Wombot is a 3d printer brand from Australia. The company behind the Wombot 3d printer range, Aurorum, have several printer models, aimed at different segments of the 3d printing market, but the XL with it’s “oversized Prusa i3” appeal is squarely in the Creality CR-10 and Tevo Tornado space. How does it measure up?
In the 3D printing world there are certain benchmark bed sizes. The smaller printers are normally between 120mm to 180mm square, then you have the bulk of “regular” sized printers around 200mm square. Above 210mm and we get into “large” territory.
While not as crammed as the budget and regular-sized markets, there is still a lot of competition in this space.
At the top end we have the gMax and Lulzbot Taz. These machines run several thousand dollars. We also have the aforementioned “mainstream priced” Creality and Tevo machines.
The “XL” is the smallest of the set, coming in at 250mm squared. That’s not a huge problem, it could be that 250mm is just right for your needs. After all, the Prusa Mk2 is a hybrid between regular and large, being 210mm x 250mm. In good company.
That is, unfortunately, until you see what you are getting for your money, at which point the decisions seem a little more off target.
At the time I purchased mine, there were several high-profile Exilis reviews that were encouraging. I did not have the same experience as those big channels promised.
Wombot Exillis XL Features
Let’s run through the specs before making comparisons:
- 250mm x 250mm heated bed
- Borosilicate glass
- Auto bed level compensation via BLTouch
- Marlin firmware (source available on request)
- Mk8 clone extruder
- RAMPS compatible main board
- 3030 extruded aluminium
- 12v PSU
- LED screen
Pretty standard in the market, and all the parts are generic so replacements are easy to find. All good so far.
On the model I received, the sensor was inductive style so the BLT is a welcome change, plus my printer arrived broken up very badly (a problem that Aurorum did not resolve, I might add - more on this later). Word is the packaging is now sufficient to withstand shipping from Australia and the previously PLA printed parts appear now to be injection molded.
What you get with the Wombot Exillis XL 3D Printer
Talking of packaging, it’s pretty standard with even the cheapest 3d printers to get a whole bundle things along with your printer, right?
If you are expecting this with the Wombot, lower your expectations. With my printer I didn’t even get an SD card, though I am pretty sure they started throwing in a $2 value Chinese Aliexpress quality card after, along with an example print. That’s all. No tools, instruction booklet, spools of filament; just some knotted, cheap quality samples.
Yeah, now we really do need to compare, because I have been skirting around the elephant in the room … price.
Wombot Exillis XL 3D Printer Value for Money
The Wombot XL retails right now at Amazon for $759.00 + $211.68 shipping
Let that sink in.
Yes, you could buy two Creality CR-10 printers, or two Tevo Tornado for the same price AND get free shipping. Did I also mention the CR-10 has a bigger heated bed and has better output quality?
The bed is plain glass so after struggling to get any kind of first layer using everything from tape to glue stick, I replaced the sensor that did not work with a manual end stop switch and added a zebra plate surface. Those finally got prints. Not good prints- okay prints, but it did print.
But, you might argue, this is Australian and those are Chinese! Aurorum is Australian but the printers are built with mostly the same chinese parts. Remember this printer is essentially priced in the range of the official Prusa i3 Mk2 that has much better reputation, quality and support.
Ah yes, support. Support is important. What is the customer service and after-sales like?
Wombot XL Customer Experience
This is where that thread of bitterness kicks in that you might have sensed. After 11 months I finally got my Wombot working by swapping out the majority of the printer. Aurorum ignored most of my requests for help and I am not an isolated occurrence either - customers either seem delighted or offended by the help (or lack of), so YMMV. No compensation for buying a $1k broken box of parts was given so caveat emptor.
One of the seemingly significant factors that determine if you will be helped or not seems to be your location, and I am sure my distance from the company factored in my box innards looking like it had done ten rounds with Mike Tyson.
If you are based on the southern hemisphere perhaps that means you will have a better time of it, at the very least you will be able to travel and be seen in person. Word is they are very nice people face to face and it is only online they are difficult to get a hold of. I trust that is true.
Really though, all this is hearsay and my personal opinion. Objectively, you can look to specs and pricing, and really that is where the main decision sways you away from Wombot and toward better value or better esteemed competition.
Making the Decision
I love my Creality CR-10 printers. Yes, I had such a great experience with the regular, 300mm x 300mm CR-10 that I bought a CR-10 S5 with 500mm x 500mm dimensions. That big guy with double the capacity was also less expensive than the Wombot and prints amazingly. Creality machines compete head to head with Prusa for print quality.
But say you are in the market for something that wasn’t built in China. Well, you still should not look at the Wombot, because the parts are mainly Chinese or parts unknown.
If you need responsive support then you would look to either Prusa, gMax, or Lulzbot, or purchase a CR-10 from a local reseller.
Unless you live in Melbourne, I can’t think of a reason why Wombot would be on the list, let alone at the top of it. Which is sad, really, as I did have high hopes for it, and as mentioned, apparently the people behind the brand are really nice in person.