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The Phrozen MegaSonic 8K 3D resin printer

– let’s give it a review.

Hey guys,

Things have been moving fast in the 3D printing

world recently and something that’s really

got folks excited is the Phrozen MegaSonic

8K. Not only does it promise us bigger resin

prints than we’ve seen before, but it also

gives us stupendous 8K resolution.

So when Phrozen asked if I’d review one

of the MegaSonic’s, I snatched their hands

off.

The box it arrived in was huge, requiring

two people to handle it safely. And once unwrapping

was completed, it was obvious why.

The MegaSonic 8K truly is Mega. This is not

a printer for those with limited space. The

size alone will restrict its sales to professionals

and the ultra-enthusiast as, frankly, you

need a LOT of workshop space to house it.

Just like with the Sonic 4K, it comes wrapped

in super strong film which gives you a sense

that Phrozen really care about their products.

No flimsy cling wrap for this printer.

The removed wrapping allows us to see a solid

metal casing. It’s smooth, rigid and big.

Did I mention it was big? It’s big.

Two large metal doors with three hinges each,

fold back to reveal generous access to a cleverly

packaged interior. Nothing should rattle around

in transit here.

Straightaway this gives us access to the truly

immense build plate, and trust me “immense”

is a fair word to use. Here’s the plate

from the Elegoo Saturn and here’s one from

the Sonic 4K. It’s obvious that this printer

is in a whole new arena.

If you’re wondering about the holes, I’ll

come to those in a moment.

The resin tray is almost big enough to bath

a small family and a quick showing of the

Elegoo Saturn plate again helps you visualise

just how big this is.

It has two sturdy handles and it locates squarely

into the grooved base. Fixing and releasing

is done via these screw bolts, which are fully

removable and easily dropped and lost, so

do be careful. Personally I prefer the quick-screw

system on the Sonic 4K.

Below this is the spirit of this machine,

the much anticipated 8K Monochome screen.

This has a resolution of 43 microns, which

should give us wonderful crisp detail. Don’t

be fooled into thinking it will out-print

Phrozen’s awesome Sonic 4K which has a resolution

of 35 microns, but it’s so close that you’ll

probably never tell the difference.

The dual rails offer stability in their substantial

width, hopefully making plate wobble something

only other printers worry about.

The Z Arm is equally wide with two knobs to

help secure the plate, which slides on smoothly.

Returning to the outside, we see a generous

sized display screen which even my poor eyes

can see with ease. The front also houses the

USB port which I typically don’t like. But

here there’s so much distance between the

screen and the port that neither interfere

with the other.

Looking closely at the rear shows us two fairly

quiet fans. There’s also the power switch

and an ethernet port.

So it looks big, solid, metallic and wholesome.

It exudes quality and reliability. But does

it print?

When it comes to calibrating the print plate,

there are two words:

You don’t

Okay, a little more is needed I guess. These

printers come pre-calibrated and because of

the sheer size of the plate, Phrozen don’t

recommend you calibrate it. Now this is an

issue that I double-checked on and Phrozen

are confident unless there’s been an angry

courier involved somewhere, the printer should

arrive perfectly calibrated.

If you look in the booklet it states “Phrozen

offer a one-year warranty for all parts except

consumable components, this includes the LCD,

FEP film and the building plate.” So everything’s

covered for a year, right?

Well as the next line goes on to say, “the

LCD for the Sonic Mega 8K is covered under

a 3-month warranty,” I think that initial

poorly worded sentence is saying that if anything

goes wrong after 3 months, you’re on your

own.

Fortunately, my interpretation seems to be

wrong, or maybe a rewrite of the booklet is

necessary. The plate is covered by 12 months

warranty it seems and a Plate Calibration

video will be appearing on the Phrozen website

soon.

Phrozen had kindly given me two bottles of

their Aqua-Ivory 4K resin and with this printer,

two bottles are virtually a must.

One bottle disappears quickly and a second

is needed to reach the Max limit. I’d estimate

it took 1.5 litres of resin to meet the mark.

One critical thing I should mention… because

of the length of this tray, a nice level surface

is a must. My workbench isn’t very level,

so for testing I corrected with some cardboard

wedges to prevent unwanted spillage.

My USB stick came with a copy of ChiTuBox

1.9 Beta and appropriate MegaSonic Profile

settings which made me cringe a little. ChiTuBox

isn’t my favourite slicer and true to form

this Beta version crashed my PC twice.

Unfortunately, Phrozen tell me that ChiTuBox

is the only company that supports 8K printers

at the moment, so for now at least we have

no choice. Hopefully Lychee and others will

get in on the act before long.

So I repeated my efforts with ChiTuBox and

eventually had the AmeraLabs Town test print

running on the MegaSonic.

And that’s when I noticed another big thing.

Boy, was it slow…

It took two hours to print a file that, thanks

to MonoChrome screens, I’m now used to printing

in 20 minutes. But if you think about it,

I guess it has to be slow.

It’s like all those holes in the plate.

Why are they there?

It’s to reduce suction and stress on the

plate. If you plunge a cup into a lake and

pull it out, you barely feel a difference.

But if you plunge a bucket into a lake, you

feel the drag of the weight of the water.

Now I know this plate is no bucket, but it’s

still lifting the weight of the resin over

a large area. And have you noticed, there’s

no slope to this plate? To reduce material,

they’ve kept it flat. So the holes are needed

to shed the excess resin as the plate rises,

and the Z Arm is slow – to accommodate the

effort. Unfortunately, this means we have

a MonoChrome printer operating at standard

LCD speeds – and that’s not fast.

It’s also worth mentioning that because

it’s flat, the plate never really sheds

all the resin. So if you don’t scrape the

top first, there’s a strong chance you’ll

make a hell of a mess when you try to remove

it.

So with my plate scraped and removed, I was

thrilled to see a tiny spec in the centre.

This meant my test print hadn’t got sucked

down one of the holes and had printed nicely.

But that also got me wondering… will all

these holes eventually clog with cured resin?

I put the point to Phrozen and they assure

me they don’t believe this will happen,

and if it does, then it should be easily cleaned.

I guess time will tell, but personally I’d

recommend soaking the plate overnight in IPA

after each use, just in case.

People like a variety of colours and Phrozen

have answered this desire with this Aqua-Ivory,

which does print very well, but for my eyes

hides the detail. That’s why I prefer grey.

So I had a terrible time trying to prove on

film that the test print had come out very

well, and it really has, but I guess you’ll

just have to take my word for it.

So this meant a proper print was in order

and I considered a monster sized print. But

realistically a print like that would take

several days.

Then I remembered that fabulous Samurai type

character on the Phrozen promo. This turns

out to be available pre-supported from Black

Forge Games, and I’ll place a link in the

description.

Taking advantage of the size of the plate,

I was able to print all of the components

to this model in one go, something that would

take a dozen outings even with the Mighty

4K or Elegoo Saturn. This still took over

24 hours to print. Even though Layer exposure

times were just 3 seconds, the speed of the

Z Rail meant everything took its sweet time.

And when it was eventually finished, I was

faced with a whole new set of challenges.

The plate takes up a lot of room. I needed

way more paper towels than normal, and even

using the Anycubic Wash and Cure plus to clean

my prints, I had to clean the pieces in batches.

I spent a whole day cleaning up this very

cleverly supported and highly recommended

model, and I was delighted with the results.

There may be extra mess and extra steps, but

the results speak for themselves. Even with

this colour the details shine through. The

MegaSonic 8K does not disappoint with its

print quality.

So what do I think of the MegaSonic 8K.

Well it’s excellent quality. All that solid

metal gives you a sense of value. It really

feels the part.

Unfortunately, this adds to the weight of

a very large machine. It takes up a large

amount of worktop and at least as much clean-up

area as well. Its sheer size is imposing and

means that only professionals benefiting from

mass production on that massive plate or serious

amateurs will be likely to tackle it.

It’s ChiTuBox only for a while at least,

and that can affect workflow as well as annoy

the heck out of those that like to use other

slicers.

There’s certainly no sign of the ‘2000

hours guarantee’ which most companies seem

to be offering on their MonoChromes. And that

is upsetting.

It’s very slow, and whilst this may make

practical sense, it’s still annoying. If

something goes wrong after waiting 30 hours

or so, it surpasses annoying and becomes damned

infuriating.

The flat-topped plate holds resin even when

finished, which could potentially lead to

spills. The holes in the plate may become

clogged and likely need maintenance to prevent

this. And a big plate like this has a bigger

tray, requires more resin to keep it primed

and ultimately leads to bigger and messier

clean-ups.

But what do you expect? If you’re looking

at a bigger than most printer, you’ve got

to expect the thirst and the clean-up issues.

That’s the nature of the beast.

And one thing’s for sure, this beast can

print. The 8K resolution spread over that

wide area doesn’t quite give you the 4K

equivalent compared to the Sonic 4K, but I

don’t think you’ll notice the difference.

Realistically you’ll be seeing Sonic 4K

printing quality over a much wider space,

allowing for multi-part prints and extra tall

models that you’ve only dreamed of until

now.

So, is the MegaSonic 8K a worthwhile purchase?

If the size is right for you, I think you’ll

be delighted with it. I’ve got several mega

prints planned for this mega printer and the

quality I’ve seen so far gives me confidence

that these creations will be as impressive

as the printer itself. I may film the odd

one and share it with you folks if you like

the idea.

So that’s the end of this review guys.

As always if you have any questions, just

drop them below. So take care guys and thanks

for watching.

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