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Tronxy X5SA Review and Guide

With more 3D printers hitting the market every year, knowing which one to buy can be a real challenge. Whether you’re a total beginner or mid-level enthusiast, this Tronxy X5SA Review will give you all the information you need to make an informed buying decision.

I’m going to discuss all the features, pros, and cons of this particular model in-depth to help you build a clearer picture of where it sits within the landscape of 3D printing.

I’ll point out various strengths and weaknesses and draw comparisons with other printers, and offer advice about some alternatives that may prove more compatible with your requirements and level of experience.

If you are a beginner, you might find our guide to 3D printing courses and 3D printing glossary helpful.

So, before we get started on the specifics, let’s take a quick look at Tronxy as a company.

Tronxy: An overview

Tronxy X5SA overview

Since 2015, Tronxy has been dedicated to creating affordable 3D printers for enthusiasts and designers alike. It aims to make printers that are reliable, easy to use, and suitable for a range of different people.

The company is based in China and began life when its founder, John, first encountered a 3D printer in 2012 and became fascinated. He initially bought an expensive model from the US before starting the research and development that would eventually lead to the creation of Tronxy printers.

Tronxy manufactures three different types of 3D printers: FDM (fused filament fabrication, also known as fused deposition modeling), LCD (an LCD module is used), and ceramic.

TRONXY X5SA 3D Printer | 3D Printers Online Store

This is a Core XY structure design with full belt transmission, higher stability and printing precision, guarantee the quality of the model; Dual Z-axis design, increase the load capacity of the hot bed, reduce errors in printing, and print more finely.

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Key specifications of Tronxy X5SA

Below, I’ve included the specifications of the X5SA that you need to be aware of. When deciding whether to buy any 3D printer, always make sure to check the specifications against your requirements because each product can vary drastically.

Build Volume 330 x 330 x 400
Feeder System Bowden
Nozzle Size 0.4mm
Frame Aluminum, sheet metal
Connectivity USB, TF memory card
Filament Diameter 1.75mm
Materials ABS, PLA, TPU, nylon, carbon fiber, PVC, HIPS
Frame Dimensions 639 x 580 x 658 mm
Weight 11.5kg
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Core Features of Tronxy X5SA

Tronxy X5SA Features

The X5SA, if you’re not already aware, is an FDM 3D printer. FDM stands for fused deposition modeling; this is the most common type of printer at the consumer level. It works by extruding thermoplastics through a heated nozzle. The material melts and is layered to create a platform.

Now that I’ve given a summary of how the X5SA functions, here I’m going to discuss some of the X5SA’s most essential features.

Resume printing function

This means you can continue printing from the last recorded extruder position if you experience an unexpected power outage. This is one of the best features I’ve seen in any 3D printer I’ve tested; there’s nothing more frustrating than a print failing mid-way through and being lost due to unforeseen circumstances!

Filament run-out detection

The X5SA lets you know when the filament is about to run out and allows you to reload it with a simple tap. This is one of the many things that makes this printer so easy to use and efficient.

Bowden drive extrusion

Since the print head is a lot lighter, this printer can print a lot faster, resulting in higher quality outcomes in less time. Traditionally, 3D printers could be very slow, so the speed is a real advantage for the X5SA.

Auto bed leveling

tronxy X

Fiddling with the bed of a 3D printer to get it level can be a real pain, as any enthusiast will know, so it’s nice to see that the X5SA does this automatically – well, supposedly it does. Of course, you need to follow the instructions pretty closely and make any necessary adjustments, but having this feature is definitely better than not having it.

Touchscreen

3D printers have come a long way since they were first invented, and now that they’re becoming increasingly affordable for anyone to buy, they’re also becoming a lot more user-friendly.

One thing that I always find impacts how easy it is to use when I find a particular 3D printer is whether or not it comes with a touchscreen. Having one makes the process of printing so much easier, but it also gives the machine a much more modern and high-tech feel which is nice.

Large build area

Personally, something I really value in a good 3D printer is a large build area. I like to be able to make prints that are big, and I hate feeling restricted. Considering the X5SA’s very affordable price tag, the build area it offers is very impressive, just like the quality of the prints that are created in that area.

Aluminum frame

3d printer aluminum frame

The aluminum sheet metal frame was designed with the intention of being strong and sturdy – there’s no doubt about that. Unfortunately, despite Tronxy’s many successes with this printer, sturdiness isn’t one of them.

In fact, the X5SA’s successor, the X5SA Pro, was specifically designed to counter this problem thanks to an extra strong, reinforced frame.

How does Tronxy X5SA perform?

As I’m sure many other 3D printing enthusiasts have been, I was immediately taken in by the appearance of the X5SA. It looks extremely robust (probably due to the large build area) and a little bit futuristic.

However, basing a review on looks alone isn’t going to help anyone. So did the X5SA live up to my expectations when I tested it out? In some ways, the answer is certainly yes. I was impressed by the rapid print times and the sheer capability of this 3D printer. That being said, it also had a number of downsides.

I’m not the first to say that the frame doesn’t feel as solid as it should – though, to be fair, perhaps this is to be expected from a budget printer – and the printer requires more maintenance and tweaking than I have the patience for. The bed leveling feature is a nice idea in principle, the kind that you wouldn’t expect to see in this price range, but the reality of using it just isn’t that simple.

Moreover, I much prefer opening the box to find my 3D printer pre-built and ready to go, whereas the X5SA has to be built – it only comes as a kit.

And I can’t help but think that maybe this is for the best after all, as it will deter people like me who have neither the patience nor experience to spend time getting the best out of this printer.

It has a lot of potentials, but there are simply too many adjustments required to make using it fun – which is what I think 3D printing should be.

Pros of Tronxy X5SA

While I think that the X5SA would benefit from being used by someone with a decent amount of 3D printing experience, there’s a lot to like about it, even as an amateur. Here are the best bits.

Good quality prints

x5sa

The more time you put into this printer, the more you’ll get out of it. And if you’re willing to play around with the settings and alter your process until you get it just right – something which can definitely take a long time – it will be worth it.

At the end of the day, one of the most important characteristics of any 3D printer should be that it’s capable of producing high-quality prints, and in this respect, the X5SA delivers.

Fast printing speed

Once you’ve found the sweet spot in terms of setup, the Tronxy X5SA is quick. Very quick. And the best part? You don’t have to compromise on quality.

CoreXY design

One thing I’ve yet to touch on is that this 3D printer boasts a CoreXY system, as opposed to other Cartesian (X/Y/Z coordinate) designs. This is great because it means the motors are stationary, resulting in fewer vibrations and ultimately a better quality print that’s finished much faster.

However, CoreXY designs are also somewhat of a con because they are much more challenging to use. They must be perfectly aligned and kept at the right tension, or they will not work correctly. This is one of the things I found most frustrating about the X5SA.

Auto-Leveling

autoleveling

This is the kind of feature you’d expect to see from a printer that sits in a much higher price bracket, so hats off to Tronxy for adding it to the X5SA. The company’s dedication to making 3D printing accessible really shines through.

Auto-leveling is incredibly helpful, but a considerable number of adjustments still need to be made manually, and that’s important to know if you’re thinking about buying this printer.

Cons of Tronxy X5SA

Bed adjustments

As I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest drawbacks to the X5SA is that it requires a lot of manual adjustments, which can be challenging to get right and ultimately end up being pretty time-consuming.

If you don’t have much time to dedicate to the printing process, the X5SA can be unreliable.

Build plate too sticky

Separating the build plate – which is not very flexible at all – from the print proves to be a challenge. You need a decent amount of strength, if not brute force, to achieve this, which ultimately threatens to break or damage the print. And, once you’ve separated the two, it’s likely your bed level will have been impacted, requiring more adjustments.

Extruder nozzle too close to print bed

When in use, the extruder nozzle of the X5SA sometimes gets too close to the print bed, and, as a result, pieces of the filament end up fusing to the bed. These are nearly impossible to remove.

Design flaws

tronxy printing

When you look at it from a distance, the X5SA appears perfectly functional; in fact, as far as 3D printers go, I’d say it looks pretty impressive. However, once you actually start using it to print, a few glaring issues become clear.

There’s a lot of rubbing and friction that occurs between different moving parts, which, in theory, shouldn’t even touch. For example, the weight of the suspension drags it down and causes it to rub against the belt. Moreover, the PTFE tubing is not quite long enough, which can cause it to interfere with the belt.

Poor instructions

Maybe if the X5SA had come with comprehensive and easy-to-follow instructions, I might not have minded so much that it only comes in kit form.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The instructions aren’t very clear at all – for experienced 3D printing hobbyists, this might not be a problem, but for those of us who are still learning, it means extra hours have to be spent putting together the printer before it can even be used.

Are there any alternatives?

When investing in a machine like a 3D printer, it’s definitely worth shopping around and checking out multiple machines. So, if you’re less experienced, less patient, or simply don’t like having to assemble printers yourself, then I have a few alternative suggestions that might suit you more than the X5SA.

Flashforge Finder

Flashforge Finder

If you’re just starting out on your 3D printing journey, the Flashforge Finder is a much more beginner-friendly option that will help you to learn the ins and outs of the printing process without having to get bogged down with various bed-based fiascos like the X5SA.

It has a simple interface with easy-to-use software, and to top it all off, you can purchase it pre-assembled, leaving you with more time for printing.

Like Tronxy’s budget model, it has unexpected features such as auto-bed leveling, but in the Finder, this works much more reliably. Like most Flashforge printers, this is an impressive model.

Best Overall
Why Go With the Flashforge Finder? | 3D Printers Online

The Flashforge Finder is the perfect combination of approachability and reliability to be a great classroom performer. Not too big or complicated to overwhelm, but also consistent with no "open source" finicky customizations.

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Creality Ender 3

Creality Ender 3

For a small budget, the Creality Ender 3 comes highly recommended. It allows you to produce consistently high-quality prints, but the machine itself isn’t too bulky, which is ideal if you’re working with a small amount of space.

I’d also recommend this 3D printer if you want to have a go at assembling your new machine manually but don’t have any prior experience; the instructions are easy to follow, and there aren’t too many steps, so you can familiarize yourself with the printer without having to waste hours in the process.

In my opinion, this is one of the best 3D printers for beginners on a budget.

Great Affordable Alternative
Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer | Creality3D

For most users, I recommend starting with this Creality Ender 3 Prusa i3 model here. It produces more consistent quality prints and is MUCH easier to assemble, let alone being more affordable. A clear choice for me.

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Frequently asked questions about Tronxy X5SA

Question: How does the X5SA differ from the X5SA Pro?

Answer: With the Pro, Tronxy addresses the weak frame of their original 3D printer by introducing more metal components to replace those that were previously made from thermoplastic.

However, the most important difference is the inclusion of a new titanium extruder that is more reliable, allows you to work with a range of materials with ease, and ultimately produces better quality prints.

Question: How does the X5SA differ from the X5S?

Answer: The X5SA, the more advanced of the two models, comes with an updated motherboard and includes a touchscreen. In addition, it has features that are typical of larger 3D printers, such as the filament run-out sensor.

While the X5S was underpowered, the X5SA is far from it; ultimately, it’s a better performing and more powerful machine.

Question: Does the Tronxy X5SA have a heated bed and thermal runaway protection?

Answer: Yes, to both of these things. The Tronxy comes with all the features you’d expect for this type of printer and even a few more you wouldn’t usually see in this price bracket.

Question: Can you upgrade the Tronxy X5SA?

Answer: You can indeed, and it’s actually recommended that you do. For example, you might add a belt tensioner, linear rails, or a fan duct, all of which will help to resolve common complaints about the X5SA.

Tronxy X5SA Review: Final thoughts

Like any hobby, learning how to 3D print takes time and patience. You have to gradually build up your skillset, and as you do, you can take on more challenging projects and work with different types of printers.

For that reason, I’d say that the X5SA is not a printer for beginners. When I write reviews, I always like to conclude by contemplating whether I’d recommend whatever I’m reviewing to a friend; this, I find, is the best way to get straight to the truth of the matter.

And in the case of the X5SA, my answer would be yes – if my friend had a decent amount of experience with 3D printing and was looking for a challenge.

The thing is, if you’re going to buy and use the X5SA, you have to really love the craft. You have to love how difficult it can be, how time-consuming, how precise…or you will simply give up.

This printer requires a lot of adjustments. It can be challenging to use properly, and it has flaws that it takes experience to overcome. Why am I still recommending it for experienced printing enthusiasts, then? Well, the answer is simple. When you get it right with the X5SA, the outcomes are incredible.

It’s a 3D printer with a hell of a lot of potential, and it needs someone who has the skills to unleash that potential, as well as make any necessary adjustments or additions that will allow it to function at its best.

There really is a lot to love about the Tronxy X5SA. It sits in a budget price bracket but comes with some amazing features that you’d only expect to see on premium models, so if you have the skills to use it, it really does offer great value for money.

TRONXY X5SA 3D Printer | 3D Printers Online Store

This is a Core XY structure design with full belt transmission, higher stability and printing precision, guarantee the quality of the model; Dual Z-axis design, increase the load capacity of the hot bed, reduce errors in printing, and print more finely.

Check Price Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

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