MakerBot Print is our newest print-prepration software, which supports native CAD files and STL assemblies,
allows you to interact with all your printers via the Cloud, and many other exciting new features.

Download Now

X5S-2E - can you add Auto Bed Level

Please Login to Comment

I am thinking about getting the X5S-2E as I like that it does dual extruding.
It doesnt have auto bed levelliing though - but can that be added to the board?
Likewise with WIFI - although Im not likely to use it, can it be added?


As a Tronxy X5S-2E owner myself I would not recommend one to anybody. Here are a couple of the problems I've experienced:

  • The printer ships with a customised version of Marlin 1.1.0-RC3.
    • This is a buggy old version of Marlin into which they've tried to hack dual-extruder single-nozzle support.
    • The firmware is very unstable and it's easy to crash just scrolling through the menus too quickly, especially on the Move Axis pages.
  • The printer ships with a very poor clone E3D Cyclops hot end.
    • The mixing volume of the clone hot end is much larger than it should be. The genuine E3D specifications indicate 1.5mm retracts, the Tronxy clone still strings at 9-11mm retracts.
    • At 11mm retract settings molten filament follows retracting filament back up the PTFE tubes where it solidifies and blocks future prints.
    • Tronxy supplies "low temperature" heat breaks on their clone hot end, i.e.: lined with PTFE. Do not exceed 260C with these (or even 250C).
  • The supplied PTFE tubes are very poor quality with high friction. You either need to replace the PTFE tubes with decent quality ones or use higher torque steppers than the ones supplied otherwise you're subject to serious under extrusion.
  • While the length precision of V-slot components is relatively good the length precision of the smooth rods was abysmal.
    • I had to shim out the smooth rods to stop the top- and bottom-rails getting bowed in towards each other. One of them required packing out by 2mm.
    • Bowing in of the top- and bottom-rails causes perfect levelling around the edges of the hot bed to devolve into dragging the hot end into the centre of the bed. This leads to gouging out of channels through the scratch pad around the middle. This particular hot bed is perfectly flat, by the way, so it's not bowing up of the hot bed causing this.
  • The default VMax Z of 5mm/sec is painfully slow and adds significant time to prints using Z Hop.
    • I've been able to increase this to 50mm/sec but lubrication of the Z axis lead screws is paramount.
  • The stock "Mk3a 300" heated bed is useless, it cannot get to 70C.
    • I've had Mk3a 300 heated beds in the past able to do manage this easily, so I'm putting it down to Tronxy's sub-par quality again.
  • Warranty support is non-existent. Don't expect any help from Tronxy if you encounter any problems.
    • I bought mine from an eBay merchant (that I believe to be Tronxy themselves) but could not get them to replace a faulty TRONXY-V3.10 mainboard.
    • Eventually they ceded that they should actually do something and gave me a partial refund to buy a replacement mainboard myself.
    • In the end I was able to repair the faulty mainboard myself by desoldering and resoldering the crap solder joints on the oscillator components of the ATmega2560 chip.

As to your questions:

  • Auto bed levelling is doable.
    • The TRONXY-V3-1.0 mainboard is a RAMPS EFB style board, except that Arduino D12 is used for one of the servos (RAMPS boards commonly use this for PS_ON on ATX power supplies). I have submitted a patch to the Marlin Firmware project to support it - see the bugfix-2.0.x branch.
    • You shouldn't have any problems attaching a genuine antclabs BLTouch to one of the servo sockets (pin headers) and the Z- socket.
      • Consult the Marlin/src/pins/pins_TRONXY_V3_1_0.h file for pinouts of all the connectors on the board.
    • Don't cheap out and buy one of the 3DTouch clones, I've not found one that works reliably. If you want cheap you'd be better off experimenting with one of the inductive or optical sensors.
  • WiFi is not doable with the stock TRONXY-V3-1.0 mainboard.
    • It's only a 16MHz ATmega2560 and has barely enough grunt to run the printer.
    • You'd have to replace this mainboard with a 32-bit one of some kind so there's sufficient CPU capacity to run a TCP/IP network stack.
    • So far as WiFi goes I think you'd be better served and come out a lot cheaper using a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ running OctoPi. This works very well for me and supports web cams and time lapse captures to boot.

Thank you - everyone -

I appreciate the printer is a chinesium clone, and will never be as good as the big players, but cost is a big factor.

I have leaned towards an X5SA to do away with the dual extruder.

As for WIFI - I was going to go with OcoPi anyway so that is no major loss to me.

I had an ANET E12 for a few days - it broke - I returned it. So now I am looking at what to replace it with and have stumbled on CoreXY Printers over the i3 type.

I cant afford a big player - so a clone is my option. I can add a better hotend to it at a later date to get improvements im sure along with all the upgrades here on Thingiverse.

Be aware that the Tronxy X5SA uses a different mainboard than their other printers. It's a Tronxy-branded CXY-V5-180409, with touchscreen support, which I believe is a Chitu-based board using an ARM STM32F103 processor and custom firmware. While Marlin certainly can target the ARM processor I'm not aware of any ready-to-go configurations for this particular mainboard. You could be biting off a fair task if you're thinking of putting Marlin onto this printer.

Good luck!

As a bit of extra input... I hesitate to suggest anything I haven't had specific experience with, but I have a Wanhao LCD printer (as well as a Tronxy FDM one) and the Wanhao is far better construction quality, there's been some iterating on the design with upgrade kits available, re-flashing the firmware was no problem at all, and their support people... well they weren't the greatest, but at least they did help in the end.

I've never used any of their FDM printers, which is why I'm hesitant to recommend them when that's what you're after, but they're not a whole lot more expensive than Tronxy (certainly still way more affordable than Prusa and the other name brands) and it would be hard to be worse.

Tronxy violates the GPL firmware license, making it hard to upgrade anything without completely replacing the electronics. Plus, their stuff is all very low-quality.
I'd recommend spending a little more for a better brand, I've spent far more trying to make my Tronxy not terrible than it would have cost me to just get something better in the first place.

this seem to be true of all of the clone products. I had an AnetE12 for a few days before the heatbed failed so I returned it. I am not sure to gamble again on another E12 but for the same money - an X5s-2e offers a little more. Im happy to reflash firmware using arduino etc if that would offer me the auto bed level.
Something to get me going out of the box, then work on would be fine.

Yeah, that's probably true... I haven't tried any other FDM brands, so can only really speak about Tronxy from experience. That experience being that they try to stuff in as many features as possible to look good on paper, while making everything as cheap as possible to offer a good price, no matter what that does to the quality.

There was a thread about an X5S a couple of weeks ago with bad blobbing problems too. I think the person did get that sorted out, but worth taking a look before getting one.