Review: Phrozen Sonic Mighty 8K MSLA Resin 3D Printer
The folks at Phrozen were kind enough to send me a Sonic Mighty 8K to review so I could help you decide if this is the printer for you.
The new Phrozen Sonic Mighty 8K MSLA (masked stereolithography) resin 3D printer is now available for purchase. The folks at Phrozen were kind enough to send me a unit to review so I could help you decide if this is the printer for you.
Disclaimer: Phrozen provided me with this printer 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.
MSLA resin 3D printers shot up in popularity in recent years, as better LCD screens enabled larger build volumes with better resolution. These printers provide much better fine detail reproduction than filament-based 3D printers, usually at the cost of build volume. But the new Phrozen Sonic Mighty 8K has a pretty generous build volume, meaning there isn’t much of a sacrifice to make.
- Build volume: 218 x 123 x 235mm (8.58 x 4.84 x 9.25 inches)
- XY resolution: 28µm
- Max printing speed: 70mm/hour
- Interface: 5” full-color touchscreen
- Connectivity: USB, Ethernet, and WiFi
- Z axis: dual linear rails, lead screw
- Software: Chitubox or third party
As with the Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K that I reviewed 6 months ago, I was impressed with the build quality of the Phrozen Sonic Mighty 8K. Phrozen models tend to be a little more expensive than those from competitors like ELEGOO and Anycubic, but they feel appropriately sturdy and well-built.
The Mighty 8K’s design in minimalistic, but attractive. You can see the quality in components like the linear rails, which are ground for straightness. At power-up, that large 5” touchscreen comes to life with a nice high-resolution interface.
The build plate has an interesting laser-cut box pattern that aids in part adhesion. That will leave a faint imprint on parts, so be sure to use a raft if you don’t want it to be visible on finished surfaces. The build plate attaches via four screws four leveling, which feel secure. The entire build plate assembly attaches to the Z axis with a massive thumbscrew, which makes it easy to remove and replace.
The aluminum vat is large and has a removable frame, which means that you can replace the FEP film after it wears out. Some MSLA resin printers today have vats with permanently attached FEP film, which makes replacement more expensive. That isn’t the case here, thankfully.
Everything is as it should be, which is what I expected from Phrozen.
Connectivity and webcam
The Phrozen Sonic Mighty 8K offers three ways to transfer sliced files: USB, Ethernet, and WiFi. USB works like you’d expect: you just copy your files to a USB drive and then plug that into the printer. USB is what I used for all of my testing.
But you can also connect the printer to your local network via Ethernet or WiFi. If you do so, you can transfer files to the printer’s internal storage over your network. My printer sits right next to my desk, so I didn’t feel the need to utilize that functionality. But I’m sure it will be attractive to some people. However, those people should be aware that the WiFi connectivity is through a USB dongle that plugs into the same USB port that one would use for a USB thumb drive.
As a surprise perk, Phrozen also added a webcam to the Sonic Mighty 8K. Though the camera is present, it isn’t functional yet. Phrozen tells me that they will provide an update in the coming months to let users take advantage of the webcam. Presumably, it will allow for remote print viewing and time-lapse captures.
Software and resin
While Chitubox is the official slicing software for the Phrozen Sonic Mighty 8K, I chose to use Lychee Slicer. This printer is compatible with third party slicing software, so users aren’t locked into the Chitubox ecosystem. Whenever possible, I prefer to use Lychee Slicer and so that’s what I did for this review.
Like most MSLA resin 3D printers, the Phrozen Sonic Mighty 8K is compatible with all 405nm resins. But Phrozen developed a resin specifically for their 8K printers, which is what I used in my review. According to their marketing, the Phrozen Aqua 8K resin is formulated to provide better results at these high resolutions.
I performed all of my test prints using the default settings, which prints at a standard 50µm layer thickness. I did have to get some help from Phrozen to adjust the settings in Lychee Slicer, as I was having occasional issues with first layer adhesion. After tweaking the settings to Phrozen’s recommendations, those issues went away.
The print quality from the Sonic Mighty 8K is nothing short of phenomenal. That 28µm XY resolution really shows. Surfaces were smooth and I couldn’t detect any resolution artifacts. Tiny, fine details came through crisp and clear.
An MSLA 3D printer’s quality isn’t just a function of the XY resolution. Light uniformity and bleed are also factors. The UV LED light engine and the LCD affect those. In this case, I was unable to see any indication of problems caused by either.
Simply put, the Phrozen Sonic Mighty 8K’s print quality is as close to perfect as I’ve seen from any MSLA resin 3D printer.
As a very big bonus, the build volume is substantial. It isn’t quite as a large as your average FFF (Fused-Filament Fabrication) 3D printer, but it isn’t far off. That means that it is possible to print some pretty large parts while still retaining amazing surface and detail quality.
I always try to come up with some negative to say in these reviews to make it clear that they’re honest. But I can’t come up with a single complaint here.
Maybe it would be nice if the build plate didn’t have a pattern, because that carries over to any part surface that touches the build plate. But that feels like a very minor concern, since the standard resin printing advice is to tilt parts up on raft supports anyway.
I have no qualms about recommending the Phrozen Sonic Mighty 8K to anyone looking for a mid-range MSLA model. It will be my primary resin 3D printer from now on, because the balance of resolution and build volume is ideal for my applications.
If you want to buy a Sonic Mighty 8K, you can use our coupon code "22PRCCDP15" to receive 15% off until August 17th, 2022.