JGAurora A5 Review
The JGAurora falls into the “large” format 3D Printer. This 3D Printer was graciously provided by Gearbest for an honest review. This is an unofficial classification I use. I view FDM printers in 4 broad categories. Small (under 200mm build volume), Medium (Over 200mm), Large (over 300mm), Really Big (400mm and bigger). Loosely, they fall in these size ranges. In my experience, I have printed with the Creality 3D CR10S, Tevo Tornado, Alfawise U20, and now the JGAurora A5 in this “large” size category. While the U20, CR10 and the Tornado clone are very similar machines, the A5 goes in a very different direction. The brains are under the bed. It uses rods for linear movement (I do prefer extrusions, myself). The whole thing is “built in” giving it a very clean look. I really do like the look. It can be difficult to get into the brains of the operation, and if something jams in the extruder, it is kind of painful.
Of all the 3D Printers I have owned, the JGAurora A5 is the best looking. The Metal frame “hides” most of the moving parts. This gives it a much nicer aesthetic and goes in the direction of appliance. Along those lines, it’s touch screen also promotes that feeling, and how you control it, all from the touchscreen makes it feel like theirst step towards a home appliance feel. This is the direction that I think 3D Printing will eventually go, and JGAurora has taken the first few steps to getting that aesthetic correct.
Now, I have talked about looks quite a bit, because that is its most striking feature. That does not mean that the printer is lacking. At 305 mm x 305 mm x 320 mm build volume, this has quite a bit real estate to build on. It’s build plate is also an Ultrabase type material that works very similar. It holds prints down when hot, and releases them when cooled. Honestly, I’d say this 3D Printer is one of the best I own at creating great looking 3D Prints.
I should point out the build. It takes 7 bolts. 4 for the gantry and 3 for the filament holder. It ships flat, but it basically is pre-built. It was extremely fast to build, and very simple. Check out my preview and live build video.
The JGAurora also ships with a filament run-out sensor and power recovery. I had an occasion to use the filament run-out once, and it had a problem. Well, I had a bit of problem that caused the print to fail. I didn’t know not to touch the bed. The filament ran out near the end of the print, and I accidently bumped the bed (since the stepper motors were not locked). The print was just off, and it was enough to mess it up. Power recovery worked fine, I just was very careful not to touch the bed in testing.
Out of the box, it prints very well. There is not much stringing at all. The bridging is top notch, layers look clean. I’ve been testing other 3D Printers as of late, and am going back to the JGAurora prints and have to admit, they look really good. Even the roll of filament it came with printed really well. This has been one of my go-to printers over the past several months so I have a number of rolls of filament through it. It’s printed great the whole time.
While running it consumes about .0329 kWh per hour. It is in the rage of other 3D printers I own.
While I do really like printer, I do have some problems with it.
It was a little finicky to get stuff to stick to the bed. I have real ultrabase on a few printers, and their knockoff I don’t think is quite as good. That is not to say it is poor, it is just not as good as the authentic thing. I think a part of that, is the smaller leveling knobs. Since they are right next to the frame, you really can’t get anything bigger. That makes it a little more difficult to level.
Now, the big issue I have, is the extruder. In an effort to make things “simple” and automated, the extruder is completely closed off. In practice this is fine, but when you are trying to troubleshoot something, it can be a problem. Not being able to release tension on the filament is kind of annoying. Having it pass through the filament run-out sensor and directly into the extruder made fishing filament in a bit of a problem. It is one thing I really don’t like about this 3D Printer. It doesn’t handle reloading filament easily.
I will admit, one oddity to me, is the USB port. Like most other 3D Printers, it has a USB B to hook up to a computer, but you print from a USB thumbdrive. I can’t say I am huge fan of it sticking out the side of the printer, but it works as well as an SD Card.
The JGAurora is one of the better 3D Printers I have tested. At under $400, it actually is one of the best price to performance 3D Printers I own. It feels like the parts are good quality, and it seems to have a very solid build. In my opinion, its strength is also it’s weakness. With everything built into the base, and in general it is very clean looking, it hides pieces and parts you may want to work on. I had one particular filament jam recently that was a pain to clear, and I left the run out sensor off for the time being, since I can’t get the filament out of that assembly.
Does that make for a bad printer? Not really. Hopefully, you don’t have to tear into it. It is a very solid performing 3D Printer, and most of my issues (except for the one noted above) are pretty simple to overcome. It prints very well, both low-quality PLA and higher quality PLA I generally use. The prints are sound. It is better for larger pieces of terrain than smaller pieces requing details. Not sure why it prints so clean, most of the time, but certain small pieces it struggles with.
For a larger print bed, I prefer this 3D Printer over the CR-10s and Tevo Tornado I have… It prints at least as well as them, and prints a bit faster, with higher quality. They are all very similar. The touch screen and Ultrabase like bed set it a part from the other two, in my opinion. It’s just a very solid 3D Printer, and if you are turned off by the more industrial look most 3D Printers have, this is pretty much a no-brainer. This is also one I have recommended to friends, which I think shows how high I regard this 3D Printer.
Since this was sent to me, the JGAuora A5s has been released to refresh the line. It is essentially the same printer.
Again, thank you to Gearbest for sending this 3D Printer for review. Also, when you use the affiliate links I share, it shows that people are reading my content and allows Gearbest to send me more equipment to review.