This printer came up when I was doing research on good alternatives to the R1. The reason I wrote about the R1 is due to the many options for affordable 3d printers. There are a lot of options, but not every option is good.
People who go off Amazon reviews might be misled, especially new 3d printer users. I believe it’s important there are more in-depth reviews on products.
I’m glad I found this printer though. Writing about this printer made me realize this is another quality printer. So much so that I believe the Anycubic Photon review post needed to be done.
Table of Contents
Factors To Look For
There are a lot of affordable 3d printers on the market. Since this is the case, this causes problems for new and veteran 3d printer users.
The first problem is they might be misled on which printer is the best fit for them. The second problem is they might waste their money.
Writing in-depth reviews like this helps potential buyers more than a comment can.
Anyone who’s in the market for a low-budget 3d printer ranges from hobbyists to new users. There’s a low barrier to entry for affordable 3d printers.
The main trait I found in people who purchase affordable 3d printers is they don’t want to get too technical.
This is why I consider user-friendliness as one of the first factors to look for. Here are the factors I recommend to look at when looking for 3d printers:
- Print quality
I’ll be going through each one for the Anycubic Photon below.
Anycubic is a company based in China. Looking on their website, you can read their “About” page and read that they’re all for affordable printers.
They carry a series of Photon printers and the one I’m reviewing right now is one of the most affordable. The Anycubic Photon prints using resin material. While resin is good for creating models, there are some downsides to it.
Some of those include the odor, extra equipment, and more. Although, being able to print using resin with a high precision printer like this is a recipe for great print quality.
Other good qualities include user-friendliness, and a custom software with great customer support.
Unfortunately, I can’t really compare this to previous generations. But, looking at the printers that came after this one, you see improvements.
Some of those improvements come from making the build area larger, or building the printer to use multiple filaments.
- Highly affordable
- Precision/2k resolution
- Custom software
- Customer support
- Support generation
- Resin side effects
- Print speed
- Filament diversity
Breakdown Of The Anycubic Photon
To test print quality you need to give the printer some benchmark tests.
Doing my research, I’ve found some of the results this printer gives. Check out this model.
You know a printer is good when you print complex models and there’s zero flaws. And, even if there were small mistakes, I would still give it a high mark. Thats how much detail this printer gives.
With this printer, you can print complex models with high attention to detail. A nice bonus is this printer comes with its own resin. This helps you start printing right away.
One thing that might turn you off is its printing speed. The Photon comes printing at a speed of 20 mm/h. It definitely isn’t the fastest printer.
For comparison, the fastest printers in this price range go up to 300 mm/s. I’m certain you won’t find this print speed in this price range that much though. If you want to go faster, you usually have to pay more.
This printer comes out of the box ready. Their packaging contains styrofoam to protect your equipment.
A nice complement is the gloves they give. This is useful for the resin. Other than that, there’s a power cable, mask, filters, and more.
Although most of the tools and equipment comes assembled, there’s still some things that need work. Some of that work includes leveling the bed while inserting a few screws in.
A printer like this is known as plug-and-play. Not much work to it besides creating the model.
Another thing I like about this printer is the software. There are some printers with proprietary software, and others that don’t.
There are advantages and disadvantages with proprietary software. Companies that make their own software can better handle their problems.
There’s a cool feature on here called “support generation”.
3d printers print “supports” which help create the build for your model. Support generation in this case creates the parts automatically.
Another benefit of the features is the precision. Having great precision creates detailed models. This indicates a higher-quality printer. The Anycubic Photon produces a 2k resolution which is the key to precision.
A downside to a resin printer is not only odor, another disadvantage with resin is the post-processing. This is a process of getting all the cleaning done. This includes cleaning the model and printer bed. Resin is hard to get off during the post-process.
That’s not the only downside though. This printer lacks versatility for filament use. Being limited to resin limits the creativity. Different filaments offer different advantages.
One convenient feature is the connectivity. You can use USB and SD Card to connect with the printer. This helps when you’re printing offline as it gives you more options.
I Like The Enclosure Design On This Printer. It Keeps Both The Model And Printer Safe. Combine That With The Internal Cooling And Your Models Should Come Out Nicely.
The whole build area comes in at 4 x 2.56 x 6.10 inches. You won’t be printing the biggest models, but you’re not limited at all.
The LCD screen helps with prints too. They make it easy to navigate the screen so you’re not stuck on how to print, and you can start printing instead.
Low-Budget 3D Printer Alternatives
- Open source
- Filament versatility
- Print quality
- Manual calibration
The Ender 3 is a solid printer for most categories. For affordable 3d printers though, it’s one of the best.
I’m not a big fan of the open layout but it makes up for that with great print quality and affordability.
Just last year this printer became fully open-source. It’s one of the first printers to do so in China. The open-source includes information on its hardware, software, and more.
A big advantage the Ender 3 has over the Photon is the filament versatility. You get to experiment with at least 3-5 types of filaments and find which one works best for you. You’ll also save yourself from the odor.
One thing I don’t like is the small little manual work. Manually calibrating doesn’t make it easier for the new 3d printer users. Automating this part saves a few headaches.
Overall, the user experience is easy. It’s semi-assembled, but it’s not hard to assemble. One similarity it has with the Anycubic Photon is they’re both compact.
Robo 3D R1 Plus
- 24/7 customer support
- Filament versatility
- Different printing speeds
- Model removal
I just wrote a Robo 3D R1 Plus review. And, I have a lot of good things to say about it.
The first thing is it’s affordable. Another factor that helps new 3d users is this printer is ready out of the box. Even if you have problems, their customer support is second to none. They’re available 24/7 which makes it convenient to users.
A downside to this printer is removing prints off. You want to be gentle taking models off because it damages the print bed.
There are advantages on this printer that the Anycubic Photon doesn’t have. One of them includes the ability to use different filaments. Another advantage is you can select different printing speeds.
When it’s printing at high speeds you’ll sacrifice some quality though. The enclosure helps to protect the models and printer itself.
Overall, this printer still gives great models. A great alternative to those not feeling the Photon printer.
Monoprice MP Select Mini 3D Printer V2
- High resolution
- Easy-to-use Slicer
- Open layout
- Manual calibration
Yes, another affordable printer.
I like this printer because of how easy it is to use, and its quality prints. A big reason why it has high quality prints is due to the high resolution.
The LCD interface makes it easy to use. In addition, the manual makes it easy to set everything up. The slicer is easy to use, but since it’s open-source, you can make upgrades to the slicer making it easier to use.
This printer is also known to be durable. You can use this printer for years as long as you don’t do anything crazy with it. What doesn’t help durability is the open layout.
The Anycubic Photon has an enclosure, but this printer doesn’t. Open layouts make me feel uncomfortable because the model is being exposed. It’s easier to mess with the quality that way.
There’s also the problem of calibration. There’s a little quirk where you might have to use the hex key to tweak the print bed. Just thinking of this sounds annoying.
Why You Should Get The Anycubic Photon
An affordable printer with great all-around quality is hard to come by.
This printer possesses both qualities. It’s print quality is highly-detailed, and it’s easy to use. When a printer passes benchmarks tests easily, it weighs significantly.
Now, it doesn’t mean every print is perfect, but it’s dependable. If you think of 3d printers as tools (which they are) instead of play, you’ll notice its value.
You would take the features and designs more seriously. Looking at it from that perspective lets me rank this printer high on the “most-affordable” lists. For those looking for practical, this is it.
It’s a great printer for new and veteran users. Give it a shot if you’re in the market.