Anycubic – a company competing with the low-cost printer companies like Anet and Tronxy. The Kossel is a Delta printer with no heat bed. I thought owning one would be great because I heard they print very well at high speeds.
I have not found this to be true. I am reviewing the Pulley version. There is also the Linear version which uses linear rails instead of the wheels on the plastic carriage and there is the Linear Plus which has a larger diameter but smaller height. Linear rails are said to be better and it does cost more but I don’t have experience with linear rails, so I don’t know for sure. The pulley version does move smoothly and quietly. If you’re interested in differences between these versions you can check our AnyCubic comparison.
AnyCubic Kossel Technical Specification
The table below shows technical specification for AnyCubic Kossel.
- Printer model
- Printing size
- Printer Dimensions
- Printer Weight
- Print Area
- Print speed
- Layer resolution
- Axis positioning accuracy
- Material diameter
- Printer Frame Material
- Platform board material
- Extruder type
- Heated Bed
- Max Nozzle Temperature
- Max Heatbed Tempeature
- Auto leveling sensor
- Filament sensor
- Resume from outage
- Recommended Material
- Power Input
- Retail price
- Anycubic Kossel
Ø180×300 mm Pulley version
Ø180×300mm for Linear
Ø230×270 mm Linear Plus version
△380mm*680mm plus version
220 x 220 x 240mm
8.6 x 8.6 x 9.45″
- 20mm/s - 80mm/s
- 0.1mm - 0.4mm
- 0.001 mm XYZ
- 100V/240V AC, 50/60Hz
The box isn’t that big and it was packaged well with foam to prevent damage in shipping. Like most kit printers the Anycubic Kossel has many parts. It is intended for people that like to build. It may be intimidating to look at but unlike the Anet series printers, this one comes with a well-detailed manual which has easy to follow instructions.
SD Card files:
On the SD card, you will find all the instructions, manuals as well as test files ready to print including 3D Models to try slicing. You will also find the slicer software and the printer firmware. Although it’s best to get the most up to date firmware. Basically, there are no printed guides and a manual, but you have everything to get you started on an SD card.
I love building kits of almost anything. This is my 3rd kit printer. This time I asked my daughter if she would like to help me build it and she said yes. She was a great helper. The build was straight forward and easy to assemble.
There were a couple things the company needs to change and if not I recommend anyone ordering this printer to add them to their order. One is proper T slot nuts. The ones the supply only fit one way and that one way isn’t very secure. Even if it raised the cost of the printer it would still be worth it. See figure 1A.
The second thing they should supply is a cable tie down. These can’t cost more than a fraction of a cent. See figure 1B. This simple tie down can keep the wire from breaking off the heater block and/or thermistor or keep them heater core from pulling out of the block. Which can prevent it from burning something and possibly catching fire.
Getting the 2020 extrusions to slide onto the plastic corner pieces was a bit tricky but it may be that I did it wrong but with proper T-nuts, it would be much simpler. Other than that the build was pretty straight forward and took about 4 hours with my daughter helping. Normally it would be much faster.
Before you turn on the printer double or triple check the connections to the motherboard. There is nothing worse than turning on the power and seeing the board burn out because you connected something wrong. I have done this on one of my RAMPS 1.4 boards and one of my Anet boards.
I also added a label to each of the three stepper motors X Y and Z in order to make it simpler to level.
The aluminum body of this printer makes it feel well built and could be easily moved while it is printing. Something I wouldn’t try with the acrylic Anet A8 or the A6. Although the cheap T-nuts may make something come off if you did. A buildtak or buildtak type surface included for the glass. More on that later.
After building the printer you need to update the firmware. There is a download link in the manual. This is done with the Arduino software. The firmware is a version of the open source Marlin firmware. This firmware is popular and used on many printers and most DIY printers. Easy to update but lots to learn if you want to customize it for yourself.
Build quality and looks don’t mean anything if the printer doesn’t print well. My first print was the calibration cube. It is used the configure the DELTA_DIAGONAL_ROD. See page 19. Leveling the delta is a bit tricky if you follow the guide book. So I found this Youtube video. I spent more than a day leveling the bed before I found this video. It was very helpful.
I then printed the popular benchy which is aptly named after the word benchmark. It shows how well your printer prints certain things like lettering, circles, and bridges. The benchy turned out very well and comparable to the more expensive printers. The benchy is printed with the supplied roll of black PLA which doesn’t normally come with the printer. I assume it was supplied for the review.
After seeing how well it printed I decided to try an upgrade piece (see Upgrade “Top Caps “). This stuck so well to the buildtak surface that it broke trying to remove it. I decided to flip the bed and print with tape on the glass.
I will be removing the buildtak and tape to print directly onto the glass with hairspray. I like the idea of seeing the mainboard through the glass and will install LED’s to make it look cool.
Without the heated bed the filament types are limited to PLA and PETG. The next prints I printed were bearing mounts for the printer I’m building.
The PETG is very glossy but strong and stands up to heat as it’s printed at higher temps like ABS. So if you are building a printer you intend to enclose it’s best to use higher temperature filaments to prevent warping.
I knew my next print would fail but I gave it a try anyway. (eBay link) TPU Sain smart flexible filament. It got wound up on the extruder gears. The flexible filament is difficult to print with. Even at slow speeds.
I went back to PLA to print parts for this printer I found on Thingiverse. See Upgrades and modifications below. I printed top caps to cover the belt pulley wheels for each of the three corners. I also printed motherboard supports. But to install them I need to unplug everything from the board.
Famous 3D printing Youtuber – Muse created a tolerance test that you can print. It has parts with gaps set at .5, .4, .3, .2, .15, .1 and .05. basically, you try turning each one until you can’t and the smallest number you can turn is your tolerance. Then you know what tolerances to put into your models or which models you can print from the internet. This delta can print with .3 tolerances but it could improve with more setting changes.
The next print is one I have been meaning to print for a while. It is the Adalinda: The Singing Serpent. This is popular and is included on the Prusa MK2 included SD card. My 16 year old loves it. He is into dragons.
The last prints are the rod supports. You need springs to use them. The small 10mm springs I used didn’t hold up when printing to the outer parts of the build plate. So I switch them to 14mm springs.
After attempting the larger lower motor caps I realized the bed isn’t as level as I expected.
So I went to Thingiverse looking for an auto level sensor. The inductive sensors need a metal bed to work and are typically 12mm in diameter. The capacitive sensor is 18mm in diameter. I like the glass bed so I had to make my own sensor mount.. The ones that do hold the 18mm ones don’t look like they will hold to the extruder and would be below the nozzle, therefore, aren’t useful on this printer.
ABS is popular because if you print something that has to be out in the sun or hot area it won’t warp without extreme heat. PLA would warp easily. But ABS needs a heated bed and power supply so this printer will not print ABS without that upgrade which you can find on sites like Gearbest.
Cheap printers don’t come with company built software so they include open source software like Cura and Slic3r. They work well and get updated regularly. I like and use both of these but there are much more. There is also a Prusa edition of Slic3r which they build specifically for the MK2 and their 4 filament add-on.
AnyCubic Kossel Delta – Upgrades and modifications
These are some of the printer modifications from the community I would recommend. All of these upgrades can be 3D printer on your Kossel.
Upgrades I have not made yet
I haven’t printed any of the following upgrades, but you might find them handy, depending on the printer setup you’re aiming at.
The base extender is good if you decide to do the heatbed upgrade.
Holders and Mounts
- Top mount spool holder
- Tool holder
- Table Spool Holder
- Cable Holder
- Cable holder
- Base Extender
- Pulley Enforcement
The base extender is good if you decide to do the heatbed upgrade.
A Mosfet is also recommended if you do a heatbed upgrade
Valuation, pros and cons:
Besides the tolerance being so large (.3 isn’t so great) this printer does print well. Most printers now days do and I can only see it getting better as time goes on. Cheaper and better. Which makes me wonder how some companies get away with charging so much.
The all aluminum frame makes this printer feel solid and quality. If it wasn’t for the cheap T-nuts I would give it a higher grade.
User interface and Navigation
This printer has the same interface as my Anet A6 which is hard to fine tune specific settings or move the axis with precision. That’s because the knob turns the menu values 3-4 at a time.
Value for the money
This printer is great value for the money. Even if you have to update the T-nuts yourself this printer is still cheap. And there is a growing Facebook community that is willing to help with any problems you may run into.
- Great value for the money. You couldn’t buy the parts for this printer any cheaper then it’s sold for.
- Solid aluminum build. Nice heavy feel to it.
- E3D Bowden style extruder. Bowden seems to be what most people in the community seem to update to.
- Tall build volume. Although it seems to waste space with the rods it does have a taller build volume than most printers.
- Heated bed is not included (can be purchased separately)
- Some cheap or not included parts. Again I don’t understand those T-Nuts.
- Delta style printers are hard to level
Where to buy AnyCubic Kossel?
Here are some stores which sell this 3D printer and it’s spare parts or upgrades.
Delta printers are supposed to print at faster speeds, but I found any faster than 30mm/s and my prints would fail. I will have to do more research into why that is. They are very hard to level so I would recommend an auto level upgrade. I will be doing that after this review.
It does have a nice build volume if you need to print taller things. So would I recommend this printer?
Not as a first printer. I think if I had this printer as my first printer it may have turned me off of 3D printing. Well, maybe not because I love it so much.
I still need to add the auto level and that might change my mind but as stock, I would tell people to start with a cartesian printer first and buy a delta as a second or maybe a 3rd printer.
I will update this review after I get the auto level working. My opinion may change. As of now, I can only print small items as the y corner of the print is too high and no matter what I do it doesn’t seem to change. This isn’t something someone new to printing should have to struggle with. There are also bed level parts you can print from Thingiverse but I don’t know how well they work and they also take away some of the Z axis height. I’m trying them also.
If you have already purchased this printer or are up to the challenge or must have a delta printer, then come join our facebook group. So far everyone seems polite and willing to help.
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