In collaboration with Madworks, a Taiwanese company focused on gunpla hobby tools, Phrozen just released a completely new product: the Sonic Saber. This is an ultrasonic cutter designed to make 3D-printed model supports easy to remove. To help you decide if it is worth adding to your toolkit, I reviewed the Sonic Saber.
Disclaimer: Phrozen provided me with the Sonic Saber free of charge, but this review is as unbiased as possible. Phrozen did not pay for this review and these are entirely my own thoughts.
And ultrasonic cutter is a bit like an X-Acto knife that vibrates at an extremely high frequency. It doesn’t oscillate like a Sawzall, but just kind of vibrates. But because the blade vibrates at such a high frequency, it can cut through plastic with ease.
There are other ultrasonic cutters on the market and they are usually advertised to hobbyists for fine-cutting tasks. But they’re also quite expensive: usually several hundred dollars. The Sonic Saber is more affordable at $259.99 and has a blade designed specifically for use with 3D-printed parts.
The main draw of the Sonic Saber, for 3D printing enthusiasts, is support removal. It especially excels at removing resin supports, which is why it makes sense that Phrozen is selling such a product. It cuts through 3D-printed resin like butter, which means you can also use it to modify parts after printing if need be.
Most hobbyists use pliers, side cutters, or brute force to remove supports. Personally, I tend to use side cutters. But even those can leave behind imperfections. In the worst case scenarios, side cutters break off delicate features instead of the supports.
The Sonic Saber has a fine blade that zips right through resin. It yields nice, clean cuts that don’t damage the surrounding material. Because it doesn’t really on heat and doesn’t require any physical force, the blade can cut through resin without risking damage to any of the delicate features attached to supports.
Very well. The Sonic Saber is one of those products that you have to try for yourself to understand the appeal. You don’t feel the vibrations at all. In fact, you might not even realize it is running, which is why there is an LED to let you know when the cutter is active. But touch the blade to your part and it cuts right through without any effort whatsoever.
With the Sonic Saber, I was able to cleanly remove supports like they were nothing. Just a light touch was all that I needed to cut right through even the thickest supports. It can also cut through solid material easily, in the event that you need to trim off features that aren’t supports.
However, I do need to give a word of warning to pet owners: your dogs will hear the Sonic Saber. Because it is an ultrasonic cutter, it vibrates at frequencies higher than humans can hear. But dogs can hear those frequencies. I have two dogs and one of them was quite upset by the sound. The other heard it, but didn’t seem to mind.
The short answer is: probably not. The Sonic Saber isn’t a necessity by any means. Your trusty side cutters can perform the support removal and get results that are almost as good in most cases. Even with the Sonic Saber available to me, I still found myself reaching for the side cutters rather than plugging in the Sonic Saber.
But I will say this: there were times when I should have grabbed the Sonic Saber. For my review of the Phrozen Sonic Mighty 8K, I printed some very delicate models. In a couple of instances, I broke those with my side cutters while trying to remove supports. If I had used the Sonic Saber, that wouldn’t have happened.
The Sonic Saber isn’t a necessity for general resin 3D printing, but it will be indispensable for those people who often print delicate models. If you’re one of those people and have found yourself breaking models as you try to remove supports, then the Phrozen Sonic Saber is a product you should consider.