Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K Review

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Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K 3D Printer

The Sonic Mini 4K is exclusively designed for beginners with ultra-high resolution and722 PPI! Read detailed review

Pros
  • Affordably priced (less $500)
  • Compact and simple to set up
  • Printing speed is rapid
  • Exceptionally good resolution (4K is very rare for LCD 3D printers at this price)
  • Noise levels are low
  • Compatible with resins from other manufacturers
Pros
  • Build volume is relatively tiny
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Introduction to the Sonic Mini 4K

[ Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K Review ]

Resin 3D printers are usually more expensive than their FFF/FDM counterparts. Even though they produce more detailed outputs.

It used to be significantly more prominent in the past. Some of the first desktop SLA/LCD machines cost thousands of dollars. This may not be the case anymore as 3D printers using resin now come for less than $1000. Even so, they maintain a high degree of quality and precision.

Phrozen, a Taiwanese company, offers one such approach. Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K is the name of the device. The machine has a high level of detail without being overly expensive. We’ll go over the primary features, benefits, and drawbacks in this article.

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About Phrozen 

[ Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K Review ]

Phrozen is a resin additive manufacturing 3D printer maker. The company was started in 2016 by a team of engineers and is situated in Taiwan.

The Phrozen One DLP 3D Printer was their debut gadget, which was released in 2016. The machine utilized DLP technology, as the name suggests.

The first 3D printer from the Phrozen stable using LCD, was released in April, 2017. The initial goal of the Taiwanese startup’s Kickstarter campaign was $30,000. This was to determine whether the target demographic would be interested in the product. The target was met within four minutes after the campaign began. On Kickstarter, the company raised a total of $375,000 in total.

The Sonic series of 3D printers comprises devices with varying print volumes and levels of accuracy. It is one of the company’s most successful 3D printers. Another addition to the line is the Sonic Mini 4K. It has an excellent level of detail, a tiny footprint, and a low price.

Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K 3D Printer
Source: Phrozen
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Overview of Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K

[ Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K Review ]

The Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K is a small and light resin 3D printer with dimensions 250mm x 250mm x 330mm. It has a simple appearance and uses LCD technology. Still, the critical difference from the earlier model, the Sonic Mini is the increase in resolution to 3840 x 2160 pixels. As a result, the machine is highly accurate and provides greater amounts of detail. The device’s XY-Axis resolution is just 35 microns, which is among the best (if not the best) among inexpensive resin 3D printers.

The Sonic Mini 4K is equipped with a monochrome LCD light source that is both sturdy and long-lasting. It is also substantially faster: a single layer can be printed in under 2 seconds.

The machine’s build capacity is on the low end of the scale, but it’s adequate for ultra-low-cost resin 3D printers. Especially given the printer’s overall compact chassis.

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Technical Specification

[ Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K Review ]
  1. Technology: LCD 
  2. UV light: 405nm ParaLED Matrix 2.0
  3. LCD Mask Resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels at 4K
  4. XY-Axis Resolution: 35 microns
  5. Build Area: 135mm x 75mm x 130 mm 
  6. Print speed: 80mm/ hour 
  7. Materials: 405nm resins 
  8. Layer Height (Minimum): 10 microns 
  9. Touch Screen Display: 2.8″ LCD
  10. Operating System : Windows, Mac 
  11. File Types: STL, .ctb
  12. Application Software: ChiTuBox 
  13. Frame Area: 250mm x 250mm x 330 mm
  14. Weight: 5 kg 
  15. Power: AC100-240V~50/60Hz 
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Box Contents

[ Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K Review ]

The Sonic Mini 4K is packaged in a small box. The contents comprise, in addition to the printer, the following:

  1. Personal protective equipment
  2. electricity supply
  3. SD memory card
  4. Parts and accessories
  5. Make a plate
  6. Scraper for metal
  7. Scraper made of plastic
  8. A set of tools
  9. Metallica resin vat with FEP film already installed
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Setting Up

[ Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K Review ]

Right out of the box one can use this 3D printer. The technique of setting up the machine is comparable to that of most other resin printers.

The first step is to check the LCD. Look for this menu option and see if the image is observed on the lower part of the printer.

The calibration of the print platform is one of the most crucial steps. The internal software of the printer will hand hold users through the steps in process. It necessitates the use of a sheet of paper and the tightening of several screws.

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Design of Sonic Mini 4K

[ Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K Review ]

The design of this 3D printer is essentially identical to that of the earlier Sonic Mini. This little printer can fit in the corner of any tabletop, about 10 inches square, a height of 12 inches, and a weight of 5KG.

The print area is protected from dust and sunlight by a translucent brown acrylic cover. The machine comes wholly constructed. However, it would help if one manually levels the bed before printing.

The larger-than-average build plate is what stands out. The 135x75mm allows the user to cram more in than other printers in this class. The entire build height of 130mm is, yet, lower than that of other printers.

Though the height is not so important for most uses, one can mostly use an extra tray area for printing more. The Sonic Mini 4K aims mainly at folks who need to print a lot of small, intricate miniatures, jewellery, or possibly dentistry work.

The 4K resolution panel has an astonishing 722 PPI and 10 microns as the starting layer height. This results in the most detailed display among resin based printer models.

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Safety with Sonic Mini 4K

[ Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K Review ]

When utilizing the Sonic Mini 4K, as with all resin 3D printers, exercise caution. Because the resin that is not cured is hazardous, one should use gloves for protecting the eyes when dealing with pieces or pouring it.

To reduce the risk of breathing fumes, make sure to operate the printer in a well-ventilated area. When not pouring material actively, any uncured resin or spills adhered to a surface need to be wiped with isopropyl alcohol. The resin container should also be kept covered and secured.

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Sonic Mini 4K Features

[ Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K Review ]

The Sonic Mini 4K varies from the previous Sonic Mini in that it replaces the bright red UV-blocking cover with a mud-green one. This offers a more mature appearance for the machine.

a. 3D Printer Resolution 

When it comes to the Sonic Mini 4K’s killer new feature, it’s all about the resolution. The Sonic Mini 4K sports a 135mm x 75mm 4K LCD with a resolution of  3840 x 2160 and 722 pixels per inch (PPI) pixel density. This indicates that a pixel size of 35 microns in the X- and Y-axes would be the maximum resolution on a budget MSLA printer.

Things are noticeably lower quality on the original Sonic Mini, which has an XY resolution of 1920 x 1080. The new Sonic Mini 4K offers 4x pixels compression for the same area.

b. Print Speed

The increased resolution isn’t the only reason to be interested in the Sonic Mini 4K. It follows the current trend in MSLA 3D printers for monochrome LCDs. In addition to having a longer life duration than its RGB equivalent, this form of LCD enables a higher intensity of light to pass through. This effectively minimizes the amount of time the resin must be exposed to cure. As a result, the Sonic Mini 4K can cure in under two seconds, a phenomenally rapid print speed that drastically reduces printing times.

Thousands of hours of use are usual for monochrome LCDs. With a three-month warranty on the LCD, it appears like Phrozen is covering short-term degeneration. Outside of this time frame, any loss in performance would be considered ordinary wear. This will make it immune from any statutory warranty claims.

c. Mini 4K Build Volume

The Sonic Mini 4K’s build volume is 15 mm larger on the X-axis and 7 mm larger on the Y-axis than its predecessor, measuring 135 x 75 x 130 mm. It’s not a vast improvement, but it does provide the Sonic Mini 4K with a larger printing area than most machines in its class.

For example, the Elegoo Mars Pro has 120 x 68 mm in the X- and Y-axes, while the Anycubic Photon S only has 115 x 68 mm. Both the Sonic Mini 4K and the Sonic Mini 4K have a greater printed area. Compared to the Sonic Mini 4K’s 130 mm, both printers outperformed with 155 mm and 165 mm, respectively.

d. Operating the Mini 4K

The Sonic Mini 4K’s slicer is ChiTuBox, which means it’s a simple machine to operate. Slice the model, save the file to a USB stick, connect the stick to the printer, and press “Print”.

e. Resin Vat

The Phrozen Sonic Mini came with a colorful injection-molded plastic resin vat that performed just as well as the metal ones. Others had a different opinion, with some doubting the plastic vat’s longevity.

There must have been substance to the allegations because Phrozen later marketed a metal vat as a separate buy. Even including the metal vat as standard with later Sonic Mini units.

This time, Phrozen saves itself the trouble and includes a metal resin vat with the Sonic Mink 4K.

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Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K Assembly

It takes not more than an hour to assemble the printer and get it printing, which is standard for resin based 3D printers. The printer’s external power supply is plugged into the back, and the cover rests on top of the unit’s base. The build platform gets into the Z-axis frame and then calibrated separately.

Calibration

A resin 3D printer’s build platform, like those of FDM 3D printers, needs calibration to provide a uniform surface. The Sonic Mini 4K has a four-screw build platform that can be adjusted. This helps offset the surface and adjusts for uneven surfaces.

Because the platform lacks a ball and socket design, the calibration procedure is a lot more complex than the Elegoo Mars 2. The ball and socket design allows the system to be leveled with only two screws and makes it more accurate.

The platform’s corners are difficult to modify because of the stress applied by the mounting bracket. The bolt design is not helpful to make adjustments with the leveling.

Although the printer’s interface indicates one to remove the vat during leveling, the user guide states that the vat should not be touched.

Users who are unfamiliar with the build structure leveling for a resin based printer may be confused and frustrated by this. Leveling with the vat installed can potentially harm the fragile FEP screen. This may create confusion and frustration.

To rough up the build area, one can use the coarse 80-grit sandpaper provided. But if the platform is scuffed or unevenly sanded, this can puncture the FEP.

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Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Affordably priced (less $500)
  • Compact and simple to set up
  • Printing speed is rapid
  • Exceptionally good resolution (4K is very rare for LCD 3D printers at this price)
  • Noise levels are low
  • Compatible with resins from other manufacturers

Drawbacks

  • Build volume is relatively tiny
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Final Verdict

[ Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K Review ]

The Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K is a more advanced version of the popular Sonic Mini. It improves resolution, and consequently, accuracy and depth of detail without increasing the price much. It’s a quick machine that’s also simple to operate and doesn’t skimp on features.

The Sonic Mini 4K is a fantastic blend of value and performance. It has a small footprint and will appeal to both hobbyists and creative 3D artists. Thanks to its excellent usability and finer details in the prints it produces.

Other 3D Printer Reviews:

BIQU BX | BIQU B1 | Voxelab Proxima | Voxelab Aquila

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