Anycubic Photo Mono X 3D Printer -Honest Review

The AnyCubic Photon Mono is the most effective LCD 3D printer in my possession. I have 2 of these and use them to print the Figurative..

It is inexpensive, yet the print quality is nearly the same as that of  Formlabs 3. If you’re in the market for your first 3D printer, we suggest going with a resin 3D printer like this one rather than an FDM printer.

The Anycubic Photon Mono is the most cost-effective 3D printer for D&D miniatures due to its high print quality at a low price.

What is it about this 3D printer that makes it so much superior to the competition?

Pros

  • Very easy to set up. I set it up, (box to print) in under a couple of hours and I had never even seen a 3D printer before.
  • High-quality 3D prints
  • Almost undetectable print lines
  • Very quick printing speed
  • One of the least expensive resin 3D printers available.
  • Detail down to .025mm. Crazy good. So good that I actually struggle to find mini-models that take advantage of it.
  • Simplicity of use
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Excellent quality
  • printing multiple minis are as fast as printing one. Pretty cool.
  • Don’t have to keep re-leveling or adding glue to the print surface
  • “dialing it in” is pretty simple, there aren’t many settings to fiddle with. Increase bottom exposure, print with plenty of support, pick a resolution and you’re pretty much good.

Cons

  • Can only print up to 6.4″ miniatures. Can be highly addictive.
  • UV Resin can be Toxic ( need Extra Measures Like Gloves etc)
  • resin is expensive. About $50 per bottle which gets you maybe somewhere around 20-30 minis? Hard to say as size/hollowing/fails make it hard to track.
  • FEP, alcohol, gloves, and filters all cost money.
  • resin is toxic. You have to buy and use a bunch of gloves, >91% isopropyl alcohol to clean with, have a space that’s well-ventilated to operate it, and be very careful with it to not let it touch the skin or anything you’ll touch.
  • There were complaints that some programs were flawed.
  • For solid models, material costs can be on the higher side.
  • FEP film kinda sucks. You have to replace it every once in a while which took me over an hour and was a pain in the ass. Every time a print fails, you have to drain all the resin and strain it through a filter (annoying), and then carefully scrape the failed solidified resin from the fee
  • The resin starts to fail if you leave it in the open air for more than a couple of days. So every couple of days you have to drain, strain, and clean the vat and then replace the resin when you print again.
  • -You have to print most mini’s at an angle to make them work and then the supports leave noticeable indents which are difficult to sand over on some surfaces
  • with tiny print sizes. The surface is almost the size of my Pixel 2 XL phone. Big prints have to be done in parts.
Image 1 – Anycubic 3D printer + CURE & Wash Station @ My Home

Background facts


The Anycubic Photon Mono is an LCD three-dimensional printer. LCD 3D printers are a subset of SLA 3D printing and their primary material is resin. For those unfamiliar with SLA 3D printing, SLA 3D printers utilize UV laser to selectively harden resin pieces. This makes SLA 3D printers extremely precise, with virtually invisible layer lines.

LCD 3D printers are distinct in that they employ an LCD screen to mask UV light onto the resin in order to build the object layer by layer. This makes LCD 3D printers far faster than SLA printers, albeit with reduced precision and size limitations. LCD 3D printers are also considerably less expensive than SLA 3D printers.

Tech Specs:

Volume of Build130mm(L)*80mm(W)*165mm(H)
ConnectivityUSB
XY resolution51 microns
The 3D printing technology used in the PrinterLCD-based SLA

Sample 3D prints

Tim Timmons 3d printed these miniatures using His own Anycubic Photon Mono.

Created in Nomad sculpt, 3D Printed on Anycubic Photon Mono X , and Painted with Acrylic Colors…
Created in Nomad sculpt, 3D Printed on Anycubic Photon Mono X , and Painted with Acrylic Colors…
Created in Nomad sculpt, 3D Printed on Anycubic Photon Mono X , and Painted with Acrylic Colors…

My review of the Photon is an honest evaluation as I am a 3D Sculptor( On Nomad Sculpt) and I print My Creations using AnyCubic Photon MONO X 3D printer.

That being said, I did buy it. Consequently, you are free to take that into account. In spite of its rather high cost, in my opinion, it is well worth the money.

To tell you the truth, I’ve had a lot of success with mine, but ever since I began that group in November, there have been a number of problems have arisen.

I Technically use Anycubic Photon 3D Printer and Any Cubic Cure and Wash machine ( as shown in image 1)

Now, let me clarify something for you. I believe that most, if not all of them, have been fixed, including the yellow windows. (However, I have not experienced any difficulties since I make sure to keep my photon away from the window.)

The prints that I made look fantastic. The Anycubic resin displays a high level of detail. The Monocure Rapid is a wonderful product; but, because it has a slightly increased consistency, I have not gone nearly as thin with it.

I get 0 layer lines. The technology that underpins each and every DLP 3D printer is essentially the same.

Using the Anycubic printer


Printing truly isn’t too difficult of a process. After slicing your model, which creates a file with the extension. photon, you next transfer it to a USB stick before inserting it into the printer.

After that, you level the printer. The method that I use is called the Flint Reed method, but Anycubic also has its own approach. After that, follow the instructions and add enough resin to bring the vat up to a third of its capacity.

You may print by clicking the display and selecting the print option, followed by selecting the print job you want, and then clicking the arrow to begin printing.

You will find the print finished when you return in a few hours. It may be summed up in one simple sentence. The most challenging part of the process is getting the print ready to be printed.

When dealing with resin and isopropyl alcohol, it is imperative that you take precautions to safeguard your health and minimize the amount of direct exposure you are subjected to.

When I work on the printer, whether it be pre-print or post-print work, I protect my hands with nitrile gloves and my eyes with safety glasses.

After that, I give my face a thorough cleaning. In the event that any gets on me, I first remove it with IPA and then return to the affected region to give it a thorough washing with soap and water.

It is not my intention to frighten anyone away, but I do want everyone to be informed that the resin in question is poisonous. Try to reduce as much time you spend around it as much as you can.

While the printer was operating, I monitored the amount of electricity it consumed. In my observations, the amount of power consumed ranged from 17 to 41 watts, with 34 being the typical value.

You may use this to assess the expenses associated with your electricity use. When it comes to power, these are rather affordable.

PREPPING PRINTS – SLICING, HOLLOWING, AND MORE.

Learning how to use the new tools is likely to be the part of the transition from FDM to SLA that presents the greatest challenge for you.

Due to the fact that the price of filaments can reach as high as $60-$80 per liter, the first thing you will want to do is learn how to hollow out your models. In many cases, you will be able to continue doing what you have always done.

A fantastic how-to guide pertaining to this topic was made available by Maker’s Muse a few years ago. This is, in all honesty, a relatively straightforward process, and Maker’s Muse does a great job of breaking down the steps that need to be taken.

Many people still follow some of the additional advice listed below.

The next step after that is to move on to support. I am still a novice when it comes to this, therefore I make use of the LYCHEE slicer’s automatically created supports. It serves its purpose, albeit adequately, but there is room for improvement.

According to what I’ve read, a number of users make use of the B9 Creator Software to produce support. The films that can be seen on TKs 3D prints are also excellent sources of reference. He has some really helpful movies that walk you through the process of preparing models to print on the Anycubic Photon.

You should be able to print properly with the help of these two sources, and you should also start to grasp how to print better.

The community is always contributing new information to the spreadsheet. When it comes to communities, I manage the Nomad Sculpt Facebook Group as an administrator.

We have a few members of our community that are always willing to lend a hand and go above and beyond to assist others when they are having issues with their printers or to showcase the fantastic new prints they have created.

CLEANING UP THE PRINTS / POST-PROCESSING

At the beginning of my 3D printing Gig, I started by printing straight onto the build plate. These days, I frequently make use of support.

Although I am aware that this results in greater use of resin, it does have the advantage of being MUCH simpler to remove off the construction plate.

Therefore, it is the place to begin, in all honesty. When you are through with the printing, I slide a palette knife, which is often used for painting, under the print. It is quite thin, and it appears to perform really well for the technique that we are doing.

By using larger equipment, I have run into additional difficulties, and as a result, my bed has been thrown out of alignment many times. If I don’t do that, the level on the bed will stay the same for quite a few of the jobs that need to be printed.

After I have peeled the print off of the bed, I use my snips to cut away all of the support structures.

Before the resin has cured( I use Anycubic Cure & wash for Washing & Curing the Structure), I find that it is much simpler to do, and it also prevents the vat from filling up with as much resin. When I have finished removing the supports from the print (and some models are considerably more difficult than others), I move it to an isopropyl alcohol bath.

(An IPA with a minimum of 90% ABV and 99% ABV is recommended.) After that, move the print around in different directions. I am aware that some individuals use a toothbrush to scrub away any uncured resin.

After that, you may give the model a second IPA bath to ensure that you have removed all trace of the resin, and then you can clean it in a mixture of water and soap in a third bath.

After that, I either exposed the model to direct sunlight or placed it in front of a UV lamp. In most cases, I find that ten minutes is sufficient, but I spend longer under the lamp.

However, you may get a sense of the model by running your fingertip across it. If it has a bouncy or sticky feel to it, it has to be cured for longer.

If not, you are done. In order to keep the resin from getting everywhere as I work, I enclose it in a disposable baking dish. Just in case the FEP sheet springs a leak, I’ve placed my Photon in an additional disposable dish.

After the last cure, you may prime and paint the print works, or you can simply look at them and appreciate them. And if you come from the FDM world, you should know that these prints are just stunning.

Even though I’ve had this for a little over a month and a half and done dozens of prints with it, I’m still blown away by how good the prints look.

How much does 3D printing a miniature with the Anycubic Photon Mono cost?


It relies on the 3D model’s volume. Their resin is approximately $50/kg. Assuming a model volume of 1000 mm3, 1 gram of resin equals 1 mm3. We are considering $0.05 per 1000 mm3 or $0.05 per gram.

The Formula I use and the cost calculation go like the following:

Model volume (in grams) X $0.050 = Total material cost

However, this does not include any overhead expenses. Therefore, if you intend to establish your own 3D printing business selling miniatures, you must also consider these costs.

Here is what the material costs for the Miniature Pumpkin in the above image for each model would look like.

Size of the MiniatureHolloween Pumpkin( in the Image above)
Height28mm
Volume60grams
Material cost$3-$5
Source

The SLA printing method is distinct from the FDM printing method. Following the purchase of your 3D Printer, you will need to procure UV resin for it. The price of resin might be rather high. Amazon charges $50 for a bottle of Anycubic Resin that is 500 milliliters.

Another more budget-friendly option is Fun to Do resin; however, acquiring it in the United States might be a bit trickier than in many countries in the European Union.

You can also purchase from Monocure Rapid in Australia, you can expect to pay around $160 including shipping expenses. This resin has been incredibly enjoyable to work with so far.

Last but not least, Harz Labs has also been a supporting member of the organization. The resin takes wonderful prints and has a pretty nice appearance.

Please take into consideration that these are the resins I’ve been exposed to. It is not necessarily a sign of poor quality just because something is not included on a list. It signifies that I have not tried it myself or observed a number of other people doing it.

In order to save money on post-processing expenses, it is recommended that you purchase isopropyl alcohol by gallon and paper towels by the case.

In addition, there are Nitrile gloves. It is a more complicated kind of 3D printing, but in the end, the prints are worth it because of the quality they offer. I have compiled this list to assist you in getting started with the materials that are needed to get started with a resin printer.

I’d argue that everything from the UV nail dryer down is an absolute need. In addition, the UV nail dryer might be replaced with a solution that was made at home.

Key takeaways:

  • 3D printers that use resin are considered to be the most suitable for printing miniatures.
  • For the lowest price, the Anycubic Photon Mono is the best 3D printer for printing miniatures.
  • The Phrozen Mini 4K will provide you with a tabletop miniature of the best possible quality and level of detail at an affordable price. It also has the highest speed.

ANYCUBIC PHOTON OPINION: FANTASTIC PRINTER AT A FANTASTIC PRICE

As can be seen, for the cost, this is a really good printer. It is able to provide a level of detail that cannot be accomplished with an FDM printer.

The Anycubic Photon is able to accomplish this feat at a reduced cost as well. I can see the costs of resin-based 3D printers going down as more people get into 3D printing with them, and more importantly, I can see the costs of resin going down as demand increases and economies of scale kick in as a result of the increased demand.

When I say that this is the best DLP printer available, what I really mean is that for the price, there is nothing else that comes close to competing with it.

There are other 3D printers that use resin, but this one is the best one in terms of price, ease of use (check out how you level others; with multiple screws, it’s nowhere near as simple), and quality.

There are other resin-based 3D printers on the market. If you are looking to print fine details, whether for the jewelry industry, dentistry, or just for fun, I would not think twice about recommending this particular 3D printer to you.

Best for 3d Miniatures( Editor's Pick)
ANYCUBIC Photon Mono 4K -3D Printer ANYCUBIC Photon Mono 4K -3D Printer

The Anycubic Photon 4K Mono is a great choice for 3D printing miniatures, especially if you are just starting out and want something more powerful.

This is a resin printer, so you should get high-quality models, and at 60mm/h, it prints much faster than other 3D printers, which should cut down on the time you spend waiting for models.

With the Anycubic Photon 4K Mono's 4K Mono LCD panel, you should be able to print models with a lot of detail and great precision, no matter how big or small they are.

Conveniently, the print volume is also a good size at 192mmx120mmx245mm, so you can print a few models at once if you need to.

Tech Info: Type of Printer: Resin | Printing Volume: 192mmx120mmx245mm | Resolution: 4K | Manufacturer: Anycubic |
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Cure & wash Station
ANYCUBIC Wash and Cure Station ANYCUBIC Wash and Cure Station

Most Recent, Most Improved, and Most Convenient: The newest Wash and Cure machine has a lens that can be attached to the UV lamp beads.

As a result, the distribution of the light source's strength is more even, and the surface of the model is flatter.

Bottom curing now has no dead ends thanks to the automated rotating curing table that rotates around 360 degrees and the new bottom reflector. As a result, the entire model is treated more completely.

Dual-Function Washing and Drying Station:

  • The combination of cleaning and curing functions can not only eliminate the majority of the chemicals, resolve concerns relating to washing and mess, but also significantly streamline the entire post-processing procedure.
  • It is an expert answer to the nasty chore of cleaning up after your fantastic prints, and it also helps decrease the amount of clutter on your desk.
  • Adjustable from 1 to 60 minutes, the period may be customized for knob cleaning and curing.
  • Your specific do-it-yourself requirements might dictate how thoroughly each layer of the 3D printer model is cleaned and cured.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Is it worth the trouble?


Yes Please! You should invest in a 3D printer that is capable of producing prints with a high resolution if you want the miniatures you use in your tabletop games to have a fantastic appearance. It is impossible to believe that you get this amount of detail for this pricing point.

UV Resin( Resin Used to 3D print Objects)

The odor of the UV resin is strong but not too much worse smelling than some filament I’ve worked with. But you would want it in a high ventilation area.

As to post-processing, isopropyl alcohol 99% works great. What I do is place the piece in a tub and slowly pour the IPA over it. Once I have enough IPA to fully cover the part, I let it soak and occasionally agitate the IPA for 20ish minutes.

H302 – Harmful if swallowed.
H315 – Causes skin irritation.
H318 – Causes serious eye damage.
H317 – This may cause an allergic skin reaction.
H373 – May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure.
H412 – Harmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effects.

P264 – Wash face, hands, and any exposed skin thoroughly after handling.
P270 – Do not eat, drink or smoke when using this product.
P280 – Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection.
P261 – Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapors/spray.
P272 – Contaminated work clothing should not be allowed out of the workplace.
P260 – Do not breathe dust/fume/gas/mist/vapors/spray.
P273 – Avoid release to the environment.

Wrap-Up Note:


The Anycubic Photon Mono has been our go-to machine for 3D printing miniatures, despite the fact that we own industrial SLA printers, a Formlabs 3, and a great deal of other 3D printing equipment. It is not only the ideal instrument for the task at hand, but it also outperforms every other LCD and DLP printer now available on the market.

Because of the high number of failed 3D prints that we obtain from LCD and DLP printers, we have tested a large number of these types of printers but have never been satisfied with the results.

We spoke to some of the seasoned pros in the field of 3D printing, and most of them believe that this is the ideal 3D printer for miniatures, particularly if you are just starting out.