LCD 3D printers are the new kids on the block, but they are getting noticed because they can give better prints than other resin 3D printers. They are more affordable too. The Phrozen Transform gives you a chance to work with resins to create large prints.
Is the Phrozen Transform the way to go? What are its features that you should know? We will be looking at the technologies, specifications, and functionalities that you can expect to get from Phrozen Transform.
Plus, we will also present alternatives for this printer to help you decide on whether the Transform is really what you need, and if you should buy it.
Phrozen Transform Review
The Phrozen Transform is huge, measuring 14.9 by 13.7 by 24 inches (37.8 by 34.8 by 61.0) but there is a good reason for its significant size. This printer is one the very few that deliver a sizable print volume at 11.5 by 6.5 by 15.75 inches (29.2 by 16.5 by 40.0 centimeters).
There are downsides and upsides to this. But looking at the benefits, you will be able to print huge things with fewer parts. If you have to assemble a lot of small prints to create a big costume, then there will be a lot of weak points that can affect its durability.
With the huge build size of the Phrozen Transform, you are no longer limited to miniature action figures, you can create sizable ones as well. The downside is that you will need a lot of desktop space for your printer.
LCD Printer: What the Phrozen Transform Uses
The Phrozen Transform uses masked stereolithography technology to deliver your 3D prints. MSLA uses liquid crystal display to work on the resin and create your prints.
The LCD takes the place of the lasers used in laser stereolithography and the projector used in digital light processing 3D printers. The LCD exposes the liquid resin to light, which hardens the resin.
Two types of LCD are used in Phrozen Transform printers. The standard LCD is in full color, the same type that is used in smartphones. However, because color LCDs have color filters (green, red, and blue), it lowers the amount of violet and ultraviolet light getting to the resin.
Because of this, color LCDs in 3D printers are both a blessing and a curse. It’s a good idea as it is cheaper than lasers, projectors, or even monochrome LCDs because these are mass-produced for smartphones.
But it works slowly because of the filters. With filtered light reaching the resin, it will need more exposure time. The longer exposure results in the resin taking quite a while to cure.
Monochrome LCDs do not have these filters and can get more light to the resin. This ability makes it faster for it to cure. The reduction in printing time is significant. But because monochrome LCDs are not as widely manufactured as colored ones, they tend to be more expensive.
Further, finding a replacement for the monochrome LCD can prove to be difficult or expensive.
Phrozen Transform, as we mentioned, offers monochrome and colored LCD versions. However, you will need to decide beforehand if you’d be willing to pay more for faster printing times. The monochrome LCD version of the Phrozen Transform sells for $2,700, while the standard version with the colored LCD sells for $700 less at only $2000.
But how fast is fast? Phrozen Transform printers with the monochrome LCD can print 1.57 inches (40 millimeters) per hour, while standard Transform printers can only print a quarter of that at 0.39 inches (10 millimeters) per hour. That puts the monochrome LCD four times quicker than colored LCDs.
|Print Speed||40 millimeters per hour||10 millimeters per hour|
|LCD Panel||13.3-inch monochrome LCD||13.3-inch RGB LCD|
Dual or Single Panel
On top of the monochrome or colored LCD options, you can use the 13.3-inch (33.78 centimeters) panel or the dual panel that measures 5.5 inches (13.97 centimeters) each.
One advantage of having a big print volume is that you can easily print a number of different models simultaneously. Phrozen Transform allows you to do that using two different plates.
Not only can this 3D printer accommodate several models, but you can even print them on two different plates. This capability helps you to save a significant amount of time.
What’s more, you can easily swap panels in a matter of seconds. And the resolutions on both of these panels are nothing to sneeze at. The 13.3-inch panel delivers an XY resolution of 76 micrometers while the dual panel has resolutions of 47 micrometers.
|Panel||13.3 Full Panel||Dual Panel|
|Build Volume||11.5 by 6.5 by 15.75 inches||4.97 by 2.68 by 15.75 inches per tray|
|XY Resolution||76 micrometers||47 micrometers|
|Z Resolution||10 micrometers||10 micrometers|
Tall 3D Models? No Problem
If you’re looking for a printer that can print tall 3D models, then Phrozen Transform is worth looking at. It can print objects as tall as 40 centimeters (15.75 inches). This is roughly as tall as a bowling pin.
What You Will Like About the Phrozen Transform 3D Printer
Users who are looking for a 3D printer that will allow them to print huge objects can rely on Phrozen Transform to do just that. Not only that, the print quality of this printer should be amazing.
This 3D printer is also efficient because of the ParaLED Optical Engine feature that can deliver a more focused angle for the light. This focus allows the light to penetrate better.
What’s more, this 3D printer is very stable with aluminum support for the Z-axis, as well as double linear rails and ball screws. This kind of setup is usually found on more expensive printers.
Specifications at a Glance
|Dimensions||15.16 by 14.02 by 24.29 inches|
|Light Used||405nm Ultraviolet LED with ParaLED Matrix Technology|
|Z-axis Mechanisms||Ball screws and dual linear rails|
|Cooling System||Multiple fans|
|Support Software||ChiTu Box|
|Operating System||Proprietary (Phrozen OS 1.0)|
|Touch Display||Yes, 5-inch touch panel|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, USB, and LAN|
Phrozen Transform: The Bottom Line
For a consumer 3D printer, the Phrozen Transform has a huge build volume. This capacity allows you to take advantage of the space and print bigger parts or print several small prints simultaneously to save time.
Apart from the build volume, the Taiwanese company offers its users a lot of choices to make 3D printing more convenient. For one, you can choose to save money with the standard version or create faster prints with the fast version.
You can also choose to print huge 3D objects using the full LCD panel. Or literally, divide the task using the dual LCD panel that allows you to print two separate objects at the same time.
And there’s not much downside to getting Phrozen Transform, too. The biggest complaint we’ve seen is that the printer doesn’t come with free resin, so you will have to remember to buy it separately if you want to start printing immediately.
- Huge build volume
- ParaLED lights
- Stable Z-axis, which is twice as tall as comparable 3D printers
- Options that will allow you to save money or get fast print speeds
- 405-nm ultraviolet LED makes it compatible with most resins
- Solid built with top-notch materials
- Wi-Fi, LAN, and USB Connectivity
- The company doesn’t ship free resin with your purchase
- Can be more expensive than comparable printers
Alternatives to the Phrozen Transform 3D Printer
If you’re not convinced with Phrozen Transform, there are several competitors that you might want to consider. The Phrozen Transform stands out because of its build volume, attractive price point, and use of LCD technology.
Its competitors, the Sonic XL 4K from the same company, the Tronxy X5SA, and the Peopoly Phenom, all bring something different to the table. Is the Phrozen Transform the better choice, or should you buy one of its alternatives?
The Peopoly Phenom stands out with a height of 30.7 inches (78 centimeters).
This budget 3D printer allows you to print large projects with a build volume of 10.8 by 6.1 by 15.8 inches (27.4 by 15.5 by 40.1 centimeters).
This LCD printer uses a 4K laptop LCD screen as well as ultraviolet light to harden the resin. Plus, it costs only $2,000 (check out the latest deals on MatterHackers here).
The Phenom can deliver quality prints, but you might find yourself tweaking on the settings too much to get there. Another problem is that the software can feel a bit unpolished sometimes.
- Compatible with a wide assortment of resins
- Big print volume
- It can get really noisy when it’s running
- Wi-Fi connectivity is not offered
- Might not be a good match for beginners or those who like to switch up when it comes to resins
2. Tronxy X5SA
The Tronxy X5SA is an excellent 3D printer that can similarly handle large prints.
It has a build volume of 13 by 13 by 15.8 inches (33 by 33 by 40 centimeters) and a printing speed of four inches (10 centimeters) per second.
However, instead of working with resins, you will be using filaments for this 3D printer. The single extruder will push out the hot plastic to form your 3D model. The Tronxy X5SA is compatible with different kinds of materials, including HIPS, ABS, PVC, PC, and PLA.
Features on this 3D printer include automatic bed leveling, resume print, filament level detection, and a 3.5-inch (8.9 centimeters) touch display. In short, it has all the features you would expect from a Bowden-type extrusion 3D printer.
But the most impressive thing about this large-format 3D printer is that it’s very affordable. It sells for less than $400.
- Very affordable, especially when you consider the sizable build volume
- Stable build
- Fast printing times
- The 3D printer comes to you as a kit that you will need to assemble
- Some quality control issues where some parts may be missing or broken
- Support and help documentation can be a lot better
3. Phrozen Sonic XL 4K
The Phrozen Sonic XL 4L 3D printer is another LCD printer that can selectively harden resin to create your prints.
It uses a 4K LCD that has a pixel resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels.
This printer has a build volume of 4.7 by 7.5 by 7.9 inches (12 by 19 by 20 centimeters).
It has printing speeds of 7.9 inches (20 centimeters) per hour, mainly because of the monochrome LCD used by this printer that only needs 0.2 seconds to cure the resin.
This printer costs $2,300.
- Ideal for dental uses
- High level of detail at 4K resolutions
- Large build volume means that you can print several models simultaneously
- Works with most resins, even third-party products
- Has a smaller build volume and slower speeds than the Phrozen Transform
- Can be very expensive
Answer: 3D printers use different kinds of light sources to harden the resin and give you your prints. In the case of LCD printers, LCD panels are used. These panels are similar to the ones you see on your smartphones.
LCDs replace the projectors and the lasers found on other types of 3D printers.
Laser stereolithography uses lasers to cure the resin. Lasers make for fast printing times, can accommodate a large build area, and high-quality prints, but they can be very expensive.
Meanwhile, digital light projection technology makes use of projectors instead of LCDs or lasers. Projectors in 3D printers allow you to have speedy printing time, much faster than laser printers. However, because DLP also needs digital micromirror device chips, these 3D printers can be very expensive with a limited build volume.
Compared to these two technologies, LCD 3D printing can be very inexpensive. LCD panels are widely manufactured because it’s being used by mobile tablets and other devices. What’s more, LCD 3D printers do not need expensive DMD chips.
However, because the light is not that intense as lasers or projectors, LCD printing can take a lot longer and the print quality might not be as good as the resolutions you see on DLP and laser printers.
To give you an idea, here are the three technologies and their rankings.
• Laser 3D printers top this category as the lasers can shine on a wider coverage area
• LCD 3D printers are the runners-up in this category, as they can accommodate a bigger build area by using more LCD panels
• DLP 3D printers are limited by the DMD chips, which usually measure only 1,920 by 1,080 pixels
• LCD 3D printers are very affordable compared to laser and projector-based 3D printers.
• Projector-based 3D printers are some of the fastest out there, with laser printers coming in a close second
• LCD 3D printers are the slowest because you need more time for the light to cure the resin
• Both laser and DLP 3D printers can deliver high print resolutions and intricately detailed prints
• LCD printers are not known for their astounding print quality
Answer: Seeing that there are significant differences in these three technologies harden your resins, you may be wondering if all resins are compatible with all LCD, DLP, or laser 3D printers.
If you’re thinking that the answer is no, then you’re correct. For instance, if you have an LCD 3D printer, you will want a fast curing resin because of the low intensity of light it has.
You should first read the data sheets provided by the resin’s manufacturer if you’re going to use third party products. Or you can always just buy from your 3D printer’s manufacturer.
The good news is that Phrozen has its own line of resins that works quite well with the Transform.
Answer: Phrozen is a Taiwanese company that launched its first 3D printer via Kickstarter. They initially wanted $30,000 to develop their prototype, but got more than ten times that amount in funding: $375,000. They subsequently did another crowdfunding drive with an initial goal of $30,000 but got $519,000 in 2019.
The company has been churning out LCD 3D printers since its 2017 launch, along with toners and resins. They also sell replacement parts and accessories for 3D printers.
So far, Phrozen has been coming out with quality 3D printers, slowly solidifying its reputation in the 3D printer market. They have several innovations under their belt, including the ParaLED ultraviolet engine and the use of linear bearings on a pair of sturdy rails for the Z-axis movement.
What’s more, the brand is known for its affordable products. When you check their technical characteristics, you will find that their closest competitors can be twice as expensive as their printers.
Final Thoughts: Is the Phrozen Transform Worth It?
LCD 3D printers are proving that you don’t have to spend too much on a stereolithography printer. The Phrozen Transform doesn’t disappoint with its large build volume, fast printing speeds, and reasonable price tag.
If you’ve always wanted to work with resins, then the Phrozen Transform should be a perfect choice for you. However, if you’re looking for a printer that can handle elaborate and intricate details, you should give the Phrozen Sonic XL 4K a try.
Or, if you’re not averse to tweaking and configuring, the Peopoly Phenom might allow you to save money on your resin printer. Further, if the budget is a little tight, you might want to skip the resin and just go for filaments with the Tronxy X5SA.