Phrozen Sonic Mini 3D Printer Review

In our new review, we are talking about Phrozen Sonic mini — a desktop 3D printer that utilizes the LCD technology: ultraviolet rays impact resin through the liquid crystal panel, which allows for a high-resolution product.

Read the article to find out why Phrozen Sonic mini is recommended to both experienced professionals and those new to additive manufacturing.

   

About Phrozen

Source: facebook.com

Phrozen is a relatively young Taiwanese company. The history of Phrozen is unique and somehow instructive. The founders, most of whom are engineers and specialists in additive manufacturing, were not able to immediately launch the expensive production of 3D printers. First, as they said themselves, they formed the largest community in East Asia, bringing together enthusiasts of resin 3D printing.

By 2017, the company developed its first 3D printer — Phrozen One DLP. The startup from Taiwan received funding for the production of the new device through a crowdfunding platform. Very quickly, Phrozen specialists changed their priorities and focused on developing compact LCD 3D printers. To get funds ($30,000) for the production of a new model, in April 2017 was created a Kickstarter campaign. The required amount was collected in 4 minutes, which was apparently the result of a good brand reputation. Raised was a total of $375 thousand. In July 2017, the first batch of Phrozen Make LCD printers was delivered to customers.

The Phrozen catalog currently includes seven models of LCD printers: from the budget Sonic mini to the professional Transform. It is noteworthy that the funds for the release of the top-end Phrozen Transform printer were also collected on Kickstarter. On December 5, 2018, a campaign with a target budget of $30 thousand was launched. The amount was received in 3 minutes, and in the following 12 minutes, it was doubled. By January 2019, the amount of the funds raised was $519 thousand. In July of that year, Transform LCD printers equipped with a 13-inch matrix were sent to customers.

Source: facebook.com

The success of the startup from Taiwan is accounted for by the principles making up the core of the business strategy. Phrozen developers, first of all, care about the benefits to customers. For example, the choice of LCD technology is based on the desire to provide printers more accurate and faster in operation than FDM devices but at the same time cheaper than DLP models. The emergence of Phrozen Transform is the result of the development of a convenient and relatively cheap LCD printer with a build 40 cm high. The concern for clients is manifested in both high build quality and the convenient working interface of 3D printers. 

    

Specifications

Source: phrozen3dp.com 

  • Power Requirement: 100–240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
  • Dimensions, mm: 250 х 250 х 330
  • Weight, kg: 4.5
  • LCD Screen: 5.5" 1920 x 1080
  • UV Wavelength, nm: 405
  • Light Source: UV LED 40 W
  • Software: Chitubox, Phrozen OS
  • Build Volume, mm: 120 х 68 х 130
  • Z Resolution, μm: 10
  • XY Resolution, μm: 62
  • Technology: LCD
  • Layer Thickness, µm: from 10
  • Connectivity: USB, microSD
  • Printing Speed: 50 mm/hour

    

Description

Source: facebook.com

The Phrozen Sonic mini 3D printer is the junior model in the manufacturer's lineup. The printer employs LCD technology. Liquid resins are used as the printing material. The formation of three-dimensional models occurs under the influence of ultraviolet light on the polymer. Compared to DLP and SLA technologies, LCD printing has a significant advantage — the price. For instance, the Phrozen Sonic mini printer is in the same price range as the entry-level FDM devices.

In LCD printers, light is supplied to the resin from the LEDs through a liquid crystal matrix. Phrozen Sonic mini features the matrix diagonal size of 5.5 inches and the resolution of 1080p (FullHD, that is, 1920x1080). Sonic mini provides high print accuracy. The horizontal resolution is 62 microns, the thickness of a printing layer is 10 microns.

Source: facebook.com

Structurally, Phrozen Sonic mini has one peculiarity distinguishing it from the senior models of the brand. More expensive printers feature an RGB matrix, while Sonic mini has a monochrome one. This technology is more reliable: the life of the matrix before replacement is 2000 hours, while the RGBs are recommended to be replaced after 500 hours. Another advantage of the monochrome matrix is ​​higher printing speed. In Phrozen Sonic mini, it is 50 mm/h. The maximum dimensions of a printed product are 120x68x130 mm. The printer is operated through a 5-inch IPS touch screen.

Although Sonic mini is positioned as an entry-level model, it is on par with the senior Phrozen printers in terms of performance. In particular, its optical system is a proprietary ParaLED® 2.0 module with UV LEDs (405 nm). 

Source: facebook.com

Since the Sonic mini printer consumes little power (35 W), it is the only one in the Phrozen lineup not to be equipped with the active cooling system. As it does not make vibration and noise during operation, it is comfortable for the user to work at the computer, even if the printer is nearby on the desk.

    

Package

Source: instagram.com

The Phrozen Sonic mini 3D printer comes almost fully assembled. The user only needs to set up the plate (on the Z-axis) and fix the polymer vat to the desktop. These two parts are packed separately. The remaining elements of the standard packaging are spare bolts for the bed, a hex key, an electric cable, a palette knife, paper documentation, and a flash drive with test models.

    

Getting ready

The Phrozen Sonic mini printer is to be calibrated before being turned on for the first time. To begin with, you have to remove the resin vat and put a sheet of offset paper on the print bed. Loosen the four screws in the build area, and get the calibration process started through the menu. The printer plate will automatically move to the lower position, after which you need to tighten the screws.

To start printing, it is necessary to fix the polymer vat with bolts, pour the resin at half the height of the vat, and load the file to be printed.

    

Software

Source: twitter.com

All the printers of the brand are equipped with the proprietary Phrozen operating system. The OS interface is intuitive, the menu is not overloaded with items.

Files are prepared with the free ChiTuBox slicer. .stl files are imported into the program. The user selects a predefined printer profile and sets the properties of the polymer used (resin settings are saved in the user profile). For downloading to the printer, files are exported in .phz format.

    

Consumables

Source: facebook.com

The Phrozen Sonic mini 3D printer supports resins of various brands. To print the first samples, you can use proprietary Phrozen resins: available are standard plastics and soft polymers for making wax models.

    

Cases

Jewelry prototypes

Phrozen Sonic mini provides relatively high print quality; considering the price, the machine will be interesting for novice jewelers. Employing special resins for making wax models, users get high-quality prototypes of rings and other jewelry. The example of a YouTube user Edna Rouse proves that immersion in creative work can begin with the acquisition of this 3D printer. 

    

Collectibles

Сollectors who create miniature compositions used to have trouble finding a unique figurine. Using the Phrozen Sonic mini 3D printer makes it possible to print original figures in unlimited quantities.

    

Souvenirs

Source: instagram.com

Creating designer souvenirs is another area where the benefits of Phrozen Sonic mini are fully manifested. Due to the high resolution, the resulting objects look like a quality expensive product.

    

Phrozen Sonic mini vs Anycubic Photon S

Source: anycubic.com

Photon S by Anycubic, a company from Shenzhen (China) producing several models of FDM and LCD printers in the lower price segment, is a direct competitor to Phrozen Sonic mini in terms of cost. In appearance, the Chinese rival even surpasses the Taiwanese printer. If we compare the specs, the choice of the leader is not obvious.

Anycubic Photon S is equipped with a 2K LED panel (2560x1440 pixels), which ensures horizontal print accuracy of 47 microns. The advantages of Sonic mini are its low printed layer thickness and higher printing speed.

 

Phrozen Sonic mini

Anycubic Photon S

Build volume

120 х 68 х 130 mm

115 х 65 х 165 mm

LCD matrix resolution

1920 x 1080 pixels

2560 x 1440 pixels

Horizontal print accuracy

62 μm

47 μm

Layer thickness

10 μm

25 μm

Printing speed

50 mm/h

20 mm/h

Taking into account the layer thickness, which determines the smoothness of curved surfaces of a printed product, Phrozen Sonic mini can be considered a device for professional use. Anycubic Photon S is more suitable for enthusiasts who are just beginning to acquaint themselves with additive manufacturing. 

    

Pros and cons

Let's summarize the main advantages and disadvantages of Phrozen Sonic mini:

Pros:

  • Price;
  • High resolution in horizontal and vertical planes;
  • Wide range of resins available;
  • Ergonomics.

Cons:

  • Lesser smoothness of curved surfaces compared with SLA 3D printers.

    

Conclusion

Source: phrozen3dp.com

Phrozen Sonic mini is a balanced model in terms of price and quality. Users (especially novice craftsmen) can safely acquire this device to figure out the benefits of additive manufacturing for themselves. The accuracy of printed products will satisfy even sophisticated professionals. Another advantage will be obvious if we compare Sonic mini with FDM printers which are in the same price segment: the former makes no noise and vibrations. And since the hardware of the printer is practically not heated, it is not even equipped with a cooler. Sonic mini is a true desktop printer.

Buy a Phrozen Sonic mini desktop LCD printer from Top 3D Shop and get original, high-quality equipment, an official warranty, and the best service possible.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×