"You're gonna need a bigger boat." Although there's much more to 3D printing than just build plate size, a larger printer can come in handy. Particularly, for resin printing, which typically boasts superb quality at the expense of build volume. Most resin-based 3D printers, including our editor's choice Elegoo Mars Pro, produce spectacularly detailed prints, but with a small build plate. But the Elegoo Saturn is poised to change that as a much larger printer than the Mars. Learn why the Elegoo Saturn 3D printer is, yet again, the resin printer to beat!
Elegoo Saturn Release - What's New
Whereas the Elegoo Mars Pro ushered in an iteration of the original Mars, the Elegoo Saturn arrives as a substantially different SLA printer. What you'll notice first is its sheer girth. Indeed, the build volume is 18.8cm(L) x 11.5cm(W) x 20cm(H) or 7.4in x 4.52in x 7.87in. Clocking in at 22 lbs. it's not only wider and slightly taller, but heavier too. In addition to a USB port, located like the Mars Pro, on the front of the unit for ease of access, there's also Internet connectivity via Ethernet. As such, you may send prints to the Elegoo Saturn remotely, a huge improvement. Moreover, the motherboard features built-in storage for printing purposes. So any files transferred over the network to the Saturn are stored on its internal memory chip. To wirelessly transfer files to the Elegoo Saturn, you'll need to use ChiTuBox. Its resin tank features feet so it protects the FEP film, and the tank may be placed on a desk without the risk of scratching up the FEP film. My review unit was a beta version of the Elegoo Saturn featuring a 2K screen. But after listening to community feedback, Elegoo replaced it with a 4K screen.
Elegoo Saturn Pricing and Release Date
Fitting with past releases, the Elegoo Saturn clocks in at an ultra-competitive price point. THe MSLA printer rocks an 8.9-inch monochrome 4K LCD matrix UV LED light source, large 192 x 120 x 200mm printing area, and slides in at $300 USD for an early-bird price and $400 its first pre-order. That's insanely competitive. The Elegoo Saturn officially launches on June 6, 2020. You can purchase yours directly from Elegoo.
Elegoo Saturn Review Verdict
I've printed with the Elegoo Mars, Elegoo Mars Pro, and now the Elegoo Saturn LCD photocuring resin 3D printers. On the surface, the Elegoo Saturn is simply a larger iteration of the Mars Pro. Its black frame and red acrylic hood seem merely stretched a bit wider and taller than the Mars Pro. But incremental improvements on the Saturn, as with the Mars Pro before it, provide what's ultimately an enhanced experience.
The USB port sits at the front of the unit, an innovation ushered in on the Mars Pro, and on the Saturn it similarly makes plugging in and removing the thumb drive a breeze. No fussing about fumbling with a flash drive on the back of the printer. While the resin vat on the Mars and its Pro sibling screw down, the Saturn has a resin bath that screws into the base for complete removal. Moreover, the freshly designed Elegoo Saturn tank boasts a set of feet underneath that allow it to be plopped on virtually any surface without the worry of scratching the FEP. Design alterations aside from size might not be immediately apparent, but they go a long way toward improving functionality and everyday printing. Migrating the power switch to the side or front of the printer could be beneficial, but toggling on and off the power flipper is easy enough since it's a binary: on or off. Somehow, even though a USB stick only goes in one way, it's tough to insert without looking, to the front-facing USB port is definitely more essential than the power switch.
At the back of the printer, you'll find a power switch, barrel jack connector for the power supply unit (PSU), Ethernet port, and a pair of cooling fans. During printing, I noted that the Saturn is slightly noisier than the Mars and Mars Pro. It's definitely still pretty quiet, and merely a mild fan noise. Oddly, the carbon filter system included in the Elegoo Mars Pro seems to have been nixed. Thus, the resin scent is somewhat evident though not egregious by any means. Either way, resin printing is best conducted in a well-ventilated area.
It's a few inches taller, and noticeably wider than the Mars and Mars Pro. This affords the Saturn a bigger build platform and larger resin tank. As such, you can print larger objects than with the vanilla Mars or even the Pro variant. That's the main draw of the hefty Saturn. The build volume of the Elegoo Saturn is 7.40in x 4.52in x 7.87in compared with 4.72 x 2.68 x 6.10 in on the Elegoo Mars Pro. Those extra few inches all around lead to a substantially larger build area with way more usable space. You'll therefore be able to print larger prints, as well as more simultaneous prints.
Print quality is where the Elegoo Saturn continues to shine. Finished 3D printed objects emerge absolutely stunning. There's a smooth finish with few if any lines. Build plate adhesion is a bit tough. While prints easily pop off the Mars Pro plate, the Saturn tends to require a bit more force. Still, I've yet to crack a print during removal from the build platform. Most of my issues with the Saturn aren't related to the printer itself, but just the messiness of resin 3D printing, and the required post-processing work. The big question is price. At the time of writing, there's no word on cost. Considering the competitive pricing of both the Elegoo Mars and Mars Pro, I suspect the Saturn will be more expensive but nevertheless a bargain.
- Absolutely stunning print quality
- Larger build platform and resin vat
- Network connectivity for remote printing
- Newly designed resin vat with feet to avoid scratching FEP
- 4K screen
- No built-in carbon filter
- Rear-mounted power switch; side or front would be easier to access
- Messy cleanup, slow print times, involved post-processing (issues universal to resin 3D printing)
Elegoo Saturn Specs and Features
- Printing technology: LED display photocuring
- Slicer software: ChiTuBox
- Connectivity: USB, ethernet
- Light source: UV integrated light (wavelength 405nm)
- 4K screen
- Z-axis accuracy: 0.00125mm
- Layer thickness: 0.01-0.1mm
- Printing speed: 22.5mm'h
- Power requirements: 110-220V 50/60Hz 24V5A 120W
- Dimensions: 28cm x 24cm x 44.6cm (11.02in x 9.44in x 17.55in)
- Build volume: 18.8cm x 11.5cm x 20cm (7.40in x 4.52in x 7.87in)
- Weight: 22lbs. (10kg)
First up, I printed the Elegoo rook test files that came pre-loaded on the USB stick. Printing took about four and a half hours. Once the rooks emerged from their resin bath, both looked gorgeous. I noticed improved anti-aliasing for an overall smoother finish when compared with the Elegoo Mars and Mars Pro.
As a massive "Alien" fan, and armed with a bottle of translucent green Elegoo 3D printing resin, I printed a Xenomorph and a pair of "Alien" eggs. The results were fantastic. I'm absolutely wowed with the impressive details produced by the Elegoo Saturn. Size doesn't matter, print quality does. Thankfully, the Saturn touts both.
Elegoo Saturn Review Verdict - Should You Buy the Elegoo Saturn?
Each and every product from Elegoo that I've gotten my hands on, from its Arduino UNO kit to the Mars, Mars Pro, and now the Elegoo Saturn, has completely knocked my socks off. Where Elegoo really dominates is in offering high-quality devices at reasonable prices. That's the big question mark lingering when it comes to the Elegoo Saturn: price. My review unit is a prototype, although the performance and build quality seem to suggest that it's a nearly-finished product. This is polished enough to be a pre-production unit. Provided the cost isn't extremely expensive, and considering Elegoo's track record of providing shockingly high-caliber 3D printers at an affordable entry point, I'd recommend the Elegoo Saturn as the best printer you can buy.
The revamped resin vat with its feet to elevate the FEP above surfaces upon which it's placed and larger build volume are much-needed features. Internet connectivity for remote printing is a neat inclusion, and the Saturn retains everything that made the Mars such a winner, chiefly exquisite quality and extreme user-friendliness. Still, a filtration system of some sort would have been nice, though it's not a dealbreaker by any means. Additionally, moving the power switch to the side could be beneficial, but it in no way hinders usability. Overall, the Elegoo Saturn sets the standard for resin 3D printing. The only caveat is that there's no pricing info (yet). I'll likely designate the Saturn as my new 3D printing daily driver, with the Mars Pro as my backup for smaller prints.