Update: It looks like the latest Formbot kit does come with a BTT Pi, and Stealthburner. That’s good, but it’s still lacking CANBUS and TAP, and you have to get your own 3d printed parts and still costs more.
This is my Magic Phoenix Voron 2.4 Build Log, which will be my 7th 3D printer. I started with a Creality Ender 5, and then got 4 Corexy printers, which were all Creativity Elf, and then I got the Voron 2.4 R2 from Formbot. These Vorons will start replacing the Elf printers. The Formbot kit has been great, except for the constant breaking of wires in the cable chains, which is why I switched that one to umbilical.
For this new printer, I wanted to go with CANBUS so I don’t have to deal with that. Then I came upon the MagicPhoenix 2.4 CBT kit. This checked all the boxes for me. Keep in mind that all the comparisons with Formbot are based on my kit which I bought almost a year ago.
Here’s a list of the reasons I went with MagicPhoenix:
- Price: $900 total, including shipping to Georgia, US. It took 30 days, but you can get 5 day shipping for $150 more.
- That price comes with printed parts, which is not included with Formbot
- CB1 to replace a Pi, which is not included with Formbit
- The kit I bought comes with a Rapido hotend
- Another thing is that it has a heater that covers nearly the entire buildplate. I’m not really sure, but it supposedly prevents the bed from warping as easily.
- The active participation by MP on the official Voron discord. If you are thinking about buying this kit. I highly recommend hopping on there. The MagicPhoenix rep(owner?), @livexy, replies extremely quickly when people have issues, and that channel is just growing very fast.
If I wanted all this with Formbot, I would be buying some stuff separately from them, and it would end up costing at least a few hundred dollars more.
I’m going to try to write this post as I go, so check back for updates.
Here are some tools that I got for this build. I plan on building at least 4 more of these over the next year, so I decided to spend some money to make that easier. These are Amazon affiliate links that I use to help me pay for hosting this site.
An electric screwdriver – This thing has been awesome. Much more compact than a drill so I can use it in more places. And of course, doing all those screws by hand just isn’t an option. It has 3 levels or torque, and I was really surprise with how much torque it puts out. It’s way more than the torque you can apply with an hex wrench using the short end as the handle, and probably a little less than what you can do with the long end as the handle. And the battery life is amazing. It’s been 4 days now( I keep forgetting to charge it overnight), and it seems like it’s not putting out as much torque now. But it will easily get you through a long day of printer assembly.
Hex bits for the screwdriver These have been good so far. They don’t slip out, and seem like they will last a good bit.
Corner Squares These are very handy when putting that frame together, and if you are a perfectionist and want to make sure that DIN rail is perfectly square. I got the set of 4, and at first I tried using it with the clamps and putting one on each corner, but that seemed to make things worse, so I just used them to make sure the corners were square. In hindsight, a 2 pack would have been enough.
Threadlocker Blue Why they put Threadlocker Blue in a red tube? I have no idea. Get the blue because the actual Threadlocker red is permanent. And chances are good that you will need to take some of those screws out at some point.
The gallery above is just random pictures of everything out of the box, and the packaging(I forgot to take more pictures of the stuff while still in the box, but you get the idea). And there is also a 4th little duck that was in another box that is not pictured. I have way too many of those things now.
The first things I noticed, is how nicely everything is packaged. Each piece had its own section cutout in the foam. The chances of anything being damaged are practically zero. I probably could have rolled it down the stairs without issue. Here is a lit of things other little things I noticed when compared to the formbot:
- It includes some cable management for the electronics bay. I put some similar ones into my Formbot, and it helps a lot. Good to see that it’s included.
- I personally don’t use nevermore(I didn’t even bother enclosing my printer), so I don’t remember if it is included in formbot, but this kit includes a couple fans for Nevermore.
- The screws come in a nice box. With labels on the lid. The lid comes off by opening it all the way, and pulling it down. That should make it easier to know where everything is. If you dealt with the baggies from the Formbot kit and having the screws spread across the floor/table, then you will know why that box is a useful thing.
- It comes with a heatset insert tip for your soldering iron. After I had completed the Formbot, I bought a set of these on Amazon. I’ve used it a few times for other projects, and it is so much better than just using your pointy soldering iron tip. It transfers the heat a lot better, so you can keep the iron cooler. And more importantly, the tip doesn’t stick out the other side of the insert which means you will be poking into the part for some of the parts.
- One thing I noticed about the stepper motor wires is that they are twisted together, so each stepper motor cable is just one cable all together. Whereas in the Formbot, they were not twisted, so in the when routing them, it’s like you have 30 separate wires, which becomes a huge pain to manage. Like many other things in this kit, it’s a pretty big quality of life improvement on the kit that might go unnoticed.
Putting together the frame was just as painful as the first time. That has nothing to do with Formbot or MagicPhoenix, but getting that frame perfectly square just takes time, but I think that is just the nature of the beast. But in the end, I got the frame squared with all diagonals within 1mm. From what I have read, it needs to be within 2mm, so I’m happy with it.
One thing that I noticed is that the printed parts bags aren’t labeled. When I bought the printed parts on Etsy for the first printer, the seller labeled each bag with page numbers where those parts would be used. I never had to go digging for parts. It was REALLY nice. It’s not a huge deal, but I’m hoping MP does something similar(As I was typing this paragraph, I suggested it on the Discord channel, and he responded less than 2 hours later, saying that they will start labeling those bags).
I put the heatset inserts in, and it works much better with the special soldering tip. And now that I look closer at the parts, the printed parts seem to be pretty well tuned.
I now have the gantry on the frame and belts installed. The gantry was challenging because of the short frame. I had to really squeeze it in there. For a minute, I thought I might have to take apart a joint or 2 on the frame to get it in there.
For TAP, it was an easy install. Keep in mind that when you install the 2 small FH screws, you need to use the black ones in a separate bag. Those screws have a higher attraction to magnets, which is how the TAP works. The silver colored screws from the regular kit won’t work. I think overall it might be easier than an AfterBurner without TAP. Also, MP sends you the latest version of TAP(R8), so as you go through the TAP manual, you also need to refer to the R8_errata. It’s just little things like different size screws, and the way the belt is held on. But if you don’t know to refer to that, you may have a tough time getting the wrong size screws to fit.
Also, after doing quite a bit of digging, I’m pretty sure I got the mount for a Dragon hotend, when I have a Rapido. I messaged them on Discord, and it was confirmed. No big deal, I just printed those 2 parts. He said that they typically send matching mounts. I think mine was one of the earlier orders, so probably just a mistake on this one order. Also, the mount they supplied would have worked well enough to get you to the point the printer could print another.
While I wait for the hotend parts to print(my ABS appears to have moisture in it, so I’m drying it, and I also ordered some more, so I have to wait either way), I’m going to get working on the electronics bay.
I got the power supply mounted(there are 4 printed parts that screw into the side, put them on the rails, then put the PSU on there, and screw it in).
I had also printed these supports for the deck panel as it would sag when I pressed on it on my old Voron. I didn’t have a chance to put them on there, so I put them here. I just did the ones on the bottom. And I’m glad I had them, because this panel seems to sag even without pressing on it. I didn’t really bother printing the top clips, as I just let gravity handle that part. But with these clips in there, the panel seems a lot sturdier.
Also, this kit doesn’t have WAGO connectors. They have screw in terminals. Not a big deal, but I’m a fan of the WAGO. I have a bunch so I might just print some DIN mounts for them.
Next I flashed the boards. This was much easier than I expected considering most of the issues I see on Discord are people having trouble with this. The instructions on the MP site are more than adequate if you are a little familiar with Linux and you have flashed Klipper before. For a complete beginner, it might be a challenge.
Anyone that is a beginner and reading this, I’ll try to add a little more info that might make it a little easier to understand for you. There are basically 3 components. That CB1, the M8P board, and the EBB SB. The CB1 is just a computer, and just consider a separate device from the M8P. The M8P is the printer’s motherboard. It will control the motors and the heaters, and sensors. The EBB SB(CANBUS) is like a daughterboard that is an extension of the motherboard. The CB1 runs a proper OS, just like a computer, in this case, Debian Linux. The M8P and the CB1 have their own firmware that controls them, which in this case is Klipper.
First step is the load the OS, which is what you are doing with Etcher. Second step is to SSH into that OS (biqu is the username and password), and from there, you can install the firmwares onto the M8P and EBB SB. First, you load it onto the EBB SB. You are running make menuconfig to set all the options, and telling it that there is another CANBUS attached to it. The ‘make’ command afterwards compiles the firmware with those settings. Pressing the Boot/RST buttons puts the device into a bootloader which allows you to push the firmware using dfu-util. Then you have to load a primitive firmware(I believe it’s installing a bootloader) onto the SBB EB, which then allows you to put the Klipper firmware on there the same way. And that’s it. The software is all on the boards, and they can be thrown into the electronics bay.
So at this point, I want to apologize, because I just didn’t have time to update this post as I was building the rest of it out. I’m pretty sure there will be stuff that I missed. But I also want to say that there wasn’t a single thing in this kit that would make me want to go anywhere else for my next Voron. I’ll go into more detail on that at the end.
I got all the electronics in there, and went to put the electronics bay fans and then I realized that one of the cable raceways was too close to the extrusion, so I had to actually rearrange them all, and cut some of them. Not a huge deal, but if you get this kit, you may need to cut the raceways a inch or 2 shorter. There was also a lot more cable in mine, because my cables were way longer than I needed because of the short voron. I think that next time I might cut some of the wires and recrimp. This won’t be an issue for pretty much anyone else reading this.
At this point, I decided to go with WAGO connectors. I printed some mounts for the DIN rail and stuck them in there. Keep in mind that you need to connect one of the Ground terminals to the incoming ground. The reason is that that SSR gets the ground via the DIN rail, and that terminal is the best way to ground that rail. So I went front that terminal to a WAGO, to deliver ground to everything else.
Also, be sure to read through all the instructions on the mpx wiki site. He put those things there for a reason. One of my wires were swapped, and that was on the wiki, and I would have saved 30 minutes of I had read that first. And there were also a few other times where I missed a step there.
After the electronics bay, I put on the belts, and that was easy. I looped one of the A B belts through, and cut it off with some slack, and removed it. Then I cut the other one the exact same length, and put them all back in.
The whole rest of the build went really well. If you go with the limit switches on the x and y end stops, the stock config from MP will work perfectly.
However, I went with sensorless homing, so I had to make quite a few changes to the config, but nothing top difficult. I’ll post my config.
I just want to start by saying that if you are considering this Magic Phoenix kit vs Formbot, the Formbot isn’t even close to being in the same league. I’m trying to think of a single thing that I missed from the Formbot kit, and there isn’t a single thing. Everything you need to start printing is included in the MP kit, assuming you get the printed parts from them. The only thing I was really missing in MP was the skirt piece for the display, which you don’t need in order to print, but when I got the parts from an Etsy seller for the Formbot kit, it was in there. And that is it. That and getting the wrong hotend mount were the only 2 negatives from this entire experience. Those 2 negatives are far outweighed by all the positives I’ve listed earlier, especially since there were both worth less than a couple dollars of filament.
The entire experience from start to finish was just better. And with the Formbot, I had spent $1500 by the end, after getting a Pi, screen, and a bunch of other things. With this Magic Phoenix kit, including a screen and everything else I put on the Formbot, I’m probably closer to around $1150. So in addition to $350 in savings, I get StealthBurner, tap CANBUS, wire management in the electronics bay, a MUCH cleaner look, and less hassle with routing wires. And there are a handful of things I know I’m forgetting about.
One thing I am very grateful for is the thought put into cable management. The MP kit includes raceways for the wires, and it looks excellent in the electronics bay. One year later, by Formbot is still a giant rat’s nest. I had to take the jst connectors off in order to move the wires when I went umbilical.
And their support and their documentation is on point. I have a Canbus board sitting in my printer room, and I haven’t bothered with it because I couldn’t good instructions on it. The instructions given by MP are just perfect. Screenshots, and copy and paste commands as well made it crazy simple.