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Anycubic 3D printer – it's not bad at all

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  guillotine 3 weeks, 6 days ago.

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  • #1860956

    blinky465
    17015xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Anyone who has read more than a couple of my posts on these forums (barring the current diatribe about Wordle) will know I love 3D printing. It’s what this hobby is about, for me. I got started a number of years ago (long before anyone invented covid and gave us two years trapped indoors playing tabletop games) with an Anycubic Photon.

    I’m not usually one to get into “brand loyalty” wars – I hear the Elegoo Mars is a similar type of printer and that they are very good. I’m happy to go along with this. But when I decided it was time to try out a mono-screened printer, it just so happened that Jeff Bezo’s Happy House of Home Delivery Products was selling the Anycubic Mono 4K at a ridiculously low price (I think it was about £129 at the time).

    So I got an Anycubic Mono 4K.
    Maybe it’s just from being an “early adopter” that I was quite comfortable with constant re-levelling (it’s not really a chore, is it?) and temperamental ball joints and manually checking files for islands (all things later users have consigned to the history books). But I was genuinely pleased with how easy it is to use the Mono 4K.

    Levelling is a doddle. And It prints even in low temperatures (I don’t heat my workshop overnight and even in room temperature as low as 12C I’ve had a full plate of printed minis without failure). I’m not a massive fan of the “bucket lid” but I can live with it. The machine is robust and consistently churns out fail-free prints!

    I run my printer on wall-timer and usually let my prints run overnight.
    So I have slower lift speeds (improved reliability) and even have some time-off delay between layers (something I just got used to doing to improve success rates on my original Photon). As it’s running overnight, I’m in no rush for my minis.
    But also, when it’s finished printing, I like the machine to turn off (hey, any little helps on those electricity bills, right?)

    Last night I set a print going and completely forgot to reset the wall-timer.
    It had only an hour to go before I set my printer going (I didn’t notice this at the time). This morning I was horrified to see the head raised a few mm above the resin tank and could see that my minis were only about a quarter way through printing.

    But when I reset the timer and turned the printer back on, it simply asked if I wanted to resume!
    And I thought, “well why not” and let it complete the print.
    And it did!
    And looking at the final print, I don’t think you can even tell where it happened (sometimes if I paused a print on my Photon and resumed, there’d be a definite line across the mini where I paused it).

    Maybe other printers already do this.
    I wasn’t even aware that mine did. But it’s a massive plus to the “tech specs”.
    So if you’re thinking of getting into 3D printing and wondering about which machine to get, this is a bigger deal than I’d realised – resume on power out. Any Anycubic Mono printer has it (apparently all later versions also have this feature). And it resumes in a way you can’t even tell it’s happened.

    And, while re-printing the initial plate of half-done minis wasn’t going to be a massive problem, I’m rather glad now that I didn’t have to!

    #1860965

    warzan
    Keymaster
    30469xp

    There has been a tremendous improvement in 3D printers over the last 12 to 18 months.

    I was running a Creality CR10s Pro for FDM and a Elegoo Mars 2 Pro for Resin. Both were ok, the crality was difficult to dial in bed level wise even with a bed leveling sensor so it felt a bit gimmiky to be honest. The mars was ok but print failures were common (but i think resin has improved dramatically in recent months too as the failures are less frequent)

    BUT NOW…

    My current setup is a Bambu Labs A1 Combo for FDM and a Elegoo Saturn 3 Ultra for Resin.

    First the speed increase is exceptional, the bambu labs printer has a full suite of self checks it does and self levels etc it literally is a machine with the capiability to just work. My favourite feature is on the smart phone app you can pick induvidual models on the build plate to stop printing (if one starts to fail it can then be ignored for the rest of the print saving the others). It is simply superb and I think home manufacture is now on a really strong path with the quality of this machine and its ease of use.

    The Saturn Ultra still requires a bit of setup but the plate is rock solid and rarely need re leveled. I added a magnetic build plate so I never really remove the full build plate ever. The prints are very very fast and the 12k screen gives superb results on the large bed. However I have already had a screen failure and a small leak that despite having screen protectors on still seemed to work its way into the screen (difficult to tell). I love the results of resin printing, and I use it regularly now to print monsters to enterain the kids in heroquest, but its still on the 3d printer hobby end of the scale for me. If your not printing minis and happy for beautiful larger prints for terrain etc, the Bambu and FDM market are making the cross over into mainstream now.

    🙂

    I think both have auto resume. the A1 Combo can print in upto 4 colours but I actually load it with pairs so when one reel runs out it automatically uses the matching reel to finish the print.

    #1861010

    blinky465
    17015xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Interesting take. I find the resin printers to be absolutely reliable and consider them more of a “pro level” machine, whereas I find FDM can still be really finnicky and still in the “hobby level” end of the scale (I guess it depends on how frequently you get failed prints as to where you see it as pro/hobby?).

    I spent years refusing to even acknowledge 3d printing as a thing, because it was all FDM and so flaky!
    My own FDM printer (an early self-built Tronxy) has an auto level detection which is a god-send (but even then, I still smear the base with pritt stick to get a good first layer or two). About 95% of my printing is in resin.

    I love the idea of detecting a failure early on and telling the printer “forget that one, save the rest”!
    I think printers – if you don’t believe they are already there, they will be very soon – are reliable enough to make home/hobby manufacturing a real possibility for many of us. Of course there are always those who refuse “new technology” and still play CDs – but in the main, 3d printing feels like the early days of mp3 downloading: yes, it’s mainly the nerds doing it, but the “normies” are getting interested too. It won’t be long……

    I’m toying with the idea of getting a bigger resin printer.
    But in all honestly, I struggle to fill the build plate as it is, as I tend to just print half a dozen or so minis at a time (sometimes duplicating the two or three I actually want to have disposable copies to mess up the paintjobs!)

    #1861246

    guillotine
    16019xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I just received the delivery of Uniformation GKtwo yesterday. This was from their Black Friday campaign, I suppose they were shifting quite many units since I only got mine now.

    I haven’t even opened the boxes yet, but will surely report here how it compares to my previous printers (Anycubic Photon and Elegoo Saturn S).  The main reason I went for it is the heated resin vat. My garage stays well below 20°C in the winter, which has meant I’ve not done any resin printing for few months now. The Uniformation printer also has quite many ”quality of life” improvements, I’m hoping for a bit more hassle free printing. AND it doesn’t have that ”bucket lid”, which I’m not a fan either.

    Generally speaking I’ve been happy with the resin printers as machines. I had some hardware issues with the Photon (had to replace the USB port), none with the Elegoo. As long as your file prep, settings and ambient temperature is right these things do their job. I’ve had massive streaks of successful prints with the Saturn without any vat cleaning or plate levelling in between.

    The area where resin printing still has loads to improve is the software. Slicers have improved tremendously in four years since I’ve been in the hobby (remember doing supports in Chitubox 4 years ago? And then it constantly crashing. Jesus!) but there’s still massive way to go for a truly smooth workflow. I dream of the day when I can pick the files I want to print from  Myminifactory library, tell which printer and resin I’m using and it will send the sliced file to me. Or better yet the printer straight!

     

    Regarding FDM, I stayed away from them pretty much due to the same sentiment Blinky described, the machines being super finicky and then the results being kind of “meh”. Until I bought Prusa Mk4 last summer. Best printer (inkjet, laser, 2d, 3d, resin, FDM) I’ve ever had. I literally took it out of the box, ran the setup and have been printing ever since without issues. Wiping the build plate clean between prints and changing filament literally has been the only maintenance I’ve done. What I hear for people, Bambuu also gets to same level of ease and performance. With FDM the file prep is just a breeze compared to resin. I just slap the STL to Prusa slicer, pick the infill and slice.

    Cool thing about FDM is that you can also print useful non-wargaming objects. It’s been the first time my wife thinks my printing hobby has made any sense 😀

     

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