I was recently contacted to fill in for someone that was to teach a 3D printing intro class; but, now could not make it due to a medical condition.
As part of my preparation, he sent me a printer by a manufacturer that was completely new to me, Mingda. The printer is the Magician X.
This isn't a review of this printer. I simply thought it worth alerting the readers to an excellent printer at an affordable price that can print flexible materials. I've loved using it the short time I've been able to test it.
|Mingda Magician X|
My day-to-day printer is a Creality. I have tried other Chinese built brands, like Geeetech, but non of them equaled the value of the Creality until I tried this printer for the first time.
What immediately set it apart was (1) it came with automatic leveling that actually works, (2) it was a direct drive printer and (3) it includes not only a full size SD reader; but, a port for using a USB drive for storing prints. And, all of the ports are on the front of the machine.
I have been successfully printing with both PLA and Polymaker Polyflex materials.
The printer is exceptionally quiet in operation. And, I especially like the ease with which fine adjustments to the printing height can be made during printing. The Z-Axis "baby-step" process is the easiest I've used so far.
The only criticism I have of the machine is that loading filament can be a bit finicky. Because it is direct drive, it is very important to cut the filament at a 45 degree angle before loading. I am going to link to Mingda's video about loading and unloading the filament because it is different enough to be a potential problem for those used to loading most printers in this price range.
The Magician X currently is currently available for $219 in the USA. But, they offer a newer version, the Magician X2 for $289.00. The big innovation in the X2 version is an easily removable print head assembly.
That is a HUGE upgrade to any 3D printer. ALL 3D printers can and will become clogged at some point. Over and over I hear teachers and librairians talk about their school, or library, having a printer; but, they cannot use it due to a clogged head. Having a print head specifically designed for swapping surely helps this situation.
The only other printer we've owned with this capability is the Jellybox 3D printer. from iMade3D, specifically designed for educational institutions.
Considering that my first 3D printers were all above $1000, either of these Mingda 3D printers offer real price/performance value that are worth serious consideration. I've been quite impressed so far.
Addendum: Now that I have the time to print several dozen TPU prints, and an equal amount of PLA prints, without a single failure of any type, I can confirm that THIS is THE printer brand I have now placed at the top of my recommendation list of FDM printers. I can confidently load multiple parts for printing without fear that one or more part might fail.
For libraries, in particular, that allow the public to use their machines, the Magician X2, with the easily swapped head makes a lot of sense.