[Academic Tech] The Anycubic Photon Mono X resin-based 3D printer

As part of a teaching push, I was able to secure a new 3D printer for the lab, to produce specimens for practical sessions (on our Zoology and Animal Behaviour programmes). I actually got it at the start of semester, last September, but have been so busy with teaching I didn’t get chance to give it a run until recently (after our second semester ended). I’ve been super impressed with it, and images and write up follow.

Right: the Anycubic Mono X, and Left: the Wash and Cure.

I got the Anycubic Mono X, and the Wash and Cure – these are amazon links, and at the moment the printer is on offer at sub £400, and the Wash and Cure is ~£200.

The Mono X is a resin-based 3D printer, which hardens resin using a UV plate, rather than the cheaper, more common printers that use a spool of plastic and lay it down. The result of that process is that you don’t get the obvious trails of plastic on surfaces, and that you can achieve really fantastic resolutions.


The big selling point, other than resolution, is the build volume – 192mm x 120 mm x 245 mm. That’s quite a good bit larger than my older Dremel 3D20 (which was 228 x 149 x 139). The resolution is a spectacular 0.01mm, and the prints I’ve done you can barely see the layers. It’s pretty quick too – specs say 60mm per hour, but it depends what you’re printing and how dense it is.


The printer comes with a USB stick that has the Anycubic Photon Workshop on it. Being a serial updater, the first thing I did was download the most up to date version from the Anycubic website, only to find files produced with that wouldn’t print, so I went back to the version that comes on the USB stick. The software is fine. A little bit clunky, but no worse than Cura, and definitely better than the Dremel software.

Once you’ve got a file, USB it over to the printer (or download an app and do it wirelessly, but that’s a bit of a pain when my computer is next to the printer).

While it’s printing, the LCD screen shows what the UV plate is doing, i.e. what it’s hardening at each layer:

Printing a complex object, this layer is just three small cylinders.

I started with the test object that comes on the USB stick, which is a cool lattice cube, with the words ANYCUBIC and PHOTON inside it:

The resin is easy to poor and use, but the bottle does come with a lot of warnings about it being hazardous, and the printer package comes with latex gloves and a mask. I don’t think the stuff is that bad, but it does make it awkward from a lab-safety/university protocols point of view.

It’s fun to watch it print though:

The test object took a little under 3 hours to print.

The Wash and Cure then blasts the object with either detergent or alcohol (what you use depends on what resin you use), and then with UV light to harden everything up.

Nice simple dial on the front to set how long to wash or cure for. The manual just recommends a few minutes.

The resultant object, as you can see above, was incredibly impressive, and I’m looking forward to seeing what it can do with photogrammetric models of bones!

Affiliate links:

AnyCubic Mono X printer: https://amzn.to/3w6qTc2

AnyCubic Wash and Cure: https://amzn.to/3wkuh1Q

Or you can go to the Anycubic website and browse their other printers: https://www.anycubic.com/

2 thoughts on “[Academic Tech] The Anycubic Photon Mono X resin-based 3D printer

Add yours

  1. I tried a Form 1 resin 3D printer when it first came out a few years ago and it was very easy to use. Having the washing / curing in an enclosure is a definite improvement though. That bit got very messy.

    One issue for me with the Form 1 was the slightly eye watering cost of the resin – £100 / litre if I remember correctly. From a quick check online the resin for the Anycubic seems a bit cheaper.

    1. Yeah, it’s not too badly priced, and a litre seems to go pretty far. I want to try the plant based stuff that can be washed with detergent, rather than 90% alcohol.

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