Saturday, September 7, 2013

QU-BD Revolution XL Review Part 1

I have had my eye on QU-BD ever since their successful Kickstarter campaign last year.  When I visited their booth at last year's Makerfair, I was impressed with the engineering and build quality of their RPM mill/3D printer.  So when they offered their Revolution and Revolution XL printers to customers willing to beta test and willing to wait in exchange for a great price ($800 for the RXL) and for what might be a truly revolutionary new 3D printer, I signed up.  That was in January, 2013.  There were of course delays and I watched over the following months as the impatient beta customers and I slowly transformed into an angry mob.  So it happened yesterday that I was rummaging through my closet looking for my pitchfork and torch when my dog announced with his usual oratory flair that a package had arrived.

The promise of the RXL's revolutionary leap beyond the current landscape of affordable FDM printers was in its speed.  Most reprap 3D printers use an extruder mounted on the X carriage.  This limits their speed.  Other printers, like Ultimaker, speed things up by removing the extruder from the carriage and using a Bowden extruder.  The downside to that approach is that anti-ooze retraction, used to prevent stringing, does not work well with a Bowden extruder.  The RXL was to have the best of all worlds -- a super-light (<6oz) extruder (they call X-truder) combined with 2 X motors and 2 Y motors.  In an early youtube video, they demonstrated 900mm/second travel speeds.  Later, after they tweaked things, QU-BD was able to demo 500+mm/second ABS printing.  For a reprapper like me used to speeds 1/10th of that, it was indeed a great promise.

The first thing I successfully printed with the RXL was a vase for which QU-BD included tweaked gcode to demonstrate the RXL's speed.  That went well.  I then moved on to printing a Filastruder hopper at conservative speeds:

After some success, I became more ambitious and set out to print an over-sized Eiffel Tower at 400mm/sec:

Check out the speed:

It seemed to be working great for a while but something seemed to "slip" somehow on my Y axis, causing the print to fail.  I will investigate and figure out what caused this failure:

Stay tuned as I continue to put this machine through it's paces.


  1. Glad you got your printer. Can you post a pic or two of the test print that did come out correctly?

    Good luck with your new printer!

  2. Have you had any luck resolving the issues with the Y axis slip?

    There are very few of these units in the wild right now, and it seems only one hasn't reported any physical damage from shipping. Only three people seem to have working units, of which yours is one, so I'm really keen to see more videos and details from you when you can post them. The family will understand :)

  3. Interesting that this came out when there have been major complaints on delays, fabrication, and less than honest reports on availability, at the time Maker Faire is going on.

  4. thanks for the review, I would love to hear an update on your feelings on the printer now that you've had it for awhile. thank you.

  5. patiently waiting on updates on the QU BD. I am about to pull the trigger myself and would like to make my decision based on your informed and impartial review. Thanks!

  6. Don't buy from QUBD. I bought a XXL and it's given me nothing but a headache. I've had skipping, homing issues, extruder issues, and issues upon issues... Finally forced to do a charge-back after my second visit to QUBD's shop in little rock went south and I was basically abandoned as a customer and told that the non-working printer was "within spec".

    1. Hi there, I was considering buying the qubd XXL but after reading your comment and one more from another disappointed customer I am now skeptical, can you please tell us how you have been going with the XXL?? have you solved the issues?.. is worth buying it for its speed ability and large printing area?.. thanks.

    2. Peter, I have had my XL now for about two years. I got mine at the pre-order price of $800 and it took them 6 months after payment for them to ship. I would say that it is solidly built but had many flaws that I painstakingly worked out. I replaced their X-truder with a third-party bowden/all metal extruder. I also replaced their electronics fan with a more powerful and redundant double fan. I also implemented Iluminarti's Z endstop fix. I would now say that it is a decent 3D printer. But I would stop short of endorsing QUBD or the XXL. If I had it to do over, I would have just bought an Ultimaker.

  7. Thanks so much for writing all of the excellent information! Looking forward to checking out more posts!