Great news. You can now get your hands on the new and improved Phrozen Sonic Mighty 8K 3D printer. Here’s what we found when we gave this masked stereolithography (MSLA) 3D printer a go.
Phrozen Sonic Mighty 8K Review
AVAILABLE ON PHROZEN3D
MSLA resin 3D printers have become very popular in the last couple of years. One of the main reasons for this is their better LCD displays, which offer bigger build volume and prints at better resolution.
MSLA 3D printing technology results in prints that have finer details than prints from filament materials. However, there is a downside with MSLA 3D printers compared to FDM 3D printers; the former have a smaller build volume.
But the downside seems to have been addressed in the new Sonic Mighty 8K 3D printer. This unit has sufficient build volume, which means you can print large high quality resin prints.
Phrozen 3D printers are usually a bit on the expensive side compared to their competitors such as Anycubic (see the Anycubic Photon M3 Plus) and ELEGOO (see the Elegoo Mars 3). Phrozen machines are well-built and appropriately sturdy.
The Sonic Mighty 8K has a minimalistic but attractive overall design. When you power it up, its huge 5-inch touchscreen comes alive with an impeccable high-res interface.
The printer’s build plate has a unique laser-cut box design that helps in part adhesion. Unfortunately, that’ll leave some faint imprints on parts. Therefore, if you do not want these to be seen on your finished surfaces, make sure you use a raft.
The build plate attaches to a Z-axis through the use of a big thumbscrew. The thumbscrew makes it easy to both replace and remove the build plate.
The printer has a large aluminium vat with a large removable frame. You can remove the frame to replace the FEP film when it wears out. Some MSLA 3D resin printers have vats with FEP film that are permanently attached. Thankfully though, this is not the case with the Mighty 8K.
What’s in the Box?
- A printer manual
- A power cord with an adapter
- A set of Allen keys
- Sand paper
- Disposable masks
- Disposable gloves
- A plastic funnel
- A plastic scraper for the FEP film
- A metal scraper for the build plate
Also in the box is a USB thumb drive preloaded with both Lychee and Chitubox slicing software, a PDF of the manual and a pre-sliced test print. A dongle is included to access your local Wi-Fi.
The unit does not come with any resin. You’ll need to purchase some on your own. Phrozen recommends its own set of resins, such as the Aqua 8K resin.
The interior is well packaged. The machine is packed in protective wrapping and has adjustable feet to help with levelling. There is also an outer plastic casing. Apart from the casing, everything else is made from sturdy metal materials.
The print sizes and dimensions are similar to that of its predecessors and other resin 3D printers on the market. However, the new Sonic Mighty 8K is a lot heavier than the average 3D printer, for example, the Elegoo Saturn S.
This resin 3D printer features an in-built video camera that you can connect to via a software to allow viewing your work remotely. The print plate has a rather funky pattern etched on it, which we kind of felt wasn’t good with adhesion. However, maybe one just needs to get used to it a bit more.
The print plate fixes tightly on the unit’s Z arm through a single knob at the top. It then slides seamlessly on its broadly-spaced dual linear rail system. The printer has a metallic resin tray that you secure with a pair of removable bolts. Under the plate, there are four metal feet that attach the tray to four corresponding holes.
Phrozen Sonic Mighty 8K Features
The Sonic Mighty 8K has several interesting features. These include:
1. Webcam and Connectivity
One of the features that we love of the Mighty 8K is its webcam. Unfortunately, the webcam isn’t functional just yet (at the time of the review).
Phrozen claims that it will be operational soon and will provide updates later this year to show how it works. Presumably, the camera should allow you to view your prints remotely and offer time-lapse captures.
As far as connectivity is concerned, you can transfer your slicer files in three different ways: WiFi, Ethernet or USB. USB works just as one would expect; just copy your files to the USB drive and plug it into the machine.
You can also connect the unit to the local network via WiFi of Ethernet. With these options, you can transfer sliced files to the unit’s internal storage through your internet connection. Having said that, you won’t need Wi-Fi or Ethernet connectivity if the printer is going to be sitting next to your workstation.
2. Software and Resin
While the Sonic Mighty 8K’s official slicing software is Chitubox, you can also use Lychee Slicer if you want.
The Mighty 8K also supports other third-party software. Therefore, you aren’t forced to work in the Chitubox ecosystem.
Like most resin MSLA 3D printing machines, the Sonic Mighty 8K supports all 405nm resins. However, the company offers its own resins specifically designed for their 8K printing machines. One of these is the Aqua 8K resin, which offers better prints at high resolutions.
AVAILABLE ON PHROZEN3D
We used the default settings to perform all our test prints. However, you might need to ask Phrozen for some assistance if you want to adjust the Lychee Slicer settings. It’s not as straightforward as you’d expect.
3. Monochrome 10-Inch LCD Screen
Under the build tray, there’s a noteworthy monochrome LCD display that produces an incredible XY-res of 28 microns. Okay, this may not be quite as impressive as the 22 microns of the Phrozen Mini 8K, but it’s close enough to provide prints that’ll both thrill and excite you.
The front part houses two USB ports. The second port is located at the rear of the unit right beside the Ethernet port. You can use this second port to connect your WiFi dongle. The front USB is meant for uploading your print files.
The provided USB drive comes with slicer software, test prints and a user manual.
4. 8K Resolution
The 10-inch monochrome LCD on the Sonic Mighty 8K unit has an 8K resolution that delivers 28-micron XY pixel size. Not only is this extremely accurate but also results to prints with smooth surfaces.
Also, the huge LCD display means you can print bigger items without having to scale them down or separate them into several different parts. 8K resolution allows you to see even the tiniest details in prints.
5. Build Volume
The Mighty 8K has a large build volume of 218 x 123 x 235mm. The large build volume is another reason why you can print huge items without having to separate them into different pieces. In a nutshell, the Sonic Mighty 8K definitely has more than enough space for almost whatever you’re looking to print.
The build volume is one of the bigger ones you’ll find on a resin 3D printer. However, it still has a long way to go before it can competently compete with some of the biggest ones on the market. Some of the printers that have similar-sized build volumes include the Elegoo Saturn S and the Anycubic Photon Mono. However, neither can still go pound-for-pound with some of the biggest FDM printing machines on the market.
6. User Interface
The Sonic Mighty 8K has a 5-inch colour touchscreen display that’s absolutely fantastic. The colours on the screen are clear, sharp and compliment the unit’s overall design. The background is dark-grey with a hint of orange, which looks pleasant on your eyes. In fact, this might just be one of the best user interfaces we’ve seen on a 3D printer so far.
When you plug in the Mighty 8K, a “getting started” guide appears. Here, you have the option of naming your printer. This can be useful if they use more than one machine.
After that, there is some calibration and a couple of tests, starting with the monochrome LCD display screen.
Next is a step-by-step guide on leveling the build plate. Finally, a print test run will be done. The printer assume you are using Aqua 8K resin from Phrozen. If this is the resin that you are using, simply click the start button for your print to start. Still, you can also use other resin materials form third party companies.
The user interface also has a QWERTY keyboard application that makes it easier to use the printer. On the Z-axis control panel, there’s a slider on the far right you that you can use to move the unit’s Z Arm when you are in a rush.
This 5-inch colour touchscreen responds intuitively and quickly to inputs. Also, its new appearance makes using it a whole lot better.
7. Excellent Print Bed Adhesion
If your object doesn’t adhere well enough to the print bed, it can detach during printing. This is why you need a printer whose bed has good adhesive properties. Poor bed adhesion can result in issues like deformation and overall poor print quality. In worst-case scenarios, the object can even fall into the resin.
Fortunately, the Sonic Mighty 8K 3D printer has excellent print bed adhesion. The bed can hold large objects firmly in place.
8. Metal Vat
Okay, there’s no reason why we dislike plastic resin vats. However, some people believe plastic resin vats are troublesome and inferior to their metal counterparts. In fact, some makers even claim the vats are the worst options.
If you don’t like plastic vats, the Sonic Mighty 8K features a metal resin vat. In our opinion, we think it is just a “feel good” thing because we have never come across any advantages or disadvantages of using either.
9. Dual Linear Rails
Dual linear rails of 235mm will help keep things stable and strong in the unit’s Z-axis. The rails play a crucial role when you are taking full advantage of the machine’s huge print volume. Bigger resin 3D prints can sometimes be very heavy. Therefore, that little extra stability in the up and down movements is going to help out a lot in those scenarios.
The Mighty 8K’s print quality is nothing short of incredible. You can really see its 28um XY resolution. Surfaces are smooth and there aren’t any resolution artefacts. Fine, small details come through crisply and clearly.
The print quality of an MSLA 3D printing machine is determined by the XY resolution. Light bleed and uniformity also affect the print quality. These two are affected by the LCD and the LED ultraviolet light engine. In simpler terms, the print quality of the Mighty 8K is almost perfect, especially when compared to the standard MSLA resin 3D printing machines currently on the market.
The printer also has quite a substantial build volume, which is a huge bonus. The build volume is not quite as big as the average Fuse-Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D print machine. Still, it is not that far off either. Therefore, you can print huge parts while still maintaining amazing detail and surface quality.
Here are some other images that show the print quality of the Phrozen Mighty 8K.
When we tested the unit’s XP exposure using Chitubox, we got a bit of a shock. The print did not stick as well as we’d expected to the plate. We decided to set the base layer time to around 50 seconds and it started to stick a bit better. When it came to testing AmeraLabs Town, the print came out perfectly. You can cut resin supports out using the company’s proprietary Saber Ultra Sonic Knife.
- Large print volume
- Proven technology
- High accuracy
- Double Z-axis
- Large touch screen
- Monochrome LCD screen
- Excellent print bed adhesion
- Big touchscreen display
- Supports many slicers
- A bit on the pricey side
3D Printing Specifications
|Build Volume||218 x 123 x 235 mm|
|Layer Height||10+ microns|
|XY Resolution||28 microns (7680 x 4320 pixels)|
|Z-axis positioning accuracy||N/A|
|Printing Speed||70 mm/h|
|Materials||405 nm UV resin|
|Operating system||Windows / macOS X / Linux|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB|
Dimensions & Weight
|Frame dimensions||337 x 337 x 516 mm|
There’s really nothing bad we can say about the Sonic Mighty 8K MSLA resin 3D printer from Phrozen. Okay, maybe the only thing we feel would have made perfect is if there was no pattern on the build plate. Why? Because this carries over to other parts that touch the plate.
However, that’s a minor concern in the grand scheme of things, especially considering standard printing advice dictates you tilt items upwards on the raft anyways. Other than that, Phrozen has a hit here.