Anycubic photon support

Anycubic photon support DEFAULT

Photon File Viewer


Use UVTools by Master Photonster Tiago Conceição instead

A file viewer application for AnyCubic Photon sliced files (*.photon and *.cbddlp). The viewer can show you preview images, print information and all layers with information on overhang and islands issues, and edit layers manually or automatically.

Main screen

Photon files


Basic information, with this application you can:

  • View all layers of a sliced (AnyCubic Photon Slicer or ChiTu DLP Slicer) file for the Photon 3D printer.
  • Easy see overhangs and unsupported areas (color coded in yellow and red, in 2D and 3D)
  • Change exposure, off time and buttom layer settings on already sliced files.
  • Easy check if any part of a model is to close to the border
  • Quickly navigate beween problem layers and watch if it will break your prints.
  • Automatically fix pixel related unsupported areas (islands).
  • Manually edit pixels on the layers.

What is a Photon file

A Photon file is generated by the AnyCubic Photon Slicer (rebrand of ChiTu DLP Slicer). The slicer takes a 3D object and turn it into a list of images, each representing one printable layer. The 3D printer then prints each layer by exposing liquid resin with UV light, and lifting the build plate to peel off the model from the bottom plastic (FEP).

The Photon file contains information about the height of each layer, for how long each layer is exposed to UV light, and some settings for overexposing the first layers to make the print stick to the build plate.

Why do I want to view a photon file

In the ideal world, - you don't. The slicer makes the file, and the printer use the file to print your object.

But, sometimes prints fail.

There are a lot of reasons why prints are failing.

  • Leveling, both the printer and the build plate must be leveled. If the printer is not leveled the resin will not flow correctly under the model between layers. If the build plate is not leveled, the distance between the build plate and the bottom layer (FEP) will be too short in some areas and too wide in others.
  • Missing or weak support. When the printer is done printing one layer, the layer is lifted off the botom plastic film (FEP). The support must be strong enough to support the lift (pull).
  • Wrong exposure or off time settings. Each Resin is different in the chemical content, so each resin have a limited time range where it fully cures each layer. To short exposure and you have uncured liquid resin between you new layer and the previous printed layers, and the model will break off the build plate. To much and the layers will overcure and get thinner than the distance the pinter will lift for the next layer, ending in the model will break off the build plate.
  • Separated Resin. Most resin needs to be shaken or stirred befor use, which ensures that the resin compunds are mixed in the correct manor.
  • File, model or slicing errors. Applications have bugs, so errors could be intruduced in the process.
  • Printer errors. When buying a budget printer, some will only pass the quality control on a good day. Some components might be designed with no fault margin, introducing periodic errors (like power supply shortage and the LCD screen flicking).
  • Temperature, if the resin is to cold it will not flow under the model between the layers, if to hot it will have issues with overcuring.

The Photon File Viewer can help you by showing all the layers in full resolution and all settings stored in the file.

The Viewer can also analyze the file for layers that contains areas that is not supported (printed in mid-air, called islands). Islands are a problem, because the model will not be printed as designed. In the best scenario the island will stick to the plastic bottom of the printer or attach itself to the printed model, but if you are unlucky - it could be trapped between the printer and the model, breaking the FEP or the LCD screen.


Latest Installation files

Install on Windows

Windows Main screen

The windows installer is not signed, so you have to go through some warning pages before you are allowed to install it.

Download: win-photonfilevalidator-x.x.exe (if you have java version 8 or above installed)

Download: win-jre-photonfilevalidator-x.x.exe (includes a java jre runtime engine)

Install on macOS

Download the dmg and open it, then drag the app to the applications folder link. The App is not signed, so you may have to locate the app in finder and right click on it and select open.

Download: osx-photonfilevalidator-x.x.dmg (if you have java version 8 or above installed)

Download: osx-jre-photonfilevalidator-x.x.dmg (includes a java jre runtime engine)

Read more on opening unsigned apps on Apple Support

Install on Linux

No installers are available yet. Use the manual installation option.

Manual installation

If you already have Java installed, you can simply download the jar file and execute it (dobbeltclick or from command line: java -jar PhotonFileValidator.jar



Open a slice file

With the open button you can browse your local file system for files with the .photon file extension. When a file has been selected, it will load the file.

During load, it will translate each layer to an image and check you file for overhangs and unsupported areas. The application will update status information so you can follow the process.

When the load is done, it will show layer 0, which is the first layer the printer will print. It will also show if the model extends beyond the border or have islands.

Save the file

If you want to try printing the file with other settings, select the save button. In the save dialog you will be able to change the file name, the normal exposure time, the off time, the bottom layers count and the bottom layer exposure time.

Show Information

With the show information button you can see the following information:

  • Build area set in the file, should be 68.4 * 120.96 mm for the Photon printer.
  • Resolution of the printer, should be 1440 * 2560 pixels for the Photon printer.
  • Print information, with resin usage and time.

The Print information contains the layer height, the total number of pixels on all layers, the extimated volume of resin to be used and the time it will take to print it.

Jump to layers with to large model areas.

If you set a safty border margin, each layer is check for areas that expand outside the margin. The application will show a list of the first layers. Use the >> button to jump to the next layer. If there are no more layers, it will go back to the first again.

Jump to layers with islands

If you model contains islands, if will show a list with the first layer numbers. With the >> button you can quickly jump to the next layer that contains islands.

As small islands can be hard to find, the application will draw horizontal and vertical cross lines to help you locate the islands. If the island area are very big, no cross lines will be drawn.

Zoom layers

Layers are show 1:1 (zoom center position) which allow you to see exactly what the printer will print. If you want to close in on details, use the zoom scale right positions, or if you want to get better overview on a smaller screen, you can use the left scale positions.

Show previews

The slicer produces preview images that is used by the printer to help you select the correct model to print. You can also see the preview images in the file viewer application.

Fix problems

This dialog allow you to automatically fix pixel related problems, where a small areas are not directly connected to supported areas. Typically these problems areas are located with the corner right next to the corner of a supported pixel. The application will only add a minimal amount of pixels to correct the issues. As long as a layers have added pixels, the application will retry to fix even more problem areas.

Remember to save the file after it has been fixed.

Print Margin

Your printer might have issues printing close to the border. To avoid this, you can optional set a safety margin. When a safty margin is set, the application will check that all model layers is not printed outside the margin.

The margin is set in pixels (0.04725mm) and you find the settings in the file, located in the folder where the jar file is installed. You can edit the file with a text editor.

The default is: margin=0

Time calculations

In the information dialog you can see the estimated time for the print. The Photon slicer is known (versions 1.3.6 and before) for showing false print times. The reason is that the application is not including the peel time (the time is takes to remove the model from the FEP). On a standard Photon printer the peel time is 5.5 seconds.

If you modify the Photon printer to have faster or slower peel time, so to handle this you can change the settings used to calculate the time. You find the settings in file where the jar is installed.

The default is: peel=5.5

Command line usage

You can use the application from the command line: java -jar PhotonFileCheck.jar

You can add a Photon slice file name as argument, and the file will be loaded when the application starts.

If you have trouble loading large files, add more memory to to the application like:

java -Xms3g -Xmx6g -jar PhotonFileCheck.jar

Developer Information

Source code layout

Code Implementation


Introduction: Best Support Settings for Resin(SLA/DLP/LCD) 3D Printing

Usually, it is impossible to avoid using 3D printing support structures for overhangings and bridges as it might affect the quality of your print. When selecting the suitable support settings, your print have achieved half of success. But do you know what's the best support settings for resin 3D printing? The name of support settings maybe differ according to various slicers. In order to have a better understanding of those settings, let's take Chitubox as an example.

The support settings of ChiTubox, as illustrated above.

Step 1: Raft

Raft is the first layer which is also called attachment layer as the primary purpose of a raft is to help with bed adhesion. The raft is printed directly on the platform, then the object and support are printed above the raft. The exposure time for the rafe is at least 10 times the regular exposure time to make sure that any potential gap between the build platform and vat floor is fully cured and the first layer is attached to the platform firmly.

In ChiTuBox, there are 5 settings related to raft. Let's discuss them one by one.

Step 2: Raft Shape

ChiTuBox provides a skate raft shape, as illustrated below. When there is no raft shape, the layers adhered on the build plate are pieces of bottoms. The skate raft is covered on the bulid plate with a whole piece which expands the contact area to improve the adhesion. The cocked edge of the skate raft comes into play when removing the model from the build plate.

Left: None Right: Skate

Step 3: Raft Area Ratio(%)

Raft area ratio has great effect on the proportion of the raft. The greater the proportion is, the the stronger the adhesion will be. But certainly it also increases consumption of material and removal of supports might sometimes be tricky.

Left: Raft Area Ratio(110%) Right: Raft Area Ratio(180%)

Step 4: Raft Thickness(mm)

As the name implies, it is the thickness of the raft. Usually, the thicker the raft is, the stronger the adhesion will be. But the consumption and the separation are still headaches for desigers.

Left: Raft Thickness(1mm) Right: Raft Thickness(5mm)

Step 5: Raft Height(mm)

Just like raft thickness, it is the height of the raft. The higher the raft is, the easier it will be to find the key point to seperate the print from the build plate. Also, it means more material consumption.

Left: Raft Height(1.8mm) Right: Raft Height(5mm)

Step 6: Raft Slope(°)

Raft Slope is the angle between the raft edge and the horizontal plane. Usually, the smaller the angle is, the easier it will be to scoop up the model from the building plate according to the lever principle.

Left: Raft Slope(20°) Right: Raft Slope (80°)

Step 7: Z Lift Height

Z lift height is the distance between 3D model and bulid plate. To adjust Z lift height for 3D model, it will not be printed directly on the platform but on supports and raft. The lifting height should be set to 7 mm for large build platform and 5 mm Z lift height for small build platform, with a lifting speed of 10 mm/min.

Left: Z lift height(20mm) Right: Z lift height(5mm)

Step 8: Top

Top refers to the top part of the support. The top part is the key factor to link the model and support. If the support top is not thick enough, the 3D model maybe separate from the support due to the cured separation forces from FEP/PDMS on the printed object.

Step 9: Top: Contact Shape

The sphere contact shape is like a ball to increase the contact area between the print and the support. In addition, when removing the support, diagonal cutting pliers can be used to cut off the sphere from where the support is connected, making it less likely to damage the model. Some rigid resins are relatively brittle. Cutting may easily leave remarkable holes on the surface of the model.

Step 10: Top: Contact Diameter(mm)

The contact diameter directly reflects in the contact area between the model and the support. The longer the contact diameter, the stronger it stick to the object and the harder the dismantling with small diagonal cutting pliers.

Step 11: Top: Contact Depth(mm)

The deeper the contact depth, the deeper the support tip inserts into the model.

Step 12: Top: Connection Shape

There are three connection shapes in ChiTuBox: cone, pyramid, skate as illustrated below from left to right. Oviously, the sections from cone to pyramid are on the decrease. They don’t have much special differences so you can choose one depending on your needs.

Step 13: Top: Upper Diameter(mm)

Upper diameter refers to the diameter of support tip. Usually, the thicker the upper diameter, the stronger the support is. But sometimes, thicker is not better as it may look a bit top-heavy.

Step 14: Top: Lower Diameter(mm)

Likewise lower diameter is the diameter of the bottom of the top part. It's helpful to reasonably adjust the lower diameter to avoid that the middle part cann’t afford the heavy top.

Step 15: Top: Connection Length (mm)

This feature allows designers to customize the connection length. An appropriate connection length can ensure that the support top is rough enough and easier to remove.

Step 16: Middle

The middle part of the support have the ability to act as the spine for the human. The strength of the middle determines the strength of the support.

Step 17: Middle: Shape

Like connection shape, there are also three slections for middle shape in ChiTuBox: prism, cube, cylinder as illustrated below from left to right. The system default is cylinder.

Step 18: Middle: Diameter(mm)

As the mainstay of the support, when the diameter of the middle increases, the support is rougher. Meanwhile, more materials will be used. Also you need to pay attention to the middle and the top in perfect proportion and harmony.

Step 19: Middle: Angle(°)

Angle is the angle between the support top and the vertical. When the support top has an angle of 90 degrees with the contact surface of the print(normal vector), the force to the surface will also be vertical and the contact depth between the support and the surface is thinner so that it is easier to remove the support.

Left: Angle(10°) Middle: Angle(30°) Right: Angle(60°)

Step 20: Bottom

Bottom is the support pedestals. Sometimes there are no rafts. So the bottom will be the attachment layer to help with bed adhesion. And when we have to generate support structures on the model itself, the bottom will come into play.

Step 21: Bottom: Platform Touch Shape

ChiTuBox offers 5 types of bottom as illustrated below from left to right: skate, cone, cube, cylinder and prism. You can do it however you like but the skate and cone one may be much easier to seperate from build plate due to their cocked edges.

Step 22: Bottom: Touch Diameter(mm)

It works the same way as the raft area ratio to enhance the adhesion on the build plate. And the consumption of material and removal of supports are still need to be considered.

Left: Touch Diameter(12mm) Right: Touch Diameter(20mm)

Step 23: Bottom: Thickness

What you can see is that the thicker the bottom thickness, the smaller the contact area is. So, the thickness is not the more, the better.

Left: Thickness (1mm) Right: Thickness (2mm)

Step 24: Bottom: Model Contact Shape

Depending on the complexity of the 3D model with overhangings and bridges, sometimes we have to generate support structures on the model itself. Similar to the top, the tottom takes the small balls to increase the contact area and protect the the surface of the model when removing the support.

Left: None Right: Shpere

Step 25: Bottom: Contact Diameter(mm)

The contact diameter directly reflects in the contact area between the model and the support bottom. The longer the contact diameter, the stronger it stick to the object and the harder the removal.

Left: Contact Diameter(0.6mm) Right: Contact Diameter(0.8mm)

Step 26: Bottom: Contact Depth(mm)

The deeper the contact depth, the deeper the support bottom inserts into the model.

Left: Contact Depth(0.2mm) Right: Contact Depth(0.6mm)

Step 27: Contact Point

The more the contact point, the stronger the ability is to grip the surface. Also the tripod construction leads to more stable whole structure.

Adding 3D printing support is an academic issue rather than a technology. 3D printing complex models, many find it difficult to decide when and where to use support structures. Fortunately, ChiTuBox not only provides various powerful support settings, but aslo automatically places support structures where they are needed based on the parameters you set which makes things simple.

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Reid Main

A Newbie's Guide to the Anycubic Photon S

I am sure there are many people out there who, like me, were enthralled by 3D resin prints they've been seeing on Twitter or YouTube or Kickstarter but were absolutely overwhelmed when they looked into doing it themselves. Having recently purchased an Anycubic Photon S, I had to go through the painful process of stitching together all of this disparate information to print out my own miniatures.

Now that I've succeed in going through a 500 ml bottle of resin I thought it would be a good idea to write out a step-by-step guide of what I did (or what I should have done).

External Resources

If you're not interested in reading all of my ramblings and need something more visual, I recommend this excellent YouTube video by Black Magic Craft. It was the only video I watched before I bought my printer.

Other resources I used were:

Before You Buy

Resin printing is not for everyone. If you live in a 500 square foot studio apartment you're probably gonna have a bad time. Don't make the beginner's mistake of thinking you can set up the printer on your kitchen table. Not only are prints going to take several hours but resin is also very smelly. Even if you don't find the smell to be that pungent the fumes are technically toxic and you wouldn't want them to be permeating your kitchen or bedroom.

Ventilation is the name of the game when you're considering getting into resin printing. Wherever you are planning on setting up the printer ensure that space will be properly ventilated. Ideally with large windows or doors to the outside you can open or proper fans and ducting that you can use to redirect the fumes outside. You absolutely cannot let these fumes stay in a small enclosed space!

The caveat to this is that the printer cannot be directly exposed to sunlight while it is printing. Resin printing actually uses UV light to harden the resin into the shape you want. So if your raw resin is exposed to sunlight it will harden and break your prints. So you have this catch-22 where you need your space to be well ventilated but your printer can't be exposed to sunlight. This is why you really need to think hard before you pick the space where you will be doing your printing.

Having said all of that you will need access to sunlight to properly clean up after you've finished printing. Raw resin is toxic and should not be thrown directly in the trash. You need to expose it to UV light to cure it before you can throw it away. The easiest way to do this is to leave the paper towels and anything else you use to clean in direct sunlight for 10-15 minutes. Please do not underestimate how important this is!

Step 0: Accessories you should buy

Technically speaking the Anycubic Photon S does come with everything you need to start printing, but not in the safest manner, and you'll burn through their supplies quite quickly. Below is a list of everything I believe you need at the bare minimum:

  • Nitrile gloves. Not latex gloves because resin will go right through them.
  • Safety glasses that protect your eyes from every angle. Raw resin could splash or pop up while you're using it and do serious damage to your eyes. Don't take the risk.
  • Masks to protect yourself from the toxic fumes. I personally use a paint respirator (complete with Bane impression) but N95 or surgical masks are also good.
  • A silicon spill mat to put the printer on in case the resin overflows for whatever reason. Silicon is the best material to use with resin because you can simply put the silicon in the sun, the resin will cure and then peel right off.
  • A USB flash drive to plug into the printer. The one that comes with the Photon S is almost guaranteed to be broken (as mine was).

If you buy the five things above you will have everything you need to kick off a print. However when the print finishes we are playing an entirely different game. Now you are working with raw uncured resin dripping off the print. You will need to clean it before you can handle it without gloves. Remember raw resin should never touch your skin.

While you could clean your prints directly on your desk or whatever table you have I'd recommend buying a self healing cutting mat.

To clean your prints you are going to need at least two liters of isopropyl alcohol that is 90% purity or higher. Typically you'll find this at hobby or electronic repair shops. The variety you'll find at grocery stores or pharmacies will be around 70% purity which is better for disinfecting wounds than cleaning resin prints.

To clean your resin prints you should buy the Anycubic Wash & Cure Machine. When the print finishes you simply pop the build plate off the printer and attach it to the wash & cure machine. Not only will it clean your print but it will also clean your build plate at the same time! If you read the guides that I linked above in the "External Resources" section you'll see all sorts of makeshift systems involving picking containers. Forget all that bullshit! Spend the extra money and make your clean-up process 1000 times easier.

Once your print is clean there will probably be struts or supports still attached to the print that were necessary to ensure it didn't collapsing during printing. I use citadel fine detail cutters to remove these supports but you can buy whatever you'd like. Anything that will allow you to make very precise cuts.

When a print is cleaned it will still have a tacky feeling because the resin hasn't fully cured yet. If you bought the Anycubic Wash & Cure machine you can quickly toss it inside and you're done. Otherwise you could leave the print in the sunlight for 10-15 minutes or purchase a nail lamp which emits UV light.

The final supplies you'll need to buy are all related to cleaning up after you've finished printing.

  • Blue shop towels. I prefer them over paper towels because they are textureless and more absorbent.
  • Fine nylon paint strainers. When you're done printing you'll have a vat of resin that you probably want to put back into the bottle. Nylon paint strainers will make it easy and also filter out any impurities that may have made their way into the vat.
  • Microfiber cloths. After you've cleaned out your resin vat you may find there are small particulates around it or the body of your printer. Microfiber cloths are preferred to clean these areas to minimize the risk of scratching.

Sweet Jeebus this was a long section but if you've made it through you should now own absolutely everything you need to start resin 3D printing.

Step 1: Unpack and level your Anycubic Photon S

Unpacking the printer is relatively straightforward. Simply remove all of the padding and follow the instructions provided. I basically just followed what was done in the Black Magic Craft YouTube video that I linked above.

The most important part of the unpacking process is the leveling of the printer. If it is not correctly leveled then your prints will probably fail really quickly and leave a large mess for you to clean up if you're not paying attention. So take extra time to be completely confident that your printer is leveled correctly. The best way that was described to me is the piece of paper you are using to level should be able to be pulled towards you but not pushed away.

Step 2: Update your printer's firmware

There is a very good chance that out of the box your printer will have outdated firmware. Unfortunately this is a fairly big deal because these 3D printers are very nascent technology and have been getting a lot of improvements via software updates. My Photon S for example couldn't actually read most of the files that I was trying to print because its firmware was so outdated.

You can download the latest firmware from Anycubic's website. Installing it is as simple as transferring the ".bin" files to a USB drive and "printing" them on the printer. Make sure you update not only the system firmware but the UI software as well.

Step 3: Find a model to print

Now that your printer is unpacked, leveled and updated you will need something to print. Ideally this should be the test model that Anycubic provides because it is a great stress test to ensure your printer is configured properly. You should be able to download the test model from the Photon S page on Anycubic's website. Simply copy the "ANYCUBIC_Photon S Test Model.pws" file to your USB drive and plug it into the printer. The test model should show up in the print menu.

If all of this works I would still highly recommend that you also prepare a couple of other models to print. You probably didn't spend all of this time and money to simply print a test model and then pack everything away.

Some of the websites I use to find models are:

If you are looking for cool tabletop minis to print I highly recommend checking out M3DM.

Step 4: Adding supports to the model

For the vast majority of the models you print you will need to add supports to ensure it prints properly. Visualize a human soldier holding a spear that is pointed straight upwards. You should be able imagine hundreds of 1 mm slices from his feet to the tip of the spear, that if you stacked them together would create a perfect print. But imagine if this solider was instead lunging with the spear. The slices for the soldiers feet would support his legs, then this hips, then this torso, etc. But what would support his spear? When you got to that first slice of the spear there could be nothing for the bottom of the spear to attach to. How can you stack another slice on-top of one that isn't supported? This is why you need to add supports to most models.

There are no ifs, ands, or buts about this, the next thing you need to do is set aside 10 minutes and watch this video by 3D Printed Tabletop about using PrusaSlicer to add supports to your model.

If you were too lazy to watch the video here are the Coles Notes:

  1. Download PrusaSlicer and configure it to print to a Prusa SL1 printer. This is Prusa's resin printer which is very similar to the Anycubic Photon S.
  2. Import the STL file of the model you downloaded in step 3 into PrusaSlicer.
  3. Right click on the imported model and select optimize orientation.
  4. Select the "hollowing" option from the toolbar to hollow out the model. You want to do this to minimize the amount of resin needed. I use wall thickness of 0.2 mm.
  5. Select the "supporting" option from the toolbar to add supports to the model. Use support point density between 60-75% because anything above that is overkill and will make cleaning your print much harder.
  6. From the menu bar export the plate as STL including supports.

Step 5: Converting your .stl file into a .photons file

Now that we have an STL file with supports we need to convert it into a format the Photon S understands how to print. Essentially we have to create all of those millimeter thin slices that are going to be printed and stacked on-top of one another.

While Anycubic provides software for this it is absolute trash. I have never seen anyone on the Internet recommend it. The gold standard seems to be Chitubox. Unfortunately they require you to create an account to download their software which means giving China your email but c'est la vie.

Once you have Chitubox installed you need to import your STL with supports. On the right hand side you should see two buttons, "Settings" and "Slice". There should be no need to change the settings right now but you should be aware of it because it is where you would go to increase the exposure time or accuracy of your prints. But these are things that you should only need to change in the future when you are doing more serious prints.

Once the STL with supports is imported you should click on the "Slice" button and watch as the software computes the hundreds of slices needed to print the model. When it finishes you should have a screen that shows the amount of resin needed and the estimated time of the print. There should also be a slider you can play with to view each individual slice that will be printed. Save the output into the ".photons" format make sure your filename begins with an underscore as the Photon S only recognizes files that start with _. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Copy the .photons file to the USB drive and we're finally ready to print.

Step 6: Commence printing!

We finally have a USB drive full of .photons files we want to print. Time to plug it into the printer and fill up the vat with resin.

First things first, take all the proper safety precautions. You are about to work with raw resin so ensure you are wearing nitrile gloves, safety goggles, and a mask. The room must be properly ventilated which means opening up windows, doors, and turning on any fans you might have. Lay down whatever shop towels you feel necessary to catch any potential spills.

Before you pour the resin you should shake it for 20-30 seconds to ensure it is well mixed. If your resin has been sitting idle for a long period of time the pigmentation may settle which can result in poor prints. Don't shake it too hard because that can cause air bubbles to form. You're just looking to ensure there is a nice mix.

If you look at the inside of the resin vat you should see a very distinct change in color around a centimeter from the bottom. The is an indicator of the maximum amount of resin you can pour into the vat, which is around 70 milliliters. There is no problem with pouring below this line if you know your prints need less resin but you should never pour above it. If you do you risk serious damage to your build plate because the resin will overflow and get into the build plate's ball bearings.

Generally speaking the lips of these resin bottles aren't great for pouring so be very deliberate with your motions. Slowly tilting the bottle until resin comes out is probably going to result in more resin ending up on the bottle than in the vat. I recommend quickly tilting the bottle to be perpendicular to the vat and then gently move it upright to slow the pour.

Now it is time to start the print using the touch screen. When it commences you should see the build plate lower all the way down until it is submerged in the resin. If this is your first print I recommend coming back every 30 minutes or so to make sure things look to be progressing. If it looks like your print has suddenly been cut in half that probably means something was configured wrong and you don't want to continue wasting resin.

Step 7: Cleaning the print

When your print finishes you don't want to immediately remove it from the printer. Wait at least 10-15 minutes to allow all of the raw resin that is on your print or build plate to drip back down into the vat. It will make the cleanup process that much easier. Personally I have set prints to run overnight and came back to them hours after they've finished. As long as your printer isn't exposed to sunlight there should be no issues because the resin has no way to cure.

It is now time to use your Anycubic Wash & Cure machine to clean the print. First fill the sealed plastic container with at least two liters of isopropyl alcohol. That amount will ensure that even for larger prints you will be able to completely submerge it as well as the build plate. Place the container onto the machine and ensure it locks into place.

Now we need to move the build plate from the printer to the wash & cure machine. Take the adjustable "S shaped" bracket which is designed to be used with the Photon S and place it on some shop towels in-front of you. You are about to remove the build plate from the printer and it is inevitable that some raw resin will drip from it. Unscrew the red knob of the build plate, remove the build plate from the printer and attach it to the "S shaped" bracket. Lower the build plate into the container you've filled with isopropyl alcohol and attach the bracket to the top of the machine. Adjust the bracket using the black knob so that every part of the build plate that has been touched with raw resin is submerged.

I rewrote the previous paragraph a dozen times because this a very important step that is incredibly hard to describe. If you need some visual help check out this video from Anycubic's YouTube channel:

Once you're certain everything is affixed correctly, place the yellow lid over the machine and flip the power switch. Ensure the "Wash" mode is selected and I recommend setting the time to 6 minutes. You really want to ensure your prints are thoroughly cleaned. When you press the start button the fan at the bottom of the container will start spinning and you should see a powerful vortex being created. This will knock lose all of the raw resin in the crevices of your print and allow it to float to the bottom of the container. Half way through the time the fan will switch directions to really help ensure your print is cleaned.

When the time expires go ahead and remove the lid of the machine and slowly lift the bracket and build plate out of the isopropyl alcohol. Let the build plate hang there for a moment so any remaining alcohol can drip off. Rotating the build plate so each corner is the lowest point speeds up this process. When no more alcohol is dripping transfer the build plate to some shop towels and remove the "S shaped" bracket.

Step 8: Removing the supports

Your build plate and print should now be completely clean but they are still attached to one another. Using the plastic spatula provided with the printer, gently try to pry the print off the build plate. This should not take much force at all. Slide the spatula in-between the print and build plate in a number of different places and it should pop right off. You'll be surprised how easy this actually is. You may find that sliding the spatula under one tiny side is all that it takes so be prepared to catch your print. We don't want any of those fine edges to be damaged.

Let the print sit for two or three minutes so the remaining isopropyl alcohol on it can evaporate. While this is happening double check that your build plate is clean and if there are any blemishes use a bit of isopropyl alcohol on a towel to clean it. Then feel free to reattach it to your printer so the build plate is out of the way.

By now your print should be clean and dry so we can move onto removing any supports it may have. You want to do this before you cure the print because removing the supports after they have cured is a more much arduous process.

The easiest way to remove supports is by hand. Unfortunately it is also the easiest way to damage your print. Be very careful because once you've popped a support off, if you let it snap right back to its previous position it will most likely end up scratching the surface of your print. When you pull off a support you ideally want to break off a part of it entirely so it can never touch your print again.

You can also use the citadel fine detail cutters I recommended you purchase. These are great for not only removing supports from your model but also disconnecting supports from the base so they can be more easily removed by hand.

The biggest problem with removing supports is that no matter how much you read about my experiences or watch dozens of videos on YouTube, there is no way to truly be prepared for this until you try it yourself. Nothing beats hands on learning and you're just going to have to accept that for your first couple of prints you're probably going to make mistakes.

After you've removed all the supports and used the fine detail clippers to eliminate any "hang nails" that are left, it is time to move on to curing the print. Remember that all the supports you've been removing are still technically uncured resin and could be toxic. Ideally you would cure them by leaving them out in the sun for a bit before tossing them and the shop towels you've used into the trash.

Step 9: Curing the print

Thanks to the Anycubic Wash & Cure machine you're now at the simplest step in this whole process.

Attach the glass curing base to the machine, place your print on it, ensure "Cure" mode is selected and the time is set to 6 minutes. Place the lid over the machine and press start. Easy peasy.

If your print is on the larger size or has strange curves or crevices feel free to reposition it and put it through the cure process a second time. It is technically possible to overcure a print but we're talking along the lines of doing it for hours. So basically don't leave your prints out in the sun. Generally speaking 5-15 minutes is all that is needed to properly cure a print.

Once the curing process is complete your print is done! Go ahead and post a picture on Instagram and jump back to step 3 to start this all over again.

Step 10: Cleanup and storage

When you are not going to be printing anything for a day or two it is best to clean up your workspace and put everything into proper storage.

The resin vat is going to be your biggest nuisance so it is what I recommend you tackle first. There will always be leftover resin in the vat and the easiest way to clean it up is to pour it back into the bottle. Take the resin bottle, open it up and place it wherever you are most confident you can clean up a spill, because you're probably going to. For myself that is on-top of some shop towels on the silicon mat I have. Get out one of the paint filters you purchased and then unscrew and remove the resin vat from the printer.

Now we have come to the tricky part. For the love of all that is holy, DO NOT put the filter into the neck of the bottle and let it rest there. If you do, when you pour the resin it will seep out through the paper and run down the side of the bottle leaving you with a fucking horrendous mess to clean up.

The trick is with your non-dominate hand, hold the paint filter so that it is in the neck of the bottle but not touching any sides. With your dominate hand, pick up the resin vat and using the notch in the one corner of the vat, slowly pour the resin back into the bottle. If you do this right the paint will go straight down the filter into the bottle even if it seeps out the sides.

If everything I just wrote is still too difficult to visualize Anycubic has a video on their YouTube channel that I wish I had watched first so I didn't end up cleaning a massive resin spill at 2 am.

See how they don't let the paint filter rest in the bottle until the VERY end! DO THAT!

Once the majority of the resin is back in the bottle use shop towels and isopropyl alcohol to clean up the leftovers. Cure these cleaning materials in the sun for 15 minutes before you throw them out.

Add the resin vat back to printer and store it somewhere out of the sun along with your sealed isopropyl alcohol container.

Wasn't that easy?

Congratulations! You've successfully printed something using an Anycubic Photon S. It wasn't that hard right? 😋

Now that you have the basics down there is still much more to learn. There are dozens of settings in both pieces of software I referenced that you can tweak to get more out of your prints. I have barely touched any of them myself. I am still very much in the beginnings part of my 3D printing journey but I hope this guide helped you overcome any anxieties and allowed you to jump in with both feet.


Are these the BEST Resin Support Settings? 3DPrintingPro's Insane Resin Supports
Photon S bed leveling

Before each print, ensure your bed is level. I wrote a separate guide on Anycubic Photon bed leveling.

Use that guide to level your bed; in a nutshell, you'll adjust the print head angle [once], and then use a sheet of paper to set the stop for the Z-axis.

As stated previously, you can't use Cura or any other standard slicing software to prepare prints for the Photon or Photon S. This is because the printer doesn't use standard files. Instead, it uses a proprietary file, which essentially contains a photo of each layer to be projected and cured.

SLA software options

There are basically two pieces of software that you can use: ChiTuBox or Photon Workshop. Photon Workshop can be found on the USB drive that came with your printer or downloaded from the Anycubic website.

I'm going to use ChiTuBox since it's the industry standard for SLA/DLP/LCD 3D printing. It's basically the "Cura" of SLA printing.

Download and install the free version from the ChiTuBox downloads page.

If you're using a Mac, you may need to navigate to "System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Open Anyway" after attempting to launch ChiTuBox for the first time.

Configuring the Anycubic Photon in CHiTuBox

The first time you use ChiTuBox, you'll need to configure your machine. To do this, launch ChiTuBox and click Add New Printer. Select AnyCubic Photon or AnyCubic Photon-s from the drop-down menu. Then, close the Settings panel.

Anycubic Photon resin settings

You'll need to configure the optimal settings for your specific resin, similar to how you must configure an FDM printer's settings for different types of filament.

To find the settings for your resin, consult this awesome crowd-sourced list of Anycubic Photon resin settings. I'm using the green Anycubic resin that came with the printer. These are the settings from that spreadsheet for printing with a 0.04mm layer height:

Layer heightExposure timeOff timeBottom exposureBottom layers

You can set these in Settings > Print. For Light-off Delay and Bottom Light-off Delay, use the Off time value from the table.

A layer height of 0.02 is overkill for most prints; I just want to see what this thing can do at super fine detail.

Loading and scaling a model in ChiTuBox

I'll be printing these SLA test models, which include a Yoda, chess piece, Eiffel Tower, and tree frog.

A note on print time

One thing that's super interesting about SLA vs. FDM printers is that adding additional models to an SLA print doesn't always increase print time. As long as the additional models are shorter than the tallest model, there's no difference in print time whatsoever. This is because the same number of layers are being generated. Pretty neat!

Scale the model

Drag the model into ChiTuBox to load it. If the model is larger than the print bed, click the resize button in the sidebar and then choose either the desired size or select Scale to fit. I scaled each model down an arbitrary amount for the sake of time.

Next, make sure the model is touching the plate! I made this mistake, assuming it would do this by default, but instead I had a print hovering above the build plate. To do this, click the move button in the sidebar and select Put on the plate.

Hollowing in ChiTuBox

This step is optional but recommended in order to save resin and reduce the peel force applied to the print when changing layers.

Hollowing is specific to SLA printing, and drain holes should be added so that resin can drain out. Sometimes you can find a model that's already been prepared in this way; otherwise, use the Hollow and Dig Hole buttons at the top of ChiTuBox to prepare it.

Again, this is optional.

For your first print, you can keep the default settings intact and click the Slice button to slice the model. Save the generated file to an external USB drive, such as the one that came with your printer.

The file must be saved in the root directory of the USB drive or else the printer won't read it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anycubic Photon safety gear

Put on some Nitrile gloves and safety glasses since you don't want uncured resin touching your skin or eyes. I recommend using UV-safe safety glasses in case you want to open the printer while printing. Otherwise, make sure the printer cover is always shut while running so that the light won't damage your eyes.

Anycubic Photon X with full resin vat

Shake the resin bottle for 5-10 seconds. Then, fill the resin vat up to the first bevel "line". This amount of resin will print more than you think. If you need to add more for a very large print, you can do so while printing; just pour it very slowly and, as many will tell you, don't pause the print as this can screw it up.

After you've been printing a while, you'll be able to pour in less and less resin as you learn how much is needed for a given print.

When you're done, close the front cover.

Make sure the printer itself is on a level surface, or the resin will all pool to one side.

Loading prints into the Anycubic Photon using a USB drive

Unfortunately, the only way to load prints into the Photon and Photon S is via USB.

Insert the USB drive containing your generated file into the USB port on the right side of the printer. From the main menu, choose Print, select your print, and press the print icon that looks like a play button.

Cleaning SLA prints in IPA

Once the print is finished, we'll need to clean the resin from it and let it cure fully.

Remove the print

Use the supplied print scraper to carefully pry the print from the plate. Then, run the print under your sink to get the excess resin off.

Clean the print

Next, use 99.9% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to clean off any uncured resin. There are numerous ways to do this, including the use of an ultrasonic bath, but I normally just submerge the print into a bath of IPA for about 3 minutes.

If you spill any resin on your skin or another surface, thoroughly and immediately clean the area with soap and water.

Cure the print

Finally, let your print sit in the sun or under a UV lamp to allow it to cure fully, maximizing its strength.

Disposing of IPA

To properly dispose of the saturated IPA "bathwater", leave the container in the sun to allow the resin to cure and then pour the water into a clean container through a coffee or paint filter for safe disposal.

Never clean your prints in the kitchen or anywhere that food is prepared, unless the resin manufacturer has published an SDS (safety data sheet) indicating that there's no ingestion health risk.

Cleaning the Photon S

While your print cures fully, let's clean things up. Remove the resin vat and clean it using some IPA and paper towels. Put some isopropyl alcohol (IPA) onto a paper towel and carefully clean the LCD projector screen and print head.

Reusing excess resin

If you want to reuse the excess resin, you can do so by running it through the paper filters that came with the printer and pouring it back into the resin bottle. Even though resin can be expensive, I normally don't do this, as getting particulates into the resin isn't worth potential print problems.

Finished SLA prints

This thing really does produce stunningly-detailed prints.


Photon support anycubic

ANYCUBIC Photon Mono SE Resin 3D Printer, UV LCD SLA 3D Printer Ultra Fast Printing with 6" 2K Mono Screen and WiFi Function, Dual Z-axis Linear Rail, Print Size 5.12"(L) x 3.07"(W) x 6.29"(H)

High Quality Power Supply

All of ANYCUBIC 3D Printers power supply has UL certification, CE marking, and ETL certification. We guaranty safe use.

Easy Bed Leveling

Mono SE's bed leveling can be done in three simple steps:

1. loosen the platform

2. Click "Tools" - "Move Z" - "Home" icon and auto adjusts

3.Tighten the screw on the right side of the platform.Then ready for your printing.

6.08" 2K Monochrome LCD

Mono SE only need 1second per layer exposure for curing, greatly improved printing efficiency and saved more time. Mono LCD has a much longer lifespan,which is 4 times longer than RGB color screen and can print over 2000 hours.

3D print supports EASY GUIDE by VOG (VegOilGuy)

6 Key Principles of resin 3D Printing Supports that Work

Updated on May 16, 2019

We have noticed one standard issue for most beginners of “bottom-up” style SLA 3D printing. That is when you get only supports on the build plate after resin 3D printing instead of the intended object. In this article we will cover this very frequent issue of SLA 3D printing. This problem is more common to beginners but is also not uncommon for more experienced 3D printing users.

Resulting desperation and frustration might send a nice resin 3D printer into the trash bin. However, by understanding underlying reasons of this phenomena one can easily adapt simple techniques and get rid of this issue. So, let’s discuss this in more detail.

Why do you need supports in resin 3D printing?

Before diving into this subject, we would like to discuss why we use supports in UV resin 3D printing in the first place. There are some subtle aspects here and it is worth understanding them. These are not all of them, but we listed most important ones based on our learnings.

  • Overhangs. It is obvious that you need to support overhanging structures. That is quite common to most 3D printing technologies not only to SLA.
  • Proper geometries at the bottom. It is quite common to over cure initial layers of 3D printed object to have better adhesion to build plate. However, this would result in visible layer lines and thicker sections at the bottom due to increased exposure time. To compensate this, object tends to be placed on attachment layer and supports.
  • Preserving uniform cross-sectional area when using orientations. It is important to preserve uniform transition of cross-sectional area of layers. That will help avoid visible layer lines. To achieve this, you use various orientations. Usually when using those orientations, you need supports to hold the object in place.
  • Obtaining proper dimensions. Most popular bottom-up style printers like Anycubic Photon, Wanhao, Peopoly Moai have FEP or PDMS resin tray. After each layer is cured separation forces from FEP or PDMS put high stress on a printed object. That can result is various deformations, incorrect dimensions, glitches etc. By supporting more sensitive spots of the object you could reduce the likelihood of failures.

So, when you take all factors in you might end up with a bunch of supports all around the object.

Potential risks and problems

With previously mentioned techniques of resin 3D printing where one places entire object on supports also comes the risk of potential failures. Apart from many parameters related to individual support, the key parameter usually is its tip diameter.

AmeraLabs key principles of supports that work recommended support tips

Smaller tip diameter (typically less than 0.3 mm) enables easier removal of supports and leaves less marks on the surface, but is also weaker. On the contrary, thicker support tips (typically larger than 0.4‑0.5 mm) are stronger but leave more visible marks after removal. Support tip weakness usually comes from the fundamental bottom-up resin 3D printing action, i.e. newly printed layer peeling action from FEP film. Emerging forces during that peeling motion are really high. They greatly depend on cross-sectional area of newly “cooked” layer: the larger the area, the higher peeling forces.

And here comes the key moment. If during printing of an object layer peeling forces from FEP become way higher than forces holding an object on its supports, you have a failure. Keep in mind that quite often our 3D printing sessions can consist of thousands of individual layers and each of them puts some stress on all previously printed layers. See image.

suction force on fep is the reason why supports break

That is what we want to avoid. Let’s get into some possible solutions.

6 key principles of resin 3D printing supports that work

Based on previously mentioned reasons for this issue, it is natural to come up with possible ways to solve this problem. One can think that increasing density of supports or tip diameter will always help to avoid failures. That is partially correct, but answer is not that simple.

It is also worth mentioning that most people choose their own way based on past experience and personal preferences. There is no universal or correct way here. Every 3D print is somewhat unique and requires careful planning in order to get high success rate. Therefore, we will also share our own experience and guidelines that could be used. However, these also should be filtered out and adapted to different situations. Let’s look at solutions from various point of views.

1. Thicker support tips

We usually recommend thicker support tips, i.e. around 0.4–0.5 mm on average, over thinner ones (typically referred as 0.2-0.3 mm). Based on our experience, if one wants to print fast with high lift speeds (like the ones that are used by Anycubic Photon), supports with thicker tips are a safer way to go. That does not necessarily mean that you should place just a couple of thicker supports and be done with it. We learned that resin 3D printing demands a lot of supports in order to get exceptional success rate and outstanding quality. Thus, you must tune support tips with density.

thickness of support tips in resin 3D printing

Nevertheless, some situations still require very thin support tips. These typically are extremely intricate overhangs of models. In those situations, you have no other options. Still have a look at other strategies below and try to incorporate those in such situations to increase your chances of success.

2. High/Medium density of supports

If you use supports, you will always have visible surface marks. So why not use more supports then? If your plan is to get smooth surface, sanding will be necessary. Therefore, by adding additional supports you will not add so much of sanding work for yourself, but your success rate increase can be dramatical. Also, you can plan your orientation that surface with least importance gets heavily supported. This way you might get away with fantastic success rate and zero post-processing efforts. But remember that with increased density you will also increase consumption of material and removal of supports might sometimes be tricky.

recommended support density in resin 3D printing

 3. Use software wisely

Quality of supports greatly depends on your chosen software package. Such programs like Meshmixer, Chituboxor Lycheeallows you to modify almost all parameters of supports. By trying various configuration options and running experiments you can easily find a way that works best for your setup. Remember, that you do not have to stick to original 3D printing software provided by equipment manufacturer. You can import your STL to other software packages, add supports, export that updated STL file and use that on software that runs your machine.

One critical point here. Never fully rely on automatic support generation! Almost all such functions are not perfect and can be used as a starting point, but further analysis and manual adjustment must be done. This is extremely important.

4. Interconnected supports

This is often overlooked. If you use some third party software, keep an eye on those that allow you to bridge supports together instead of placing them individually.

interconnected supports resin SLA 3D printing

Such connections among supports greatly reduce chances of support failures. This technique will produce stiffer set of base and secondary supports that are less prone to breakage and failures. However, that also leads to higher consumption of resin.

Resin choice is an important subject here as well. We learned that if you are trying to obtain details of an object with as low number of supports as possible, harder resins work better. Such resins like our AMD-3 LED is specifically designed for 3D printing models with intricate details, which require careful and small-tipped supports. Harder SLA 3D printing resins do not flex severely during layer separation action from FEP film. Such rigidity ensures that even the tiniest features of the model will be preserved.

Example of supported model for resin printing

On the other hand, resins that have flexibility properties might require different tactics. Such resins work best with more supports and thicker tips in order to compensate their flexibility during 3D printing. Moreover, if you couple that with interconnected supports, you can obtain decent success rate with outstanding printing quality.

6. High quality FEP 

Last, but not least is condition of your FEP film. We learned that new and fresh FEP film performs better than the one which has been used for a while. If you started to see unexpected failures, when you expected easy 3D printing session, consider checking your FEP film. If it is highly scratched, foggy or warped, go ahead and get yourself a new one. Also remember to take care of your FEP by using silicon spatula and avoid any sharp tools. You can get new sheet for as little as 3€ in our shop

FEP importance in resin 3D printing

And always remember that the highest resin consumer is failure and not when you add some “extra” safety measures like supports to avoid it. Would you like to add something else to this list? Share in the comments bellow.

And if you have some spare time, check out check our shop and other blog posts:


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Lying in a luxurious king bed, I thought how good it is all the same to live. I reveled in my youth, my wealth. Eh. how wonderful.

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