, 1 piece of M5*14 and 4 pieces of M5*45), 1 spare nozzle, microSD card and card reader, power cord, filament tube, height gauge, retaining clamp, Allen keys, wrench documents like user manual and a quick start guide.
The assembly was simple. If you’ve ever put together a printer from Anycubic or a similar brand, this is nothing new. The Kobra’s assembly is both simple and quick. Even if you are a beginner, it will take you less than 20 minutes to put it together. It’s that easy!
There isn’t much to say about assembly, so we’ll leave it at that.
The printer’s first impressions are quite striking. Once assembled, you can simply gaze at this beautiful piece of manufacturing machinery in front of you. The fact that this small printer can print at high speeds appears unbelievable until you try it.
While reviewing it is important not to forget the primary user of this printer, in this case, beginners and first-time users. And this group of users will certainly love the look of the printer. The plastic parts have a sharp design and appealing colours. The extruder with the hole in the centre to see the motor rotating is a nice addition to the printer and adds a bit of character for beginners.
It certainly appears to be a good investment for anyone looking to build prototypes, test designs and parts, and iterate more quickly. It is also a good option for educators, who can print out parts faster during class lectures.
Its simple and clean touchscreen, auto-levelling features, super-fast speeds, sleek design, attractive colours, and ease of assembly will undoubtedly appeal to new users. It certainly makes a strong first impression.
First Prints and Issues we faced
When working with desktop FDM 3D printers, it is inevitable that you will encounter some sort of problem. Most of these issues are minor and easy to resolve but it is simply a fact that you must accept and not get bogged down by.
We also faced a problem with Anycubic Kobra 2. After the usual assembly and readying the printer, we inserted the MicroSD card and chose to print the popular 3DBenchy model.
The first print was flawless and accurate. Unfortunately, we did not pay enough attention to the print, and the filament got entangled in itself, as you can imagine. And with only a quarter of the layers completed, the print failed. But even though the print failed, we were impressed with the first print quality without any print preparation on our end. Check out the image to see how good the first print was before we messed it up.
We decided to print another 3DBenchy after the first one failed. This time, however, was different. We ran into a critical problem with the hotend this time. The hotend was heating up abnormally, and the display showed the heating sensor rising and falling drastically every second, with a delta so large, the heating stopped and the message detecting abnormal heating appeared (see image below).
We switched off the printer, turned it ON, and tried printing again, but got the same results. We knew that there was a problem with the mainboard and that we would require assistance from the Anycubic team. We contacted the Anycubic team, and they responded quickly and sent us a replacement mainboard.
Our new mainboard arrived just a couple of weeks later, and once we replaced it, the problem was completely resolved, and we were able to easily obtain new prints. A special thanks to the Anycubic team for their prompt assistance.
We decided to print another 3DBenchy. The print went smoothly this time, and we were able to get a complete 3DBenchy without any problems. However, we found the print quality to be a little low, and the finish to be rough compared to our first print (see how smooth the layers are in our first print versus now).
However, when the time it took to print the 3DBenchy is taken into account, it remains true to the claim of printing a 3DBenchy in under 30 minutes. The model was printed in only 29 minutes, as shown in the image. It’s truly surprising given that previous slower printers used to take 2+ hours to print.
We then attempted to print the test model from the SD card. We had a mixed reaction to this model, which took about 2 hours to print. While it was able to print all of the features without missing any, some of them were not smooth. The layer lines are visible, and the finish is rough. We had hoped for much better quality.
Then we printed a variety of random models, including the famous spiral chess set, a hulk fist, a small spur gear model, and others. All were quite remarkable, and we loved all of the prints. The finish was also impressive, given the high speeds it was running at.
Anycubic LeviQ 2.0
Anycubic’s innovative automatic bed levelling technology is known as the LeviQ 2.0. The new sensor calibration, which is attached to the print bed’s backside, greatly aids in calibrating the Z offset and nozzle position, ensuring accuracy throughout the printing process. It maps out 25 points on the bed to offset the level of unevenness across the bed with high accuracy.
We found that the auto-levelling feature with LeviQ 2.0 works quite well and we never faced any issue with bed levelling.
Powder-Coated PEI sheet
The powder-coated PEI sheet has been seen in the Anycubic range of printers for a long time and will continue to be seen in this new printer.
The magnetic spring steel sheet is very flexible, allowing prints to be removed by flexing the plate after it has cooled. This eliminates the need to scrape the build plate with a scraper just to get the print off, which may damage the print during the process.
Power Loss Recovery and Filament Runout Sensor
The Kobra 2 includes a power loss recovery feature as well as a filament runout sensor. Both of these features are now commonplace in 3D printers. Such is the significance of both features. Most parts of the world continue to experience power outages or unstable power supplies. Furthermore, power loss recovery ensures that the print does not fail and that waste is reduced. However, a prolonged power outage will undoubtedly affect the print, as the print will significantly cool and may not adhere to the bed.
If the printer runs out of filament while printing, the printer simply pauses the print so you can insert a new spool and continue printing. The extruder resumes printing from where it left off. Even if the print isn’t completely clean and you’ll be able to see where it happened, it’s not a total waste, and if the print isn’t too important, the blob won’t matter much.
Review: Bottom Line
The Anycubic Kobra 2 is an entry-level budget 3D printer that is designed for beginners. Considering this target group, the printer performs well. It is easy to use & handle and its impressive features will appeal to beginners. And though we talk much about how beginners may like it, the printer will also excite experienced users who want to get their hands on a fast printer.
Its top features, such as high-speed printing, the LeviQ 2.0 levelling system, and the filament run-out sensor, make it a powerful and versatile 3D printer at its price point. It is a significant improvement over the previous generation Kobra.
If you are a beginner looking for a fast budget 3D printer, this should be at the top of your list.
Rating the Anycubic Kobra 2 FDM 3D Printer