Elegoo Mars – High Detail printing, on a budget
First, I want to offer a big thank you to Elegoo for sending out this unit to review. This review is a little different, since I also had an opportunity to buy one at a killer deal, and purchased one. I’ve put a lot of hours on these two printers. I’ve also had the opportunity to use other CDB based 3D printers as well as other technology based 3D Printers. I feel that I have a pretty good handle on resin 3D printers.
The Elegoo Mars is a solid performer in the field. As a printer, it works great. My issues with it, stem more with the design and ergonomics of use than the actual printing ability of the printer. That is a good thing.
Elegoo Mars Specs:
- Build Volume: 120mm x 68mm x 155mm
- Light Type: 40W UV lights
- Resin Type: Rapid 405 nm compatible resins
- Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels
- Slicer: ChiTu Box
- Layer Thickness: 0.01-0.2mm (I generally print at 0.05 mm)
Purchasing an Elegoo Mars
Elegoo Mars Information and Review
Resin printers in general, are very simple. Unpack them, pour resin in, put the sliced model on the USB thumb drive and go. It’s pretty much that easy. Where they become difficult, is the cleanup. There are a few things you need for cleaning resin for both safety and to just clean the models (Safety Glasses, Nitrile gloves for safety. Isopropyl alcohol, containers, and more for cleaning.) I have put together a guide on resin printer needs.
After you get your print done, you want to trim the supports, then clean the print with isopropyl alcohol. From there, you will put it under UV light (custom built, nail hardener, or the sun all work well). That finished the print, and you are done. This process is a lot more involved than what is required for an FDM printer. One other thing I do, is keep all of my tools in a disposable baking tray. That keeps the mess in one spot and you can clean that up, or just put it out to harden from time to time.
Ultimately speaking, the printer just prints well. The only real mechanical part is the Z screw. That makes a it a lot more simple. You have to learn how to level the bed. That involves taking the vat off, putting a piece of paper down and then pushing the bed down on it. From there, you tighten the screws. Put the vat back on, and you should be ready to go. In my experience running groups for 3D Printers on Facebook, this is usually the biggest hurdle. It can seem like it is leveled correctly, and still not print quite right because a side is slightly higher or some other minor issue.
While I think the printers are great, and I use them a LOT, they do have a few drawbacks. The full hood is both a good thing and bad. It makes it easier to get all around the top of the printer with the hood off, but it takes more space to remove it (vertically), and you have to make sure your gloves are clean if you are trying to but the hood back on, while working with resin. The other issue, is the power switch, and the USB thumb drive connector are on the back of the unit. Truthfully, ALL three of these “issues” are very minor nit-picks on a terrific 3D Printer.
Some things I really like about this printer, include the 3.5″ touch LCD display. It is really easy to see, and use. Easier than some resin printers with somewhat smaller displays. It’s also laid back a bit, so it is angled up just a little, making it that much easier to see. The 40 W lights allow you to finish prints somewhat faster than some other resin printers that use lower light outputs. The Masking LCD also allows you to print an entire layer at once allowing for faster prints compared to an SLA resin printer. It also users ChiTu Box slicing software so the Photonsters.org community supported tools work for the Elegoo Mars as well. Something else I really like, is the disposable resin vats. These come with FEP film already installed, and have lids. There are 4 in a box, and you can leave different resin in them. Give it a good mix and start printing. It adds a lot of convenience and ease. If you are trying to print more efficiently, you can also pull one of these out if you have a print failure, and put a new one on, and get back to printing while you remove the failed print parts from the previous print.
It’s been unique for me to own two of the same 3D Printer, and I have not found any fault with either printer. They both print great, and look great when they come off the build plate. This is a 3D Printer I recommend if you are looking for an economy priced Resin printer that prints very well, and very consistently.
Again, thank you to Elegoo for sending this unit over for review.
Elegoo Mars Unboxing Videos: