Review: JGAURORA A5S
  • Ease of Setup - 85%
    85%
  • Ease of Use - 83%
    83%
  • Print Quality - 79%
    79%
  • Print Speed - 75%
    75%
  • Value for Money - 88%
    88%

Summary

JGAURORA has listened to their customers and improved on their A5 model with plenty of under the hood updates. 

It’s now one of only a handful of 3D printers that offer a print volume this large for such a low price. 

If you’re looking to print large objects like cosplay armour or tabletop terrain then the A5S is a fine choice. 

Overall
82%
82%

Pros

  • Full metal construction
  • Black Diamond glass print bed
  • Easy set up

Cons

  • No automatic leveling
  • Can’t print TPU

JGAURORA A5S – It’s big but is it a CR-10 Beater?

The JGAURORA A5S offers a 12” x 12” print volume that rivals that of the popular Creality CR-10, but with a smaller footprint due to the neater integration of the power supply into the printer’s base.

JGAURORA is a Chinese company that specializes in producing budget 3D printers for home users. Their previous JGAURORA A5 model was one of their most popular 3D printers due to its large print volume and low price.

Like many Chinese designed and manufactured 3D printers, the JGAURORA A5 suffered from inconsistent quality control, which left most customers very happy with their purchase but others less so.

In October 2018, JGAURORA released a new and improved JGAURORA A5S 3D printer. While it maintains the large print volume and some basic features found in its A5 predecessor, it has been redesigned and improved in the hopes of edging in front of the tight competition in this price range.

The release of the A5S is an indication that the company is following in the footsteps of its competitors, Creality and Anycubic, by taking customer feedback on board, and evolving previous models with fixes for common problems.

This new trend of releasing improved versions has led to the rapid development of consumer 3D printers, as the budget manufacturers quickly fix issues and end up with well-functioning printers.  

Is the A5S worth you spending the extra cash? In this review, I will be taking a closer look at what the JGAURORA A5S offers.

Features

The A5S has a very generous build volume of 305 x 305 x 320 mm which puts many of its closest competitors to shame. Be aware that this print volume means you’ll need to make sure you have enough desk space to fit the 536 x 480mm footprint.

Just like its predecessor, the A5S still includes standard features like the filament runout detection and print resume in the event of a power outage.

Although it comes partially assembled from the manufacturer, the setup process is very easy and straightforward. You will just need to connect the base and the frame using a few hex-headed screws and plug in a variety of power connectors. No soldering is required, so even if you are not experienced with DIY or electronics, the assembly process should not take you more than 30 minutes.

It is equipped with a hot-end similar to the E3D V6, although presumably materials of lesser quality and tolerances are used compared to the brand version.

For improved bed adhesion, the A5S has a heated borosilicate glass bed with an additional ‘black diamond’ coating. The rough black surface, which prints irresistibly stick to, is virtually identical to the one on the Anycubic Mega-S and the Creality Ender 3 Pro and completely negates the need for you to apply painters’ tape or glue to make prints stick.

I’m a big fan of these type of bed coatings as it completely fixes one of the most common issues seen on 3D printers with prints not sticking to the bed. It also makes removing prints easy, as you just wait for them to cool to room temperature and you can easily pop them off.

The A5S has assisted bed leveling, but not the advanced type only seen on higher-end 3D printers. In the A5S’s case, it merely moves the extruder to one of five calibration points on the bed from where you can carry out the standard ‘paper slide’ test.

There’s a 2.8″ full-color touchscreen placed at the front of the 3D printer that enables you to navigate and modify settings easily. The GUI isn’t quite as slick as that on something like the Dremel 3D45 but compared to the basic mono display on printers at this price level like the Anycubic Mega-S, it’s a step up.

What’s New?

While most of the technology and features on the A5S are identical to those found in its predecessor, what makes the new model different is hidden beneath the surface.

JGAURORA has focused on making the A5S more reliable and better performing than the A5 rather than loading it with extra features.  

Firstly, the stability of the main chassis has been improved by including additional screws into the frame. The previous A5 model had a noticeably flimsy frame, and deflection of the frame is one of the most common causes of printing problems, so this is a wise move by JGAURORA.

To improve filament feed and retraction, the length of the Bowden tube between the extruder and the hot end has been reduced. Again, this is a fundamental weakness on many 3D printers, so anything done to improve it is going to be beneficial.

One of the improvements you are likely to notice is the new placement of the SD-card slot on the front of the 3D printer, making access so much easier.

The A5 model was noticeable for including several 3D printed parts within its design. This is not seen on many 3D printers, the Prusa i3 is the only example that springs to mind. Although it’s great to see 3D printed components being used in this way, it’s much harder to maintain quality control on them, and so JGAURORA has made the wise step of replacing them with injection molded components on the A5S.  

Under the hood of the A5S is a new 32-bit mainboard powering Allegro A5984 silent stepper motor drivers which offer 32x micro stepping and several safety features including thermal runaway protection. This update allows the printer to achieve faster processing speeds and lower power consumption.

The motherboard has also updated MOSFET transistors that offer better heat dissipation.

Unboxing

The A5S comes in a large box to accommodate the two main sections that make up the printer’s chassis; the base, and the frame.

After opening the box and removing the Styrofoam protection, you will see the printer’s base at the top of the package. The base is the part of the A5S that houses the print bed, touchscreen, USB and SD card slots, and power supply.

The frame is the next item to remove from the box, placed below the base. It is equipped with the extruder, hot end, and Z-axis motor.

Apart from these two main parts, the package also includes an assortment of tools and accessories. The spool holder (that requires attaching to the frame), an instruction manual and a sheet for calibration.

There are several tools included in the package that consists of everything you will need for the assembly process. This includes hex keys, all necessary screws, and washers including a few spares, and USB stick loaded with instructions, test models and slicing software.

Setup process

The A5S is a semi-assembled 3D printer, this means it arrives in two halves which you have to bolt together. This makes the shipping box smaller and therefore cheaper and helps avoid damage during shipping.

The assembly process is straightforward and intuitive. In fact, if you have never handled a 3D printer, the instruction manual lays the process out very clearly.   

To assemble the frame and the base, you will need to pass the base through the frame and secure it between the slots. After making sure everything is in place, you turn the printer on its side and use the hex headed screws to fasten the frame components together.

The spool holder is attached on one side of the frame using another screw. Next, you will need to connect the electronics into the connectors. This task has been made easy by JGAURORA on the new model as the wiring is now color coded.

Before you start printing, you will need to level the bed platform manually. This is done using JGAURORA’s assisted leveling, which guides you through the process on the touch screen.

After you plug in the printer and power it on, you will notice a ‘LEVEL’ button on the LCD display. When you click on the button, it will bring you to a page with five leveling points. When you select each one, the nozzle will automatically be sent to the predetermined spot.

To start the leveling process, you will need a single sheet of A4 paper which you will use to check the distance from the print bed. Twist the small knobs underneath each corner of the bed to move the bed up or down. Adjust the bed until the paper encounters slight resistance from being between the nozzle and the printing bed.

After calibrating the bed, you will need to load the filament into the Bowden filament feeding system located at the back of the frame. The touchscreen will enable you to insert or remove the filament automatically.

The A5S ships with blue painter’s tape stuck on the print bed. You should leave this on when you do your first bed leveling and print as it will protect the bed from scratches if it is incorrectly leveled. Once you have done a successful print you can be sure the bed is at the correct height and level and remove the protecting tape.

Reliability & Customer Service

Customer service for Chinese brand 3D printers can often be lacking, but all credit to JGAURORA, customer feedback is very positive. Their service center is located in Beijing, so you have to wait until around 8pm CET before getting a response. However, they are more than willing to offer help on skype or via email for any issues.

If your A5S should fail in the first six months, then they will send you replacement parts to repair it and help you with guidance on Skype.

So far, customer reports are very positive, with no significant reliability issues being reported.  

Pros

  • Full-metal construction
  • Heated black diamond print bed for improved adhesion
  • Full-color touchscreen
  • Easy to set up
  • Filament run-out sensor
  • Power-off recovery

Cons

  • No automatic leveling
  • Can’t print TPU

Conclusion

To their credit, JGAURORA has listened to their customers and applied many improvements to make the A5S a reliable and easy to use 3D printer.

To get a build volume this big at this price range, the Creality CR-10 was previously your only option. The A5S is now a genuine contender, and due to its smaller footprint and smarter appearance is arguably the better choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between the A5 and the A5S?

The A5S has an updated and bespoke motherboard and stepper motor driver which brings speed and safety improvements. The frame on the A5S has additional screws that make it more stable and less prone to deflect, resulting in more accurate prints. The A5S has a shorter Bowden cable which improves filament feed and retraction. The A5S also has an SD card slot on the front of the machine where the A5 used micro-SD.

How much does the package weigh when it’s delivered?

The complete printer package in the box weighs 18kg and measures 65x62x27cm.

Do you get any filament with the A5S?

In the box, you get a 0.25kg spool of PLA in a random color.

Specifications

  • Nozzle: single
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
  • Maximum nozzle temperature: 250O C
  • Maximum build volume: 305 x 305 x 320 mm
  • Minimum layer thickness: 100 microns (0.1mm)
  • Offline print: SD card
  • LCD Screen: Yes
  • Maximum print speed: 150mm/s  
  • Maximum bed temperature: 100o C
  • Printing Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, Exotics
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • File format: G-code, OBJ, STL
  • XY-axis positioning accuracy: 0.011mm
  • Z-axis positioning accuracy: 0.0025mm
  • Voltage: 110-240V
  • Working power: 200W
  • Voltage range: AC 110-220V
  • Certificates: CE, FCC, RoHs

Price excl. shipping / Last update on 2019-07-19 at 02:45 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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