Voxelab brings another beginner 3D resin printer to the table with the Proxima. Let's have a look!
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Nowadays we are flooded with cheap MSLA resin 3D printers. Just as we have seen with the budget or beginner FFF/FDM 3D printer market segment. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It helps the hobbyist to take his skills to another level. And to be honest, the 3D prints from these machines are already amazing. Let’s see what Voxelab brings to the table in this Voxelab Proxima 3D printer review.
The Brand Voxelab
There are several big players on the cheap resin 3D printer market (most of them only a couple years old) like, Peopoly, Anycubic, Phrozen, Elegoo, Longer. But what about Voxelab? As a customer, it feels good to buy something from a well-known company with years of experience in making that specific product (OK, sometimes the one that breaks all the rules).
Voxelab is a brand from Flashforge. A company well known for their consumer FFF machines, which are also often sold rebranded. But they also have experience in resin 3D printing. But in this case high-end jewellery and dental DLP machine with a lot of features. And a price tag that comes with it. It seems Flashforge wanted a separate brand for the beginner market.
The Voxelab Proxima 3D Printer Specifications
The resemblance with some other Resin (MSLA) 3D printers goes beyond the looks. The specifications are very identical.
2k vs 4k
The improvement step for the next generation will probably be moving from a 2K to a 4K screen. The bigger resin 3Dprinters already use these to keep the level of detail the same for the printed parts. But even some smaller printers are already equipped with a 4K screen. For now, Voxelab stayed with a 2K screen, which they call high resolution. Because of the size of the printer, one pixel is 50micron, which is great when you make the move from FFF. And to be honest, it probably is just fine for you too. For now ;).
Want to protect that screen from nasty liquid polymer stains? Check out this article about resin display protection vinyls.
Monochrome LCD screen
Like many others, Voxelab follows the trend to switch from color LCD screens to a monochrome screen. It is probably the biggest change these machines have compared to their previous generation. In the case of Voxelab the Polaris (for those that really want to start cheap)
The enormous advantage of Monochrome LCD screens is that they last a lot longer and cure the resin much faster. And fast is quite fast, with curing layers in just a second (depending on layer height, resin and ambient temperature) being well possible.
The build volume is very similar to other printers. The Voxelab Proxima has a build volume of 130x82x155mm. Which is a little (few mm) wider than most, but also lower (+/-10mm).
Print Speed Increased by 50%
Upgraded monochrome screen improves permeability and print speed in layer thickness of 0.05mm, the print speed is 17-22 mm/h
Full Grayscale Anti-aliasing
Support the function of full grayscale anti-aliasing, the details of the printing model are more exquisite.To meet the requirements of refined printing.
Stable Light Source
Proxima 6.0 uses wavelength 405nm UV integrated light Reflector spotlights to design makes the light source more concentrated and even. Have a higher printing success rate.
Z axis uses linear rails structure, which achieves steadier motion and enhanced moving accuracy to reduce the layer lines on the 3D printed model and make the surface much smoother.
The similarity continues with the other highlighted features, easy FEP replacement, quick base plate removal, easy bed levelling/calibration and touch screen.
The quick-release and bed levelling mechanics are a bit different from others, but I’m not sure it’s the best. It looks like a ball joint, fastened with some setscrews. I wonder if it’s as stable as some other fastening methods, or if the set screws can slide a little (because it is only a point of connection). I still have this to look over how the bed can be moved and set to a new position.
Print Platform Update
I had a minor problem resetting the print platform once I left it for a couple of weeks, but what fixed my problem was to unscrew the small bolt at the back and then set the platform. Before I did this, what was happening is that it was not setting perfectly it kept on leaving a gap at the front of the platform.
|Light Source||405nm LED Light Source||Layer Thickness||0.025-0.1 mm|
|Touch Screen||3.5″ Touch Screen||Build Volume||130*82*155mm|
|3D Printer Size||230*200*410mm||Input Voltage||12v, 5Amp|
|Language||EN/CN||LCD Screen||6″ 2k Monochrome LCD Screen|
|File Format||STL||Eclipser Resolution||2560*1620|
|Supported Resin||405nm wavelength photosensitive resin|
First of all, you need to understand liquid polymers are harmful. You need to think about resin safety as a potentially hazardous hobby. When having it exposed, you should wear a mask. You also don’t want to get it on your skin often, so wear gloves when filling the tank, but also when removing your 3D print, cleaning it, etc. Heres what can happen if you don’t use protection or spill the resin on your skin.
Now don’t get scared because of this image, resin 3D printing is an amazing hobby but you do need to be CAREFULL. Always use protection masks, gloves and glasses, don’t forget to clean up after you spill. One more thing, have fun printing outstanding creations for your family and friends.
Unboxing the Voxelab Proxima
Voxelab Proxima 6.0 monochrome resin 3D Pritner comes with a simple yet well packaged box with multiple layers of protection which contains all the necessary parts you need to start your first resin 3D print. The only thing that it doesn’t come with is resin.
|Proxima 6.0 3d printer * 1||Build platform * 1||Rubber gloves * 1||Filter paper * 1|
|Power cable * 1||USB Disk * 1||Tool Kit * 1||Metal scraper * 1|
Resin 3D Printer Slicing
Before telling you more about getting from a finished print to an actual finished part (which involves a lot!) I want to tell you a bit more about slicing for resin printing. This is also different from FDM printing. Resin prints do need supports too, or I would call it anchors. You don’t want to start printing in the air because this will float around. Instead of the magic 45 degrees, resin prints can be pushed harder. Already from 20 (or 80 degrees in FDM language) degrees, you’re in the clear.
It also makes sense to fill your build plate to the max, as it doesn’t influence the printing time (I’m loving resin printing more and more!). Something that’s it pretty important with resin printing is the resin usage. Resin isn’t really cheap. So how to keep your money in your wallet? Hollow your prints! Most parts don’t really need a fully solid print.
Luckily the Voxelab Proxima comes with their own slicer called Voxel Print, but I choose to use Chitubox and that works really easy for me.
Post-Processing Resin 3D Prints
Resin and FDM 3D printers are nothing alike when it comes to post processing. Both have different techniques with some similarities, some may disagree with my feelings on the resin prints being easier to post process. But I know you can get FDM 3D printers that are cheap same with the filament and it all depends on how much you tweak your slicer profile to get it perfect that you don’t need to sand or prime them. However, for painting the 3D models is a whole different ball game as resin 3D printing excels with the higher detail using smaller layer lines that are a lot less visible, meaning no need to spray with high build primer and sand them away.
Now washing the finished print is a crucial step before curing. This is to get all the excess resin of the 3D model to make sure you capture all the high detail. If you don’t do this, you will end up with no detail a very smooth model with droplets of resin. Again there are many alternatives to washing from using containers with isopropyl alcohol and agitate it. This is a cheaper technique but the easiest one I have found is to use the Anycubic wash and cure as this does everything for you.
Your 3D printed parts are still not finished. The cured resin is not really cured enough, so it needs to be cured some more. You need to decide do I remove the support before or after the resin print is fully cured. Depending on the resin you use, it is sometimes best to remove the support before you cure because some resin are more flexible before being fully cured.
There are several options for curing your parts. First of all, you can use the sunlight if you are not in a hurry. Great low budget option. Second, you can make a simple box with some UV lights (bulb or strip). Just make sure they are on the correct wavelength that your resin printer uses. For the Voxelab Proxima, it uses 405nm. And the last option is a fancy Anycubic wash and cure station.
Voxelab Proxima Resin 3D Prints
I used a selection of resins from IFUN abs like grey, 3DRS fast+ cool grey and Dragon resin metal shine grey for this test just to be sure it would work.
Voxelab Proxima Print Quality
Ideally it is best to have the temperature in the room that you are printing in at 28°C. But if this is not possible, you can increase the curing time for every layer. Once you hear some weird “popping” sound, this is totally normal it means that the layer you are currently printing on is letting go of the FEP film and sticking to the base plate.
But look at this from the Voxelab Proxima 3D Printer! Now, this was an “OOOOHHH” moment for me. The details are so sharp, especially comparing to FDM. Surfaces are smooth. The print was done with 0.05mm layer height, and you can go all the way down to just 0.01mm. Ow, and yes your prints will be upside down, which is really great because you do not have the problem of trapping uncured resin. Printing hollow parts really helps to get the most out of your resin.
Where To Buy The Voxelab Proxima 3D Printer
You can buy the Voxelab Proxima 3D Printer at their own website for only $189. Or for ($219) on the Flashforge website here. The prices may vary depending on the location, but it worked for the combinations I tried.
Why Choose Voxelab Proxima 6.0 3D Printer?
Voxelab Proxima 6.0 3D printer is easy to operate. Proxima 6.0 is equipped with a 2K monochrome LCD screen for 3D Printing to make the screen service life longer and printer speed increased by 50%. I can now print each layer at 2.5 seconds compared to 8 seconds. Using linear rails ensure eliminate rifle on final prints producing out smooth surface. Compatible with a variety of resins, display different color models to meet the user’s various creative imaginations. It’s the best choice for the people who like printing miniatures. Overall, the price and quality is outstanding.
Did this article make you curious about the brand Voxelab? Maybe their FDM is something for you. Check out the Voxelab Aquila