This review introduces the Elegoo Mars 3D printer, based on our own application trials. It compares the Elegoo Mars LCD / LED 3D printer from commissioning to comparison with other printers in its category.
Elegoo Mars from the user’s point of view
The Elegoo Mars is a UV LCD (DUP) 3D printer. With a price (approx. 250-270 EURO) it is a popular entry-level printer and is clearly at the lowest end of the price range for mass-produced resin printers. For the price one receives a good quality compromise. The display has the same resolution as the more expensive competition. However, we noticed that the mechanics could rather be improved. So, we noticed with massive or large objects that they show a visible “wobbling” because the guidance of the Z-axis is not as stable as with a Phrozen Shuffle.
Nevertheless, the Elegoo Mars is a very good entry-level device, which is also compatible with our Type D resins without any problems Exposure times for our resins are documented here for a quick start.
By the way, also very interesting: ELEGOOO Inc. was founded in 2011 and according to the company’s website, is a successful technology company dedicated to the research and development, production and marketing of open source hardware. Based in Shenzhen, the Silicon Valley of China, the company employs more than 100 people.
Starting up the Elegoo Mars
Opening the package, setting up the printer, finding space for the lid – this is relatively straight forward for setting up the machine. What is a little annoying in continuous operation is the permanent fitting and removal of the lid, but not really a dramatic issue. Other manufacturers have organised this somewhat better, for example with hinges. It’s not surprising considering the price, but it’s still very unwieldy to always have to remove the lid, especially if you’re always looking for a place to store it in the lab/workshop. The lid should remain on the printer during printing as the printer (hopefully) filters UV light and prevents the resin from curing somewhere other than on the printing bed will not be able to print. Whether the lid really blocks UV light has not yet been investigated.
Unfortunately, the slots for power and USB cables and the on/off button are positioned in the middle of the back of the unit. The placement of the power cable is fine, you don’t normally need to have constant access to it. The USB port, on the other hand, is a hindrance because you can’t supply the printer with new models wirelessly. But a USB extension cable can help, which we have also installed, so that it is much more gentle on the USB port of the printer. Frequent plugging has already destroyed one or the other USB port on other printers and then a costly repair is necessary. Probably this is rather a problem for power users.
We liked the display extremely well, because it reacts very sensitively (even after a surface smeared with resin) and the command fields are large enough for the fingertips. The displays of the price-similar competitors react sometimes sluggishly and less sensitively. The display is definitely a plus point for the Elegoo. The display is used to select the print models, to calibrate the Z-axis and to make slicer settings per print run.
Elegoo Mars vs Anycubic Photon
By the way: We noticed that the Elegoo Mars looks extremely similar to its technical predecessor, the Anycubic Photon:
- It has the same dimensions for the pressure bed and tank,
- The same way to fix the tank, where the correct position is only slightly recessed into the bottom of the printer, the Anycubic has two stoppers in the rear insert area, which simplifies the locking.
- The user interface related to menu items and selection items is a reflection of the Anycubic menu.
But there are also differences:
- The USB port on the Elegoo is hidden on the back of the case, but it has fewer failures than on the Anycubic. In continuous use with the Elegoo (more than 3 months at the moment) we haven’t had a problem with the USB port yet. With the Anycubic we had several contact problems with the port since then (we also use a fixed USB extension here now), to which the USB sticks are plugged and unplugged.
- The 3D models have to be sliced into the .cbddlp format with Chitubox. Anycubic offers its own slicer software.
- The lid of the case is not to be fixed, because it is only put on. It can be removed like a hood. But you also have a much freer access for tank, which is an advantage in handling the resin container, as well as the pressure platform and the engine. On the Anycubic the front of the case is a flap that can be opened upwards. This has made the entire printer look more stable, but the limitation to access the inside of the printer makes maintenance more difficult.
- Unlike the Anycubic, you can’t twist the print bed to let the resin run off or take quick photos of the print. The Elegoos comes with a holder so that you can let the print bed drip off at an angle of 45°, see the following picture.
- The Mars Elegoo lacks a fan in the printing room, so it is one of the quieter printers. There is no HEPA filter.
- By default, the Anycubic Photon can be set to beep when a print is started and the print bed is moved to the home position. A sound will follow when the print starts. Finally the printer reports when the printing of the model is finished. The Elegoo Mars is more “penetrating”: It reports every time it passes the light barrier with the baseplate. Both printers can of course also be left soundless, but they don’t report at all and the information you want when the print is finished is also missing.
Elegoo Mars Resin
As a resin manufacturer, we want to evaluate how our Type D resins work on the Elegoo Mars 3D printer, so we’re pleased with the success we’ve had with our resins. For this purpose we have summarized an exposure time overview of our resins on the Elegoo. Soon we will take a look under the hood of the Elegoo and give a review about the set-up of the light unit and the ease of maintenance, exchange of the FEP-foil, etc. The following is an example of a model printed with DruckWege Type D resin on the Elegoo Mars.