Archives July 2021

Voxelab Aquila Review [2021]: Is It Right For Your Needs?

  The idea of owning a 3D printer is exciting for many people. However, the thought of paying hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars for one might quickly put a damper on things. Fortunately, there are 3D printer options out there that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. For example, the Voxelab Aquila 3D printer is usually less than $200.

Is the Voxelab Aquila a reliable 3D printer at that price point? Read on to find out everything you need to know about this affordable option.

Voxelab Aquila 3D Printer | Amazon
$189.00

Aquila is a straight forward BD printer based on open source technology. It allows for flexible upgrades and various modifications. Meanwhile, you are able to choose your favorite software as VoxelMaker, Cura and more.

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07/31/2021 02:48 pm GMT

Voxelab Aquila 3D Printer Review

In our Voxelab Aquila 3D printer review, we’ll cover all the ins and outs, pros and cons, and details you need to make an educated and informed buying decision. With that in mind, let’s get started!

Packaging and Contents

The Aquila 3D printer arrives in a small but sturdy cardboard box. Inside the box, the printer is protected on all sides with foam, so it should arrive in perfect condition. When you open your 3D printer box, you should have the following items: 

  • User manual
  • Power cable
  • Screws
  • Cable ties
  • Spatula
  • 50 grams of filament
  • Needle for cleaning the nozzle
  • Spare nozzle
  • Spare PTFE coupler
  • Hex screwdrivers and wrenches
  • SD card read with 8GB card

Assembling the Printer

Your Aquila 3D printer comes as a kit, which means you’ll have to put it together. Set aside an hour or two of your day so you have plenty of time to assemble it. The manual and assembly guide that comes with the printer will guide you through putting your 3D printer together quickly and easily. Before you know it, your 3D printer will be up and ready to starting printing!

Design

You’re not going to get anything fancy with this 3D printer. It looks a lot like any other budget option you might find on the market. It’s not going to blow you away, but it will get the job done. There is no front drawer on the device and the unit’s screen is set to landscape mode.

Printing volume

The Aquila 3D printer offers a 220 x 220 x 250 printing volume. This is what you might expect with a mid-tier printer, which is big enough for the majority of the items you’ll print. The printer bed runs on four V-slot wheels, which you can use to connect the aluminum extrusion. Once that’s done, the bed will be much more stable when you start printing.

Printing surface

You’ll notice a textured glass printing surface that resides over the aluminum heated bed. This type of surface offers good adhesion once the printer heats up. Plus, when the printing job is done, you can quickly and easily remove the printed model once it cools off.

The printer’s surface is held in place with two metal clips, which lets you remove the glass if you need to. This is a handy feature for cleaning up after print jobs. One item to note is that the Aquila does not have insulation material beneath the printing bed.

Power supply

With your Aquila 3D printer comes a Mean Well 350 watt power supply. This is a high-quality power supply, which means you’re not likely to run into problems in the future and have to replace it. One thing to keep in mind when using the printer is that the power supply does produce some noise, which is noticeable when the Aquila is heating up. 

Color screen

One of the coolest features about the Aquila printer is that you’ll get a nice, color TFT screen with the unit. The screen has a white user interface with red accents. Unfortunately, it’s not a touchscreen, so you’ll have to use the hardware buttons to navigate through the menu. The screen is responsive and fast, which is nice to see since the printer doesn’t offer many advanced options or additional features.

PTFE hotend

Voxelab offers a Creality style hotend with its printer, where the PTFE tube enters the nozzle. The hotend is one of the cheaper models on the market, which is to be expected with a 3D printer at this price point. 

The good news is that it works very well with PLA, but if you start printing at more than 240 degrees Celsius for long periods of time, you’ll start to notice degradation in the tube and a foul stench in the air.

Additionally, you can upgrade the hotend in the future if you plan on doing a lot of printing at higher temperatures. This is handy if you don’t want to have to regularly troubleshoot issues with your hotend.

Belt tensioners

As expected, the Aquila 3D printer comes with X and Y-axis belt tensioners. This is something you’ll find on newer printers, which is why it’s no surprise to find it on the Voxelab Aquila offering. Bear in mind that you don’t want to overtighten the tensioners because you may wind up with degraded print quality. 

Plastic extruder

You’ll get a single-gear plastic extruder with the Aquila 3D printer, which serves its purpose. It would be nice to have a metal extruder, but plastic is what you get with the Voxelab unit. The spool holder resides at the top of the Aquila printer, which makes the filament path a little challenging. But, the plastic extruder does have a metallic insert, which protects it from any filament grinding into the body of the extruder itself.

Firmware updates

Many 3D printers that fall into this budget come with default firmware on the device. Most 3D printer manufacturers simply don’t offer firmware updates since they don’t view it as a worthwhile investment. Voxelab, on the other hand, offers a way to update your firmware via pre-compiled packages which you can download from their website.

Heating Time

For the most part, the hotend and the heat bed of the Voxelab Aquila 3D printer heat fairly quickly. You’re not going to stand around for a long time and wait for the unit to reach the right temperature. The hotend gets to 200 degrees Celsius in about a minute and a half and about a minute later reaches 250 degrees Celsius.

The heat bed takes a little longer to warm up. You’ll reach 60 degrees Celsius in just under three minutes, however, it takes right at nine minutes for the unit to get to the 100 degrees Celsius mark.

Power Consumption

When your Voxelab Aquila 3D printer is sitting idle, it will draw around 9 watts. When it’s heating up, the wattage bumps up to 240W, which then levels off to around 90W once the print job starts. 

Noise

In regard to printer movement, the Aquila is actually a fairly quiet unit. However, that benefit is offset by the fans on the device. The printer’s hotend fans create a lot of noise. Take that and the noise from the power supply when it gets going and you have quite a bit of racket. It’s not unbearable, but it’s not quiet either.

Specs

Print Volume 220 x 220 x 250 mm
Screen 3.5-inch screen
Power 350 Watts
Print Resolution 0.2 mm
Layer Resolution 0.1-0.4 mm
Filament Types Supported ABS, PETG, PLA
Extruder Number 1
Extruder Diameter 0.4 mm
Filament Sensor No
Print Speed 30-60 mm/s
Running Noise 50 dB
Maximum Extruder Temperature 250-degrees Celsius
Maximum Platform Temperature 100-degree Celsius
Software Cura/Simplify3D/VoxelMaker
Working Mode Online printing or memory card printing
Resume Printing Functionality Yes
Input Type 3mf/bmp/fpp/jpg/jpeg/obj/png/stl

Alternatives

If the Voxelab Aquila 3D printer doesn’t sound like it’s going to meet your needs, there are plenty of options available on the market. Here are a few alternatives you might consider:

Creality Ender 3

One of the best do-it-yourself 3D printer kits at this price point is the Ender 3. This printer offers a starting price of below $200, so it’s not going to put much of a dent in your wallet. The Ender 3 is one of the most affordable 3D printer kits available. There are several assembled parts included with the kit, so you’ll only need to set aside a few hours to get it put together.

Plus, an upgraded extruder aids in reducing the risk of plugs, and it only takes a few minutes for the heat bed to reach a nice, hot temperature of 110-degrees Celsius. If you need a large printing area, don’t worry, Creality also has a CR 10 option, which is another popular do-it-yourself 3D printer on the market.

Great Affordable Alternative
Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer | Creality 3D Official

For most users, I recommend starting with this Creality Ender 3 Prusa i3 model here. It produces more consistent quality prints and is MUCH easier to assemble, let alone being more affordable. A clear choice for me.

Buy via Creality Direct Buy at Amazon.com
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Tarantula Pro

The latest offering of the Tarantula 3D do-it-yourself kit is the Tarantula Pro. Known for being both robust and easy to use, the Tarantula Pro offers a build volume of 235 x 235 x 250 mm. Plus, it works with a wide variety of filaments, including ABS, PVA, PLA, and WOOD.

This unit comes with an LCD screen, which allows users to quickly and easily navigate the device menu. The Tarantula Pro has a layer resolution of 0.5-0.35mm. Additionally, the unit’s extruder is a volcano extruder, so you don’t have to worry about overheating very often. While the Tarantula Pro does run over $200, it’s one of the better do-it-yourself printers available.

Anet A8

Chinese manufacturer Anet offers its A8 3D printer, which is its latest do-it-yourself printer kit. The 3D printer makes use of FDM technology, along with a Cartesian FDM head that supports both PLA and ABS filaments. With a build volume of 220 x 220 x 240 mm, you should have no trouble printing most of your objects.

The heat bed reaches a high temperature of 100-degrees Celsius, which is about par for this type of device. Additionally, the unit comes with an LCD screen, providing the user with a better experience, along with the ability to quickly navigate through the A8’s menu. With a starting price of under $200, the Anet A8 is one of the most accessible 3D printers on the market.

Anet A8 3D Printer | 3D Printers Online Store

Easy installation, 5 keys 2004 LCD screen display, easy control, smart board, pause at anytime, best budget for DIY lovers.

Check price Buy at Amazon.com
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FAQs

These are some of the more commonly asked questions about 3D printers:

Question: Is It more affordable to build your own 3D printer?

Answer: For the most part, it’s going to be cheaper to build your own 3D printer rather than purchase an already assembled unit. While there are exceptions, most users will see significant cost savings if they choose to assemble their 3D printer from scratch.

Question: What is the typical life expectancy of a 3D printer?

Answer: With proper care and maintenance, a 3D printer should last you between 5 and 10 years. Of course, the life expectancy of your unit will vary based upon how well you maintain the device and how much you use it.

Question: How much electricity will my 3D printer use?

Answer: A typical 3D printer uses 50 watts of electricity per hour. However, with 3D printers, you’re going to need much more power since they print non-stop for longer periods of time. As a result, you’re going to see a much larger electric bill. Most 3D printers require 120 volts of power, so don’t be surprised when your power bill arrives in the mail.

Is the Voxelab Aquila 3D Printer Right for You?

The Voxelab Aquila printer is a great option for anyone who wants to save some money while getting their feet wet with 3D printing. Its specs aren’t going to blow you away, but the unit gets the job done for 3D printing hobbyists or beginners. The screen interface is nice, as is the ability to update the firmware. 

It’s also nice that the unit is calibrated straight out of the box, so you don’t have to mess with a lot of additional setups. No, the printer isn’t perfect, but it does have a lot going for it, especially since it’s available for under $200. At that price point, the Aquila 3D printer is a great purchase. If you don’t mind tinkering a little bit with technical devices, the Voxelab Aquila 3D printer is a solid investment.

Voxelab Aquila 3D Printer | Amazon
$189.00

Aquila is a straight forward BD printer based on open source technology. It allows for flexible upgrades and various modifications. Meanwhile, you are able to choose your favorite software as VoxelMaker, Cura and more.

Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
07/31/2021 02:48 pm GMT

 

Best DIY 3D Printer Kits [2021]: Which is Right For You?

One of the things that people complain about with their 3D printers is that it can cost a whole lot of money. However, there are 3D printer kits that you can buy to help shave off a couple of hundreds of dollars from its price tag.

3D printer kits are an excellent way to save on your next machine. If you’re comfortable working with disassembled parts, screws, and tools, you should definitely try building your 3D printer from scratch. And here are the kits we recommend:

  • Anycubic Kossel Plus
  • BeeVery Creative B2x300
  • Creality Ender 3
  • Hypercube Evolution
  • Original Prusa i3 MK3S+
  • Tronxy X5SA
  • VORON2.4

Which of these products are right for you? Relax and check out our recommendations!

1. Tronxy X5SA

Tronxy

The Tronxy X5SA retails for less than $350 from online stores. We thought we should start with that. At that price, you’d probably expect a small printer that doesn’t really do its job well.

You will be wrong on both counts.

This printer has a build volume of 13 by 13 by 15.7 inches (330 by 330 by 400 millimeters). The core XY fused deposition modeling printer has a Bowden feeder and a single nozzle. It can get as hot as 527 degrees Fahrenheit (275 degrees Celsius), making it an excellent printer to use if you want to use the following filaments:

  • ABS
  • Carbon fiber
  • HIPS
  • Nylon
  • PLA
  • PVC
  • TPU

The materials used for the printer itself aren’t cheap-looking either. The body, which measures 25.2 by 22.8 by 25.9 inches (639 by 580 by 658 millimeters) and weighs 25.4 pounds (11.5 kilograms), is made with sheet metal and aluminum.

If these are not impressive enough for you, then you should know that this printer comes with a semi-automatic bed-leveling feature.

Then you have the following features:

  • Filament run-out sensor: The printer will tell you when it’s time to put in a new filament.
  • Resume your prints if the power is cut short.
  • A 3.5-inch (88.9 millimeters) touchscreen allows you to efficiently operate this machine.

Before You Choose the Tronxy X5SA

However, assembling and setting up the Tronxy X5SA isn’t a walk in the park. As a core XY printer, you will need to do a lot of tweaking and adjusting.

You will also find that the instructions included with this kit can be pretty confusing. Thank goodness, there are YouTube videos that can help you.

Check out this installation video, which shows you the right way to get your Tronxy X5SA assembled and working.

Who should buy the Tronxy X5SA? Those people who like to tinker and build things while also having the experience to correctly assemble a core XY printer like this one.

Tronxy X5SA: The Bottom Line

We cannot stress this enough, beginners should stay away from this 3D printer kit. Out of the box, it’s not going to be easy to assemble and set up this printer.

However, in more capable hands, this 3D printer can do wonders. Because of its low price, capabilities, features, and large build volume, you can do a lot with the Tronxy X5SA.

Pros

  • Huge build volume, especially for the price
  • Automatic bed leveling

Cons

  • Need regular maintenance and adjustments
  • Build plate can be pretty sticky, and finished prints are not easily removed
  • Not for beginners

2. Original Prusa i3 MK3S+

Original Prusa i3 MK3S+

No list of the best 3D printer kits will be without the Original Prusa i3 MK3S+. And there’s a reason for this.

This 3D printer gives you a build volume that’s big enough at 9.8 by 8.3 by 8.3 inches (250 by 210 by 210 millimeters), a solid metal frame, and rotary control. It also features automatic crash sensors, as well as being able to resume printing after a power outage.

This Cartesian printer has a direct drive extruder that can get as hot as 572 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees Celsius), which allows it to work with polycarbonate and nylon, among other filaments.

Pros

  • Nice print quality
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons

  • Price can be steep, especially with its outdated features
  • Works noisily

Original Prusa i3 MK3S+: The Bottom Line

The Original Prusa i3 MK3S+ might be an old kit, but it still delivers a solid 3D printing experience. You can get excellent print quality using the profiles provided by the machine.

However, you will miss out on the latest features. There’s no touch display, no Wi-Fi connectivity, and the SD card can sometimes have noticeable lags.

3. BeeVeryCreative B2X300

BeeVeryCreative B2X300

This 3D printer kit has a pair of extruders and a sizable build volume at 11.8 by 7.9 by 11.8 inches (300 by 200 by 300 millimeters). You don’t even have to worry about manually leveling the bed. This printer can do it automatically.

The extruders, which come pre-assembled, can get as hot as 572 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees Celsius). Your printer can work with a variety of materials, including HIPS, PC, PLA, PETG, PVA, ABS, and nylon.

What’s more, it can resume printing when the power is interrupted, as well as be able to tell you when the filament has run out. Printing resolution ranges from 50 to 300 microns.

The best thing is that it comes with a modular motherboard that means you will be able to customize or upgrade this 3D printer to your heart’s content. Instructions for the B2X300 are found on the company’s website.

Pros

  • Big build volume
  • Automatic bed leveling and offset calibration
  • Excellent user manual and instructions

Cons

  • It’s one of the more expensive kits we have here.

 

4. HyperCube Evolution

HyperCube Evolution

So far, what we’ve recommended are ready to assemble kits, where you have all the components in the package. There are also kits that work like a scavenger hunt: you get a list of the parts, but you will buy these yourself.

HyperCube Evolution is one such kit. The list of parts and other things that you need are available on Thingiverse.

You have two different designs available for this core XY 3D printer, one that is more stable when printing at faster speeds, and the other giving you a build volume of 11.8 by 11.8 by 11.8 inches (300 by 300 by 300 millimeters).

The good news is that you don’t even have to worry about where to find the parts. Sellers are listed, and you have an option on what types of brackets, fasteners, and screws you can buy. What’s more, a majority of these components are available on AliExpress.

5. VORON2.4

VORON2.4

If you like the HyperCube Evolution, you will also love VORON. Like HyperCube Evolution, this is a community project that has been developed and improved upon. The most current printer is the VORON2.4.

This project will allow you to get a customized list of materials depending on your preferred builds. The materials will change, depending on:

  • If you use a direct feed vs. a Bowden filament feeder
  • Whether you are upgrading a previous VORON build or building a new one.
  • The types of frame joints, cable management chains
  • For the printer size you want, there are specifications for 9.8, 11.8, 13.8 inches (250, 300, 350 millimeters), as well as an option for custom sizes.

After specifying your preferences, you will be given a bill of materials that details all the components you will need to buy. The document will describe the type and name of the part and the quantity you need.

The community behind VORON also has a sourcing guide, which gives you more information on these components, such as:

  • The quality standards (such as ISO and DIN certifications)
  • The quantity and size of the part you need
  • Recommended and alternative retailers
  • Comments from community members on the part itself, as well as on the retailers

6. Anycubic Kossel Plus

Anycubic Kossel Plus

Going back to unassembled kits, you have the Anycubic Kossel Plus. This 3D printer comes to you unassembled, with all the parts already in the package, including the frame, the guide rails, the extruder, feeder, print bed, power supply, and control unit.

You will need to spend time putting all these together, and your reward for completing it is that you get to have an excellent printer that’s priced at around $200.

And if you know what you’re doing, it would take you just two to three hours to get this thing going.

There are two versions of the Anycubic Kossel Plus. One uses linear rails with a build size of 9.1 by 11.8 inches (230 by 300 millimeters), while the other uses a pulley system that gives you a printing volume of 7.1 by 11.8 inches (180 by 300 millimeters).

The extruder can get as hot as 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius). As such, it can push out wood, HIPS, ABS, and PLA filaments.

The Anycubic Kossel Plus is a single extruder affair that can travel up to 2.4 inches (60 millimeters) per second. The rated printing speed is at 0.8 to 2.4 inches (20 to 60 millimeters) per second.

The Bottom Line: Anycubic Kossel Plus

If you’re looking for an excellent printer and wouldn’t mind assembling it first, then the Anycubic Kossel Plus is a good choice. It’s an even better choice if you already have a primary printer and just use this as a secondary machine.

If you’re more than just an enthusiast, you can probably get this machine printing in just hours. The support materials certainly help make it easier for you to assemble this printer from scratch.

However, it has a small print volume, but other than that, it works great.

Pros

  • Solid build with durable components
  • Automatic bed leveling
  • Excellent user guide and instructional videos

Cons

  • Touch display may not be as responsive as you’d like
  • Not for beginners
  • Small build volume

7. Creality Ender 3

Creality Ender 3

The Creality Ender 3 is yet another printer with a $200 price tag. But even with its unbelievable price tag, you can potentially get high-quality prints once you’ve become comfortable tweaking this printer for your needs.

This 3D printer is for those who like to make average-sized prints. It doesn’t have a huge build volume at 8.7 by 8.7 by 9.8 inches (220 by 220 by 250 millimeters).

The print bed is also a good feature. Adhesion is not a problem with this printer. It can resume after being interrupted, and it’s open-source as well.

But what makes the Creality Ender 3 more amazing is that the assembly and setup are a breeze. Beginners would do well to choose this kit over our other recommendations here.

What’s more, you don’t only get the components you need to assemble the printer, but you also have other accessories such as a nozzle cleaner and extra nozzles. Also, some of the parts come pre-assembled, so beginners will have an easier time.

The Final Word on Creality Ender 3

After you assemble the Creality Ender 3, you will love how it works excellently. The big enough build volume, the heated plate, and the ability to resume printing after power has been cut all help make it worth your time.

But the beauty of DIY kits is that you’re able to customize everything and tweak it according to your preferences. And this is where the Ender 3 shines: after you’ve tweaked it, you get better prints over time. Perhaps, the quality of your prints can even rival those of more expensive machines.

You can use this printer with a wide variety of filaments, including exotic ones.

However, you should know that this printer needs to be calibrated manually. You’re going to work with leveling knobs, and that may not always work the way you want it.

You also have to deal with an uneven base.

Pros

  • Big enough printing volume
  • Affordable yet delivers great prints
  • Open source technology
  • Easy to assemble
  • Compact dimensions

Cons

  • No automatic bed leveling, and you need to balance the bed over time
  • The uneven base makes it wobbly

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to your most asked questions.

Question: Why Should You Even Try to Build Your Own 3D Printer?

Answer: With all the fully assembled 3D printers available in the market today, some of our readers ask why they should spend time and effort building their own either via the following projects or using 3D printer kits.

With a fully assembled 3D printer, you not only save time and avoid frustration, but you also have an already calibrated machine that has passed quality control.

However, assembling your own 3D printer does have its perks. For one, it allows you to learn more about the components of these printers.

You will know about the parts and their purpose. It’s also a whole lot cheaper to assemble one, and you have the option to customize everything from the extruder to the quality of materials used.

There’s also an immense feeling of satisfaction when you finally bring together the materials you need and then assembling them into something usable. Lastly, one of the biggest draws when building your own 3D printer is that you get to join a community.

Several online communities offer help for first-timers and expert 3D printing enthusiasts. Go to communities such as RepRap, Hackster, Instructables, or 3D Print Forums, if you find yourself stumped or have questions.

There are also subreddits on Reddit that can help you. In the end, you don’t only gain a 3D printer, but also a world of friends.

Question: Working with 3D Printer Kits: Any Tips for Beginners?

Answer: Assembling your own 3D printer is not going to be quick or easy. You will need tons of patience and be able to follow instructions, especially when you’re new.

If you opt for a kit, you’re luckier because there should be an easy-to-follow instruction manual on how to correctly assemble the printer. Once you get the equipment, check the parts list, and then make sure that you go over the instructions before setting out to assemble your printer.

If the instruction manual isn’t all that clear, or if you have a hard time following it, you can always rely on assembly videos on YouTube.

After assembly, you will need to calibrate your 3D printer and choose the best firmware and software.

Question: Building a 3D Printer from Scratch

Answer: The challenge of building your own 3D printer is more apparent when you try to assemble one from scratch. You will have to worry about sourcing and buying the parts and make sure that these components will be what you need for your customized 3D printer.

But before that, you will need to decide on a lot of other things, such as:

  • The type of printer you want, whether it’s core XY, Cartesian, or some other form factor
  • The type of nozzle to use
  • Having one or two extruders
  • The printer’s size

Be Safe

More than that, you will need to ensure safety when you’re working with a 3D printer. Some of the things you need to safeguard against include:

  • Electric shock: These machines often use high voltage to power their systems. So choose a power supply unit with an included guard, use the correct voltage (110 or 220 volts), and power off your 3D printer before installing sensors, motors, and other parts.
  • Scalding and burns: Your 3D printer will have to heat the extruder and the build plate for it to work flawlessly. And because 3D printers often exceed temperatures that are twice as hot as boiling water, you should be careful when you’re installing the print head.
  • Fire: If you leave your 3D printer unattended, it might cause fires. Be sure to continuously monitor your 3D printer when it’s in use or when you’ve just finished assembling it.

Are There 3D Printer Kits That Are Not FDM?

Fused deposition modeling is one of the most widely used 3D printing technology because the mechanism is relatively easy, and it’s a breeze to construct an FDM printer from scratch. But if you’re wondering if there’s a 3D printer kit that doesn’t need you to use filaments, then there’s the Sintratec Kit.

This kit uses selective laser sintering technology. SLS employs laser beams to work with the polyamide 12 material. However, it’s geared towards industrial users and not recommended for consumers.

For one, it will take four days to assemble this printer kit. It’s suitable for prototypes because of its small build size of up to 4.3 by 4.3 by 4.3 inches (110 by 110 by 110 millimeters). The company, however, recommends that you print only objects that measure 3.5 by 3.5 by 3.5 inches (90 by 90 by 90 millimeters.

What’s more, this 3D printer kit can be pretty steep, retailing at around $6,000.

Assemble Your Own 3D Printer Today

If you’re serious about 3D printing but you don’t like having to spend too much on a machine, then a 3D printer kit will be your best purchase. These kits offer you a chance to own an outstanding workhorse that can deliver top-quality prints without spending an arm and a leg.

We have done our research and came out with the Best DIY 3D Printer Kits for jobs and requirements to help you find your perfect match.

Anycubic Photon S Review: Is It Right for You?

Our Anycubic Photon S review is going to show you everything you need to know about this budget-friendly 3D printer.

While the original Photon is very popular, we will explore if the Photon S offers enough for you to upgrade.

We will look at the core features of the Anycubic Photon S, its pros and cons, and also if there are any alternatives you should consider. In the end, we will discover if the Photon S is really worth the money.

Key Specifications of Anycubic Photon S

Printer type Resin
Build volume 115mm x 65mm x 165mm
Overall dimensions 230 x 200 x 400 mm
Connectivity USB
Software Photon Workshop
Print speed 20mm/h
Warranty 12 months (3 months for LCD screen)
Latest price Click here for the latest price

Core features of Anycubic Photon S

The Anycubic Photon S might not be the most expensive 3D printer on the market; however, it comes packed with many great features.

Print quality

Even though the Anycubic Photon S is firmly in the affordable category for 3D printers, it still offers high-quality prints.

This is a resin printer, so the quality of the print layers is higher than its FDM counterparts. In addition, it is compatible with 405 nm photosensitive resins, which gives you a good amount of choice.

The quality of the prints is great with the Photon S.

For the price, you aren’t going to find much better on the market. Many 3D printers that cost a similar amount of money don’t offer anywhere near the print quality of the Photon S. Even though it isn’t perfect, for what you pay, the quality to cost ratio is fantastic.

The build volume is decent at 115mm x 65mm x 165mm, and this is just the right size for printing objects such as miniatures.

Ease of use

This is perhaps the most significant overall feature of the Anycubic Photon S – it is perfect for beginners.

Much of this comes down to the LCD screen that makes 3D printing a lot more straightforward. If you are completely new to 3D printing or have little experience, the Photon S is a safe bet as the workflow isn’t complicated. It doesn’t take a genius to work out how to use this printer, and you can start printing high-quality 3D objects in no time.

The printer comes with easy-to-use plug-and-play software. Photon Workshop, the software you get with the printer, is easy to manage and operate for beginners, but you’ll probably want to upgrade to more advanced slicer software as time goes on.

Assembly

Another good thing about the Photon S is the lack of assembly that is required to get this 3D printer up and running.

It won’t take you a long time to get this 3D printer assembled, and if you are looking for an easy way to get started with 3D printing, this printer is definitely worth your consideration.

Compared to some other 3D printers on the market, the Photon S can be unboxed and ready to start 3D printing in no time.

Connectivity

We should say straight away that there is no WiFi connectivity with the Photon S. The connectivity options are limited to a USB port.

In some ways, we are pretty disappointed as we have come across 3D printers in a similar price range that does offer WiFi connectivity. This isn’t a dealbreaker, but we would like to have WiFi for the Photon S as it would give it a real edge over the original Photon.

Air Filtration System

The air filtration system on the Photon S is a noticeable upgrade from the original Photon.

3D printing uses various chemicals, and this can result in multiple unpleasant odors emitting from your printer. With the new air filtration system on the Photon S, the majority of unwanted smells are eliminated.

This system doesn’t eliminate the odor completely, but it does an excellent job of cutting it down. As long as you use the Photon S in a well-ventilated room, the odor that comes from 3D printing materials shouldn’t cause much of an issue.

Warranty

You get a 12-month warranty with the Photon S, although the LCD screen only carries a three-month warranty.

There isn’t too much to say about this other than it would be nice to have seen a longer warranty, but we can’t complain a lot. We have come across 3D printers with a shorter warranty period and others with a much longer period. The Photon S is well-built, so it is unlikely you will encounter many problems with its operation.

How does Anycubic Photon S perform

Overall we like the performance of the Photon S.

You have to weigh this 3D printer up with the cost. Is it going to compete with a 3D printer that costs thousands and thousands of dollars? Not really, but it certainly holds its own, especially with its affordable price.

The 3D models that we printed with the Anycubic Photon S are very good, and if your goal is to print miniatures or jewelry, you can do a lot worse than this 3D printer.

The fact that it is designed for resin printing is also a significant advantage. Resin snd curing with UV light offers higher-quality prints and quicker print speeds. So even though at 20mm/h, this isn’t exactly the fastest 3D printer, it isn’t going to take weeks to print off small models either.

Pros of Anycubic Photon S

There is a lot to enjoy about the Anycubic Photon S, and these are the best bits of this 3D printer.

Great for beginners

This 3D printer is aimed at anyone, but it is a great machine to get started on for beginners. You don’t require an intricate or expert knowledge of 3D printing, and if you want to begin creating miniatures, jewelry, or other models, this is the ideal printer to get. Some aftercare is involved with resin printing, but it doesn’t extend beyond wiping down your models with paper towels.

Little assembly required

There aren’t many assemblies needed with the Photon S. You don’t need to fiddle about to get this 3D printer up and running, and while it isn’t quite ’start printing right out of the box, it is close.

Air filtration system

The air filtration system is a new addition to the Photon range and a handy feature of the Photon S.

It helps eliminate unwanted odors that come with the chemicals and material used for 3D printing. You still need to operate the Photon S in a well-ventilated area, and it doesn’t eliminate smells completely, but it cuts down on odors well.

Print quality

The print quality with the Photon S is excellent, and you can print off high-quality models in no time.

It isn’t going to rival many of the high-end 3D printers, but there isn’t much to match it in the budget range. We have found that the models printed with the Photon S to be a lot better than some of its competitors, and when you weigh up quality with the price, you are getting great value for money.

Well-built

The Photon S is a well-built machine.

We would have preferred a slightly better warranty – you get 12-months on the 3D printer and just three months for the LCD screen – but we don’t have many complaints. It is unlikely to run into any problems. It is durable and well-constructed (although there are some issues with the plastic casing), which is ideal for beginners or 3D printing enthusiasts on a budget.

Cons of Anycubic Photon S

There are some things we were disappointed with when we got our hands on the Photon S.

Manual Leveling

Even though this is a beginner-friendly 3D printer, you still need to level the bed manually. This isn’t any different from the original Photon, but it does increase the chances of making mistakes.

Overall, it isn’t particularly complicated to operate, but there is the chance of messing up with the manual bed leveling system. Calibrating the bed and how to do it is clearly laid out in the user manual, and it can be carried out with a piece of paper, but the Z-movement buttons will take some time to get used to.

Isn’t a massive upgrade on the Photon

The Anycubic Photon is still a very good 3D printer, and it isn’t true to say that the Photon S doesn’t have any significant upgrades (air filtration system, for example).

However, it just doesn’t feel like a massive upgrade. The print quality is very much the same, as is the power supply, although we aren’t complaining as the prints are high-quality on both the Photon and Photon S.

The Photon S has a higher print speed (20mm/h compared to 10mm/h) and some other upgrades like the air filtration system, but not as much as we expected.

You can read our full Photon vs. Photon S comparison here.

Software is quite basic.

You get access to Photon Workshop, which is a slicing software when you buy the Photon S.

There isn’t anything wrong with it; it is just a bit basic. For beginners, which this 3D printer is predominately aimed at, this is fine. It allows you to get to grips with 3D printing, but more experienced users will look elsewhere for something a bit more advanced.

Are there any alternatives?

Anycubic Photon

As the saying goes, “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” and this does sort of ring true with the original Photon.

As we mentioned above, the Photon S does offer some upgrades that the original Photon doesn’t have, but is it enough for splash out for a new machine? If you are on a particularly tight budget, you can pick up an Anycubic Photon a bit cheaper than a Photon S.

The Photon still offers high-quality prints, although the print speed is about half of the Photon S, so the Photon S offers faster printing. There is a handy LCD screen, and overall the Photon is as easy to use as the Photon S. It does have a very slightly smaller build volume, but it is worth looking at the original if you want to save some money.

If you want to know more about the Anycubic Photon, read our full Anycubic Photon review.

Wanhao D7

The Wanhao D7 is a solid alternative to the Photon S, although it will set you back a couple more hundred bucks.

For the extra money, you do get some great features. This includes a bigger build volume of 120 x 70 x 200mm, and a layer resolution of 35 microns. We do like the quality of prints that the Wanhao D7 offers, and anything we have printed on this 3D printer has been of excellent quality.

Again, you won’t have the option of WiFi connectivity with the D7, although it tends to be a problem with 3D printers in this price range. It doesn’t have its own dedicated software like Anycubic (Wanhao printers used Creation Workshop); however, it works very well.

If you are looking for a slightly bigger build volume, the Wanhao D7 is a good place to look. It isn’t without its faults (including the fact that the website can be challenging to navigate to find what you need), but it is a rival to the Anycubic Photon S.

If you want to find out how the Wanhao D7 and the Anycubic Photon match up, have a look at our Anycubic Photon vs Wanhao D7 comparison article.

Creality LD-002R LCD Resin 3D Printer

The last alternative to the Anycubic Photon S is the Creality LD-002R LCD Resin 3D Printer.

As an entry-level 3D printer, it is difficult to argue against what the Creality offers. The build volume is good (119 X 65 X 160mm), and the LED screen with touch-sensitive buttons makes printing straightforward.

This is another 3D printer that is very much aimed at beginners and novices. If you haven’t had much experience with DLP printing, the Creality LD-002R is a popular place to start. Not only is it very budget-friendly, but it is easy to use too.

Like the Photon S, this Creality 3D printer has an active carbon air filtering system. This addition helps to cut down on some of the more unpleasant and unwanted smells that the printer emits. Like the Photon S, it won’t eliminate them, but it works very well.

If you want an alternative to the Photon S that is closer in price to the Photon, the Creality LD-002R LCD Resin 3D Printer is one place you should definitely look.

The Creality LD-002R appeared on our list of the best resin 3D printers, which you can find here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is the Anycubic Photon S beginner-friendly?

Answer: Yes. The Anycubic Photon S is made for people who either want to get started with 3D printing and don’t have much experience or are on a very tight budget. It still offers detailed and high-quality prints, but its overall design means it is easy to use and operate.

Question: Does the Anycubic Photon S have WiFi?

Answer: No. The Anycubic Photon S doesn’t have WiFi, instead, it offers USB connectivity.

Question: Does it take long to assembly the Anycubic Photon S?

Answer: No. One of the big advantages of buying the Anycubic Photon S is that it doesn’t take long to assemble it. While it isn’t ‘straight out of the box, there is little assembly required, and you can have it up and running in no time.

Question: Do I get a warranty with the Anycubic Photon S?

Answer: Yes. Anycublc offers a 12-month warranty on the printer; however, you only get a 3-months warranty on the LCD screen.

Question: What is the build volume of the Anycubic Photon S?

Answer: The build volume of the Anycubic Photon S is 115mm x 65mm x 165mm. This isn’t massive, but it is ideal for printing small objects such as miniatures and jewelry.

Question: What is the print speed of the Anycubic Photon S?

Answer: The print speed of the Anycubic Photon S is 20mm/h. There are much faster 3D printers available, but for the price, this is a pretty good speed.

Final thoughts – the Photon S does offer a lot of good features but isn’t quite the upgrade we wanted

When we first got our hands on the Anycubic Photon S, we were expecting a bit more.

It isn’t fair to say that this is a bad 3D printer; it is far from it. The Photon S packs a powerful punch and comes with many features that you often don’t see in other printers in the same price range.

We love how easy it is to use, especially with the LCD screen, and beginners will enjoy getting to grips with this 3D printer. The bed leveling system does have the potential for mistakes, but that is all part of the learning and printing process.

We were just left a bit underwhelmed when compared to the original Photon. There are upgrades (quicker print speeds and the air filtration system), but we aren’t sure if it is enough to replace the original.

If you don’t have a Photon or need a new 3D printer, then we definitely recommend looking at the Photon S. It offers excellent print quality, has minor assembly, and is an all-around excellent budget machine.