New TronXY X5SA! The good and the bad

January 31st, DHL knocked on my door and delivered a small package from Hong Kong. It was a TronXY X5SA 3d printer. I think this was one of the first X5SA in the USA. Overall I’m pretty happy with it, but there are a few problems.

The good:

  • Powder coated metal Z-axis motor mounts. 
    • I read a lot of complaints from people who received their X5S with broken acrylic Z mounts. The metal mounts are quite sturdy. Each bracket has two holes for the smooth rods to fit into. Unfortunately, the holes were drilled the exact size of the rods, then powder coated. Made it hard to fit the rods in, but nothing a little persuasion from a hammer couldn’t fix.
  • 32-bit control board. Chitu F Mini by
  • Control board has option of adding filament runout sensor.
  • Auto-Leveling with included inductive sensor.
  • Touch Screen Interface
  • New Mk3a heated bed is 12v/24v capable and warms up quickly
  • External MOSFET for heated bed control.

The bad:

  • Heated bed was miswired.
    • The wiring diagram on the Mk3a heated bed shows that you need to connect terminals 2 & 3 to ground. On my printer, only terminal 2 was connected. That meant only half the heatbed was working. And since the thermistor was on the working half…. it didn’t see anything wrong!
    • This caused small prints near the center of the board to succeed, while larger prints that weren’t on the heated portion of the bed would fail.
    • I fixed this.
  • No documentation of settings or g-code commands accepted. 
  • Bad touchscreen interface. Let’s hope this is addressed in a firmware update.
  • Z-axis only has one driver.
    • Control boards with two z-axis drivers can perform left-to-right auto-leveling of the heatbed. Currently, if you crash the hotend into the printhead the Z-axis closest to the hotend will stop moving up, and the other side will continue to move, leading to a sloped bed.
  • 32-bit control board is proprietary.
    • Repetier-Host doesn’t recognize it, and I’m unsure what “flavor” of g-code I should have cura produce.
  • No USB on control board.
    • There are 5V TTL pins on the board, so you can buy an add-on module or use a TTL-USB converter
  • No WiFi on control board
    • There is a socket where you can add a special WiFi module
  • No auto resume on power off.

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