In this Phrozen Sonic Mighty 4K review, you’ll find out the features, specs, performance, and quality of print of the resin 3D printer. What should you expect when you buy it? Read on.
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Let’s start with unpacking the box.
Sonic Mighty 4K Review
What’s in the Box?
The Sonic Mighty 4K 3D printer comes in a large box.
Inside the box, we have the following:
- An instruction manual in both English and Chinese
- 8GB Sandisk flash drive
- A pair of rubber gloves
- A pair of spare screws and a hexagon
- Printer power supply (24V, 3 amperes)
- Small plastic funnel
- A piece of sandpaper that can be used to sand the surface of the platform in case of adhesion problems.
- Two spatulas: a plastic one for mixing the resin in the bathtub and a metal one for separating the models from the platform.
Generally, instead of a plastic spatula, it is better to use a silicone spatula. Silicone spatulas are usually sold as kitchen accessories. We recommend the spatulas because they do not damage the bath film.
The printer comes fully assembled and almost ready for the first prints.
Phrozen Sonic Mighty 4K Specifications
The Sonic Mighty 4K has a large printable area of 200 x 125 mm in XY and 220 mm in height.
The LCD screen has a resolution of 3840 x 2400 px, which is a slightly increased 4K.
However, since the screen size is 9.3 inches, the size of each pixel is 52 micrometers. For comparison, the Sonic Mini 4K has 35 micrometers, while the Photon S has 47 micrometers.
It turns out that with a 9.3-inch screen and 4K resolution, the XY accuracy of the Mighty printer is slightly worse than that of the Photon with a 2K screen.
Just like all Sonic printers, the Mighty 4K has a monochrome screen. Therefore, it has a lifespan of more than 2000 operating hours. Next, the exposure time of each layer is much shorter than that of printers with RGB screens.
We covered this topic in more detail in our Sonic Mini 4K review. During the test, we conducted several experiments to increase the print speed with this type of screen. Go through the review to be familiar with the tests.
The resin is illuminated by an LED panel with the Paraled 2.0 lens system, which has become standard for Phrozen resin 3D printers. The light wave, like all LCD SLA printers, is 405nm.
The movement mechanism of the platform along the Z axis is noticeably strengthened here. The platform runs on two MGN15 rails and is driven by one 8mm single threaded screw.
The rails are secured to an impressive aluminum profile. Nothing wobbles here. Everything feels pretty solid and secure.
However, this profile is covered with just soft stickers. We wondered why Phrozen opted not to use a plastic plug there as the stickers are not solid.
An optical limit switch is located at the bottom. The switch positions the platform at the beginning of printing.
The platform looks impressive too. Its bottom surface is a little rough. This should improve the adhesion of the models to the platform.
There are small bevels at the top so that the resin can drain freely. However, some little resin will still be left on the edges due to surface tension.
There are two handles at the top on the sides.
The Z-axis carriage is made of anodized aluminum, is sturdy and reliable.
The bathroom is large and made of plastic. It is lightweight, easy to clean and has a cutout to drain the resin. With careful use, it will last a long time and shouldn’t be a problem.
The factory film was stretched well on the bath. By the way, there is no spare film in the kit.
The rest of the printer is not much different from the previous models.
There are only two entrances. At the back is the power supply socket and on the left, is a full-size USB port for a flash drive.
On the front panel, there is a touch screen control whose menu is similar to that of the Sonic Mini.
The menu has everything you need: manual movement of the Z axis, screen and backlight performance test, the function of illuminating the resin remaining in the bathroom, selecting files for printing, and the platform calibration assistant.
Let’s calibrate the printer.
Sonic Mighty 4K Platform Calibration
Calibrating the Sonic Mighty 4K is standard. Simply loosen 4 screws so that the platform can move freely.
After that, put a sheet of A4 paper on the screen.
On the printer menu, go to Tools – Z-calib and click Next.
The platform will drop to the very bottom. Then, evenly press the platform to the sheet of paper, and tighten the 4 screws to fix the platform.
Press Done on the screen.
Alternatively, instead of a piece of paper, you can calibrate the platform through the film of an empty tub, as we did with the Sonic Mini.
The top of the printer is covered with a plastic cap that does not transmit ultraviolet light. Some people prefer printers with doors. However, there are times when it is more convenient to remove the cover completely to gain access to the printer from all sides. This will not work if your printer has doors.
However, a printer with a cover on top should always have free space so that you can remove the cover and put it somewhere.
Preparing a Model for 3D Printing
Phrozen suggests using the Chitubox slicer to prepare models for printing. Versions newer than 1.7.0 already have a Mighty 4K printer setting. You just need to select it from the list.
Also, in the printer profile, there are settings for some Phrozen resins.
We noticed that the exposure time is the same as that of the Sonic Mini 4K printer. Therefore, we can conclude that the printing speed will be about the same.
For the Phrozen Aqua Gray 4K resin, which we selected for the first tests, this is 30 seconds for the first coats and 2 seconds for all others at 50 microns.
Printing with Phrozen Aqua Gray 4K Resin
The printer’s accuracy is similar to what we’ve seen with other Phrozen 3D printers. For our test, we decided to print a set of miniatures for a board game.
There are a lot of figurines in the set. Together, they represent a small scene with a feast, music, security and some suspicious people in hoods.
We placed 12 standing figures, 6 sitting figures, a large table, a bench and a chair on the printbed. Also, for the three figures, a tray, a pipe and a piece of crossbow were placed separately. These figures need to be glued after printing.
While the model set is large, there was still room on the platform. All hosted models can be printed without support, which simplifies the task.
We used standard settings to print.
Total printing time was 3 hours and 1 minute. Considering how many models were printed at the same time, this is pretty fast.
Phrozen Cure Luna UV camera review
The models were washed in alcohol and left to light up. For this we used the Phrozen Cure Luna camera station.
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This is a fairly simple but handy exposure camera. On the outside, it resembles a printer from below the control unit. From above, it is covered with a plastic cap that does not transmit ultraviolet light. Inside, in the center, there is a revolving table on which the models should be placed.
Above it is a rectangular arch with 18 built-in ultraviolet LEDs.
A small mechanical limit switch is located on top of the arch. The switch is pressed when the cap is installed in place. Without the switch, the printer will not turn on.
The controls of the Phrozen Luna Cure are simple. The Power button turns on the device, while the S button allows you to select one of the minute presets (5, 10 or 20 minutes). You can press the M button to manually set the time using the arrow buttons.
The Power button is also used to start the drying process.
All the models fit on the print bed. 15 minutes was enough for full exposure.
The models are not very detailed. However, they are stylized to preserve the atmosphere of the game. All prints turned out great.
There were no problems with adhesion. All the models stayed in their places and printed well. This means that the illumination occurs evenly over the entire printable area. On the same note, you can safely use the entire print bed.
The first test was successful.
Let’s go to another test. This time, we wanted to see the level of details that the printer can manage. Therefore, we put on the seal the model of the author Ben Danzi.
This is a master blacksmith model. It is made up of over 3.5 million triangles and has a huge amount of fine detail. Every seam and pattern on the garment is drawn. It is also printed without support.
We did not change the size of the model.
The height of the blacksmith turned out to be 165 mm. The model printed for 11 hours and 40 minutes. The settings are the same as in the first test.
We took off the model, washed it in alcohol and lit it in Cure Luna.
At first glance, the model turned out well. If you look closely, you can see that even the smallest details are printed. You can also see patterns on clothes and seams.
However, it really looks a little blurry. From a distance, the model generally seems almost smooth.
Apparently, the screen resolution is still not enough for such small elements. Given the complexity of the model, the test can be considered passed, but with some reservations.
Printing with Phrozen ABS-Like resin
Next, we tested the Phrozen ABS-like resin. This is a technical resin whose properties are close to that of ABS plastic.
We decided to print a functional model with this resin. The model we chose is the Bezel for Xbox One Joystick.
The model shows that it was scanned and then patterns were made on it, presumably in Blender or a similar program.
We also wanted to print the same panel on the Sonic Mini, but it did not fit into the printable area. On Mighty, however, such problems did not arise.
We tilted the model a little so that no support was needed on the front. In automatic mode, light supports were placed. After that, more medium ones were manually added in difficult places, since the model must be geometrically even and all supports must withstand the load.
There are no settings for this resin in the finished profile. Therefore, we first had to print the exposure time test. The starting point used the same parameters as for Aqua Gray , i.e., 30 seconds for the first layers and 2 seconds for the rest. And these parameters came up right away.
The city of AmeraLabs printed well.
And with these settings, the joystick panel was sent to print. It took 7 and a half hours to print.
At first glance, everything is fine. There are no obvious distortions. The supports withstood and separated without much difficulty with their hands and almost no traces left.
When we washed the model and cured it with light, we found one defect. The model had been rotated in only one of the axes. Because of this, at some point, the entire horizontal bar began to be printed.
Apparently, the force of detaching the model from the bath film sharply increased and began to pull the model a little when it was lifted. As a result, the model has an unpleasant streak in this area.
Otherwise, everything printed well. You can see the patterns, relief on the handles, skull on top and so on. Everything looks great.
We didn’t have a joystick from Xbox One at hand to check if the panel would fit on it. But in appearance, everything is smooth and neat.
The problem with the lane is not the fault of the printer. It was necessary to think over the location of the model better. It is difficult to assess the strength of the resin to the touch. However, it feels quite solid and a little flexible.
Dental Model Printing
For the next test, we decided to test the printer in creating dental models. These are 10 models of human jaws. The goal was to print them all at once in one run.
We placed 7 models vertically. The remaining 3 models had to be tilted a little, as they have areas which, when upright, will require supports in some places.
We sent the models to print with the same ABS-like resin. After 4 and a half hours, we had all 10 models ready without any problems.
The supports were also easily detached. Nothing came off anywhere and it looked good.
On closer inspection, the layers are slightly visible. Also, in some places, the screen pixelation has appeared. Otherwise, everything was smooth and neat enough.
This resin is light gray and that gave us an interesting idea. Most likely, you have already heard about lithophany. In short, it is a way to transform and print ordinary photos on a 3D printer.
Basically, you take a photo or a picture, run it through special software or the free online service itslitho.com .
The output is a 3D model. If you print it, a photograph will appear in the light.
We will not go into this topic in detail now.
Usually lithophanes, print on FDM printers and their quality is impressive. But what if you try to print them on a photopolymer resin printer, the accuracy and detail should be better anyway. Most often, white filament is used for these purposes.
Phrozen ABS-like resin is off-white, but should work.
For the first test, we made and printed one wedding photo. We printed the photo in an upright position. In principle, if the printable area allows, you can print lithopanes lying down. The quality should be quite acceptable.
However, in our case, the model’s dimensions is 130 x 130 mm, which does not fit on the platform when lying down. Besides, this is a test lithophane.
For our idea, we need to print as many as 5 pieces.
The lithopane was printed without any problems. However, in the end, it was clear that geometry was leading. At the very top, the bend is quite visible. We are not sure why this happened. In general, the model is slightly skewed.
After rinsing, we dried the print a little bit from different sides to prevent the model from leading even more. We looked at the skylight and were very pleasantly surprised. Despite all the flaws and distortions, the lithophany looks amazing. The smallest details are visible.
The quality is definitely better than that of FDM printers.
We made 4 more litophanes and placed them standing one after the other. Just in case, at the bottom, we added something like a substrate with a height of 0.2mm. The substrate should help the lithophanes to stay on the platform.
We sent the models to print. The lithophanes were printed in 9 hours 19 minutes.
Unfortunately, the backing didn’t help in any way and the model was bent too. Some models bent more while some bent less.
By the way, it turned out to be very difficult to break off this substrate, inasmuch as it was only 0.2mm thick. The resin is really tough. However, it shrinks like regular ABS.
After gradual additional lighting and attempts to level the lithophanes, pressing them to a flat surface, they became more or less even.
They were even enough to be inserted into a special cube for lithophanes. We’d printed the cube on an FDM printer a while ago.
What can be said about the quality of these lithophanes?
The detail is, of course, excellent. However, you still need to play with the settings of the lithophanies and prepare the photos themselves accordingly to get the best detail. But even so, the models are impressive.
What about the distorted geometry?
Well, models of this shape are generally quite susceptible to shrinkage. This is especially if they have many very thin areas. Definitely, you should not use ABS-like resin for these purposes.
Printing with Phrozen Nylon Green Tough Resin
And finally, we printed using the Phrozen Nylon Green Tough resin.
To begin, we reprint the panel for the joystick with this resin, after turning it a little in the slicer. This time, the panel printed without any problems.
Everything was smooth and the geometry was in order. The supports had left small marks, which we sanded without difficulty. The model feels very nice in the hands.
Well, the last model is also quite useful in narrow circles. This is the frame of a small FPV quadcopter. It is also known as a tinywhoop.
This is the model’s body, which includes the place of attachment of the flight controller, four small commutator motors and the external protection of all this. This frame should be lightweight, strong and slightly elastic to absorb impact in collisions. Nylon Tough resin should work just fine for this.
The frame printed for 5 hours 16 minutes.
The supports did not come off very easily since the frame itself was quite miniature. Therefore, it was necessary to do everything carefully.
The flight controller, motors and the camera came up and fell into place without any problems.
In general, this frame consists of two parts. There is also a bottom on which the battery mount is located. But we did not print the second part. Therefore, we fixed the battery in an improvised manner.
In general, the frame turned out well. Everything fit and immediately fell into place. The copter flies normally and the frame hardly differs from the original factory one.
The Phrozen Sonic Mighty 4K printer is impressive, especially with the large print area. We also love the monochrome screen and the 4K resolution, which gives a fairly high pixel density even on such a large screen. While the details of the models are not the best in the industry, but quite decent for a printer of this size.
The mechanics do their job well. During the tests, there was not a single failure. Each model sent to print was printed to the end.
As for the Phrozen Cure Luna camera, there is nothing special here. It simply work. Simply switch on the diodes, ensure the platform is spinning, and set the time. The camera will do its job.