Simple Anycubic Photon D2 Review – Worth Buying or Not?
Many people have been awaiting more details for the Anycubic Photon D2 (the upgrade of the Anycubic Photon Ultra), as well as the level of quality it can produce. This review will take you through features of the Photon D2, specifications, benefits, downsides, the unboxing and leveling process, as well as the print quality.
Stay tuned for a look into the Anycubic Photon D2, a game-changer for the resin 3D printing industry. More details about the release should come on September 2nd.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored blog post, but all opinions in this review will be my own and not bias or influenced.
Features of the Anycubic Photon D2
- DLP Technology – Higher Quality
- Checkered Build Plate
- Single Linear Rail
- 5.9-Inch Control Screen
- Energy Saving & Whisper Quiet Printing
DLP Technology – Higher Quality
The main feature that makes the Anycubic Photon D2 unique is the DLP technology. This is called Digital Light Processing and it uses a projector to distribute light through the screen to cure your resin.
Similar to MSLA resin printers, it cures full layers but the main difference is how there is more precision due to higher accuracy of the light. It only projects the amount of light that is necessary to cure the model, while MSLA printers ‘bleed’ some of the light to the edges.
You can get higher quality models with intricate details by using DLP technology, especially for smaller models.
It comes in at a 2K resolution, up from 720p from the Photon Ultra. You may think the 2K resolution seems low compared to SLA, but the resolution doesn’t compare in the same with between the two technologies.
Another key feature with DLP is the durability of the screen, lasting for an estimate 20,000 hours, as opposed to 2,000 hours for other resin printers.
Checkered Build Plate
There is a lovely checkered build plate that helps with build plate adhesion for your resin models. With each model I’ve printed, they have adhered to the build plate with ease, using a Bottom Exposure of 40 seconds. The initial default value wasn’t high enough for me so I had to increase it.
The cool thing about the checkered design is that it also shows at the bottom of your model if printed flat. Usually people have rafts underneath the model so it would just be on the raft, but if you print something flat on the build plate, you can have that design on your models.
Removing the prints are still an easy task, just needing a bit of pressure with your scraper to get the model off.
Single Linear Rail
The Photon D2 has a single linear rail that control the Z-axis movements accurately. Since it’s a smaller resin 3D printer, it holds up nicely and doesn’t need dual linear rails for extra stability.
The linear rail and lead screw is a medium size that is very stable.
5.9-Inch Control Screen
The control screen is smooth to operate and has a simple interface that contains the options to adjust.
You can do your standard things such as selecting models to print, adjust settings during the print, leveling the build plate, moving the Z-axis up and down, doing a UV exposure test, checking the print progress and more.
Some printers don’t allow you to control settings during prints, so this is a great feature to have. It means you don’t have to re-slice models just to adjust something like the Bottom Exposure Time.
Energy Saving & Whisper Quiet Printing
Due to the nature of DLP 3D printers, they release less heat since there is a lower power consumption. There is a radiator that heat gets dissipated through, meaning there is no need for a cooling fan, leading to whisper quiet printing.
The energy consumption is very low, at 15W so it saves energy in the long-run.
Specifications of the Anycubic Photon D2
- Printing Technology: DLP (Digital Light Processing)
- Optical Wavelength: 405nm
- Z Axis Precision: 0.01mm
- Control Screen Size: 5.9-Inch
- Screen Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440px (2K)
- Pixel Size: 0.051mm
- Display Resolution: 498ppi
- Build Volume: 130.56 x 73.44 x 165mm
Benefits of the Anycubic Photon D2
- Top-tier build quality and details in models
- Easy to assemble and operate
- Prints very quietly compared to many resin 3D printers
- Unique light blue lid that you can see through
- Uses less energy than MSLA 3D printers
- Allows users to change settings during the print process
- Comes with an awesome test print model
- Very durable technology which means less maintenance and costs
Downsides of the Anycubic Photon D2
- Small build volume
- The lid could be tighter to prevent resin odor leaking
Unboxing of the Anycubic Photon D2
The package comes pretty standard with the custom foam pieces that protect the printer and the components during transit. The smiley face foam is a funny unique touch for the Photon D2.
It comes with all the things you expect:
- Build plate
- Resin vat
- A mask
- Fixing kit
- Leveling paper
- Assembly instructions
The build plate does require some simply assembly to the machine. You put the bracket on and attach the build plate with the four screws, all explained in the manual.
Leveling Process of the Anycubic Photon D2
The leveling process for the Photon D2 is very simple:
- Once you assembled the 3D printer and attached the build plate, turn the printer on, and remove the resin vat
- Place your leveling paper flat on the screen
- Loosen up the four screws on the build plate
- On the main screen go to Tools, then press the home icon to bring the build plate to the screen
- Put some gentle pressure on the build plate with your hand, then tighten up the screws in order (bottom right, top left, top right, bottom left).
- Go Back one screen and press Z=0 to level the printer.
Best Settings for the Anycubic Photon D2
In terms of settings, I found that a Bottom Exposure Time of 40 seconds worked well to have prints adhere properly and not be too difficult to remove from the build plate.
For a 0.05mm layer height, a Normal Exposure Time of 2.2 seconds works well.
I use 6 bottom layers as standard for my resin prints, with an Exposure Off Time of 1 second.
You can choose to use Anti-Aliasing to smooth out details, though people have differing opinions on how well it works. Some recommend it highly, while others say the detail comes out better with it off, so it depends on the specific model geometry and your preferences.
The Z-Lift Distance is a standard 5mm and I used the default lift and retract speeds in Anycubic Photon Workshop, though you can use 3mm/s (180mm/min) for both values.
Print Quality of the Anycubic Photon D2
Anycubic DLP Test Print
This high quality, unique test print from Anycubic is a file on the USB that it comes with. There are plenty of details in this model, especially when you look close up.
It’s a great introduction into just how the quality differs for a DLP resin 3D printer.
Bane Bust – Dark Knight Rises
The Photon D2 really captures amazing details in this bane bust, created by Fotis Mint. You can see the intricate lines on the face and the bat symbol near the bottom of the base.
King of the Dead
This is definitely the favorite model (made by Fotis Mint) that has come off the Photon D2. It really pushes the level of fine lines and quality that you can produce.
It’s really surprising to be able to get this kind of quality on a consumer-level resin 3D printer. This was 3D printed with a 0.25mm layer height, so you could go even further.
You should compensate your Normal Exposure Time when using lower layer heights, so I went with 2 rather than 2.2 seconds for this model.
Here’s another amazing model created by Fotis Mint called Gorr from Marvel Comics. This one has some crevices that really bring out the detail, as well as the fine lines in the face.
Verdict – Worth Buying or Not?
The level of quality that the Anycubic Photon D2 is levels above a majority of the resin 3D printers on the market right now. The DLP technology is something users haven’t had much access to, so the work Anycubic is doing is revolutionary to this industry.
I’d definitely recommend getting yourself the Photon D2 (once released for purchase) if you are interested in creating high quality models that have a professional look, at a very competitive price.