I’m back again for a 3D printer showdown, pitting two of Anycubic’s flagship snake-themed budget machines to the test by comparing the Anycubic Kobra vs Anycubic Vyper head-to-head.
I recommend the Anycubic Kobra for beginners looking for an affordable 3D printer that is compact, easy to use, and will produce good-quality prints right out-of-the-box.
The Vyper, on the other hand, is a premium option with a larger build volume and faster print speeds, making it a good choice for experienced users who want to print more ambitious projects.
With hands-on experience testing both the Anycubic Kobra and Vyper, I’ll help you work out which is best for you, comparing their features and specifications to zero in on what sets them apart.
Is the Anycubic Vyper’s boosted build volume worth the extra spend, or will you be more than content with the compact Anycubic Kobra? Let’s find out.
Anycubic Kobra vs Vyper: A Quick 3D Printer Comparison
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The Anycubic Kobra launched in 2022 to rave reviews, including our own, redefining what we should come to expect from race-to-the-bottom entry-level 3D printers and making an emphatic claim to the Ender 3’s budget king crown.
With hassle-free automatic mesh bed leveling, sensorless homing, a convenient PEI-coated magnetic bed, and a direct drive extruder setup, the Anycubic Kobra doesn’t just tick off many quality-of-life boxes but produces impressive quality prints and, with a little shepherding in the right direction, is a genuine pleasure to use.
Compromises to cut costs are present but appear in places that don’t affect the print quality or experience too much, namely a plastic heavy print head casing.
Finicky software wrangling and the absence of tuned slicer profiles detract from the worry-free printing promised by the best Anycubic 3D printers. Still, the Kobra delivers enough top-flight features for the price that we’ll excuse these.
A tad longer in the tooth than the newly-launched Kobra, the Anycubic Vyper hit the market to similar critical fanfare, defining itself as offering a digestible and intimidating introduction to the marvelous world of 3D printing to newcomers. Here at 3DSourced, we were impressed with everything the Vyper offers.
It removes much of the initial setup and tedious leg work with automatic mesh bed leveling, the same ultra-adhesive PEI-coated magnetic bed as the Kobra, a dual-gear extruder, and a Volcano-style hot end. In action, this means no first-layer woes, easy setup, and excellent value for the money.
It also has an above-average 260 x 245 x 245 mm build volume to tackle larger projects and print-in-place parts.
Much like the Kobra, the Anycubic Vyper relies on tuning to perform at its best, but this also makes it an exciting proposition for seasoned makers looking for a versatile budget workhorse to supplement an existing fleet of printers.
Anycubic Vyper vs Kobra: At a Glance
Best for value: For pure value at a price that rivals, and sometimes improves, many of the best low-cost 3D printers, the Anycubic Kobra is ideal for beginners. It’s compact, easy to use, and pumps out good quality prints out-of-the-box. The Kobra should follow along as your skills develop, coming to life as you learn to tame and tune its minor downsides.
Premium option: The Anycubic Vyper emerges as the best option for those who will use the extra build volume and the increased print speeds offered by its Bowden extruder setup. Whether these features are worth the additional $60 is debatable, especially if you’re a first-timer who’ll be more than content with what the lower-cost Kobra offers.
Anycubic Kobra vs Anycubic Vyper: 3D Printer Comparison
|Anycubic Kobra||Anycubic Vyper|
|220 x 220 x 250 mm||245 x 245 x 260 mm|
The Anycubic Kobra offers a 220 x 220 x 250 mm build volume, while the Anycubic Vyper pushes to 245 x 245 x 260 mm, exceeding what we’d expect in this price range.
A large build volume equates to more print options: more efficient batch printing and larger parts, for example.
The Anycubic Kobra’s build volume is bang on average when compared to 3D printers in its price range. Those dimensions should allow you to print a vast cross-section of popular hobbyist projects from your favorite video game characters and display pieces through to functional and household parts.
If the Vyper’s extra millimeters seem surplus to requirement and you’re on a budget, the Anycubic Kobra emerges as the better option.
However, if the Kobra’s average build volume is likely to limit your printing projects, but you don’t need the kind of space found on a large format printer like the Ender 5 Plus, the Anycubic Vyper offers a well-priced compromise.
Which is best: Anycubic Vyper.
Both the Anycubic Kobra and Vyper feature a PEI-coated removable magnetic spring steel build platform.
It consists of a 3M magnetic sticker, a spring steel sheet, and a coated top layer. It’s scratch-resistant and can be washed to remove any filament, oil, or other dirt with soap and water. The flexibility of the print bed allows you to flex and pop off finished prints with little effort.
The top coating is coarsely textured to improve first-layer adhesion, removing the need for extra adhesives like glue or tape. The textured surface leaves a grainy imprint on the underside of prints, spoiling first-layer details, but this applies to both printers, so it’s unavoidable whichever you buy.
There’s also the option to replace the existing surface with a glass plate or a less textured flexible plate.
Which is best: draw.
Although the Anycubic Kobra and Vyper offer convenient automatic bed leveling – still rare in this price range – the former uses a more refined version of Anycubic’s first-attempt, rudimentary ABL setup found on the Vyper.
While leveling the bed on both printers is a breeze, and both use a point mesh leveling routine to map out inconsistencies on the bed and compensate for them, we found the Kobra slightly surpasses its older stablemate.
The Kobra’s LeviQ inductive probe is somewhat more refined and accurate than the Vyper’s pressure strain gauge system – 24 mesh points rather than the Vyper’s 16.
The leveling results are roughly equivalent, so we’re nitpicking here. But, considering the Kobra costs less, it’s an advantage that makes us lean in the newer printer’s favor.
Which is best: draw/Kobra.
Aside from build volume, the type of extruder setup is where the Anycubic Kobra and Vyper differ the most from one another.
The Kobra features a direct drive extruder – the filament feeds directly in the hot end assembly, pushed and pulled by a straightforward toothed drive gear extruder integrated into the print head.
Direct extruders add additional mass to the print head, but a shorter filament path allows for better retraction performance, extrusion consistency, and support for trickier flexibles. The extra weight the direct systems carry around can affect speed and travel accuracy due to increased wobble and vibrations, but the Kobra’s plastic-heavy casing design keeps things light.
In our experience, it mitigates the typical downside of a direct extruder well. It’s one of the better direct drive extruder implementations we’ve come across for an under $300 printer.
The Anycubic Vyper employs a Bowden system. A dual-geared extruder sits separate from the print head (usually mounted to the frame) and pushes the filament through an extended cut of tubing toward the hot end.
The chief benefit is a lighter print head, allowing for faster print speeds and smoother movements, but at a cost to retraction accuracy. Bowden systems also tend to increase the likelihood of flexible filaments like TPU jamming or snapping in the tube.
There’s no clear winner here as both systems have pros and cons. If you plan on dabbling into squishy flexibles, you’ll likely have an easier time with the Kobra than the Vyper.
Which is best: depends on what you plan to use the printer for.
The Anycubic Kobra and Anycubic Vyper boast identical material compatibility – PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU – enabled by matching top max 260°C nozzle temperature and max 110°C heated bed temperature.
Without an enclosure, ABS will be tricky to print on both machines. You can purchase one directly from Anycubic or build one yourself.
PLA is where both printers shine, though with the proper tuning, both confidently churn out good quality flexible and PETG prints. On equal footing, then.
Ease of Use and Assembly
Anycubic provides some of the industry’s most concise and informative assembly and quick-start instructions, and this is no different with the Kobra and Vyper.
Both ship with a color booklet and a USB drive with even more resources to ease the build and setup process. The transformation from boxed parts to a print-ready machine is a cinch and shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, even if either the Kobra or Vyper is your first printer.
Both machines feature the same responsive 4.3″ touch screen and slightly pared-down but easy-to-navigate interface. They also sport USB and SD Card connectivity, though the Kobra shrinks the latter down to the Mini variant.
Overall, the Anycubic Kobra and Anycubic Vyper are cut from the same signature Anycubic cloth – a frictionless, enjoyable experience that removes the more tedious aspects of 3D printing. In that sense, there’s little to set them apart.
Though the printers benefit from some nurturing and settings tuning, both of Anycubic’s inexpensive printers try and largely succeed at making 3D printing as hassle-free as possible.
Price is a major factor in most purchasing decisions, especially in low-cost printers. After all, we’re looking for those standout machines that strike that elusive balance between price, features, and performance.
Not much separates the Anycubic Kobra and Anycubic Vyper: a slim $60.
In the context of a $300 printer, $60 looms as quite a substantial amount. So, the question is whether the Vyper’s build volume boost and nippier dual-gear Bowden extruder provide enough value for you to shell out the extra coin.
If that’s a resounding no, save some money and go for the Kobra. Worthy features, all-around usability, and impressive printing capabilities make it a strong buy and the most-value packed budget printer on the market today.
Anycubic Kobra vs Anycubic Vyper – The Winner
With so little setting the two printers apart, there’s no clear-cut winner in our Anycubic Kobra vs Anycubic Vyper head-to-head. It really depends on what you’re personally looking for.
For first-timers on a budget, the Vyper doesn’t offer much more than the Kobra that will prove useful for everyday hobby projects. The slightly smaller build volume will be fine for you.
For power users wanting that extra build volume and the benefits of the Bowden extruder, the Vyper may prove a wiser investment.
Whichever printer you settle on, be assured that both tap into what we’ve come to expect from Anycubic’s excellent FDM range: a sleek, low-cost, reliable printer that’s a lot of fun to use.