The Best SLA 3D Printers of 2019
SLA 3D printing is an old technology making a new emergence on the consumer market. Once prohibitively expensive, SLA technology is now affordable for almost everyone. The benefits of SLA printing over FDM printing are numerous, including better print quality, faster prints, and a simpler design that’s suitable for the mechanically disinclined.
Want to experience SLA printing for yourself? SLA printers also make the perfect gift for the tech geek in your life. We’ve selected the best SLA 3D printers on the market today to make your life a little easier. These are the best SLA printers in their price categories and you’ll find something for every budget.
The Best Budget SLA 3D Printer: Anycubic Photon
The Anycubic Photon earned it’s place as the most popular SLA printer with its crazy-affordable price, solid construction and undeniably good results. Fit with a standard 2K resolution masking screen and anti-aliasing mode, the Photon produces smooth models with incredible detail.
Speaking to its solid construction, the Photon uses anodized aluminum for its most important components and hard plastic for the rest. The printer, though small, weighs over 20lbs and feels like a rugged machine. That’s pretty incredible for a sub-$300 printer. The Photon also comes with a 1-year warranty and lifetime customer service, adding even more value to this budget device.
Bringing SLA printing to the masses, the Photon is a user-friendly, well-built, affordable printer that’s perfect for introducing people to this technology. Check this printer out on Amazon or read our Anycubic Photon review for more info.
The Best Mid-Range SLA 3D Printer: EPAX X1
Moving up in price, the EPAX X1 presents a substantial upgrade to the Photon for a better user experience. Both printers feature the same print volume and resolution, however the X1’s fine details make all the difference. For example, the X1 uses a strong 40W LED light array that takes seconds off each exposure. Those seconds add up and end up saving you hours of print time versus a machine like the Photon.
The EPAX X1 is also built like a tank, improving overall stability for even better prints with fewer artifacts. Small vibrations up the Z-axis are often responsible for visible layering or a wave-like texture on SLA models. The X1 solves this problem with a dual-rod system that keeps the build platform steady during operation. You’ll also enjoy a 3.5” color touchscreen which is more responsive and comprehensive than you’ll find on cheaper printers.
The X1’s also uses non-FEP film, contrary to other SLA printers. Non-FEP film lasts longer and doesn’t cloud up or stick to the LCD screen like FEP film does. The result is better print quality and a low-maintenance customer experience. There’s way more to love about this machine so check it out for yourself! Also check out our full EPAX X1 review.
The Best Premium SLA 3D Printer: HEIHA SQ3
The problem with most consumer SLA printers is that their print volume is very small. Often offering just a fraction of an FDM printer’s volume, cheaper SLA printers are limited to what they can build. The HEIHA SQ3 solves this problem with a comparatively massive build volume measuring 8.4” x 5.3” x 7.8”. That’s about twice the build volume of the EPAX X1 or Anycubic Photon. Of course, the SQ3 also more than twice as much as the X1, but we think it’s well worth the money for printer’s additional features and value.
Perhaps the most remarkable feature is how quickly the HEIHA SQ3 prints compared to other SLA printers. Users claim exposure times as low as 3 seconds per layer, which is more than twice the speed of the Anycubic Photon. As for stability, the SQ3 uses heavy aluminum parts coupled with a plastic shell, which is what you expect the best SLA printers. The Z-axis system is particularly smart, using a dual-rail system that keeps the build platform steady while printing.
With a large build volume, fast printing, and user-friendly features like multiple connectivity options and automatic functions like bed leveling and vat mixing, the HEIHA SQ3 checks all the right boxes for those who want a premium experience from their SLA printer.