250*219*123 mm build volume
Dual air filters
10-inch LCD masking screen
8K 7,680 x 4,320px resolution
4.3-inch TFT touch-control
This review appears in the upcoming issue of 3D World magazine. To never miss an issue, you should subscribe now (opens in new tab).
The Anycubic Photon M3 Premium is one of the latest pieces of evidence of how 3D printers have been developing at a rate of knots in recent years, with resin printers forging the way for fine detail and smooth finishes, at the expense of smaller build volumes, steeper learning curves and higher costs.
Anycubic has been at the forefront of this area for some time and each new printer comes with higher spec, better performance and easier use. This is as true for the M3 Premium as any other, if not more so and it builds on that in some interesting ways. But does it make the M3 Premium one of our best 3D printers (opens in new tab)?
Anycubic Photon M3 Premium: Build and features
The Anycubic Photon M3 Premium is one of a new generation of 8K resolution printers, in this case with a screen that is 7,680 x 4,320px. This sounds impressive but there are factors that can make a 4K or 6K produce better results. Higher resolution can sometimes mean harsh areas of a print, where the natural diffusion of the curing light gives an almost stepped appearance, like non-anti-aliased parts of a render. This isn’t a cause for concern with the M3 premium, however, which has updated the internals to provide crisp smooth results. This is in part down to the light dispersion of a new generation lighting system, that does away with fresnel and reduces dispersion to half. Combine this with the much lower straying from the new LighTurbo 2.0 and you get crisp details with far fewer issues.
The machine itself is larger than a lot of other resin printers and weighs more too, which has the benefit of making it secure and less susceptible to heavy foot traffic causing problems. This larger size is for a reason. The print volume is large for a resin printer at 25 x 22 12cm, so larger models don’t need to be split. The other reason is that the M3 premium has two air filters to banish the resin fumes. This is a big deal for many, who are sensitive to resin vapours. The charcoal filters are easily replaceable and plug into two USC ports, one on either side of the machine. This isn’t a gimmick either. In extended use, no odours were noticeable, where my Mono X 6k could be smelled.
Anycubic Photon M3 Premium: Print performance
The operation is simple and intuitive too. A touchscreen interface has the options needed, in easy menus, from setting up and levelling the bed, to navigating print files and running a print.
The resin tank is large too, to ensure there’s no need to top up resin mid-print, which can lead to a visible mark. This tank has a new type of film, which is designed for better performance. I can’t testify to that but it did appear that there was less of that typical peeling sound you get with some machines.
There are many types of resin on the market from many manufacturers. Some are water washable while others need to be rinsed with isopropyl alcohol. While this means a touch more mess, with something like a wash and cure machine it has become much easier and the finish is generally better. That said being able to wash under a tap is pretty handy, so knowing your workflow is wise when buying your next bottle of resin.
As a keen miniature painter, I’m always on the lookout for crisp detail and smooth surfaces, as painting really highlights any surface imperfections. Using both water washable resins and craftsman grade results were excellent. I prefer the feel and look of craftsman resin but it comes at a higher cost and in reality, both performed excellently. The painted model you see here needed no work other than pulling off the supports and lightly filing the nubs. Baby Groot didn’t need any supports at all and is flawless in both detail and finish.
Should you buy the Anycubic Photon M3 Premium?
This quality of print is up there with printers costing a lot more and would be equally at home on the workbench of jewellers as it would for custom toy designers or anybody who needs the best quality, with an easy workflow.