The most recent resin 3D printer we have had the chance to review is the new Photon Mono M5s Pro from the Chinese desktop 3D printing company Anycubic. The system’s main value proposition is its 14K screen – a resolution far higher than most hobbyists would ever likely require, but a valuable and appreciated feature nevertheless.
The Photon Mono M5s Pro has a generous build volume of 223 x 168 x 200mm – a size that accommodates larger prints and provides users with greater flexibility when it comes to capturing fine details in a larger part or printing multiple smaller parts in the same build.
The system not only has one of the highest printing resolutions on the desktop market, but also boasts an impressive maximum speed of 105mm/h – made possible by the third-generation high-speed ACF film, which minimizes peeling force, thereby enhancing the success rate of prints.
What sets this printer apart is its advanced resin residue detection mechanism. This feature significantly reduces the risk of screen damage by detecting and managing leftover resin in the tank. This approach not only safeguards the equipment but also enhances the print quality by dynamically adjusting peeling height using AI, based on the model’s geometry.
Ease of use, software, and post-processing
The Photon Mono M5s Pro is incredibly easy to use. From unboxing to starting the first print took no more than 20 minutes. We immediately put the system to the test with an ambitious first print – an 18cm tall reinterpretation of Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’, that took less than 2.5 hours to print using Anycubic’s High-Speed Resin.
At first, when the small touch screen displayed the time estimate, I thought this must simply be an error with the software, but the reality is that this system actually has the potential to print really, really quickly. Although the print did not come out perfectly, it spoke volumes of the capabilities, and we decided to move on to other forms and applications.
The system ensures consistent and uniform printing by utilizing floating platform technology and internal sensors – taking the responsibility of leveling and fine-tuning off the hands of the user. At some stage I had not tightly screwed the print bed to the z-axis structure – leaving it loose after removing a print. There were no noticeable defects with the next print – a testament to the printer’s design and usability.
The manual post-processing that comes with desktop resin 3D printing is inevitable, but the supports generated by Anycubic’s Photon workshop slicing software makes them easier to remove than any of our previous resin prints. Generally, this software is intuitive, and it is clear that the company has been developing it for a long while. Its responsiveness, intuitive design, and smart features like island detection significantly reduce the likelihood of print failures.
Air Heat & Pure module
The Air Heat & Pure module is particularly useful for users operating in environments with low temperatures. The carbon filter-based module not only maintains the resin temperature but also purifies the air – effectively removing resin odors and making the printing process safer and more pleasant. The inclusion of other protective gear like gloves and masks is another sign of the consideration Anycubic has for the user experience.
The printer’s self-awareness, high level of accuracy, and attention to detail is commendable. However, no printer is without its flaws. During our testing, we only experienced one, fairly noteworthy issue.
When attempting to reprint ‘The Smoker’ statue with a higher resolution and fewer defects (by reducing the print speed) we found that the sliced version of the file on the Photon workshop differed from the preview version – the preview was hollowed, whereas the slice was solid. After going back and forth for a while, we decided to print the file and observe. The system went through its usual resin level check, and confirmed that there was enough resin for the 650ml print. A few hours in, the print failed due to insufficient resin levels.
We still do not know what caused this issue, although it seems like an error between the data generated by the slicing software, and the reading of this data by the printer. We only had this issue once.
All in all, the Anycubic Photon Mono M5s Pro is a remarkable machine that combines speed, precision, and user-friendly features into one compact package. Its innovative resin management system, high-speed printing capabilities, and environmental adaptability set it apart in the market. While it has its minor drawbacks, they are overshadowed by its overall performance and reliability. For anyone engaged in resin 3D printing, whether a hobbyist or a professional, the Photon Mono M5s Pro is a worthy investment – especially for the low early bird price of $459.