The best affordable large resin 3D printer is the Anycubic Photon M3 Max.
For under $1,000, the M3 Max has a large 298 x 164 x 300 mm build volume which is perfectly suited for batch printing miniatures, or larger one-off resin prototypes. The 7K LCD screen and 46-micron resolution are very accurate considering the size, and it can handle fine details on minis with no problem.
If you have a bigger budget, I recommend the Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K as the best mid-range large-format resin printer. It’s larger than the M3 Max, is more accurate (43 microns), is faster (70mm/h vs 60mm/h), and the build quality is generally just better.
298 x 164 x 300 mm
330 x 185 x 400 mm
335 x 200 x 300 mm
And, if you’re looking for a professional large-scale resin 3D printer for commercial use, consider the Formlabs Form 3L. It’s large, ideal for prototyping large and complex products like helmets, sneakers, shovels, and much more, and has incredible print quality.
|How Many 28mm Minis Can It Print In One Job?
|LCD Screen Res
|Where To Buy
|Anycubic Photon M3 Max
|298 x 164 x 300 mm
|Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K
|330 x 185 x 400 mm
|Formlabs Form 3L
|335 x 200 x 300 mm
The Best Large Resin 3D Printer – Reviews
1. Anycubic Photon M3 Max – Best Budget Large Resin 3D Printer
- Price: Check latest price at Anycubic here / Amazon here
- Build Volume: 298 x 164 x 300 mm
- XY Resolution: 46 microns
- LCD Screen: 7K
- Minimum Layer Thickness: 0.01 mm
- Speed: 60 mm/h
The largest resin 3D printer for under $1000
For a lower-cost home business, you won’t find anything that can print more small models in an hour for cheaper
Amazing 6480x3600px 13.6” 7K LCD for resin curing power
The smaller Photon M3 models offer slightly better XY resolution
The Photon M3 Max is Anycubic’s biggest resin 3D printer. With the large 298 x 164 x 300 mm build volume, it can print all those bigger resin projects you’ve put off due to size constraints, and no other resin printer does it better for under $1,000.
To put that in perspective, if you were printing 28mm miniature models, you can print approximately 45 in one job! Here’s an example I ran using a test model in Chitubox for the M3 Max’s build volume:
A 13.6″ 7K 6480 x 3600 pixel LCD offers a 46 micron XY resolution, which considering the build volume, is extremely accurate (resolution generally declines as size increases). Despite the large size, this is still good enough detail to print out armor and weapon details on tiny figures and minis, or to craft intricate and patterned jewelry.
It’s also quite fast, at 60mm/hr print speed – which across the large print bed means you can print dozens of minis in one job.
Elsewhere, Anycubic has included some useful ease-of-use features. These inlcude an automatic smart resin filling system with a resin bottle mounted on the machine. It automatically tops up the vat as required, almost guaranteeing uninterrupted printing for even the largest prints.
There’s also a replaceable screen protector and solid adhesion courtesy of a checkerboard build plate.
So, why opt for the Anycubic Photon M3 Max over the Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K?
For one thing, price. The Mega 8K costs more than twice as much, due to Anycubic’s sensible cost-cutting (for example, it’s mostly made from plastic) to sell the M3 Max at a reasonable price.
However, the Phrozen Mega 8K is faster, offers better print detail, and provides a large build volume.
But, for makers needing an XL resin printer at a reasonable price that can still deliver feature-rich and detailed prints, the Anycubic Photon M3 Max is a great compromise and the top budget large SLA printer pick.
That said, if you have the extra funds, then the Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K is a substantially better machine. It has a much more versatile set of features that are better suited to serious prototyping, batch printing Dungeons & Dragons, or other tabletop miniatures to fuel a small business or workshop.
2. Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K – Mid-Range Pick
- Price: $2199 — Available at Phrozen here
- Build Volume: 330 x 185 x 400 mm
- XY Resolution: 43 microns
- LCD Screen: 8K
- Minimum Layer Height: 0.01 mm
- Speed: 70 mm/h
70mm/h speed for even faster curing than Anycubic and Elegoo printers
Maintains excellent 43-micron resolution even at large build volumes
Ideal for high-quality prototyping, and for selling D&D and other custom 3D models
Significantly more expensive than Anycubic and Elegoo printers — so may be too much for hobbyists and newer small business sellers
The Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K is one of the best and largest resin printers on the market. It balances size and quality extremely well, while still remaining relatively affordable with its 8K resolution LCD.
The star of the show is, of course, the 330 x 185 x 400 mm build volume, the largest print area you’ll find among consumer-grade printers.
Whereas the Anycubic Photon M3 Max can print around 45 miniatures within its build plate, the Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K can print around 60 of the same model based on my estimations and tests!
The 15″ 8K LCD delivers superb print quality while avoiding a downgrade in detail and feature richness with the larger build volume. 8K means pixels for days – 7680 x 4320, to be exact.
While the Photon M3 Max does well to reach 46-micron resolution, the Mega 8K is even more accurate, at 43 microns. This is even more impressive considering the Mega 8K has a much larger build volume than the M3 Max, which should bring resolution down. Few other large-format resin 3D printers come close to delivering this level of detail.
As Phrozen puts it:
‘You can now have both size and quality in one print, at the same time.’
Elsewhere, there are a few other notable mentions. The Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K ships pre-leveled, so there’s no messing around calibrating the huge build plate before you can start printing.
It 3D prints at 70 mm/h, 10mm/h faster than the Anycubic Photon M3 Max. This, coupled with the extremely large print area, makes the Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K ideal for batch printing and professional small business resin printing.
It also features a dual linear rail and ball screw design for extra stability even in the upper reaches of the massive build volume. And lastly, the full metal exterior adds strength and durability but also mixes in a welcome touch of flair.
However, it is more than double the price of 3D printers such as the Anycubic Photon M3 Max. So, if you’re price-sensitive, go with the Anycubic. Or, there’s also the Phrozen Mighty 4K for $599 if you want to stick with the Phrozen resin printer.
Overall, it’s a great pick for serious amateur makers with deep pockets, and small businesses looking for a reliable workhorse with plenty of printing capacity.
3. Formlabs Form 3L – Professional Resin Printer For Large Format Printing
- Price: $10,999 — Available at Dynamism here
- Build volume: 335 x 200 x 300 mm
- XY Resolution: 25 microns
- Minimum Layer Height: 0.025 mm
Designed specifically for large-scale resin part production, the Formlabs Form 3L builds on Formlabs’ already stellar reputation and brings it to the big (literally) leagues.
The Form 3L uses the same Formlabs Low Force Stereolithography SLA technology as the Form 3, with two precision LPUs (Light Processing Units) for higher resolution prints and consistency throughout. Formlabs emphasizes that this indeed is the ideal solution to save your business money by no longer outsourcing your prototyping and fabrication.
Numerous case studies show helmets printed in exquisite detail, shovel prototypes (though even with the printer’s large build area, it required three parts), nozzles, and even high-resolution full-size Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle models — if you’re a design studio or uber-wealthy superfan.
It’s easier to use than most commercial large resin 3D printers, and seeks to minimize hassle and the steep learning curve across the board — such as by offering automatic resin dispensing, simplifying the entire slicing and software workflow, and with the delightfully intuitive 5.5-inch full-color touchscreen.
I placed test 28mm miniature models in the same build volume as the Form 3L has, and it could fit 60 of these models — the same as the Phrozen Sonic Mega.
If you’re running a 3D printer farm you can manage them all via the cloud, and you can also make use of Formlabs’ wide resin selection: standard, engineering, flexible, tough and durable, dental or medical, and even jewelry castable resin — you can make almost anything for any industry use with the Form 3L.
For home use, it’s probably overkill, but it’s possibly the best large SLA printer, offering fantastic build volume and high-precision printing.
Buyer’s Guide – How To Buy a Larger Resin 3D Printer
- Size (obviously): For most amateur makers looking to print cosplay props, highly detailed figures in batches, and larger decorative pieces, a build volume of around 300 x 150 x 300 mm should be enough. For you, the Anycubic Photon M3 Max is ideal. For more business applications, upgrade to the Sonic Mega 8K, or Formlabs.
- LCD & Pixel Count: Avoid RGB LCDs at all costs – the tech is outdated. Also remember that the larger the printer, the more the pixels have to stretch to cover the entire build plate – and the fewer pixels, the less detail the printer can produce. So, LCDs with higher resolution are essential, especially for larger printers. Opt for a minimum 7K LCD, though now 12-16K LCDs are beginning to become more affordable also.
- XY Resolution: This determines the detail, accuracy and surface finish quality possible, especially on intricate features. Generally, larger printers lose resolution, though we recommend some larger-format resin printers with resolutions of under 50 microns, which is very good.
- Build Quality: Look for printers with solid metal frames to improve durability, dual linear rails, and sturdy covers/shrouds/hinged doors – all these help with stability and accurate high-resolution 3D printing.
- Print Speed: Resin printers can cure entire layers at once, so speed and size really does massively impact how many models you can print per day. However, many of the speeds advertised are marketing ploys, and your printer won’t actually reach these speeds. Anything above 50mm/h is a good speed for a large resin printer, with printers such as the Photon M3 Max reaching 60mm/h, and the Sonic Mega 8K reaching 70mm/h.
- Price: Expect to pay a minimum of around $800 for a reliable large-scale resin 3D printer, or $2,000+ for a professional machine with better build quality. The Anycubic M3 Max hovers slightly above this, at around $1,000.
We’ve made substantial changes to this article since we first published it back in 2020, to keep it relevant and updated for the latest releases.
In November 2023, we made the following changes:
- Removed the Elegoo Saturn, as we now recommend the Photon M3 Max solely as the best low-cost large-format resin printer.
- Removed the Peopoly Phenom range, as we feel the current printers, such as the Phrozen and Formlabs printers, are better for large-scale resin printing.
- Updated our supporting information based on 2023 technology advances, with new information on outdated RGB screens and other factors to consider.
- Updated pricing information for 2024.
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