3DPrintingPro or also known as Greg, has long been a well-known name in the 3D printing community. Also known as the support master, he has years of experience in 3D printing and tried perhaps more 3D printers than anyone in the field.
Perhaps you've binged watched some 3D printer reviews and unboxing videos before, or you've been looking for a 3D printing community online, chances are, his channel must have been a familiar name for you. As the name suggests, Greg Kourakos from 3DPrintingPro is one of the go-to Youtube channels for people looking into 3D printing and reliable guidance in the field.
- The Sonic Mini 8K is not so mini
- What's great about the Sonic Mini 8K's build
- Comparing the 4K vs. 8K resolution
- Everything you need to know before getting a Sonic Mini 8K
Small but Sturdy: the Sonic Mini 8K
Like every review video from Greg, he started by carefully observing the hardware of the 3D printer, what it came with, and how he liked them.
Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K comes with a toolbox that allows you to get printing ready almost immediately. Greg mentioned how the power cord included is exactly the kind that he likes and how it has an alternate power supply also included for the non-US creators.
The plastic cover of the Sonic Mini 8K was made from a good thick plastic that's pretty heavy and does not feel flimsy at all. Although it has a sticker on the top to point out the front direction, the lid is symmetrical, so it fits in any way. In addition, it has a little lip on the bottom, so it'll sit nicely on the printer and prevent it from moving around.
Sonic Mini 8K's Small but Super Building Plate
The building plate is all-metal, and he loves how it has a nice high lift over the plate with a decent slope that prevents resin from pooling up on the top of the plate unless you are really overfilling the resin vat. It has a really thick arm that won't bend at all and a four-screw leveling system, which he prefers a lot compared to the over-ball joint. And the cherry on top is how the building plate is engraved with a diamonish pattern to enhance the grip. Overall, it's a really nice building plate size for such a small LCD 3D printer.
All Metal Resin Vat With Little Feet
Undeniably, Greg is so excited to see the resin vat to have the small feet that fit perfectly onto the grooves around the LCD screen. As he mentioned in his Sonic Mega 8K review, the feet will prevent the FEP film on the resin vat from touching any surface it was placed on, therefore minimizing the chance of foreign objects scratching the film.
The vat was also made from heavy metal and equipped with handles for easy handling. It has the max line like he always wanted, along with the small feet. For Greg, it's definitely the perfect and thoughtfully designed resin vat that meets all of his expectations.
The Highest LCD Resolution on the Market
However, the most crucial highlight is probably the 8K mono LCD screen with 22 μm resolution. It's the highest-resolution consumer-grade LCD 3D printer ever available on the market. Moreover, it continuously shows perfect results from the multiple light source test he ran, that he without a doubt claimed it as the absolute best light source test he has ever done on any printer.
The power supply, fan, and the on/off switch are all in the back, but he loves how the USB port is in the front, making it easy to access and remove.
Overall, it looks like a nice thoughtful solid machine. It has some weight to it due to the solid metal contraction for all the essential parts, but it was covered with a plastic casing to ensure it's not too heavy for shipping. His only criticism was that "on a printer like this, with as high quality as they made everything, I really would like to see a slightly bigger touchscreen."
4K vs. 8K Quality
When Greg first tested the 4K resin from Phrozen, he liked the result but has always thought that the "4K" was more of a marketing ploy. But now that he tried out the 8K resin, he can confidently say that it's not a marketing trick at all. To his surprise, he got way better results printing with the Aqua-Gray 8K than when he printed with Epax Hard Grey, which used to be his go-to resin.
Comparing Aqua-Gray 8K with Its Predecessor—Aqua-Gray 4K
In comparison to the 4K resin, although it's not an earth-shattering difference, he loves how the 8K resin provides sharper and crisper results. The naked eye might not be able to significantly see the differences between the two resins. Still, he believes the 8K resin gives out clearer results on the small and engraved details. It's more defined and allows every detail that is purposely placed by the sculptor to be visibly printed on the models. It might not be huge differences, but it's a great improvement to have on your prints.
If you are a seasoned painter who loves to have everything printed to the T, then this 3D printer will give you better definitions to help you paint better.
Full Fanboy Mode on the Sonic Mini 8K
After five days full of testing and more than fifty figures printed out successfully, Greg can confidently say that he is now a total fanboy for the Sonic Mini 8K.
According to Greg, there are three things that make a really great 3D printer: reliability, repeatability, and accuracy. And from his five whole days of rigorous testing, he can confidently claim that the super stable dual linear rail z-axis and the perfect light source test have easily made Sonic Mini 8K the best home 3D printer he has ever tested. And, of course, with all his experience testing so many 3D printers, it's such high praise for the Sonic Mini 8K.
"Every single print I printed on this 3D printer is the best print I've ever printed. It's not an earth-shattering difference, but every single print is just perfect. The repeatability of this printer, especially with the light source test, is so reliable." Greg couldn't believe that the light source test looks so perfect on the camera that he needs to do it again multiple times and see it with his own eyes. The z-axis is also so good that he can't even see the slightest wobble on any of his prints. All the models came out drop-dead gorgeous.
The highlights of Sonic Mini 8K:
- Super stable z-axis. Not even the slightest wobble was detected on the dual linear axis.
- The light source test evenly lit the entire screen perfectly, even after multiple runs.
- It's the best home 3D printer he has ever used with the absolute best light source test he has ever done on any printer.
In fact, he loves it so much that he planned on getting three or four more of this printer because it's hands down the best printer he has ever used!
Watch his whole review in the video below, or see what Greg thinks about the Sonic Mega 8K!
Greg Kourakos is a successful real estate attorney by day and a professional 3D printer at any other time. Known in the community as 3DPrintingPro, he owns a popular Youtube channel that provides in-depth reviews for various 3D printing-related technologies in the market while also sharing his knowledge on the field, such as painting tips, troubleshooting, how to modify models in 3D builder, and the one he’s famous for, placing supports like a pro. You can find him on his Youtube channel: 3DPrintingPro.