Anycubic’s Photon line contains some of the world’s most popular low-cost resin 3D printers, delivering fantastic resolution and quality for entry-level prices.
Anycubic developed the Photon Mono series to improve their successful original Photon line, and they’ve also recently launched the latest Photon M3 printers. Their goal was to make high-quality and up-to-date resin 3D printers that were accessible to the average hobbyist without forcing them to break the bank.
Given the investment of both time and money that goes into buying a 3D printer, you’ll always want to make sure you get one that’s right for you. Buyer’s remorse is a terrible thing, especially with something as exciting as a 3D printer.
Here, we’re going to look at the Anycubic Mono vs Mono SE vs Mono SQ vs Mono X vs Mono 4K vs Mono 6K, to help you choose the best Anycubic Photon Mono 3D printer for you.
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Beginning with the first (and cheapest) of the series, the Anycubic Photon Mono’s price makes it one of the cheapest resin 3D printers on the market today.
As is expected of such a low price tag, the Photon Mono is fairly rudimentary in design. However, it has a build volume of 130 x 78 x 165mm, which isn’t too different from its counterparts.
Essentially, this means that if build volume is your main focus, then the Anycubic Mono is definitely the one for you. While it falls short in other areas by comparison, the dollars to build size can’t be beaten.
One area where the Mono loses out, however, is its print speed. While it’s not often a deal-breaker, if you want to print as much as you can as fast as you can, the Anycubic Mono’s maximum print speed of 50mm/h is the slowest of the three by 10mm/h.
With touchscreens becoming the norm for 3D printers around the time of Anycubic’s Photon Zero, all three Mono models have their own color screens built into the machine.
The Mono’s touchscreen is the smallest of the three at only 2.8 inches. While this is perfectly serviceable, it can be tricky to use if you’re used to or need larger screens.
The Mono only supports USB connectivity, which can be a deal-breaker if you prefer WiFi or wired connection. While usable, USB-only connections can be tedious, especially if you plan on printing frequently.
Anycubic Mono 4K
The Mono 4K is an impressive addition to Anycubic’s line of resin printers, and has a host of features geared toward those of you who want to print big impressive projects without spending too much.
The Mono 4K has a larger build volume of 165 x 132 x 80mm, so it’s perfect if you want to print things like statuettes and D&D model figurines. It also means you’ll be perfectly comfortable building pieces for larger, multi-part builds.
At around 50mm/hour, the Mono 4K’s print speed is about average for a printer like this, but can’t be described as slow. Given its impressive build volume, you may be waiting a while for the bigger prints, but that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker given its low cost and impressive capabilities.
While it boasts a standard touchscreen, the LCD screen of the Anycubic Mono 4K is at 6.23’’. This makes perfecting your settings and designs much simpler and more satisfying to carry out, and looks pretty cool to boot.
The screen is also equipped with a protective shield to defend against resin spillages and leaks, which is very good news to those of us who’ve had to deal with such messes in the past.
The Mono 4K is also only connectible via USB.
Read more: Anycubic Photon Mono 4K vs Elegoo Mars 3
Anycubic Mono X
The beefiest of the three models we’re discussing today is the Anycubic Mono X. It doesn’t fit into the ‘budget’ category as easily as its counterparts, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a look at the features that call for such an increased price.
The Mono X wins outright with the biggest build volume of them all. At an impressive 192 x 120 x 245mm, there is pretty much no print so big you won’t be able to manage it.
This is excellent news for those of you who want to make larger prints like busts or statuettes, and given how MSLA resin printers print entire layers at once unlike FDM printers, you’ll be able to fit more of your minis in each print job.
Despite its greater build capabilities, the Mono X falls into the middling ground when it comes to build speed. At a maximum of 60mm/h, it is noticeably faster than the original Mono printer.
Despite its larger size, the Mono X sports the exact same 3.5-inch touchscreen as the Mono SE.
As well as the build volume, the Anycubic Mono X also sports an impressive LCD resolution. Where the Mono and Mono SE have a resolution of 2560 x 1620 pixels, the Mono X sports a booted 4K screen with 3840 x 2400 resolution.
Like the SE, the Mono X is connectible via USB and WiFi, which places it a step above the Mono, but still matches the capabilities of the Mono SE
Read more: Elegoo Saturn vs Anycubic Photon Mono X
Anycubic Mono X 6K
One of their latest releases, the Mono 6K is the Goliath of the Mono series, boasting a huge print volume and impressive speeds, as well as many of the features that have made the others stand out so well.
An all-around topper at an equally elevated price, the 6K should be your go-to if you want to really pay for power.
With a massive build volume of 245 x 197 x 122mm, the possibilities are endless with the Mono 6K’s impressive size shouldn’t leave any buyer wanting.
Don’t let the Mono 6K’s size fool you into thinking it’s a slow machine. The Mono 6K is anything but, and won’t leave you waiting around too long at an impressive 60mm/hour, with a maximum of a whopping 80mm/hour.
While large in size, the Mono 6K sports an average size touchscreen of 3.5’’, though its 6K LCD screen is a huge 9.25’’ that’s sure to make all adjustments and monitoring easy and as highly defined as the prints themselves.
Those of you with large workspaces will be happy to know that the Anycubic Mono 6K is connectible via Wi-Fi as well as USB, so you won’t be traipsing back and forth through your house or garage to get your prints up and running with ease.
Anycubic Mono SE
- Price: Check price at Anycubic here
Next on the list is the upgraded Mono SE. It’s more expensive than the standard Mono, but it’s a better choice if you’re willing to open your wallet a little wider for some nice additions that the original Mono simply doesn’t have.
It has mostly been phased out in favor of new models like the Mono 4K, Mono X, Mono X 6K, and Photon M3 range.
With a build volume of 130 x 80 x 160mm, it’s not too different from its predecessor. So the Mono is still the best build volume for its price by comparison if the size of your prints is your key deciding factor.
Between the three models, the Anycubic Mono SE wins out for its print speed. Capable of a maximum of 80mm/h, it’s by far the fastest in the Mono line.
If you plan on making a lot of prints but don’t want to wait around, then the SE is absolutely worth a look.
The Mono SE features a touchscreen of 3.5 inches, which is as large as they get on the Mono series line of 3D printers. This makes it easier to read and it looks pretty cool too.
As well as a USB connection, the Mono SE is connectible via WiFi too. This makes for a far more streamlined and easy-to-use experience and a faster and easier transition from designing to printing.
Anycubic Mono SQ
- Price: Check price at Anycubic here
The Anycubic Mono SQ is a recent entry to the Mono series and boasts a lot of upgraded features based on what Anycubic has learned throughout development. As far as budget printers go, the Mono SQ really stands out as powerful and fast without requiring you to break the bank.
On the smaller end of the spectrum, the Anycubic Mono SQ has a build volume of only 128 x 120 x 200mm, so it’s not ideal if you’re looking to make big prints. However, this size is still fairly middling for a resin 3D printer, so you’re getting quite a lot of space for the price.
Print speed is one of the most compelling reasons to opt for the Mono SQ, as it boasts a speed of 60mm/hour, which is 3x the speed of the original Photon Mono. Needless to say, this is impressive for a machine of this cost, and makes it a great choice if you want to print minifigures or more complex projects that require separately printed parts.
The Mono SQ has a 3.5’’ touchscreen, which is fairly standard for an Anycubic Mono model.
The Anycubic Mono SQ is only connectible via USB, meaning those of you who prefer to use Wi-Fi or cable connections will be disappointed.
Anycubic Mono 3D Printers Compared: Similarities
While each model in the Anycubic Mono series has its own differences, they share a lot in common too. If any of the below are your main priority when deciding on which 3D printer to buy, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that any one of the machines we’ve discussed today will fit your bill.
Included Slicing Software
While most people prefer to use their own slicing software, Anycubic includes their own Anycubic Photon Slicer and Workshop with all three of these machines.
Workshop is free and fully accessible to newcomers. While it is fairly basic in design, it is a good program to dive into as a learning experience if you’ve never used a slicer before.
Fortunately, Anycubic’s line of 3D printers is also compatible with a host of other third-party and independent slicing software available online, so you can always opt for an alternative down the line if you like.
The minimum layer height for each Mono 3D Printer is 10 microns across the board. This guarantees impressively detailed prints that resin printers are known for regardless of which machine you choose.
The Mono SE and Mono X are connectible via WiFi, but only via the Anycubic app, which is only compatible with Android devices. If you only have a Mac or iPhone, then you’ll have to settle for the USB connection.
As you can see, each entry into the Anycubic Mono series have their ups and downs, and no one machine is better suited for all purposes than another. Deciding on which to go for will depend largely on your needs and how much money you’re willing to spend for your new tech.
Here, we’ll take a look at when you should choose each device and why.
Best Budget Pick: Anycubic Mono
If a tighter budget is your deciding factor, however, then the original Anycubic Mono is a perfectly serviceable machine with no real downsides in terms of print quality or usability. While slower than the others, it’s still one of the better and cheaper resin printers available on the market today.
The lack of WiFi connection may be a dealbreaker for you, but if you don’t have access to an Android device, then the playing field between the three levels out in this regard as you’ll need to use the USB connection in any case.
Best General All-round Pick: Anycubic Mono 4K
If you want high-quality prints and a large print volume, the Anycubic Mono 4K is the one for you. Its high-resolution prints are even more admirable in larger sizes, and the ease of use is deceptively simple for a printer as capable as this
Best Premium Resin Pick: Anycubic Mono X
Despite the models all carrying the Mono name, the Mono X should be considered a completely different machine. Its differences in build volume, resolution, and design make it stand out the most, especially in price.
If you want a top-of-the-line resin printer capable of very large builds at a stable pace, then the Mono X is the model for you as long as you don’t mind the extra cost.
Best Super High-Res Pick: Anycubic Mono X 6K
If the Anycubic Mono 4K seems impressive to you, but you still could go for something larger, then the Anycubic Mono 6K should be the first thing you add to your pre-order list. The gigantic build volume and incredible detail make it so no 3D printing project will be out of your reach.