Anycubic Photon Mono 4K 3D printer review

If you clicked on this article, you might be wondering, “Why would they consider 3D printers?” To answer that question, all I have to say is… we are nerds. And if you clicked on this article, I hope that you are also interested in it. Who doesn’t want to try creating miniatures for their D&D campaigns? Who has ever at least thought about printing a small copy of their favorite video game character to put on their game shelf? We all have an indoor space filled with old game boxes, collectible art books, or expensive figurines. When our friends at Anycubic reached out to ask for the chance to review some of the products in their line, my partner and I were absolutely elated. We’ve got the Anycubic Photon Mono model on our crafting table at home now, and have been learning how to make our own mini skeleton armies over the past year. However, Anycubic just released the 4K Photon Mono, so we had to put our little skins aside in the hopes of creating an army of undead with much higher resolution.


  • MSRP: $289
  • Exposure screen: 6.23” monochrome
  • Print size: 6.5 x 5.2 x 3.1 inches / 16.5 x 13.2 x 8 cm (HWD)
  • Light transmittance: 7%
  • Contrast Ratio: 400:1
  • Light source: Parallel matrix (LED x 15)
  • Power density: 3,500 – 4,000 μw/cm² / 23,905 – 27,320 lux
  • Print accuracy: 3,840 x 2,400 px (4K)
  • Horizontal resolution: 35 μm
  • Print speed: ≤ 5 cm/hour. / 1.97 in./hour.
  • Control panel: 2.8” TFT touch control
  • Data Input: USB-A 2.0
  • Power supply: 45W
  • Software: Photon Workshop
  • Machine size: 15.1 x 8.9 x 8.7 in. 38.3 x 22.7 x 22.2 cm (HWD)
  • Machine weight: 9.4 lb./4.3 kg

Right out of the box, the Photon Mono 4K comes with loads of attachments and accessories for beginners in printing. It took a little while to sort out, but we were given a manual, a pair of gloves, a repair kit, a funnel, a plastic scraper, a screen protector LCD and an SD card reader with a test print file included. Ever since my partner set up our first printer, he was adamant that I set up the Photon Mono 4K myself.

Photon Mono and Photon Mono 4K look quite similar when placed side by side.

You may already know this from my previous posts, but I’m extremely clumsy and accident prone, so to say I’m a bit scared and terrified with this twist is an understatement. Vong. With that said, I pulled my hair up and put on my big game sets so we could work on this beauty. Thankfully, the user guide is simple with colored pictures and instructions. I watched a video on Youtube a week ago when the unit arrived in anticipation of its setup but watching someone else set up a device and do it myself is a whole different thing. I also forgot most of the process.

With the passage of time much of my knowledge, the manual has filled in the gaps left and created a damn smooth experience. There are a few issues with the English localization, but other than that, the steps are simple enough to follow. 3D printers are extremely intimidating for beginners, so I was proud when I managed to put it together without any help. Now we need to see if it actually works.

Photon Mono 4K Triple View.

With both devices now side-by-side, the Photon Mono and Photon Mono 4K look almost identical, except for their different logos printed on the base. The printing platforms have different colors, but the look and feel of the units is the same. One of the first things I tend to look for in an upgraded version of an existing model is its build quality and feel. You can tell a lot about a unit and its quality just by feeling its weight and whether cheaper materials were used in its construction. There is no clear indication that the manufacturing process has been altered too severely. Surprisingly, and to our delight, both units feel relatively similar. With that said, the specs reveal that the Photon Mono 4K is a bit lighter at 9.4 lbs. compared to the Photon Mono at 9.9 lbs.

The Photon Mono 4K LED display is significantly brighter than its predecessor.

The first difference I noticed was when we turned on the actual device. There is quite a difference in the brightness of the LED touch screen, as shown in the pictures above. I thought my eyes might be playing tricks on me until I got a picture for the article. Yes, certainly a stark contrast. The touch screen is nice and responsive, especially if you put your gloves on and need to stop printing or make adjustments mid-production. My main affinity for touchscreens is the language used with the ‘confirm’ and ‘cancel’ buttons. Like the previous model, the Photon Mono 4K also uses the terms ‘enter’ and ‘return’, which can cause a bit of confusion. It was enough to give me pause as a native English speaker. Just one small, nimble detail that I feel could have been changed for ease of use.

Anycubic Craftsman Resin is excellent and much more durable than other resins we have tried. Will buy again!

After inserting the USB drive and uploading the proof, it’s time to see how the Photon Mono 4K compares to its predecessor. Anycubic sent us a 1kg bottle of their gray Craftsman Resin to use with some of our prints, but we want to use it after we have our first proof. Three hours later, and we get to see our fancy little Anycubic test block. To our great relief, I leveled and set up the unit perfectly and everything worked as it should.

The plastic bin is filled with Anycubic Craftsman Resin and the device is about to start printing.

As with any first print, there was initially concern that the job would fail, but that never happened with the Photon Mono 4K. As we progress through our prints, we’ll be doing one miniature after another over the next week with a near-perfect finish and absolutely no print failure. Craftsman resin performs beautifully and has been shown to be slightly more durable (after a few drop tests) than other resins we’ve used in the past. Not only that, the amount of detail it can retain, even on smaller miniatures, is amazing.

Two undead minions stand guard at their plastic pylon, protecting the 4K Photon Mono that will produce the rest of their army.

We ran a few prints from the original Photon Mono for comparison, and while Photon Mono can still print some pretty awesome thumbnails, it’s second to none when it comes to Photon Mono 4K. The depth and detail that Photon Mono 4K can convey compared to Photon Mono is amazing. More detail on the armor appears, and the new model can even engrave small, nuanced facial features that the original Photon Mono tended to blur.

This little crew is printed on the Photon Mono for comparison. Although some details are a bit messy, they are still really impressive.

Prints often feel like they take less time to print and typically pack in only about 3 hours. However, when comparing the specs, the Photon Mono 4K has a print speed of 1.97 in/hr, while the Photon Mono operates at a MAX speed of 50mm/hr (1.97in/hr). So it looks like they are technically working at the same speed. With that said, the Photon Mono’s specs say it can print at 50mm MAX, leading me to believe it’s not always consistent or could be a bit slower. The Photon Mono 4K also delivers much more detail, which in my opinion is worth the upgrade. If you’re going to have to wait the same amount of time (maybe a bit shorter), then I’d like to dig into the unit in more detail.


Is Anycubic Photon Mono 4K worth the money? Sure. Photon Mono 4K works out of the box, is easy to set up, and prints incredibly well. It has everything you really want for a starting 3D printer with a pretty hefty price tag to boot. While Photon Mono still performs remarkably well, there’s no substitute for the detail that Photon Mono 4K can produce. Being able to see veins on the orc’s legs or scratches on a piece of bone armor adds depth to the character and makes it look like a professionally made miniature that you can pull out right away. off the shelf. Our biggest takeaway for the Photon Mono 4K will have to be the build plate. While the build quality is excellent, the build plate is the same size as the original Photon Mono plate at 6.5 x 5.2 x 3.1 inches. You can still print large miniatures, just not many at once. For those looking for more printing real estate, we’ll be reviewing the Photon Mono X soon, as well as the Wash & Cure station! If you are interested in exploring the world of 3D printing, the Photon Mono 4K is a great device for beginners and can be found on Anycubic site with a slight discount for the holidays.


The product described in this article is provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. Anycubic Photon Mono 4K 3D printer review


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