There has been some rapid advancement in 3D printing technology over the past few years. What was once only a business tool has now become widely used by hobbyists and enthusiasts.
This is thanks to companies like Anycubic producing innovative, affordable products. Not only is this an affordable 3D printer, but it is also a resin printer as opposed to a filament printer, which means that you get more detailed prints at as high a resolution as possible.
If you’re looking to get into 3D printing, it’s a superb option, and you can find out all about it in our in-depth Anycubic Photon S Review…
Even if you are new to 3D printing, this device offers a completely user-friendly experience. Communicating with your machine is made easy by using a simple touchscreen interface that is responsive and intuitive.
One of the best features for both beginners and experienced users is the auto-leveling. Leveling has been reduced to a single-screw operation, and most users can have the machine up and running in under 30 minutes.
Impressive build quality…
For a budget-friendly printer, this printer is very well-built. The frame is made from stamped sheet metal, giving a strong and sturdy base. Both the build plate and resin tub are made from machined aluminum keeping things light and strong.
Both the interface and software are easy to use. As mentioned, the interface is all controlled via a touchscreen that is simple and straightforward. Therefore, if you can use basic functions on a smartphone or tablet, you can use this printer with ease.
Great for beginners…
Using the included software program, which we’ll go into more detail with later, is one of the most simple packages we’ve seen. Called Photon Slicer, it’s not the most attractive, but the minimalistic approach simplifies things for beginners.
If for any reason, you find yourself in trouble, there is a tech support team available. You can just contact them using the details on the service card, and someone will get back to you within 24 hours.
Based on masked SLA (Stereolithography) technology, the machine uses a UV light to cure the resin into hardened plastic. Printing screen size is 5.2-inches (13 cm) with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 and a Z-axis resolution of 47-microns. In other words, this machine is capable of highly detailed builds.
The build volume is 4.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches (115 x 65 x 65 mm). The perfect size for creating figurines. The machine size itself is 9 x 7.8 x 15.7 inches (230 x 200 x 400 mm), which means it should fit on most desks without any problems.
Connection and resin options…
Connecting to a PC can be done using a USB cord. The printer can also be used independently by loading one of your designs onto a USB stick. It can then plug directly into the printer’s USB port, then loaded via the in-built touchscreen.
The material used for printing on this machine is resin. Any resin suitable for LCD 3D printers with a wavelength of 405 nanometers can be used. This is a major plus, as some printers will only work with their own proprietary resins.
You are forgiven for wanting to play around with your new toy when it first arrives. However, it is best to familiarize yourself with all the menus and functions first. But soon, it will be time to get serious as you’ll want to start printing.
Overconfident first-time users will undoubtedly come unstuck and require some assistance. Luckily by using a combination of the user manual and Anycubic’s YouTube channel, you should be up and running in about 30 minutes.
No need to go it alone…
For those that are humble enough to check the user manual first and watch the demonstration video, they’ll be ready to go in only 15 to 20 minutes. It’s actually not that complicated once you know what to do.
A piece of paper is required that you place below the platform. You lower the platform down until you feel resistance when trying to pull the paper out. It will all make more sense if you watch the video.
Filament printers for about the same budget cannot even come close to the quality of prints that are possible with a resin printer. And considering how affordable this SLA resin printer is, the quality of these prints are simply amazing.
A world of possibilities…
The Z-layer resolution of 10 microns (0.01 mm) and an X-Y resolution of 47 microns (0.047 mm) allows for small, highly detailed prints. It’s possible to print beautiful models, figurines, and even jewelry with the level of precision and accuracy.
Anycubic’s Photon S comes packaged with its own Photon Workshop Slicing software that can be found on the included USB drive. Even though it may look outdated, the benefit is in its simplicity. This makes learning the software process much less daunting.
It won’t take much searching to find existing 3D models online for you to start learning with. As your confidence builds, you can start making adjustments to existing models and begin some experimentation.
Not locked in…
As with the flexibility of resin choice, you are not locked into the same software either. Once your confidence grows and you start wanting some more advanced functionality, any third party software is compatible with the printer.
Having this kind of flexibility makes a budget printer even more suitable for those that need to watch their pennies. Often many companies will make the product itself affordable but then restrict its compatibility to its own accessories, which are changed at a premium.
Pros And Cons Of Anycubic Photon S
- Compatible with any 450 nanometer resin.
- Can use any 3D printing software.
- Produces highly detailed prints.
- Affordable for beginners.
- Simple touchscreen control.
- Bed leveling can be tricky for beginners.
- External housing is flimsy.
- No network connectivity available.
- Resin printing can be smelly and messy.
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Anycubic Photon S Review – Final Thoughts
As far as 3D printers go, the value for money here is extraordinary. You will be amazed by the level of detail that can be found in the final prints. If you are considering starting 3D printing as a hobby, we would definitely recommend checking out this printer.
The included software is rather basic, but it works well. And it is certainly a perfect starting point as it doesn’t over complicate things. Plus, if you’re a more experienced user, you can always use different software.
The question we always ask ourselves is if we would want to buy this product ourselves. And the answer is a definite ‘Yes’; we certainly would love to have an Anycubic Photon S sitting on top of our desk, especially if it was our first experience with 3D printing.
Happy 3D printing.