Mingda really boasts the size with this one. Aat 400mm cubed, this build volume is quite large. Big enough to do full helmets, or even full breast plates of armor, if you’re petite. It has a short list of nice features, such as auto leveling and “ultra-silent printing”. The biggest selling point though, is that it is just BIG and relatively cheap.
Unboxing and assembly
Assembling this printer is fairly easy. There are only 10 screws needed in total to get up and running. Putting it together only took me about 10 minutes. There really isn’t a whole lot to discuss here, except that some of the pre-routed wires were a bit difficult to get plugged in with my big clumsy fingers, but ultimately I have no real complaints there. The wiring is actually one of the strong points of their printer. It is so clean, with nice ribbon cables and easy snap fittings. Great job on that!
I have to admit I’ve been spoiled by more expensive modern printers. Right off the bat I noticed the familiar Mingda screen with simple icons. There are no model previews, only text to let you choose what to print. Do you need more than that? No, but it can be nice.
Starting my first print, I was again reminded about how spoiled I am with more modern printers. This thing felt so sluggish compared to a modern machine with Klipper and input shaping installed. It is crazy how quickly you get used to faster machines. Really, though, speed isn’t the ultimate factor in why you would choose or use a machine. This thing has something those faster newer machines don’t have, and certainly not at this price. It has SIZE.
Since it is huge I decided to print some big stuff with it. I designed a fancy plant stands to handle the auto watering system we have on some of our green housemates. This print wouldn’t fit on my other printers and didn’t even max out the bed on this thing. After two whole days of printing, I had exactly what I needed – except I noticed that I designed some parts poorly and had to start over, not the printer’s fault. My second, and much less cool looking, attempt went without issue and the print quality was great.
Print quality was kind of a bare minimum acceptable. I’m printing at .3mm layer height and you can definitely see some ringing and wobble, but it isn’t horrible. You could likely tune that out and end up with perfect prints each time.
I decided to print one of those little maker coin tolerance testers. These tell you how precise your printer is working. Looking at this, you can see the quality from this machine. There is ringing but over all the print looks presentable, and all but the .1 mm gap broke free.
I did notice my first layer wasn’t great on that print so I tried the auto level again, but it failed. It kept failing till I reached out to support, and then it magically worked again. I have no idea what is going on there, but I would assume that I simply didn’t have a wire plugged in solidly enough. User error is the easiest and most likely explanation here. However, I’ve had frustrations with this type of auto leveling in the past, so maybe I’m skeptical.
One thing I loved was the bed. prints stuck like you’d hope – which isn’t true for all beds – and they came off with a simple flex. This is exactly how removable beds should work and I was so happy to have it. I hate prying prints off of a solid bed, especially huge prints.
The whole package feels a tiny bit aged. The speed isn’t anything to brag about, the interface is a bit simple and old, with no model previews. However, with a big printer like this, your biggest concern should really be reliability. Aside from the finnicky auto level, this machine delivered as you would hope. Prints stuck on the build plate, it chugged along for days, and I got what I wanted in the end. That sounds like a bare minimum but with big printers a failure hurts more since you’ve usually got more time and filament invested in each print.
I would say that this is a fine machine, totally suitable for folks who really want a big build plate. Just don’t expect a speed demon.
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