Desktop 3D printersReviews

ELEGOO’s Neptune 4 Max solves for large-scale at-home 3D printing

With a 420x420x480mm build volume and a max speed of 500mm/s, the system is one of the best in its class

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When it comes to the world of at-home 3D printing, the new, relatively large format Neptune 4 Max from the Chinese 3D printer manufacturer ELEGOO is certainly at the top of its game, due to its user-centric design and impressive printing capabilities most notably its 420x420x480mm build volume. We had the opportunity to assess the new system, which is currently available for pre-order, and its various aspects, including performance, design, and user experience, and we were anything but disappointed.

Assembly and setup

The Neptune 4 Max’s assembly process is straightforward. The components are clearly labeled and sorted – resulting in a streamlined construction experience. This thoughtful organization is further enhanced by the inclusion of all essential tools – a small but significant touch that spares users the hassle of sourcing specific tools during assembly.

ELEGOO's Neptune 4 Max solves for large-scale at-home 3D printing - with a 420x420x480mm build volume and a max speed of 500mm/s.

Although the assembly instructions are well laid out, with clear labeling of each part and corresponding diagrams, there is room for improvement. The inclusion of spare parts for critical components like proprietary nozzles or stepper motors would be a welcome addition that would help users address potential faults more effectively.

Performance and printing experience

During our initial printing attempt, the object somehow fell off the bed. However, subsequent prints were smooth and devoid of notable concerns. The operational noise, while noticeable, is within the expected parameters for a printer of its size. The manual control over the z-axis fan is a practical addition that allows users to regulate cooling as needed.

The bridging capabilities of the Neptune 4 Max are impressive, handling sharp overhangs with ease and significantly reducing printing time. Although this tends to compromise aesthetic value, it was negligible in this case as the large object we printed – which was eventually covered in clay – did not suffer structurally from the lack of supports.

ELEGOO’s printer also performs well when it comes to speed – boasting a max printing speed of 500mm/s – but we tended to print at speeds between 200mm/s and 300mm/s. Notably, we printed a life-size helmet from “The Mandalorian” series at 350mm/s with supports, with exceptional quality.

ELEGOO's Neptune 4 Max solves for large-scale at-home 3D printing - with a 420x420x480mm build volume and a max speed of 500mm/s.

Additional features

The spool holder’s design effectively prevents filament yanking and ensures a smooth feed. The filament run-out sensor, doubling as a guide, swivels with the print head to prevent clogs. We found this feature to be one of the most impressive.

The system’s build volume is really the standout feature compared to most desktop 3D printers, and the auto-leveling system adjusts for potential bed warps and provides detailed measurements for precise manual adjustments – making the user experience rather pleasant.

Software and compatibility

A drawback for enthusiasts of the Prusa ecosystem is the pre-installed version of Cura. The lack of accessible open-source printer profiles limits the exploration of the printer’s full potential. To address this, we developed custom profiles, which yielded successful outcomes but restricted our printing capabilities somewhat.

So worth the low cost of entry

In a week and a half of almost non-stop printing, only one print failure occurred, which we attribute to bed adhesion issues that were easily resolved with the included glue. Compared to some of the other printers we have used, this was one of our favorites, and is a solid choice for both beginners and experienced users – especially considering the current pre-sale price of $470 (students are eligible for a 5% discount).

Despite the minor setbacks, most of which were one-offs, ELEGOO’s Neptune 4 Max, which was showcased to wider audience at ELEGOO’s international debut at Formnext 2023, is an overall great system for printing relatively large objects, at home.

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One Comment

  1. Imagine getting any prints with remotely usable quality at 500mm/s off a massive bed Slinger like that. It’s simply impossible to compensate for vibration compensation with current firmwares when the moving mass is also constantly increasing in mass. You’re looking at 100mm/s in the very best case scenario here, and even then you’ll have to bump it down to 60 for perimeters.

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