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Slicer Skills

2019 Anycubic Photon Slicer Guide

Picture of Melanie Griffin
by Melanie Griffin
Sep 11, 2019
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Anycubic's Photon uses its own proprietary slicer. Dig into this Anycubic Photon slicer guide. We show you all you need to know to get started!

Anycubic Photon Slicer Introducing

A resin-printed model.
Made possible thanks to the Anycubic Photon Slicer. Source: Igaomi10x2 / Reddit

The success of your 3D printed object depends on how you get your design to your printer. To do that, you need a good slicer program.

A slicer converts 3D digital designs into instructions for the machine to follow. It controls the resolution, printing speed, and other details that make or break the model.

It’s especially important to know how your slicer program works when it’s interacting with a 3D printer that uses unusual materials, such as resin. Resin printing requires specific knowledge since it’s very different than filament-based 3D printing.

The Anycubic Photon Slicer is the slicer program that comes with the Anycubic Photon printer. We’re here to show you how it works so you can maximize your output while minimizing your learning curve.

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Anycubic Photon Slicer Setup

The Anycubic Photon
The Photon is nothing without a suitable slicer. Source: mat_neu27 / Thingiverse

Every Anycubic Photon 3D printer comes with the Anycubic Photon Slicer software on an SD card as part of the whole printer package. Once you find the SD card, insert it into your computer’s SD card reader and find the installation files:

  1. Choose the SD card’s folder and then the sub-folder “File_English_Photon”.
  2. Open the directory called “Photon slicing software”.
  3. Double-click “ANYCUBIC Photon SlicerInstall1.1.9.exe”.

Once you’ve done that, all you have to do is follow the installation prompts, including choosing where you want to store the program on your hard drive. Afterward, you’ll be able to open the program and see what it can do for you.

To help you get to know the Anycubic Photon Slicer better, they’ve also added a sample file to the SD card so you can see what each command does.

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Anycubic Photon Slicer Exploring Your Designs

The Anycubic Photon Slicer's interface lets you view your design from numerous angles.
The Anycubic Photon Slicer's interface lets you view your design from numerous angles. (Source: druckwege.de)

Even if you use slicer software regularly, it’s recommended to check out the sample file to play around with this particular program. Luckily, the Anycubic Photon Slicer has a clean, simple interface that’s easy to learn. Here are a few highlights:

  • Retrieve your work files by clicking the File command at the top left, then the Open option in the drop-down menu, and finally the name of the file you’d like to work with.
  • Manipulate your object to see it at whatever angles you need for your printing. When you left-click your 3D object, you’ll get options on the left side of the screen to View, Rotate, Scale, and Move.
  • View your object’s positioning using the mouse. By left-clicking on and holding the object, you can drag it to a new position. You can also zoom in and out by scrolling the mouse wheel and change your viewing angle by right-clicking on and holding the platform.

Anycubic also posts regular updates of its slicer software on its website, so you can keep up with the latest fixes and enhancements.

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Anycubic Photon Slicer Getting Optimal Prints

Change the settings in the Anycubic Photon Slicer for different layer levels of detail.
Change the settings in the Anycubic Photon Slicer for different layer levels of detail. (Source: windowscentral.com)

Once you’ve mastered the basic commands, the Anycubic Photon Slicer has advanced settings that help you optimize your Photon’s output. We recommend using the test design at this stage, too, so you can see what different choices look like in real practice before you commit to your own. Here’s what you can manipulate:

  • Layer thickness: For this slicer, this can be anywhere from 0.01–0.2 mm. The thicker the layers, the faster the finished object will get printed, at the expense of layer resolution and print quality.
  • Normal exposure time: In an LCD 3D printer like the Anycubic Photon, the exposure time works a bit like exposure times for photos. The longer the exposure time, the thicker and more detailed the layer. Longer exposure times also mean longer printing time, in general. Anycubic’s slicer has a range of 6 to 15 seconds.
  • Off time: This refers to how long the UV light in your Photon printer pauses between layers. After an exposure, the UV light turns off and the build plate lifts, peels, and rests at the set layer height at the bottom of your vat before the light comes on again for the next exposure cycle. The longer your off time, the longer your resin has to settle and make room for the next layer. Longer off times are good for especially viscous resins. The Anycubic Photon Slicer has a range of three to six seconds.
  • Bottom exposure time: Your first layer is crucial to establishing a firm base for your 3D object to grow from, so the longer your bottom exposure time, the better grip this first layer has on the build platform. You can set anything from 30 to 80 seconds.
  • Support: When you have a design with a lot of gaps or overhanging parts, printing support material along with the object keeps everything in place until it hardens enough to hold its own shape. The Anycubic Photon Slicer lets you decide what layer of support you want: light, medium, or heavy. Keep in mind that the heavier the support, the harder it is to detach from the design itself.
  • Print size: If you see major skewing errors in your 3D print, you can adjust the X-, Y-, and Z-axes to compensate. Anycubic advises that you shouldn’t need this setting every time, but it’s there when you do.

After adjusting whatever settings you need, all you have to do is click on the slice button at the top of the screen. It’s the icon with three squares layered on top of each other. You’ll get a chance to preview your design, then the program will slice it for 3D printing with your printer.

As always, frequent experimentation is necessary to obtain the best results for your setup, but this guide should give you a solid head start!

Related articles:

Feature image source: Igaomi10x2 / Reddit

License: The text of "2019 Anycubic Photon Slicer Guide" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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