Review: Anycubic Photon Zero

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Review: Anycubic Photon Zero

Anycubic Photon Zero

Dylan Miller @io3dprint

Easy to Setup
Easy to Use
Print Quality
Value For Money
Features

Summary

The Anycubic Photon Zero is an entry-level, highly affordable resin 3D printer that offers a lot of great features for its price. It delivers precise, high-quality printing thanks to its stable design and is very beginner-friendly. At this price, quite frankly, it’s a steal!

4.1

Price excl. shipping / Last update on 2020-11-25 at 20:30 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Resin 3D printing has become extremely accessible for creators of all types. There are now tens of different resin 3D printers available to suit all budgets.

Well, in this review we will be looking at what has become one of the most popular resin-based 3D printers out there – the Anycubic Photon Zero. We start by highlighting its key features, specs, and move on to the pros and cons. We will also give you details about printer set up, use, and wrap up with a summary of what makes this resin 3D printer stand out from its competitors.

Specifications

  • Printer Technology: LCD-based SLA
  • Build volume: 97 mm x 54 mm x 150 mm
  • Layer Resolution: 0.01 – 0.2 mm
  • Materials: 405 nm UV Resin
  • Light Source: 4.5 nm
  • Z-Axis resolution: 0.01 mm
  • XY Resolution: 0.1155 mm
  • Printing Speed: 30 mm/hour
  • Power Supply: 30 Watts
  • Printer Size: 180 mm x 195 mm x 367 mm
  • Printer Weight: 4.7 Kilograms

Features

The Photon Zero is also loaded with a great variety of top features that make this printer truly stand out. Here is a list of some of its major highlights:

  • The printer offers outstandingly high precision printing thanks to a neatly attached lead screw and a linear rail, all designed to ensure that your Z-axis moves smoothly and accurately.
  • The Photon Zero also comes with a simple resin detector that lets you know how much resin you have left to print. The detector also tells when the tank is at max capacity. This
  • The Photon Zero also gives you innovative exposure time tests. It allows you to print up to 8 objects at a go, using different exposure parameters in one single printer. This allows you to determine the optimum printing conditions before moving to bigger projects.
  • The printer offers quick and easy FEP replacement, making sure that your printing experience is as smooth as it can be.
  • The Photon Zero also comes with an upgraded UV module designed to offer uniform UV light distribution across the object for high quality and precise printing results
  • The printer is fitted with a UV cooling system, too, that helps to maintain optimum system performance and keep your printer safe from overheating.
  • The Photon Zero also comes with an LCD screen display for easy printer operation and control.
  • The manufacturer provides access to its innovative Photon WorkShop software that lets you slice, cut, and fit your models easier and faster
  • The Photon Zero is a beginner-friendly 3D printer too. It’s super easy to set up and use even if you have no experience with 3D printers.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly unit with easy setup and remarkably easy to use
  • Amazingly cheap when you consider the features it comes with
  • Excellent printing precision and printer stability
  • Innovative UV cooling system that keeps the printer safe during operation

Cons

  • The build volume is considered relatively small for some people
  • The power output of about 30 W is also not that high, and this means that printing time can be longer than expected
  • The LCD screen display on this unit has a lower resolution too, something that can affect the overall user experience

Unboxing and Box Contents

The Photon Zero ships in two boxes. The first one contains the printer and the accessories, and the second box comes with the wash and cure station. Remember, all resin-based 3D printers require a wash and cure station to finish up your objects.  In the printer’s box, you will find a wide range of accessories. First, the manufacturer gives you a one-page user manual with details about printer set up and use.

There is also a resin safety package in there with things like gloves and Allen keys. The box also comes with a USB drive, an SD card reader, and a toolset that you will need for set up. You will also notice that the build plate is not attached to the printer and ships separately inside the box.

The same also applies to the resin tank. Don’t worry, though. Affixing the two on the Photon Zero is so easy; it should take minutes. The manufacturer also includes a funnel in there to pour in the resin and a scrapper to remove printed objects once they are done. Finally, be sure to also check out the power plug and cable.

Set up

As we have already noted above, the Photon Zero is a beginner-friendly 3D printer, and as such, set up and use is so easy. The first step is to level the build plate. There are very simple instructions on the user manual on how to go about this. It is important to level the build plate after turning on your 3D printer. This is because you will get some leveling assistance through the LCD screen.

Once the build plate is leveled, it’s time to test out the unit. The manufacturer ships a flash drive in the box that has a series of test prints. Simply insert it into the USB port and select what you’d like to print. After that, pour the resin into the tank and start printing.

Safety is paramount when you are using resin printers. You don’t want the resin to come into contact with your skin, it may cause irritation. In all cases, wear gloves, goggles, and even a mask while printing with the Photon Zero.

Software

The Photon Zero uses the Photon WorkShop, proprietary slicing software designed by Anycubic. The software is available for download on the manufacturer’s website. Although it is always nice to have 3D printers that can accept two or three other third party slicer software, the Photon Workshop is pretty good. It’s highly interactive, easy to use, and generally at par with most of the top slicing software in the market right now.

In Use

The first thing to know about resin printers is that they can be a little messy sometimes. You need to be very careful when you are handling the resin to avoid any spillages.  Nonetheless, the Photon Zero is very easy to use. Once you’ve inserted the flash drive for your models, it only takes a single button to start printing.

You will also get an interactive LCD display on the side to keep track of all printer operations. The Photon Zero is also very quiet. However, we did notice that the wash and cure station makes a little noise, but it’s not something that should be of any serious concern. You will also love the print quality achieved. From the videos we saw online, it looks like the Photon Zero delivers sharply printed objects with excellent precision.

We also noticed that the objects cure well, making sure that there is no excess resin left either on the build plate or the object itself. It is also important to note that both the Photon Zero and its wash and cure station come with an enclosed chamber. This helps to keep the odors of the resin enclosed inside the units. They also prevent external factors like room temperature from interfering with the printing process and ensure the UV light used in curing remains contained inside the chamber.

Customer Support

The manufacturer of the Photon Zero encourages users to contact its after-sales team in case of any printer issues. Contact is done through a form available on its website. The company says that it responds to user queries as fast as possible. We did not find any reviews online about customer support, so there is no way of knowing how fast or how slow the support team is.

Conclusion

The Photon Zero is an entry-level, highly affordable resin 3D printer that offers a lot of great features for its price. First, the unit delivers precise, high-quality printing thanks to its stable design. The Photon Zero is also beginner-friendly.

The printer comes with a one-page user manual, which is easy to understand. Leveling the build plate also takes a few minutes. Overall, it should take about ten minutes to set up the Photon Zero for first-time use. This is an excellent advantage for non-techy guys or those of you who don’t have any previous experience using resin printers.  

Despite these incredible features, the Photon Zero also has a few downsides to keep in mind. For instance, the build volume is relatively small for some users. We also noticed that the power output is not that high, and this means the printer takes longer to print than we expected. But even with these minor issues, the Photon Zero offers outstanding value for money. It’s highly recommended, especially for people who would love to try out a resin printer.

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