While the Photon Mono X is a great machine for printing with, the knobs tend to leave a tar like residue, so we’ll be addressing this issue in today’s mod.  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 ones 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.  Important to note is that the head of other bolts tends to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.  The DOWNLOADABLE file here is for the original ones which came with the machine, and I’ve included an instructional PDF guide to go along with the STL file.  For this project, you’re going to need to pick up (x2) M6 hex head bolts along with their corresponding nuts, as well as (x1) 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 as a backup.

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 the FEP sheet or screen.


Replacing a FEP sheet can be daunting for those who are new to 3d printing, so I’ve created a separate guide for that HERE. 




This guide includes diagrams, FEP sheet replacement instructions, Parts and motherboard explanations, troubleshooting tricks, cleaning, maintenance, settings, firmware + Bonus Resin Scoop and much more.

Instructions

While older models had a glass protective layer above the LCD, new modern day machines have opted to no longer include this for the most part.  So in today’s article, we’ll be going over how to add a screen protector to help protect the LCD from any damage which may occur. As always, 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 article 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 many use 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.  I also used a lens air blower to blow off any remaining particles to keep from touching the surface further.


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 this ARTICLE on how to upgrade these yourself.  Thank you for watching, and I hope to see you guys again.  Thank you and take care.

Personal Notes

Use

  • Protect LCD screen from being punctured
  • Protects against resin leaks

Things to watch out for

  • Make sure to peel off the 2 protective layers
  • Do not attempt to remove particles from protection film
  • Sticky side faces down (normally labelled)



One of the common tasks when owning a resin printer is the replacement of the FEP sheet.  While this something which all users will have to do at some point or another, many new to 3d printing find this task daunting at first.  Today we’ll be covering the process for the Mono X, but this process is similar with all resin printers.  As always, I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur.

In resin printers, the FEP sheet 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 ones 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, so make sure to have this handy for the future steps.  I find that the bottle caps of a standard soda bottle are the perfect size. 

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 after having lined up the FEP sheet and frames.  While holding the frame 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 that has the potential to damage the screen and carefully inspect it prior to re-installing the vat.


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.



Have you ever wondered whether you were better off buying the Ender S1 or the modifying the already affordable Ender 3 V2?  Well, in this article we’ll explore the pros and cons of each and see which might be a better choice depending on your use case.  What you see here is my own opinion.  Undertake these upgrades at your own risk.

Now, for the purposes of this video, I will be comparing some specific upgrades which make the Ender 3 V2 more similar to the Ender 3 S1.  One of the biggest differences is the hot end assembly, which on the S1 uses a Sprite extruder, while the V2 uses your standard Bowden tube setup.  Now both methods have their own pros and cons, but for this comparison will be upgrading it to also have a Sprite extruder.  I did the math on this and unless you’re buying a knockoff hot end, it’s a lot easier to simply get the Sprite extruder upgrade kit which comes with the replacement cables. Just make sure to buy the High temperature version when you do so.  The S1 strangely has a heat break which isn’t all metal, so I’d recommend looking into replacing that if you want to print with higher temperatures.  Just be aware, that replacing this can be a little finicky, and I did do some damage to mine when doing that upgrade. The sprite extruder comes with a CRTouch for auto levelling, and there is already a firmware upgrade for the V2 if you install this on your machine. Depending on where you purchase this kit, you’ll be looking around $100 USD at the time of writing.

Generally speaking, I do recommend that you have a dual Z axis setup, when you have a direct extruder, so for this reason we’ll be adding another Z axis to the machine for additional stability.  The good news is that there are plenty of these kits available, but you’re going to want to make sure that they come with the wiring and if possible two lead screw bearing brackets since they can help stabilize the lead screws.  Most of these kits have a splitter cable which helps divide the signal from the stepper motor drivers and makes it a lot easier to install.  I’ve already created a playlist for Upgrading the V2 so make sure to check that out if you’re planning on doing the same changes to your machine.  This will roughly add $25 USD to our total for the upgrade.

Another big difference between these two machines, is the build plate. For some reason, you currently can’t purchase the exact same build plate that comes on the S1 unless you’re a registered vendor.  This is problematic for print farms, which normally want to have a couple of extras, so they can easily swap them out.  The one that is currently available is the older version, which just doesn’t work as well and isn’t really worth the money.  I added one of these to my machines and honestly, I’m thinking about either simply removing it or using 250 grit sandpaper to rough up the metal side since that seems to work great for PETG material.  This will roughly add $26 USD to our total.

Now, the nice thing about both of these machines is that the source code is available for both.  So if you decided to make additional changes, you still can.  This makes the longevity of the machines more likely, since this opens up the possibility of additional suppliers for certain components.  In a time when there’s supply chain issues, this level of flexibility is quite necessary for any purchasing decisions.

So which options do I recommend and for whom.  If you already own a V2 and don’t plan on picking up another machine, then simply upgrading your existing one is a good idea.  Doing this will reduce waste and help prolong the longevity of your machine, but I wouldn’t consider the upgrades a necessary step until you want to print with higher temperature materials.  If you’re planing on getting a new machine, or need to replace the one you currently have, then the S1 is a feasible option, however keep in mind that certain replacement parts aren’t available to the public as of the writing of this article.  Since quite a few components are proprietary, this could pose a serious issue if you need to replace a component.  Therefore, if you’re looking for a reliable machine, then a stock V2 may actually be a better option because of it’s level of flexibility, and it’s lower price point.

If you’re always looking around for the information that you need on these printers’ and other’s I have the PDF guides which include the wiring diagrams, tips and tricks, maintenance, printer calibration, realignment, parts, firmware and much more.  For the machines that require it I’ve also included the STL which helps restore functionality.