Simple Anycubic Kobra 2 Review – Worth Buying or Not?
The latest addition to Anycubic’s lineup of FDM printers is the Kobra 2. The Kobra 2 features interesting features that were missing from the first Kobra printer, making it a must-have.
This article is going to be a fairly simple review of the Anycubic Kobra 2. We’ll be going over various things such as its features, specifications, benefits, downsides, and unboxing process, so keep reading for more.
Features of the Anycubic Kobra 2
- Faster Print Speeds
- Dual Gear Direct Drive Extruder
- Filament Runout Sensors
- Dual Z-Axis Threaded Rods
- PEI Coated Magnetic Spring Build Plate
- 4.3-Inch LCD Touchscreen
- LeviQ 2.0 Automatic Bed Leveling
- Double Metal Spindle and SG15 Bearing
- Quick Assembly
- Dual Cooling Fans
Faster Print Speeds
One unique feature of the Anycubic Kobra 2 is that it can reach much higher speeds during printing without any compromise in the quality of the model. The Kobra 2 is the first FDM printer in the Anycubic lineup to have this feature.
Its default print speed is set to 150mm/s and it can attain even higher speeds of about 250mm/s. In comparison, other printers in the Anycubic lineup have an average speed of 50mm/s.
Based on these figures, the Kobra 2 is about 5x faster than the average Anycubic printer. Tests conducted by Anycubic showed that at its default print speed, it can complete a Benchy model in 30 minutes, at a layer height of 0.28mm.
For other Anycubic printers at their default speed, it takes about 108 minutes to finish at the layer height settings.
One advantage of faster print speeds is that it reduces energy consumption. This is because, the longer you run your printer, the more energy it consumes within that time frame. Since the Kobra 2 will typically take lesser time than other machines, you can save money on electricity bills needed to run the printer.
Dual Gear Direct Drive Extruder
It has a dual gear 4:1 direct drive extruder for extrusion and an even stronger extrusion force for feeding the filament smoothly. This ensures that the extruder can keep up with its high print speeds by ensuring optimal flow control of the molten filament.
It is integrated with a 60W high-power hot end which allows it to provide sufficient heat to melt the filament much more quickly and improve the flow of the molten filament.
The motors required for operation are much lighter, so they require less torque for the same filament pushing force. As a result, the extruder assembly is much lighter.
This dual-gear direct drive extruder ensures stability and accurate printing. It also helps prevent nozzle clogging and under-extrusion issues. The dual-gear drive extruder is compatible with multiple filaments like PLA, ABS, PETG, and even flexible filaments like TPU.
An added advantage of direct drive extruder systems is that under-extrusion and over-extrusion are much easier to identify. This is because the filament doesn’t need to travel a long distance before reaching the nozzle.
Filament Runout Sensors
Like most modern-day printers, the Kobra 2 has a filament runout sensor. The little device has a key role to play for every 3D printer in the market.
This device can be a lifesaver when your filament runs out when you are almost done with a long print or when your filament breaks when printing.
Once the device senses a breakage or that the filament is coming to an end, it pauses the printer so that you can insert the filament and continue printing. After you have inserted the filament into the extruder, you can resume printing.
The extruder returns to the last place where the filament got finished, to continue printing.
The downside to this is that there may be a visible layer line on the model. This depends on how well the layer adheres to the previous layer.
Dual Z-Axis Threaded Rods
This is also another feature that was missing from the first Kobra 3D printer. Getting this high-precision dual Z-axis on the Kobra 2 creates a more premium user experience during printing.
The high-precision dual Z-axis with synchronized lead screws and dual motor drive ensures a more stable movement of the print head and high printing accuracy.
This is even much more important when you consider the speeds the Anycubic Kobra 2 attains during printing.
The dual Z-axis rods prevent wobbles in the gantry during printing which could lead to layer lines deviation, layer skips, and other imperfections caused by a single Z-axis lead screw. It also reduces the resistance of the print head lifting during the printing process.
PEI Coated Magnetic Spring Build Plate
Another premium feature of the Kobra 2 is the magnetic spring build plate. While this has always been on the Anycubic lineup, it is great to see it still in use. This is because it possesses the best qualities needed for printing.
The magnetic spring steel sheet is very flexible, which allows one to pop prints off by flexing the plate once it cools off. This prevents the need to dig into the build plate with a scraper just to get the print off, which could also damage the print during the process.
Also, it has high adhesion properties. It has a gritty texture which improves adhesion and prevents warping in prints.
4.3-Inch LCD Touchscreen
It has a 4.3-Inch LCD touchscreen attached to the base of the printer. It is very responsive and easy to use and assemble. It is attached to the base of the printer with a screw and an Allen key. Once that is done, you can plug the connector from the printer into it.
The screen is very bright and highly user-friendly. It grants the user the opportunity to be in control of all the printer’s actions. From the screen, you can set the Z-offset, change the printer’s language, change the temperature, and so on.
LeviQ 2.0 Automatic Bed Leveling
The Kobra 2 uses Anycubic’s innovative automatic bed leveling technology known as LeviQ. However, it uses the improved version known as LeviQ 2.0. The brain of the operation is an inductive sensor placed beside the extruder to detect the distance or gaps between the bed and extruder without any direct contact with the bed.
It maps out 25 points on the bed to offset the level of unevenness across the bed with high accuracy by highlighting a 5×5 grid on the bed.
The Kobra 2 also features a smart z-axis compensation module that allows the printer to adjust the height of the nozzle and automatically adjust the Z-offset with precision. This makes the leveling process much easier for new users.
The LeviQ automatic bed leveling makes the bed leveling process much easier and much faster compared to the older generation which had manual knobs for adjustments.
Double Metal Spindle and SG15 Bearing
On the X and Y axes, the machine fitted with a metal double axel core known as the SG15 bearing. This helps to reduce friction between the extruder assembly and the belts on the axis.
In comparison to the regular D-shape wheel structure used on most printers, it is much faster, smoother, and more wear-resistant.
The Anycubic Kobra 2 comes pre-assembled with most of the components held together already. The printer is basically split into two parts, the gantry, and the base, with the gantry requiring a few screws to be attached to the base with an Allen key.
Once that is done, you can then fasten the other parts to their appropriate slots.
The whole assembly process should not take more than 15 minutes, even if you have never assembled a 3D printer before.
Dual Cooling Fans
The Anycubic Kobra 2 has a dual-fan cooling system integrated with the extruder assembly. One of the fans is mounted below the extruder and the other, by the side. They are tasked with the responsibility of rapidly cooling the extruded filament.
These fans ensure that the deposited filament layer solidifies quickly so that the extruder can move to the next layer much faster. Without the fans, the printer cannot keep up with the high printing speeds attained by the printer.
The cooling fans are integrated with a cooling wind duct, which optimizes the efficiency of fans, by allowing the prints to cool more quickly.
Also, these fans are low-power consumption devices (4W), so you should not be worried about the cost of keeping them on. However, the fans can reach speeds of over 7,000 revolutions per minute (very fast).
Specifications of the Anycubic Kobra 2
- Build Platform: PEI Coated Spring Steel Sheet
- Modeling Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)
- Rated Power: 400W
- Power Input: 115V/230V. 50/60Hz
- Build Size: 220 x 220 x 250mm
- Printer Size:400 x 435x 486mm
- Nozzle Temperature: 260°C
- Hotbed Temperature: 90°C
- Connection Types: Memory Card, Data Cable
- Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm
- Print Precision: X/Y/Z 0.0125/0.0125/0.0025mm
- Printing Speed: 30-180mm/s
- Layer Thickness: 0.05-0.3mm
- Display Screen: 4.3-Inch Color Screen
- File Format: STL/OBJ/JPG/PNG
- Supported Filament: PLA/ABS/TPU/PETG
- Resume Printing: Yes
- Filament Detection: Yes
- Net Weight: 8.4KG
- Slicing Software: Cura/Simplify3D/Repetier-HOST
- Software Output Format: G-Code
Benefits of the Anycubic Kobra 2
- The assembly process is very quick. It only requires just a few screws to attach the gantry to its base and a few wire connections.
- Can reach very high speed during printing. This allows you to complete prints much faster and reduce electricity costs.
- Has automatic bed-leveling (LeviQ 2.0) which eliminates the stress of manual bed leveling.
- Its dual synchronized lead screws and dual motor drive on the Z-axis help to ensure more stable movement of the print head and better printing accuracy.
- Low-consumption dual fans for rapid cooling of deposited filament so that it can keep up with the high print speeds.
- Uses a 5020 cooling fan which is larger than most and more powerful for effective cooling.
- Belt-tensioning is much easier using the tensioning knobs on the X and Y-axis.
Downsides of the Anycubic Kobra 2
- Doesn’t have input shaper enabled, which would help improve quality with the higher speeds
Unboxing & Assembly of the Anycubic Kobra 2
The unboxing of the Anycubic Kobra 2 was pretty smooth. It comes in a well-packaged and compact box housing the various components of the printer.
On opening the box, you are greeted with the first layer of foam inserts covering the components of the printer.
Upon removing the foam inserts covering the first layer of the box, you have the printer’s gantry, a clear bag containing various tools and accessories, an instruction manual, an LCD screen, and a filament holder.
In the second layer of the box, you’ll find the base of the printer with the magnetic PEI sheet which should be placed on the bed before leveling.
After taking all the components of the printer from the box, the assembly process is as easy as it gets.
- Step 1: Attach the frame to the base of the printer with two screws (M5*45) on both sides and fasten with an Allen key (4). Place the PEI sheet on the base.
- Step 2: Mount the extruder assembly onto the X-axis with an Allen key (2.5) and screws labeled (M3*6). Tension the belt using the tensioning knobs on the gantry.
- Step 3: With the screws labeled M5*14 (1) and M5*6 (2), attach the LCD screen to the bottom right-hand side of the base of the printer. Plug in the wire from the printer into the LCD’s connector.
- Step 4: Install the filament detector switch to the printer. Pull out the buckle at the position of the print head and then insert the filament tube into the print head. Once it’s properly inserted, place the buckle in position.
- Step 5: Attach the filament holder to the left-hand side of the base of the printer and the filament detector switch on the X-axis.
- Step 6: Plug the wires into their appropriate connectors.
At this point, the assembly process is complete. Simply, select the right voltage level (115/230V) for your printer and connect its power cable to the mains. Power on your printer and start the bed leveling process.
Also, if you need a visual demonstration on how to assemble the printer, there is an instruction video on the SD card included with the printer.
Leveling of the Anycubic Kobra 2
You can take the following steps to level the Anycubic Kobra 2:
- Step 1: Connect the power cable from the printer to the mains and switch on the printer.
- Step 2: On the LCD screen, click on “Prepare”, then select “Leveling”, and then click on “Auto-Leveling”.
At this point, the automatic bed leveling sequence will begin. This will operate across the bed in a 5 x 5 grid to measure and compensate for any unevenness across the bed. You can now set the Z-offset of your printer using the LCD screen as well.
Before you begin the bed bed-leveling process, ensure that the metal PEI sheet is placed on the bed, or else the sensor would not function properly.
Customer Reviews of the Anycubic Kobra 2
The customer reviews of the Anycubic Kobra 2 are really positive from reviewers, though it hasn’t been released at time of writing to most people out there.
The assembly, leveling and performance are seen quite easily in these reviews so you can see how great the machine is.
I came across some great reviews such as WildRoseBuilds, Aurora Tech & Fauxhammer which you can check out below.
Aurora Tech Review
Print Quality of the Anycubic Kobra 2
The Anycubic Kobra 2 produced some great quality, especially with this Einstein Bust that I found on Thingiverse. It was printed with a 0.12mm layer height in silver PLA with supports and 10% infill. The details came out really nice.
It took just 5 hours and 10 minutes to print this model.
Tony Stark Bust
I also printed this Tony Stark bust which I also found on Thingiverse in a white PLA, though you can’t see the details as well with this color.
It still came out really nicely. You could spray paint white models to a darker color to make the details easier to see. This was also done with a 0.2mm layer height. It also took around 5 hours to 3D print this model.
Nike Air Max
I found this pretty cool model of a Nike Air Max trainer that I decided to 3D print as well, also from Thingiverse.
This was done in a 0.2mm layer height and took just 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Textured Screw Cap Container
I thought it would be a good idea to also 3D print a model that that screw so you can see how well the tolerances are. You can tell the precision is good since the screw cap twisted pretty easily.
I did end up running out of filament so I changed it over, so you can see the filament sensor works great also. It was done in a 0.2mm layer height and took just 1 hour 40 minutes.
Verdict of the Anycubic Kobra 2
The Anycubic Kobra 2 is an entry-level 3D printer that can cater to the needs of 3D printing hobbyists as well as 3D printing professionals. In comparison to the Kobra 1, the Kobra 2 is an amazing upgrade on it.
If you are getting a 3D printer for the first time, the Anycubic Kobra 2 would probably be top of my list for recommendation. This is because, for a budget printer, it has some of the features present in top-end printers that contribute to a wonderful printing experience, especially with the bed leveling.