EDITORS’ RATING: 8/10
Recently we’re having a peek at Anycubic’s latest offering for the newbie-pleasant SLA 3D printer. Elevate out you delight in to have to make miniatures in your D&D game? SLA (or stereolithography) printing is what that you will doubtless be procuring for. On the total, when folk imagine 3D printing, they’re pondering of a petite robotic on rails that squeezes out bits of molten plastic to make a thing — but that is never any longer this vogue of printing. This vogue of printing uses UV gentle to harden a liquid resin a petite bit at a time, giving unbelievable detail with out those suppose-myth traces on the object.
I’m a hobbyist 3D printer, no longer barely an enthusiast (I handiest agree with three tons of 3D printers), but I’m going to be giving this overview from the angle of the newbie audience that Anycubic has in thoughts. I’ve been dabbling in 3D printing for around two years, principally printing miniatures for my agree with tabletop RPGs. This used to be the Pandemic Hobby that saved me sane through the lockdown cases. My very first printer used to be the Anycubic Photon S, the printer I made barely a whole lot of mistakes on whereas learning my technique, and so Anycubic is terminate to and expensive to my heart. My workhorse printer appropriate now is a QIDI Shadow 6 which I delight in… and which I might per chance well even very successfully be changing on the tip of this overview.
What’s within the sector?
The packaging on the Photon M3 is very successfully done. Anycubic squeezed plenty in there, tightly and successfully. In addition to to to the printer, the UV filtering quilt, and the resin vat, there’s a field of kit, which contains:
- USB Thumb Pressure
- AC Adapter
- Plastic scraper
- Steel scraper
- Allen wrenches
- Disposable conceal
- Veil protector
- Veil protector helpers
- Resin filters
They had been barely beneficiant! The metal scraper will doubtless be very priceless in getting stubborn prints off the bed. I elevate out veil, then again, that there isn’t any extra FEP within the sector. The FEP is the ever-crucial plastic movie on the bottom of the resin vat. I’ve torn better than about a of these over time, so no longer having a further on hand might per chance well even additionally be very disappointing in case you anxiety yours whereas handiest half of-done printing your minis for the next game. This has came about to me and I used to be, in actual fact, very disenchanted — to the level that I in total relief two spare FEPs on hand the least bit cases.
The printer is so easy to pick from the packaging, the technique Anycubic designed the segmented foam around the parts makes it straightforward to pull out the objects, and the integrated instructions are easy and simple to be taught. On the other hand, or no longer it’s pretty decided that the addition of the veil veil protector used to be closing minute.
Originate no mistake, or no longer it’s an correct thing to contain within the sector: or no longer it’s miles a noteworthy thought to set a veil veil protector on that very severe part. A scratch can break prints and your entire veil veil desires to obtain modified if it does obtain damaged, which is extremely noteworthy no longer a newbie-pleasant job. The instructions elevate out no longer mention when to set the veil veil protector on, so that is the key.
For the Anycubic Photon M3, install the veil veil protector after you to decide the protective movie but earlier than you level the printer. In the instructions that got right here with my unit, this might per chance perhaps be after Step 3. Leveling the printer used to be easy, and installing the resin vat used to be easy. Other than one diminutive thing, organising this printer used to be a snap.
The veil veil protector hates me
Holy moly. The setup used to be barely easy for this printer, excluding for the veil veil protector. It took me almost about 20 minutes to obtain all of the bubbles out using the plastic scraper, and I made the mistake of lifting the movie as a lot as support with that for a moment, which promptly allowed a speck of mud to obtain under there. This used to be a diminutive nightmare, and luckily Anycubic integrated a diminutive packet of “Veil Protector Accessories,” one of which used to be a petite sticker I could per chance well even inform to obtain that unhealthy mud speck, but this took me barely a whereas of fiddling and used to be better than a petite frustrating. Now not the absolute top newbie abilities — but I positively handled the total topic delight in a newbie.
It is very, needed that you obtain all of those bubbles out of the veil veil protector. A bubble in a notify that is being printed might per chance well even cease the resin from hardening accurately and break your entire print! That said, the veil veil protector is a important and welcome boost; unbiased make decided to decide care when installing it.
The test print
Anycubic integrated a pre-sliced test file for the printer, and so that they equipped me with some Eco UV Resin within the ever-tag Clear Green. On the total, a file is sliced taking into narrative what resin is being worn, and some resins require less remedy time than others.
Oh, one diminutive tip that you ought to continuously decide into narrative: SHAKE YOUR RESIN. Please. Incessantly shake your resin. It settles, and failing to shake it’s going to also break an otherwise absolute top probably print! Incessantly, continuously shake that resin.
The pre-sliced file will decide around three hours to print, in step with the machine.
…three hours later
Our test print appears to be like to be noteworthy! After a petite washing and curing within the Anycubic Medicine and Wash Plus ($229) that the corporate equipped, that is our test object.
Now, you perform no longer want the Medicine and Wash machine. After I started out, I used to be washing with an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner in a tub of Mean Green household cleaner — before the whole lot of the pandemic, that it’s probably you’ll perhaps per chance no longer scheme terminate isopropyl alcohol anywhere, so I chanced on an correct different and in actual fact, it in actual fact works better than IPA. For curing, I worn the UV lamp from my gel nail equipment since it worn the actual identical wavelength of gentle.
I will advise this, then again: the Medicine and Wash machine makes the course of a whole lot smoother. The rotating remedy desk takes barely a whole lot of effort out of curing your print, the set up using a nail lamp had me rotating each and each part manually every 60 seconds or so.
I’m happy with the test print, but that unbiased supposed it used to be time for something plenty more no longer easy.
Meet The Sphinx
That is a model from Printed Obsession, worn with his permission for this overview. Having been a subscriber to his Patreon for years, or no longer it’s miles a file I already owned, and – being both colossal and detailed – I believe The Sphinx makes a absolute top probably test part. I loaded up the pre-supported model into Photon Workshop, because Lychee does now not contain pork up for this printer; it wasn’t publicly readily accessible when I wrote this.
For the newbie, I in actual fact perform no longer recommend the default utility that includes the printer. Lychee is neighborhood-managed, and the technique it handles resin profiles and placing supports in your objects is noteworthy friendlier than the equipped utility. It’ll additionally imply that it’s probably you’ll perhaps steer decided of mistakes through the use of crowd-sourced recordsdata on exposure cases and poke settings.
With these settings, the Anycubic Photon M3 is telling me that we are able to have to assist 6.5 hours till our subsequent step.
Our first fail on the Anycubic Photon M3
I worn the default settings for the first proper test, and the soft supports intersecting the simpler physique failed. The half of-printed Sphinx butt fell off the structure and plopped in our resin and, over the next 5+ hours, the printer persevered on its merry technique (because it’s going to), hardening the resin within the pattern of our Sphinx … on its rear, over and over. The wings explore noteworthy even though?
This used to be with a 2.5-2nd exposure time. We can survey that our burn-in layer, which is noteworthy crucial for the resin to dangle to the obtain plate, worked beautiful. As a more experienced 3D printing hobbyist, I do know that I have to amplify my remedy time right here. I’ve failed sufficient prints over time that I realize what came about and why, but that can no longer be only for the pure newbie — it would per chance imply a time out over to Reddit to question recommendation, handiest to be grumpily directed to a couple FAQ post that takes you 30 minutes to resolve out what or no longer it’s speaking about.
The worst part about the failed print is that we have to empty the vat and oh-so-gently inform our plastic scraper to decide the Sphinx’s posterior from the FEP. Fortunately the sector involves a whole lot of filter paper, and a lower-up water bottle makes the correct funnel.
From the newbie’s perspective, it’s going to also very successfully be nicer if Anycubic role the default exposure time a petite higher, to 4 seconds or so. The article about that is, you delight in to contain your remedy time to be as petite as potential with out failing. A lower remedy time technique less time for the resin to deform or warp and lose detail in your print, but a failed print is so noteworthy more frustrating than an defective one, no lower than as some distance as diminutive printing is anxious.
Now we top off the vat and are attempting again. With the longer remedy time, Anycubic is estimating eight hours for my 2nd-are attempting.
The next morning, success!
Stumble on! We did it. There is something exquisite about the sense of feat one will get from seeing a vat of green goo obtain an object so that you can paint and terrify your avid gamers with.
Printed Obsession’s STL file (the 3D model that we gave to the Photon Workshop program) got right here professionally pre-supported, so all I had to elevate out used to be placed on a glove and gently snap a few of the supports with my fingers the set up they meet the model, then gently rock it backwards and forwards to free the Sphinx from its spikey imprisonment — that is noteworthy more uncomplicated than clipping objects from sprues.
Bumping the exposure time to 4 seconds did the trick, and our Sphinx appears to be like to be unbiased! Conclude up, that it’s probably you’ll perhaps survey what information had been integrated within the model.
A rail problem
You might per chance well even survey from this angle that the Anycubic Photon M3 is using a single-rail design — generally one colossal screw linked to a stepper motor to steal and lower the platform. Our test prints got right here out beautiful, but historically the industry has moved to a twin-rail design to produce more steadiness when printing. Some folk within the previous contain had considerations with a single rail printer wobbling, and introducing deformations into the print, but I did now not survey any proof of that within the test print.
It is a thing to explore out for in due course, but fortunately it does now not seem like a problem for the time being. Positively, Anycubic went back to a single rail to defend up the tag of the printer down, which is the more crucial ingredient to the newbie shopping for their very first printer. More cost effective is better, even in case that you will doubtless be going to be more tough in your first printer than you intend to be as you be taught.
There are about a issues Anycubic might per chance well even elevate out to make this newbie-pleasant model a petite more newbie-pleasant, but all-in-all, I believe or no longer it’s miles a noteworthy entry into the hobbyist taking part in topic of 3D printers. Unboxing used to be a snap, assembly used to be a run, and — ignoring the rate bump with the veil veil protector — I used to be printing within minutes of opening the sector.
The one nitpick I in actual fact contain about the machine itself is that the USB port, which is required to inform the machine, is found on the facet in want to the front. This unbiased technique you will need a couple inches of extra clearance on the absolute top facet of your machine in your printing notify, even though you ought to per chance contain that anyway for ventilation. Two diminutive but very excellent improvements from old objects are pegs for the vat to inform for absolute top probably positioning at any time when, and a max agree with line within the vat to handbook decided of those dreadful overflows.
The Anycubic Photon M3 is poised to be the replacement for the Photon Mono 4K, so with an MSRP of $299 we’re having a peek at a price range-pleasant, particular person-pleasant, newbie-pleasant printer and hopefully plenty more personalized-made miniatures on tabletops. It is a noteworthy printer with a mountainous obtain volume at a noteworthy tag, easy to role up, and simple to inform.