Phrozen has made a huge change to its original version. The first 8K PrinterIt cut the price by almost half. Priced at $349.99, the new Sonic Mini 8K S is now an affordable resin 3D printer that’s well within reach of the average maker.
The Mini 8K S offers the same impressive high resolution with a nearly identical size to its predecessor. A few noticeable changes have been made to reduce cost – different material for the lid, a single Z rail and the USB port has been repositioned. It still has some of the old flaws – models are ridiculously hard to pry off the build plate – but it’s now thankfully compatible with all the popular 3rd party slicers.
Its 8K resolution with 22 microns of detail is astounding – especially when you consider that a grain of salt is four times as big. This machine is best suited for small tabletop game pieces, decorative items, and jewelry.
Phrozen’s latest printer is certainly more affordable – but it hasn’t moved the needle on quality since 2021’s model. It’s not the best printer despite its 8K resolution. best resin 3D printers This is the last day of the year.
Specifications: Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K S
|Build Volume||165 x 72 x 170 mm (6.5 x 2.8 x 6.7 inches)|
|LCD Screen||7.1″ Monochrome|
|Light Source||Linear Projection LED|
|Axis Resolution X/Y||22 Microns|
|Normal Exposure time||Two seconds of your time|
|4.5″ Touch Screen|
|Connectivity||USB Type A 2.0|
|Machine Footprint||290 x 290 x 430 mm (11.4 x 11.4 x 16.9 inches)|
|Machine Weight||10 kg (22 pounds)|
Included in this box: Phrozen 8K Mini S
Phrozen’s Sonic Mini 8K S comes with everything you need for a quick start as soon as the printer is unpacked. You will receive a sturdy metal scraper engraved with the logo for the buildplate, as well as a cheap plastic one for the FEP Film, disposable gloves and an Allen key. A sheet of 80-grit sandpaper is included to clean up the build plate.
The review unit we received came with no manual and a blank disk, but you can find all the instructions online at Phrozen3d.com.
Printing safety with Phrozen Sonic Mini S 8K
Safety precautions for the Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K S are the same as those that apply to other resin printers. Uncured resin and solvents used to remove prints from the printer can irritate the skin. When pouring resin or handling uncured prints, wear safety glasses and gloves.
To avoid inhaling the fumes, make sure that you have a well-ventilated room where you will be using your resin printer. Spilled or dripped epoxy resin should be cleaned as soon as possible with 99% isopropyl ethanol. After printing your project, clean the bottles and printer to remove uncured resin smudges. Store your resin out of reach from children and pets.
Assembling Phrozen Mini 8K S
The printer is delivered fully assembled, with the vat and the build plate already screwed in place. The printer was ready for calibration after removing all the packaging material.
The Build Plate of the Phrozen Sonic Mini 8KS can be calibrated.
Sonic Mini 8K S, like most 3D printers requires calibration prior to its first print. The build plate can be easily leveled with a simple piece of paper and an Allen wrench. The machine displays instructions for leveling so you don’t need to squint at the manual.
To level the machine remove the vat. Place a piece paper on the LCD. To level the machine, remove the vat and place a piece of paper on the LCD screen. The build plate should wiggle freely. The buildplate should be able wiggle.
Press the Tools button, then Z Calib and wait until the plate lowers to the LCD.
Use the Allen wrench to tighten screws in a crisscrossing pattern, applying light pressure as you do so. The paper should be snug when you’re done.
Phrozen Mini 8K S: Design and Construction
The Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K S weighs in at 22 pounds, thanks to its metal construction. It has the same sturdy build plate and metal vat of 2021’s model, but it ditched the dual rails to cut on costs. There’s no cause for alarm – the prints from this machine are spectacular.
It would be nice if Phrozen addressed their laser etched plate that has way too much adhesion power. This can be corrected with the Bottom Exposure settings. I reduced mine. The top of plate still has recessed screws which collect resin.
The plastic cover has switched to neon yellow – I suspect they used a less expensive material here as well. The model stayed on the plate for 2 days, and the resin in the tank was left for longer.
It’s impossible to keep the cover clean from resin drips, which is annoying if you want your equipment to stay picture perfect. The build plate raises a bit too high when it’s done with a print, which allows the excess resin to splash back into the vat.
Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K Compatible Slicers
The Phrozen Mini 8K S comes pre-configured to work with ChituBox as well as Lychee slicer. Both are 3rd party slicers with free editions – I used ChituBox to slice all test models.
Both slicers have the ability to hollow out models and add drain holes in order to save resin. They can also add supports.
Phrozen has a Useful webpage with profiles For assorted resins, and instructions on how to use the exposure finder test prints.
Wasting and Curing your Prints
Before you can admire your prints, you’ll need to Wash them with Isopropyl Alcohol and cure with UV Light. I rinse my prints in 95% Isopropyl Alcohol for 30 seconds, followed by a 2-minute rinse in A Wash and Cure Station, sold separately at Anycubic.com, retails at $219.
Completely dry the print with a hair dryer on cool – IPA left on the print will turn white. The print can be allowed to air dry away from direct sunlight.
Remove supports before UV curing the print as they’re much softer. To remove the supports, use side cutters or tweezers. Wear gloves whenever you are handling uncured prints.
You can now place the printed image in a UV curing Station For a few moments or in the bright sun for a couple of hours.
Never flush your IPA down the toilet, especially if it has been contaminated by uncured resin. Instead, keep using the resin until it’s too dirty, then leave the container open to evaporate. The remaining sludge may be dried with UV or sunlight before being thrown out.
Before disposing of supports, they should be cleaned.
Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K Sample Prints
Phrozen sent a sample resin of its 8K formulation for testing. This revealed the finer details about high-resolution printers. The low-odor, viscous resin only needs a 2-second time exposure for each layer compared to 3-seconds with ordinary resins.
Finding models that are of high quality and can display an 8K printer will be your biggest challenge.
I have printed out a Wekster Rocket Bust is my favorite model to test resin 3D printers. The model has a lot of fine detail that will push your 3D printer. Below are two Rockets – one printed on the 12K Anycubic Photon Mono M5s Can you tell the difference?
The Sonic Mini 8K S print in on the right, with equally fine details on the teeth and Baby Groot’s grain pattern. The Mini 8K Print used Phrozen Aqua Gray 8K At a.05-layer height, and with a 2-second exposure, it takes 7 hours, 5 mins, and 47 secs.
To see how well it handles resins other than standard resin, I printed the Butterfly Dragon with a mix Inland Blue Resin and Inland Red resin. Phrozen Aqua Gray 8K. It took 9 hours, 25 minutes to print with a layer height of.05 and a 2 second exposure. The details are a bit soft without a full dose of 8K formula, but it’s still a very smooth print without a trace of layer lines.
Phrozen Sonic Mini 8KS prints miniatures for tabletop games with excellent detail. Small details such as folds and buckles are visible. The figures shown below were printed at a .05 layer height and 2 second exposure time, taking 4 hours and 36 minutes to print using Phrozen’s 8K resin. These miniatures Printables.com provides a variety of printables for free.
The Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K S offers incredibly detailed prints for a low price. 2021’s Sonic Mini 8K was the first in the market to use this level of resolution, but even with more companies striving for 8K and beyond, Phrozen’s Sonic Mini still stands its ground.
The Sonic Mini 8K S’ small build plate makes this a printer great for miniatures and small art pieces. It’s also good for those starting out, because the smaller vat needs less resin to fill it up – saving you money and worry about ruining large quantities of pricey resin.
The Phrozen Mini 8K S is currently listed at $350. If you’re interested in a less expensive starter resin printer, check out the 4K Anycubic Photon Mono 2Available for a bargain price of $230. If you’re more interested in high speed and high detail, the Anycubic Photon Mono M5s Both buckets are full and retail for $499.
MORE: Best 3D Printers
MORE: Best Resin 3D Printers
MORE: Filaments suitable for 3D printing