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Buying Advice - A5S vs. A1 vs. Anycubic Mega X

Hello everyone!

I'm new here but have 3D printed before back in 2015 - 2016. I found the website and forum through googling about JGAurora. I'm really happy to find a group such as this with organized information and custom firmware.

A little background: I ordered and then quickly cancelled a Sidewinder X1... I wanted a large format printer for around 400 USD. The Sidewinder X1 got good reviews (with caveats) from youtubers. I then discovered there's a big design flaw in the Z-axis which introduces Z-wobble. Anyway... I moved on...

I'm looked at getting either an A5S, A1 or an Anycubic Mega X... and I'd like to hear advice from people who have experience with at least two of these printers. I've gathered all the info I could and organized each machine into a pros and cons list:

AS5 Pros & Cons:
 Pros Cons
 32 bit board  Soldered drivers
 Shorter Bowden Tube  Junk linear bearings
 Good community Support  Extruder design seems questionable (grinding filament?)
 Custom Firmware  Noisier
 24V  Hard to access for maintenance (Y Axis adjustments requires disassembly)

   
 A1 Pros & Cons:
 Pros Cons
 32 bit board  Soldered drivers
 Shorter Bowden Tube  Junk linear bearings
 Good community Support  Extruder design seems questionable (grinding filament)
 Custom Firmware  Noisier
 24V  
 Easier to access (open frame)  
 Thicker steel frame  
 Cool blue color :)

 Anycubic Mega X Pros & Cons:
 Pros Cons
Includes spare Hotend  8 Bit Board
Comes with 1kg PLA 12V
Reviews say print quality is very good out of the box Limited Community (brand new product)
Easier to access (open frame) No custom firmware
Non-soldered drivers  Y and X Axis uses rollers rather than linear bearing
Quieter  Strange spool holder
Doesn't require be bearings out of box  Untested in the long run - Machine just released.


At the moment I'm learning towards the A1 since it's cheaper and for my purposes I'd prefer the open frame. Please let me know what your opinions and findings are!

 





Comments

  • Stephen ToddStephen Todd Posts: 281๐ŸŒŸ Super Member ๐ŸŒŸ
    edited April 30
    A1 is on my "to buy" list - despite my reservations about the new controller board - if it fails, I'll fit a MKS board and LCD display (or maybe program a nextion HMI)

    Re. Anycubic Mega X - looking at Amazon reviews, there are already plenty of complaints about warped beds that are unusable - lack of custom mesh bed levelling rules Anycubic Mega X out for me - and I also don't like the idea of rubber roller wheels

    The likely supplier for A1 for me would be https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32949870839.html who have local warehouses - just got to make sure TNT is not the UK delivery company (TNT tried to extort import duty from me for an import from China - failed but I'm probably blacklisted now)
    Post edited by Stephen Todd on
  • spooknikspooknik Posts: 19Member
    edited April 30
    I forgot to mention the warped beds as a con for the Mega X. I've also seen more than one video where people are complaining about them... so that's another tick against the Mega X.
    I also found that same supplier and the UK warehouse is the only one that will deliver to Denmark (strange Germany can't, but okay), however they are not the 'official' store on Aliexpress (don't know if that makes a difference).
    This is the A1 from their official store. Out of stock in Czech Rep however. I wrote them and asked when it would be back in stock, they told me around 15th of May.
    lol... TNT is another story.. I have lots of stories about them from my work. They are not generally held in high regard among my colleagues.
    Post edited by spooknik on
  • Laser8302Laser8302 Posts: 160Member, ๐ŸŒŸ Super Member ๐ŸŒŸ
    1) I'm not a fan of V-rollers. I much prefer linear bearing or linear rails. (There muse be a reason why PRUSA uses linear bearings right?)

    2) Either A5S or A1 is great. A1 if you want something easier to work on. A5S if you want more Z-height and don't mind the difficulty of working on an enclosed printer.

    3) The main reason why the X1 got such good reviews is because of the direct drive and volcano hot end AND the mains powered heated bed. Honestly, at 300x300, the JGaurora needs a 115/220V heated bed if you want to do anything over 80C on the bed. The z-wobble is something even the JGaurora printers suffer from. Just loosen the nut that attaches the lead screw to the x-axis and that is mostly solved.
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,628Administrator
    edited April 30
    @spooknik - welcome! I don't think there are many major points you have missed.
    There is one I would add - the overall theme of the JGAurora printers, is that they are not designed to be upgraded. Yes, we can upgrade them, thanks to clever people with creative ideas, but they are not designed with upgrades in mind. Hence the hard to maintain design, hence the proprietary motherboard with soldered steppers, hence the proprietary factory firmware.... list goes on. As long as you are know the areas of compromise, they (A5S/A1) are decent hobby machines.
    Post edited by Samuel Pinches on
  • spooknikspooknik Posts: 19Member
    edited May 1
    Thanks for the good input!
    Good point regarding the upgradability... hadn't considered that. I'm not looking to get too deep into upgrading my printer but maybe some smaller changes like all metal hotend or swaping the extruder. Perhaps direct drive. Would there be any problems doing any of those changes?
    What's the challenges with upgrading the A5S / A1 vs. upgrading an Ender 3 for example?
    Post edited by spooknik on
  • mannymillermannymiller Posts: 15Member
    @spooknik

    Hey there, Upgrading an ender 3 etc is way more easier as you have a much larger community - its probably the number one selling printer. I have a cr10 - heavily modified, finding the stl files was very easy, and i had a choice.  I recently bought an a5s and finding it a lot harder. As mentioned before im not a lover of the roller bearings, so it was the main reason for buying the a5s, 

    The first thing you will have to do is replace all the bearings, and that alone made me wish i has not bought the a5s. I have also changed the hot end for an e3d v6, changed the extruder for full metal (same version used on the cr10) . The print quality is still not anywhere near my cr10, but it will get there eventually. 
    Thanked by 1Samuel Pinches
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,628Administrator
    @spooknik I don't know that the difficulty is much higher, but often much more inconvenient to work with.

    However, I certainly would not trade the A5S for an Ender 3. 32bit alone is a huge advantage, even when it makes the firmware more challenging to work with. I recently got a sapphire S - was a terrible experience, with zero customer support, and many issues that I could not have anticipated before buying it. For this reason, I do recommend buying a printer where you will get support and help from. It's not a bad idea to join the community of printers you're considering before making a choice.

  • giantrobot2001giantrobot2001 Posts: 81Member
    edited May 3
    I just received an A5S factory sealed and fresh delivered to Ohio for under $500 and it is smooth and quiet and does beautiful prints.  

    So
    โ€ข I took it out of the box, quickly leveled the machine and gantry, warmed up the bed and head, and leveled it.  โ€ข Then I took the Blue tape off (because I already LOVE the Black Diamond bed) and leveled it again for it's first print.
    โ€ข Using default settings in CURA through USB cable, original firmware, everything completely stock and recommended settings for .15 mm layers
    - I chose to extrude at 220 degrees because somebody at the store told me their metallic PLA should be printed hotter to keep it from losing it's metallic look. It could have gone hotter, but I think this filament does very minor stringing on the first layer. I'm not getting any stringing on other filaments - and I leveled it a little tight because I'm still figuring this stuff out.

    Other than that, here's the picture.  Was a simple test print, and really nice for out of the box at my level of experience. I'm giving these to a local hospital, and this is my mod to somebody else's design. Go ahead and zoom in - the pic is giant

    I have a little A5S experience these last couple weeks in my spare time with a broken machine I have been tinkering on - but no other 3D printing except a bit of what I seen others do on youtube. CURA 4.5 or 4.6 has the profiles for JG machines I DID NOT USE THE STUFF ON THE INCLUDED SD CARD


    But more importantly, the A1 and the A5S are pretty!  I really don't want a machine that looks like a tinkertoy with it's guts on display, and I'm willing to dig right in and change bearings if they simply squeek at me funny - It's not a creality, but they are not that difficult to take apart, and I'm going to stick to the mods that don't endanger the curbside appeal.  EDIT:  The Mega X hardware is relatively clean now that I look at it. But still not as pretty as a JG machine B)

    So that value alone has me highly recommending either of your JGAurora machines rather than the endless assortment of wireframe/wireladen gut exposed skeletons with quick and easy rollers that you guys love to tinker on, but would make your mother in-law think you still have behaviors that should keep you in the basement.
    Also, as I'm finding out, the tech isn't so proprietary that you can't upgrade them when it comes time for certain parts.
    Thanked by 1spooknik
    Post edited by giantrobot2001 on
  • giantrobot2001giantrobot2001 Posts: 81Member
    It does drive me crazy that nobody with a decent level of English could advise them not to print "Elegant outlook" on the faceplate.  I'm still trying to peel those promo lines off but that's not a sticker.  Maybe should have gone with "Elegant design"? Sheesh.
    Thanked by 1Samuel Pinches
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Posts: 2,628Administrator
    edited May 3
    Oh, don't worry - I did. I sent them fully re-translated text for many of their materials. Much of which they fully ignored. :|

    Glad to hear your new machine is printing nicely :smile: I don't get to hear many of the success stories haha
    Thanked by 1giantrobot2001
    Post edited by Samuel Pinches on
  • spooknikspooknik Posts: 19Member
    Thanks for the input @giantrobot2001 ! Glad to hear your out of box experience was pretty seamless. The print looks really nice. That's what I  was hoping for. And regarding 'Elegant outlook' I noticed it's not present on the A1... another pro towards the A1 I guess :smile:

    @mannymiller So the hotend can be upgraded to something else... I noticed that the stock end looks pretty unique. I'm assuming you had to tap holes or make some kind of mounting bracket to get the e3d v6 to fit? Also from what I've been able to find, to make the stock hotend all metal just this piece is required?


    @Samuel Pinches  I did some reading and I totally get why a 32 bit board is a huge plus to have. I think i'm sold on the idea of getting a printer with one. I totally get what you mean about customer support / community. As i said in the OP I ordered (can then  cancelled)  a Sidewinder X1 and there's official site from the manufacturer...  information is scattered across Reddit and two facebook groups. That was a huge turn off for me...
    Googling JGArurora the offical site comes up and you find this lovely site. Also loading up Cura there is really nice profiles already in place. I consider that a huge plus.
  • Stephen ToddStephen Todd Posts: 281๐ŸŒŸ Super Member ๐ŸŒŸ
    Best commonly used layer heights for JGAurora are:
    .12
    .2
    .3


    Thanked by 1giantrobot2001
  • mannymillermannymiller Posts: 15Member
    @spooknik,
    Yes the hotend is easily upgraded.. the front metal housing remains, but the back housing which the belt secures too is 3d printed. along with the cap and new part cooler.  
  • Richy_TRichy_T Posts: 133๐ŸŒŸ Super Member ๐ŸŒŸ
    If anyone wants an "elegant outlook" sticker for any of their machines, I'd be happy to create some for a price :D
  • giantrobot2001giantrobot2001 Posts: 81Member
    edited June 27
    I swooped up a couple more broken ones on ebay for really really cheap.  I just watch for them because -parts  B)   I now have 3 working A5S' (I'm currently printing on all of them!), and a really cool Blue A5 that the head needs the hot end put back together...  I love my JG printers.  Started playing with 3D printing a couple months ago and now I have 4 of them - 1 new A5S, 2 more that I fixed, and 1 I had to buy because it was just a cool old A5. 

    Anyone know where to get a stock fan cover and little blower duct? I have the rest of the print head parts, but I'm missing the sheet metal fan cover thing and the white snout - I assume it's the same on an A5
    Post edited by giantrobot2001 on
  • giantrobot2001giantrobot2001 Posts: 81Member
    edited June 27
    Here is something I just printed.  My Daughter did the paint and she gave it to her boyfriend for his birthday

    Post edited by giantrobot2001 on
  • giantrobot2001giantrobot2001 Posts: 81Member
    Doing some easy prints.  They are all printing stuff right now. 
    I have a smoke alarm and a fire extinguisher. 
     โ€ข The one on the right is a little louder, but it looks like it went through a battle in storage or something -I got it real cheap for parts.  Just needed a little love. Some crap under the glass on the metal bed made it wonky to level.  Crazy thing was I found a bed clip lodged under the mainboard - heh - and I never plugged it in like that. I opened it up and checked close before plugging it in. Prints great now, and I learned where bed clips can go :o


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