any cubic photon printer
PRICE DEVELOPER Anycubic WEBSITE www.anycubic3d.com
Should you consider this 3D printer from Anycubic?
T here are a number of different types of technology used for 3D printing, but in the last couple of years it looks to be LCD exposure masking that has changed the balance between quality and cost, bringing it to levels the keen enthusiast can afford. Anycubic are leading this trend, with their Photon machine growing in popularity as various Youtubers spread the word, especially for those looking for fine detail in areas such as war-game miniatures and terrain, dental printing and other work where fine definition and clarity are essential.
The Photon comes well packaged and needs almost no work to get up and running. A simple door handle needs to be screwed on (it’s separate to prevent damage in transit), then a quick calibration and bed levelling process are needed, which takes just a few minutes.
The build quality is excellent, with well-machined, anodised aluminium components in a neat desktop case, with adjustable feet and Uv-resistant windows that stop your resin curing between prints.
Which brings us to the print method. This printer uses liquid resin that cures under UV light exposure to produce models. This makes for smoothly finished models, with less visible strata from the process, but it does come with some downsides. Firstly the fumes are less than pleasant and I would strongly advise using in a well-ventilated area. I actually printed an adapter for mine and use a length of 4-inch hose to vent out of a window.
There is also the finishing process to be aware of. You’ll need a space to wash off excess resin, clean the model and then cure fully. This can be done in sunlight or you could use a UV lamp, but either way you’ll need a ‘wet’ area and a supply of gloves, isopropyl alcohol and suitable containers. That said the process isn’t difficult, so don’t be too put off.
In fact, it’s fair to say that it’s a small price to pay for the results, which are some of the best you’ll see at even three times the cost. Once you have narrowed down your layer exposure settings, which take a little trial and error, you will be printing with excellent results. Some of the parts this machine is capable of are so clean and smooth they could be mass-produced injection moulded, rather than printed at home. Details are exceptional for a device of this type and although the build volume isn’t huge at 115mm x 65mm x 155mm, it’s plenty for a resin printer and you can get creative with your layouts. Just watch the cost of resin, as it fluctuates almost weekly.
Lastly the slicing software is good too. It may not be the prettiest interface and lacks in finesse, but the slicing operations are fast and the support options are good too and work well.
It’s clear to see the quality available at this price point is far improved over the last few years and the Photon is ahead of the game, with a solidly built machine that delivers, consistently.
a neat, nicely built machine, the photon is a fantastic option for those looking for a resin printer