AnyCubic Photon Printer: DLP Resin 3D Printer Review

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AnyCubic Photon Printer Review and Overview

The AnyCubic Photon is my first resin 3D Printer! I’ve got a few other great filament printers right now including the Creality Cr10 and Creality CR10s, so I’m excited to test out what a resin printer can really do! This review of the AnyCubic Photon will cover a few aspects including assembly, quality, operation, sample print pictures and general comments.

anycubic photon dlp 3d printer photo

AnyCubic Photon Assembly

To assemble the AnyCubic photon is quite simple really. The whole printer is already assembled and comes in a single unit. It was very well packed in shipping, and even the internals were very thoroughly padded. The only thing that is needed to do it to attach the printing bed, level the bed, attach the hood handle and insert the vat that holds the resin. I probably took more time unpacking the box it came in than actually assembling the printer. The small instruction booklet that comes with the printer is very good. The instructions are clear and the pictures are good, so I recommend just following the few steps needed in there. Some spare screws and bits and pieces come with the printer, including gloves, a mask, some resin and tools.

Anycubic photon 3d printer tools 2 Anycubic photon 3d printer instruction manual

However, the main gist of the instructions is to install the vat by using two pre-installed screws. This is literally just sliding a platform into the unit and screwing it down. The slightly more complicated but still simple step is to install the printing bed. To do this, I just slid the unit onto the small beam and screwed it in.

Anycubic photon 3d printer Anycubic photon 3d printer

After this was complete, I slightly loosened the hex nut in the printing bed (to free allow rotation of the bed).

I then lowered the bed using the on-screen buttons. While using a piece of paper, I made sure the bed was level with the bottom screen, and that there was some friction between the bed and the clear film/screen, then tightened the hex nut. After pressing the “Z=0” button, the new home was registered as this location. Now the bed was levelled and installed!

AnyCubic Photon Example Design and Print Video

The below video shows how you can design something and then print it on the AnyCubic Photon!

AnyCubic Photon Quality

One thing that really impressed me about the AnyCubic Photon was the build quality of this thing. It’s virtually an all-metal printer. There are nice aluminium finish for interior pieces, and the AnyCubic logo is nicely printed inside.

The 4 base pieces are sturdy. The blue plastic windows (plexiglass?) is nicely installed and every part of the interior feels solid. I’d describe it almost ‘Apple’-esque. The touch screen is a really nice change from the standard filament display you see with the push/scroll button, and the interface inside also makes a lot of sense.

AnyCubic Photon 3D printed Sample: SR71

SR71 blackbird 3d printed anycubic photon

SR71 blackbird 3d printed anycubic photon

SR71 blackbird 3d printed anycubic photon

SR71 blackbird 3d printed anycubic photon

Above are some pictures I took of an SR71 I printed on the AnyCubic Photon. Model here


AnyCubic Photon Operation

I’ll be honest, I had no idea how these printers operated before I actually received it, but it’s very simple. On the interior base, there’s a 2K UV screen. The screen shows a cross section of the model being printed, and the resin reacts to this cross section and solidifies on the print bed. Then the printing bed moves up a bit, and the process repeats! So the print is actually made upside down, and every layer is made in the same time (about 10 seconds, but you can configure it).

Anycubic photon 3d printer

Anycubic photon 3d printer

There are some pros and cons to this method. This printing takes a while. The t-rex I made took about 4 hours to print. But you can print 5 of these models at the same time (if you can fit them on the screen) because a cross-section is made at a time.

To set this up it’s quite simple too. Just assemble the printer and level the bed as described above. Once that’s all done, I raised the printing bed and filled the vat with resin (about 20-30% full). I wore gloves and a mask that came with the printer because I was instructed to. But that’s it! I put a model I downloaded from Thingiverse on the supplied USB, inserted the USB and pressed print!

Anycubic photon 3d printer usb

4 hours later when the print was done, I removed the bed, cleaned up the bed a little with some paper towels and removed the prints with the supplied plastic scraper. I then gave the models a wash in high % alcohol and put them in the sun to cure further (optional). The alcohol removes residual resin. You can also cure it by placing the model into water and then into the sun for a few minutes.

AnyCubic Photon Slicer

The supplied USB also comes with the easy-to-use slicing software. You can simply import your .stls straight in. The interface is also very similar to Cura for example. Slicing is fast and it gives you a cool layer-by-layer check of the sliced file. Once it’s done slicing, it gives you a time estimate for the print too. I simply put the .photon files (sliced file, gcode equivalent) onto the USB, and the printer recognised it automatically. There seems to be no mac support at the moment, with it being in development.

AnyCubic Photon Resin Printer vs. Filament Printers

There are some huge differences I’ve noticed between my AnyCubic Photon and my other filament printers. Lots good, some bad.

Anycubic photon 3d printer resin

Resin for the AnyCubic Photon

Obviously to print with any resin 3D printer, you need some resin. So what resin should you use with the AnyCubic Photon? If you buy this printer, you’ll get a small 250ml bottle that’s great for some samples, but you should also get at least 500-1000mls extra if you want to start printing some more things. AnyCubic have their own resin which I can’t seem to find on the market, but below are some reputable resins that I’ve seen recommended around the internet and on Facebook groups. Any SLA resin that says “UV” or reactive to UV should work fine though!



A popular recommendation on the internet is the Wanhao resin. It comes is 8 different colours of different volumes, so you can buy close to what you need in the colour you want! This is next on my shopping list.


Another resin that’s been selling. The after pictures of this ApplyLabWork resin look absolutely phenomenal in black, but it also comes in 3 other colours.

Monocure 3D

Probably the most recommended resin that I’ve come across (particularly on Facebook), the Monocure 3D resin seems to be a hit with the online community.

Printer Noise and Smell

The AnyCubic is quieter than my other filament printers. Its fan is still quite loud, but it doesn’t shriek or make sharp noises, much like filament printers do with fast sharp turns. However, it does let out quite a funny smell when it’s operating, so I recommend not putting it in the same room you sleep in, preferably outside or in a well ventilated area.

Overhead Time

The AnyCubic photon is much faster to get up and running than a filament printer. You won’t need to troubleshoot with bed levelling (once, during setup) and you won’t have to worry about issues with loose belts or hot end temperatures and bad filament. But, you will lose some time in cleaning the machine after every use. You do need to take out some time to clean the parts, bed and vat when you’re done, so take this into account.

Lifetime Cost

No doubt, the AnyCubic Photon resin 3D printer will cost you more over the lifetime of your printer. It’s probably about 1-2x the price of lots of good 3D printers on the market. But the costly thing is really the resin. You can buy 0.5L-1L batches of resin that will last you a while but its costs a lot more than PLA or ABS filament you can buy, per net printed weight.


The AnyCubic photos is a very nicely compact resin 3d printer. The size of the printer is: 220mm x 200mm x 400mm. (8.66” x 7.87” x 15.75”)

Build Area

The AnyCubic Photon printer comes with a build area of: 115mm x 65mm x 155mm (4.53”x 2.55”x6.10”). This is a fairly small area by filament printer standards, but note that it can print incredibly detained prints and should be used for the right purpose.

Print Quality

I was blown away by the print quality of this machine. Of course all resin printers have good print quality by design, but until you actually print something yourself and see what the machine produces, it’s hard to really appreciate. The prints come out slightly sticky after washing and need further time to fully cure. You can do this by leaving it in the sun or by exposing it to UV light. Refer to the pictures below to see for yourself.

System Safety

One thing that occurred to me was that this printer has no 200 degree hot-end. This means that risk of fires and burns, like potentially from filament printers) is greatly reduced. This makes me a lot more laid back when operating it instead of my filament printers. However, you should be careful with handling the filament.

Buy the AnyCubic Photon

AnyCubic Photon Price

The price of the AnyCubic photon fluctuates a little depending on the seller. It typically sells from $550+.

AnyCubic Photon AliExpress

As of current writing (January 2018), the AnyCubic Photon printer sells from about $550 USD from AliExpress.

AnyCubic Photon Amazon

The AnyCubic Photon will be available on Amazon soon. Buy the AnyCubic Photon on Amazon here.

Is the AnyCubic Photon the best resin 3D printer?

While this is my only resin 3D printer right now, I am very, very happy with it. It worked seamlessly out of the box. Levelling is easy. Prints are absolutely awesome quality. Sure, you need to clean it and it might smell a bit funny during use, but for the price, the AnyCubic Photon is probably one of the best resin 3D printers on the market right now.

AnyCubic Photon Specs

System Specification

Operating System: ANYCUBIC Photon

Screen: 2.8-inch touch screen

Slicer software: ANYCUBIC Photon Slicer

Connection:  USB

Printer size: 220mm x 200mm x 400mm

Printing volume: 115mm x 65mm x 155mm (4.52″ x 2.56″ x 6.1″)

Printing material:   405nm photosensitive resin (UV)

Weight: 6.6kg

Printing Specification

Technology: DLP

Technique: LCD Shadow Masking

Light-source: UV integrated light (wavelength 405nm)

XY resolution: 47µm (2560 x 1440, 2K Screen)

Y axis resolution:  1.25µm

Layer resolution:  25 – 100µm

Printing speed:  20mm/h

Rated Power:  40W​

AnyCubic Photon 3D Print Example Photos

anycubic photon dlp 3d printer photo

anycubic photon dlp 3d printer photo

anycubic photon dlp 3d printer photo

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2 Responses

  1. Pete
    | Reply

    Thanks so much for the review. I’m in Australia too and have been looking at this vs the FLSun resin printer. Any idea if there is any advantage of one over the other?

    • admin
      | Reply

      Hi Pete,

      Thanks for your comment. I haven’t had experience with the other printer, but I can say that I’m quite happy with this one.

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