The ability to print out 3D objects has changed how individuals create and build things, from replacement parts to full-fledged items, based on what users can design – all you need is a machine that can print them out. Anycubic’s Photon Mono X 6K takes things to the next level, by offering a larger print bed and the ability to print larger objects at a higher resolution.
Retailing from $569, the Photon Mono X 6K is a Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer which prints quality 3D models using resin, and one of the larger ones in the market. It does what most resin 3D printers are able to do, except it prints in higher resolutions with finer details for the print. With its larger monochrome screen, the printer is able to print larger objects at a faster speed. Another benefit of using a monochrome screen is that it can last longer before requiring a replacement. For the Photon Mono X 6k, the build plate has a checkered pattern on it, which helps the print stick better to the plate as well. There is a slight downside through, as the base of the print will have a faint checkered mark on it. If this bothers you, you can always print the model on a raft to get around that.
Another cool feature is that the Photon Mono X 6K has a Wi-Fi antenna which you can screw on, allowing you to print remotely instead of the usual plug in USB drive method. The Photon Mono X 6K has a pretty large touch screen too, which helps navigation of the User Interface and previewing models better.
You can check out the Photon Mono X 6K specifications below, in comparison with its 4K version:
|Photon Mono X 6K||Photon Mono 4K|
|Exposure Screen||9.25’’ monochrome||6.23’’ monochrome|
|Printing volume/Dimensions||9.6 x 7.8 x 4.8 in. / 24.5 x 19.7 x 12.2 cm (HWD). / 5.9 L||6.5 x 5.2 x 3.1 in. / 16.5 x 13.2 x 8 cm (HWD) / 1.7L|
|Light Source||Parallel matrix (LED x 40)||Parallel matrix(LED x 15)|
|Power Density||5,000 – 6,500 μw/cm² / 34,150 – 44,395 lux||3,500 – 4,000 μw/cm²/23,905 – 27,320 lux|
|Printing accuracy||5,760 x 3,600 px (6K)||3,840 x 2,400 px (4K)|
|Horizontal resolution||34 μm||35 μm|
|Printing speed:||Max 60mm/h||≤ 5 cm/hr. / 1.97 in./hr.|
|Control panel:||3.5’’ TFT touch-control||2.8’’ TFT touch-control|
|Data input:||USB-A 2.0 / LAN||USB-A 2.0|
|Machine dimensions:||18.7 x 11.4 x 10.6 in. / 47.5 x 29 x 27 cm (HWD)||15.1 x 8.9 x 8.7 in./38.3 x 22.7 x 22.2 cm (HWD)|
|Machine weight:||24.3 lb. / 11 kg||9.4 lb./4.3 kg|
|Price||US$639 – 689||US$239 – 289|
Out of the box, this 3D printer comes well packaged with enough styrofoam to protect the insides, while providing some support for the exterior casing. It also comes packed with some useful accessories, such as the paper used to level the 3D printer, SD card reader, tools, scraper and even a pair of disposable mask and gloves. These will improve the product’s user experience as you pretty much just need resin, IPA and alcohol to get started. You can check out our beginners’ guide to 3D printing here.
The build quality of this 11kg 3D printer is pretty solid, reducing the chance of vibrations, especially during the printing process when the platform is lifted up. The build platform is supported by dual railings which feels both strong and sturdy. The printer also comes with a screen protector, to prevent accidental scratches or stains on the actual screen.
To start the print, the auto-level feature itself proved very useful, and there wasn’t any need to test the tightness of the paper if you are able to set up the base plate tight enough. We printed an articulated lizard print using the Photon Mono X 6k and the results were stunning. The print result was visibly more detailed than the models from our 4K 3D printer, and the quality was very close to a commercial-grade resin statue. This is expected, as this 3D printer can print details up to 34 μm. The larger print plate also proved effective, allowing the printing of multiple parts and the printing of larger parts without the need to slice the model.
Anycubic has also developed a Wash and Cure Machine Plus machine, to help with the post-printing process for the printed model. The washing function of this is very well thought out, as there is plenty of room to fit large models in it. There is also a stand to allow the build plate of the Photon Mono X 6k to be submerged fully into the alcohol tank with the model still on it. The machine will spin the alcohol in 2 different directions, where the 2nd direction of the spin is auto calculated by the machine. Removing the wash model is relatively easy too. You can just raise the tray to allow the model to drip dry a bit before curing it. After washing, the alcohol can be stored in the tank as the tank was well designed to be sealed tight with rubber sealing which prevents accidental spillage.
At US$209, The Wash and Cure Machine Plus might be a tad expensive compared to its smaller brother (US$109), but it will improve quality of life when you wash the model, and when you handle bigger prints which the Photon Mono X 6K can handle.
Anycubic’s wash and cure machine is a useful solution to cure the 3D model using UV light. This device can be configured to be in cure mode, in which it has a turntable that rotates slowly around the array of LED lamps. It also features an articulated top where you can bend the LED lamp to shine on the top of the model. The floor of the machine has a reflective surface, allowing the UV rays to bounce around the printed model too. This is definitely a step up from putting the washed 3D print out in the sun to dry and risking it being knocked over.
If you can afford it, the Photon Mono X 6K costs about US$400 more than its smaller printer in the same family. For that, you will get 6K resolution print, a bigger printable surface area, and Wi-Fi capabilities. Most folks will be fine with the typical 4K resolution, which can produce really good print results at the right settings. However, it doesn’t hurt to have finer details on your prints, especially after all the time required to wait for your prints.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
The Anycubic Photon Mono X 6K delivers on 6K resolution resin 3D prints, but costs about US$400 more than its smaller printer in the same family. It all boils down to how particular you are about the finer details of your 3D printed models.
Aesthetics - 8.5/10
Build Quality - 9/10
Performance - 8/10
Value - 7/10
Geek Satisfaction - 8/10
SnapSniper is an avid geek who is both a huge fan of games and an even bigger Star Wars fan.