Photon: Performance to make you squeal with joy, at a price that won’t make you cry

December 19, 2018 | 10:00
 Photo from the video below. The fineness of the detail of the object is equivalent to the thickness of your skin…
Photo from the video below. The fineness of the detail of
the object is equivalent to the thickness of your skin….  
The sight of a filament 3D printer working is fascinating. When you start, there is nothing, a few tens of minutes or maybe an hour or so later there is something there. In the meantime, you have been able to see your object appear before your eyes in real time. With a liquid resin printer, it’s different. While it’s working, there is almost nothing to see. It all takes place in a closed box. As well as that, the object is always printed upside-down. While printing is in progress, the resin drips and it resembles more the athanor* of the alchemists than a modern technique.

You only hear the oohs and aahs when it’s all finished!

SLA or DLP, what’s the difference ?

If the technique used in the printer to solidify the resin is a laser (SLA - Stereolithography), the price is only for the pros. Only lucrative work will make such an investment profitable. However, the printing process becomes more affordable if the source of the light for the polymerization (digital light processing) is ultraviolet. Yes, you’re still looking at more than 500, but there’s no compromise in the details of the printed objects. Quite the opposite! By comparison to PLA filaments, the rendering of surfaces obtained with polymerized resin is spectacularly better. Only a keen eye can distinguish a moulded object from one printed with the new DLP printer shown below!

Photon, from AnyCubic, the best 3D DLP printer of the year

Numerous reviewers consider the Photon from the manufacturer AnyCubic an exceptional printer. To the US site Digital Trends it’s even the best 3D printer of the year. Essentially because it brings together two attributes seldom found together: performance worth shouting about at a price that won’t make you hesitate.

At first glance, it doesn’t look like much. One might even say it’s ugly. Its printing volume is, let’s say, compact. All true, but in a volume of 115 x 65 x 155 mm you can print plenty of things!

The thickness of the resin layers printed by the Photon is in the order of 10 microns. In other words, to distinguish them you’d need a good eye and…. a good magnifying glass. And to find a 3D printer which does more, you’ll pay 5 or 6 times the price.

* Athanor: Alchemist’s furnace  
 
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