Review: Qidi Tech X-Smart

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QIDI Tech X-Smart 3D Printer Review

Qidi Tech X-Smart

by Dylan Miller @io3dprint

Easy to Setup
Easy to Use
Print Quality
Value For Money
Features

Summary

There’s an awful lot to like about the Qidi X-smart in terms of features, but one of the main things that stand out is how Qidi appears to be a company that genuinely cares about their customers and will go the extra mile in terms of design, use of quality materials, and after-sales support to ensure the integrity of their brand.

4.1

Price excl. shipping / Last update on 2019-11-14 at 18:42 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

QIDI have made a name for themselves as manufacturers of high quality but low priced 3D printers over the last 4 years or so, and have been regularly updating their model range with improved designs.

When their first model the X-one came on the market a few years ago, it was often overlooked due to its unfashionable bright blue finish and odd branding, however underneath the cover it proved to be one of the best value for money 3d printers ever made, with superior build quality and more features than most of its competitors.

The X-smart is essentially the third generation successor to that first model, and as such, it comes with some improved features and specifications while hopefully retaining all that made its predecessor so good.

In this review, I’ll dig deeper into all the features the QIDI Tech X-Smart 3D Printer offers you so that you can make an informed decision about whether this is the right 3D printer for you.

My first impressions of the X-smart are really positive. The slightly old-fashioned branding has been given a makeover with a bright blue and red casing and integrated LED lighting that gives it more of a gaming pc look.

When you take it out the box, you immediately feel it’s a heavy and sturdy construction that will stay still when printing.

The touchscreen looks bright and clear, and the enclosed design will make printing ABS much easier.

Specifications

  • Max print volume: 165mm x 145mm x 150mm (6.49”x5.71”x5.91”)
  • Layer thickness: 0.1 to 0.4 mm
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Build plate size: 170x150mm
  • The print speed of 24 cubic cm/hour
  • Single nozzle extruder
  • Extruder temp: 0-240C
  • Voltage: 115-230V
  • Compatible with Windows 64bit and Mac
  • Software included: Qidi print
  • Filament diameter: 1.75 mm

Features

Touchscreen

The X-smart has a 3.5-inch full-color touchscreen. The interface is very user-friendly and easy to operate.

Most 3d printers in this price range have monochrome displays, so this is a welcome upgrade as we are all used to interacting with color touch screens nowadays.

Turbo Cooling Fan

The cooling turbo fan blowing from four sides is a great feature. It increases the cooling area and speeds up the process, which is essential for producing quality objects.

The object of the cooling fan is to cool down the plastic as soon as possible so that the plastic can maintain its shape and support the next layer above it.

The cooling is generally recommended for PLA plastic and not for ABS. This is because the ABS shrinks when cooled.

However, users have noticed that when making a smaller object with fine details, even the ABS can be cooled at half the fan speed to maintain the quality.

The results can vary depending on the object so you may have to try it out yourself to get the best results. For me, little cooling worked well on ABS plastic.

Print Size

The print size of 165mm x 145mm x 150mm gives you plenty of space to produce even bigger models. The footprint of the printer is around 18”x18”x24” which is quite compact for this build volume. You will need to allow some space at the rear to access the filament for changing spools.

Removable Heated Magnetic Flexible Build Plate

One of my favorite features on the new X-Smart is a removable build plate which makes it incredibly easy for you to remove your finished print.

The build plate is also flexible so you can bend it, the bending action detaches your print from the plate, making it super easy to remove it.

Also, the build plate is heated and sits firmly on the bed attaching with magnets for quick and easy attachment/removal.

Power Outage Resume (Breakpoint Printing)

If you suffer a power outage or run out of filament, rather than scrapping everything you’ve already printed, breakpoint printing allows you to resume from where it stopped easily.

If you suddenly lose power in the middle of the printing process, you are advised not to move the printer.

It comes with an autosave function in case of a power outage. When you get the electric back, just look for the unfinished file and finish the printing process.

​Fully Enclosed Chassis

This is a fully enclosed printer, which is an excellent feature as it protects your prints from dust, pet hairs, and other atmospheric elements. But best of all, the enclosed design helps keep the print area warm which is essential when printing materials such as ABS which are prone to warping if they cool too quickly.

One of the keys to reliable and highly accurate prints is a robust and stable chassis that doesn’t flex or move when subjected to the high energy jerks of motion when three powerful motors are working.

On the X-smart this is taken care of with the main chassis which is made of aviation grade aluminum more commonly used for aircraft so you can be sure that the material is tough and stable. Qidi has also used CNC milling machining to ensure it’s precise and has a high-quality finish.

The machined aluminum chassis also gives the printer some weight which will provide it with stability that is much needed during printing.

ABS or PLA

The X-smart supports both ABS and PLA filaments from any manufacturer of your choosing. The design of the extruder is optimized to feed the filament and help prevent any nozzle blocking.

The turbofan allows you to control the required temperature accurately, depending on whether you are printing with ABS or PLA plastic.

Unboxing & Box Contents

The X-smart arrives safely protected in a bespoke foam insert within a box sized 565mm x 445mm x 500mm.

When you open the box, right on the top, you will find a pack of tools and accessories including:

  • 1 roll of PLA Filament vacuum sealed
  • Instruction manual
  • A toolbox with tools you will need as well as the USB drive
  • Power cable
  • 1 Spool holder
  • Filament guide

Under the Styrofoam container with all the parts, you will see the actual printer wrapped in a heavy duty plastic.

Opening the door of the printer, you will find the white plastic lid that goes on top of the printer. This lid has 4 magnets on each corner, and it merely sits on top of the printer, fixed securely with these magnetic mounts.

There is no assembly required for the X-smart other than attaching the door and top cover.

Setup

After you open the box, the following steps are needed to set up the printer:

The first thing you need to do is level the bed. It doesn’t come with an auto-level however it is semi-assisted as the extruder will move to the four corners of the print bed at the touch of a button, so it is less of a manual process than most 3d printers at this price range.

You should select leveling from the tools button showing on the touchscreen. Then, you will see that the extruder will move to the first position.

Now, you level the platform by inserting the leveling card supplied. You should have the paper moving around freely between the printer head and the bed, but you should feel a slight resistance.

After finishing with the first position, select “next” on the screen, and the extruder will move to the second position. Repeat the same process with the leveling paper in this position, and that’s it, you are done!

On a new 3d printer it’s a good idea to repeat this process, but you shouldn’t need to re-adjust very often after that.

After leveling the bed, you need to load the filament. This is done by clicking on the filament option on the touchscreen and then selecting the number that appears on the screen.

This will start heating the printer. When it reaches the required temperature, click on loading and insert the end of your filament in the hole on the printer head. The extruder will grab the filament and automatically feed it to the hotend.

The auto filament loading is a great feature, again not seen on many 3d printers at this price range and makes changing filaments so much easier than manually feeding the extruder.

You have now completed the setup process, and you are ready for printing!

Software

The X-Smart printer comes with user-friendly software, and the user manual explains it all very well, with clear screengrab images that are easy to understand.

It is an open source software and supports six languages. It is compatible with the following:

  • Windows 7 and above
  • Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10 and above

The core features of the software are:

  • Customization of 200 settings to get the best possible printing results
  • Optimized settings for PLA and ABS
  • Option to print several objects at the same time with different configurations for each object

You also have the option to use programs like Autocad. Some Qidi owners have been successfully using software like Cura from Ultimaker or Simplify3D.

Customer Service

Qidi is reputed to have good support, and this is confirmed by a number of consumers saying that when they contacted Qidi support and their response was rapid, helpful, and friendly.

Qidi appears also to be happy to help solve problems, and it has been reported by customers that Qidi has offered even to send parts free of charge if needed.

Pros

  • Removable magnetic build plate
  • Generous size build area
  • Breakpoint printing is very helpful to be able to pause print and continue later
  • Sending files to the printer with a USB stick is very convenient and easy to do
  • The CNC aluminum frame is strong and sturdy
  • The touch screen is responsive and easy to use
  • The bed does not go out of level even after many weeks of usage

Cons

  • You cannot turn the light off during printing
  • A few people commented that the Stepper motors are a bit noisy
  • The software does not support different nozzle size other than 0.4mm (you can get around this by using free CURA software)

Conclusion

There’s an awful lot to like about the X-smart in terms of features, but one of the main things that stand out is how Qidi appears to be a company that genuinely cares about their customers and will go the extra mile in terms of design, use of quality materials, and after-sales support to ensure the integrity of their brand.

QIDI Tech X-Smart 3D Printer gets exceptionally high ratings and a large number of positive reviews, which is one of the best indicators of quality.

For me, standouts of the X-smart are its excellent layer accuracy giving you fine quality printing. The responsive touchscreen and simple to use software are great features especially if you are new to 3D printers.

The X-Smart comes almost in a ready to use condition. You only need to carry out a couple of simple steps to level the bed and feed the filament, ( as explained above) and within about 20 minutes you can be ready to start printing.

All in all, considering all its features and the price point, this a high-quality, robust machine at an excellent price.

-Dylan

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