The Elegoo Mars resin printer is easily one of the best printers on the market. While it's the top resin 3D printer for the money, it's arguably the greatest printer, resin or filament, that money can buy. Where the Elegoo Mars shines is its ability to generate high-quality 3D prints with extraordinary detail and at a low price point. Now, Elegoo improves on its already-impressive Elegoo Mars resin printer with an Elegoo Mars Pro release. I loved the original Mars, and found it well worth the money. But does the Elegoo Mars Pro hold up? Find out if you should buy the updated iteration of Elegoo's flagship resin-based 3D printer in our Elegoo Mars UV photocuring LCD 3D printer review!
What is a Resin 3D Printer?
Although filament 3D printing may be more common, resin-based 3D printing has become more popular thanks to affordable 3D printers such as the Elegoo Mars and Longer Orange. With an FDM (fused deposition modeling) 3D printer, bits of filament are deposited onto a build platform in layers to create a 3D printed object. The printing material is usually a plastic strand of material such as PLA or ABS. An object is built from the bottom up. But an SLA (stereolithography apparatus) printer uses a curable photopolymer. A build plate lowers into a vat of resin, and generates a model layer by layer upside down. Some form of light is used to cure a model as it prints, either UV light or DLP.
Generally, resin 3D printers boast higher resolution prints, more smoothness, and greater accuracy. FDM models are less precise and occasionally suffer from misaligned layers or warping from pressure applied via subsequent layers. Still, postprocessing with SLA prints can be tricky. After a print job completes, it's covered in a sticky resin. As such, it requires wash in isopropyl alcohol. Then, after a dip in an isopropyl alcohol bath, prints need to be cured in the sun or using a nail curing device. Clean up is a bit nasty, whereas FDM prints require merely a bit of sanding and trimming of excess plastic. But SLA printing is usually pretty plug-and-print whereas filament printing requires bed leveling and an overall more involved set up.
Elegoo Mars Pro Release - What's New
Upon first glance, the Elegoo Mars Pro appears unchanged. But incremental improvements make for a more competent printer. First up, there's an MGN15 linear rail that makes for quieter, smoother, steadier printing. The light source is now a matrix UV light which provides enhanced UV power for a much faster-curing speed of 6s per layer, and 45s for the first layer. Moreover, the Elegoo Mars Pro resin 3D printer features better light uniformity that's especially noticeable in its edge areas, now as precise as the LCD center region.
A huge downside of resin printing is the smell. It's best to print in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask while printing. A major improvement to the Elegoo Mars Pro photocuring LCD 3D printer is a new built-in carbon filter that absorbs resin volatized while printing. The acrylic cover benefits from an additional cover gasket which also contributes to less odor leakage. The build plate gets an upgrade that lowers print adhesion to FEP, making it easier to remove prints from the build platform. Elegoo claims that the build platform won't need to be re-leveled often, and its M6 screws should prove more resilient.
On the software side, the Elegoo Mars Pro introduces compatibility with a CTB file format which is up to 20 times smaller than previous sliced files. The USB port is moved to the front of the unit, a welcome change.
- MGN15 linear rail: Smoother, quieter, steadier printing
- Matrix UV light source: Better UV power, faster-curing speed (6s per layer, 45s first layer)
- Better light uniformity, edges are as precise as the center LCD
- Built-in carbon filter: Absorbs volatized resin
- Additional cover gasket in acrylic cover
- Upgraded built plate
Elegoo Mars Pro Overview
The Elegoo Mars Pro implements several incremental upgrades which make for an overall improved resin 3D printer. A fresh linear rail provides nearly silent operation, a matrix UV light source boasts faster curing speeds, there's enhanced light uniformity, an additional cover gasket for the acrylic cover as well as a built-in carbon filter, and an upgraded build plate that offers easier print removal. My Elegoo Mars Pro UV photocuring LCD 3D printer came in a cardboard box. There were a few accessories packaged with it:
- Latex gloves
- Face mask
- Paper filter
- USB stick pre-loaded with ChiTuBox slicer and a few 3D printable files
- User manual
While a sample of resin would be nice, the Elegoo Mars Pro is already a phenomenal deal. It's a cheap 3D printer that doesn't compromise on quality. Everything necessary is included minus a sample of resin, and set up is far easier than the majority of filament 3D printers on the market.
- Cheap as chips
- Drastically reduced smell when printing
- Easier to remove prints from build platform
- Nearly silent operation
- Solid build quality
- Easy to use
- USB port on the front of the device
- No sample resin included
Elegoo Mars Pro Review Verdict
The Elegoo Mars solidified itself as an incredible resin 3D printer at an affordable price. Now, Elegoo takes what was a great resin 3D printer and makes it excellent. It's easily the best SLA printer on the market, and arguably the best 3D printer money can buy, filament or resin. On the surface, the Elegoo Mars Pro remains largely unchanged. Like its predecessor, the Mars Pro comes essentially ready to use. Simply unpack the unit, level the build platform, and you're ready to print.
The touchscreen was responsive and I appreciated the move of placing the USB port on the front of the device. On the Elegoo Mars, the USB port and power switch are located on the rear of the unit. However, the Mars Pro migrates its sole USB port to the front. As such, inserting a thumb drive is much easier and avoids fumbling around for the slot. While the carbon filter might sound like marketing jargon, I noticed significantly reduced resin smells when printing. In fact, I couldn't even detect a scent unless I hovered around the Mars Pro itself. Particularly since my Mars Pro is set up in my home office, that's a major improvement. Its newly-implemented carbon filter paired with a rubber gasket affixed to the bottom of the acrylic hood drastically cuts down on the aroma of 3D printer resin wafting about.
Additionally, a re-designed print bed makes it easier to remove prints from the build plate. On the vanilla Elegoo Mars, I found prints occasionally difficult to pry off. While most managed to pop off eventually, a few chipped and required quite a bit of strength to budge. However, prints on the new build platform on the Elegoo Mars Pro miraculously pop off almost effortlessly with a gentle tap from the included plastic scraper. The only real criticisms of the Elegoo Mars Pro I have plague resin printing as a whole, not merely the Mars Pro. Clean up is messy, it's smelly, and resin can be pretty expensive. But that's universal for resin-based 3D printing.
Elegoo Mars Pro Specs and Features
Improved Build Platform
Less adhesion of prints to the build plate.
Front USB Port
Moving the USB port to the front simplifies inserting and removing USB drives.
A newly introduced carbon filter reduces the smell of resin printing noticeably.
Matrix UV Light Source
More UV power, greater light uniformity, and a much faster curing speed.
Elegoo Mars Pro Specs:
- Printing technology: LCD photocuring
- Slicer software: ChiTuBox
- Connectivity: USB
- Light source: UV integrated light, 405nm wavelength
- XY resolution: 0.047mm (2450*1440)
- Z-axis accuracy:0.00125mm
- Layer Thickness: 0.01-0.2mm
- Printing speed: 24mm/h
- Power requirements: 110-220v 55/60Hz, 12V6A 72W
- Build volume: 4.72 x 2.68 x 6.10 in (12 x 6.8 x 15.5 cm)
- Weight: 16.5 lbs. (7.5 kg)
- Dimensions: 7.87 x 7.87 x 16.14 in (20 x 20 x 41 cm)
I began by printing the Elegoo Mars test file that came pre-loaded and sliced for the Elegoo Mars Pro. The rook chess pieces came out looking exquisite. Printing time was pretty fast, around three hours or so, and quality arguably surpasses that of the Elegoo Mars version 1. The lettering is clear and crisp, with easily discernable detail such as a double helix and spiral staircase winding down the center of the chess pieces.
Next up, I tried slicing a few prints. Elegoo provides a folder of popular 3D printable files in an STL format. Using the ChiTuBox slicer, I prepared a few with the Elegoo Mars Pro pre-set. Detail is lovely. A dwarf beard print shows fine details of beard hair, a textured tunic, and flowing weapons.
What's more, removing prints from the build plate was a breeze. A light tap from a plastic scraper gently nudged prints from the built platform. Compare that to the original Elegoo Mars which required quite a bit of elbow grease to disconnect print jobs from the plate. The result: no chipped prints (yet). And I expect that this trend continues. Sure, with a certain amount of 3D printing, you're bound to break a bit off. But there's much less risk of that happening on the new and actually improved Elegoo Mars Pro.
Final Thoughts - Should You Buy the Elegoo Mars Pro?
I'm absolutely astounded at the improvements made to the Elegoo Mars. Admittedly, when I sat down to review the Elegoo Mars Pro, I was skeptical about how much of a noticeable difference its various improvements would make. But once again, Elegoo impresses. Where Prusa reigns supreme with its FDM printers, Elegoo sets the standard for resin 3D printers. If you don't yet have an SLA printer, don't hesitate and just buy the Elegoo Mars Pro. It's affordable, high-quality, and ridiculously simple to use. For current Elegoo Mars owners, or those with a resin printer, I still think it's worth upgrading the Mars Pro. The ease with which you can remove prints from the build platform, quieter operation, better detail from its UV matrix light source, and smell reduction all make this a massively overhauled printer. Major kudos to Elegoo for continuing to hone what was already the best resin printer on the market, and making it even better.