OK Scott here again like normal. A lot of people have asked me to do reviews or feedback on different printer or ask me what I think of a new printer out and while I can give my overall view of the new printers as to what I can see being good or bad about them I can not and will not do any true rundown on any printer or product I have not used. With that said I have offered my thoughts on several printers that I do not own but please always keep in mind it's only based on what I see.... while I have other printers I’m not going to include them here as one is no longer on the market and the other is custom built by me (still in process).
Now with that said I figured I would do a quick rundown on the printers I have and some notes about ones I have worked with enough to feel I can comment on them. The goal is not really a review as much as just a breakdown of each one. If you can’t tell I’m against “reviews” for the most part because to many people post them and printer companies make changes (as I go over later) and some things just get over looked by the reviewer and I don’t want to be one that fits into either area. I will update this
This will be in no certain order at all other than the order I think of them. A lot of the issues I point out are covered in my printable upgrades article. This is not meant to be a end all be all because I might have got a good or bad one I am writing my personal experience nothing more.
All Tronxy printers in general:
I feel that Tronxy should use true idler pulleys in place of the bearing and stack of washers they are using. The MK7 / MK8 they use is not bad but needs better quality control as most of them have burs in the throats and are simply not put together correctly. Extruders need to be checked when installed because some are missing the bolt that goes into the tension spring. Hotend fan shroud / duct needs a little work because it allows the cooling air to blow out of the shroud and onto the heating block. I wish Tronxy would unlock the Eeprom so you could change the settings like Jerk and acceleration and it would save them. SD card location really needs to be thought about when they build printers.
Great printer but not a starter printer has a lot of areas I see needing attention straight out of the box. While it was my first printer and can be a decent printer in factory form you really have to pay attention to the way you build it and more than likely will have to slot some holes to make the Z axis tight, and the bed not wobble. Never seen an issue with the X carriage being loose. Belt tension is another area this printer really lacks. Control board is ok. Power supply is a little small, comes factory 20A I upgraded to a 30A after letting the magic smoke out of the 20. Wish they used the 12864 screen. I swapped to dual E3D clones an MKS Gen-L control board and MKS 2.8” touch screen.
Pro’s Heated bed, Dual Z lead screws, dual Z motors. Cost
Con’s Needs lots of tinkering, no part cooling fan. Not real idler pulleys, locked Eeprom
Great printer but not a starter printer has a lot of areas I see needing attention straight out of the box. While it was my first printer and can be a decent printer in factory form you really have to pay attention to the way you build it and more than likely will have to slot some holes to make the Z axis tight, and the bed not wobble. I have never seen an issue with the X carriage being loose. Belt tension is another area this printer really lacks. Control board is ok. Power supply is a little small, comes factory 20A I upgraded to a 30A after letting the magic smoke out of the 20. The auto level is the biggest headache on most of these printers. Personally I recommend removing the auto level sensor and changing it something better or simply go manual leveling on it. Wish they used the 12864 screen. Right now this one if full factory.
Pro’s Heated bed, Dual Z lead screws, dual Z motors. Cost, auto bed level sensor
Con’s Needs lots of tinkering no part cooling fan, Not real idler pulleys, locked
Great printer, love the CoreXY design. When I got mine Tronxy was on what we call version 3 and now they are on version 6 that have even more improvements than any other version. This is also the base for all of the other X5S series printers suck as the X5SA X5ST and X5S-400. Personally would like to see the screen moved to a place where it’s easier to see and work with. The new version of the heated bed is a 12/24V but Tronxy has not been wiring it correctly they miss the jumper wire from pad two to pad 3 to get the full bed to heat up like it should and the heated beds tend to be hard to solder because they are big heatsinks. I swapped to an E3D clone and 5015 blower fan for parts cooling.
Pro’s Heated bed, Dual Z lead screws, dual Z motors. Cost, parts cooling fan open source firmware
Con’s gantry can become out of square with belt tension, not real idler pulleys, locked Eeprom
Great printer, love the CoreXY design. See X5S above as well. I updated my X5S to the X5SA with the upgrade kit but I use ¼” glass bed so I never installed the auto level sensor and first thing I did was turn that option off with the G-code as I plan on doing filament out detection. Now the X5SA uses the Chitu F mini control board with close source firmware so you can not add items like BLtouch unless they update the firmware to use it. But I have found it to be a good printer. Like the fact it is touch screen and 32 bit control board and has a mosfet for the heated bed from the factory.
Pro’s Heated bed, Dual Z lead screws, dual Z motors. Cost, parts cooling fan touch screen Mosfet for the bed included
Con’s gantry can become out of square with belt tension, Auto level sensor not the best, close source firmware Not real idler pulleys
Great printer, love the CoreXY design. See X5S above as well. I do not own one of these but have helps a lot of people with them and the early versions came with an mks touch screen and mks control board so they had lot of upgrade options but Tronxy seems to have changed the screen and control board. They also updated the gantry plates to metal I expect the other versions of the X5S to get this update as well.
Pro’s Heated bed, Dual Z lead screws, dual Z motors. Cost, parts cooling fan touch screen
Con’s gantry can become out of square with belt tension, Not real idler pulleys
Great printer, love this little printer took me 21 minutes to put it together and start my first print. Bed heats nice and quick. I got version 2 of this printer. I did add a 5015 blower style fan for an extra parts cooling. Besides that I added an air diverter to keep the hotend fan from blowing on the heater block and I have run the heck out of this printer. Best SD card slot of all Tronxy printers. All metal enclosure
Pro’s Heated bed, Cost, Very fast built, parts cooling fan
Con’s Not real idler pulleys Locked Eeprom
Creality Cr-10S S3 (300):
Great printer, quick build, first print was flawless. Cost is a bit high but over all good quality. Like the fact they use eccentric nuts on the any place that might need them. Top bearing mounts where Z axis lead screws are held in place is a little noisy because the bearing does not fit tight. Filament out detection included with my printer love that. Filament out detection mount needed a little trimming to fit correctly and filament passes very very close to the lead screw. Would be handy to have the extruder in a different location. Wish Creality would unlock Eeprom and give access to Jerk and Acceleration setting from the control screen. Bed heats pretty quick. Parts cooling fan need work I swapped to E3D clone and 5015 blower for parts cooling. I also added a Creality laser setup to this printer.
Pro’s Heated bed, fast built, parts cooling fan, eccentric nuts
Con’s locked Eeprom, Cost
I got this printer second hand so I’m not going to go into detail but I love the fact they use eccentric nuts on the any place that might need them. Frame being 2040 and 2020 is nice. I like this extruder setup. I don’t care for the form of this printer would rather run off dual rails at the base printer feels unstable. Control board is setup for dual color. Mine came with bad stepper motor and control board had a bad mosfet for the heated bed (no fault of Tevo).
I think at this point I would say that if you are looking for a smaller printer the Tronxy X2 would be my top choice because it is simple and works great. For larger print area the Tronxy X5S is a solid choice if you take the time to build it right and it’s cheaper than the Creality, but the Creality is a much quicker and easier build so it’s a good choice for first printer as well. Every printer on the list at this point is a good printer some just take more tinkering and work to get really dialed in.