Anycubic is a Chinese 3D printer manufacturer. The company was founded in 2015 and started out selling FDM 3D printers but soon after expanded to DLP machines. In early 2018, Anycubic released its first-ever DLP 3D printer, the Photon.
Since then, the Photon has amazed customers with its price-to-quality ratio. To this day, it remains one of the best (if not the best) budget DLP 3D printers. The Photon was recently superseded by the Photon S, which is expected to continue the legacy of its older brother.
Naturally, both the Photon and the Photon S make use of UV-sensitive resins for the process of making parts. Thus, Anycubic also produces all sorts of resins that were developed to work best on either the Photon or the Photon S.
Anycubic resins are all exclusively made for DLP, making them unsuitable for SLA. The reason for this is that DLP resins are especially sensitive to light so that they can work with the low-power light sources found in DLP 3D printers. SLA printers use much higher-powered light sources (lasers), which require a different chemical composition in the material.
Besides SLA or DLP compatibility, resins are also characterized by wavelength and curing time.
Light is composed of electromagnetic waves, which are described by their lengths. With respect to resin, the significance of this is that the lower the wavelength rating of the resin, the greater the power output of light needed to cure it. For this reason, all resin manufacturers specify a wavelength their resin is compatible with. And since DLP resins require lower-power light sources than SLA resins, the DLP resin wavelength rating is typically higher than it is with SLA resins.
The final basic resin characteristic is the curing time. That’s simply a time interval in which the resin is able to cure. The optimal curing time for the Photon is somewhere between 5-10 seconds.
Now that we’ve taken a deeper look at DLP resins, let’s take a look at what resins Anycubic has to offer.
Anycubic’s colored UV resins make up the baseline of the resin line up. This is a standard DLP resin, specifically optimized to work well with Anycubic’s own Photon and Photon S. The colored UV resin can be ordered in several colors, such as white, peach, orange, red, maroon, blue, black, and gray. And as you’d expect from a standard resin, it smells.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t expose yourself to this resin odor for too long. We recommend wearing a mask and always using these resins in a well-ventilated space.
Quoted exposure times for this resin are in the range of 5 to 15 seconds, while the wavelength is 405 nm. All in all, this is a good standard resin. It prints nicely and provides a reasonable amount of structural stiffness to the printed models.
The only real downside is the smell. Since the Photon is a budget DLP 3D printer, some people may want to put them on their desks at home, which may not be ideal since the smell really isn’t comfortable. In fact, it’s rather intense.
If your primary concerns about Anycubic’s standard UV resin are about its smell, this plant-based version might be the perfect choice for you. While the standard UV resin from Anycubic isn’t biodegradable, the plant-based UV resin is, being made from soybean oil.
Looking at the specs, you’ll notice that this resin has a slightly different curing time than the standard resin and that the wavelength compatibility is wider, meaning more DLP/LCD 3D printers can use this resin.
The price is also higher than the standard resin but still appears to be reasonable. All the good stuff from the standard resin, like the ease of use, is here, but gone is that intense smell. Despite a higher price, this just might be the best of Anycubic’s resins for hobbyists. Also, with the choice of six different colors at your disposal (pink, blue, green, violet, orange, and yellow), there really isn’t much to dislike about this resin.
Next up in Anycubic’s resin lineup is the translucent UV resin. As far as specs go, this resin is the same as the standard resin. The only differences on paper are the available colors and the visual appearance of models. Whereas the standard resin comes in eight colors, the translucent UV resin is available in three variants: clear, transparent yellow, and transparent green.
Aesthetically speaking, models printed with this resin are somewhat eyecatching. The transparent variations are especially pretty cool, making for great visual prototypes.
Despite the official numbers mirroring the standard resin, several users have noted a cool “hidden” feature of translucent resins: a shorter print time. As there’s less pigment, the curing time for each of the layers is seemingly reduced, lowering the print time.
The ease of printing and the great results are carried over from the standard resin, as well as the smell. So if you have a well-ventilated area and want to add a cool look to your 3D prints, you should definitely consider this resin.
In case you want to use your Photon for casting parts, there’s a special castable resin available from Anycubic. It only sells in green, but aesthetics aren’t really the goal, here.
Castable resin is used for making jewelry, dental molds, and other complex models made of special materials. To be castable, the resin needs to be stable under high temperatures. And for the extra performance, the price is higher, too.
Looking at community discussion and feedback for this resin, it seems most are happy with it. If you’re a Photon or Photon S user wanting to cast some jewelry or dental models, this resin should do a good job.
The final resin in Anycubic’s current range is the dental non-castable resin. Its goal is to provide the highest level of detail possible. This is typically useful for dental models used for educational purposes.
It’s important for a resin of this type to be low on smell and non-toxic, and this one sure is. It’s only available in 500-ml bottles and in a “skin” color, which Anycubic calls “PeachPuff”.
All in all, this is a strong resin contender for any Photon owner who’s looking to make detailed educational models.
(Lead image source: anycubic.com)
License: The text of "2019 Anycubic Resin Guide" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.