Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video. Today’s we’ll be taking a closer look at two similar SLA resin printers and see which one might be best suited for your needs. As always, what you see here represents my own opinions and no money has exchanged hands.

To start things off, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Mono X by Anycubic and the Saturn by Elegoo. Both have very similar specifications and build style, but their implementations are quite different. While the Saturn has a build volume of 192 x 120 x 200, the Mono X has a slightly larger one at 192 x 120 x 245. As is common with newer machines, each uses a mono screen to mask out the UV light for the curing process. Both work with the Chitubox slicer, although they will need to have the firmware updated if using the latest software. Unlike most FDM printer’s today, neither company has currently released a wiring diagram to make repairs easier, which is why I’ve begun releasing my own reference PDF’s. One great feature is the inclusion of the raised feet for the vats of both machines. This is great news for most user’s since it prevent accidental damage to the FEP sheet when placing the vat on the surface during regular maintenance. It also has the added benefit of locking the vat into the correct position for printing.

The Elegoo Saturn when it was first released was quite innovative in its offerings. It was the first to use a mono screen and implement raised feet to lock the vat into place. During the initial release, it was an extremely affordable machine, but was limited in its availability. Currently, at the time of making this video, the price is no longer as competitive, but it’s still quite affordable for the features which are included. The build plate design uses a ball joint mechanism, which makes it easy to un-level during the print removal process. It’s well worth considering a flex build plate to prevent this issue for arising. On my particular machine, I did in fact notice some Z wobble but seeing as I haven’t seen anyone else complain about it, therefore perhaps only a few machines have been affected. The Saturn and the Mono x both require a firmware update prior to using the most recent Chitubox release. The Saturn does use a Chitubox board, which does limit which slicers can be used with the new firmware. Chitubox does provide a free version at this time, but this is not guaranteed to be the case in the future. While inspecting the wiring, I did discover that it had tinned connections, which I recommend replacing with ferrule one’s instead. I do have a video walking through that process that you can check out here.

When the Mono X was first released, it was several hundreds of dollars more than the Saturn, however at the time of recording this video it is no longer the case. In fact, if you keep an eye out for the sales, you can get it at a much cheaper price point. The Mono X uses its own proprietary motherboard, which does allow Anycubic more flexibility in how it’s implemented. For instance, some great features include the ability to change the UV light strength for the machine overall, rather than relying on the slicer to do so with exposure settings. Additionally, this machine isn’t locked within the Chitubox ecosystem, and they’ve readily made it available for other slicing software. This more open approach makes it more flexible in the long term, but it also means, you will need to purchase any replacement components through their company, which is good so long as they are still available for purchase. Unlike the Saturn, this machine does have proper wire connections and is the only company that I’ve found doing this so far. Both their curing station and their Mono X use proper connectors, which is a great sign. Along with these proper connections, we also have the integration of Wi-Fi which thankfully is an optional implementation. This coupled with the sturdy build plate and linear rails system has made this by far my most used resin printer. But there’s also one huge problem with this machine. The knobs have a nasty tendency to melt when exposed to isopropyl alcohol and to this day, machines are still being shipped with the defect. You can see the knob replacement video at this link here.

So with all this information, what is my final verdict? Well, it’s going to depend on what you’re planning to do with your machine. I found that the Mono X was very reliable and consistent, however the knobs were a pain to deal with until I printed new one’s. The Saturn was much more capable at printing detailed pieces once properly calibrated, especially once I added a flex build plate. With the release of new versions coming to market, their prices have become a great value for what they offer. I was very tempted to pick some up for my production runs but since you guys want to see more videos I’ve pre-ordered some newer machines instead. So assuming that those machines actually get delivered, I will hopefully have more reviews in store for you in the future. Thank you for watching, I hope to see you guys soon. Thank you and take care.




Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another mod video. Today we’ll be addressing how to replace the existing knobs that come on the Photon Mono X 4K by Anycubic. If you don’t already know this, they do have a tendency to melt when exposed to isopropyl alcohol. As of recording this video, this machine is still being sold with this defect. As always, undertake this mod at your own risk, and I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur.

So before we being, we first need to get our hands on a couple of supplies. We’re first going to either order new components or re-use the one’s which came with the machine. Now in this case, I will be showing you how to use the original components, however I’ve verified the dimensions for the replacement parts. For this project, you’re going to need to pick up 2 M6 hex head bolts along with their corresponding nuts, as well as 1 M8 hex bolt and nut. These files can be printed with either an FDM printer or SLA one, however I do recommend using an FDM printer if you have one since I found that the resin doesn’t stick as much to those surfaces.

If you’re re-using the original components, you’re first going to need to salvage the bolts and nuts from the originals. The best way to do this is to saw partway through them and pry them out carefully. Since this isn’t easy to do, I recommend ordering the replacement parts if possible.

The way the original hardware was designed, it had one nut threaded part way, so for this reason we’re going to thread this through while making sure it’s flush with the printed opening. This provides the bolt with additional support to prevent it from wobbling later on. Making sure that the head and the nut are lined up, we’ll glue these into place and clamp this together before letting them rest overnight to set. In my case, I’m using an expanding glue, which will fill in the gaps between the bolt and the printed handle. While this isn’t necessary, I do recommend it.

Once glued in place, you can now install your build plate with the new tightening knobs, making sure to thread these only enough to hold them it into place. The reason why you don’t want to over-tighten them, is that you want to prevent from stripping the bolt threads with unnecessary wear. While installing the build plate knob, I do recommended that you place something above your build plate. This will prevent any accidental damage that could occur from the knob falling onto FEP sheet or screen.

With your new upgraded components installed, you can now begin your new prints. I would love to see what colours you’re planning to use with this mod, so please post your recommendation in the comments below. As to where you can get these files. The STL’s along with their instruction sheets will be available on my main website as always. I will include a link in the description below. Thank you for watching, and I hope to see you guys again soon. Thank you and take care.




Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video tutorial. Today we’ll be addressing a potential issue with the mono X since the LCD screen lacks a protective layer. I purchased the items myself for the purposes of this video, and I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur. Undertake this at your own risk.

If your FEP sheet is punctured, you could potentially damage the LCD screen with either a resin leak or solidified resin shard and since the replacement LCD screen is well over a $100 it does make this initial investment something worth looking at. Now there are multiple companies which produce a product similar to this one, but for this video I will be focusing on using the one I purchased.

There are some pretty important things to know about this installation. The main one is that it uses static electricity to hold it into place, which is very effective and makes it easy to remove. There is one thing which comes as a result of this ease of use. This protective film will attract dust extremely easily, and I haven’t yet found a way to clean it as yet. The good news, however, is that small bubbles along the surface shouldn’t affect the print quality.

This package comes with a squeegee and micron cloth, which you’ll need for this application. Although the instructions are brief they are functional, but I have found some additional techniques which should be considered.

Assuming that you’ve already removed the vat, you’re going to clean the screen’s surface with a micron cloth, getting it as clean as possible prior to the installation. The protective film has two protective sheets on either side, each of which is labelled according to their use. Take the applicator and wrap the micron cloth around it and have it at the ready. You’re going to peel only part of the protective layer, which is labelled “Peel off this BEFORE application”. You’re going to peel just enough so that you can slowly remove the protective layer as you begin to apply it. Doing this helps keep additional dust from being attracted to the surface, while you attempt to keep out as many bubbles as possible. This is the side which faces downwards onto the screen, so make sure to line it up with the screw holes of the machine. DO not attempt to remove any of these particles with tweezers or your finger’s. Doing this, will leave fingerprints along the surface or even worse, damage the surface with indentations. As you slowly peel back the protective layer, you’re going to use the applicator to gently push it down into the screen and push out potential bubbles as you go. Although you’ll probably still have a couple which remain after the application process is complete, these shouldn’t cause any issues with your prints.

Remove the final protective layer for the screen protector, and you’re ready to begin printing once you’ve re-levelled the print bed. While installing this protector, I found that the majority of the bubbles were caused by dust which had made its way in during the application process. So turning fans off and allowing the dust to settle in the room prior to its application may help when you do this yourself.

If you have this machine, you’re probably going to want to address the issue with the build plate and vat knobs, so make sure to check out the following video on how to upgrade these yourself. Thank you for watching, and I hope to see you guys again. Thank you and take care.




Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another mod video. Today, we’ll be replacing the Fep sheet to deal with anything surprises that my have come up during your printing process. Although I’ll be focusing on the Photon Mono X for this video, all of this will be applicable to a wide range of Resin Printers. I purchased everything you see here, and I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur.

In resin printers, this is a consumable that requires periodic replacement over time. Generally speaking, as long as you take proper care of your Fep sheet, you shouldn’t have to do this maintenance as often, but due to either print failures or the fep becoming cloudy over time, it does require replacement at some point. Most machines, use a very similar structure as this one does, so the information that you’ll see here should still apply to your machine. On this particular machine, the LCD screen isn’t covered by glass or a protector out of the box, and therefore you should consider adding a Screen protector as well. If you don’t plan on doing so, then regular fep sheet inspections should be a requirement for your machine.

To begin, we’ll first need to get a replacement fep sheet and I personally prefer to order the one’s which are recommended by the manufacturer of the machine, however it is also important to note that new developments in the technology are ongoing and new releases may become available in the future. In this case, I’m using the official replacement that’s provided by Anycubic.

Remove your vat and drain out any excess resin, making sure to properly clean the vat prior to continuing to the following step. Place a paper towel from which you can place your vat onto. You’re going to need a bottle cap to use as a spacer for your replacement film, so make sure to have this handy for the future steps.

There are two types of hex screwdrivers for this replacement. A size 2 and 2.5 will be needed for this particular machine, with the 2.5 being used to remove the first set of screws. With these removed, you can then use the screwdriver to lift the fep sheet frame out of the vat’s base. From here, you’re going turn this over and remove the second set of screws. At this point, we can give both the vat and the frame another cleanup to remove any remaining resin residue. In the footage that you see here, I’ve already done this process several times to remove all resin from the surface of the vat and frame, but if you’ve just done a quick cleanup you’re going to want to keep wearing gloves while doing the remaining steps.

Place the bottle cap in the centre of the fep frame, and while holding this down, you are going to use a pair of tweezers to create a small puncture in the fep sheet where you are going to place your first screw. I always recommend doing the four corner’s first before doing the remaining. You can use your finger’s as a support to help better control the amount of pressure while puncturing the fep sheet. The aim is to simply start the hole and not to go all the way down. After doing the four corners, you can then work your way around the frame and attach the remaining screws. Once completed, you want to turn the fep frame over and place it into the vat base. Once again, you’re going to create a small puncture for the screws, making sure to start at each corner. Only screw the screws in enough to hold them in place, and work diagonally from each other until all of them are in position. Slowly moving diagonally, you incrementally tighten these slowly down to ensure that you have even pressured. Doing this will prevent buckling from occurring in one section of the fep sheet. Do this until you reach the bottom, but once again don’t over tighten.

The fep sheet is attached, but we now have some extra material sticking out around the edges. To remove this, we’re going to follow the out edges of the Vat frame with a cutting blade. To keep from leaving smudges on the surface, we’re going to place a piece of paper towel under our hand while carefully following this edge. You shouldn’t have to pull it off if you’ve cut all the way through the material, so take your time when doing this step. Remove any leftover material will have the potential to damage the screen to carefully inspect it prior to re-installing the vat.

You can now re-install your vat and begin printing once again. Let me how many times you’ve had to replace your fep sheet down in the comments below. If you’re looking to add a screen protector, you’re going to want to see the following video since it’s a great upgrade that will help protect your screen, especially since this machine doesn’t have a protective layer above the LCD. Thank you for watching, and I hope to see you guys again soon. Thank you and take care.