Anycubic Photon Mono X2 review: "Not foolproof, but it's pretty damn close"

GamesRadar Editor's Choice
Anycubic Photon Mono X2 promo shot
(Image: © Anycubic)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

Beginners and 3D-printing veterans alike will find a lot to love about the Anycubic Photon Mono X2; it's an impressively reliable, precise, and user-friendly machine that yields great results. If you treat it right, it'll return the favor.


  • +

    Accurate, detailed, and reliable prints

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    Easy to use

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    Laser-engraved build plate

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    Large capacity despite a compact design


  • -

    Not completely foolproof - prep is needed

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The Anycubic Photon Mono X2 is proof that resin printers do not, in fact, hate me. 

No matter what I used to do, I'd rarely get more than a 70% success rate. Many prints would fail halfway through, and some didn't even get going at all - I'd come back to an empty build plate and pancakes of hardened resin wallowing at the bottom of the tray. But the AnyCubic Photon Mono X2 is different. While it's not completely foolproof (because nothing is, of course), it's pretty damn close. Regardless of whether you're new to the best 3D printers or are looking to upgrade, it's a winner. 

Features & design

Anycubic Photon Mono X2 after a successful test print

The checkerboard print bed of the Anycubic Photon Mono X2 is supposed to increase build adhesion (Image credit: Future)
Essential info

Printer type: Resin
Price: $429 / £519
Screen: 9.1in monochrome
Resolution: 4K+ (4096 x 2560px)
Build volume: 
7.8in x 7.7in x 5in
Printing speed: ≤ 6cm / hr
Printing volume: 4.8L
Leveling: 4-point manual

Sitting pretty at $429 / £519, the Anycubic Photon Mono X2 is a middle-of-the-road device with the specs to match. Powered by a 9.1-inch monochrome 4K screen, it claims up to 48μm single-pixel accuracy. And because of Anycubic's LighTurbo matrix light source for more uniform exposure, overall detail is improved. 

In other words, it's very accurate. Actually, Anycubic's website says that it's a "4% improvement over [the] Photon Mono X". Thanks to dual linear guides, a POM clearance nut, and a structure designed to absorb vibrations, the X2 is also supposed to reduce printing lines.

From the off, and with minimal fuss on my end, it was exceeding expectations

The build-plate makes equally lofty promises. Sporting a laser-engraved checkerboard pattern, it's meant to encourage easier model removal. 

When combined with the Photon Mono X2's compact design, you've got a very beginner-friendly machine on your hands. Theoretically, at least.


Anycubic Photon Mono X2 after finishing a print

The Anycubic Photon Mono X2 never failed to impress with its consistent print results (Image credit: Future)

Spend any amount of time with the X2 and you'll realize that there's a lot of quality crammed into this small space. From the off and with minimal fuss on my end, it was exceeding expectations. In fact, the process was smooth enough that it made me go, "oh - so this is how it's supposed to work".

I've been using an Elegoo Saturn at home for quite a while, and this is so much less stressful. Yes, the Saturn is a fantastic machine that provides great results when it works. But the key word there is 'when'. I frequently encounter problems despite having done everything right, and prints fail often enough that I've spent hours trying to find the settings' sweet spot in terms of exposure time. However, the Anycubic Photon Mono X2 doesn't subject me to any of that. It gets results instead.

It's not a slam dunk right out of the box, obviously; you'll still have to do the standard leveling and prep procedures before getting to the fun stuff. Yet even when using the basic factory settings, my prints came out looking fantastic. There were no issues, no quirks, and no failures. This stretched to larger figures of the kind my Saturn had struggled with, too.

So long as you've put in the proper preparation, it shouldn't let you down

It wasn't without fault, admittedly - a few days later, a couple of my prints failed. But there's a strong possibility this happened (or didn't, if we're being pedantic) because I hadn't prepared the resin correctly after it'd sat cold and undisturbed. It's not a miracle worker, after all.

Indeed, the only other issue I encountered was a split in terrain on the build plate. I'm not sure why this happened, but seeing as the problem hasn't repeated itself, it seems to have been a one-off. And even with that accident, none of the models bear noticeable print lines. They're all universally smooth, crisp, and easy to remove from the build plate (which can fit an impressive amount of miniatures on it, for the record).

Should you buy the Anycubic Photon Mono X2?

The Anycubic Photon Mono X2 has truly impressed me - it's a reminder of how cool 3D printing can be. So long as you've put in the proper preparation, it shouldn't let you down.

The results are great too. Anycubic's promises may seem lofty at times, but the X2 delivers on them. Crucially, it doesn't require lots of technical know-how for the best results. That makes this machine a great choice for both beginners and veterans alike.

How we tested the Anycubic Photon Mono X2

I used the Photon Mono X2 over a number of weeks, printing off multiple figures of varying sizes across different sessions. More specifically, I made sure I attempted making smaller wargaming and D&D figures from Broken Anvil alongside larger monsters and terrain pieces from Cast n Play.

This review unit was provided by Anycubic.

For inspiration of what to make with your 3D printer, check out the best tabletop RPGs, must-have Dungeons and Dragons books, and the best board games.

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Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to Lego buying guides. I have been writing about games in one form or another since 2012 and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.