The 5 Best Anycubic Photon DLP 3D Printers & Accessories [Ranked]
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3D printing is a trending technology with almost unlimited transformative potential.
This cost-cutting printing technology promises tremendous disruption to multiple industries.
While still in its infancy- its untapped potential is awesome.
It’s no surprise that there has been increased demand for high quality, easy to use, and affordable 3D printers as people gear up for the future (Source).
With this demand, brands like Anycubic, among others, saw an excellent niche for home 3D printing.
They’ve transformed 3D printers from sophisticated, bulky, and expensive machines used by 3D design professionals and corporate to low cost and compact equipment you can buy and use at your home.
One such printer is the Anycubic Photon DLP 3D Printer that has emerged as an excellent high-quality 3D printer with a budget-friendly price.
Are you a hobbyist or enthusiast looking to get into 3D resin printing? Below we’ve dug digger to give you all the juicy and essential details about the Anycubic Photon DLP 3D Printer
- EASY TO USE：Easy to set up, leveling was a breeze. Software is relatively simple to use. Only 4 settings far fewer settings to adjust vs FDM printer.
- 【Great starter 3D Printer】: Super easy to setup since it comes almost entirely preassembled, come with all the proper tools to get started, and just a single grub screw to level instead of having to level each corner. Great introduction to 3D printing.
- Specifically designed for led light source to achieve better printing quality
- Suit for Anycubic Photon/Photon S,Wanhao UV, Monoprice Mini Deluxe LCD;
- SLA 3D Printer: Entry-level, easy to set up. Full metal and CNC-structure build quality. Build platform with steel ball balancing structure offers more easiness to leveling, get rid of FDM leveling difficulties.
More Video Reviews
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|Honest Review of the Anycubic Photon Resin Printer - Owned for 5 months, 100's of prints shown||3DPrintingPro||76K views||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVk7aaNsIfc|
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The Anycubic Photon has gained considerable popularity and generated excitement from most of the customers who have bought it. Some of the recommendations from early customers who have been hands-on with the printer include
- Level the build plate correctly and firmly before using it – incorrect leveling will lead to adhesion issues.
- Ensure the FEP film that’s at the bottom of the resin vat is firm
- Always reset the z height every time you want to print and ensure the plate is clean.
- Watch the Anycubic photon demo video on YouTube; it has some minor but vital details not included in the documentation.
- Both the printer screen and lamp are consumables, and you should expect to buy a replacement when they wear out.
- Keep the printer away from UV light when printing as UV rays may interfere.
- After using the printer and you notice failures and constant mucking, it is a sign you need to replace the FEP.
- You will need to buy very pure isopropyl alcohol for cleaning the printer.
- The smell of the resin in use is strong. Make sure you use the printer in a well-ventilated room
- Make sure you pour resin back from the vat to the storage bottle after using it, especially if you won’t be making other prints soon.
- The resin works best when it’s warm; it is good to use the printer in a warm room.
The Anycubic Photon is a digital light processing 3Dprinter that uses resin. What this means is that unlike other printers that squirt plastic to create models, a DLC printer like this one directs UV light into a vat full of photo-reactive resin, to cure each layer of your 3d model.
It comes with a custom slicer software, and easy to set up and use. Despite being extremely affordable, it doesn’t compromise when it comes to making high-quality prints at high resolutions. It has a 05 nm UV LCD masking screen with a 2560×1440 resolution and a touch screen controller for operating it. The printer is also very compact; unfortunately, this also means a smaller build area of about 4.5 x 2.5 x 6.1 inches
Upon purchase, extra materials include an extra FEP sheet, AC adapter, user manual, resin filters, gloves, 250ml of green resin, face mask, plastic scalper, among other tools. This printer supports resin from different manufacturers but will have to adjust the setting for specific resins.
The Anycubic photon is popularly used by enthusiasts and professionals to create different prints of jewelry, product designs, Smartphone cases, spare parts, prototypes, accessories, and miniatures, among other things (Source).
Setup and configuration
Setting up the DLP printer is quite easy as compared to setting up FSM printers. The printer comes with the required documentation, tools, and is fully assembled.
Using it to print is a simple process as illustrated below
- Slice your 3d model which has .photon file extension
- Save the file on a USB stick,
- Insert the stick in your printer
- Make sure the printer is level as well as the build plate. Ensure that the Z-axis home point is set at the correct height.
- Next, attach the resin vat and fill it with resin up to 1/3 full.
- Click on the touch display, select print, click on your print job, and finally click on the arrow to start printing.
- Now wait for the 3d print to complete; it will take a couple of hours depending on what you are printing.
- After you are done printing, clean the printer and your print properly
NOTE: Resin is toxic, be careful when 3D printing since some of the chemicals are hazardous. You can use the provided safety materials like gloves when working and buy additional eye protection gadgets.
Firmware and Troubleshooting
If you are having any problems after setting it up the printer, go to the official Github page and find a stable firmware update.
If you’re stuck, contact Anycubic support. They are a company that stands behind their printer and helps users to troubleshoot and fix any issues. Alternatively, you can seek advice from their active community on Facebook, Github, and Reddit. The Anycubic Photon owners Facebook group has over 700 very responsive and passionate owners
The default slicer software comes with the USB stick. It uses .photon file extensions to save your files. The .photon files are multiple thin cross-sections images of the desired model. What if you want more?
Good news: you don’t have to feel limited to using the default Anycubic slicer. There are alternative programs that can do the job right. Below are some of the most popular.
- Chitu DLP Slicer
- Firmware 3D
- Photon Open Slicer
If you are more familiar with the above slicing software or want more advanced features of the Firmware 3D, you are free to use them with the Anycubic printer.
As mentioned above, this printer comes with a bottle of 250 ml resin. When it gets used up, you can use resins from different manufacturers as long as they are designed for a DLP printer. However, it’s not straightforward; you will have to adjust some settings like
- Normal exposure time
- Room temperature.
- Bottom exposure time.
- Bottom layers
Here is a resource created by the resin users community showing the best settings for each resin made by different vendors.
Cleaning must be done right for the safety and longevity of your print. Here’s how to do it.
- Use a thin palette knife to remove your print from the build plate
- Transfer your print to an isopropyl alcohol bath (99% IPA is recommended)
- Switch your print around, get a toothbrush, and clean any uncured resin.
- As a best practice, give your print another IPA bath to remove any left resin
- Take your copy out to dry in the sun for around 10 minutes. You can check its tackiness using your fingernails
- to determine if it is ready. From there, you can paint the printout with your desired colors.
The printer is rated 40W but mostly operates below the rating. You don’t have to worry. Despite it running for long hours, it won’t inflate your power bills.
When tested, on average, the power usage is between 17 and 40 watts, with an average of around 34 watts. With this, one can easily calculate how much it will add to your power bill.