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The Original Prusa SL1 3D Printer – The Best Resin 3D Printer on the Market?
Original Prusa SL1
I couldn’t be more excited to hear that Prusa is releasing an SLA 3D printer! While it’s great that there are a growing number of budget resin 3D printers on the market, Josef Prusa always manages to develop something that’s just that bit classier than the competition.
In case you haven’t heard of them before, Prusa has built an incredible reputation over the years for producing top quality 3D printers. Its FFF models like the Original Prusa i3 have earned global acclaim for their quality and reliability and have spawned hundreds of copies. Based on this success, the company decided to venture into SLA 3D printers with its SL1 3D printer.
As 3D printing becomes accessible to more people, there is a growing variety of printers to choose from depending on your budget and needs. But there is no doubt the SL1 offers fantastic value for money. In this review, I’ll be checking some of its key features, pros and cons, and some technical specs that make this 3D printer stand out from the competition.
- Printing Technology: SLA
- Build Volume: 120 mm x 68 mm x 150 mm
- Layer height: 0.01 mm
- Control: 5.5 inch LCD touch screen display
- Supported filament: UV sensitive liquid resin
- Connectivity: USB, Local Area Network, and Wi-Fi
- Printer Dimensions: 400 mm x 237 mm x 225 mm
- UV Wavelength: 405 mm
- LED Power Input: 25 W
The Prusa SL1 is also loaded with some unique, high-quality features designed to deliver outstanding resin 3D prints. I have listed some of them here below for you:
- The SL1 features a robust and rigid aluminum construction thanks to its durable frame and independent body. This strong build enhances stability and reliability.
- The unit is also fitted with a motorized tilt function on the resin tank, enhancing overall print quality and print speed. The tilt function also helps to ease the shifting of large layers.
- The Prusa SL1 also offers high-speed printing. Its high-performance UV light cures each layer at a time, taking less than six seconds to cure each layer. This makes the unit one of the fastest SLA printers in the market.
- The printer also comes with a high resolution 5.5 inch LCD display for easy control.
- The SL1 delivers outstanding print quality. The unit is fitted with innovative Trinamic drivers, a strong frame, and a layer height that can hit up to 0.01 mm. All these factors are crucial in delivering impeccably printed objects.
- The printer also features a removable resin tank. The tank is fitted with a flexible transparent FEP film, an add-on that enhances ease of use. The FEP film is also available at Prusa’s eShop for a very low price in case you need to replace it.
- This unit also offers automatic calibration. Besides, you don’t need to calibrate it every time you print. The entire process is done automatically. This is a great feature for beginners who are looking for a simple to use a non-fussy printer.
- The Prusa SL1 also has a unique resin level sensor neatly located on the resin tank. The sensor helps you pour just the right amount of resin in the tank and it will notify you when resin levels are running low to reduce wastage.
- The unit also offers several connectivity options, including USB and Wi-Fi. You can also connect via Local Area Network using an Ethernet cable.
- The Prusa SL1 is a quiet unit, too, thanks to its innovative auto-homing function and Trinamic drivers.
- One of the fastest SLA 3D printers in the market right now
- The SL1 is fitted with several smart features, including a resin sensor, LCD touch screen display, and vapor extraction technology
- The printer offers automatic one-time calibration, making it easier to use even for 3D printing beginners or novices.
- Higher print quality compared to other resin-based printers in its category
- Printing with resin can be messy and will require a lot of cleanup after every job.
- Like most resin printers, the print bed is fairly small.
- No ‘pause and raise bed’ function, which would allow you to check if the print is attached to the bed properly before continuing your print.
Unboxing and Box Contents
The Prusa SL1 ships in a sturdy box and is protected by dense foam packing. Prusa includes a few things inside the main printer box too. First, you will get 500 ml of resin so that you can commence printing right away. There is also a metal and plastic scraper in there, some Allen keys, screws, and a resin strainer.
Prusa also gives you a 16 GB USB stick, some cutters, and gloves to protect your hands against the resin. Keep your eyes open for some FEP foil, too, a 3D printing handbook, and a power cord. And just like with all other Prusa printers, you will also get a free pack of Haribo bear gums to enjoy as you set up the printer!
The Prusa SL1 is designed to deliver optimum printing performance and excellent ease of use. First, the unit offers a one-time automatic bed leveling. In essence, once the bed is leveled, you don’t need to level it over and over again every time you need to print. This offers amazing usability.
Secondly, the SL1 is fitted with an innovative resin sensor that plays two roles. First, it lets you know the amount of resin you need for a specific object. The sensor will also notify you when you are running out of resin.
Once you have sliced the model, go ahead and export it to the printer and hit print. When you hit the print button, the resin sensor will automatically calculate the amount of resin needed to complete the model. For example, you may see messages like “fill the resin tank to 40%”. This kind of automated use makes the Prusa SL1 one of the most user-friendly 3D printers out there.
However, one key challenge is removing the printed object from the bed and transferring it to the clean wash station for curing. Prusa offers you a specialized scraper that allows you to dislodge the object and its supports from the bed. But it is a very delicate process so take care not to damage the object before curing.
The Prusa SL1 uses proprietary slicer software from the manufacturer. The slicer is available on Prusa’s website. You can also download some firmware and slicer updates from the site too. Check out for some drivers as well.
The SL1 delivers remarkable print quality thanks to its stable aluminum construction and automated printing functions. The slicer offered by the manufacturer is also so easy to use. We also loved that both the printer and the CWS feature automated functions as well, features that reduce the chances of human error.
The SL1 is also a quiet printer. The SL1 is fitted with Trinamic drivers and anti-homing technology, making it one of the quietest printers out there. The SL1 is also fitted with an interactive 5.5 inch LCD touchscreen display with all the controls you need to operate it.
Prusa has a comprehensive customer support system for its 3D printers. For instance, you will be able to enjoy live chat support, one of the few companies with this option. There is also phone and email support.
Prusa is well known for their great customer support, not only from their own channels but also from a very robust community of enthusiastic Prusa users out there. It’s very easy to find guides and any other assistance from fellow Prusa fans online when you need to.
The SL1 is by far one of the most well designed and made SLA printers on the market. Resin printing is well known as being a bit trickier compared to FFF printing. Still, Prusa has done all they can to solve common problems seen on competitors models to make resin printing straightforward and problem-free.
The SL1 offers a near-noiseless operation, easy setup, and outstanding ease of use. You also get an interactive 5.5-inch touch screen, an all-metal construction, and a stable build that enhances print quality remarkably.
It’s hard to find fault with the SL1; the only downsides are those that are inherent with resin printing – while resin printing offers impeccable quality, it can be very messy. Nonetheless, the SL1 is a solid unit. If you don’t mind doing a little cleaning up after every session, it will deliver impeccable prints for you as a creator.