When you want a little more build volume, but don’t want to throw your back on a full-size 3D printer, the Mingda Magician Max has you covered.
This printer has a 320 x 320mm build plate, 10mm larger than a Creality CR10, which we consider the benchmark for large format printers. It’s also the middle sibling of Mingda’s Magician line, sitting between – and virtually identical to – the smaller Magician X and the oversized Professional Magician.
All three have the exact same direct-drive hotend, easy-to-use bed-leveling system, and super-sticky coated glass build plate. Like the Magician Pro, it has a double Z axis synchronized with the belt and a wide Y axis for greater stability.
I had the Magician Max ready to use, leveled and printed in about 20 minutes. This makes it easier to use than most best 3d printers.
Specifications: Mingda Magician Max
|machine footprint||650 x 586 x 675 mm (25.5 x 23.0 x 26.5 inches)|
|Build volume||320 × 320 × 400 mm (15.7 × 15.7 × 15.7 in)|
|Machine weight||10 kg (22 lbs)|
|Extruder type||direct drive|
|build platform||Coated glass, heated|
|End of filament sensor||Yes|
|Bed leveling||Automatic touch sensor|
|Connectivity||SD card, USB flash drive, USB-C|
|Interface||Color LED touch screen|
Mingda Magician Max: Included in the box
The Magician Max comes with tools to assemble the printer and a few extras like a spare nozzle, an extra piece of Teflon tubing, and a full size SD card. A small sample of white PLA is included for your first test print.
The SD card contains a PDF copy of the manual, a copy of Cura 4.13, and a pre-cut .gcode template to use for testing.
The printer does not come with a scraper to remove prints or shears to cut filament, but these are readily available at your local hardware store. This is my favorite scraper (opens in a new tab) if you are looking for something extra cool.
Design of the Mingda Magician Max
The Magician Max looks a lot like other Mingda printers in the Magician line. It has a square design that looks like a finished device rather than a DYI kit. The wide base holds the power supply, motherboard, and a hidden toolbox to store your keys and spare nozzle.
Like the larger Magician Pro, this one has two Z rods that are synced with a belt at the top. The Y axis is extra wide, which gives it a stable base. Cable management is tidy, with ribbon cables wrapped in black mesh from the base to the X-gantry, then a fabric-wrapped ribbon cable completes the route to the tool head.
I was really happy to find slots for a full size SD card and a USB flash drive – I wish more 3D printers used this system.
Other little touches make the Magician Max more user-friendly. It has belt tension knobs for when you need to adjust the tightness, a frame that supports the glass plate with a single clip, and an easy-to-navigate graphical interface menu.
The auto-leveling system physically touches the bed at 16 points, and I never needed to adjust the Z-height for the PLA. PETG requires a little less squish, so I used baby steps to compensate for the materials needed.
My biggest pet peeve is the coated glass, which is the same across all three Mingda machines. It holds up incredibly well – fantastic for print adhesion – but refuses to let go of the goods once the print is complete. PLA and PETG are a little prying, but TPU needs a lot of persuasion.
Assembly of the Mingda Magician Max
The Magician Max follows the pleasant industry trend of 90% pre-assembled printers. The gantry slides on a bracket on the base plate and is held in place with four bolts – two on each side. You don’t have to tip the printer over to get the bolts through the bottom.
Electrical connections are easy to sort out, with most outlets being within an inch or two of their connection point.
Once everything is connected, it’s a good idea to check that your bolts, wheels and belts don’t move too much. If you find any loose wheels, these can be easily tightened with the wrench provided on the eccentric nuts.
Normally, the last step when assembling a 3D printer is to turn on the power switch. The Magician Max removed this step – it is already ready for American power. If you’re feeling paranoid, you can find the switch inside the tool compartment, hidden behind a piece of foam.
Mingda Magician Max Upgrade
The Magician Max has a self-leveling system where the nozzle physically touches the glass plate. The printer automatically warms up before leveling, eliminating any chance that the plate could expand or warp when going from cold to warm.
To level the printer, select Level from the main menu. Once the printer has warmed up, it will tap 16 dots around the bed. I didn’t need to adjust the Z height after leveling, but there is a command if you need to change the settings.
Loading Filament on the Mingda Magician Max
Loading this direct drive is very simple. Select preheat, then tap the type of filament you’re using. The Magician Max heats up quickly, so you won’t have to wait long. Insert the filament into the reader’s top loading hole. Next, tap the on-screen load button. Keep the speed set at normal and increase the amount advanced to 10mm.
There is no reverse on the Magician Max drive, so you can only go forward. When you want to change colors, simply cut the filament and advance the drive 30mm. Place the next filament in the hole and continue until you see a different color coming out of the nozzle.
The lack of inversion may seem annoying, but after testing all three Mingda wizards, I have yet to encounter a clogged nozzle. Keeping the filament running forward seems to avoid gumming up work on this direct drive style.
Preparing files/software for Mingda Magician Max
The Magician Max comes with a copy of Cura 4.13.1 and instructions on how to set up a custom profile. The same instructions apply to using PrusaSlicer if desired.
After receiving the Magician Max, Mingda announced that its three new printers – the Magician, Magician Pro and Magician Max – had been submitted to Cura. They are available on Cura 5 and above. This greatly simplifies setting up your printer and ensures that you start with the right profile for your machine.
Printing on the Mingda Magician Max
I started with the pre-sliced test print, a pumpkin monster, using the supplied white PLA sample. The print included a raft, which did not come off. The print was fairly clean, but showed Z stripes in the lower part of the pumpkin.
I wanted to print something big to show the build volume of the Magician Max. The Small Printception Vase by Make Anything was just the print once I scaled it to 200%. I used Atomic Golden Blood Diamond PLA translucent at 0.2mm and 65mm layer height. It took 36 hours and 9 minutes to print.
Here is a close up of the Printception nozzle, printed separately in Prusament PLA Galaxy Silver Layer height .2mm, 65mms and also at 200%. It took 8 hours and 38 minutes to print. You can see the Z stripe on the flat sides of the nozzle, which was printed in two parts without supports.
I switched to PETG and printed this wonderful fairy gate by Jukka Seppanen in Teal PolyMaker PolyLite PETG. It took 5 hours and 14 minutes at 0.2mm layer height. The textured nature of the print hides any Z-striping, and you can only see a few loops at the top of the door where some support may have helped.
Despite direct drive, the TPU performed only moderately well. I printed this puff unicorn by Chao Core Tech in Matterhackers Build Series TPU translucent purple (opens in a new tab), using 40mm and 2mm layer height. You can see that there is still rope between the tail and the back and also between the feet. Otherwise it’s a nice print without supports, the strings would be easy to remove.
Priced at $479, the Mingda Magician Max is a 3D printer with more build space than the average that doesn’t require any upgrades. Like its siblings, the Magician Max is designed as a finished product, quick to set up and simple to use. The only thing you will need to swap out on this machine is the brass nozzle when it wears out. This is not a machine for modders; it’s for people who want to do cool stuff.
The easy-load direct drive handles materials exceptionally well and is the type of low-maintenance extruder a beginner needs and users appreciate the experience. Auto-leveling is accurate and hassle-free – another feature that removes obstacles from your 3D printing journey.
Mingda could definitely improve on the glass bed – it’s way too sticky and refuses to give up the goods even when it’s freezing. A flexible plate would be a welcome addition to the range. I appreciate that the build plate is only held on with a single clip, so it’s extremely easy to remove for some serious scraping action and cleaning.
If you are looking for a slightly cheaper 3D printer with the same build size and less sticky build plate, check out the Anycubic Kobra Plus. Priced at $439, it’s an Editor’s Choice and our pick for Best Large Format FDM Printer.