Battle of the Megas: Anycubic i3 Mega vs Mega-S vs Mega Zero vs Mega X - PrinterMods UK Ltd

If you're debating between an Anycubic i3 Mega, Mega-S, Mega Zero, or a Mega X, then look no further. We explain the differences so that you make the right choice.

Over the last few years, the desktop FDM 3D printing market has become deluged with more affordable hardware, making it much easier for makers on a budget to purchase their own machine.

Still, with a plethora of options to sift through, it can be difficult deciding which 3D printer is the ideal choice for your need.

Among the options are four similar-but-different printers by Anycubic, they are the i3 Mega, the Mega-S, the Mega Zero, and the Mega X.

If you’re trying to figure out which of the four is right for you, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s a 3D printer shootout to help you sort out the similarities and differences between all four machines and hopefully steer you toward the right direction when it comes time to buy one.


The Anycubic i3 Mega is one of the few FDM machines that, upon it's release in 2017, gained a foothold in the ever-growing pyramid of budget 3D printers. Typically priced under £300, this Chinese-manufactured machine has been widely recognized as a great entry-level 3D printer for beginners and frugally-minded makers.

Its release was followed by the new and improved Anycubic Mega-S, a more refined model with the same look and build volume as its predecessor, but also boasting some upgrades.

Then came Anycubic’s Mega Zero in 2019, a budget-friendly machine with a sub-£200 price tag to directly compete against Creality’s Ender 3 supremacy. With a slightly larger build volume than the i3 Mega and Mega-S, the Zero offers excellent value for money, but still has a relatively small build volume relative to other machines on the market.

This brings us to the Anycubic Mega X, the largest machine in the Mega family, boasting a build volume of 300 x 300 x 305 mm, but also the most expensive, ringing in at just under £400.

So, what exactly has Anycubic changed between all the printers in the Mega series? The distinctions between the i3 Mega and Mega-S are the most subtle. In fact, outside of a few intriguing advancements, even a closer look at the features and specifications doesn’t reveal much of a divergence. But, the Zero and Mega X both offer definite advantages and disadvantages.

All these differences beg the question: Is it worth spending extra money on the Mega X? Is the cheap Zero your 3D printer hero? Or are you best off sticking to the tried and true i3 Mega and Mega-S? Read on to find out.

Anycubic i3 Mega

Image of Anycubic i3 Mega vs Mega-S vs Mega Zero vs Mega X: Anycubic i3 Mega

As mentioned, i3 Mega was initially popular because of its low price and sturdy design back when it was released. Since then, many other manufacturers have produced similar machines, but the i3 Mega retains its appeal for a few reasons.

One of the highlights of this machine is the Anycubic Ultrabase, a heated bed that improves adhesion and makes it easier to pluck prints off once the job is complete. It also has a print resume function and a mechanical filament sensor.

Most importantly, however, this 3D printer actually performs.

The Anycubic i3 Mega comes partially assembled, enabling users to build and calibrate the 3D printer in under an hour. There’s also a touchscreen display that is surprisingly responsive considering the product’s sub-£300 price point.

Here are the general specs for the original Anycubic i3 Mega 3D printer:

  • Build volume: 210 x 210 x 205 mm (8.3 x 8.3 x 8.1 inches)
  • Min. layer height: 100 microns
  • Feeder system: Bowden drive and geared feeder
  • Extruder type: Single
  • Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
  • Max. extruder temperature: 275 °C
  • Max. heated bed temperature: 100 °C
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Connectivity: SD card, USB stick

Anycubic Mega-S

Image of Anycubic i3 Mega vs Mega-S vs Mega Zero vs Mega X: Anycubic Mega-S

At a glance, there doesn’t seem to be much separating the Anycubic Mega-S from its predecessor. It has the same exact design and all-metal frame – the only clear identifier is the new name etched onto it, with the “S” indicating the printer is superior to its predecessor.

The base of the Mega-S is equipped with the same type of color touchscreen and it still boasts a 210 x 210 x 205 mm build volume, a resume power feature, and a filament run-out sensor. And, each print begins upon the same Anycubic Ultrabase heated bed, which is designed to help prints stick to the bed and pop right off after the job is done.

So, aside from the new moniker, how exactly is the Mega-S different from its predecessor?

For one thing, Anycubic has added a suspended spool holder to the side of the 3D printer, while also changing the placement of the filament sensor to improve overall usability.

According to Anycubic, the extruder on the Anycubic Mega-S has been upgraded to be more compatible with flexible filaments like TPU. This is perhaps the most essential enhancement of them all, as the other upgrades are either strictly cosmetic or improve usability but not print quality.

Is the Anycubic Mega-S better than the original? All initial signs point to yes, albeit slightly. The real question is whether or not it’s worth shelling out a few extra bucks for the upgraded model.

The answer depends on who you are and what you’re looking for.

If you’re a beginner who wants forego adding a spool holder and mounting the filament sensor, or an intermediate user that is planning to experiment with flexible materials, the Anycubic Mega-S seems like a worthwhile investment. However, owners of the original model don’t seem to be missing out on much, and these upgrades can likely be added to the Anycubic i3 Mega without significant effort or cost.

Here are the general specs for the original Anycubic Mega-S 3D printer, which as you’ll see, are essentially identical to the Anycubic i3 Mega 3D printer:

  • Build volume: 210 x 210 x 205 mm (8.3 x 8.3 x 8.1 inches)
  • Layer height: 100 – 400 microns
  • Feeder system: Bowden drive and geared feeder
  • Extruder type: Single
  • Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
  • Max. extruder temperature: 275 °C
  • Max. heated bed temperature: 100 °C
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Connectivity: SD card, USB stick

Anycubic Mega Zero

Image of Anycubic i3 Mega vs Mega-S vs Mega Zero vs Mega X: Anycubic Mega Zero

Before you settle in, just a note that we have not had a chance to go hands-on with the Anycubic Mega Zero yet. However, we’ve pored over the specs and information from Anycubic to give you a solid idea of what you can expect out of it.

The Anycubic Mega Zero bears many similarities to its predecessors in the Mega series, including an aluminum frame, a resume print function, and a filament sensor. One major difference, however, is its price. The Zero costs a mere £169. This makes it by far the most budget-friendly machines of the lot, plus it has a larger print volume to boot. But, with a cheaper price comes a loss of some features.

The Mega Zero does not have an Ultrabase print bed, nor does it have a heated bed at all. Instead, it has a metal build plate. And though Anycubic advertises the printer to be suited for materials such as PETG or TPU (more on that later), it will be trickier to print with temperature-sensitive materials without a heated bed.

Automatic bed leveling is also off the table, not that the other machines offered such a feature either. The Mega Zero does, however, assist the user when leveling by locating the corners of the print bed. In combination with its big twisting knobs, the printer should be quick and easy to level.

However, these “missing” features aside, the Zero has a lot to offer, including a double gear extrusion mechanism on a Bowden drive system. According to the manufacturer, this allows for a stronger torque. As a result, there should be smoother extruding, and the printer should be compatible with flexible filaments, such as TPU, which would otherwise clog the grinder.

It also comes with an assembly kit and an independent power adapter.

Here are the specs for the Anycubic Mega Zero:

  • Build volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm
  • Layer height: 100 – 400 microns
  • Feeder system: Bowden drive and geared feeder
  • Extruder type: Single
  • Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
  • Max. extruder temperature: 255 °C
  • Max. heated bed temperature: –
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Connectivity: SD card

Anycubic Mega X

Image of Anycubic i3 Mega vs Mega-S vs Mega Zero vs Mega X: Anycubic Mega X

Last but not least is the Anycubic Mega X, the big boy in the Mega series. The company stuck to its tried-and-true metal frame design, but also made a few notable improvements.

Setting the Mega X apart from its predecessors is an enlarged build space, which has grown to a roomy 300 x 300 x 305 mm. While at first glance the 210 x 210 x 205 mm build volume of the Mega-S might not seem too far off, the print volume of the Mega X actually comes close to tripling the build volume of the Mega-S.

The power supply, mainboard, and touchscreen are neatly packed in the base unit, giving the printer a svelte look. Plus, the all-metal frame and robust chassis of the Mega series greatly contribute to the consistent print quality the previous series iterations were known for. The Mega X hits the same notch combining a sleek look with sturdiness.

The Mega X also comes pre-assembled with an Ultrabase print bed, an X-axis dual lead screw design, and, for the hotbed, a Y-axis dual lead rail design. Enhancements that take increased physical forces from the enlarged size into account and mitigate the impact so the printer is more robust.

A rarely seen feature in the Mega X’s price segment is its use of dual Z-endstops. In case your Z-axis gets crooked, the printer will automatically reset to level again every time it homes the axis.

Like most of the other Mega series printers, the Mega X features a 3.5-inch color touchscreen, a filament runout sensor, and a Bowden system with a Titan-style extruder. As with past Anycubic 3D printers, the filament holder sticks out sideways at the bottom, which does take some of the load off the frame where holders tend to be installed – but results in the upside-down feeding of filament.

Ultimately, though, the Anycubic Mega X does not differ very much from the former Mega-S, except in build volume. However, in our review, we really enjoyed using the Mega X and found the printing results convincing.

Here are the specs for the Mega X:

  • Build volume: 300 x 300 x 305 mm
  • Layer height: 100 – 400 microns
  • Feeder system: Bowden drive
  • Extruder type: Single
  • Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
  • Max. extruder temperature: 250 °C
  • Max. heated bed temperature: 90 °C
  • Frame: Metal
  • Connectivity: SD card, USB stick


When considering buying a printer from Anycubic’s Mega series, you’ve got some pretty different options in front of you and it can be tricky to know which one is right.

Let’s break down the key differences. If you’re trying to decide between the i3 Mega and the Mega-S, you’ll ultimately have to weigh up whether or not the few improvements are worth the slight increase in price. For instance, a beginner or even an experienced maker who may prefer to have a spool holder and an improved filament sensor would likely find the Anycubic Mega-S to be more appealing.

From what we can tell, it appears that the updated extruder is the most important update performance-wise. And so, for intermediate or advanced users that want to experiment more with flexible filaments like TPU, the Anycubic Mega-S could be worth the extra £30-£50.

Despite the upgrades, original owners of the original Anycubic i3 Mega don’t seem to be missing out on too much. And, considering that these upgrades can be added to the stock Anycubic i3 Mega without much effort or investment, that’s really no surprise.

So between these two machines, if you’ve already got an i3 Mega, there’s no reason to invest in a Mega-S. And if you’re budget-conscious, we’d stick with the i3 Mega because the differences between the two machines aren’t significant enough to warrant paying more.

However, when we add the Mega Zero into the mix, things get more interesting. It has a larger print volume than the Mega-S and i3 Mega, but a somewhat reduced feature-set. The Mega Zero is an excellent machine for someone who is a beginner looking to dip their toes into the 3D printing pool without having to invest too much money. It’s also a great option as a second printer, but if printing materials like ABS or TPU are important, we’d skip it in favor of any of the other three printers which offer heated beds.

If budget is not your primary concern, and you’d like the flexibility to print bigger-sized objects with a heated bed, then there is no question we’d pick the Mega X. Out of all the machines, this one is the most “premium” (keeping in mind that it is still a budget 3D printer) and has all the quality features that make 3D printing with most materials possible.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is what features and capabilities are most important for your printing needs.

To conclude, we would wager that owners of the original Anycubic i3 Mega don’t really need to worry about buying the Mega-S, as it doesn’t offer anything that can’t be added to the older model. Even newbies who want to save a bit of cash should be satisfied with the first iteration.

However, if you’re in need of a new 3D printer and want to spend a little extra to obtain slightly better printing performance and features, perhaps the Anycubic Mega-S is worth a look.