How to Find the Best SLA 3D Printer in 2020

Best SLA 3D Printer

If you want to find the best SLA 3D printer, this guide will help.

SLA or resin 3D printing has become very popular as the price of these types of 3D printers have come down quite considerably in recent years. If you aren’t too sure what SLA 3D printing is, we have you covered as well.

We are going to show you what SLA 3D printing actually is, things you should be looking out for before buying an SLA 3D printer, and finally what the best SLA 3D printers are.

First, let’s find out what SLA 3D printing involves.

What is an SLA 3D printer?

Unlike an FDM 3D printer that uses filament to print off models – the SLA 3D printer uses resin and light to create certain processes that ultimately end up as 3D printed objects.

The printing process is also known as Stereolithography.

The resin that is used in these printers is photosensitive and hardens up under UV light. This is how the objects are created. In fact, the process adds to the quality of prints and many resin-based 3D printers can create higher quality objects than more expensive FDM printers.

What is an SLA 3D printer

SLA and DLP 3D printing are quite similar. Both of the processes use liquid resin and light while SLA makes objects through lasers and DLP makes objects through a projector.

Before you go off and buy the first SLA 3D printer that you come across, there are a few things you need to take into consideration first.

What to look for in an SLA 3D Printer?

Buying an SLA 3D printer isn’t as simple as looking at a list and purchasing one right away – you need to think about the following things before you decide on which model to buy.

Build Volume

The build volume of a 3D printer is the maximum size of an object that it is able to print. In our list of the best SLA 3D printers, we have made sure to include a fairly diverse build volume so there should be something for everyone.

Build volume isn’t always directly connected to the price. While many affordable 3D printers may have a smaller build volume than larger and more expensive machines, it isn’t always the case.

You can find cheap SLA 3D printers that have large build volumes too. So, you need to think about what kind of objects you want to print so you can choose a printer with a suitable build volume.

Print quality

Alongside build volume, the overall print quality of a 3D printer is generally the thing that most people look at.

Getting high-quality prints can be a trial and error process especially if you are new to 3D printers. There is often more work involved with resin 3D printing – mainly around cleaning – than other methods.

That being said, resin-based 3D printers will usually produce great results when it comes to their print quality.

Print Speed

Speed is another determining factor in buying a 3D printer.

In many ways, you need to have a trade-off between speed and quality. Printing quickly can often lead to poorer quality prints however depends on what objects you are making.

There are a lot of factors to take into account for the print speeds between FDM 3D printers and SLA 3D printers. SLA tends to be a bit slower than FDM but it does vary between devices.

Ease of use

As 3D printers, in general, have become much more affordable and accessible to a larger market, their ease of use has improved too.

You don’t need to be an engineer to work any of the 3D printers that we are going to show you in a minute. Some are a bit easier to work than others and will have shorter learning curves.

The whole 3D printing process regardless of whether it is SLA, DLP or FDM can take a while to master so patience and a willingness to learn is key.

7 Best SLA 3D Printers in 2020

SLA 3D printers are quite a broad market so we have come up with the best 7 that are not only affordable but also produce great results.

Photon S

The Photon S is among the very best SLA 3D printers and it is placed firmly within the budget category too. This doesn’t mean that it produces inferior results – far from it.

Best SLA 3D Printers

The Photon S is ideal for home use as well as small businesses due to its compact size alongside a high print quality and decent print speed. The build volume of 115mm x 65mm x 165mm is ideal for printing off a range of objects too. The noise level is quite low and is certainly lower than a lot of the FDM printers you find.

There is a full LCD screen with this printer, in addition to the Photon Slicer software and you will also get a carbon filtration system as well.

Overall the Photon S is great for printing smallish objects from resin whether you are a hobbyist or in a professional capacity. See how the Photon S compares to its previous version, the Anycubic Photon.


  • Good build volume combined with a very affordable price
  • Produces high-quality prints at a decent speed
  • LCD screen and carbon filtration system
  • Tailored Photon slicer software provided


  • Software is a bit basic but is OK for starting off

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 115mm x 65mm x 165mm
  • Overall dimensions: 230mm x 200mm x400mm
  • XY DPI: 47um (2560*1440)
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Print speed: 20mm/h

Nobel 1.0 A

Even though the Nobel 1.0 A isn’t the cheapest on our list and there are far more budget orientated options out there, it does produce very high-quality prints.

nobel 1.0 a

A big drawback of this SLA 3D printer is that it is very slow. The speed issue is enough to be noticeable however if you aren’t going to be in a massive hurry the quality makes up for this.

With the Nobel 1.0 A, you also get a resin monitoring system as well as the automatic filling of the resin tank which ensures smooth and seamless prints.

The 128 x 128 x 200 mm build volume is also very good and will allow you to print off fairly decent side objects.

This is a high-quality SLA 3D printer for home or small business use (which is reflected in the price) but does come with some drawbacks.


  • Produces very high-quality prints
  • Automatic resin filler
  • Resin monitoring system
  • Decent build volume


  • Print speed is very slow compared to other 3D printers
  • Is a bit expensive

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 128 x 128 x 200 mm
  • Overall dimensions: 280 x 345 x 590 mm
  • XY DPI: 130 microns
  • Connectivity: USB

Creality LD-002R

Creality is a well known 3D printer manufacturer and the Creality LD-002R is an ideal choice if you are on a budget.

It is one of the cheapest SLA 3D printers on our list but that doesn’t mean it offers inferior quality. This printer features a build volume of 120mm x 65mm x 165mm and its overall dimensions of 221mm x 221mm x 403mm mean that it won’t take up a load of space either.

For beginners, it is a suitable SLA 3D printer because there isn’t a huge amount of setup required and you can get started quite quickly. The speed is fairly good as well.

Creality LD-002R

The Creality LD-002R is a very good SLA 3D printer that really comes in at a budget price without sacrificing much in the way of quality.


  • Very cheap and affordable SLA 3D printer
  • Offers high-quality prints
  • Easy to set up and use for beginners


  • Print speed is a little slow but the quality is worth it

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 120mm x 65mm x 165 mm
  • Overall dimensions: 221mm x 221mm x 403mm
  • XY DPI: 47um
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Print speed: 20-30 mm/h

PHROZEN Sonic Mini

The PHROZEN Sonic Mini is a great little compact 3D printer that is easy to install and set up which is a big bonus if you are new to 3D printing.

PHROZEN Sonic Mini

The print speed is actually very good and the prints come out in high quality as well. Given the price which is very affordable, you’d think you would need several upgrades ‘out of the box’ but that isn’t the case. The Sonic Mini is absolutely fine as it is.

The slope on the build platform is a downfall as it means resin is retained but with a good LCD screen, high-quality parts, and very good performance, it is certainly worth thinking about when you consider the cost.


  • Produces good quality prints with great speeds
  • Very easy to set up and get started
  • Doesn’t really need any upgrades right away
  • Price is very affordable


  • Slope on the build plate can cause resin retention
  • Is one of the noisier 3D printers

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 119mm x 66mm x 129mm
  • Overall dimensions: 248mm x 248mm x 327mm
  • XY DPI: 62um
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Print speed: 50 mm / hr

Epax X1

Continuing with our affordable SLA 3D printers, the Epax X1 will cost slightly more than others on this list but is still in the budget category.

It has a 115mm x 65mm x 155mm build volume as well as USB and ethernet connectivity. The 3D printer has a very solid build about it and the setup is easy too. The various preset modes make printing fairly straightforward even for beginners.

The anti-aliasing mode on this printer is very handy as well and helps to create that injection molded look.

Epax X1

The software provided is another bonus with the Epax X1 and while it does have a few drawbacks such as a shorter warranty period it is a high-quality 3D printer all around. Check out our full Epax X1 vs Photon comparison here.


  • Simple to set up and you can get started in minutes
  • Anti-aliasing mode to adjust stray pixels
  • Good software provided and has several connectivity options


  • Warranty is a bit shorter than some other printers
  • Lacks SD card functionality but isn’t alone in that regard

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 115mm x 65mm x 155mm
  • Overall dimensions: 350mm x 350mm x 500mm
  • XY DPI: 47um
  • Connectivity: USB, Ethernet
  • Print speed: 20mm/h

Prusa SL1

Like the Nobel 1.0 A, the Prusa SL1 is a bit more expensive than many of the other SLA 3D printers we’ve listed.

That being said, the Prusa SL1 provides top quality 3D prints with a host of other features. This includes a 120mm x 68mm x 150mm build volume, an LCD screen for curing resin, and a transparent and flexible FEP film on the resin tank.

Prusa SL1

Set up is a simple enough process with this 3D printer so even if you are completely new to the game, you shouldn’t have too many issues getting started. The Prusa SL1 has pretty much everything you need from an SLA 3D printer and while slightly more expensive is still within the price range of most hobbyists.


  • Produces high-quality 3D prints
  • Doesn’t require a lot of set up
  • Transparent and flexible FEP film on the resin tank
  • Has a replaceable carbon filter
  • Has WiFi connectivity


  • Can’t raise the print bed during printing
  • Isn’t the largest build volume

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 120mm x 68mm x 150 mm
  • Overall dimensions: 400mm × 237mm × 225 mm
  • XY DPI: 47um
  • Connectivity: USB, WiFi, Ethernet
  • Print speed: 20mm/h


The final SLA 3D printer on our list is the QIDI TECH S-Box which provides a host of features to complement its high print quality and accuracy.

From an aesthetic point of view, this printer looks really good. It has a build volume of 215mm x 130mm x 200mm and the leveling system is great as well. As far as set up and installation go, this is one of the easier printers to get up and running.


The slicer software is another bonus while it is fairly quiet too and won’t produce a lot of noise when in operation. Some 3D printers suffer from excess noise which can be a real pain at home or in an office but the QIDI TECH S-Box doesn’t produce a lot of decibels.

The cover can feel a little flimsy when operating and getting to the bottom of the vat to clean out the resin is a bit difficult but they are minor complaints in reality. Overall a really good printer for the cost.


  • The leveling system is a good and easy setup
  • Doesn’t produce a lot of noise
  • Slicer software is great and simple to use


  • Hinges on the cover can feel a bit flimsy but with the care, they shouldn’t break
  • Cleaning out the vat is a little difficult

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 215mm x 130mm x 200mm
  • Overall dimensions: 565mm x 365mm x 490MM(H)
  • XY DPI: 47um (2560*1600)
  • Connectivity: USB

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an SLA 3D Printer?

An SLA 3D printer uses resin and light to activate processes that turn the resin into printed objects. This is different from an FDM printer that uses filament to create models.

Is an SLA 3D Printer faster than an FDM 3 Printer?

Usually, they are a little slower when printing although this can depend on the model. SLA 3D printers often produce higher quality prints overall.

Are SLA 3D printers expensive to buy?

Not really. Many of the SLA 3D printers that we have listed here are actually very affordable and we have included a mix of budget and more expensive options.

Are these SLA 3D printers hard to assemble?

Most of the printers we have listed come more or less assembled and require very little in the way of set up. This is ideal if you are a beginner to 3D printing and aren’t too sure about assembling one yourself to create accurate prints.

Do I need to wear PPE with an SLA 3D Printer?

Yes. As all of these printers use resin which is toxic and can be harmful to your skin and also if you breathe it in. Make sure you use appropriate PPE when using these printers and the instruction manual should inform you of what you need.

Conclusion: My Best SLA 3D Printer Pick

SLA 3D printers are capable of producing very high-quality prints and they have come right down at price in recent years too. They are affordable to both home users and businesses.

Finding the right one isn’t as easy as purchasing the first 3D printer you see – you need to take several things into consideration first.

This is why we put this list together in order to show you the top SLA 3D printers on the market but we need to pick one.

After a lot of careful consideration, I am going with Photon S.

Not only is it a very affordable SLA 3D printer but it does a fantastic job as well. It isn’t the cheapest on our list but it certainly isn’t the most expensive either. For what you get, the Photon S is ideal for hobbyists and small businesses.

It has a good build volume of 115mm x 65mm x 165mm, LCD screen, carbon filtration system and the slicer software is easy to use and is also a good addition. I was struggling to find much wrong with the Photon S if truth be told. One drawback is that the slicer software can be a bit basic if you are an experienced user but it is completely fine as it is.

If you want an affordable but powerful SLA 3D printer, the Photon S should be right at the top of your list.

Best Large Format 3D Printers in 2020 – How to Pick the Right One

3D printers come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and today we’re going to let you know about the best large format 3D printers that are currently on the market.

These types of printers have become very popular with small businesses as well as some home users. Not only can they print off bigger than normal objects, but they come with many other great features too.

We’ll go over the things you need to look out for before you make a purchase, and we’ll also show you the seven best large-format 3D printers you can buy.

First, let’s look at why you might need a 3D printer with a larger build volume.

Why use a Large Format 3D Printer?

The main difference between a large format 3D printer and many of the other models you’ll see on the market is the build volume.

As these printers have a larger build volume, it means you can print off bigger objects. This is very useful for businesses, and also many home users will find a larger build volume beneficial.

Using this to print off prototypes and experimental parts for development products can also save money in the long run. Businesses that can do this themselves won’t need to outsource the work, which can get very expensive.

So, really using a large format 3D printer is ideal if you need to print off larger objects and want to cut down on manual work of combining smaller parts down the line.

What to look for in a Large Format 3D Printer?

We’re going to show you the seven best large format 3D printers a little later on, but before we do that, there are a few things you need to consider before you buy one.


This is important, regardless of what kind of 3D printer you are buying.

3D printers can vary in cost quite considerably, and there are many cheaper models available. In fact, the whole market has become much more accessible in general recently. That being said, you’ll find a lot of expensive 3D printers, especially models that offer a bigger print volume.

Ideally, it would help if you looked at a cost to build volume ratio – the bigger the volume for a low price, but you also need to consider print quality.

Print quality

Something else that you should consider is the overall quality of the prints.

It is all well and good having a larger than normal build volume, but if the prints aren’t coming out to a high standard, then it is essentially useless. Using tests like the #3DBenchy is a common way in which to evaluate 3D printers and the quality of the objects they make.

Ease of use

Similar to print quality, buying a state-of-the-art 3D printer is fine, but if it has a very steep learning curve, you won’t be able to use it to its full potential.

3D printers, in general, have become easier to use. As many are now marketed towards a mass audience, their usability has increased. Most 3D printers these days don’t require you to be an engineer or anything like that, and they can be operated by hobbyists and professionals alike.

Supported materials

The last thing you should consider before you go out and buy a large format 3D printer is what materials it supports.

These 3D printers use a filament to print off objects. Some will support different types of material than others. It is useful to think about this because even though most 3D printers support basic types of filament, you don’t want to buy one only to find out later that it doesn’t support the materials you need.

We’re going to list the filament our top picks for the best large format 3D printer, so you know exactly what they support.

7 Best Large Format 3D Printers

These are the top 7 large format 3D printers you can purchase right now that offer bigger build volumes, high print quality, and much more.

Tronxy X5SA

Tronxy X5SA

The Tronxy X5SA offers a large build volume (330 x 330 x 400 mm) combined with high-quality prints. It features a double Z-axis, which helps to add stability during the printing process, and there is also a silicone sleeve and improved fan to ensure a consistent temperature. The stability is also helped by the box design.

The X5SA is also very budget-friendly. You’ll find large format 3D printers that cost a lot more than this but don’t provide the same quality.

It supports a wide number of filaments, and the touchscreen is a nice addition, too, as are the filament run out detectors.

Overall the Tronxy X5SA is a very good print with a large build volume and a range of extra features.


  • Offers a large build volume combined with a low price
  • High print quality and stability during the printing process
  • Supports a wide range of different materials
  • Filament run out detectors and touchscreen


  • Not recommended for beginners due to the assembly process

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 330 x 330 x 400 mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Materials supported: PLA, ABS, HIPS, PC, PVC
  • Connectivity: USB, TF-Card
  • Print speed: 100 mm/s



The FLSUN QQ-S is definitely a larger format 3D printer to consider. Even though the build volume is a bit smaller than the Tronxy X5SA, it comes with a host of extra features.

This includes WiFi control, which you often don’t see on many budget 3D printers. That’s another thing, and it is very affordable as well. Given that it supports a wide range of materials and also comes more or less preassembled (around 90% complete), it is ideal for beginners as well.

There are a few teething problems with the FLSUN QQ-S that, if you are new to 3D printing, can take a while to figure out. This includes getting the auto leveling correct as well as some filament dribbling.

That being said, it is a very good and affordable printer for making larger objects.


  • Comes more or less preassembled with little work to do
  • Prints high quality objects
  • Supports many materials
  • Has WiFi connectivity


  • Some printing issues that may be hard for beginners to sort out
  • Smaller build volume than the Tronxy X5SA

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 260 x 260 x 320 mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Materials supported: PLA, ABS, flexible, HIPS, Wood, PVA
  • Connectivity: USB, SD Card, WiFi
  • Print speed: 30 – 300 mm/s

Craftbot Flow XL

Craftbot Flow XL

More expensive than the other large 3D printers on our list, the Craftbot Flow XL benefits from being a true out of the box machine.

If you are looking for a real ‘plug and play’ 3D printer, this is it. The printer has a 300 x 200 x 500 mm build volume and can support a range of filaments such as PLA, ABS, Exotics. Like the FLSUN QQ-S, it also has WiFi connectivity.

With linear rails and improved bearings, there isn’t a whole lot of noise that comes out of this 3D printer, either. The print quality is really good (as you’d expect for a printer in its price range), and while it might be out of some peoples’ budget, it is a great machine for printing large scale objects.


  • ‘Plug and play’ with little setup required
  • Low noise and produces high quality prints
  • Has WiFi connectivity
  • Large build volume


  • Is a bit on the pricey side compared to other printers

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 300 x 200 x 500 mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Materials supported: PLA, ABS, Exotics
  • Connectivity: USB, WiFi
  • Print speed: 200 mm/s

Creality CR-10 V2

Creality CR-10 V2

Moving back into the more affordable range of large format 3D printers and the Creality CR-10 V2 is a high quality 3D printer with a decent build volume of 300 x 300 x 400mm.

It also features an upgraded motherboard, which cuts down on its noise while you will also find dual cooling fans and a filament monitor. It is actually quite straightforward to put together as well, even if you are a beginner. While it does require some assembly, it is easier than other 3D printers.

The Creality CR-10 V2 provides really good quality prints (albeit with a slightly slower printing speed), and for the price, it really has everything you need.


  • Doesn’t make a lot of noise due to the recent motherboard upgrade
  • Has a handy filament monitor
  • Large build volume and easy to assembly
  • Low cost, so it’s in the affordable category for most people


  • Printing speed can be quite slow but does produce quality prints

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 300 x 300 x 400mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Materials supported: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU
  • Connectivity: SD Card
  • Print speed: 30-60 mm/s

gCreate gMax 2

gCreate gMax 2

OK, so the gCreate gMax 2 has a pretty massive build volume of 457 x 457 x 609 mm, but it comes at a cost – literally. It isn’t cheap, and if you are in the market for a budget option – like the Creality CR-10 V2, FLSUN QQ-S, or the Tronxy X5SA – this isn’t the machine for you.

That being said, it does come with a wide range of different features. This includes WiFi connectivity, a BL touch bed leveling sensor, in addition to being able to use a varied range of materials. It has a filament runout sensor, and there isn’t much setup or assembly required either.

There have been several reports of regular thermistor failures with this 3D printer. However, overall it not only has a really big build volume with a ton of great features, but it offers quality prints too.


  • It’s ideal for beginners with very little assembly needed
  • Large build volume of 457 x 457 x 609 mm
  • WiFi connectivity and BL touch bed leveling sensor


  • Expensive so perhaps out of the price range for many people
  • Reports of regular thermistor failures

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 457 x 457 x 609 mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Materials supported: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, CF-Nylon, CF-Composites, Polycarbonate, Metal Composites
  • Connectivity: WiFi, SD Card, USB
  • Print speed: 150 mm/s

Modix Big-60 V3

Modix Big-60 V3

The Modix Big-60 V3 is getting us back into the pricier side of large 3D printers, but not only does this machine perform very well, and it also looks great too.

If aesthetics are your thing, then the Big-60 V3 is a fantastic look printer. Even though it is on the expensive side on this list, for what you actually get, it isn’t bad at all. The printer has a 600 x 600 x 660 mm build volume, and you can add an enclosure on as well.

With a BLTouch auto leveling sensor, WiFi connectivity, filament runout sensor, and a dual-zone silicon heater, to name but a few, there is a lot going on with this printer. Costly – yes, but it actually represents good value for a top printer.


  • Large build volume and aesthetically pleasing 3D printer
  • Has WiFi connectivity alongside USB and SD card options
  • BLTouch auto-leveling sensor and dual-zone silicon heater
  • Can add on enclosure if you wish


  • Aimed more at professionals rather than for home use

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 600 x 600 x 660 mm
  • Enclosure: Open (can add enclosure addon)
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Materials supported: PLA, ABS, Nylon, TPU, HIPS, Exotics
  • Connectivity: WiFi, SD Card, USB
  • Print speed: 150 mm/s

Tronxy X5ST-500

Tronxy X5ST-500

This is this second Tronxy on our list, and the Tronxy X5ST-500 comes with a large 500 x 500 x 600 mm build volume.

The Z-axis double screws help to add stability to the machine while aids precision and printing accuracy. You can pause and resume prints with this printer while there is a filament run-out detector as well.

It also comes in at the budget end of the scale, which is ideal if you need a large-format 3D printer but doesn’t necessarily have a ton of money to spend. There are some issues with heat management. Not only does it heat up slowly, but it can stop working once it reaches a certain temperature.

While there are potential workarounds for this, if you are a beginner, it isn’t really something you should do. The software needs to be updated to be fully functional as well. Overall, it’s a decent large-format 3D printer that does have some downsides.


  • Has a large build volume for printing big objects
  • Low cost so isn’t going to break the bank
  • Precision and stability with quality prints


  • Issues around reaching the desired temperatures for print materials beyond PLA
  • The software needs to be updated and doesn’t come with a bootloader

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 500 x 500 x 600 mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Materials supported: PLA, ABS, HIPS, WOOD, PVC, NYLON
  • Connectivity: TF Card, USB
  • Print speed: 100 mm/s

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a large format 3D printer?

If you plan on producing larger than normal prints, then yes. Large-format 3D printers come with a bigger build volume than standard printers so you can print off bigger objects.

Do I lose print quality with a large format 3D printer?

Not really. The print quality should be the same; however, it is important to check out reviews to ensure that you aren’t sacrificing build volume for a high-quality print.

Are large-format 3D printers expensive?

They can be. We have tried to combine both budget options and more expensive options on this list. You can find cheap large-format 3D printers as well as pricier models.

Do I need to assemble a large format 3D printer?

In most cases, some assembly is required. Some printers will require a full assembly, which isn’t ideal for beginners, whereas some large-format 3D printers come almost ‘plug and play’, and you only have some basic tasks before you can print.

Can a beginner use a large format 3D printer?

Yes. While some of the printers on our list aren’t really aimed at beginners due to the assembly required, most of these printers can be used if you are new to 3D printing. You might make a few mistakes at first, but they aren’t overly difficult to operate.

Which is the best large format 3D printer?

Being able to print off large objects with a 3D printer requires a decent size build volume.

To negate having to print off different smaller parts and join them together, later on, printing off a full larger scale model can save both time and money.

All the large format 3D printers we’ve listed here do a very good job at printing off bigger objects, but we need to pick one.

We’re going to choose one in the budget category and go with the FLSUN QQ-S.

It doesn’t have the biggest build volume on our list (260 x 260 x 320 mm) but what it does do is come with a great range of features. For a start, you are getting WiFi connectivity on a 3D printer in a budget price range, which isn’t that common. It also supports a wide range of materials such as PLA, ABS, HIPS, Wood as well as PVA, and you get a quick print speed too.

One thing that sets this apart from many other 3D printers is that there isn’t a lot of assembling to do. OK, there are a few drawbacks with this printer for beginners – such as filament dribbling and some issues around the auto leveling – but they’re solvable with experience.

Overall the FLSUN QQ-S offers a large printing bed and high quality printing for a very affordable price.

This is why it is the best large format 3D printer on this list, and if you don’t mind some tinkering and learning as you go, you should definitely consider this 3D printer for printing bigger objects.

Epax X1 vs Anycubic Photon Compared: Which One Is Right For You?

3D Resin printers are an investment you’d want to get right. Therefore, today we’ll be looking at the Epax X1 vs Anycubic Photon and comparing all the details you need to know to make an informed decision.

There are plenty of affordable 3D printers available on the market, but a printer’s features determine its utility to you. Can it deliver the results you need? How long-lasting is it? Is it cost-efficient in the long run?

After all, the main selling point of a resin printer includes its accuracy, intricacy, and its smooth finish. Unlike other Fused Deposition Modeling printers, resin 3d printers are also considerably inexpensive options. However, they are still an investment, and making the right call can save you money.

Moreover, no one printer can be right for everyone. Given the difference in construction and outcomes, each 3D printer serves a purpose.

It is, therefore, important to look at their purpose and whether that aligns with your work style. If you’re a beginner, you’ll have different requirements, such as ease of use. Intermediate or expert users will, instead, want to focus on high-quality finish or efficiency.

Our comparison outlines all the specifications of Epax X1 and Anycubic Photon printers while keeping the above-mentioned questions in mind.

Main Differences Between Epax X1 vs Anycubic Photon

The main differences between Epax X1 vs Anycubic Photon are:

  • Anycubic Photon uses an FEP Film for resin vat, whereas the Epax X1 uses non-FEP film while compatibility for FEP films.
  • Epax X1 consists of dual steel rods to provide greater stability, whereas the Anycubic Photon uses a single rod
  • Anycubic Photon is more affordable, whereas Epax X1 has a relatively higher price tag
  • Epax X1 uses 50 high energy LEDs as its main light source, whereas the Anycubic Photon uses UV integrated light

Their distinctions don’t stop there, however. To understand each product’s full capabilities, offerings, and differences, let’s take a deep dive into their characteristics.

Exploring Epax X1 and Anycubic Photon features

On a surface level, both printers will seem to operate in a similar way; but their construction and approach differs. As we explore different components of each, keep your projects and goals in mind to figure out which would suit your needs better.

Design & Construction

Closed frame resin printers typically have a similar layout.

Epax X1

Epax X1

The printers are encased in a box fitted with plexiglass. This protects the resin from contaminants and temperature fluctuations. If resin is exposed to external UV rays from outside environments, it may harden quicker or disrupt the printing process. The setup also reduces noise while making printing safer by containing fumes.

Both Epax X1 and Anycubic Photon have a metal housing which provides a durable build. However, while the Photon has plexiglass fitted in each side, the X1 only uses it on its front.

While this allows Anycubic users to view their designs while printing from multiple angles, there is a cost. The plexiglass is a good solution, but it ultimately does let light in. Therefore, it does not disrupt the printing process, but leaving the resin in the printer could harden it on the vat. The Epax reduces risk by only having one viewing window, but it compromises on visibility.

The build volume of the device determines the dimensions of the prototypes or models you can make. Both Photon and X1 printers have the same build volume, i.e. 115 x 65 x 155; therefore either option could work interchangeably in this aspect.

Anycubic Photon

Anycubic Photon

In terms of light source, companies use different approaches. Anycubic Photon uses a UV light to help harden the models and build it layer by layer. Whereas the Epax X1 is equipped with 50 high energy LED light bulbs. The latter provides an even distribution of light which consequently, impacts its finish and quality.

Lastly, the construction of the printer inside differs as well. The Epax X1 has a dual Z-axis rod which is sturdy and provides stability during the printing process. The original Anycubic Photon has a single rod that is known for its wobble that may impact your design.

Notably, however, the Anycubic Photon S does have a dual rod; but it is priced higher with a few other notable shortcomings.


Moving on to the printing itself, different types of printers have their own methods to produce 3D objects. With resin printers, models are built layer by layer. The process is often slow and will need to be isolated from delivering the best results. Any shakes or outside interference can damage results, especially since many use resin printers to produce intricate designs.

A platform attached to a Z-axis rod level up and down in a pool of resin while being exposed to a light source to produce each layer. Therefore there are a few elements you want to keep in mind here.

The Anycubic Photon has an excellent print quality which lends to its popularity among resin printer users. But, it does notably wobble, as mentioned earlier, due to its single rod construction. This may cause streaks in the design. Moreover, the build plate for the Photon requires manual leveling and sanding to unlock its proper potential.

On the other hand, Epax X1 does not require any adjustments, and its flatbed plate is fully calibrated right out of the box. Add in its dual rod system and it overall produces slightly better results than the Anycubic Photon.

Epax X1 has a definite advantage when it comes to print quality and ease of use. But, there are a few other factors that might matter to you.


ChiTuBox Software

Slicing software of the two companies falls on opposite ends. Anycubic uses its proprietary software, whereas Epax utilizes existing third-party software.

This roughly translates to Anycubic being able to provide support and are directly responsible for their software. Whereas, third-party software is often more flexible and robust.

Anycubic’s slicing software is relatively simple to use and made for all levels of users. There are only 4 settings and provides quick and easy set up.

Epax X1 comes with the popular ChiTuBox software which is an overall more advanced program. With some added features, it enhances the user experience to provide a more flexible working environment. Additionally, it also gets points for improving accuracy.

Alternatively, though, the Anycubic devices can make use of software other than its proprietary software. But, users will have to go through a rather lengthy process to set up.

Your choice may come down to a matter of use and preference. For example, beginners may use simpler, straight-forward software to work with.

This is where Anycubic Slicing software would be a good option. Alternatively, the Epax X1 would be a solid option as a 3D printer for dental work given its smoothness and precision.


Once your model has been built by the 3D resin printer, it needs to go through post-processing. This process is meant to help the model harden in a uniform way without messing its finish. We know that UV rays cure resin, but the sun’s rays have multiple rays that end up burning or provide uneven curing.


Therefore, following the proper protocol is important to achieve high quality results.

Luckily, post-processing follows similar steps regardless of which resin printer you have. You will need to dip the model in an alcohol bath before it can be cured. Using an ultrasonic cleaner with 91% alcohol is preferred.

Moreover, the internal resin pool will need to be cleaned within the device to prevent it from hardening.

The Anycubic Photon uses an FEP film which is a transparent, double-layered foil. This layer is chemical resistant and may get damaged from alcohol. Therefore it is important to wash with warm water and dish-wash soap.

That said, Epax X1 uses non-FEP film which is largely more resistant, stable and lasts longer. Hence why it is preferred by many. Not to mention, FEP films will need to be frequently replaced which adds to their overall usage cost.

Specifications for Epax X1 and Anycubic Photon

Epax X1  Anycubic Photon 
Build Volume: 116 x 65 x 165 mm Build Volume: 116 x 65 x 165 mm
Software: ChiTu Software Software: Anycubic Slicing Software
Connectivity: USB, Ethernet Connectivity: USB, Ethernet
Layer Resolution: 47 microns Layer Resolution: 25-100 microns
Anti-aliasing: Yes Anti-aliasing: Yes
Z-axis: Dual rod Z-axis: Single rod

Comparing Epax X1 vs Anycubic Photon – Pricing

Pricing is where a huge chunk of the difference lies between the Epax X1 and the Anycubic Photon. Resin printers are comparatively affordable options as 3D printers, but they still require an investment.

Both companies focus on providing affordable, high quality printers that will last you a while. They have shown their utility by their popularity among users.

However, Anycubic Photon is the company’s older model with the Photon S being its latest iteration. As such, the Photon has a more affordable price tag that will make it an ideal option for some.

There are more considerations, however. The initial price tag may be cheaper, but think about its long term use and cost to you. The Photon comes with gloves and mask, resin vat, toolkit, USB stick, screws, door handle, adapter, scrapper, and a manual. Resin can be purchased with the printer to save time.

Epax X1 has a higher price but is a more stable printer with lesser replacements required. It’s package consists of a USB stick, ChiTuBox software, 2 resin filters, a non-FEP film replacement, an adapter, and a manual. However, no resin can be purchased with the printer.

You may also want to consider other accessories, such as a model bath, a wash and cure box, extra FEP film, Micron paint strainers, and alcohol or other cleaning supplies.

Anycubic Photon vs Epax X1

Epax X1 vs Anycubic Photon – Ease of use

Ease of use is rather subjective. Some users could find Anycubic easier to use while others will have a preference for the Epax.

However, using each product’s features and their characteristics, we can determine which is more accessible for different users.

The Epax X1 comes prepared with everything you need to get started (although the resin has to be purchased separately). It provides versatility and flexibility with its use of third party software.

The ChiTuBox is excellent software to start creating resin designs, but there is a learning curve to use. Its settings may need configurations to achieve the results you need. That said, ChiTuBox is a popular slicing software with a community of users and customer service ready to help you out. Nevertheless, its advanced settings should be considered.

Additionally, the Epax X1 also uses a USB connection as well as Ethernet to transfer and build design. The USB option will be quicker overall, but depending on your usage, there is the ethernet option available to you.

Lastly, the X1 comes with its manual to help you get started whether you’re a beginner to Epax or 3D printing in general.

The Anycubic Photon is user-friendly as well, however, users report having to make some changes to the build plate or z-axis to improve its finish. It uses its own software which is simplified by the company to provide the basics to what you need to build design.

Therefore, beginners will not be bogged down with options. Instead, they can create and practice confidently with little setting fluctuations available. The isolated approach can help users hone in on the basics before they start using other third-party software.

The Photon also uses USB and Ethernet to connect, but its Ethernet connectivity is comparatively slower than the Epax X1.

Epax X1 vs Anycubic Photon – Support

Both printer software will work with most major systems, such as Windows, Apple, and Linux. The slicing and anti-aliasing should remain consistent regardless of the system you use.

When it comes to their individual company support, both companies have excellent customer service to help you with any problems you may have. To contact, visit Anycubic Support or Epax Support.

Epax X1 vs Anycubic Photon – Pros and Cons

Epax X1 Pros

  • Solid metal construction
  • Clamshell lid secures the environment
  • High-quality, precise finish
  • Easy maintenance
  • Uses non-FEP film
  • Anti-aliasing mode
  • Easy plug-and-play set up
  • Friendly customer service available

Epax X1 Cons

  • Has a shorter warranty
  • Comparatively expensive

Anycubic Photon Pros

  • Delivers intricate designs with an overall smooth finish
  • Compact and durable built
  • Easy to use for users of all levels
  • Proprietary software with excellent customer service
  • Comparatively affordable

Anycubic Photon Cons

  • Bedplate and z-axis may need to be adjusted for optimal results
  • May lack flexibility for some users

Are there any alternatives?

Peopoly Phenom

Peopoly Phenom

If you’re looking for something professional and robust, the Peopoly Phenom is an excellent choice.

It is a rather expensive option, but it is faster than most other resin printers, whether that’s printing larger models or a plate full of small ones. Its efficiency comes from its customized light engine that distributes its light evenly and an in-built cooling system to ensure the quality of its results.

The printer uses ChiTuBox software so users can take advantage of this market’s reliable slicing software. This nifty printer is packed with features, providing you with a comprehensive package that should deliver on all your printing needs.

These printers are more for professionals or expert enthusiasts, but if you’re interested in resin printers, the Peopoly printers set a standard, unlike others.

Phrozen Sonic Mini

Phrozen Sonic Mini

As innovations within the 3D space continue, the Phorzen Sonic Mini is a fast, but smaller resin printer. It is a cost-effective option in terms of its initial investment cost and overall running costs as well.

While the Phrozen Sonic Mini cannot be used for large scale modeling, it does have the basics of what you need. It is the perfect option for 3D enthusiasts for miniature printing and other small projects. This is no compromise on quality or detail, instead, it’s an affordable option for those needing smaller build volume.

Frequently Asked Questions about Epax X1 and Anycubic Photon

What To Look For When Buying 3D Resin Printers?

Several of the above-discussed factors make up things you should look for. However, having the parameters categorized can help you stay objective. As such, here’s what look at when buying a 3D resin printer:
•Print Quality
•Print Speed
•Self-leveling bed
•Connectivity Options
Lastly, and more importantly, a printer should work for you and your projects. You shouldn’t be scrambling to make your printer work for you or adjusting your projects around one. Therefore, take a look at all the above in light of your desired goals

Does Anycubic Photon and Epax X1 Come With Slicing Software?

Anycubic comes with its own proprietary slicing software. The company has been manufacturing 3d printers that have quickly become popular. Using their customer base and understanding, their proprietary software contains everything you need to get started.

Epax X1 uses the ever-popular third party software, ChiTuBox. It adds diversity and contains additional settings and options that the Anycubic’s slicing software lacks.

What Does Epax X1 and Anycubic Photon Come With?

The Epax X1 printers come with:
•ChiTuBox Software
•Replacement non-FEP Film
•2 Resin Filters
•USB stick
The Anycubic Photon comes with:
•Gloves and mask
•USB stick
•Door Handle
•Resin Vat
•Resin (Optional purchase)

What, if any, Other Slicing Software Can Be Used With Anycubic Photon?

Aside from their own slicing software, both printers can be adapted to be used with other slicing software, such as
•Zortrax Z-Suite
•Photon Open Slicer
•Formware 3D

Do I get a warranty with Epax X1 or Anycubic Photon?

Both companies come with their own warranty policies. To learn more, visit their respective website at Anycubic Warranty Policy or Epax Warranty Policy

Our Verdict: Epax X1 vs Anycubic Photon – Which is Better?

In conclusion, both the Epax X1 and the Anycubic Photon are popular printers due to their reliability and quality. They do meet all the criteria to be solid purchases for users. From their results to the product’s durability, both are excellent options you can’t go wrong with.

We recommend Anycubic Photon for those who want to get started with resin printing, but don’t mind a little customization. It is an affordable option that can be improved with a little work.

Whereas the Epax X1 is excellent for individuals that need the flexibility to work on various different projects without fussing the device too.

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S – Should You Upgrade?

The Anycubic Photon vs Photon S might be a tricky comparison to make given it’s the same printer, with a few upgrades. However, are those upgrades enough for you to switch over?

Resin printers have revolutionized the 3D printing space given their highly accurate results at a relatively affordable price. They’re an easy to use and safer alternative for beginners. Yet, it delivers high quality, smooth, and polished finish. Anycubic printers are no different.

If you’re looking to produce prototypes and products with fine details, Anycubic has a range of affordable printers that might work for you. Their Photon series is one of the most popular due to its versatility, durability, and cost.

Due to its success, the company introduced the Photon S that takes its counterpart to a new level. But, are their differences that significant? And, which one would be right for you?

This guide illustrates the differences between the Anycubic Photon and the Anycubic Photon S and explores which one is worth investing.

Main Differences Between Anycubic Photon vs Photon S

The main differences between Anycubic Photon vs Photon S are:

  • Anycubic Photon has a print speed of 10mm/h, whereas Anycubic Photon S has a slightly higher speed of 20mm/h
  • Anycubic Photon S has dual linear rails, whereas the Anycubic Photon has a single rod as its Z-axis
  • Anycubic Photon is available at a lower price, whereas the Anycubic Photon S is comparatively expensive
  • Anycubic Photon S uses a UV Matrix as a light source, whereas the Anycubic Photon has a UV LED source

Both models are highly rated resin printers; however, keep their main distinctions in mind as you go through the article to make the right purchasing decision for yourself.

Exploring Anycubic Photon and Anycubic Photon S features

The perfect 3D printer gives you the performance you need; therefore, let’s break down each model using a few practical categories to understand the difference between Anycubic Photon vs Photon S.

Design & Construction

Whether you’re new to 3D printing or transitioning from Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printers, understanding how resin printers work helps.

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S Design

You don’t need to be an expert, but having a basic understanding allows you to grasp the full potential and limitations of the device. Resin printers use ultraviolet (UV) light to harden liquid polymer on a layer-by-layer basis to bring your designs to life.

Each printer has a tray to pool photopolymer resin with UV light shining below. A moving platform adjusts, according to your input, to gradually build each layer. The entire printer is encased within its body to keep it insulated from dirt or dust while also preventing environmental light from affecting the resin.

The original Anycubic Photon has a sturdy metal body fitted with blue plexiglass. On the other hand, the updated Anycubic Photon S has a high-quality and heavy-duty plastic body with blue-amber plexiglass.

Which is better? Some may be inclined to go for the older, metal body. But using plastic in the newer model does not mean its cheaper in quality. The body remains quite durable, yet lighter weight than the former. All in all, in terms of its outer casing, you can’t go wrong with either.

However, the plexiglass color does make a slight difference. The blue-amber color of the newer model provides better UV blocking than the blue color. This means your resin will be less likely to dry up naturally in the printer pool. The original Anycubic Photon does not fall short, but you will need to be extra careful cleaning up.

Survey your workspace and judge the conditions you’ll be working under to make a decision between which factors make a difference to you.


As mentioned above, resin printers differ from traditional FDM 3D printers by exposing the resin to UV light. The printing process of the two models is similar, but there are subtle differences in their mechanics and results.

The Anycubic Photon uses a solo Z-axis rod that adjusts up and down to build the model layer-by-layer. This results in high-quality prints that can handle reasonably intricate designs with ease.

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S Priting

However, the Photon did receive complaints of its single rod being wobbly; often disturbing the model resulting in streaks or less smoothness.

Therefore, the Anycubic Photon S attempts to rectify its stability issue by changing its single Z-axis rod to a dual one. Consequently, the prints are much smoother and precise—even with smaller parts.

The Photon S has another slight advantage in the printing area as its build volume has been increased by 10 mm. Although the improvement is not significant enough to warrant an upgrade, if you have the original Photon.


All Anycubic devices come with their slicing software. It equips users with the basics of all they need to operate their 3D printers. It allows you to generate models geared towards making detailed and precise designs.

Unlike traditional FDM software, each file is made up on multiple images that allow for constructing layered models.

Anycubic uses the same Slicer program for all its models. Therefore, regardless of the model you have, you’re receiving the same facilities and capabilities.

The print quality of the Photon S is overall better due to its hardware, as described above. But there is some reporting it has more software bugs as opposed to the Photon. Much like the quality differences, however, the issues are not prominent enough to warrant a clear-cut recommendation of either model.

FormWare Slicing Software


Much like other aspects of a resin 3D printer, there is a slight learning curve for beginners for post-processing as well. It is a crucial aspect of ensuring your results are precise and durable.

After cleaning your model in an alcohol bath, use an ultrasonic cleaner for around 3 minutes using 91% alcohol. Subsequent to this, the model can be cured. Using a UV machine is the recommended way as direct sunlight may cause a reaction resulting in a burnt tint.

Without properly cleaning your device, the resin will harden within the device making the material and the machine’s pool bed unusable. Although the Photon S upgrades its plexiglass by adding a more amber tint, incoming light can still harden the resin. Therefore, drain all liquid and properly clean off any residue before storage to ensure your product’s life.

Specifications for Anycubic Photon and Photon S

Anycubic Photon Anycubic Photon S
Build Volume: 116 x 55 x 165 mm Build Volume: 116 x 65 x 165 mm
Software: Anycubic Slicing Software Software: Anycubic Slicing Software
Connectivity: USB Connectivity: USB
Layer Resolution: 25-100 microns Layer Resolution: 25-100 microns
Anti-aliasing: Yes Anti-aliasing: Yes
Z-axis: Single rod Z-axis: Dual rod

Comparing Anycubic Photon vs Photon S – Pricing

The 3D printing niche is still in its infancy, but innovations spring up routinely. Resin printing is in itself an innovation, which made 3D printing easier and more accessible. Unlike traditional heavy-duty printers, you can easily find resin printers at a fraction of the cost.

Moreover, Anycubic prides itself on its affordability and quality. The company focuses on making the space more inclusive to generate more creativity and unlock a person’s inner potential.

As such, the prices of both models are rather economical. However, there is a price distinction between Anycubic Photon and Photon S.

The Photon, being the older model, is considerably lower in price. You can also purchase resin along-with the Photon to use it right out of the box.

Anycubic Photon S Upgraded Pricing

On the other hand, the retail price of Anycubic Photon S is considerably more expensive, but it does come with additional resin and 2 FEP Film.

Therefore, the original Photon model has the upper hand when it comes to the price given it still delivers a quality finish with the same feature list.

When considering cost, you might want to keep 3D printing accessories in mind as well. This includes:

  • UV Resin
  • FEP Film
  • Additional accessories, such as a Quad-HD LCD Screen

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S – Ease of use

Anycubic is a well-known and established 3D printer manufacturer with a specialty in resin printers. Their devices are manufactured with the end user in mind to make the printing process as smooth as possible.

That being said, 3D resin printing is not a straight forward task to get started with. While being cost-effective for beginners, the device has a learning curve in order to unlock its potential. Once you understand the basics, however, it all comes rather simple and practical.

To help newcomers into the world of resin modeling, Anycubic has installed its easy to use plug-and-play software on a USB. Its software and firmware can also be found on the company’s website, along-with informative guides.

The product manual is detailed, and it explains each step you need to take to build your models like a pro. Each model comes with a handy LCD to help you determine each component is precise, down to the last few micrometers.

Additionally, if you face any issues, Anycubic has an adequate customer service team to help you along the way. Overall, ease of use might be slightly based on individual experiences; however, it focuses on helping you get your bearings until you’re confident.

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S – Support

As suggested above, Anycubic has accessible and friendly customer service that allows the company to proactive resolve user issues.

Additionally, a community of users of varying levels supports the product. Beginners to Advanced 3D modelers can use the Community Forum to troubleshoot their problems or discuss their findings.

For everything else, you have the company’s manuals and direct customer service features

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S – Pros and Cons

Anycubic Photon Pros

  • High quality 3D Resin Printer
  • Provides smooth and beautiful prints
  • Made from a solid metal body
  • Relatively affordable
  • Offers the same features as its updated counterpart

Anycubic Photon Cons

  • Touchscreen responsiveness needs work
  • Single Z-axis rod can wobble to disrupt the model design

Anycubic Photon S Pros

  • Smoother, faster, and more precise finish
  • Plastic exterior lowers value price without compromising on durability
  • Updated plexiglass for easy clean-up
  • Uses dual liner rod on Z-axis to provide greater stability and improve the finish

Anycubic Photon S Cons

  • Expensive with no additional benefits
  • Slight glossy finish
  • The plastic casing is an overall downgrade from its metal body.

Are there any alternatives?

Elegoo Mars

elegoo mars

The Elegoo Mars 3D resin printer works similar to the Anycubic Photon, and its most recommended alternative.

It offers an easy printing experience to the user using the same plate mechanics for consistently high-quality prints. Unlike the Photon series, however, the Elegoo Mars requires the build plate to be manually installed. All instructions are provided and the installation is an easy process, but it is not as plug-and-play as its counterpart initially.

Moreover, the Elegoo Mars comes with the ChiTu Box software which is easy to use and offers more flexibility than the Photon proprietary Slicing software. It allows you to build hollow models while providing robust support generation.

In terms of its price, the Elegoo Mars sits between the two Photon models so it could be an affordable alternative to the Photon S.

Wanhao D7

Wanhao D7

Wanhao D7 printer is also a comparative option worth looking into. It delivers similar high-quality results with a layer resolution of 35 microns.

Like the Elegoo Mars, the Wanhao D7 does not come with proprietary software. Instead, it provides access to the Creation Workshop. However this software is rather barebones, and most users tend to use alternative slicer software. Important to note: Its connectivity is through USB only.

The Wanhao D7 has a price comparative to the Anycubic Photon S while lacking some aspects. However, it does provide the same quality and could be an alternative that works for you.

Frequently Asked Questions about Anycubic Photon and Photon S

What Is a Resin 3D Printer?

Resin printers are an innovation that makes 3D technologies more affordable and accessible. Unlike FDM printers that use filaments, these printers use resins to create models on a layer-by-layer basis. It essentially cures liquid resin using UV light to build its structures.

As a result, the prints are more detailed and intricate while requiring less post-processing work. Overall, your printer preference depends on the projects you want to undertake, but a resin printer is a good option for beginners to get started with 3D printing.

Is the printing process slow with the Anycubic Photon or Photon S?

As with most resin printers, the printing process is rather slow as each layer needs to be built up. That said, the Photon S has slightly improved its speed given its UV matrix and increase in power.

Does Anycubic Come With Slicing Software?

Both Anycubic models include the company’s proprietary slicing software which provides you everything you need to get started. Alternatively, you can also use third-party softwares according to your preference.

What, if any, Other Slicing Softwares Can Be Used With Anycubic Photon?

Other Slicing softwares that can be used with Anycubic Photon devices include:
•Zortrax Z-Suite
•Photon Open Slicer
•Formware 3D

Do I get a warranty with Anycubic Photon or Anycubic Photon S?

Yes. Buying Anycubic Photon or Photon S from the company’s direct website or through authorized sellers (such as Amazon) qualifies you for warranty. To learn more, check out the company’s Warranty Policy.

Our Verdict: Anycubic Photon vs Anycubic Photon S – Which is better?

In short: The Anycubic Photon and Photon S are solid resin 3D printers that produce high-quality models and prototypes. While they have a learning curve, they enable 3D technologies to be accessible for beginners at a more affordable price.

The utility of 3D resin printers lies in their ability to provide the complete package, and the Anycubic Photon series definitely provides that. Each model comes with their signature Slicing software which allows you to manifest your designs.

So, which is better between the two?

The Photon S brings some improvements to the package in terms of its stability, speed, and overall finish. It builds upon some of the predecessor’s shortcomings and is a well-thought-out device. However, the differences aren’t massive enough to warrant upgrading unless you need a replacement.

Therefore our recommendation for 3D printing beginners is to purchase the Anycubic Photon with its similar feature list priced at a more affordable cost.

If you’re experienced with 3D printers, the Anycubic Photon S may be the better option, due to possible future firmware updates which might not be available for the older model.

Best Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus Upgrades to Consider in 2020

Finding the best Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus upgrades can turn this already very competent 3D printer into a great machine.

The Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is a slightly different model than the Wanhao i3 that we have reviewed before.

We’ll go over what the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is, why adding upgrades can drastically improve its performance and finally, we’ll show you the best upgrades that you can buy.

What is the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus?

Manufactured by Wanhao which is a Chinese company, the Duplicator i3 Plus comes in at the budget end of the pricing scale. That being said, 3D printers have come away down in price in recent years so even though it is a cheaper printer, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has poor performance.

In fact, the Duplicator i3 Plus provides better print quality than many 3D printers that cost much more money.

The printer comes with a decent build volume of 200 X 200 X 180 mm so it is ideal for home use as well as small businesses. With an extruder temperature of 240°C to 260°C it can handle various types of filament and the print speed is good on this machine as well.

Overall the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is a budget printer that offers a high quality experience. You can pay a lot more money for a 3D printer that won’t produce the same results however that isn’t to say that it can’t be improved upon.

Duplicator i3 Plus

Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus specifications

  • Build Volume: 200 x 200 x 180 mm
  • Connectivity: USB, SD Card
  • Filament Size: 1.75mm
  • Hotend Temperature: 240°C – 260°C
  • Print Speed: 10-100mm/s
  • Materials Supported: PLA, ABS, PVA, Stainless Steel, NinjaFlex, Nylon, HIPS, Woodfill, LayBrick, CopperFILL, BronzeFILL, MOLDLAY, Conductive, Carbon Fiber, Polyurethane

Why do you need to add upgrades?

It isn’t that the i3 Plus is a bad printer at all but some choice upgrades can really make the difference in how your prints turn out.

You can certainly use the Duplicator i3 Plus straight out of the box and you will be able to print off high quality objects. Many people don’t upgrade or modify this 3D printer and have never had any problems.

That being said, there are some reasons why it is a good idea to buy some additional parts or upgrade existing components on this printer.

Better 3D printing

As we said, the print quality on this 3D printer is very good but it can always be improved.

By adding in some small upgrades to the i3 plus you will be able to get better and higher quality prints. Some owners will happily keep the stock components on this printer and that’s completely fine however a few upgrades can really take this printer to the next level.

Extra features

Aside from simply improving on the existing parts of the i3 plus, some upgrades can actually add to the overall functionality. This includes adding in additional features to your printer.

For example, adding a camera to keep an eye on your prints or even upgrading the machine so that it is able to connect via WiFi. Out of the box the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus has USB and SD card connectivity so adding to this is a good idea.

Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus Features

Improved reliability

Getting reliable and consistent prints is important as a print coming out in high quality. The i3 Plus does a good job at printing reliably however it can be improved upon.

With upgrades to the bed leveling system and the glass bed which we will have a look at later one, the overall performance of your printer will be much better. It means not only will you have high quality prints but you will have these prints on a consistent basis.

What parts of the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus can you upgrade?

The vast majority of components in a 3D printer can be upgraded or modified and this includes the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus.

Some are easier than others. The upgrades we have listed below are all fairly straightforward even if you happen to be new to 3D printers. While there are perhaps more complicated upgrades out there, we want to show you the best ones to get you off to a good start with this printer.

These are the main parts of the i3 Plus that most people tend to upgrade to improve print reliability, quality, and overall performance.

Z Braces

Adding a Z brace to the i3 Plus will improve its stability and make the printer more rigid.

What this means is that you should get more reliable prints on a frequent basis. Because there are several moving parts on the 3D printer, a Z brace stabilizes everything to ensure better quality prints. While this isn’t such a big problem on more recent versions of the Di3, it will ensure better stability to your printer overall.

Print Surface

Adding a glass bed to the print surface is something that a lot of people do to their 3D printer and it isn’t just an upgrade that is limited to the i3+. Most 3D printer owners end up adding on a glass bed at some point if their printer doesn’t have one.

It has several benefits including providing a smooth finish to your prints and an easy removal process of your models from the printer. The advantage glass has over other surfaces such as plastic is that it can withstand high temperatures. This means that it won’t warp or peel so it will rarely need to be replaced. Glass is also easier to clean before and after printing too.

wanhao duplicator i3 plus review

On-board computer

Another common upgrade on the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is the on-board computer.

There isn’t a ton wrong with what is provided with this 3D printer however adding something like a Raspberry Pi can improve its overall performance. It will also ensure that you get increased functionality as well with the 3D printer and can include things like WiFi and adding an on-board camera.

Belt Tension

The springs wirth the i3 Plus are known as having a few problems. This can cause issues with the print quality and a common upgrade is to increase the belt tension.

Doing this will mean that the X and Y belts are more secured which cuts down on movement and will mean better printed models and objects.

Cooling Fan

While there isn’t too much wrong with the stock fan provided, upgrading to a better one will improve this 3D printer overall.

With a better fan, you will notice improved bridges, overhangs, and needle points if you are printing with PLA and other materials. It is a fairly easy modification but one that will bring a lot of advantages.

Buying upgrades v printing upgrades

I’m going to show you the best upgrades you can get for the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus but before I do, I need to tell you about buying an upgraded part or printing an upgrading part.

The beauty of already having a 3D printer is that some parts you can actually print off yourself! While this isn’t true for everything – a new motherboard for example – some smaller parts can actually be made yourself.

On our list of best upgrades for the Duplicator i3+, there is a combination of parts that can be bought and parts that can also be printed.

Best upgrades for the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus

So, let’s find out the best upgrades you can get for your Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus.

#1 Z Braces

Adding Z braces to your Duplicator i3 Plus will improve its stability and add much-needed rigidity to the printer.

z braces i3 plus

This is actually one of the upgrades for the Duplicator i3 Plus that you can print off and attach yourself if you wish. In actual fact it is a fairly easy upgrade and you don’t need to drill any new holes although you do need to replace some short 3mm screws with 10mm screws.

#2 Wisamic Borosilicate Glass Plate Bed

Upgrading the print bed on the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus can make a world of difference to how your prints turn out. It can also make the whole process a bit easier as glass is a lot easier to clean prior to printing and also once your objects have been completed.

The Wisamic Borosilicate Glass Plate Bed is an ideal upgrade for your i3 Plus. It is made from 100% borosilicate glass which means it can cope with high temperatures that this 3D printer needs to reach its potential. You also won’t need to replace this anytime soon due to its durability while you’ll get a consistent heat across the build surface.

Getting your completed prints off the glass bed is a lot easier as well. Given its inexpensive cost and the advantages it brings to your Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus, this upgrade really is a no brainer.

#3 Belt Tensioners

This is another upgrade that you can print off yourself and it can have a positive impact on how your prints turn out.

The springs on the i3 Plus are known for not being particularly stable but some belt tensioners for the X Belt and the Y Belt will mean that everything is a bit more secure.

It is quite a simple fix for a problem that can plague this 3D printer. Even if you are a beginner with 3D printers, printing and installing belt tensioners is fairly straightforward and all the instructions are there to make sure you get it right.

#4 Raspberry Pi with Octoprint

Enhancing the power of your 3D printer while also adding in additional functionality is something that can be achieved with a Raspberry Pi upgrade. Especially when it comes to fairly budget 3D printers, upgrading its processing power and on-board computer can really allow it to reach its potential

By installing this onto your 3D printer and also using Octoprint which creates a web interface for your printer, you will find the i3 Plus easier to use too. With these additions, you can add WiFi functionality and control your 3D printer from another computer as well.

It is another modification that isn’t massively difficult either but will make a ton of difference to how your 3D printer functions.

#5 Raspberry Pi Camera Module

Adding in a camera will let you keep an eye on your prints as they are progressing and the Raspberry Pi Camera Module is a very useful addition.

Raspberry Pi Camera Module

This is another fairly inexpensive upgrade but something that will really add a big functionality boost to your 3D printer. You can also get a mounting arm for the camera as well which you are able to print off yourself.

Combined with the Raspberry Pi with Octoprint, this will greatly extend how your Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus operates and make things a lot easier when printing high quality objects,

#6 DC Brushless Sleeve-Bearing Cooling Blower Fan

The fan with the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus certainly isn’t the worst on the market but there are issues around the noise it makes. The stock fan shroud doesn’t work too well either so it is certainly worth looking into a new part.

This is why the DC Brushless Sleeve-Bearing Cooling Blower Fan is a recommended upgrade to provide better noise control and it will also help with improving bridges, overhangs, and needle points. You can also get a cooler mod for the i3 Plus which can make a huge difference too.

Installing a new fan onto this 3D printer isn’t a difficult job so you should be able to do this with ease.

#7 Filament Guide

The last upgrade that you should get for your Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is a filament guide.

This will help with feeding the filament into the 3D printer and should help towards higher quality and more consistent prints. This is an upgrade that you will be able to print off yourself too which is a bonus. Quite a small modification to your i3 Plus 3D printer but it is one that can make a world of difference to print quality and reliability.

Frequently Asked Questions and Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus Upgrades

Should I upgrade my Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus?

It is something you should seriously think about. The i3 Plus is a perfectly good printer out of the box and you will be able to print off good quality models. However, with the upgrades that we have listed here, you can take this 3D printer from being a good one to a great machine with new possibilities and potential.

Will upgrading my Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus improve print quality?

It should do. Even though the print quality is pretty good as standard you can increase the quality and reliability with these upgrades. For example, the Z braces, glass plate and filament guide will all help with more reliable outputs.

Is Wanhao a good 3D printer manufacturer?

This Chinese based company is known for producing good quality 3D printers for an affordable price. We have reviewed several of Wanhao’s 3D printers recently including the i3 and the D7.

Can I install these upgrades on my own?

Yes, you should be able to. None of these upgrades are particularly hard to install. Some will take a bit more work than others and if you are new to 3D printers it might take more time. However, you should be able to put these modifications onto your 3D printer on your own.

Do I need to spend a lot of money to upgrade my Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus?

Not necessarily. Most of these upgraded parts are all very inexpensive and some you can even print off yourself. Because the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is a reasonably inexpensive 3D printer you can buy some of these upgraded parts and it will still be cheaper than many other models on the market for the same quality.

Can I print some of these upgrades myself?

Yes. Some of the upgrades we have listed can be printed on your 3D printer and then installed. There are also guides as well as printing and installation instructions which will help you to get started.


For the most part, you should be able to print off high-quality objects on your Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus. If you are totally new to 3D printing or just a beginner, it can take a while to learn the basics and get consistently good prints.

The Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is a very good printer as it is and for the price, it really isn’t that expensive when you consider the quality you get. However, extending its functionality and ensuring that you get reliable prints on a consistent basis will actually save you time and money.

This is why these upgrades are important. They not only provide better-printed objects and models but they also improve the features of your printer as well.

The best upgrades for the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus are:

These upgrades for the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus Upgrades can turn your already well functioning printer into a powerful one without the huge cost.

Anycubic i3 Mega vs Ender 3 Compared: Which One Is Right For You?

Anycubic i3 Mega vs Ender 3

Anycubic i3 Mega vs Ender 3 is a tough comparison to make – especially if you’re just starting out with FDM printers.

The world of 3D printing is filled with innovative technology to help unlock your creative potential. However, with so many options available, things can get a little confusing whether you’re new to 3D printing or expanding your horizons.

Fused Deposition Modeling, or FDM, is an excellent option to create high-quality prototype models. They are also relatively inexpensive compared to other Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA) printers, which is why FDM printers are so popular.

That said, its popularity means there are a number of manufacturers all with different claims on why their products are right for you. It can quickly get difficult to understand what and why a particular characteristic of a product should matter to you.

If you’re stuck indecisive between the Anycubic i3 Mega and Creality Ender 3, we’re here to help. This comparison guide explores everything you need to know about each product–their pros, cons, and all the details in between. By its end, we’re confident you’ll be able to make a decision regarding your preference.

Without further ado, let’s get into the comparison.

Main Differences Between Anycubic i3 Mega vs Ender 3

The main differences between Anycubic i3 Mega vs Ender 3 are:

  • Anycubic i3 Mega has a more user-friendly and straight-forward assembly, whereas more time is required to set up the Ender 3
  • Anycubic i3 Mega has a build volume of 210 x 210 x 205 mm, whereas Ender 3 has a larger build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm
  • Anycubic i3 Mega is more expensive, whereas Ender 3 is a comparatively more affordable FDM printer
  • Anycubic i3 Mega has a lower print speed resulting in more processing time, whereas Ender 3 has a higher printer speed

However, these differences only paint a portion of what each product has to offer and why you might want to pick one over the other. Therefore, you make your final decision, go through our detailed comparison to make a purchase you can be confident in.

Exploring Anycubic i3 Mega and Ender 3 features

anycubic i3 mega 3d printer

Your ultimate decision should be dictated by your preference and the projects you wish to undertake. But, there are a few key factors you need to be laid out in front of you to figure out which printer is right for the job.

Let’s jump right in.

Design & Construction

FDM printers are a great consumer-level option as per current 3D technologies. It’s fast, low-cost, and is able to build sturdy models. These printers extrude thermoplastic filament from its heated nozzle, to melt the material on its flat platform. It builds its models layer-by-layer adjusting the nozzle as it needs.

There are two main kinds of filaments you can use with FDM printers: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polylactic Acid (PLA), Polyethylene terephthalate (PTEG), high impact polystyrene (HIPS), Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), and Wood (or wood-infused PLA).

Most FDM users will use only one type of filament in each of their projects, but the options may or may not be a feature you want to have. That said, both these printers are highly rated by PLA users as being one of the best.

Moving on to the specifics.

The Anycubic i3 Mega is built from a rigid, metal frame that lends to its stability while providing the printing process with a stable base. It comes mostly assembled, except for a few screws that need to be installed. It is, however, an easy process that a quick read of the manual can help with. Additionally, its Ultrabase print bed provides added stability during the printing process.

The printer also has double x limit switches which provide more level accuracy. It prints in resolutions as fine as 0.05 mm or as large as 0.3 mm. It can be used with the following materials:

  • PLA,
  • ABS,
  • HIPS,
  • PETG,
  • Wood

On the other hand, the Creality Ender 3 has a larger build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm. Unlike the i3 Mega’s advanced Ultrabase print bed, it has a standard aluminum build plate that heats up. Ender 3 offers fine details up to 0.1 mm to around 0.4 mm large.

The Ender 3 can be used with the following materials:

  • ABS,
  • PLA
  • TPU
  • PETG

Notably, the i3 Mega uses a touch screen interface, whereas the Ender 3 has a monochrome screen that is controlled using a turn-knob.

Overall, both printers have a solid base with durable construction. The Ender 3 is clearly designed for larger prototypes. It may work as an excellent 3D printer for schools. Whereas, the i3 Mega is more suitable for smaller prints.


ender 3 printer

Unlike SLA printers, the prints from an FDM printer are not as intricate. However, they still are able to capture a decent amount of detail and deliver a smooth finish. This is why it is considered an ideal option for prototyping.

Ender 3 delivers remarkable quality prints for its price which have a smooth, solid finish. There is an issue, however, the plate bed of the printer is lacking in a little refinement. Being a standard plate bed, it isn’t as stable and would definitely benefit from having an auto-leveling feature.

Moreover, the nozzle may end up slamming into the bed which could ruin the layer’s progression. Aka, you might have to start all over again. But, a few adjustments and awareness of the issue should keep it problem-free for the most part.

Much like the other Anycubic printers, the i3 Mega lives up to its mid-tier status. Its build plate, construction, and stability allow the printer to replicate its quality with its print.

Therefore, the Anycubic i3 Mega is definitely a winner in terms of print quality between the two devices.


anycubic printer

The software of a printer can be a determinant of what you can do with the hardware of a printer. A 3D printer could be built with the best, innovative technologies, but fall short in terms of its software capabilities. It could alter what you can design and how well the printer is able to transform it into a reality.

Ender 3 uses a popular third-part slicing software known as Cura. It does come with a standard version, but you can download the latest version from their website. The software can build your model which is then transferred for the printer to read through a USB or a micro-SD card.

Anycubic has a similar slicing software based on Cura, but it uses a custom version. Likewise, the prototype file is transferred through a USB or SD card.

In the case of software, it comes down to personal preference. Ender 3’s Cura is a market-leading up-to-date product that potentially has more flexibility. But, Anycubic’s software is specifically designed and tested against their product. Additionally, you can receive direct support from the company, if needed.

User-Friendly Features

Lastly, coming towards which printer is more user-friendly. Regardless of which one you pick, you’re likely looking for an affordable 3D printer that fits your budget without feeling like a compromise. Therefore, it helps if your device is user friendly with an as little learning curve as required.

As we alluded to above, the i3 Mega has a simple assembly process with a few screws and an inspection of the manual to get you through it. The Ender 3, however, has a more lengthy assembly process. This means you might have to take some time to understand which part goes where making it less of a plug-and-play printer.

Moreover, the main feature offered by Ender 3 is their Resume Print option. This essentially protects your print from any sudden damage from having a power outage or filament issue.

The i3 Mega also offers this, but it has a few other user-friendly options. Such as its Ultrabase heated plate for even stability, touchscreen interface, and a number of accessories to help you along the process. It may come down to what you specifically need, but the i3 Mega overall has a better user experience to offer.

Specifications for Anycubic i3 Mega vs Ender 3

Anycubic i3 Mega Ender 3
Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm Build Volume: 210 x 210 x 205 mm
Software: Cura Slicing Software (custom( Software: Cura Slicing Software
Connectivity: USB, SD card Connectivity: USB, Micro-SD card
Layer Resolution: 50 – 300 microns Layer Resolution: 100 – 400 microns
Print Speed: 20-60 mm/s Print Speed: 180 mm/s
Filament Types: ABS, PLA, HIPS, PETG, Wood Filament Types: ABS, PLA, TPU, PETG

Comparing Anycubic i3 Mega vs Ender 3 – Pricing

If you haven’t already checked out their price, can you tell which one is cheaper?

Price is not a measure of quality, but it does help our budget. When considering purchasing any 3D printer, remember its associated costs. From the accessories, you need to its materials. This should help you figure out a budget for your purchase. And, you can always upgrade when you need a more professional set-up.

Both Anycubic i3 Mega and Ender 3 are affordable options that would suit a variety of different functions. But, when it comes to the market price, the Anycubic i3 Mega is comparatively more expensive. The Anycubic is a better option if you’re looking into 3D miniature printing.

Important to note, however, that the i3 Mega has better features, is more user-friendly with finer detail capabilities.

The much cheaper alternative, Ender 3, still provides high-quality finishes and only comparatively falls slightly short. Its print speed, however, is much higher. Therefore if you’re looking for quick prints, the latter could be the right option for you. Also, if you’re starting out this might be a good affordable way to dip your toes in the world of 3D printing.

Anycubic i3 Mega vs Ender 3 – Ease of use

anycubic printer 1

Looking at the overall package both devices offer, it is clear that the Anycubic i3 Mega is easier to use. It has a professional set-up with a focus on delivering fine detailed, quality prints and software the company has tested.

The Ender 3, on the other hand, is a good printer, but it does require a little more finessing than the former printer. It is also considered ideal for hobbyists who are enthused by their 3D printer to unlock its full potential by trying out different options.

Anycubic i3 Mega vs Ender 3 – Support

If you’re concerned about receiving support, both companies have you covered with easy and quick customer service. To get in touch with their representatives, visit Anycubic Support or Creality Support.

Moreover, both companies have a fantastic and ever-growing community of 3D enthusiasts of various levels. You can talk to like-minded individuals to sort out most issues and get to printing beautifully constructed models.

Anycubic i3 Mega vs Ender 3 – Pros and Cons

Anycubic i3 Mega Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive for the astonishing quality it provides
  • Straight-forward, simple set up
  • Mechanical filament sensor
  • Touch-screen
  • Ultrabase Heated Bed for even heating and stability
  • Works well with PLA, PETG, HIPS, ABS, and Wood

Anycubic i3 Mega Cons

  • Cannot be upgraded
  • Noisy

Creality Ender 3 Pros

  • Affordable options as an FDM printer
  • Large print volume
  • High quality, but quick printing
  • Customizable to fix any issues
  • Can be used with a number of materials including PLA, TPU, ABS, and PETG
  • Comes with industry-popular Cura Slicing software
  • Solid built

Creality Ender 3 Cons

  • The plate bed needs to be adjusted
  • Printing quality can be improved

Are there any alternatives?

Prusa i3 MK3S

prusa i3 mk3s

It is a little known secret that most FDM printers are fashioned to be a low budget option to the Prusa printers. Therefore, if you have the cash to spend, it might be a good option for you to check out.

The Pursa i3 MK3S has an impressive build volume of 250 x 210 x 200 m and layer resolution up to 50 microns. Therefore, you can get some really fine detail and high-quality prints from the device.

Its structure and design stand out due to their stability and accuracy. The company listens to the consumer to upgrade their devices to enhance user experience and provide better results.

It uses a USB drive or SD card to transfer prints while using their own custom PursaSlicer. The software is rich with features and the company frequently updates it.

However, it is compatible with other third-party software if the users wish to try others. Overall, if you have the cash to spend, this award-winning FDM printer might be right for you.

Monoprice MP Select Mini V2


If you’re looking to stay on a budget, the Monoprice MP Select Mini is a good option as well.

Monoprice manufactures a host of electronics and the MP select mini is one of their forays in the 3D printing space. It is rather small with a build volume of 120 x 120 x 120 mm, but it can be a good option for miniature or other smaller models.

An impressive feature of the printer includes the addition of WiFi connectivity along-with USB and Micro-SD cards. It also is backed by a community and large following so getting support for various projects would not be difficult. The company recommends using Cura or Repetier-Host as slicing software when working with the device, but other users do mention its capabilities with other software as well.

Due to all this, the Monoprice MP Select Mini V2 is an excellent option for you to peek at.

FAQs About Anycubic i3 Mega and Ender 3

What Are FDM Prints And What Can You Do With Them?

The Fused Deposition Modeling printer, also known as the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), printer is a 3D technology that builds models using a continuous flow of filament.

It typically uses thermoplastic material in the forms of PLA, ABS, PTEG, HIPS, TPU, or wood. The material is fed to the device’s nozzle or extruder head that deposits it on a heated bedplate. The nozzle moves according to its input to build models on a layer-by-layer basis. A small amount of thermoplastic material is deposited on each new layer.
The end result is a smooth, uniform, and sturdy model.

FDM printers are typically used to create a product or part prototypes. It can also be used for producing some end-use products depending on its purpose. They have also been used in the food industry to produce packaging and as 3D modeling printers in the medical industry.

What To Look For When Buying FDM Printers?

You might want to consider different elements depending on the projects you want to complete. However, we suggest keeping the following questions in mind when purchasing an FDM printer:
•What build volume do I need?
•How crucial is layer resolution to my project?
•Can the bedplate auto-level for ensuring stability or will adjustments need to be made?
•Are there any build upgrades required?
•What kind of nozzle or heated bed plate does the device have?
•What connectivity options are available?
•Which software can I use with the device?
•Does the company offer spare parts?
•What post-processing procedures are required?
•What is the device’s print speed?
•How budget-friendly is the device for you?

What Do Anycubic i3 Mega and Ender 3 Come With?

The Anycubic i3 Mega printers come with:
•Tool set
•Card reader
•SD Card
•User manual
•Power cord
•USB cable

The Ender 3 comes with:

What, if any, Other Slicing Software Can Be Used With Anycubic i3 Mega or Ender 3?

Aside from their own slicing software, both printers can be adapted to be used with other slicing software, such as
•Netfabb Standard
•MakerBot Print

Do I get a warranty with Anycubic i3 Mega or Ender 3?

Both companies come with their own warranty policies. To learn more, visit their respective website at Anycubic Warranty Policy or Creality Warranty Policy.

Our Verdict: Anycubic i3 Mega vs Ender 3 – Which is better?

To conclude our Anycubic i3 Mega vs Ender 3 comparison, both printers are good and affordable FDM printing options. Although there are differences in quality, build volume, and overall functionality; however, that shows their different applications.

As such, we recommend Anycubic i3 Mega to be a suitable option for medical or other product prototype building. It can help you and your clients visualize designs. Or, alternatively, it can reliably build small parts required by manufacturers and other companies. In fact, if we had to pick one, we’d go with the Anycubic i3 Mega for its versatility and wider application.

The Ender 3 is ideal for the hobbyist. Individuals looking to upgrade their cosplays using 3D printing, for example, could greatly benefit from it. Alternatively, beginners and those at the start of their learning journey could find Ender 3 to be a good affordable option. That also makes it ideal for school or college students to elevate their skills.

Freecad vs Fusion 360: Which Should You Choose?

In this FreeCAD vs Fusion 360 comparison review, we’re going to explore the features of these two amazing computer-aided design software. There is a wide range of 3D modeling software available (previously covered here) and both FreeCAD and Fusion 360 are widely recognized as great tools for creating incredibly detailed designs for 3D printing.

So which software tool is better?

In this comparison, we will be exploring the main features of each software, the user interface, supported file types, and ease of use. We’ll be comparing the minimum system requirements of each and exploring the toolsets and extensions that you can use. In addition, we’ll be showing you some of the alternative software available to design the products that you want to 3D print.

Main Differences Between FreeCAD vs Fusion 360

The main differences between FreeCAD and Fusion 360 are:

  • FreeCAD is open source and therefore will always be completely free, whereas Fusion 360 has free licenses only for educators and students.
  • FreeCAD has a steeper learning curve, whereas Fusion 360 is relatively user-friendly and intuitive.
  • FreeCAD is still in development, whereas Fusion 360 is a complete product.
  • FreeCAD is free to extend, whereas Fusion 360’s extensions and plugins are of an additional cost.
  • FreeCAD allows you to maintain control of your files, whereas Fusion 360’s files are stored in the cloud.

These are both extremely high functioning software that can be used for complex designs, and many of the features are likely to be used only by those with a background in engineering, however, there is plenty to attract a hobby user, learner, or small business user too. So let’s get into the details and find out more about FreeCAD and Fusion 360.

What is FreeCAD?


FreeCAD is a 3D modeler used mostly for designing real-life objects of any size. It’s primarily aimed at those working in mechanical engineering and product design, and with its scriptable CAD, there are options for electrical or architectural design too.

FreeCAD was released in October 2002 by authors Jürgen Riegel, Werner Mayer, and Yorik van Havre who wanted to create open-source CAD software to work on all platforms.

One of the key things to know about FreeCAD is that, as an open-source project, it is completely free for all to use. Because it is open-source, you can also add functions to the software using Python programming.

So who uses FreeCAD? A poll on the FreeCAD forum suggests that most people (52%) using FreeCad are doing so for their hobbies – whether the hobby is Computer-aided design or they are making personal real objects. 36% of users said they used it for professional purposes, largely mechanical engineering design and FEM (finite element method) analysis.

Key features of FreeCAD:

  • Architecture
  • Full parametric model
  • Rendering
  • Sketcher
  • Robot simulation
  • Modular architecture
  • Geometry kernel
  • Path mode
  • Standard formats.

What is Fusion 360?

fusion 360

Fusion 360 was designed by Autodesk, the creators of well known and respected AutoCAD, which has been around since the 1980s. In this development, the designers were given free scope to redesign CAD tools, aiming to create a futuristic CAD tool from scratch, thinking about all the things they felt a premium CAD tool should have going into the future.

Designed with educators and students in mind, it aims to help them prepare for the future of design. It is a combined, cloud-based 3D CAD, CAM, and CAE tool. In one platform you are able to conceptualize various versions of your design, combining multiple modeling elements. A variety of analysis methods mean that you can ensure the form, fit, and function of your products.

In addition, you can add electronic intelligence using the Schematic design, PCB layout, and routing capabilities embedded in Fusion 360. With managed user permissions, version control, and cloud storage you can easily manage your data and gain more control.

Fusion 360 allows great collaboration and teamwork in real-time. It’s very easy to then move into 3D printing to see how your prototype works. Within the system, you can test your design using digital simulations of real-world conditions. 2D manufacturing drawings or animations bring it to life for potential investors or customers.

Key features of Fusion 360:

  • Overview
  • Sketching
  • Freeform modeling
  • Surface modeling
  • Parametric modeling
  • Mesh modeling
  • Direct modeling
  • PCB Design Integration

FreeCAD vs Fusion 360 – Features

freecad 1

To help you decide which software would be a better fit for you, we need to look at how they compare in different features and functionality.

User Interface

There are several key components of the new Fusion 360 interface, which was introduced in 2019 and has, to be honest, had mixed reviews. There are four key areas of this interface:

  1. First, when you log in, you get a new blank project. In the top left is the Application bar.
  2. The second key component of the interface is the data panel, where you can see your project and within them, your project files and collaboration.
  3. The third element of the user interface is your own profile area and help section.
  4. Finally, the fourth element is the main toolbar. This differs according to the type of workspace you are planning to use.

The User Interface on FreeCAD is based on Qt, a well known graphical user interface (GUI) used often in Linux but also available in Windows and macOS.

For the uninitiated, it can be a little clunky and over-complicated. It consists of the main view area (and 3D view); a panel containing the tree view and task panel, property editor, selection view, and report view; a Python console; a toolbar area and workbench selector.

Supported File Formats

FreeCAD mainly uses its own file format – FreeCAD Standard file format (.FCStd) – which is a standard zip file holding the files within a particular structure. Within this, Document.xml files have definitions of geometric and parametric objects, GuiDocument.xml has visual representations of these objects, and prep-files include items such as thumbnails of drawings.

In addition to FreeCAD’s own file format, files can also be exported and imported as STEP, DXF, OBJ (Wavefront), SCAD (OpenSCAD), IFC, SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), IGES, DAE (Collada), IV (Inventor) and STL (STereoLithography) file formats.

Fusion 360 supports Autodesk Alias (.wire), AutoCAD DWG files, Archive files from Fusion 360, Sim 360 and Autodesk Inventor, Catia V5 files, DXF files, FBX, IGES, NX, OBJ, Parasolid and Pro/Engineer files, Rhino files, SAT/SMT files, STEP files, and STL files. Files can be imported into Fusion 360 and then converted into native files within the software.

Ease of use

Both of the software’s are quite complex with many different functions and it will take a little time to get the hang of all the things they can do. There are many tutorials available on the internet to support you learning different features not to mention the “Get Started in Fusion 360” in the Autodesk help area and the FreeCAD forum.

FreeCAD, in particular, has been described by many users as having a “steep learning curve” but nearly all said that once they had got the hang of it it was a user-friendly software.

System Requirements

FreeCAD has minimum system requirements of

  • Windows 7 or younger, Ubuntu 12.04 or younger, Mac OSX or younger.
  • FreeCAD does not support parallel processing but using a good CPU won’t hurt.
  • The more complex your model the more RAM will be needed. A 64-bit operating system and 8GB of RAM would be a minimum.

Fusion 360 has a minimum requirement of

  • Windows 8.2 or 10, Apple Mac)” Catalina 10.15, Mohave v10.14, High Sierra v10.13.
  • A CPU with a 64-bit processor, 4 cores, 1.7 GHz Intel Core i3, AMD Ryzen 3 or greater.
  • 4 GB of RAM (integrated graphics recommended 6GB or more).
  • The Internet should be at 2.5Mbps or faster download and 500Kbps or faster upload.

Toolsets and Extensions

fusion 360 1

Both FreeCAD and Fusion 360 can be used to make detailed and precise drawings and models for your design.

In FreeCAD the functions are divided into workbenches. Each digital workbench has its own set of tools grouped by task So for example you may use one workbench for drawing a 2D shape and another for working further on them. There is a wide range of built-in workbenches, for example:

  • Draft Workbench – for basic 2D and 3D CAD operations.
  • Arch Workbench – for architectural parts.
  • Part Workbench – for working with CAD parts.

You can also easily program your own additional workbenches using Python, and there is a wide range of Addon Workbenches made by others in the community.

Fusion 360 has previously had two levels of function: Standard and Ultimate. Both already had a range of functions with tools for modeling, rendering, simulation, data management, and manufacturing all self-contained within the software.

They have now introduced Fusion 360 Extensions. This means that those with a Standard license looking for a different set of tools for their project, can purchase the appropriate extension bundle – for example, a Manufacturing Extension to give you tools for metal additive manufacturing – for a specified time period and these tools will immediately become available to you.

The Alternatives to FreeCAD and Fusion 360



Sketchup used to be known as Google Sketchup. It’s software for creating 3D models. It has a very user-friendly and intuitive interface allowing you to use push/pull toggles to make a flat surface into a three-dimensional object in your design. In addition, it has an extensive database of models other users have created that you can download and use for your own projects.

Sketchup comes with a wide range of pricing plans depending on what you want to use it for, from a free, web-based version through to a professional architect license.

Rhinoceros 3D


While Rhinoceros 3D is really a 3D modeling program rather than CAD, it’s probably one of the most versatile modeling software you can find for sale just now.

It has a wide range of design functions and can import a wide range of import files. The best thing about Rhinoceros 3D is that you are able to create such a wide range of shapes with incredible precision, from drawings and sketches and even a 3D scan.

Other Free Options

Here are a few other CAD options that will help you with your 3D printing and that are available for free use.

  • TinkerCAD is another tool from Autodesk. This is a web-based tool giving you easy to use a simple interface yet still allowing you to design complex 3D files. It’s super for design beginners and allows you to save as STL files and also to choose whether to print as solid or hollow.
  • Blender is probably best known for creating 3D computer graphics, but it is also more than capable of producing models for 3D printing. However, it is quite a complex tool to master and has many features that would not be useful to you for your 3D printing.
  • Ultimaker Cura is a great beginners option as it provides tips and recommendations while allowing you to create your own 3D designs.

For some other reviews and comparisons of CAD and other 3D printing software, you could look at our Solidworks vs. CATIA comparison, or check out our verdict on Fusion 360 vs. AutoCAD. We also have a great comparison of AutoCAD vs. Inventor or for another Fusion 360 comparison, we look at how it measures up against Onshape.


What is a Computer-aided design?

Computer-aided design – known as CAD for short – is the use of computers to help you design an object. The use of the computer makes it much easier to modify and improve a design, and with extra tools allowing for assessment and analysis and then the addition of 3D printing, you can go from design to prototype all from the screen of your home computer.
CAD helps to improve design quality, supports collaboration, and improves productivity.

How difficult is it to learn CAD for 3D printing?

Both FreeCAD and Fusion 360 are complex software that will require some practice and exploration to get to grips with.
The great thing is that there is a large community of designers on the internet who use both types of technology and not only are you able to find ready-made designs that you can use and customize, but you will also find countless tutorials to support you as you learn the systems.

Is it possible to import files from one type of software to the other?

While FreeCAD and Fusion 360 both have their own preferred file type, these are largely compatible and interchangeable and can also be imported and exported between a wide array of other modeling software. For example, you can import an AutoCAD drawing into Sketchup.

Is FreeCAD really free?

Absolutely. As open-source software, you can use, distribute, or modify the software for personal or commercial work. It really is free!

Can I save my design locally on FreeCAD or Fusion 360?

On Fusion 360 your designs are normally saved in the Cloud. To save them locally you need to click on the details of a design in your dashboard and then click Export and choose which format you would like to download it to your computer. In FreeCAD the files are saved locally.

The Final Word: FreeCAD vs. Fusion 360: Which One Is Better for 3D Printing?

FreeCAD is a great open source project and the contributors and builders are continuing to work on it and add to it with every generation. The fact that it is completely free and will certainly remain so is a huge advantage, and we know that it is only going to get better in the future.

It is flexible and the parametric modeling allows you to design based on existing models. A great feature is the model history, allowing you to make alterations and track your changes. It is great for geometric designs, but not so suitable for organic shapes such as figurines of plants or animals.

However, at this time we would recommend Fusion 360. It is a more complete product with a far more user-friendly interface. The free license for educators and students makes it accessible and if you are working commercially, you’ll find the price-points for the licenses are certainly manageable.

Not only that, but it has an enormous functionality and has the capability to manage, create, and manipulate organic and natural shapes. There are a range of learning options and the extremely active Fusion 360 forum where you will always find somebody willing to give you support and advice.

We think that while FreeCAD is a super piece of software, and definitely a project to support and get involved with, from the point of view of 3D printing, Fusion 360 is the better product.

Dremel Laser Cutter vs Glowforge: Which Will You Love?

In this Dremel Laser Cutter vs Glowforge comparison, we’re going to explore the features of these two fantastic laser cutters to help you decide which one is best for you, either to use alongside your 3D printer or by itself. These are both high quality, powerful laser cutters that can be used for a wide range of projects for home or small business use, hobbies, and crafting.

We will look at both of these popular laser cutters, describing the features of each device, how user friendly they are, what they cost, and finally our recommendation for you.

Main Differences Between Dremel vs Glowforge

The main differences between Dremel vs Glowforge are:

  • Dremel is UL approved, whereas Glowforge is not.
  • Dremel is modular allowing easy replacement of the laser tube, whereas Glowforge requires to be sent off to the service team.
  • Dremel has a full-color touch screen, whereas Glowforge does not have any control screen on the device and must be managed through your computer.
  • Dremel’s Digilab software is run from the laser cutter while offline, whereas Glowforge requires internet access.

Exploring Dremel and Glowforge features

dremel lc40

We’re focusing here on the features of the Dremel LC40 and the Glowforge Plus laser cutters.


A laser cutter can be used for both cutting and engraving or etching. If you have a 3D printer already, you’ll most likely be using your laser cutter to cut out flat shapes from various materials to use with the pieces you build with your 3D printer.

The Dremel LC40 laser cutter uses a 40W laser tube to cut a variety of materials. It works really well to cut a range of materials cleanly, such as wood cardboard, and acrylic. The result is a clean and very accurate cut.

The Glowforge Plus also uses a 40w laser to cut into objects. The Glowforge is able to engrave with 1000 DPI resolution, with a kerf size (the width of material removed in the cut) of 0.008” – 0.025”.

Both have excellent feedback on their cutting, providing clear, accurate, and very detailed cuts. The Dremel outperforms the Glowforge in cutting speed, though they are both pretty good at this. A basic design can take as little as two to three minutes to engrave, while a detailed full-sheet engraving or cutting might take a couple of hours.


It’s no surprise that a cutter using a laser beam to burn through materials will get very hot, which is why they come with cooling systems. You’ll also need to keep them in a well-ventilated space as the material being burned can give off smoke or fumes too, so this is something to think about when you’re deciding where to put your cutter.

The Dremel LC40 has something called the HexBox, an external box that will sit on the shelf below or above your laser cutter and recirculates cool water around the unit and through the laser tube, significantly reducing overheating and allowing the laser cutter to be used for longer periods.

The Glowforge Plus uses an internal closed-loop liquid cooling system using the ambient air drawn in from the room to remove the heat. While this does help save space, on a warm day or in a hotter climate, this can mean that cutting is paused to allow the unit to cool down. The system is designed for function between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.


glowforge plus

The software that your laser cutter uses turns images or designs into cutting or engraving. There are a few different types of software being used for this in different laser cutters and Dremel and Glowforge both use different ones.

The Dremel LC40 accesses the software through a web browser but runs from the laser cutter. This means that you don’t need an internet connection to work the machine. The software interface is incredibly intuitive and also includes a library of materials with suggested cutting and engraving settings.

A really popular feature of this software is the grids, rulers, and snaps which help with placing designs easily and accurately. The Auto-Array function also automatically duplicates designs on the material. In addition, the LC40 keeps the last 30 jobs you did in its onboard memory so you can run them again from the touchscreen on the machine.

The Glowforge Plus software comes as a free app. The software is web-based so you do need an internet connection to start your print off, but it does work fine with slow connections and once you’ve started your print, you can continue offline. The software has a lot of preset functions and projects, and especially if you are using their Proofgrade™ materials which are tested and specially formulated for their machines.


You’ll want your laser cutter software to be compatible with all the different platforms and operating systems that you use. You would be disappointed if you bought a laser cutter and then found that it didn’t work with your Mac!

Fortunately, both Dremel and Glowforge software is compatible with almost any operating system from Windows, iOS, and Android.

Specifications for Dremel and Glowforge

Dremel Glowforge
Cooling: external water cooling system Cooling: Built-in closed-loop water cooling
Software: Dremel software Software: Glowforge cloud-based software
Beam Power: 40w Beam Power: 45w
Tech: CO2 Laser tube Tech: CO2 Laser tube

Comparing Dremel and Glowforge pricing

As laser printer technology advances and becomes more accessible for small business and hobby users, the prices are gradually reducing.

TheDremel LC40 is slightly more expensive for the standard package. This includes the Hexbox, an external cooling system, and a one year warranty. You can purchase additional fans or ventilation units depending on your use and where it will be positioned.

The GlowforgePlus (the model being reviewed here is a little cheaper. Other models available are the slightly cheaper Glowforge Basic and the more expensive Glowforge Pro. For that price, you get the laser cutter, inbuilt cooling system, and one year of warranty. You can also purchase an additional air filter if you are unable to have the cutter next to an open window.

Dremel vs Glowforge ease of use


Over the last decade, laser cutters have moved from industrial machines to be accessible by students in schools and crafters in their homes. As a result, it’s become very important that you don’t need a degree in engineering to work on them, they have to be user-friendly so that anybody can use them on an occasional basis. So how do these two machines measure up?

The Dremel Digilab LC40 has a large, color touchscreen on board the machine. It takes you intuitively through common tasks and troubleshooting and means that you can run projects from right there on the machine. Its intuitive ease of use is one of the major advantages of the Dremel and has made it very popular with users. In particular, school users have found that students can confidently use the Dremel even with no experience at all.

The Glowforge, while not benefiting from any sort of screen on the machine itself, is still user-friendly and easy to get the hang of. The cloud-based software makes a lot of sense and has a lot of easy to use features. It is also regularly updated within the cloud.

What support is available for Dremel and Glowforge

Customer service and technical support is a really good indicator of how important the customer is for a company. Even if you’re an experienced user, there may be times when you have a technical question that you need help with. So how helpful are they at Dremel and Glowforge?

Dremel’s support page gives options for Phone, e-mail, and live chat support, and a good selection of articles and trouble-shooting guides to choose from. Reviews suggest that technical support is generally very quick, friendly, and helpful.

Glowforge also has a great support page on their website. They have great step-by-step guides on the page for everything from getting set up and using the laser cutter to maintenance and moving. In addition, they have email and live chat options on the website, social media channels, and a great search function for their extensive selection of support and troubleshooting articles.

Not only that, but there is also an active Community Forum where you can interact with other Glowforge users for advice, tips, technical questions, and inspiration.

Pros and Cons



  • great level of precision in both cutting and engraving.
  • Can cut into various materials and engrave metal
  • It comes with an interface touch screen that is convenient and user friendly
  • Great safety features including water-cooling for the laser tube, air assist, and the on-board ventilation fan.
  • Wireless operation so you can organize your workshop to suit you
  • UL certified


  • The external Hexbox cooling system which takes up space
  • The price is quite high
  • Honeycomb bed is a bit flimsy



  • Easy to use and intuitive
  • Can scan drawings into the cut
  • Proofgrade™ materials are quality, tested materials available from Glowforge to take the guesswork out of materials and settings
  • Great design catalog available


  • Software is cloud-based so needs internet to use
  • No LCD screen on the device

Are there any alternatives?

Orion Motor Tech 40W Laser Cutter

orion motor tech

For those with a budget in mind, you might wish to consider the Orion Motor Tech laser cutter. It features an integrated cooling fan, digital controls with LCD display, and a stability clamp for irregular items.

While this laser cutter is better for engraving or for cutting thinner materials, if that’s what you’re looking for then this is a great investment, especially if you’re willing to upgrade to better software or even hardware like the exhaust fan or water pump.

Ten-High 40W Laser Cutter

ten hugh 3020

Another great laser cutter you could consider is the Ten-high. This laser cutter has some super features and might be what you are looking for. This is a small model with a lot of energy and great function. The 40w machine is ideal for engraving, and the 60w, 80w, or 100w versions might be a better choice for regular cutting.

FAQs About Dremel and Glowforge

Do I need a laser cutter and a 3D printer?

It depends on what you are using them for. For some projects, you can use a laser cutter to cut pieces from a wide variety of materials, combined with building other parts using a 3D printer. Having both means that you have a much wider variety of projects that you can do. There are some machines coming on to the market that combine 3D printing with laser cutting.

Can I use the Dremel or the Glowforge laser cutters without accessing the internet?

The Dremel software is internet-based but the projects are managed from the laser cutter itself, so you don’t need to be connected to the internet. On the other hand, the laser cutter from Glowforge is cloud-based so does require an internet connection.

What materials can the Dremel and the Glowforge laser cutters operate on?

A huge number and variety of materials! Some metals can be cut, others only engraved (lasers do not work well on aluminum due to its reflective properties), silicon, ceramics, glass, plastics and polymers (avoid PVC, PVB, PTFE/Teflon as these can give off poisonous gases), wood and gemstones.

How long will the Dremel and Glowforge last?

The average lifetime of a laser tube is about 80 to 1500 hours under normal operating conditions (it will wear out faster with cutting than engraving).
That means that you are likely to need to change it every couple of years. You’ll notice that this needs doing when you are struggling to cut something you have been able to cut previously, or if the laser appears to burn rather than cut. You would be able to change the Dremel tube yourself, where the Glowforge would need to be sent off for a replacement. Other than the laser tube, with careful handling and maintenance, your laser cutter should last many years.

Can a laser cutter overheat?

They can do, and this is both a fire risk and harmful to the laser tube. It’s a good idea to avoid placing it in direct sunlight, allow plenty of air ventilation, make sure the cooling system is working correctly, and give your laser cutter a break every now and then if you are doing a lot of cutting. The Glowforge has an inbuilt cooling system, and the Dremel has the external Hexbox.

How does laser cutting work?

A high-powered laser beam runs through a lens and then into a material, melting or burning it away and leaving an edge with a high-quality, clean finish.

What are the advantages of laser cutting?

Laser cutting offers great precision and detail in cutting. It works on a wide variety of materials and offers a clean, smooth cut. Laser cutting uses very little power, so apart from the purchase of the laser cutter, it is not an expensive cutting method and is also much faster than conventional cutting methods.

Our Verdict: Which is Better between Dremel Laser Cutter vs Glowforge?

dremel lc40 printer

Both the Dremel Digilab LC40 and the Glowforge Plus offer a huge range of features that would make them very popular in schools, in small businesses, and for home users. While not a cheap option, their ease of use has made laser cutting manageable for a whole new group of users. Both laser cutters perform extremely well. So which is the best?

This is a very close run race, but we would recommend the Dremel. The key reasons are the intuitive, easy to use interface, the excellent attention to detail, and the additional built-in safety features. The touchscreen on the Dremel and the ability to operate with or without the internet are big positives, plus the more advanced cooling system.

Of course, there are a few negatives, such as the extra space taken up by the external cooling system, and the “Community” on Glowforge is a great way to interact with other users and get quick feedback and advice – something Dremel should definitely consider adding to their Customer Service options.

The Glowforge Plus is still a brilliant laser cutter. The Proofgrade™ materials take a lot of the guesswork out of your projects and the quality and customer service are fantastic. Another very user-friendly and high-quality laser cutter. You would definitely be happy with either of these two laser cutters.

Further read: 

Our Best CoreXY 3D Printers For Your Needs

In this guide, we’ll show you the best CoreXY 3D printers on the market right now. Since 2013, CoreXY has been growing in popularity in the 3D printing market for a number of reasons. As 3D printers vary quite considerably in price range, CoreXY generally isn’t that expensive. That being said, any upgrades and modifications that you need can add to the overall cost.

We’ll have a look at what a CoreXY designed 3D printer actually is, their pros and cons, and also what you need to consider when buying one. We’ll also show you the best CoreXy 3D printers that you can buy.

What is a CoreXY 3D Printer?

Until 2013, most FDM 3D printers used what is known as a Cartesian design. This is a system that uses individual motors for each axis on the printer. So, the X and Y axes would be used for the nozzle while the print bed would move on the Z-axis.

A new system was then developed by MIT and it became known as CoreXY. The difference is that the belts on a CoreXY printer move in different planes so this reduces the impact on twisting when printing. The X and Y motors are kept in one place so the overall weight of the parts on the printer is reduced as well.

If you pull on the belt of the CoreXY 3D printer it will move the tool head at a 45-degree angle whereas on a Cartesian system this will move at zero or ninety degrees.

Using a CoreXY 3D printer has several advantages but there are also a couple of downsides too.

Advantages of CoreXY 3D Printers

Fast print speeds

Probably the biggest advantage of using a CoreXY 3D printer is that it allows for faster print speeds without reducing the quality of your objects.

It achieves this by having very little moving parts. Many other 3D printers have a moving gantry with stepper motors that move around during the printing process. This can result in vibrations which often cause issues with printing off high-quality models.

A CoreXY 3D printer has stationary stepper motors and the print bed itself will only move vertically. In actual fact, the only real part that moves with any speed is the tool head. So, there is less chance of vibrations and poor quality prints.

Smaller dimensions but the same build volume

Another advantage of using a CoreXY 3D printer is that the overall size and dimensions of the printer is pretty small. This is useful if you don’t have a ton of space in which to house it.

This doesn’t mean that the build volume is impacted. It achieves this by the fact that the print bed moves vertically. This is a feature that is also present on H-bot printers such as the Creality Ender 4.

On other FDM 3D printer designs, the base is about two times the size of the build volume. This is because the print bed needs to move back and forth – this isn’t the case on a CoreXY. With a CoreXY printer, the printhead can freely move around the build plate so it doesn’t need the extra space.


open source printer

The third big advantage of using a CoreXY 3D printer is that it is open source so it is compatible with a wide range of firmware and software.

Open-source 3D printers have been growing massively in popularity. The design and technology behind CoreXY printers mean that there are many open-source projects out there. People have been putting their own spin and modifications on these printers which have produced a variety of great results.

Disadvantages of CoreXY 3D Printers

Belt system

Not everything is rosy with CoreXY printers and there are a couple of downsides to telling you about. The belt system is one.

If the belts aren’t aligned correctly on a CoreXY printer or if the tension isn’t exact (too high or too low), this can cause a multitude of problems. This includes the accuracy of printers and mechanical malfunctions.

It is something to keep in mind because the way CoreXY printers work means that it is heavily reliant on the belts. This can result in higher maintenance costs and more time spent ensuring they are set up properly. If you are a beginner it can seem a bit daunting but with experience, it becomes less of an issue.


Another potential downside to using a CoreXY 3D printer is the frame. The frame needs to be a perfect square when it is assembled. If it is not, this can cause accuracy problems with your prints. There are things you can do which will help negate any issues with the shape of the frame. This includes using a set square when assembling the CoreXY 3D printer and to add corner brackets to help maintain its shape.

If it is assembled correctly you shouldn’t have any problems however it is a bit more work at the beginning to ensure accurate prints.

What to look for in a CoreXY 3D Printer

Before we get into our best CoreXY 3D printers that you can buy, there are a few things you should consider before you make a purchase.


Cost is a factor before buying any 3D printer. Even though the affordability of desktop and home models of 3D printers has improved massively, they can still be quite pricey.

If the initial cost is quite low you still need to think about any modifications, upgrades and additional parts you might need to buy. This can often bring up the overall cost of the printer quite considerably.

Support and community

If you are new to 3D printing or have very limited experience, having good support options is a must.

Depending on what CoreXY 3D printer you purchase, the level of community engagement around it can often be different. Look out for 3D printers that have a good maker and designer community because this can be imperative when it comes to getting modifications and upgrades.

Ease of use

Finally, something else to consider is how easy is the CoreXY 3D printer you are thinking of buying to use?

Even though many 3D printers have been aimed at the beginner market, some will be for more advanced users and have more complicated designs and features.

If you are just starting off with a 3D printer, don’t get too far ahead of yourself and pay a lot of money for a printer that is hard to operate. Luckily many CoreXY printers do factor in ease of use to their design and operation but it is something to keep in mind.

5 Best CoreXY 3D Printers

There are a lot of different 3D printers that are based on CoreXY available. We have whittled the list down to the 5 best CoreXY 3D printers.

Two Trees Sapphire Pro

twotrees sapphire pro

The Two Trees Sapphire Pro is one of the most popular CoreXY 3D printers and it has built up a solid reputation as high quality but an affordable machine.

The Pro version isn’t going to break the bank while you can assembly this 3D printer in less than a couple of hours or so. It isn’t actually that hard to get it up and running but there are a few parts that need careful attention. There is a decent community built up around the Sapphire Pro as well so you’ll find various upgrades and mods for this printer.

Overall the Sapphire Pro from Two Tree’s is a well-built machine that features a dual-drive extruder and precision linear rails.


  • Affordable CoreXY 3D printer that produces high-quality prints
  • Dual-drive extruder and precision linear rails
  • Easy setup and plenty of additional online resources beyond the instruction manual
  • Active community for support, modifications, and upgrades


  • Accessing the print bead could be easier
  • Can be a bit noisy

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 235 x 235 x 235 mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Drive Mechanism: Bowden
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Connectivity: USB, TF-Card
  • Interface: Touchscreen

Creative3D Elf Printer

creativity corexy

The Creative3D Elf Printer has a large build volume of 300 x 300 x 350mm and in terms of its costs, it is very competitively priced too.

This CoreXY 3D printer is also fairly quiet as well which is a bonus. In terms of actual operation, the touchscreen is handy and it is one of the easier 3D printers to get set up. Like all the CoreXY printers it does require some careful assembly.

It features power failure support so if you are in the middle of printing and suffer an unexpected outage, the printer can pick up where it left off. Overall this is a very good CoreXY 3D printer that certainly challenges some of the bigger names on the market.


  • Fairly easy to set up and can be assembled in around an hour
  • Large build volume which may be more suitable to our needs
  • Affordable CoreXY 3D printer
  • Doesn’t produce a lot of noise


  • Some reports of the bed leveling springs being too short
  • Support options aren’t as great as some other manufacturers

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 300 x 300 x 350mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Drive Mechanism: Bowden
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Connectivity: SD
  • Interface: Touchscreen

Tronxy X5SA Pro

tronxy x5sa

This is one of the larger CoreXY 3D printers and the Tronxy X5SA Pro is certainly worth consideration.

It comes with various great features which include an auto-bed leveling system, double-axis guide rail in addition to a filament runout sensor. One thing to mention is that a lot of people have found that you need some modifications right away. While they shouldn’t be too expensive, it is something to factor into the cost.

You’ll find instructions to assemble this 3D printer but in all honesty, it is a bit harder than some of the others on this list. Getting support from the community isn’t as readily available or widespread either but it is there. Overall, not a bad CoreXY 3D printer at all but one that does have a few drawbacks.


  • Comes with a variety of great features
  • Solid CoreXY 3D printer at a decent price
  • Not a large community support but very helpful
  • User friendly once assembled and working properly


  • Assembly can be a bit tricky and can take a while
  • Needs modifications right away

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 330 x 330 x 400 mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Drive Mechanism: Bowden
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Connectivity: USB, SD Card
  • Interface: Touchscreen

SainSmart Coreception CoreXY

sain smart

This CoreXY 3D printer has a direct drive extruder and a 300 x 300 x 330 mm build volume. The SainSmart Coreception CoreXY isn’t a million miles away from the Saffire Pro from Two Trees and many of the features are quite similar.

It doesn’t have an auto-leveling bed which is one drawback. It is very easy to assemble though and should take less than an hour to get up and running. You’ll find a small but enthusiastic community for this 3D printer too as well as various support options.

For the price, this 3D printer presents a very good deal especially when you consider the build volume and some other features such as the direct drive extruder.


  • Powerful CoreXY 3D printer with direct drive extruder
  • Assembly is fairly straightforward
  • Good community support and help options
  • Great cost for the size of this printer


  • No auto-leveling bed
  • Manuals can be a bit technical for beginners

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 300 x 300 x 330 mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Drive Mechanism: Direct
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Connectivity: SD Card
  • Interface: Touchscreen

Vivedino Troodon CoreXY


We’re going to finish off with the most expensive CoreXY 3D printer on our list – the Vivedino Troodon CoreX.

It is controlled by a WiFi board and has belts on the Z-axis which helps reduce wobbling and the effect this has on your prints. The printer dual drive extruder, filament runout sensor, and an auto-leveling feature. You’ll also find a built-in HEPA filter with this CoreXY 3D printer as well.

The big upside to purchasing this printer is that you don’t really need any modifications or upgrades. Some of the other printers do require some upgrades pretty much straight out of the box however the Troodon doesn’t.

You get it fully assembled as well which is an added bonus however there isn’t a big community around this 3D printer which could very well be down to its price tag.


  • A ton of features including a dual drive extruder, filament runout sensor, and an auto-leveling bed
  • Comes fully assembled so no need to spend hours putting it together
  • WiFi controlled and has a HEPA filter
  • No need for upgrades or mods out of the box


  • A lot more expensive than other printers on our list
  • Doesn’t have a large community following

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 300 x 300 x 400 mm (also 400 x 400 x 500 mm available)
  • Enclosure: Closed
  • Drive Mechanism: Bowden
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Connectivity: WiFi
  • Interface: Touchscreen


What is a CoreXY 3D Printer?

A CoreXY 3D printer differs from FDM printers with a Cartesian design. It features individual motors for each axis and the overall design is more complex. They are usually smaller overall too without sacrificing build volume.

Do CoreXY 3D printers provide good quality prints?

Yes. In fact, in many cases, they provide higher quality than many other FDM printers. This is because they don’t have many moving parts so there is less room for wobbling and vibrations.

Are CoreXY 3D printers more expensive?

Not necessarily. They are often cheaper than many other FDM models and this is because many CoreXY 3D printers require more modifications and upgrades.

Is assembling a CoreXY 3D printer difficult?

It depends on the printer however overall they can be a bit harder than others. This is because the frame needs to be perfectly square. If it isn’t it can cause printing problems. Some do come fully assembled but generally cost a lot more money.

Are CoreXY 3D printers easy to use?

For the most part, yes. They are easier to use than some other 3D printers and if you are a complete beginner you should be able to learn how to make quality prints fairly quickly. Some of these 3D printers often have large communities that can help out.

Which is the best CoreXY 3D Printer?

We’ve looked at the advantages and disadvantages of CoreXY 3D printers, had a glimpse at 5 of the best and their pros and cons – so which one do we choose?

I think all the CoreXY 3D printers we’ve mentioned do a very good job of offering high-quality models for an affordable price. OK, the Vivedino Troodon CoreXY is certainly on the pricey side compared to the rest. In saying that, it removes the need for assembly and upgrades right away so I suppose the extra cost is kind of worth it.

So, which one do I think is the best? I’m going to choose the Two Trees Sapphire Pro. It is one of the most popular CoreXY 3D printers on the market and not only does it provide high quality and precision prints, but it has also been tried and tested time and time again.

Some CoreXY 3D printers have a fairly limited community following but not the Sapphire Pro. There is a very active community on board to help and provide mods and upgrades for this printer.

There is a bit of assembly required that can take a while especially if you are new to CoreXY printers. That being said, its low cost, high-quality prints, and the fact that it is a well-known and respected device with a devout following edge it for me.

Further read: 

Anycubic Photon vs Wanhao D7: Which One Should You Choose

Our Anycubic Photon vs Wanhao D7 comparison is going to put these two DLP resin 3D printers against each other.

These printers are a bit different than some of the other 3D printer models we have reviewed in the past. Resin DLP printers use liquid resin to produce detailed prints. They use a process called Vat Polymerization to print objects and the Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7 are two popular printers in this category.

So, let’s find out how these 3D printers compare against each other and discover which one is the better 3D Printer to buy.

Main Differences Between Anycubic Photon vs Wanhao D7

The main differences between Anycubic Photon vs Wanhao D7 are:

  • Anycubic Photon has its own dedicated software, whereas Wanhao D7 does not have one.
  • Anycubic Photon has a build volume of 115 x 64 x 155mm, whereas Wanhao D7 has a build volume of 120 x 68 x 180mm.
  • Anycubic Photon has both USB and SD Card connectivity, whereas Wanhao D7 only has USB connectivity.
  • Anycubic Photon has a layer resolution of 25-100 microns, whereas Wanhao D7 has a layer resolution of 35 microns.

These two DLP 3D printers definitely fall into the budget category and you won’t be breaking the bank by purchasing either. How do they both shape up with their features?

Exploring Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7 features



Printing objects and designs with a DLP 3D printer is a bit different than using the FDM 3D printers that we often review. They don’t use filament. With these two 3D printers you use a liquid resin that is cured by light to create objects.

The Anycubic Photon has a build volume of 115 x 65 x 155mm and a laser resolution of 25-100 microns. The prints with the Photon are extremely good. Even with the well known 3DBenchy test – which we use for our FDM 3D printers – the results were fantastic.

The models came out to an extremely high quality and when you consider the cost of the Anycubic Photon, it represents real value for money. Even with complex layers on the print models, this printer was able to handle it with ease.

The Wanhao D7 offers similar results and it has a build volume of 120 x 68 x 180mm with a layer resolution of 35 microns. It uses the same technology to produce highly detailed prints and we also found that it handled the 3DBenchy test very well. There are a lot of printers that are much more expensive that don’t produce the high quality at the Wanhao D7 especially when it comes to complex models.

In terms of print quality, there isn’t much between these two printers. One thing to note is that because they are DLP 3D printers, the print time will generally be a good bit longer. This means they aren’t necessarily designed for mass-producing objects but given their cost, they are certainly ideal for home use.


Both of these printers are aimed at experienced people and they aren’t made or marketed at novices and beginners. This is due to the post-processing tasks that you need to carry out.

With many other affordable 3D printers that use a filament, they can often be a ‘plug and play’ device. While they take some getting used to, most hobbyists can get the basics and produce good prints in no time.

With both the Wanhao D7 and the Anycubic Photon, you need to do something called post-processing. This involves cleaning your printed objects with isopropyl alcohol and the resin that is used when printing the objects is hazardous as well. The post-processing is the same for both of these printers and it is something to keep in mind because it adds an extra task before your models are ready to go.


wanhao duplicator 7

These printers will require a bit more cleaning than many others due to the processes they use to create objects.

You need to clean the Wanhao D7 and the Anycubic Photon before and after you print. This can be a slightly arduous task. It involves pulling out the resin vat and removing any solid parts. The build plate needs to be cleaned each time too.

Both of these 3D printers require more cleaning than the majority of the FDM models. It is something to keep in mind because it does add to the time to print things off. It is also important that you wear all the required safety equipment when printing, post-processing, and cleaning.


With the Anycubic Photon, you will get slicing software provided with your purchase. It is actually one of the easier pieces of software to use with these kinds of printers. It can be a bit limiting with the settings you can change – the adjustable settings including normal exposure time, layer thickness, off time, and bottom and exposure time – but there are preset settings available too. The software allows you to modify things such as scaling and rotating models and it works pretty quickly too.

One thing that is a bit of a downside is the fact that you don’t get much explanation or descriptions of the settings.

There is no dedicated software with the Wanhao D7 but you do get access to Creation Workshop. It isn’t that easy to find the actual download file and many people have complained that it isn’t readily available on their website. You can use other slicer software with this 3D printer but this is the one that you get access to with the product.

In many ways, the lack of a dedicated software with the Wanhao is more indicative of the lack of specialized software with DLP printers. There certainly aren’t as many good options as there are for the FDM 3D printers.

Specifications for Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7

Anycubic Photon Wanhao D7
Build Volume: 115 x 65 x 155mm Build volume: 120 x 68 x 180mm
Software: Has its own dedicated slicing software Software: Doesn’t have its own slicing software. You get access to Creation Workshop
Connectivity: USB, SD Card Connectivity: USB
Layer Resolution: 25-100 microns Layer Resolution: 35 microns

Comparing Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7 pricing

These two models of 3D printers certainly come in at the budget end of the spectrum and that is very much the market they are aimed at.

That isn’t to say that because you pay a budget price you get budget quality. As we’ve shown when looking at the printing features above, both produce great prints even with complex models.

So, how do they compare in cost?

The Anycubic Photon really isn’t expensive at all and even when you add in the cost of the resin, it is still coming in very cheap compared to many other models. You will need to add resin which will add to the cost (it is more expensive than filament) but overall it is still very cheap.

The Wanhao D7 3D printer is a bit more expensive. Like the Anycubic Photon, you’ll need to pay for resin as well to produce your prints. This is a bit more than filament so it is something to factor in when you are looking at these 3D printers. That being said, the cost of the Wanhao D7 is still a lot lower than many other models on the market. Even though it is pricier than the Anycubic Photon, it is still an inexpensive DLP 3D printer.

Anycubic Photon vs Wanhao D7 ease of use

Neither of these 3D printers are made for beginners. This is down to the fact that using DLP printers and working with resin is a lot more hazardous than using filament.

The toxic resins require you to use various safety products such as goggles, gloves, and masks. You really don’t want this stuff to touch your skin and even the post-processing and cleaning of the printer isn’t something for novices to do.

In terms of the actual printing of the objects, it is a bit trickier than other 3D printers and that goes for both the Anycubic Photon and the Wanhao D7. If you are a beginner or even if you have a bit of experience with 3D printing, you might find the process a bit cumbersome and long-winded.

That being said, the software isn’t that hard to use. The software with the Anycubic Photon is very easy to operate and the fact that it is dedicated software adds to this. The Wanhao D7 doesn’t have its own software and the one provided is fairly straightforward as well.

Overall, both of these printers are a bit more complex than your average model but that is as much down to the fact that they use resin than anything else.

What support is available for the Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7

As both of these 3D printers are a bit more complicated, you’ll need to have some decent support options available.

You can find the firmware and software downloads easily on the Anycubic website and they are handily on the actual product page. The manual can be found here as well. They have a contact form on their website as well as a dedicated after-sales support portal you can log into. Overall the support isn’t fantastic but it isn’t terrible either. It is easy enough to get in contact and the software, firmware, and manuals are easily found on the product page.

Wanhao’s support isn’t that great. The actual support section of their website is completely empty. You can find some FAQs, manuals for your 3D printer as well as other information on the product pages. It was difficult to locate the software as well. They don’t offer great options for getting in contact. Whether that is down to where they are based I’m not sure but there are manufacturers that are much easier to get in contact with.

Pros and Cons

Anycubic Photon


  • Very affordable DLP 3D printer that products high-quality models
  • Isn’t for beginners but easy enough for experienced users
  • Good size of the printer and won’t take up a lot of space
  • Dedicated slicer software which is easy to use
  • Has some support options and manual/downloads straightforward to find


  • Pre-print and post-processing can be time-consuming
  • Need various safety equipment due to working with toxic materials

Wanhao D7


  • Low-cost DLP 3D printer that is much cheaper than many other models
  • Produces very good resin prints even with complex designs
  • Well designed and won’t take up too much space
  • Easy to use for those that are experienced with DLP printers


  • Like all DLP printers, printing, cleaning, and post-processing takes time
  • Doesn’t have dedicated software
  • Support options and the website isn’t great

Are there any alternatives?

Creality LD-002R LCD Resin 3D Printer

creality ld

If you want an alternative to the Anycubic Photon and the Wanhao D7, the Creality LD-002R LCD Resin 3D Printer is definitely an option. With a 119 X 65 X 160mm print volume and ability to print off high-quality models, it is a very good entry-level option.

People who are getting to grips with DLP 3D printers will find this one from Creality ideal. It is also priced in and around the same bracket as the Anycubic Photon and the Wanhao D7 (albeit a bit closer to the Anycubic Photon) so you won’t be shelling out a lot of money for this printer. The active carbon air filtering system is a good addition as it cuts down on the smell from the resin too.

Sparkmaker SLA 3D Resin Printer

lcd 3d printer

For anyone that wants a smaller build size as well as a cheaper price, the Sparkmaker SLA 3D Resin Printer is a good resin 3D printer to buy. It has a build volume of 98mm x 55mm x 125mm and like all resin printers, the usual caveats apply around safety and working with toxic resin.

Again, this isn’t really a printer for a complete novice but it is an easy to use the device. You don’t need to have a ton of experience to operate the Sparkmaker SLA 3D Resin Printer but it isn’t a ‘plug and plays’ machine. That being said, this is a great resin printer if you want a smaller build volume and a cheaper price.

FAQs About Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7

What is a resin 3D printer?

The difference between a resin DLP 3D printer and a FDM 3D printer is that they don’t use filament. These printers use a liquid resin that is cured by light to create objects.

Is the printing process slow with the Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7?

Printing will be slower with these two models and an FDM 3D printer. This is because the process takes longer and you also need to clean the machine more often. Post-processing also has to be carried out on the printed models which can add more time.

Where is the Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7 made?

Both the Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7 are manufactured in China.

Does the Anycubic Photon come with slicing software?

Wanhao don’t have their own slicing software but you do get access to Creation Workshop. Their website isn’t that easy to find things and the information is patchy so accessing can be a bit difficult.

Do I get a warranty with the Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7?

Yes. Both of these 3D printers come with a warranty. You can find information on the warranty for the Anycubic Photon on their website as different parts have different warranty cover and you get a 1-year warranty with the Wanhao D7.

Verdict: Anycubic Photon vs Wanhao D7 – Which is better?

If you are looking for a budget DLP resin 3D printer and want to know what one to choose between the Anycubic Photon and the Wanhao D7, I’m going to let you know my preference.

Both of these printers produce great results. It is really hard to try and distinguish between the two but I am going to choose the Anycubic Photon.

The actual process of using resin can be cumbersome and it definitely involves much more work than using filament on an FDM 3D printer. There isn’t any real difference in the cleaning/printing process between these printers and also the print quality is very similar. So, why did I choose the Anycubic Photon?

Well, they have their own dedicated slicing software. It might not seem like a massive deal but it does make a difference in my opinion. The Photon also has a bigger layer resolution range and even though the build volume is a bit smaller, they have SD card and USB functionality.

The Anycubic website is also a lot better and more advanced. It is much easier to find downloads for firmware, software and a manual on the product page. Their support options are clearer than Wanhao too.

Overall you can’t really go wrong with either of these 3D printers. They are powerful, budget-friendly, and produce great results. The Anycubic Photon is just better and more user friendly overall and that’s why I would choose the Photon over the Wanhao D7.

Further read: