The Elegoo Mercury X is a Wash & Cure station that will make your resin post processing work easier. Read on for the lowdown of how the machine work as well as whether we think it’s worth the buy.
Elegoo Mercury X Review
When it comes to resin 3D printing, I no longer to do any projects without convenience of a Wash & Cure station. This accessory simplifies the handling of resin printers and significantly and reduces the mess that can arise. If you organize your printer space accordingly, you’ll hardly come into contact with the liquid resin.
Here are the steps of post processing resin 3D prints:
- Remove the build plate from the printer
- Hang the building board in the washing station
- Wash the print
- Remove the component and detach it from the pressure plate
- Let it dry
- Post-cure the model in the Cure Station
A Wash & Cure station makes your work easier. We’ve written a comprehensive guide on how to clean resin 3D prints. I had stopped using the Elegoo Saturn and Mars for lack of a Wash & Cure station.
The issue was that with the Elegoo Saturn and the Mars 3, the previous Wash & Cure stations from Elegoo and other manufacturers (I previously had an old Anycubic Wash & Cure v1 ) were simply too small.
As far as I know, the only other affordable device the size of the Mercury X is the Anycubic Wash & Cure Plus. However, it’s a little more expensive. Elegoo’s Mercury Plus, Anycubic Wash & Cure v1 & v2 are all too small for Saturn and Mars 3.
And I really like the Mars 3 – see my Mars 3 review .
For me, when it comes to a washing station, it is important to be able to get the building board together with the print into the wash tank without first having to remove the printed part that has uncured resin. Removing the printed part only makes things messier.
When removing a wet printed model, you get a good amount of liquid resin on your fingers. Therefore, it is important to be wearing protective gloves.
At a washing station where I can insert the build plate, I just touch the clean handle. In the case of Elegoo, I simply touch the knob at the top. A small washable tablet is under the build platform, just in case the resin drips a bit on the way from the printer to the wash station.
The Elegoo Mercury X Bundle
The Elegoo Mercury X bundle is delivered in a compact box. You wouldn’t even believe that there are two devices in there.
Inside the package, there is:
- A fries basket
- Small metal grill
- Power supply with Y-cable
- 2 Wash & Cure stations
After unpacking, there is a little DIY to do. The 2 LED pillars have to be plugged in and fastened with a handful of screws. This is an easy task.
Elegoo decided to implement the Mercury X as 2 separate devices: washing and post-curing separately. I find this to be more of a luxury than really necessary. In most cases, I had no problems with my previously used combined Wash & Cure Station.
However, as I increasingly have had to print several parts with multiple printers at the same time, the two separate devices added some small comfort. For example, I don’t have to remove the hood every time (the Mercury X washing station no longer has a hood, only the separate Cure Station). Also, I don’t always have to convert between washing and hardening.
As I said, this advantage os only apparent when I was printing on several printers simultaneously..
But there is one disadvantage: the whole thing needs a little more space.
One nice thing I noticed is that the plug-in power supply supplies both devices at the same time via a “Y-cable”. However, I feel that the cables would have been better if they were a bit longer.
IMPORTANT: When buying the Elegoo Mercury X bundle, make sure you purchase one whose power supply is suitable for your region.
With the assembly complete, we are about to start curing our prints. To operate either of the devices, simply press the large round rotary knob switch. This is the ON/OFF switch. Turning on the switch sets the time and a short press starts the process.
While the program is running, you can simply turn it again to increase or decrease the time. After the curing has finished, you can briefly press the ON/OFF button to set a new duration for a new job.
An English operating manual is included, but you won't really need it. The curing machine is intuitive. The amount of time you will need to wash or harden a part will depend on the amount of resin you used.
A replacement bearing for the whisk at the bottom of the washing station is not included. However, I think Elegoo will soon also be offering the Mercury X container as a spare part, just like the Mercury Plus.
The Washing Station
The washing station is quite long and holds a maximum of 7 liters. According to Elegoo, the maximum size of the parts to be washed are:
- With platform: 180 x 121 x 153mm
- Without platform in the fry basket: 201 x 224 x 255mm
The way the build plates are held in the wash bucket is also new. It no longer needs to be clamped with that adjustable holder of the earlier models. Rather, it simply rests on a small protrusion inside the wash bucket or the metal grill provided. This also saves some time and brings a bit of comfort.
The plate of the Mars 3 above is without the little grill. However, I always have to use the grill in and never take it out.
The construction plate of the Mars 2 Pro would just about hold up. But for some other printers, there are issues. For example. the construction plate of an Anycubic Photon is already very wobbly (left photo). On the other hand, the plate of the Photon S, Anycubic Mono X, and others fit just right (right photo).
Yes, the fries basket is there. However, I have to detach the parts first before I can wash them, and that's not my thing.
If you a large format 3D printer, you can solve the problem of building plates that are too small with a simple adapter. Check the “proof of concept” I quickly came up with.
If you don't have an adjustable holder, you have to use isopropyl alcohol, or whatever you want to wash with, to ensure the build plate is submerged enough. I like it when the top of the build plate just barely gets washed over. With 5.5 liters it works quite well for me. This is another disadvantage of the larger size. With my old Wash & Cure station, 3 liters was enough for me.
For washing, I use isopropyl alcohol. I usually buy isopropyl alcohol in bulk as it's cheaper this way (this is what I buy). Moreover, we need a lot of that here.
Alternatively, you can use bioethanol or spirits. I tried alcohol once, but didn't find any real advantage there.
There are now more special cleaners for such things, e.g. the Monocure Resinaway, but they are very expensive. A filling costs almost more than the device but it smells of roses.
Be careful if you are planning to wash with tap water. Some people have reported that the bearing of the whisk of their Wash & Cure stations have broken, probably due to rust. Since cleaning with water isn't viable with non-water-washable resins, I don't use it.. I've been buying isopropyl alcohol since I've had resin printers and have been happy with it.
The lid of the washing station closes and seals well. Moreover, with the new way of fastening the building boards, I can now put the lid of the container on while washing. This helps to keep off the isopropyl odor.
The washing station itself is very light. However, once you have 6-7 kilos of alcohol on top, it becomes quite heavy.
The Curing Station
The curing station is larger. The plate has a diameter of 200 mm and can fit parts up to 260mm high. However, the parts are probably only hardened up to 220mm. Inside the station, there are more LEDs, the 2 pillars and a small LED strip below, all 405nm LEDs. The hood sensor is a bit unreliable. I know this because my device runs even when the hood is not on. Could it be because I've placed it very close to the wall?
The more LEDs brings significantly more power. This means I have to get used to different times compared to my old station. For instance, yesterday I hardened my pressure with Monocure Crystal to death with 3 minutes. From the looks of things, 1 minute would have been enough.
The disk spins slowly. It takes 85 seconds per revolution.
If you have a larger resin printer, you need a larger washing station. The Elegoo Mercury X Bundle would be a perfect accessory for you. The unit is sold at a cheap price for a station of this size. Whether you prefer 2 devices or a combined device is a matter of taste and space. I would have gotten a combination device, but for projects where I have to print a lot at the same time, the two devices save a little time and are more comfortable to use.
If a small Wash & Cure station is sufficient and you don't intend to buy a bigger resin 3D printer in the near future, the small Mercury Plus is cheaper and requires less alcohol. .
However, the Mercury X is still too small for the upcoming Elegoo Jupiter. Therefore, the only thing left is the fries basket.
Coming to a small disadvantage, both devices are very loud in my mini guest toilet, which is tiled up to the ceiling, the washing station is almost a bit uncomfortable, also in terms of pitch. I voluntarily leave the room while washing.
But other than that, the Mercury X Bundle is a clean affair, and you can buy it if you need this size.
I designed a simple shelf to hang the construction platform or the flexplate lower in the basket so that you don't have to have so much alcohol in the tank.
Print two of them and hang them upside down, with the long hooks outwards from the inside at the desired height in the meshes of the basket on the left and right side. In this position, objects up to 50 mm high can be cured with a tank capacity of 3 liters
PS: Do not print from resin, it will soon decompose if left in alcohol.