Article updated on March 6, 2024 at 8:00 AM PST

Qidi X Max 3 Review: Bigger Prints With a Few Pitfalls

A few quality-of-life improvements would make this a great large-format 3D printer.

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James Bricknell
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James Bricknell Senior Editor
James has been writing about technology for years but has loved it since the early 90s. While his main areas of expertise are maker tools -- 3D printers, vinyl cutters, paper printers, and laser cutters -- he also loves to play board games and tabletop RPGs.
Expertise 3D printers, maker tools such as Cricut style vinyl cutters and laser cutters, and traditional paper printers Credentials
  • 6 years working professionally in the 3D printing space / 4 years testing consumer electronics for large websites.
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Qidi X Max 3 on a table with models inside and out
7.5/ 10

Qidi X-Max 3

$899 at Amazon


  • Fully enclosed
  • Great print size
  • Incredibly stable


  • No power loss recovery
  • Badly placed spool holder
  • Fit and finish is lackluster

Most of the best 3D printers have the same build volume -- around 250 by 250 by 250mm -- but one of the chief complaints about them is that makers sometimes need something bigger. Printers with a large build area offer a lot of advantages over the smaller breed, but they can add complications too. What I want is a bigger print with the same quality as CNET's favorite printers.

The Qidi X-Max 3 is one such large-format 3D printer, but unlike most on the market, the X-Max 3 is fully enclosed. This makes it better for filaments than run hot, and for keeping small hands away from the heat. While the premise of the X-Max 3 is a good one, the execution falls down in a few key areas.

Qidi X-Max 3 specifications

Build Volume (mm) 325 x 325 x 315mm
Nozzle type Copper alloy / Hardened steel
Build plate max temperature 120c
Official max speed 600mm/s
Typical speed 300mm/s
Supported material PLA, ABS, ASA, PETG, TPU, PC, UltraPA, Nylon, PAHT-CF, PET-CF, PA12-CF
Connectivity Wi-Fi / USB
Slicer Qidi Slicer

Like most fast 3D printers coming to market, the Qidi -- pronounced key-dee -- uses an operating system called Klipper. Klipper allows for fast printing using several clever calculations and sensors with fun names like "input shaping and pressure advance." You don't really need to know what they do, but they've been instrumental in the speed increase in this new generation of fast 3D printers. Because the print bed on the Qidi lowers down instead of swinging backward and forward, the platform is stable. This means the X-Max 3 can print at an acceptable 300mm/s while still popping out quality prints. 

Unfortunately, Klipper doesn't natively support power loss recovery, it's up to the manufacturer to create their own system. Bambu Lab, Anycubic and other major players have already done this, but unfortunately, Qidi hasn't implemented it in the X-Max 3. On smaller printers, this oversight could be forgiven, but not when your print volume is 325 by 325 by 315mm. I lost power 90% way through a print that took nearly an entire roll of filament. That's over $20 in materials wasted because of power loss. That's not something I've had to worry about in years so it's hard to accept in a machine from 2024.

Quality models at a large scale

Chinese dragon in the snow
James Bricknell/CNET

When it does work though, the X-Max 3 does a great job. The CNET test print did well, even at 300mm/s with well-executed bridging, good spires with very little stringing and easily legible text. It did struggle to print the 0.2mm tolerance test -- which tests print accuracy, something that's becoming increasingly rare -- but it did fine on the other 3 sizes. 

When you use a 3D printer with a large build area, it's easy to overlook its ability to print smaller models well. The Qidi does a decent job at printing smaller models, though I had some issues with printing multiple models in the same print. There was a lot of variation in the temperature of the heat bed causing some models to warp. My infrared camera detected a deflection of around 5 degrees Celcius, but that's enough to make multiprinting a chore.

A bronze chameleon sitting on a branch
James Bricknell/CNET

Most of the best models I printed on the X-Max 3 were scaled up to around 200% to stretch the build volume. The ones that did print look amazing. The two dragons -- one from Fotis Mint and one from Nikko Industries -- printed without flaw. Once I sprayed them with stone spray paint, they looked just like statues. Top Tip: If you're going to keep your prints outside then a coat or two of spray paint will keep them safe from most of the sun's damage.

The chameleon model, also from Fotis Mint, failed from power loss, but I was able to save it by printing the last piece on its own and attaching it with 3DGloop adhesive. The details are exquisite, with each bump on the skill rendered well. It's often hard to scale things up and still keep the details distinct, but the X-Max 3 succeeded well.

The advantage of a 325 by 325 by 315mm print area lies in its size. If you're looking to make larger cosplay parts or helmets, having a fast and large 3D printer that can print a piece all at once is a tantalizing prospect. Printing several parts and gluing them together adds a huge amount of time to your project, so a large print bed can be a big time saver.

Cosmetic issues and more

Peeling trim on the Qidi X-Max 3
James Bricknell/CNET

The X-Max 3 comes with a spare hot end with a hardened nozzle. This was helpful as the first nozzle clogged so badly that I had to get a blowtorch to clear it. Clogging like this can occur for many reasons, but in this case, it was due to the extreme cold in my workshop causing a clog high in the neck of the hot end. With the new breed of hot end having a fused nozzle it was difficult to reach the clog. 

Thankfully, the hot end is easy to remove and quick to replace so it wasn't a hardship to swap it and keep on printing. The hardened nozzle allows for more exotic filaments like wood-infused PLA, glow-in-the-dark PLA, or even tougher materials with carbon fiber inside. Since replacing the hot end, I haven't experienced any clogging, so it seems like a no-brainer to swap them out.

I'm generally a fan of enclosed 3D printers because they let you print high-temperature filaments like ABS, but the X-Max 3 has a few pain points. While the mechanics of the printer are well made and feel almost industrial, the exterior often feels cheap or rushed. The silver trim in certain areas is peeling away, and the plastic of the enclosure is a little too thin to feel premium. Not a good look for a $900 machine.

The back of the Qidi X-Max 3

The filament holder keeps the moisture out but makes feeding it problematic.

James Bricknell/CNET

The other issue for me is the filament spool holder placement. It has to go somewhere, and the Qidi includes a sealed spool holder with room to add desiccant to keep your filament dry, which is a helpful touch. But it's placed on the back of the machine, making it difficult to access. Most people using a 3D printer will have it pushed against a wall, on a shelf or on a workbench, so having to pull it out to get to the filament is a huge pain point. 

This is especially irritating when you are printing on large-volume 3D printers that can use an entire roll of filament on one print. It also means you have to continually relevel the bed because you have jostled the machine around to replace the filament. A side-mounted spool holder is always going to preferable for a machine this size.  

The rear filament holder also adds a lot of extra tubing. These tubes are designed to keep the filament from tangling as it moves through the filament run-out sensor, and into the extruder. But it's almost impossible to feed it through the tiny tiny tube into the sensor, then through the sensor into another tube that passes through the top of the machine, then into another tiny hole, all without seeing the filament. 

An aztec dragon on a workbench

This is an almost perfect print and when sprayed looks like a stone statue.

James Bricknell/CNET

Whenever I get a chance to test a large-format printer, I get excited. The prospect of large models that can print quickly is enticing, but having them do it quickly and still look great is often harder to find. The Qidi X-Max 3 may not be the perfect 3D printer, but its flaws don't make it a printer to avoid. The enclosed body and large build plate make it worth the investment if you're interested in printing bigger props and parts than other machines allow.