Voxelab are starting to build up a name for themselves as a reputable 3D printer manufacturer, especially with the introduction of the Voxelab Aquila X2 machine that is an upgrade from the Voxelab Aquila.
They have FDM printers as well as resin printers, both of which I have used and had great success with. They are actually a subsidiary of Flashforge so they do have some experience behind them.
I received the Voxelab Aquila X2 for free with the purpose to provide a review, but the opinions in this review are still my own and unbiased.
After setting up the Voxelab Aquila X2 (Amazon), I created many 3D models successfully and at a high quality. I’ll show some of those models in this review so you can see what the quality is like for yourselves.
You can check out the Voxelab Aquila X2 on the official Voxelab website.
This review will go through the features, specifications, benefits, downsides, reviews from other current users, unboxing & assembly process and more, so stay tuned through this article to figure out whether the Aquila X2 is a 3D printer for you.
Features of the Voxelab Aquila X2
- Filament Runout Detection
- Large 4.3″ Display Screen
- Fast Bed Heating
- Auto-Resume Printing Function From Power Loss
- Ultra-Silent Printing
- Carbon Silicon Crystal Glass Platform
- Portable Handle
- Semi-Assembled Kit
- XY Axis Tensioners
- Lifetime Technical Assistance & 12-Month Warranty
Filament Runout Detection
Filament runout detection is a modern feature that pauses your 3D printer if it detects that no filament is passing through the pathway. When you run out of filament, a traditional 3D printer would continue printing the file until the very end.
With this useful addition, your printer will automatically stop the extrusion process and give you a prompt to change your filament to continue printing.
Large 4.3″ Display Screen
The large display screen is a great addition to the Voxelab Aquila X2 for controlling your printer’s settings and to select your desired printing file. It is really easy to view, with the bright display, along with the control wheel to scroll through options.
You have plenty of options using the screen to pre-heat, load or unload filament, cooldown the printer, set home offsets, disable steppers, auto-home, and much more.
Temperatures of the hotend and bed can easily be set through the “Control” section of the display screen, as well as fan speed and printer speed. Another setting you can change is the steps per mm in the X, Y, Z axis and extruder.
Fast Bed Heating
The build plate requires a decent amount of power to get it up to your set temperature, so this printer made sure to be able to heat up in just 5 minutes to start your 3D models.
Auto-Resume Printing Function From Power Loss
If you happen to experience a power outage or accidentally remove the power supply, the Aquila X2 has a feature that saves the last printing position, and will resume printing from that position when power is turned back on.
As long as the print is still on the build plate, it should work perfectly so you don’t end up wasting all that filament and printing time.
Quiet printing is important when you are 3D printing at home or in a busy environment. This machine has a smooth adjustable pulley along with quiet stepper motors and motherboard to ensure you have a quiet printing experience.
The fans are the loudest thing on the printer, but these can also be swapped out for quieter fans. It should produce sounds at below 50 decibels.
Carbon Silicon Crystal Glass Platform
The Aquila X2 comes with a tempered glass plate on top of the heated bed. Having a flat plane of glass on the heated bed is a great method for reducing warping issues for your 3D prints.
A little glue stick for adhesion goes a long way so you don’t have to worry about prints lifting from the build plate. Another benefit of the glass bed is how it provides you with a smooth surface which shows on your 3D prints. The bottom surfaces should also be smooth on your models.
The portable handle is a really nice touch that makes it easier to move your printer from one location to the next. Although most people don’t move their 3D printers around much, it’s nice to have when you do.
You can easily remove the portable handle if you don’t want it there by removing the screws.
Assembly for the Voxelab Aquila X2 is made simple due to most of the parts coming semi-assembled. It’s perfect for beginners who have never put a 3D printer together, and can be assembled in 10-20 minutes by following video instructions or the manual.
XY Axis Tensioners
Rather than having to unscrew your tensioner and adjust the tension manually, you can easily adjust belt tension on your printer by simply twisting the wheels.
Lifetime Technical Assistance & 12-Month Warranty
Voxelab 3D printers come with a lifetime of technical assistance, along with a 12-month warranty, so you can rest assured that you’ll be taken care of if some kind of issue arises.
Specifications of the Voxelab Aquila X2
- Printing Technology: FDM
- Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm
- Printing Precision: ±0.2 mm
- Layer Resolution: 0.1-0.4mm
- XY Axis Precision: ±0.2mm
- Filament Diameter: 1.75mm
- Max. Extruder Temperature: ≤250℃
- Max. Heating Bed: ≤100℃
- Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 250mm
- Printer Dimensions: 473 x 480 x 473mm
- Slicer Software: Cura/Voxelmaker/Simplify3D
- Compatible Operating System: Windows XP/7/8/10 & macOS
- Print Speed: Max. ≤180mm/s, 30-60mm/s normally
Benefits of the Voxelab Aquila X2
- High precision printing and excellent print quality
- Very competitive price compared to similar machines
- Easy to use for beginners
- Assembly is very easy and can be done within 20 minutes
- Great step-by-step guides for getting this printer up and running
- Carrying the printer is made easier with the portable handle
- Relatively quiet printing, except for the fans
Downsides of the Voxelab Aquila X2
- The fans are fairly loud compared to the rest of the printer, but this can be changed out
- Some people run out of text space with the STL file names before selecting models to print – there is a good amount of space for most models though.
- Doesn’t have auto-leveling
- One of the Z-axis coupler screws were tightened way too much, but I managed to get it off with a lot of force.
- The bed fixture was kind of loose so you need to ensure you tighten the eccentric nuts to stabilize it.
Customer Reviews on the Voxelab Aquila X2
The Voxelab Aquila X2 has great ratings on Amazon, being rated 4.3/5.0 at time of writing with 81% of ratings being 4 stars or above.
One of the main things that people mention is just how easy it is to put together, seeing as there are great instructions and even video instructions that you can follow. After you’ve put the printer together, you just have to level it correctly and you can begin printing models.
It’s a great 3D printer for beginners since the assembly and operation are very simple. The print quality is definitely top-tier and you don’t have to spend so much money to get yourself one.
One user described three main reasons why you should get this printer:
- It is very competitively priced and works great out the box
- Print quality is excellent
- There are great step-by-step guides to get things working perfectly
Some of the ideal additions are the filament run-out sensor, along with the print resume function in events of a power outage. The portable handle is a great touch, along with the improvement in the extruder mechanism.
The stepper motors are silent so you can operate a relatively quiet 3D printer, but the fans do get fairly loud. As mentioned, you can change out the fans to really decrease the noise output of the Aquila X2.
Another user said that after the printer arrived, he got it assembled really quickly, successfully followed the bed leveling tutorial, then loaded the sample filament to begin printing the test models on the MicroSD card. Everything turned out as expected.
The 3DPrintGeneral did his own review on this machine which you can check out in the video below. It has many similarities to the Ender 3 V2, seen as a clone by many.
Voxelab Aquila X2 Vs Voxelab Aquila
The Voxelab Aquila and Aquila X2 look very similar, but there are a few changes that make it a nice upgrade to get over the original model. It has a filament runout sensor, as well as automatic loading and unloading of filament.
The screen is one of the main changes, where you have a slightly smaller horizontal screen on the Aquila, while you have a normal vertical display screen on the Aquila X2.
Another key change is the portable handle which is a great aesthetic and functional handle that allows you to move the printer around a lot easier, since moving it by the frame can get uncomfortable.
The hotend is slightly different and requires you to take out just one screw to remove the hotend shroud. The fan is slightly more powerful at 0.1 amps on the X2 rather than 0.08 amps on the original Aquila.
They both have the same Meanwell power supply and motherboard, but the wire organization with the X2 motherboard is done better than the original, giving more color co-ordination and neatness.
Now let’s move on to the unboxing, leveling, and assembly process.
Unboxing & Assembling the Voxelab Aquila X2
The box was a lot smaller than I thought, so it’s nice and compact from delivery.
Here is how it looks when you open the box.
Here is the first layer of the Voxelab Aquila X2 which shows the main base of the printer along with the build plate, extruder, filament sample and the instruction manual.
The second layer reveals the rest of the frame and portable, along with the spool holder, axis tensioners, linear bearings with motor, accessories and fixing kit.
Here is everything laid out from the package. You can see that a lot of it is semi-assembled so it makes the overall assembly a lot easier. The instruction manual is done really well so that should help guide you along the process.
I’ve put together the two side frames along and next comes the linear rod with couplers.
You can see it slowly coming together.
Here is the X-gantry with the extruder and X-axis motors.
This is probably the most challenging part, connecting the belt correctly for the X-axis.
We’ve added the belt and tensions onto the X-gantry which can then be connected to the rest of the printer.
Here’s another view with the extruder and filament runout sensor in clear view.
Here is how it looks after it has been connected to the rest of the Aquila X2.
Then you finish off the main assembly by attaching the top frame.
Now we attach the LCD screen, here’s the back of it which just requires a couple of screws.
Here is the printer with the LCD screen attached.
It has a really useful clip that keeps the wiring in place so it doesn’t get caught on anything.
The spool holder easily attaches to the top of the frame with two screws.
Once you’ve done all this, you want to attach the wiring to each corresponding motor, Z-endstop, and filament runout sensor. Below is the endstop.
This is the filament runout sensor.
Here is the Z-axis motor wiring.
This one shows the extruder motor and X-axis motor wiring.
Make sure you set the correct voltage settings because damage can occur if it’s incorrect. It should match your local power supply (115 or 230V). For me, in the UK, it was 230V.
Once you’ve done that properly, you can plug in the power cord and turn the power on as shown below.
Now we can start leveling the build plate using the standard manual leveling process.
Leveling the Voxelab Aquila X2
The leveling process is the standard that you’ll see used when leveling other manual printers.
- Auto-home the printer by selecting “Control” > “Auto-Home”
This is the auto-home position, which you can see is not in the right place for successful 3D printing. We will need to adjust this.
- Disable the steppers by selecting “Control” > “Disable Steppers”
This option allows us to manually move the X & Y axis so we can properly level the bed.
- Manually move the print head to the bottom-left corner
- Adjust the height of the build plate by twisting the thumbscrews in the corner
- Use a piece of paper under the nozzle as a way to determine the height of the build plate
- The paper should be a good balance of not too hard or easy to move by tugging the paper under the nozzle
- Repeat this process for each corner and the center of the build plate
- Do the leveling process again for each corner and middle of the build plate to get it perfect.
Once you’ve leveled your print bed correctly, you can:
- Insert your MicroSD card
- Insert your filament
- Then start the test print by going to “Print” and selecting the file. This will pre-heat the Aquila to the set temperature and begin printing the model.
I’d recommend using glue stick on the glass build plate to help with proper build plate adhesion.
Printing Results of the Voxelab Aquila X2
The first test print went fairly well but I did notice a little bit of layer shifting and some stringing. The temperature settings weren’t optimal with this filament so I changed that, stabilized the glass bed better, and tried printing it again.
I did the initial test print again which is pictured below and it came out a lot better, along with the wheel for the extruder.
Here’s a test hook printed in the same blue glitter filament.
This is an adapter for an air purifier to connect to a vent hose. Using glue stick around the print bed really helped the adhesion.
This is the underside of the adapter.
I changed over the filament to a lovely silk gray and printed Vegeta at a 0.2mm layer height from the Dragonball Z anime show.
I did another larger print of Guyver from a Japanese Manga Series, again at a 0.2mm layer height and it came out really nice.
The bottom of the print had some imperfections. I’m not sure exactly what caused it, but it could have been the gap between the print and the raft having an effect on the model, though the back of the model looked alright.
The quality and operation from the Voxelab Aquila X2 is really top-tier.
Verdict – Worth Buying or Not?
After my experience from delivery to assembly, to setting prints up and looking at the final print quality of this machine, I’d have to say that the Aquila X2 is a 3D printer worth buying.
Regardless of whether you are a beginner or an experienced 3D printer user, this would be a great purchase to add to your 3D printing journey.