Hands On With The Anycubic Photon M5s 3D Printer, Part 3

By on May 19th, 2023 in news, printer

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The Anycubic Photon Mono M5s MSLA 3D printer [Source: Fabbaloo]

Our review of the Anycubic Photon Mono M5s MSLA 3D printer concludes with a look at software, print results and final thoughts.

This is part three of a three part series, please read parts one and two.

Anycubic Photon M5s 3D Printer Software

Anycubic’s new V3 PhotonWorkshop software [Source: Fabbaloo]

Anycubic has been producing their “PhotonWorkshop” software for some time now, and it’s always been usable, although definitely not pretty nor easy to figure out. That’s changed with their latest V3 version, a screenshot of which is above.

V3 is far easier to use and much easier on the eyes to use. It can prepare slices very quickly, and performs all the expected tasks. It also has a built-in library of Anycubic resins with (presumably) correct calibration settings for all of their equipment. That’s what I found for the M5s and the High Speed Resin, so I don’t doubt the same would be found for other machine and material combos.

Anycubic’s new V3 PhotonWorkshop software has issues with the layer preview scroll function [Source: Fabbaloo]

I quite enjoyed using PhotoWorkshop V3, but there were a couple of minor issues. Print layer previews on large and complex 3D models tended to be sluggish when scrolling. The layer would jump far up or down and it wasn’t possible to do a smooth scroll on the layer view. Strangely, I also found the display view would suddenly shrink at times. I’ve reported this to Anycubic and I expect they’ll fix it soon.

That said, it is possible to smoothly scroll through the sliced 3D model when in the main 3D view, even on complex models that would not scroll in the layer view.

I used PhotonWorkshop on my Mac, which is one of the supported platforms. At one point I was unable to delete a model from the plate, as I struck the “delete” key repeatedly. Eventually I realized you had to use the “Function-Delete” key combination to delete the model. Perhaps Anycubic could change the Mac OS version to just use the regular delete key?

Major contrast issue in Anycubic’s new V3 PhotonWorkshop software [Source: Fabbaloo]

Finally, I found there was a strong visual contrast issue when looking at the slicing stats. Above you can see a screenshot of what is displayed when a job is sliced. You want to see the expected duration and amount of material used, and that information is there, but it is really hard to see with the tiny print and dark grey on black format.

Excellent generated support structures in Anycubic’s new V3 PhotonWorkshop software [Source: Fabbaloo]

PhotonWorkshop of course generates support structures, but I found that the supports generated by V3 seem more successful than those with V2. With V2 I was constantly adding additional supports, particularly at the first layers of the object. I didn’t have to do this at all with V3, and have come to expect proper supports generated automatically now.

Unusual perforated raft generated by Anycubic’s new V3 PhotonWorkshop software [Source: Fabbaloo]

This is quite interesting. The raft design from V3 has also changed. Instead of being a solid plate, the raft is perforated. This allows resin to flow through and make the peel movements much more smooth. This is a great idea and I wish other resin slicers would do the same.

Complex 3D model easily sliced in Anycubic’s new V3 PhotonWorkshop software [Source: Fabbaloo]

PhotonWorkshop is capable of handling very complex 3D models, and I found there were not significant waits for slicing to take place.

Weird layer glitch [Source: Fabbaloo]

This print failed miserably in an interesting manner. For some reason one entire layer was solid. Eventually we realized that the 3D model was not quite solid, and somehow PhotoWorkshop glitched on that layer and formed a solid pattern.

Strange 3D preview on the Anycubic Photon Mono M5s 3D printer [Source: Fabbaloo]

Here you can see the glitch appearing in the 3D preview of the print job on the M5s. I guess the message here is to check the preview to see that the slice was correct.

Anycubic Photon M5s 3D Printer Print Results

Very rapid 3D print made on the Anycubic Photon Mono M5s 3D printer [Source: Fabbaloo]

I printed a number of items on the M5s using the High Speed Resin and was quite amazed at both the quality and speed.

Above you can see a print of the “Pi Vase”, which is highly detailed. This item was printed 200m tall, and it took only 96 minutes to complete!

The layer exposure time on the M5s with this resin is only 1.4s, so it switches layers very rapidly. The machine flies through prints at extraordinary speed, faster than any other MSLA device I’ve used and it’s not even close. Prints that would take hours on other machines take minutes on the M5s. It’s an incredibly fast 3D printer.

Excellent print quality from the Anycubic Photon Mono M5s 3D printer [Source: Fabbaloo]

But is the print quality sufficient? I found that it is. Here you can see some of the details of a print. I saw no glitches in surface quality, and was unable to see layer lines unless looking with optical tools.

Printing a complex 3D model on the Anycubic Photon Mono M5s 3D printer [Source: Fabbaloo]

Once I had reset the lift parameter, printing was constantly successful, and fast. One could easily burn through many liters of High Speed Resin in a week with the M5s, never having an issue. This could be one of the most reliable MSLA devices I’ve used as well.

More good results from the Anycubic Photon Mono M5s 3D printer [Source: Fabbaloo]

There was no problem with print quality, and the automatic support generation seemed to catch any structures that would fail if not properly supported.

Completed printing a complex model on the Anycubic Photon Mono M5s 3D printer [Source: Fabbaloo]

After some use I became “fearless” in printing with the M5s — it seems to be able to handle almost anything you throw at it, and print them very rapidly.

Anycubic Photon M5s 3D Printer Final Thoughts

Anycubic has a winning device with the M5s. It’s one of the best MSLA devices I’ve used. When combined with the High Speed Resin and the latest version of Anycubic PhotonWorkshop, it’s large, very fast, accurate and relatively easy to use. This device could even be used for volume production of parts.

As for the price, the MSRP for the M5s is US$539, a bit higher than many inexpensive MSLA devices. However, you get much more from the M5s. It’s so fast it is essentially like buying two smaller devices, in terms of print throughput. Even better, Anycubic has the M5s currently on sale for only US$399.

ANYCUBIC

PHOTON MONO M5S 3D PRINTER

BEGINNER 8/10

ENTHUSIAST 9/10

PRODUCTION 9/10

BEST FEATURES

✔︎ FAST!!!!!

✔︎ Ease of use

✔︎ Simple setup

QUESTIONS

✖︎ Software contrast

✖︎ Layer preview issues

✖︎ Protective film

This is part three of a three part series, please read parts one and two.

Via Anycubic

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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