AnyCubic Photon M3 Plus Review
When it comes to 3D printers, the AnyCubic Photon M3 Plus is one that truly excels at ease of setup, usage, and maintenance. With an automatic resin feeder, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a touchscreen, you will be printing designs in no time, and the ability to connect to the printer remotely allows for remote printing (even via the cloud). If you are looking for ultra-quality 3D prints that are durable then the AnyCubic Photon M3 Plus is definitely worth looking at.
The detail on prints such as this gear cog is very, very impressive
Verdict – An excellent resin printer that produces reliable results
Resin printers can be messy, challenging to work with, and be difficult to set up, but the AnyCubic Photon M3 Plus is a solid choice for a 3D resin printer that is reliable, produces extremely high-quality parts, and provides a whole range of options that make it a very powerful rapid prototyping platform.
The integrated touchscreen makes short work of interfacing with the printer, and the onboard operating system allows for easy configuration of print quality, machine settings, and connectivity. A neat feature of the OS is that 3D renderings of the designs are shown in the icon file so you will know which design to select from your USB drive (no more confusing file names), and the ability to connect the printer to either Ethernet or Wi-Fi allows for printing over the internet.
The touch screen on the Anycubic Photon M3 is a very nice feature
Building the printer is a piece of cake with just 6 screws, an antenna requiring insertion, and the bed head being secured down. The use of an auto feeder for resin means that there is no need to fill the resin bath during construction, and a warning system informs you when the ink has run out. This makes using the printer extremely user-friendly, even for someone who has never used resin printers before.
- Auto feeder ensures resin is topped up in the bath
- Solid construction that shows no ply whatsoever
- The auto home feature removes the need for height adjustment
- The touchscreen is easy to use
- Can be connected via USB, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi
- Inbuilt OS shows 3D renderings of designs over file icons
- Exposure time is around 3 seconds per layer making it very fast
- Very heavy printer
- Any movement can spill resin into the bath which is hard to clean up
- Designs with a large amount of bed adhesion are very hard to remove from the plate
- Designs need to be washed and UV cured after printing
Assembly and configuration
Assembling the printer is extremely easy as there are only a few screws that need to be fitted. These screws are used to hold the UV resin container, the pump, and the resin bath. Configuring the print head to be the correct distance from the exposure screen is trivial with the use of a single piece of paper and the auto-home button in the menu options. Once this is done (which takes 10 seconds), the printer is ready to operate.
The Anycubic Photon M3 printer comes very well packed
The Anycubic Photon M3 base is extremely heavy and sturdy
It is important that the option for Door Detection is disabled under the settings menu. While the lid for the 3D printer does have an NFC chip to determine if the lid is present or not, it doesn’t seem to work correctly on my printer and so attempting to print returns errors.
The first noteworthy feature of the printer is its solid construction. The Z-axis is extremely dense and made of solid metal, and the base of the unit is very heavy. While this makes it hard to carry the machine, it also means that it is very good at absorbing vibration as well as being hard to accidentally move.
The Z-axis is built to a superb standard
The second useful feature of the AnyCubic Photon M3 Plus is that it has near-silent operation. During its operation, the Z-axis motor is almost inaudible, and the only sound coming from the machine is a slight whirring of the internal fans.
The third most important feature of the printer is that it is able to connect to the cloud, and thus be remotely controlled. Of course, files can be downloaded to a USB and then loaded onto the printer, but the cloud options remove the need for the printer to be in an easily accessible location. Thus, this printer can be placed in a workshop, or some other remote location and designs can be sent to it.
USB and ethernet are available as well as Wi-Fi
When it comes to interfacing with the printer, the use of a touchscreen makes it very easy to go through options and settings. But an extra useful feature of the inbuilt operating system is that the file icon for print files shows a 3D rending of the part. This way, you can be sure that the file you have selected is the right one.
Smart Resin Filling
The use of an autoloader for resin eliminates the need to refill the vat during printing which reduces the chance of dust getting into the ink as well as ensuring that outside light doesn’t interfere with the printing process. The autoloader not only detects the current level of resin in the vat, but also the remaining amount of resin in the outside container which can easily be replaced.
The auto feeder on the Anycubic Photon M3 is excellent for large prints
One thing that always shocks me when it comes to resin printers is the superior quality, they have compared to FDM printers. The individual layers are practically invisible, and the strength of the prints are on part with injected molded parts. The first two test prints done were wireframe cubes that came with the printer on a flash drive just to see if the printer was working. The third print was a random gear to see how it coped with solid objects, and the fourth was the 3DBenchy boat.
Example Anycubic Photon M3 test prints
From the first print, the results were consistent each time with no mistakes or missing parts. The only challenge presented with the prints was that the bed adhesion was so great that removing the prints was challenging.
Removing these prints can sometimes be challenging
The AnyCubic Photon M3 Plus comes with its own splicer on the USB drive that is supplied with the printer, and this is available for both Windows and MacOS. The slicer loads in STL files and then creates a file that can be read by the resin printer. The provided software, called Photon Workshop, supports both automatic and manual supports for structures that have overhangs.
Photon workshop supports both automatic and manual supports for structures that have overhangs
It is imperative that when using the software, the correct printer is chosen from the options menu. It turns out that each printer in the AnyCubic range uses different file extensions, and this may be done to prevent one resin printer from reading a design file that is not correctly configured to its bed size.
An additional feature of AnyCubic printers is their ability to connect to the AnyCubic cloud. This cloud-based store allows for designs to be chosen and sent to your printer without any interaction with the printer. This allows for remote printing of designs that may be needed when returning to the office or workshop when on the move.
The first spec that stands out is the large build volume of 245mm x 197mm x 122mm and the print speed of 100mm per hour. The screen used has a 6K resolution which allows for extremely fine details, and the automatic resin feeder automates the refiling process. Additionally, the use of Wi-Fi and Ethernet capabilities allows the printer to be remotely connected to and operate directly through the AnyCubic cloud. The UV lighting system used is a proprietary technology called Light + Turbo which helps to create a carefully collimated beam of UV light for high-quality exposures.
- Manufacturer: Anycubic
- Build Volume: 245mm x 197mm x 122mm
- Print Speed: 100mm / hour
- Print Bed: 6K monochrome 9.25” LCD
- Connectivity: USB, Wi-FI, Ethernet
- Onboard Controls: Yes
- Wireless Capabilities: Yes, Wi-Fi
- Host/Slicer Software: Photon Workshop
- OS: Mac, Windows
- Open Software/Hardware: No
- Machine dimensions: 475mm x 290mm x 270mm
The AnyCubic Photon M3 Plus is an outstanding resin printer whose print quality greatly exceeds that of any FDM printer. While using resin is tricky as it is a pain to spill (and cleaning parts is time-consuming), the AnyCubic Photon M3 Plus is well worth the effort. Its speed of printing combined with the ability to create parts that have virtually invisible layers creates extremely strong models, and the splicer program that is shipped with the printer is easy to use. Of course, the AnyCubic Photon M3 Plus is just one of a long list of printers manufactured by AnyCubic, and other releases that may be of interest to you include the M3, M3 Plus, and M3 Max.
A word of advice for those who purchase this machine; whatever you do, DON’T move it after the resin has been poured into the tray. Moving the unit WILL cause resin to spill, and it is a pain to clean up!
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