Anycubic Kobra Go 3D printer review: an expert and a novice

Anycubic’s updated line of 3D printers has impressed us this year, with products like the Kobra Max and the M3 photon. Another new addition, the $200 Kobra Go, is an ambitious attempt to crack the code for the budget 3D printer.

As

  • Automatic bed leveling for $200
  • Removable build plate
  • Great price

Do not like

  • The manual can be difficult to read
  • To be refined from the start

Although I am an advanced user of 3D printers, this is a product for beginners, so I also asked my colleague Russell Holly to test the Kobra Go and compare it to other 3D printers economic ones he tried, such as the Kobra Anycubic. I include his observations alongside mine.

Assembly required

James Bricknell/CBS

The Kobra Go comes as a semi-kit. This means that although you have to assemble many mechanical parts, you don’t need to run cables or use any tools other than the included hex keys.

The advantage of a kit is that you can learn what all the parts are, and to some extent what they do, as you build it, although the manual won’t go into too much in details. Assembly is definitely something that can be done by just about anyone, and is worth the time as it introduces you to some pretty advanced functionality.

Anycubic Kobra Go Datasheet

Print size

220 x 220 x 250mm

printing material

PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU

Extruder type

Bowden

Nozzle size

0.4mm

Print speed

100mm/s (max)

Control

2.4 inch LCD screen with control wheel

Leveling system

25-point self-leveling

Filament run out

Optional supplement

Power cut protection

Yes

Russell: Anycubic’s general ease of use and even greater ease of repair are often marred by less than stellar instruction manuals, and the Kobra Go is no exception. User error aside (I admit there is a page missing in the manual, which was totally on me), the manual regularly changes the perspective of the printer when trying to show you how to connect different parts, requiring the user to stop several times to confirm that it is not being installed upside down.

It’s not that the leaflet is unreadable, in fact far from it, but there is plenty of room for improvement considering the intended audience of these printers. I would go so far as to suggest that a video demonstration for new 3D printer owners would be appropriate for something like this.

It’s still a $200 3D printer (with extras)

Two little white owls 3D printed on a build plate

Russell Holly/CNET

While most 3D printers in the $180-$220 range are quite similar in terms of print quality, the addition of automatic bed leveling at this price point is a compelling selling point for the Kobra Go. I’ve said many times that ABL should become the industry standard and that Anycubic would include it in a printer in the extreme budget section is a good sign. Having ABL on every machine would make 3D printing much more accessible.

CNET test print quality showed some instances where the Kobra Go isn’t calibrated quite correctly, but with a bit of effort and some software tweaking you should be able to print models quality reliably.

Russell: The print quality for the Kobra Go is exactly what I expected for a $200 3D printer. I wouldn’t use it to print anything with a lot of detail or a lot of fine edges, but simple shapes or parts for a larger project can easily be printed on this machine. With a little practice, this wouldn’t be so limiting for most projects.

Kit vs cost

A closeup of the Anycubic Kobra Go hot end

Russell Holly/CNET

When it comes to making a budget 3D printer, there is a balance between cost and usability. By selling the Kobra Go in kit form, Anycubic can save money on assembly and shipping, giving the company the ability to add automatic bed leveling and other high-end features. range.

Whether you’re new to 3D printing and looking to learn as you go (and are willing to put in the effort to build it), or you’re just looking for a cheap 3D printer with ABL, the Kobra Go makes a good case for taking a DIY approach.