Anycubic Chiron 3D Printer Review
The Anycubic Chiron is Anycubic’s first stab at the consumer large format 3D printer market, and it really feels like a 1.0 product. It exhibits subpar print quality, noise, and outdated hardware, along with nonfunctional features and the need for a recall of its initial batch, telling a story of Anycubic trying to rush a half-baked product to market. Expert users looking for a low-cost machine that they can upgrade to modern standards may feel the potential in the Anycubic Chiron. However, we’d instead highly recommend Creality’s CR-10 S4 or CR-10 MAX for a much better print experience.
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There are several printers that can print up to 300 mm^3 in volume. However, to print something larger than that, users must choose between building their own printer from scratch or using the Creality CR-10 S4 or the Creality CR-10 MAX. Anycubic saw this opportunity and aimed to break into the extra large 3D printer space with its Chiron 3D printer.
Released in 2018, the Anycubic Chiron promised many modern features such as a compact design, automatic bed leveling, and a very affordable price of $449, undercutting both the Creality CR-10 S4 and CR-10 MAX (which were priced at $499 and $852 at the time). Unfortunately, the Chiron suffered from a major quality control issue when it was first launched, which made it quickly discontinued. It was quietly reintroduced in the fall of 2018, claiming that any quality control issues had been addressed.
We got our hands on a second launch Anycubic Chiron unit, and in this review, we will see if Anycubic’s quality control claims are true and if it stacks up against the CR-10 S4 and CR-10 MAX.
Table of Contents
Key Features To Look For In A Great 3D Printer
Sales of 3D printers are rising dramatically year over year. As we move towards a new era of 3D printing, you probably want to get on board, too (unless you’re a pro, in that case, disregard this intro).
The first thing you need to look at before buying your first printer is natural print quality! We scored the Anycubic Chiron a 5/10 in terms of print quality for a few reasons.
When we got our hands on the Chiron, we tested dimensional accuracy, print repeatability, ability to resolve details, and z-layer alignment. Unfortunately, the Anycubic Chiron yielded subpar results. We saw extrusion on the details of our models that indicate issues with the extruder. Surfaces that were meant to be flat ended up with holes and marks, indicating that the printer was not pushing filament steadily as well. Additionally, we identified issues like ringing and ghosting across multiple test runs.
After determining if the print quality is up to your standards, you should look for ease of setup next. If you’re new to 3D printing, you want to ensure you can hit the ground running without much assembly.
The Anycubic Chiron comes in three components: bottom, top, and LCD module. You must screw four bolts and two T brackets to complete the assemblies. At this point, the buyer would need to connect the cables to the electronics on the motors, heated bed, hotend, and LCD module, which is intimidating for new 3D printing enthusiasts. From unboxing to printing, it took us 30 minutes to assemble, but we’re more experienced than the average user.
Finally, it’s essential to consider maintenance and accessibility to replacement parts. In the case of the Anycubic Chiron, the advantage lies in its ease of replacement and upgradability for all components. The reason for this is that many of them are clones of other products, which could be seen as a good or bad thing.
How We Researched Anycubic Chiron
The Anycubic Chiron belongs to the large format cartesian family of 3D printers. These types of 3D printers are well known for their exceptionally large build volume, extremely high build volume to cost ratio, and large communities. Users typically look at these printers to produce props and objects used for industrial applications.
Anycubic is well known as a budget-oriented, high-performance resin 3D printer manufacturer. They are less well-known for their FDM printers, and their previous Anycubic Mega series has received mixed reviews. As their first attempt at a large format 3D printer, we were excited to see what Anycubic brings to the table with the Chiron.
To test its capabilities, we put the Chiron through a gauntlet of test prints and in various harsh printing environments. Additionally, we scoured the depths of the internet to gauge the Chiron’s community dynamics and more. We also pitted it against some of its competitors, such as the Creality CR-10 S4 and the Creality CR-10 Max, to see how well the Anycubic Chiron stacks against the competition.
While large format 3D printers can easily wow users with the possibilities of an enormous build volume, they can just as easily frustrate users with terrible print quality, bad setup experience, and general unreliability. We took the time to carefully research the Anycubic Chiron to let you have all the information you need to make the correct decision for a new 3D printer.
The Chiron consists of three main components: bottom assembly, top assembly, and LCD module. Users must screw four bolts and two T brackets to connect the two assemblies. They would then need to connect cables that link the electronics to the heated bed, motors, hotend, and LCD module.
We can only define the build process for the Anycubic Chiron as “average,” as modern 3D printers require roughly the same number of steps. It took us around 30 minutes from unboxing to the first print. In comparison, the Creality CR-10 S4 took 35 minutes due to additional cable connections, while the CR-10 MAX only took 20 minutes as it had fewer connections. We did need to tighten a few bolts and wheels that had become loose during shipping.
Leveling the Bed
Anycubic recommends users use the machine’s automatic bed leveling before starting their first prints. This involves attaching the magnetic bed probe to the nozzle and running the bed leveling wizard. It was an easy process that took about 5 minutes, and we found the probe worked very well to ensure the first layer was perfect.
What concerned us was when we noticed that subsequent prints on the Anycubic Chiron were losing their level and often failing due to inadequate bed adhesion. Anycubic’s original firmware had a problem with retaining the values from the automatic bed leveling sensor, which meant users had to utilize it before each print.
Anycubic claimed to have fixed this issue with the release of the Chiron in a firmware revision. However, after looking into the installed firmware, we confirmed that the unit had not been updated with new firmware, which resulted in the printer not saving the results from the automatic bed leveling sensors between prints.
We proceeded to contact Anycubic, who provided us with the updated firmware, which solved the bed leveling issue. Still, we were disappointed in Anycubic’s quality control for shipping us a Chiron unit with outdated firmware.
Anycubic Chiron Print Quality
The Anycubic Chiron has a large build volume of 400mm (l) x 400mm (w) x 450mm (h), which allows it to print a large number of different objects. We really liked its Ultrabase Pro glass bed and automatic bed leveling. It made printing large objects quite reliable once we updated the firmware of the newest one Anycubic provided.
We decided to test the Chiron in four major areas: the ability to resolve details, z-layer alignment, dimensional accuracy, and print repeatability. For the tests, we used stock 0.2mm layer height settings in Cura.
To test the Chiron printer’s ability to resolve details, we printed several models, including the standard test model Benchy, a Mandalorian figure, and a calibration cube. Unfortunately, the Chiron produced all prints with subpar quality. We observed extrusion affecting the details on the Benchy, Mandalorian, and calibration cube. This indicates that there are issues with the extruder. In our experience, cloned E3D titan extruders like the one this machine has often have very poor quality.
Additionally, flat surfaces on the calibration cube exacerbated the under-extrusion, resulting in holes and marks that indicated inconsistent filament pushing by the extruder. Notably, we also observed a significant amount of ringing and ghosting artifacts on the flat surfaces. These artifacts were attributed to the substantial and weighty glass bed constantly shifting. Comparatively, both the CR-10 S4 and CR-10 MAX showed much more consistent extrusion. However, it’s worth mentioning that all three machines suffer from ghosting and ringing due to their large glass beds.
To assess the z-layer alignment of the Creality CR-10 V3, we printed a towering 420mm tube. The z-axis assembly’s quality control and design play a pivotal role in maintaining consistent z-axis performance in a 3D printer. Even a minor misalignment or bend in the z-axis lead screw can result in visible ribbing artifacts, often referred to as z wobble, on the printed object. Particularly, a tall smooth object, such as a tube, is prone to accentuating any z wobble present in a 3D printer. Unfortunately, our testing uncovered subtle ribbing along the Z-axis, suggesting that Anycubic had provided us with a slightly bent Z-axis rod.
Finally, to test dimensional accuracy and print consistency, we printed a 20mm calibration cube 20 times to see if there were any differences between the cubes. The results revealed that our printed cube measured 20.4mm (length) by 20.3mm (width), indicating that the Anycubic Chiron’s dimensional accuracy fell below average. We also noticed variations in the finish of the cubes between the first and twentieth iterations, which could be attributed to an inconsistent extruder.
Anycubic Chiron Print Experience
By the way, Anycubic ships its Chirons with Cura 18.104.22.168, which was released back in 2017. Since then, Cura and other slicer programs have made massive leaps in print quality, optimizations, and features. So, we were very disappointed they would ship such old software.
Setting Up Prints
We proceeded to install this older version of Cura to accurately test the Chiron in its stock configuration. Cura 15 provides a decent but slow user experience that many advanced users find to be limiting due to a lack of modern parameters available to Cura 4. Users must then load their sliced files into a microSD card and insert it next to the LCD module of the Chiron. Some users may not appreciate such a small card to load their files; however, in our testing, we really didn’t find it to be an issue.
While the Chiron features a color touch screen, we felt that the UI was poorly implemented. The menus were populated with both English and Chinese text, making navigation particularly difficult.
Unlike more modern printers, the Chiron is equipped with older A4988 stepper drivers, which are extremely loud in comparison to TMC silent stepper drivers found in the CR-10 MAX. This results in Chiron producing noise levels of 48 dB while idle and 60 db while in motion. In contrast, the Creality CR-10 MAX outputs 48db while idle and 51db while in motion. The Creality CR-10 S4, which also uses A4988 stepper drivers, has noise levels similar to the Chiron, measuring 50db while idle and 60 db while in motion.
Due to the very large glass print bed, large printers such as the Anycubic Chiron, Creality CR-10 S4, and CR-10 MAX are forced to print extremely slowly. The recommended speed for such large printers is 40mm/s.
The Anycubic Chiron is a very large 3D printer, sporting overall dimensions of 650mm (l) x 650mm (w) x 720mm (h) and weighing in at 20kg. Users need a very large workbench or table to accommodate both its weight and size. They would need to account for an extra 50 cm in front and back to accommodate the moving build plate.
The Chiron has a build volume of 400mm (l) x 400mm (w) x 450mm (h). This is larger than Creality’s CR-10 S4’s build volume of 400mm (l) x 400mm (w) x 400mm (h) but smaller than Creality’s CR-10 MAX’s build volume of 450mm (l) x 450mm (w) x 470mm (h). All three machines give users a generous amount of printing space. However, the CR10 MAX offers more room in all three directions.
Anycubic used 2020 aluminum extrusion when constructing the Chiron. This provides enough rigidity for a machine of its size. The Chiron follows a contemporary 3D printer design by situating its electronics underneath, which contributes to its slightly smaller footprint compared to the CR-10 S4 with its external electronic box. Despite its larger build volume, the Chiron remains more compact than the CR-10 MAX.
One of the biggest concerns of 3D printing is the heater potentially losing control and catching fire. Thermal runaway protection is a software feature that monitors the hotend to ensure it stays within an acceptable temperature range. Most modern printers, including the Anycubic Chiron, have it enabled. In Chiron’s case, it even monitors the heater’s temperature. If it deviates from the acceptable range, it triggers a heating error message, shuts off power, and prompts the user to restart the machine.
Cable Relief and Cable Management
When the Chiron is in motion, the heated bed will move around to adjust its positioning. This could potentially lead to the power cable being pulled and strained, increasing the risk of breakage. While most modern 3D printers include some sort of strain relief for the cables to reduce the risk of cable breakage, the Anycubic Chiron does not. The situation is worsened by the fact that the Chiron’s larger movements put more strain on its cables compared to smaller machines.
Mains Heated Bed
A significant issue with the Anycubic Chiron is its use of a mains-powered heated bed. This type of heated bed draws power directly from the wall, enabling fast heating. However, it comes with an electrification risk. Fortunately, we are happy to report that the Chiron’s heated bed is properly grounded, which mitigates the risk of electrification.
Every component of the Chiron is replaceable or upgradable. This includes the control board, stepper drivers, hotend, extruder, and motion components. Many of these components are clones of well-known products, making it easy to replace them with the originals. Popular products like the E3D Titan extruder are even widely available in various 3D printing retailers such as Matterhackers, Spool3d, and Digitmakers.
Accessing the Control Board
As with many base-enclosed electronics, accessing the control board of the Anycubic Chiron is very easy. Users simply have to remove the base cover to access the control board and other electrical components. Due to the large size of the Anycubic Chiron, there is an enormous amount of room to maneuver around the control board. However, it’s important to note that electronic connectors are hot glued to the control board. Before disconnecting cables, users need to melt and remove the hot glue using a heat gun, adding an extra step to the process.
Features & Upgrades
The Anycubic Chiron comes equipped with several useful features, including the Ultrabase Pro Glass bed, Filament Runout Sensor, Automatic Bed Leveling, and a 3:1 Geared Extruder.
Anycubic Ultrabase Pro Glass Bed
The Anycubic Chiron comes with Anycubic’s own ceramic-coated glass bed, providing two key benefits. Firstly, the ceramic coating offers excellent adhesion to filaments like PLA, PETG, and TPU when heated while allowing easy release when cooled. This results in reliable bed adhesion and minimal upkeep. Secondly, the flatness of the glass is a major advantage, ensuring proper print adhesion to the build surface.
Filament Runout Sensor
Anycubic has also added a filament runout sensor to the Chiron. This sensor will detect when the Chiron runs out of filament, which will pause the printer until the user loads in new filament. This is an incredibly useful feature, especially for a large format printer, since there are very few more frustrating things than having a multiday print fail due to the 3D printer running out of filament.
Automatic Bed Leveling
The Anycubic Chiron has a unique bed leveling sensor that attaches to the tip of the nozzle. Prior to the initial print, the printer probes various points on the heated bed, accurately assessing the nozzle-to-glass bed distance to ensure a precise and dependable first layer. A level bed is critical for print reliability—if the nozzle is too far away from the bed, prints may not adhere properly.
Conversely, if the nozzle is too close, filament flow could be hindered, leading to nozzle jams. What sets the Anycubic Chiron’s sensor apart is its unique usage—it’s employed solely before the first print, and its measurements are stored in the printer’s own memory.
3:1 Geared Extruder
To print large objects quickly, the Chiron needs to be equipped with an extruder capable. Anycubic has incorporated a cloned E3D Titan geared extruder, which provides significantly enhanced grip strength compared to a regular non-geared extruder. Due to greater filament control, this results in faster print speeds and greater print reliability.
Anycubic released the Chiron in hopes of dramatically lowering the cost of entry for extra-large FDM printers. In a way, they succeeded. After all, on paper, the Chiron has an enormous build volume, an upgraded extruder, automatic bed leveling, and a great glass build plate. However, Anycubic had to make several compromises to reach its low price point, and its print quality reliably suffered greatly from it. The poor quality control and extremely outdated software included with the Chiron was the most disappointing part.
The Chiron requires upgrades to its extruder and profile settings in newer versions of Cura to perform optimally. For a more satisfying experience, we suggest considering the Creality CR10 MAX over the Anycubic Chiron, as it delivers superior print quality and significantly quieter operation.
Anycubic Chiron Technical Specifications
- Build volume: 400mm (l) x 400mm (w) x 450mm (h)
- Printer size: 650mm (l) x 610mm (w) x 720mm (h)
- Weight: 20kg
- Enclosed print area: No
- Display: colour touchscreen
- Drive type: FDM bowden (ptfe)
- Filament capability: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU
- Connectivity: SD card
- Drivers: A4988
- Build Surface: ceramic coated glass
- Heated Bed: Yes
- Bed Leveling: assisted automatic
- Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
- Maximum hotend temperature: 250 °C
- Maximum movement speed: 150mm per second
- Maximum XY accuracy: 0.1mm
- Minimum Z height: 0.1mm
- Number of extruders: 1
- Filament diameter: 1.75mm
- Supported materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, 3rd party filament support: yes
- Operating System: Windows, macOS, Linux
- Supported Slicers: CURA, Simplify3D
- Supported File Types: STL, OBJ, M3F
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1. Anycubic.com, “Anycubic 3D Printing” Accessed July 26, 2022.