Anycubic Photon Mono SE 3D Printer


The Anycubic Photon Mono SE is Anycubic’s return to form after the mixed reception it received for its Photon S. Going back to the all metal chassis of the original Photon and equipping it with a next generation monochrome LCD, the Mono SE had everything it needed to compete in the modern resin 3D printing space. Despite its quick printing speed and high quality prints, we struggle to recommend the Mono SE against competitors such as the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro or even Anycubic’s own Mono as those are equipped with identical internal components and features the same great speed and quality at a fraction of the Mono SE’s price. Unless you are set on its metal frame and gull-wing door, we recommend you save yourself at least $100 and pick up the Anycubic Mono or Elegoo Mars 2 Pro.


Manufacturer: Anycubic

The Pros
The Cons
Picture of Paul Chow
Paul Chow

Co-Founder & CTO

Amazon.com Disclosure: As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.

2020 saw a new generation of resin 3D printers equipped with monochromatic LCD screens that decreased print times anywhere between 30-50% compared to older generation resin 3D printers. Anycubic released 3 monochrome LCD resin printers: the Mono, Mono X and Photon Mono SE.

Compared to the popular Photon S, the Photon Mono SE is the true successor. With the same gull-wing door design and upgraded internals with a monochromatic LCD and WiFi, the Photon Mono SE is an excellent choice. However, priced at $469 it is significantly more expensive than its competitors and would need to prove it is worth the premium price tag. In this Anycubic Photon SE Resin 3D printer review we will look into its pros and cons to see if it’s worth the attention.

Key Features To Look For In A Great 3D Printer

Everyone looking at 3D printers always wants to make sure they are buying a printer that has fantastic print quality. The Anycubic Photon SE is amazing at printing extremely detailed prints that FDM printers aren’t able to come close to. It’s 2K LCD allows you to resolve details as tiny as 51um. This is why we scored it a 9/10! Furthermore, due to its 1 stepper motor, it is extremely quiet while printing and we only recorded about 40db of noise which is as loud as your roommate talking about the last season of Attack on Titan in the other room after he’s done crying that he has to wait another year.

Ontop of having great print quality, you want to make sure your printer is easy to use and setting up prints is a breeze. Anycubic Workshop and Chitubox come with print profiles for the Photon Mono SE. This makes getting prints ready for the resin printer extremely easy and removes all guesswork from the user. The files are simply loaded into the USB and then inserted into the printers port. The easy to navigate menu and overall simplicity rivals the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro, EPAX E6, & Phrozen Sonic, which is why we gave it an 8/10 for ease of use.

Even if you’ve ticked all the above boxes, you want to make sure you don’t have to wait an eternity for the final product. Thankfully, the print speed of the Photon SE is 50% faster than its predecessor, the Photon S. However, we couldn’t give the Photon SE a perfect score for hardware since Lychee is still in beta for compatibility with the Photon SE and therefore lacks software stability. That said, we scored it a 9/10 for hardware.


Overall Score

Ranked #3 of 10
SLA Printers

Learn more about our 3D printer review methodology.

How We Researched Anycubic Photon Mono SE

The Anycubic Photon Mono SE is part of a new generation of small-form-factor MSLA resin 3d printers that specializes in highly detailed prints. These types of printers are well known for their small size, ease of setting up and large community support.

We put the Photon Mono SE through a gauntlet of multiple test prints, traveled through its support groups and forums, subjected it to harsh printing conditions and more.To get a baseline, we compared it to other printers in its class including the EPAX E6, Elegoo Mars 2 Pro and Phrozen Sonic Mini. We also set our expectations a little bit higher in comparison to previous models across all brands since the new generation should be leaps and bounds ahead of their respective predecessors (which we reflected in our scoring).

While more expensive than most of its competitors, the Photon Mono SE does sport a gull-wing door that is unique to this printer and built-in WiFi for remote control of the printer.

With resin printing continuously evolving at a blistering rate, this is a read that you would not want to miss. With 3d printing, a whole bunch of problems could bring the whole print experience down. Not to mention the costs of fixing and repairing a printer when things go sideways. We will make sure that your hard earned dollars goes towards the best printers and the best features.

Anycubic Photon Mono SE printer is also featured in:

Printer Setup

The Anycubic Photon Mono SE comes fully assembled from the factory and is nearly ready to print straight from the box. The resin printer itself is well packaged with protective foam surrounding the printer, build plate and resin vat. Users should make sure the resin vat and build plate are free from any particles of foam during the setup process.

The procedure to level the build plate is similar to most consumer resin 3D printers. Users loosen the 1 screw of the build plate, place a piece of paper between the LCD and build plate, move the build plate to the home position, and screw the tightening screw on the build plate. The spring loaded screw makes leveling the build plate very easy and precise.

Resin printers are capable of extremely detailed prints that FDM prints cannot hope to compete with. The limit of how much detail a resin printer can resolve is determined by the resolution of the LCD screen used. The Anycubic Photon Mono SE is equipped with a 2K LCD and is able to resolve details as small as 51um. Technically, the Photon Mono SE has slightly worse resolution compared to the original Photon, that is capable of resolving details as small as 47um. However, we could not see the difference between the two resolutions in our testing.

We have tested the Anycubic Photon Mono SE in 3 major areas: ability to resolve detailed models, z height consistency and consistent UV exposure across the whole build plate.

To test the Anycubic Photon Mono SE’s ability to print detailed models we had it print several detailed figures both large and small. First we had it print a small fantasy warrior and medium sized dragon. The printer had absolutely no issue printing details on both the dragon and warrior. Next, we printed a much larger house model and robot figurine. The Anycubic Photon Mono SE had no issues printing each of these models and the stone texture of the house came out perfectly.

We then printed an Eiffel tower to test the Anycubic Photon Mono SE’s ability to print tall objects and to exaggerate any issues related to the z stepper motor. The resin printer had no issues printing out the small details in the tower and showed no issues with z alignment.

We finally printed a series of detailed tiles across the Anycubic Photon Mono SE to test how evenly the UV light is distributed across the build plate. If light distribution is uneven, then details on the edge will look different compared to the details in the middle. We were not able to find any difference between the tiles on the edge and those found in the middle.

Overall, the Anycubic Photon Mono SE outputs excellent quality prints and are on par with other resin printers in its class.

While the Anycubic Photon Mono SE produces great prints there are a few points we would like to address in regards to its print speed and slicer compatibility.

Setting Up Prints
The Anycubic Photon Mono SE comes with Anycubic’s own slicer to create print files for the Photon S. While their software works, the user experience is far behind 3rd party slicers such as Chitubox and Lychee slicer (which we recommend). The Photon Mono SE is compatible with Chitubox 1.8 and the latest Lychee slicer beta.

Anycubic Workshop and Chitubox come with print profiles for the Photon Mono SE, making getting prints ready for the resin printer extremely easy and takes the guesswork out for the user. In our tests, we used the default print profiles for the Anycubic Photon S in Anycubic Workshop.

Files are loaded into a USB flash drive that are inserted into the Photon Mono SE’s USB port. The Photon Mono SE features an easy-to-navigate menu to select and start prints. Compared to the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro, EPAX E6 and Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K, the menus are simpler, and the text is larger.

Noise Levels
As with all other resin printers in its class, The Photon Mono SE only has 1 stepper motor used to move the z axis. Because of this, the Photon Mono SE is extremely quiet to operate. The loudest components of this resin 3D printer are the cooling and vent fans which are always on. We recorded about 40db of noise when the Photon Mono SE is printing. For comparison, this is about as loud as a quiet office.

Print Speed
With the inclusion of the monochromatic LCD in the Anycubic Photon Mono SE, print curing times have decreased from 6 seconds to 2 seconds. Anycubic claims that the Photon Mono SE has a 300% increase in print speed compared to the previous Photon S. However, print curing times are only a small portion of the time the printer needs to start the next layer. As the majority of the time is taken by moving the build plate to its next position the actual speed increase is closer to 30-50%.

Anycubic Photon Mono SE Hardware

The Anycubic Photon Mono SE is similar in size to the Photon printers at 220mm (l) x 220mm (w) x 400mm (h). However, this printer is equipped with a 6” monochrome LCD giving it a slightly larger build volume at 130mm (l) x 78mm (w) x 160mm (h). This represents about a 10mm increase in length and width compared to the Anycubic Photon and Photon S.

When Anycubic released the Photon S to replace the original Photon, many users were disappointed in Anycubic’s decision to replace the metal shell with a flimsier plastic shell. Much to our delight, the Photon Mono SE sees the return of the metal outer shell increasing the resin printer’s rigidity and giving it a more premium feel. This does increase the overall weight of the resin printer to 8.2kg

The Photon Mono SE retains Anycubic’s signature gull wing door to access the build plate. We appreciate the gull wing door as we found removing and storing the acrylic top on removable top resin printers to be tedious. However, users may not appreciate the smaller space afforded by the door. The Anycubic Mono replaces the gull wing door with a removable acrylic top that is identical to the top found on the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro, EPAX E6 and Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K.

Safety Highlights

MSLA resin printers are electrically safe compared to filament based FDM 3D printers. Resin printers need very little power to drive an LCD screen, UV light source and 1 stepper motor compared to the high power heaters that are used to melt filament and heated beds in FDM printers. As a result, MSLA resin printers like the Anycubic Photon Mono SE do not have the electrification or fire risks associated with FDM 3D printers. The Photon Mono SE has the same safety features as the Photon S and the original Photon, like the charcoal filter.

Resin Health Concerns
The 405nm UV resin does have a number of health hazard risks. 405nm UV resin can be very toxic if ingested and can cause allergic reactions when coming in contact with bare skin. Several precautions should be taken when handling 405nm UV resin and the Anycubic Photon Mono SE does a few things to address safety concerns.

Nitrile gloves should always be worn when handling resin and Anycubic ships their resin printers with a few pairs of disposable gloves. Users should always have a number of extra nitrile gloves when using any resin 3D printer.

The 40w UV light source can harm eyes and should never be looked at directly without safety glasses on. The acrylic windows on the gull-wing door are tinted to prevent UV light exposure. This serves as double duty to prevent UV light from the environment from reaching the UV sensitive resin within.

Built-in Charcoal Filter
405nm UV resin is known for its harsh smell and toxic fumes. The resin will give off fumes even when the resin printer isn’t operating, making it extremely important to properly ventilate the printer to avoid toxic fume buildup. The Anycubic Photon Mono SE is equipped with a charcoal filter that removes fumes coming from 405nm UV resin and does a great job of removing the resin smell. However, we have some concerns about Anycubic’s claims that the filter removes any toxic particulates despite it not having a HEPA certification.

Anycubic does not sell additional filters despite the fact that charcoal filters need regular replacing. We recommend that users operate resin printers in a ventilated area or attach a HEPA certified filtration system to their resin 3D printer.

Photon Mono SE Maintenance

Finding Replacement Parts
In resin 3D printing, the LCD and FEP sheet in the resin vat are considered consumables and need to be replaced periodically. A major advantage of monochrome LCDs over older RGB screens are their longer lifespans. Monochrome LCDs last up to 2,000 hours compared to RGB’s at a mere 400 hours. This results in far fewer times the Anycubic Photon SE needs to go offline for maintenance. Unfortunately, as monochrome LCDs are much newer printer technology, replacement screens are hard and relatively expensive to get. Currently, replacement screens are $80 direct from Anycubic.

Replacing the LCD can be intimidating as it requires the user to pry off the old LCD and to worm the connector through a small slot to connect with the control board. However, Anycubic does provide video instructions on its website to guide the user.

Accessing the Control Board
Since there are very few moving parts and a long lasting LCD on the Photon Mono SE, opening up the resin printer should be a rare occurrence. However, if the user needs to access the control board or any other internal components, it can be done by removing a few screws on the top and base of the machine. Unfortunately, it is quite cramped as the machine’s footprint is very small and the sides of the base cannot be removed. Competitors such as the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro get around this issue by having the sides of the base be removable.

Features & Upgrades

The Anycubic Mono SE comes with a number of features that set it apart from the previous generation of Photons and many of its competitors.

6 Inch Monochrome LCD
The latest generation of resin 3D printers set themselves apart by utilizing a monochromatic LCD panel. The monochromatic LCD panels differ from the RGB LCD panels found in older printers by removing the red and green subpixels, leaving only the blue subpixels. This results in 3x the light transmission from the UV light source to the resin. On average, curing times are reduced from around 6 seconds per layer to 2 seconds per layer for most standard resins and layer heights.
Wireless Print Monitoring and App

The Photon Mono SE is the first Anycubic resin printer equipped with WiFi. As it stands, its functionality is limited to the resin printer being controlled by an iOS or Android app that allows users to remotely start, pause and monitor print progress. To connect the Photon Mono SE to a WiFi network users must load a text file with their WiFi settings and “print” it in order for the Photon Mono SE to connect to the network. This isn’t the most user-friendly solution since the resin printer’s UI does not have the option to connect to a wireless network.

Easy Bed Leveling
The Photon Mono SE has an upgraded build plate with a spring loaded leveling screw. Previous Photons featured either a single ball screw or a 4 screw leveling plate which had the potential to throw the build plate off level when the screws were tightened. The new build plate features a spring-loaded leveling screw which presses gently on to the LCD when the plate is leveled. This ensures that the build plate is correctly leveled to the LCD and dramatically reduces the chances of prints failing due to incorrect plate levelling.

As with nearly all resin printers, Anycubic does not offer any upgrades to the Photon Mono SE.

Community Support

The Anycubic Photon Mono SE is not the most popular printer. However, Anycubic’s Mono and Mono X share many of the same components and with Anycubic’s brand recognition, the Photon Mono SE has some support. Users can access information for issues, upgrades and mods on a variety of places such as forums, Facebook groups and subreddits. Some of them include:

Facebook: Anycubic Photon Page
Reddit: Anycubic Photon Reddit
Thingiverse: Anycubic Photon Forum
Photonsters Github

Photon Mono SE Final Verdict

The Anycubic Photon Mono SE is the modernized version of the very popular Anycubic Photon. It features a great design and outputs excellent quality prints. However, at $469, it is very hard to recommend over the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro, EPAX E6, Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K and Anycubic’s own Mono resin 3D printer, as they all produce the same great print quality and can be found for less than $400. Unless the gull wing door and half-baked WiFi are top priorities, we would recommend the Anycubic Mono, EPAX E6, Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K or Elegoo Mars 2 Pro over the Anycubic Photon Mono SE.

Technical Specifications

  • Build volume: 115mm (l) x 65mm (w) x 160mm (h)
  • Printer size: 200mm (l) x 200mm (w) x 410mm (h)
  • Weight: 7.5kg
  • Enclosed print area: Yes
  • Display: Color touchscreen
  • Drive type: Resin (MSLA)
  • Resin capability: 405nm resin
  • Connectivity: USB type A
  • Build Surface: aluminum
  • Bed Leveling: Manual
  • Maximum movement speed: 150mm per second
  • Maximum XY accuracy: 0.0047mm
  • Minimum Z height: 0.00125mm
  • 3rd party resin support: yes
  • Operating System: Windows, MacOS, Linux
  • Supported Slicers: Chitubox, Lychee Slicer
  • Supported File Types: STL, OBJ, M3F

3DGearZone.com is a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We don’t guarantee, however, that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services. 3DGearZone.com is independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. 

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

1. Anycubic.com, “Anycubic 3D Printing” Accessed July 26, 2022.

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