QIDI X-Max Improvement debug list

The extruder & hot end on the stock X-Max is a critically flawed design.Several people, contributed to a solution that allows alternate extruders including an E3D V6, a Slice Engineering Copperhead or Mosquito, a Trianglelab Dragon, and probably many others. The extruder and hot end change fixes the overwhelmingly majority of the problems with the QIDI X-Max 3D printer.

This list is for improving this design https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3994628 in this group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1811744122380955 . The design work is led by Chad Wills, whose work has provided an amazing improvement to this deeply flawed printer.

List of issues in design as printed on 7/10/2020 from a QIDI X-Max purchased earlier this year (some revisions compared to older models apparently).

  • Bearing Clamp Broke
No photo description available.
The Bearing Clamp for the bearing block on the right snapped off
Image may contain: screen
You can see the material is thinner here, contributing to the failure. Vertical ribs or more material offer a resolution.
  • Bearing cage loose on bearings. The lower duct could help reinforce the clamping with some minor changes or perhaps a simpler option are zip tie slots to allow tightening the carriage to the bearings despite X-Max revision and print size variations.
  • Positive Retention Belt Clip. The Belt clip was bowing and offered only a loose compression fit.
Making the Belt Clip more robust & adding the retention slot helps keep it in place.
  • The top of the BMG Clone Extruder this the metal frame near the end of the Y travel at the front of the machine. This needs another ~3mm drop.
  • NOTE: It was actually the screw on the BMG Clone Extruder that was draging first.

    The cable towers and board mount drag slightly on the frame near the end of the X travel on the left side of the machine. The towers need to be dropped by ~2mm (I need to validate measurement). The board needs to drop by ~2mm as the clip on the ribbon cable is the highest point.
  • I had to drill out my BMG extruder door holes. A teardrop cut at the top of these might help prevent failure but this is a nit-picking, minor issue.
  • It’s difficult to reach the lower left board screw with the extruder in place.
  • Heater Cartridge & Thermocouple board routing cutout is too small, it should be widened.
  • I’d like to keep the foam rubber on the ribbon cable and as-is the connector is pushed away from the towers by a lack of clearance. A 1-2mm move should allow the tower to clear.
Not enough clearance between board and tower.
  • Rear 5015 Part Blower Fan impacts Y Axis stepper when homing. The QIDI isn’t very smart and if it can’t reach the Y limit switch it will just keep hammering away, trying to self destruct the printer. I shimmed the Y carriage to hit the limit switch earlier with tape and a 3mm shim. This was enough, so a ~3mm shift will allow this to clear.
  • It would be nice to find a way to get a second screw on the rear 5015 Part blower fan. If it bumps out of place, the airflow isn’t directed to the part.

QIDI X-Max Review

We’ve been looking for a solid 3D printer to make parts in a variety of materials including PC, Nylon, ASA, PBT, & more.

We got a QIDI X-Max as a low cost option. We knew it was a gamble but the community was thriving and review materials we saw showed a very successful machine. The machine was $1275 shipped and delivered. Here was a review with some higher temp materials that swayed us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJI8tOkkCqo&feature=youtu.be

Unfortunately, we lost on this gamble. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Of my 7 printers, my QIDI X-Max is my least reliable and most problematic. It arrived with numerous problems out of the box.

You’re better served with a Prusa MK3S with a few small changes in an enclosure from our thousands of hours of print time.

The hot end design of the X-Max is laughably poor. Worse than our $299 Anycubic 4Max Pro printers. Get ready to hear the extruder click click click as it fails to consistently deliver filament.

The filament path from the reel to the hot end is terrible and requires revision.

The bed is thick aluminum which sounds nice but mine is absurdly unlevel.

There is no filament sensor.

I plan to change to Chad Wills hot end design https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3994628 . I need to take the aluminum bed and fly cut it for level. We’ve insulated the bed and need a more powerful heater cartridge. We’ve already had to replace a motherboard, a ribbon cable, and constant hot end problems because the heat break isn’t actually cooled. The filament entry is right next to the only point of heat dissipation at the top of the heat break. QIDI expects the airflow, delivered above the heat break, to work when pushed against a perpendicular heat sink with no airflow path.

Overall it’s cost us more time than it’s worth and we’ve been deeply disappointed.

We hope to improve the printer to the point of rudimentary function.

This Z Screw was loose and impacting the holding plate as delivered. A deeper well or through hole design would fix this.
The holding plate designed for Z screw retention is bent.
The filament path backs up to the primary heat disspiation surface causing constant cloges at the extruder or hot end entry.
The filament path backs up to the primary heat disspiation surface causing constant cloges at the extruder or hot end entry.
The filament path backs up to the primary heat disspiation surface causing constant cloges at the extruder or hot end entry.
A 30mm fan provides airflow to a flat plate perpindicular to the fan. No airflow is provided to the heat break at all. No idea how this was approved and put into production. They have some design revisions that do nothing to remedy the fundamental flaw.
The aluminum bed is absurdly unlevel and will need to be fly cut for good use.
Click, click, click, click goes the extruder as it can’t push the filament at even half the rate of our Prusa MK3S machines.
The magnetic sheet is nice but the material is far too aggressive with PLA which it’s designed for. You MUST set the temp low or you will be breaking parts and the sheet material on removal. I converted to PEI sheets.
Expect to modify all points of airflow. Airflow design is the worst of any printer we’ve ever used for both the part fan and hotend fan. This was later cut out more.
The suggested / original filament path immediately causes the filament to hop off the reel on Y travel moves. Expect to completely re-work this.
Wall mounting is a solid option with a filament path through the top. For hygroscopic filaments, a Polybox II or similar mounted with teflon tubes to the extruder is best. Here I’m using an idler because this isn’t the final installation location. You need a teflon tube and hole through the top.