Thanks to LCD technology, SLA printing has gotten much cheaper over the last couple of years, with a reasonably priced small printer costing under $200 USD.
These are fine for printing small things such as miniatures, but somewhat limited if you want to print anything larger than 10 to 15 cm in length.
While the term “large format” in FDM generally applies to anything over 1 square meter print volume, the term is more ambiguous for other printing methods.
So for the sake of this article, we will avoid using the term “large format” and will simply use the term “large”. And for the sake of this article, we will describe any resin printer with a dimension over 25 cm as “large”.
Yes, there are genuine large format resin printers available, as there are several printers available that can print resin parts over 1 meter in length, but you don’t really want to know how much they cost.
As a result, they are generally beyond the budgets of most 3D printing fans.
Unless, of course, you own a factory, but if that’s the case, we may cover those industrial-sized resin printers in a later article.
Benefits and Limitations of large SLA printers
Let’s start with the benefits of resin printing.
Resin printing provides a great surface finish and highly detailed prints, especially when compared to FDM printing. It requires very little post-processing, asides from a little washing and additional curing sometimes.
It’s quick, and there are a wide range of materials available, ranging from cheap and cheerful resins, to more expensive engineering resins.
In terms of the benefits of printing on a larger SLA printer, the main and obvious benefit is simple: you get bigger prints!
The main downside is cost related.
Bigger resin printers are more expensive, and the price increases due to the larger size of the light source.
In the case of the printers in this article, the light source is an LCD screen, because they are SLA (LCD) printers.
LCD screens have finite life spans, and so they should be considered as a consumable. And the bigger your LCD, the larger the recurring cost of replacing that particular consumable.
In terms of the downside of SLA printing in general (regardless of printer size), they include the toxicity of the resins, potential odors, and brittleness in certain resins.
But these are related to the resins themselves, and not to the printer. Many of these negative aspects can be avoided by selecting an appropriate resin.
With that out of the way, let’s move onto looking at 5 great large-sized SLA printers.
Best Large format SLA printers
Here we have curated 5 interesting large SLA printers for your perusal, and we are listing them in price order, from lowest to highest. Be aware that you can find many of these printers discounted during sales periods, so shop around before you purchase.
Anycubic Photon M3 Max
The Anycubic Photon M3 Max is the first on our list and boasts a print volume of 298 x 164 x 300 mm.
In is the largest printer in Anycubic’s popular Photon line of LCD resin printers, and is compatible with a wide range of resins, both from Ancubic’s own line and 3rd party resin manufacturers.
It features a 13.6 inch 7K monochrome screen for printing, and the screen has a contrast ratio of 450:1.
The light source is provided by a parallel matrix of 84 LED lights, ensuring consistent and reliable illumination for every print.
The Photon M3 Max comes with the Anycubic Auto Resin Filler system for smart resin filling, meaning you don’t have to stop the print to fill it up mid-print.
The build plate is a laser-engraved platform, providing a stable and sturdy base for printing, which it does so at a print speed of ≤ 60 mm/hr, making it an efficient and effective choice for large or complex projects.
With its range of features and capabilities, the Photon M3 Max is a reasonable entry point to larger SLA printing for professionals, hobbyists, and makers alike.
It’s retain price is a very reasonable $1099.
Next on our list is the Elegoo Jupiter, which has a build volume measuring 278 x 156 x 300 mm.
It’s slightly smaller than the Photon M3 Max, but still suitable for printing chunky items (or many smaller ones) at a reasonable 6K resolution.
The Elegoo Jupiter is capable of printing at speeds of up to 70 mm/hour.
Jupiter’s body and main components are made of high-strength sheet metal for durability and resistance to aging and scratches.
The Z-axis uses a ball screw and four sliders for smooth and quiet movement, resulting in increased stability and reduced wobble during printing.
Additionally, the printer comes with an automatic resin feeding system, which eliminates the worry of running out of resin mid-print.
The printer also includes a plug-in air purifier with a built-in activated carbon filter to absorb and filter resin odor during printing.
Additionally, the built-in LED strip will automatically light up when the door is opened, providing a uniform and soft non-UV light that won’t cure the resin.
This ensures a safe and comfortable printing experience, even in poorly lit rooms.
It retails for $1,299 usually, but can be found on sale for less than $1000 during discount periods.
Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K
Next on the list is the Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K, which is an 8K resolution LCD printer with a hefty 330 x 185 x 400 mm build size.
The Sonic Mega 8K uses CHITUBOX V1.9.0 or higher as its slicing software, and can be connected via front USB port or Ethernet. The printer utilizes a 405nm ParaLED Matrix 3.0 light source and has a maximum resolution of 43 µm.
With a layer thickness range of 0.01-0.30 mm, the Phrozen Soic Mega 8K is capable of printing with speeds of up to 70 mm/hr, making it pretty quick.
The printer weighs in at a fairly hefty 35 kg, making it a solid and sturdy machine.
We really cannot sing the praises of this printer enough, as it is certainly the best balance of quality, size and cost. I have it on my list of printers to buy.
The Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K retails for $2,199.99.
Slash 2 Pro
Here’s a strange one…the Slash 2 Pro from Uniz has a build volume of 192 ×120 × 400 mm, with its largest print dimension in the Z-axis.
With a height of 400 mm, the Slash 2 Pro allows printing the longest side upward, keeping the footprint as small as a typical desktop LCD printer.
This small footprint is enabled by its 8.9 inch 4k LCD, which prints with an XY Resolution of 49.8μm, and its layer height can be adjusted in the range 10-300μm.
The LED array features its own liquid cooling system too.
Uniz touts the Slash 2 Pro as an industrial printer, and has features such as multi-printer management, built-in advanced model repair, and ultra large file support (1GB+).
In terms of overall volume, it is smaller than the Phrozen Mega 8K in all other dimensions, but it prints at speeds of a whopping 200 mm/hr, so you can print those 400 mm tall models in no time.
It retails for €4,800, or approximately a little over $5000 USD at the time of writing.
Phenom XXL V2 by Peopoly
The Peopoly Penom XXL V2 is the largest on our list, and is definitely approaching the more industrial side of things in terms of both build volume and price.
In addition to its massive 527 × 296 x 550 mm build volume, the Phenom XXL V2 also boasts advanced features to enhance the printing experience.
It prints at 30 mm/hour, which sounds slow, but remember, it has a huge volume, so it’s pretty fast overall in terms of how many kilograms of material it can cure in a single print.
The 7-inch touchscreen display is a significant upgrade from the original XXL’s 4.5-inch screen. And the advanced parallel LED lighting provides high quality prints at a resolution of 4K.
The power-efficient design also results in less fan noise, making it a more pleasant working environment.
The Phenom XXL V2 also offers a range of slicer options, including Lychee Slicer, Tango Voxeldance, and Vlare Slicer, giving users the flexibility to choose the best slicing solution for their needs.
The printer also includes Wi-Fi and an infrared camera for remote monitoring and management, making it easy to keep an eye on your prints from a distance.
The Vlare Core controller board is at the heart of the Phenom XXL V2, providing open file format support and onboard EMMC storage for added convenience.
Prints from the community
Traditionally, we love to show some prints from the community to give you an idea of what to expect from the printers on our list.
As you can see from our list, printing with larger SLA printers is a tad more expensive and is more suitable for SMEs, or serious makers willing to drop a few bucks on their hobby.
And the price really increases quite dramatically when you want to start printing over 30 cm long (or tall).
Because of the isotropic material properties of resin prints, if you want to print larger items, then it doesn’t especially matter which dimension is the largest, as the build orientation doesn’t significantly affect the strength in a way that FDM printing does.
In terms of our recommendation, it all boils down to the price more than anything.
Spending more cash will get you a bigger LCD printer, but just remember, the replacement cost of the LCD screen is a recurring one. And for even a smaller 8K printer, this could hit you with several hundred dollars each time you replace it.
And be warned, these things don’t last that long.
The operating costs of a large LCD printer could cost more than the printer itself if it lasts long enough.
So really, you need to factor these things in when making your decision.
At some price point, it may be more efficient to forsake a larger LCD printer and opt for a smaller DLP one.
You can get a mid-sized DLP printer for around $5000, and for $20,000, you could get a bigger one.
But large DLP printers are a different kettle of fish and are not really in the budgets of most hobbyists, so perhaps we will look at those in a different article.
Our best recommendation in terms of price, quality and performance would be the Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K, which offers superior print quality to both the Slash 2 Pro and the Phenom XXL 2, with its 8K resolution print capabilities, and is a fraction of the price of both of them.
If speed is what you need, then the Slash 2 Pro is the fastest on the list, and has the smallest footprint (just in case you happen to work in a broom closet).
But if space isn’t an issue, you can literally buy 2x Phrozen Sonic Mega 8Ks for the same price, and just print double the amount of parts in the same time.
And of course, if the initial cost of the machine is your main concern, then both the Anycubic Photon M3 Max and Elegoo Jupiter are perfectly fine machines, and have high resolutions at 7K and 6K respectively.
So, we have attempted to show a little something for everyone with our list.
Wether you need a large printer that is cheap, or fast, or high quality, then hopefully our little guide here has given you some food for thought when making your purchase.