Mingda Magician X Review: Good 3D Printing for Beginners

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Sometimes it’s the little things that count, like a 3D printer that can handle a full-size SD card. Or has an auto-leveling system that gets it right the first time without worrying about Z-height.

The Mingda Magician X is a machine that pulls off a lot of little things. Retailing for $349 on Mingda’s website, it comes with an easy-to-load direct drive, an auto-leveling system that works fantastically, and ports for full-size SD cards or a USB flash drive. It’s perfect for beginners or creators who want to spend less time with a key and more time printing cool stuff.

I had the Magician X ready to go, leveled and printed in about 30 minutes. This makes it easier to use than most top 3D printers.

Specifications: Mingda Magician X

machine footprint 460 x 415 x 546 mm (18 x 16 x 21.5 inches)
Build volume 230 x 230 x 260 mm (9 x 9 x 10.25 inches)
Material PLA/PETG/TPU/ABS
Extruder type direct drive
nozzle .4mm (Interchangeable)
build platform Coated glass, heated
End of filament sensor Yes
Bed leveling Automatic touch sensor
Connectivity SD card, USB flash drive, USB-C
Interface Color LED touch screen

Mingda Magician X: Included in the box

Magician Mingda X

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Magician X comes with the tools you need to set up your printer. There’s also a spare nozzle, an extra piece of teflon tubing, and a full-size SD card. There is also a small sample of white PLA to print your first model.

The SD card contains a PDF copy of the manual, a copy of Cura 4.9, and pre-cut test .gcode files.

The printer does not come with a scraper to remove prints or shears to cut filament, but these are readily available at your local hardware store.

Magician Mingda X design

The Magician X is an attractive 3D printer with a small footprint and clean lines. It has a single ribbon cable instead of bundled wires and a hidden drawer to store your tools. It’s so quiet you’ll barely notice it’s running.

Magician Mingda X

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

I was really happy to find slots for a full-size SD card and a USB flash drive – a weird thing to encourage, unless you’ve lost a tiny microSD on the way from your computer to the printer.

Magician Mingda X

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

There are other little touches that make the Magician X fun to use. It has belt tension knobs when you need to adjust the tightness, a frame that supports the glass plate with a single clip, and a handle on the top when you need to move it.

Magician Mingda X

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Then there are the features that work for you behind the scenes – dual Z-rods for stable printing, dual gears in the direct drive for smooth filament loading. I had to tighten the grub screw holding one of these gears at the start of testing, but after that the printer worked perfectly.

The auto-leveling system physically taps the bed at 16 points, and I never needed to adjust the Z-height for the PLA. PETG requires a little less squish, so I used baby steps to compensate for the materials needed.

My biggest issue with this printer is the coated glass plate, which does its job too well. Normally, the glass coating releases as it cools, but this material maintains a strong grip on your prints. I had to toss it in the freezer a few times to help pull out the delicate patterns.

Magician Mingda X

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The display screen is easy to read, easy to use and has a well laid out pictogram style menu.

The Mingda Magician X follows the current trend of 90% pre-assembled printers. The gantry slides onto the base and is held in place by six bolts. Electrical connections are easy to sort out, with most outlets being an inch or two from their connection point.

The last step when assembling a 3D printer is to turn on the power switch. This Magician X comes ready for US power and the switch is hidden inside the tool bay. The instructions don’t even mention the switch, so I’m guessing they return it for you depending on where it was sold.

The instructions don’t mention it, but it’s always a good idea to check your parts for excessive movement before you start your first print. If you find any loose wheels, these can be easily tightened with the wrench provided on the eccentric nuts.

Magician Mingda X

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Magician X features a self-leveling system where the nozzle physically touches the build plate. The printer automatically warms up before leveling – a nice touch.

To level the printer, select Level from the main menu. Once the printer has warmed up, it will tap 16 dots around the bed. I didn’t need to adjust the Z height after leveling, but there is a command if you need to change the settings.

Loading Filament on the Mingda Magician X

Loading a direct player is very simple. Select preheat, then tap the type of filament you’re using. This machine heats up pretty quickly, so you won’t have to wait long. Insert the filament into the reader’s top loading hole. Next, tap the on-screen load button. Keep the speed set at normal and increase the amount advanced to 10mm.

Mingda recommends only advancing on their disk to avoid gumming up the extruder with a piece of hot filament. That’s good advice, and I’ve gotten used to pushing the filament forward only with any direct drive printer. You only lose a few inches of material, so that’s okay.

Magician Mingda X

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Magician X comes with a copy of Cura 4.9.0 and instructions on how to set up a custom profile. The same instructions apply to using PrusaSlicer if desired. Its size is similar to the Ender 3 so I used my normal Ender 3 S1 profile.

Printing on the Mingda Magician X

I started with one of the pre-cut test prints (a flexi deer) and the sample filament. It turned out great, but didn’t really show what the printer can do.

Magician Mingda X

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

I had to print something magical, so I grabbed a mini Wekster dude, Gandalf. It is printed at 200% with 0.2mm layer height in Polymaker slate gray matte marble. (opens in a new tab) Flipping the print over at a 45% angle avoided the need for supports on his face and left his hat nice and smooth.

Magician Mingda X

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

I ran Maker’s Muse Calibration Castle – a torture test with lots of in-place prints and overhangs. It finished printing with no problem. Printed at 0.16mm layer height with Polymaker Slate Gray Matte Marble. (opens in a new tab)

Magician Mingda X

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Cinderwing3D’s pink dragon turned out excellent in Matterhackers Quantum Pink Yellow (opens in a new tab)printed with 0.2mm layer height.

Magician Mingda X

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

I tested PETG on this small Greek Amphorae vase from 3D Gi Art. It is printed in Matterhacker’s Translucent Blue Build Series PETG and Protopasta’s Carbon Fiber PETG, with a layer height of 0.2mm.

Magician Mingda X

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

For the TPU I created a faceted sphere in Tinkercad. This is the Matterhackers Translucent Green Build Series TPU, printed at 0.2mm layer height.

Magician Mingda X

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Conclusion

Priced at $359, the Mingda Magician X is an easy-to-use, hassle-free printer for makers who want a luxury machine without the luxury price tag. It’s simple to assemble, features an easy-load direct drive, and an auto-leveling system that nails it the first time.

The glass bed is a little aggressive for my taste, but a layer of glue stick helps a little. I like the single clip frame that holds the print surface together making it very easy to remove for cleaning or removing parts.

It’s not as scalable as the Creality Ender 3 S1 and its huge ecosystem of third-party parts. But it’s a great machine for beginners or advanced makers who don’t want to waste time tinkering with their printer.

If you’re looking for a cheaper printer with the same build size, auto-leveling, and direct drive, check out the Anycubic Kobra. Priced at $319, it’s the Editor’s Choice and our pick for the best printer for beginners.

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