The Elegoo Mars was the first SLA LCD printer we tested a few months ago. The printer won us over from the start. And now, the machine has been upgraded with the Elegoo Mars Pros.
Read our Elegoo Mars Pro review to find out everything you need to know about the 3D printer.
Elegoo Mars Pro Review
The Elegoo Mars Pro is a significantly improved version of the original Elegoo Mars. In this review, we’ll look at its features, specs, performance and quality of print to expect.
Let’s get started.
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Elegoo Mars Pro Specs
|Model||Elegoo Mars Pro|
|Speed||24 mm / hour|
|Printing process||LCD SLA|
|Printing area||120 x 68 x 155 mm|
|Layer height||0.01 to 0.2 mm|
|Particularities||improved UV LEDs, activated carbon filter|
How is Elegoo Mars Pro Different from the Elegoo Mars?
Not much has changed on the outside of the Elegoo Mars Pro. The 3D printer has a red plastic removable cover. However, the cover is sealed by rubber to contain the odors produced during printing. Like most SLA printers, the Elegoo Mars pro produces strong and unpleasant resin smells during printing.
The printer features a 3.5-inch touch display and a USB port at the front. The USB port is at the back in the original Elegoo Mars printer.
The Elegoo Mars Pro 3D printer comes with various accessories. These include gloves, two masks, filament pliers, filters for the resin and two spatulas (a metal and a plastic one).
However, unlike the previous model, the Elegoo Mars Pro does not ship with resin. When ordering the printer, make sure you buy resin. There are lots of 3D printer resins available on Amazon.
Other newer features are not externally visible. For example, according to the manufacturer, the printer has been installed with better UV LEDs to reduce the required exposure time. There is also a new firmware version and a new stepper motor, which should ensure smoother printing.
One outstanding feature of the Elegoo Mars Pro 3D printer is a built-in activated carbon filter. The filter ensures that less resin fumes are distributed in the room. Together with the sealed cover, it significantly reduces odor pollution.
Leveling and troubleshooting
Before you start printing, you have to level the printer once. If you have worked with SLA printers, you already know how to do this. Simply put a sheet of paper between the platform and the display, move the platform to the home position, and then slowly lower it further until the sheet of paper can hardly be pulled out. Finally, set the position as the new Z = 0 position.
Printing with the Elegoo Mars Pro
As a test, I started the first print without leveling and, as expected, the print failed. Only the first layers were cured. The layers did not bond to the pressure plate but stuck to the bottom of the tank.
Before the first print, the tank and pressure plate are clean. Therefore, you don’t have to clean them thoroughly. Just make sure you do the leveling before printing.
During the first tests, the prints did not adhere well enough to the platform even though I had successfully leveled the printer. Also, after a while (during printing) they were in the tank. So I lowered the starting point by another 0.2 mm. This made the printing successful.
However, the subsequent print failed again for the same reason. Leveling up again did not bring any improvement either.
What finally solved the problem was increasing the exposure time of the bottom layers. I did this not because the print would not harden enough there, but because it did not adhere firmly enough to the printing plate.
I set more bottom layers and almost doubled the exposure time from 45 to 80 seconds, and reduced the exposure time of the other layers from 7 to 6 seconds. After these changes, almost all of the prints were successful. Any failers or misprints were then due to the slicer and not the printer.
Quality of Prints
For our test, we printed two towers that we have already printed with many other printers. The layer height is 0.05 mm. The model consists of 1,000 layers. The Elegoo Mars Pro took about 3 hours to print the towers.
The print succeeded immediately (with a correctly leveled printer). The printing time of only three hours is pretty good as other printers have taken longer to print them.
Both towers can be easily removed from the platform with the metal spatula. Be careful not to scratch the plate.
The level of detail of the test prints is impressive. The battlements of the two towers can be pushed together with millimeter precision.
More Test Prints – Printing Miniatures
In addition to the finished print file of the tower, we also printed a few miniatures from myminifactory.com.
The miniature had a complicated shape with partially overhanging limbs, weapons or other things. Therefore, support structures are essential.
The automatically generated supports are sufficient for the first attempt. However, confirm whether all protruding parts are really covered.
I inclined the barbarian, which I printed first, a little. From past test prints, I already knew the support structures and the smooth floor are not properly connected when the figures are standing straight. As a result, no further printing was carried out after the support structures. The connection works better with a slightly sloping floor.
What Can You Print With Elegoo Mars Pro?
Test prints are all well and good. But what useful items can you print with the Elegoo Mars Pro 3D printer? Here are some items that the printer is capable of printing:
Board Games & Miniatures
The Elegoo Mars Pro USB disk comes with STL files of fantasy figures. The miniatures are not only pretty to look at but can also be used as game material. You can print new characters for Monopoly or detailed characters for the next D&D round. You can then paint the figures to make them look even more impressive.
You can also print out terrain pieces and the like with this printer.
School and Art Projects
How can you depict something better than in 2D on a sheet of paper or a canvas? Of course in 3D!
Assuming you have the right template or print file, you can print out anything and use it to better illustrate your presentations. The print below is a scan of a real sea urchin case that was used for a project in art school.
You can also use the Elegoo Mars Pro 3D printer to print spare parts. The printing will be a bit more specific and limited to a few small parts.
In this example, I’ve printed out a cable/microphone mount. The original showed signs of wear and tear and threatened to break off.
Printing the spare parts costs just a few cents while buying a spare part costs around $18. This makes the printing decision easy. Moreover, the cables hold up again.
Elegoo Mars Pro Slicing software
Elegoo Mars Pro uses ChiTuBox slicing software. The installation file for the latest version of ChiTuBox (1.6.1) can be found on the attached USB stick. Nothing has changed in the design, everything works as usual.
The USB stick comes loaded with some files for test prints. The well-known tower is included as a sliced .ctb file. There are also several fantasy figures as .stl files.
These files can be easily imported and edited. You can move the models using the mouse pointer. The left display can be used to rotate, scale and/or mirror them.
Next, we go to the printer settings, especially the exposure times.
For the first print (the barbarian), I used the values set previously and recommended by the manufacturer: 6 seconds for the individual layers and 45 seconds for the 5 bottom layers. With the predecessor, the Elegoo Mars, we still printed with 8/60 seconds. The more powerful LEDs make it possible.
In the Elegoo Mars Pro settings, you can set the speed of the Z-axis and the distance that is covered after each layer. This function was completely missing before. Even the smallest changes can significantly reduce the printing time. With 1,000 shifts, the printer drives the route 1,000 times.
Elegoo Mars Price and Availability
The Elegoo Mars Pro is available on Amazon – sometimes. Apparently, stocks are low and the printer is often sold out.
Conclusion – Is the Elegoo Mars Pro 3D Printer Worth It?
The Elegoo Mars Pro follows on its predecessor almost seamlessly. It is easy to use, even for beginners. While I had to tweak the settings a little more before the prints were reliably received, everything went smoothly after that.
The quality and level of detail of the prints are excellent. However, the filter meant to contain the odors during printing does not work as well as hoped.
If you want to buy either the Elegoo Mars or the Elegoo Mars Pro printer, look at the price. If the Mars is a lot cheaper, take this because it is already very good. If you can get the Mars Pro for roughly the same price, you can also get it.