Anycubic Photon vs Photon S

What is the difference between the Anycubic Photon and the Photon S? How do these two 3D printers compare? Read our guide to find out.

The Anycubic Photon resin 3D printer is popular among users for not only its performance but also affordable price. This solid 3D printer is easy to assembly, produces good print quality and is easy to use.

The Photon 3D printer was followed with the release of the Photon S, which is supposed to be an upgrade of the former. But is this the case?

Let’s find out in this comparison guide.

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S 1

Let’s compare both printers and find out what are their key differences and what upgrade Anycubic has done.

But before we do that, check the prices:


The Photon S is available in 2 colors: black and white. On the other hand, the Photon is only available in black. The white 3D printer looks very stylish. However, here we are going to look at the black option so that the visual differences are obvious.

At first glance, the printers are identical. On the outside, they are practically the same.

However, the S-version has a plastic case, unlike the metal one for a simple Photon. The use of a plastic case rather than a metal one was probably meant to keep its costs low. Due to other improvements, the cost of the printer also increased. At this time, the difference in pricing is about $50.

Apparently, if the printer had remained in the metal case, the difference would be much greater.

Moving on to the body, the old version outperforms the new one. The Anycubic Photon looks more solid and reliable. However, the Anycubic Photon S is much lighter.

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S 2

Anycubic has removed the handle from the lid, now it opens with a recess at the bottom.

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S 3

On the sides of the old Photon, there are holders attached to the unit for easier transportation. These holders are not there in the S-version.

Coming to the viewing window, the Photon S window is larger on all sides (NB: in the photo, we have brand new printers with protective packaging on glass).

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S 4

The vents have also changed:

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S 5

Now let’s move on to other more significant changes.

Linear Rail

One of the most important upgrades the Photon S has is the Z-axis dual linear rail that significantly reduces wobbling.

The Z-axis of the Photon was wobbly. In the Photon S, it has been strengthened with a stronger structure, eliminating the vibrations of the printing platform and ensuring more accurate printing, especially of small parts. There is also an optical limit switch along the Z axis.

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S 6

Touch Screen

The touchscreen display for printer control, which is located below, has also changed.

In the Anycubic Phonton, the touchscreen sensor periodically did not work or refused to work without a flash drive. This issue has now been eliminated in the Photon S.

The Photon S menu has a nicer and more modern design. However, there are no new features or significant changes:

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S 7

Also, in the previous version, the screen was installed at an angle. In the Photon S, the screen is right under the lid with almost no tilt. Is this better? Well, it all depends on someone’s preferences.

In our opinion, the screen is more convenient to use in the new version.

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S 8

Upgraded UV Module

Another significant change is the UV module. In Photon S, a UV-matrix with lenses for each diode is installed as a light source. In the Photon, the UV-matrix with lenses is installed for 4 diodes on Photon. The illumination power in the Photon S is increased by 10W.

The positioning accuracy in all axes is the same. However, the new matrix leads to a more uniform distribution of the illumination and reduces the risk of stray illumination. In fact, the quality of the printed models has really improved.

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S 9


The printbed for both models is made of anodized aluminum.

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S 10

However, while the anodized printed surface of the Photon is smooth, that of the Photon S is slightly textured, which improves print adhesion.

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S 11

Build Volume

The Photon S build area has increased by 10 mm in the Z-axis and is now 115 x 65 x 165 mm. Of course, nothing significant, but on the whole, a pleasant and not an extra bonus.

Carbon Filter

The Photon S has two charcoal air filters while the original Photon has only one. The twin filters should more effectively purify the air from not the most useful vapors. In your workshop,  there will now be less smell of resins, a plus for Photon S.

But, of course, the filters still do not completely eliminate the smell of resins.

Anycubic Photon vs Photon S 12

There are other changes in software and Slicer for Photon S as well as printed test results. In the future, we will make a separate review devoted to these topics.


The Photon S is a worthy upgrade of its predecessor. Anycubic has tried to take into account all the requests and complaints of ordinary Photon users and incorporated them into the Photon S.

We love that the budget resin 3D printer has improved in terms of quality, printing speed, and features (e.g. a new touch screen, a double air filter., increasing the height of the print area, etc.). The only area where the new Photon S loses to its older brother is that it has a plastic case instead of a metal one. However, this does not affect the print.

As for the cost – the Photon S printer is understandably costlier than the Photon. You can see the prices of the two printers here:

Whether you buy the new Anycubic Photon S or stay on the first version, you are sure of having a 3D printer that produces decent quality models.

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