The Chinese-based QIDI Technology manufacturer is famous for offering high-end features in affordable 3D printers. This is not exactly the case with the device we are reviewing in this article — priced at over $1,000, the QIDI Tech X-Max is way more expensive than almost any other product by this company.
It does, however, offer a large build volume and wide material compatibility, including TPU and nylon. This makes it a great choice for more advanced enthusiasts as well as small businesses. So is the printer worth it? Let’s figure it out.
It’s Big, But Is It Versatile?
The primary benefit of the QIDI Tech X-Max lies in that it is focused on a wider array of materials than a typical consumer 3D printer. This elevates it from the likes of Creality, Tevo, and even Prusa, pushing it to a sort of nebulous space of not-quite-professional, but still toting more bells and whistles than most hobbyists would need.
If the characteristics of the machine meet your demands and you are okay with the price, this may be the machine you’ve been looking for.
The device is large and fairly heavy, with a weight of under 30 kg. The design appears to be quite thoughtful, with the plastic yet still sleek exterior and indents to help carry the machine around. It also has an interior lighting system that allows you to monitor the printing process and a magnetic print bed of quite satisfying quality.
The X-Max offers a number of features that greatly improve user experience. Apart from internal lighting and a removable print bed, you can benefit from Wi-Fi connectivity and easy-to-use touchscreen. All these features work together to make printing with the X-Max more comfortable. One thing that is missing, however, is filament detection. It’s wonderful to have a print volume of 300 x 250 x 300 mm, but if you are printing a large model and the filament has run out, you’ll be having an unpleasant experience, particularly when using expensive materials. On the other hand, you can always solve this problem by tacking on something of your own to detect the material.
A MATERIAL MAESTRO
The print quality on the X-Max is enough to produce models with smooth surfaces, the minimum layer height being 100 microns. It prints ABS without issues and is really user-friendly and straightforward. The enclosed build area helps maintain an even temperature that is essential for tricky filaments. The device is good at printing nylon, but for such hygroscopic materials, it makes sense to get a filament dryer, particularly one that is able to keep your filaments away from humid air even when the spool is being used. The printer does provide the possibility to keep the filament inside the chamber, but we found this feature not very convenient in this product.
The X-Max comes with two interchangeable extruders: one for PLA, ABS, and TPU, and another for carbon fiber, nylon, and PC. We did not try demanding materials such as carbon fiber; still, we advise you to use a nozzle other than a brass one for these purposes.
As far as software is concerned, the X-Max can work with either Cura or the proprietary solution, QIDI Print, which is also based on Cura. The slicer is simple and effective, it will suit not only experienced users but also beginners.
In terms of the price, the X-Max is obviously not a cheap printer. If your goal is to get an enclosed machine for printing PLA/ABS, you might consider more affordable options that are not inferior for these purposes. But, if you’re after the possibility of using some fancier materials, then this printer is certain to be a great choice.
It prints very well, particularly with PLA and ABS. For materials of higher hygroscopicity, though, it is recommended to get a filament dryer, as we already mentioned (they are available at a very convenient price). Other modifications you could consider include filament detection and maybe a different spool holder (we were not much satisfied with the one that came with the printer — the filament got tangled). But again, you can easily solve these issues on your own and, for example, print a new holder on the X-Max itself.
BROAD CHOICE OF MATERIALS
QIDI Technology states that the X-Max can print with any kind of material including ABS, nylon, TPU, carbon fiber, and PC. As the build plate can be heated up to 100 °C, the extruder has the capacity to handle 260 °C, and the built chamber is enclosed to maintain the temperature, it is technically true. We also found that printing ABS was as simple as printing PLA with this device. Also, we were able to try out nylon, but did not test the machine on printing with carbon fiber or TPU.
DECENT PRINT VOLUME
With a build volume of 300 x 250 x 300 mm, the X-Max does provide the possibility to print fairly large models, so it is sufficient for most 3D printing requirements.
MAGNETIC REMOVABLE BUILD PLATE
The removable build plate is designed to easily bend so that your prints can just pop off without effort. However, it is recommended to be careful with very thin layers so as not to damage the filament.
CLOSED PRINT CHAMBER
This keeps the build chamber in a uniformly hot state during the print process, which is useful for printing ABS and necessary with nylon.
The QIDI Tech X-Max is shipped with two different extruders. The extruder that comes already installed in the machine is designed for printing with materials such as PLA, ABS, PETG. The second extruder is for advanced filaments like TPU, carbon fiber, nylon, PC.
The advanced materials are to be kept in the enclosed chamber or a separate dry box to maintain their temperature.
AND THE REST
Additional features comprise fast and easy bed leveling using just one button, air filtration, Wi-Fi connectivity, a 5″ color touch screen, and a dual Z-axis design to enhance stability.
Besides, the printer is easy to set up and get ready. It comes with a 1 kg filament bobbin and a kit of tools, which makes it virtually a plug-and-play system working out-of-the-box.