Review: Anycubic Photon Mono M5s Resin 3D Printer

Reviewing the new Anycubic Photon Mono M5s MSLA resin 3D printer.

Cameron Coward
14 days ago3D Printing

New MSLA (masked stereolithography) resin 3D printers are hitting the market so fast that it is hard to keep up. They use relatively simple hardware with rapidly advancing specs, which means the big manufacturers frequently release new models to take advantage of the upgraded components. The newest model from Anycubic to hit the scene is the Photon Mono M5s, which I tested to determine if it is worth an upgrade from a previous model.

Disclaimer: Anycubic provided me with this printer free of charge, but this review is as unbiased as possible. Anycubic did not pay for this review and these are entirely my own thoughts.


Anycubic releases so many similar models that it can be difficult to differentiate them. To see why the new Anycubic Photon Mono M5s stands out from the crowd, you have to look at the specifications.

  • Build volume: 219 x 123 x 200mm (8.6 x 4.8 x 7.9 inches)
  • XY resolution (pixel size): 19µm (X) 24µm (Y)
  • Max printing speed: 105mm/hour
  • Interface: 4.3” full-color touchscreen
  • Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi (Anycubic Cloud app)
  • Z axis: dual linear rails, ball screw
  • Software: Anycubic Photon Workshop

Build volume and resolution aren't dramatically different from the Anycubic Photon Mono M3 Premium that I reviewed last. The build volume of the new Photon Mono M5s is actually slightly smaller: identical in XY, but shorter in Z. The resolution is a bit higher, with rectangular pixels measuring 19x24µm.

The big advancements come in the form of usability features.


The new Anycubic Photon Mono M5s has three features that I think make it special: no required manual leveling, a self-checking system, and a new kind of vat film intended to improve high-speed performance.

Unlike every other resin 3D printer I've tested, the Photon Mono M5s does not require any kind of leveling. Apparently Anycubic is able to keep tolerances tight enough that adjustment isn't necessary and the printer has force sensors to set the Z height. The user can just attach the build plate with a single twist of the large knob and then start printing. I was a little skeptical of this, but didn't have any issues.

The printer is also capable of doing a few basic checks for common failure points. It can detect connectivity issues with the exposure screen, motor operation issues, and the amount of resin in the vat. If any of those checks fail, it will notify the user. However, this system doesn't check everything. I had a few print failures and printer did not detect them. More on that below.

The new film is supposed to work with Anycubic's new High Speed Resin, releasing the cured print easily to allow for quick retraction. I'll go into detail about my experience with those in the next section.


Anycubic sent me a couple of bottles of their new High Speed Resin for testing, which is what I started with. Anycubic Photon Workshop has a built-in profile for this resin, but only at a layer thickness of 0.1mm. That profile is great if you want to print ridiculously quickly. However, the more common 0.05mm layer thickness is better for fine detail and smooth surfaces.


With help from Anycubic, I was able to print successfully with the High Speed resin. You can see it worked well for this moon city model:

The cool thing is that this entire print only took 1:27 to complete. That is, indeed, very fast. With that kind of speed, the Photon Mono M5s and High Speed resin combo is perfect for churning out quick prototypes or models that don't need fine detail.

Unfortunately, my test prints with the High Speed Resin all failed. A small Link figurine finished printing, but had flaws that made it break apart. A larger ogre figurine almost finished, but it had numerous holes and failed around the neck. Several other test prints failed completely and just left cured resin on the vat film.

But I'm hesitant to blame the printer, because the instructions were unclear and I'm not sure if I was supposed to change the vat film out to use the High Speed Resin — I just used the film that came installed on the vat. I tried tweaking the print settings, but wasn't able to get a successful print with the High Speed Resin.

Luckily, normal resin worked great. Using the Default Resin profile at 0.05mm layer thickness let me print ABS-like resin without any issues. Every model printed with that resin and settings turned out perfectly.

My hunch is that the vat film was too blame for my failures with the High Speed Resin, but it is also possible that that resin is temperamental and requires better fine-tuning of the print settings.


Overall, I think the new Anycubic Photon Mono M5s is a great printer. Its resolution is fantastic, the build volume is generous, the ability to print without leveling is very convenient, and the new self-checking system helps to inspire confidence.

I'm not sure about the High Speed Resin, but I don't think that is an issue with the printer itself.

If you already own a recent model with similar specs, then I don't believe that the improvements here are enough to warrant an upgrade. But if your current printer is getting long in the tooth or if you're in the market for your first resin 3D printer, then I think the Anycubic Photon Mono M5s is a great choice.

Cameron Coward
Writer for Hackster News. Maker, retrocomputing and 3D printing enthusiast, author of books, dog dad, motorcyclist, and nature lover.
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