Anycubic Mega S Review
Pros: Inexpensive, decently capable
Cons: Interface can be finicky, limited customer support in our experience
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Anycubic Mega S
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|Pros||Inexpensive, decently capable||Compact form factor, excellent prints for FFF, easy to use||Great budget buy, solid printing capabilities, decent print quality||Exceptionally detailed prints, solid capabilities||Detailed prints, inexpensive|
|Cons||Interface can be finicky, limited customer support in our experience||Support could be better, a bit more assembly than other printers||Finicky with ABS, can require a bit of tinkering||Prints require cleanup, much messier||Difficult to use, limited customer support|
|Bottom Line||While this printer is a decent budget option, it somewhat failed to stand out from the rest of the pack||If you're seeking a great value option, it's hard to beat this user-friendly machine||If you are looking for an inexpensive bare-bones printer and don't mind making some adjustments to it, then this model is an exceptional choice||If you value detail above all else and are looking for a printer for high-quality miniature models, then this is our all-around favorite||If you are shopping for a resin printer on a slimmer budget, this can be a great option|
|Rating Categories||Anycubic Mega S||Creality 3D CR-10S...||Creality 3D Ender 3...||Elegoo Mars 2 Pro||Anycubic Photon Mono|
|Print Quality (40%)|
|Ease Of Use (30%)|
|Print Capabilities (20%)|
|Specs||Anycubic Mega S||Creality 3D CR-10S...||Creality 3D Ender 3...||Elegoo Mars 2 Pro||Anycubic Photon Mono|
|Build Volume (XxYxZ)||210x210x205mm||300x300x400mm||200x200x250mm||130x80x160mm||130x80x165mm|
|Maximum Extruder Temperature||260°C||260°C||255°C||N/A||N/A|
|Layer Cooling Fan?||1||1||2||N/A||N/A|
|Build Plate Material||Tempered Glass with mesh covering (Ultrabase)||Aluminium build plate with an adhesive printing sheet||Aluminium build plate with a magnetic course plastic sticker||Aluminum||Aluminum|
|Maximum Bed Temperature||120°C||110°C||110°C||N/A||N/A|
|Compatible with Third-Party Materials?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Included Nozzle sizes||0.4mm||0.4mm||0.4mm||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|Print layer resolution||0.05 - 0.4mm||0.1 - 0.4mm||0.1 - 0.4mm||0.025 - 0.1mm||0.025 - 0.1mm|
|Filament Size||1.75mm||1.75mm||1.75mm||405 nm resin||405 nm resin|
|Standalone (SD card or USB drive) Printing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
One nice feature about this printer is how compact it is, with the power supply and control box integrated underneath the moving bed. Many other budget printers have the power and control as a separate unit, taking up considerably more of your precious workbench real estate than the Mega S.
We began our 3D printer assessment process by making a series of test prints in both ABS and PLA plastic for each of the models that use FFF technology. Our suite of test prints lets us compare printing quality between products side-by-side, with scores aggregated from a panel of judges. The Mega S delivered typical results on the whole, earning it an average score in the middle of the group.
We began our print quality metric with a very common 3D printer calibration/torture test, the 3D benchy. This little tugboat is a great all-around benchmarking test, with a variety of different geometries all designed to tax filament printers. The Mega S did decently well, delivering average prints in both PLA and ABS. There was only a small amount of dropping on overhangs and the text on the bottom of the PLA version was legible but the hull had a rough finish with some weird indentations. The text on the ABS version was also essentially unreadable.
Next, we looked at how each printer handled bridges (unsupported features) and small details, with our bridging and Eiffel Tower tests. The Mega S gave far from a good performance with these two prints, with both ABS versions failing completely. The PLA version of the Eiffel Tower did finish printing but it looked horrible in our opinion, definitely stretching a bit to call it a successful print. The PLA bridging test, with some noticeable sagging on the longer bridges and an overall lackluster print quality.
Next, we scored the quality of a print-in-place articulated poseable elephant, an overhanging geometry test, and a dimensional accuracy test. The performance of the Mega S did improve a bit with these three prints, delivering average or above results with the elephant and the overhangs. The PLA and ABS elephants both articulated freely, but the print quality is overall a bit rough, with plenty of deformities and defects. It was a similar story with the overhangs, with all but the steepest overhangs actually printing well but the overall quality just seemed to be lacking compared to the top-tier printers.
The dimensional accuracy score is based on a nickel test, where a nickel should fit perfectly in the cavity of the print when completed. Unfortunately, both of the openings were a little on the larger side, with plenty of gaps around the coin.
The Anycubic Mega S struggled with the next model, another single-piece articulated model. This printer failed with both the PLA and ABS platform jacks. The ABS wouldn't print successfully and the PLA version repeatedly broke whenever we tried to actuate it. Performance did rebound a bit with the wireframe cube, with this printer only having minimal sagging and a few strings on both PLA and ABS prints.
This printer did continue to do well with the pair of low-poly figures, with fairly clean surfaces and smooth overhangs, though the ABS version of the smaller model did have a rough surface finish. It also did well with the single-shell spiral vase in both types of plastic, though again had the less than amazing surface finish.
The support test also came out well, though we did have to resort to pliers and other tools to remove the sacrificial structure. However, the underside of the supported area actually came out quite well.
Finally, we come to our last three test prints: a tall tower, threaded jar, and matching lid. The tall tower showed minimal signs of any Z-axis wobble and the threaded jar and lid came out with an acceptable finish, though the ABS versions were a bit worse than their PLA counterparts.
Ease of Use
Our next metric rated and scored how convenient and easy to use the Anycubic Mega S is. We awarded points based on things like the ease of swapping filament or leveling the bed, with this model of printer earning an overall score just above average.
We found it to be decently easy to change the filament in this printer with its semi-automatic process, though the loading and unloading part can be a bit time consuming with the slow feed rate.
It's the usual difficulty to level the bed on this printer, with 4 independent adjustment screws in each corner of the build plate — no automatic build leveling here!
This printer does come mostly assembled, with just a few cables to plug in and other components to attach. You can send files to this printer via USB or SD card and there is a display on this printer that shows the percent completed and the time elapsed while the printer is going.
For our capabilities metric, we looked at the material compatibility, build envelope, and the build plate of each printer, along with a few other things. The Mega S did quite well, earning a score significantly above average.
This printer has a maximum hotend temperature of 260°C and a peak heated bed temperature of 120°C, giving it a decently wide range of compatible printing materials. It isn't constrained to proprietary products, so any 1.75mm filament that will work with those temperatures is fine to use with the Mega S.
It has a slightly smaller than average build volume of 210mm x 210mm x 205mm and a build plate that provides plenty of adhesions. We used the free Cura slicing program for our tests but you have the option of using a variety of other software suites if you want, both of the free and paid variety.
Our last metric looked at the customer support for each of these printers, by comparing the timeliness and quality of responses that we received from each manufacturer and the quality of any supplied documentation on the website. Regrettably, Anycubic hasn't delivered the best results in this regard in our opinion, earning the Mega S a subpar score.
There are only a few troubleshooting videos on the website and we only found a contact form that didn't yield the best results for us when it came to technical questions.
All in all, the Mega S is a decent value, delivering good quality prints at a fairly affordable price if you don't mind dealing with any troubleshooting issues yourself.
While Mega S is definitely far from our favorite or the best printer we have seen, it is a decent machine with one of the lower price tags of the group. It might be a great starter printer for someone looking for a project and who doesn't mind dealing with any troubleshooting issues on their own. However, it probably isn't the best printer for someone who doesn't want to spend time tuning or tweaking their machine to maximize performance.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer