Marketed as an upgrade to the wildly popular Anycubic Photon, the Photon S promises better, faster prints. In today’s Anycubic Photon S review, we take a deeper look at this SLA printer to find out how it stacks up to the original. Is it worth the added price? Keep reading to find out.
Anycubic Photon S 3D Printer Review
Anycubic Photon S Review Basics
You may notice a lot of similarities between the Photon and Photon S as we discuss the Photon S’s specs. That’s because they’re almost the same machine save for a few key details. For example, the Photon S shares roughly the same build volume of 4.5”W x 2.5”D x 6.4”H. The total physical dimensions of the printer are also quite similar, measuring 9.0” x 7.8” x 15.7”. The difference here is that the Photon S is actually a bit lighter since the exterior of the machine has been replaced with plastic, whereas the original Photon has an aluminum casing.
From there, the Photon S also shares the same 2k resolution masking screen although the light array has been changed to a UV matrix that results in better exposure and about 10W more power than the original Photon. That means prints develop a little faster.
As you would expect, the Photon S also features a large and thankfully responsive touchscreen which is a big improvement to its predecessor. Connect via USB and from there select your model and print settings through the touchscreen. The Photon S is very beginner-friendly, comes mostly pre-assembled and takes less than an hour to get started.
Anycubic Photon S Review Pros
Although the Anycubic Photon featured sturdy anodized-aluminum and metal parts, users were quick to point out the flimsy single Z-rod controlling the print bed. With just one rod, the bed was prone to vibrations and other movements which may cause defects in a print. To fix this issue, Anycubic included two rods to support the Photon S’s Z-axis. Ultimately, this is a simple but great update that proves Anycubic listens to their customers.
Chances are, you’re new to SLA printing. Even if you have years of FDM printer experience, SLA is still relatively new to the consumer market. That’s why the Photon S’s user-friendly operation is so important. With the new and improved touchscreen and interface, it’s now easier and less frustrating to communicate with your machine. Auto-leveling has also been reduced to a single-screw operation that has most users up and running in under 30 minutes. Finally, this SLA printer includes a charcoal air filter which helps reduce the amount of fumes emitted from the printing process.
Anycubic Photon S Review Cons
No Volume Upgrade
Despite their similarities, the Photon S is clearly a better version of the Photon. That’s why it’s so disappointing to see that there’s almost no upgrade to the print volume in this newer, more expensive printer. Even a small upgrade of an inch or two would make a world of difference, but adding less than half an inch to the Z-axis is hardly an upgrade. Considering that the other improvements to this machine are relatively small details, we think customers deserve something more.
Anycubic Photon S Review Verdict
The Anycubic Photon S is both better than its predecessor and stands alone as a quality SLA printer. The print results look gorgeous, the machine is well-built and dependable, and there’s a ton of support online and from the company itself. Of course, all that’s true of the original Anycubic Photon, which begs the question, is the Photon S worth an extra $200? At that point you could just get another Photon original and have two printers. Since the difference in print quality and volume is nigh indiscernible between these two machines, we recommend looking at the original Photon before the Photon S. Or, if you have the budget why not try a printer like the EPAX X1, which we think is the better machine.