Theis an affordable dual-extrusion 3D printer and our Editor's Choice in winter 2019/2020. See how it holds up in our 10-hour review.
Hailing from the Chinese province of Zhejiang, Qidi Technology produces fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers dedicated to the hobbyist and semi-professional market. With a price tag currently around $650, theis one of the most affordable dual-extrusion models going. The X-Pro is an update of the Qidi Tech I, which itself was based on the classic Makerbot Replicator.
But does a slight price point mean compromises on accuracy and performance, or is the Qidi Tech X-Pro an unabashed bargain? Read on for our testing, review of the specs, and early summary to find out.
So, what makes the X-Pro special? Let’s take a look at its specifications.
Whereas the Qidi Tech X-One 2 has only one nozzle, the X-Pro offers a dual extrusion through a dual nozzle system. According to the manufacturer, the machine is capable of printing PLA, ABS, and PETG.
The Qidi Tech X-Pro is accepting of 1.75 mm filament fed directly into the direct drive extrusion system on the print head. Print cooling is handled by the “airblow turbofan”, which encircles the nozzles and, cooling from all four sides (see image above.) The fan needs to be mounted when setting up the printer, but tutorials (found on the provided USB stick) will guide you through the process.
The Qidi Tech X-Pro features an acrylic cover and additional panels that can be magnetically adhered to the top and sides of the metallic frame. The see-through side panels aren’t quite snap-fit but hold firmly enough to ensure a constant temperature in the build chamber, which is needed for materials that need a constant temperature.
Perhaps later iterations of the machine could include a larger surface area between the metallic frame and the magnets in the windows. Additionally, the printer comes with a swing-open acrylic door.
Aside from the side panels, the whole printer leaves a sturdy and compact impression. Its metallic body and acrylic enclosure are accompanied by good cable management. There are no loose cables that could disturb the printing process. The filament spools are mounted outside of the machine itself.
The Qidi Tech X-Pro has a build volume of 230 x 150 x 150 mm – somewhat small compared to other machines in its field. The bed must be leveled manually.
The X-Pro comes with a 6 mm “aviation-grade” aluminum heatable bed with a removable, magnetic build plate. The plate is as sophisticated as Prusa’s steel bed, but it’s way more robust than the floppy magnetic bed of most budget machines like the Creality’s Ender series. For our test prints, the bed adhesion worked nicely.
The magnets are relatively strong and hold the print bed securely in place – great for printing, but once you want to take out the bed, you’ll need to apply some force. We, however, have had a troublefree experience in the removal process. You just need to bend the plate inward and outward for the print to pop off. It’s one of the features you instantly miss on other printers that don’t have it.
Qidi Tech uses a proprietary slicing software called Qidi Print (currently in its Version 5.2.6), which suspiciously looks like a Cura 3.X version. We found the software to be easy to use in either its auto-slice function or with the more advanced, customizable options. It’s available for Windows and Mac-OS.
Software, test objects, and tutorial files can all be found on the provided USB stick. Qidi Print comes configured for the X-Pro, so slicing your file and getting on the printer is just a matter of minutes.
Setting up the 3D printer was painless with one exception: You’ll find the building instruction videos (including how to install the fan) on the USB stick, but not on the Qidi website. Also, the printing bed needs to be leveled manually.
To get a good first impression of the printer, we took the X-Pro for a test ride by printing the two most popular torture tests. We make sure to get a vanilla-state machine, normal PLA filament, and middle-of-the-road slicer settings. If you want to know more about our test scheme, read more here.
We got a decent 3D printed Benchy on our first attempt. We used Amazon white eSun PLA+ filament. For preparing the Gcode “Qidi Print” slicer was used. We set the temperatures to 215 °C for the extruder and 60 °C for the printing bed.
We then measured the measurements of the print (jump to the detailed results here).
The overall dimensional accuracy was perfect; the X-Pro scored 15 out of 15 points. However, visually the Benchy turned out only mediocre.
Overall, the X-Pro did well in dimensional accuracy, fine flow control, fine negative features, bridging and XY resonance.
Anyhow, the Kickstarter showed some rippling, and upon examining the object three of the spires fell off. The fine flow control turned out good, though, as no stringing was present. The bridges were pretty decent, scoring 5/5 points.
In the Kickstarter test, the X-Pro scored 24.5 out of 30 points. On visual inspection, we found some issues.
After approx. 10-hours printing with the X-Pro, our impressions with the Qidi X-Pro were a mixed batch. While the physical dimensions of the test objects were outstanding, the visual inspection revealed several flaws, especially with the Benchy torture test. It looks as if the provided slicer settings aren’t optimal for the machine.
Using the printer was a breeze, even a beginner could set it up, slice a model and start printing.
The Qidi X-Pro is available at the following online stores:
Here you find the detailed results of our initial testing of the Qidi Tech X-Pro. Our benchmarking procedure can be found below.
Overall, the X-Pro scored 15 out of 15 points.
Overall, the X-Pro scored 24.5 out of 30 points in this test.
For the benchmarking element of our review, we use the following guidelines:
Unbox the printer: We unbox the printer and assemble it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Deficiencies and errors are noted and build around according to the consensus online for the printer.
Filament: We use white eSun PLA+ filament. Temperature settings are 215 °C for the nozzle and 60 °C for the bed.
Printing: We print two test models — Benchy and the Kickstarter x Autodesk FDM 3D Printer Assessment — using the manufacturer-provided/recommended slicer and settings. If the printer ships without a dedicated slicer and profile, we generate a generic Cura profile using the essential information of the printer.
After the first print, we inspect the object for easily fixable problems (i.e., a loose belt or a poorly leveled print bed) and then print again. If the printer can’t provide a decent result after three attempts, we stop. Printers that fail to produce a test object receive zero points for the respective test object.
The Benchy 3D printer torture test is one of the world’s most popular prints. It helps to measure the dimensional accuracy capabilities of your printer and helps highlight other visible print nastiness.
We measure our best Benchy print using digital calipers, scoring 15 criteria against their target value. A total of 15 points are available.
To accommodate the difficulty and inaccuracies when measuring small features, we have implemented a sliding scale of tolerance in our scoring. The smaller the feature, the greater our allowance for deviation:
Finally, we do a visual inspection and note any flaws and problems we encounter.
The Kickstarter x Autodesk print exposes an FDM printer’s precision via six distinct tests in one object.
By pushing a printer’s hardware and software the system to the point of failure, the print reliably visible imperfections that can be used to assess the performance of the slicer, the extruder, and the motion system together.
Here’s what’s getting measured.
The tolerances and measurements are very detailed. You can find the exact measuring procedure on Github. The highest possible score is 30, indicating a very well-calibrated system.
It’s worth noting that these benchmarking tests are not a definitive measure of a printer’s worth. More an indication of a printer’s state out of the box with no-tinkering, it’s only after a full evaluation and in-depth review that we fully judge a 3D printer.
License: The text of "Qidi Tech X-Pro Review: Editor’s Choice 2020" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Stay informed with notifications from All3DP.
You get a notification when a new article is published.
You can’t subscribe to updates from All3DP. Learn more…