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It is a testament to how far consumer 3D printers have come that they are almost affordable enough for the average household. Many people have invested in 3D printers for their homes, thanks to falling prices, increased quality, and improved usability. Today, in this Phrozen Sonic Mini review, we are going to be looking at the Phrozen Sonic Mini 3D printer, which retails for around $500-$600 depending on where you find it.
Phrozen has been developing their own line of 3D printers for some time now, and they have had a lot of success selling on Amazon, as well as their own website. They are an established brand with a lot of experience in producing quality products at low prices.
Phrozen has recently released the Sonic Mini 3D printer, which is an updated version of their older, more expensive model – the Phrozen One. While it does not offer all of the same features that the One had, it is much cheaper and has a lot of the bells and whistles that you would expect from a 3D printer these days.
In this review we are going to go over all the important info about the Phrozen Sonic Mini including how it works, what comes in the box, its design and build quality, supported materials, customer service, supported file types, and more.
We hope that by the end of this article you will know everything you need to make an informed decision about whether or not it is for you!
Bottom Line Up Front
The small footprint makes this printer great for those who are limited on space. It’s also a great option for beginners. However, due to its small size, it doesn’t pack a lot of features and can’t build large projects, so it may not be the best option for advanced users.
In the Box
3D printers are complicated machines, but like all tech they do get easier to use as time goes on. It can be intimidating if you have never used a 3D printer before, but thanks to the internet you can find all sorts of resources and guides to help ease yourself into it.
Additionally, Phrozen provides a “quick start” guide included with the printer itself, as well as a more detailed instruction manual which you can download from their website.
In terms of design the Sonic Mini takes cues from cutting edge printer designs, with rounded corners and a unique case design.
This is great because it helps keep the cost down while still giving the product an aesthetically pleasing exterior.
The build volume on this printer is about 5″ x 5″ x 7″, which means you can print up to approximately 150 cubic inches in size at once.
This is very small, even by entry level 3D printing standards, but it does make sense because the printer itself is also much smaller.
This volume size should be fine for most people who are just starting out with 3D printing, but it might not hold up if you want to print bigger objects or more intricate prints.
The casing on this printer is made of a high quality aluminum, which makes it extremely durable and good at keeping the internal components cool.
This is important because 3D printers can get very hot during use, and they need to be able to maintain their internal temperatures in order to function correctly.
The build plate on this printer uses an auto-level sensor, which means that you never have to screw the build plate down, and it is always at the perfect height. This is great for new users, as they will not need to worry about getting wire cutters or leveling the bed correctly.
Another interesting feature of this printer is that it has an “auto filament sensor” which means that if you run out of filament the printer will pause and notify you that it is out.
This can save a lot of trouble for people who are just starting out with 3D printing, because not having filament loaded into your machine could result in prints failing or inferior results overall.
This printer also has an integrated USB port which means you can use the onboard controls to send print jobs to your printer from most modern computers. This is a very easy way of printing without having to use an SD card or flash drive, which can be somewhat temperamental for new users.
Supported File Types
This printer only supports a few file types including .STL, .OBJ, .RAW, and .GCODE.
Most 3D printing software can export to one of these file types, so this isn’t that big of a deal. However, if you want to send your files directly from your computer you will need the most up-to-date 3D printing software.
This printer uses 1.75mm PLA filament and it comes with some samples for you to get started with.
This is great for beginners, because it means you won’t need to buy filament right away if you don’t want to. However, PLA only comes in a limited number of colors and qualities, and it is known for being very brittle and easy to break when printed into thin or intricate pieces.
If this remains a problem then you can always order more filament online or purchase different types of PLA filaments once you are ready to move beyond the basics.
Phrozen has a pretty good customer support system for their printers, with online manuals and FAQs available.
They also have active communities on Facebook where you can ask questions about the printer itself, as well as troubleshooting other problems you might be having.
This is great because it means you can continue using your 3D printer without being completely left in the dark.
This printer is very reasonably priced, especially for its build quality and easy of use features. If you are new to 3D printing this would be a good printer to start out with for this reason.
The customer support and warranty that comes with Phrozen printers is also a nice bonus as it means you’re protected from basic mistakes and issues.
Who Is This Product For?
This printer is probably for people who are just getting started with 3D printing, but it also could be for prosumers because of its portability and unique features.
You should not buy this printer if you are looking for a printer that can print larger objects or more intricate pieces, because the Sonic Mini is on the smaller side, and it only supports PLA filament.
If you are just getting started with 3D printing then you should probably wait until after your first few prints to decide whether or not this printer will work for you.
If you want a printer that can print larger or more complicated objects then this is probably not for you, but if you just want something to put on your desk and have some fresh filament to mess around with then the Sonic Mini could be perfect.
If you’re looking for a compact 3D printer at home, the Phrozen Sonic Mini is a great option, but it’s not the only one. Here are some other models you may want to check into first.
PP3DP Up! Mini
This compact 3D printer retails for $499 and is a great option if you’re looking for a 3D printer that can print smaller pieces and objects. It also has an attached and enclosed design which makes it more stable than many other similarly priced printers.
XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0
Another option is the XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 which is one of the lowest priced printers on the market, coming in at $299. The da Vinci Jr. 1.0 has a small footprint and can print objects up to 5x5x5 inches in size, making it another great compact option for your desk or home office.
The Cube 1 is another great option if you’re looking for something sleek and compact. It retails for $399, which is more than the smaller da Vinci Jr., but it comes with some nice features like Wi-Fi connectivity and a built in camera that allows you to see your object inside the printer while it’s being printed.
When you’re looking for a 3D printer, there are plenty of things to think about. These frequently asked questions should help you make a better buying decision.
Question: What kind of filament does the Phrozen Sonic Mini 3D printer use?
Answer: The printer uses 3mm PLA filament, and it cannot print anything larger than 11.8 x 11.8 x 11.8 inches in size or with a thickness greater than 4mm. You can find Phrozen PLA filaments at pretty much any online retailer that sells 3D printers and accessories, and they come in a variety of colors.
Question: Can I print with PLA and ABS filament?
Answer: No, you can only use PLA or Phrozen brand PLA filament with the Sonic Mini 3D printer. This is because it has a heated build plate that will not allow for anything other than PLA to be used as a printing material. Any ABS filament that is fed into the machine will immediately clog the hot end and cause a big mess.
Question: How much noise does this printer make?
Answer: This printer sounds like you’re driving on a road that’s full of potholes (which makes sense if you’ve ever driven on a gravel road).
This can be a problem if you’re printing overnight or don’t have a place to put the printer that won’t annoy people around you. It is definitely not a printer that you can place in your living room and hope to forget about until the print is done.
Question: What kind of warranty does this printer come with?
Answer: This printer has a one-year manufacturer’s warranty for parts and labor with the option to upgrade the warranty up to two years. There are also warranties available for extended protection and accidental damage in case you drop your printer or anything like that.
Question: Is there room to expand this printer?
Answer: No, the Phrozen Sonic Mini is a very compact 3D printer. If you want something with more printing options and better quality prints, then you should probably look for another model such as the da Vinci Jr.
Question: How long does it take before I can start printing?
Answer: The printer needs to heat up for about 45 minutes before you can start a print, but that’s just the heating process and doesn’t include actual printing time. Most prints will take between 10 and 12 hours to complete with this printer, so make sure you set aside enough time for the print job.
The Phrozen Sonic Mini is an affordable option for those who want to get started with 3D printing. It has a small footprint, making it easy to find a place for it on your desk or table without taking up too much space.
However, its small size also means that the printer has some limitations when it comes to what you can print and how large of an object can be printed.
This printer is a great option for those who want to get started with 3D printing and aren’t sure if they’ll stick with it or not, but if you’re looking for something more versatile and sturdy, then you should look elsewhere.