3D printing enthusiasts are always eager about new 3D printing technologies. That’s why resin printers became the talk of the town quickly. But are they worth it?
Although pricier than FDM technologies, resin 3D printers ensure high-quality prints with an extreme level of detail, especially in the case of small parts. The prints often have a smoother and more consistent surface finish than FDM printers.
So if you’re looking for a 3D printer that can produce something incompressible, high temperature resistant, highly transparent, and flexible, then resin 3D printers are what you need.
Elegoo Mars 3 is an affordable resin 3D printer with incredible print quality and excellent accuracy for models. For hobbyists, artists, and small businesses, it’s a good option to try out if they’re interested in resin 3D printers without breaking the bank.
So in this article, we’ll review the Elegoo Mars 3 so that you can learn more about it and decide whether you should buy it or not.
Let’s get started!
Before anything else, let’s go through all the specifications this model offers.
- 5.4 inches 1440p smartphone screen(12 x 6.8 cm printing area)
- 15.5 cm Z-axis(0.00125mm accuracy)
- 405 nm wavelength UV Integrated Light
- MSLA 3D Stereo lithography technology
- 0.01-0.2mm layer thickness
- 1.5-3s printing time
- USB connection
- Printer Dimensions: 8.93in (L)*8.93in (W)*17.28in (H) / 22.7cm (L)*22.7cm (W)*43.85cm (H)
- Build Volume: 5.64in(L)*3.52in(W)*6.89in(H) 143.43mm(L)*89.6mm(W)*175mm(H)
- 100-240V 50/60Hz power required
Resin printers are great for tabletop figurines and other small prints. Elegoo Mars 3 can tackle all these with ease.
Unlike many other similar options in the market, it can create clean, crisp, and finely detailed prints, making it perfect for small and intricate models. You may notice some warps. But compared to other resin printers, they are minimal.
Mars 3 allows you to print flawlessly, without fails. After you take a good look at its printed models, you will notice dazzling details. Not to mention the great reliability. And let’s face it, resin prints look fantastic anyway. Mars 3 takes it to another level.
Even if your models contain small text or letters in them, Mars 3 can get them with great accuracy. For jewelry designers, it can add detailed layer lines to make it more outstanding. However, if you put prints from Mars 3 and Mars 2 side by side, you won’t notice any huge difference. Sure, you will get sharper fringes and better edges, but the slight difference can only make you think if it’s worth upgrading if you already have the old model.
Once you finish the print from the Elegoo Mars printer, you won’t be able to use the models right off the box, unlike filament printers. You should wash the slimy resin off the body of your print. Isopropyl alcohol is pretty good at this job.
After washing the print comes the curing part. So once your model is all clean and dry, make sure it gets enough UV lighting. You can keep it in sunlight or make your curing station if you live in a place that doesn’t get much of the sun.
As for problems, you may sometimes see some random lines throughout your models. Not that it’s a deal breaker, but if you’re nitpicky, you will definitely notice them.
Elegoo recommends using the Chitubox slicer software. In fact, you get a free Chitubox Pro subscription for a year(worth $169) if you decide to buy Mars 3.
The Chitubox basic version is free to use. It’s a closed-source application and lacks many great features you’d only find in the pro version. You can’t use it for commercial purposes.
It comes with a done-for-you profile for Mars 3. This is convenient for starting your prints right out of the box without much tweaking of the settings. Some of the noteworthy features include-
- Automatic and manual support adding
- Rotating, aligning, and scaling parts
- Making parts hollow including Wall thickness control
- Advanced Auto Layout
- Split Model
- Add Tag
- Advanced Dig Hole
- Model Altering
- Suspend Detection
- Advanced Auto-Repair
- Manual Repair
- Multi-parameter slice
- 3D Measurement
- Pixel Editor
A lot of these features are exclusive to the Pro version. So you can get a taste of all these for the first year, without any charge. If you think the convenience of the pro features is worth paying for, you can continue with that version. But for most people, the basic version should be enough.
Overall, it has a clean UI, it’s easy to use even as a beginner, and it blends well with the Mars 3.
So we’ve seen that this printer produces some great models. But what about the machine itself? How well is it built?
Elegoo Mars 3 has a robust and stable build quality. You won’t find Z wobbles or other deficiencies. The material feels super solid. The resin container is made of aluminum chunks and is pretty solid.
Inside is a cooling fan dedicated to the UV LED. If you use the printer, you will notice the fan making a noise. It may feel noisier than some other 3D printers.
A larger print plate coupled with redesigned vat, higher resolution, and a brand-new light source allows it to pump out awesome prints really fast.
Besides the build quality, Elegoo made some awesome design decisions as well. The printer at a first glance seems like an ambulance siren. In the front panel are the power button, USB, and the 3.5-inch touchscreen.
So where can you make the best use of the Elegoo Mars 3? As we’ve said earlier, resin 3D printers are really great for getting extremely detailed models, usually small in size. Based on that, here are some fields you can use the Mars 3 in
- Jewelry: For all you jewelry designers, Mars 3 can do wonders. With such high resolution, you can get detailed and precise jewelry models
- Figurines and miniatures: This is probably the best use for this printer. If you love creating tabletop figurines, then this can be a handy device in your toolbox. It ensures a smooth surface finish for your hobby products.
- Home & DIY projects: Even for DIY people who only print useful day-to-day objects with their printer, you can use the Mars 3 for it. However, it may not be worth it in the long run especially because of the hassle of resin printers.
Till now, you’ve seen many of the positive sides of resin printers, especially the Elegoo Mars 3. But if it’s that great, why doesn’t everyone use it instead of FDM printers? That’s because resin printers have their drawbacks.
Resins are toxic sticky liquids. You absolutely don’t want to get them on your skin. It may cause a chemical burn and other skin complexities. So you should always wear nitrile gloves so that you can avoid touching that nasty stuff directly. Also, wear a respirator if possible to avoid the horrible smell and fumes.
Resin prints are magnificent looking, but not so durable. They can’t handle stress or load well. So don’t think you can print objects you would be using on a daily basis.
The post-processing can feel quite tedious. Washing, curing, sealing. And after so much effort, some prints may only last a few months. Resin is also more expensive than filament.
If you’re not in a sunny region, then you have to buy or make a curing station. So not only are resin printers more expensive, the expense only increases with all the accessories and cautionary items you need to buy with it.
According to Elegoo, you can get an 89.6mm*143.43mm*175mm print size with the Mars 3.
This boils down to your needs, budget, and print environment. Elegoo Mars 3 is definitely a good choice as a first resin printer. It’s more on the affordable side and has a slight edge over its predecessors.
There isn’t any specific type. You can use varieties of resin with Elegoo Mars 3. Some types Elegoo mentions are standard Photopolymer resin, Gray Resin, Mammoth Resin, Transparent Resin, and High-Detail Resin.
This is too generic and can’t be answered in a few words. If we compare specific models like the Elegoo Mars 3 against the Anycubic Photon, then Mars 3 has the upper hand in terms of build volume while Anycubic comes with start resins.
If you loved Mars 3, then consider Mars 3 Pro as its upgraded version with a bigger build volume, improved light source, better cooling system, and air purification.
Resin printers have their good and bad. Whether you should have one depends on what you need and your printing priorities. The Elegoo Mars 3 is definitely worth looking into should you choose this path. It won’t burn a hole in your pocket for having a taste of resin prints.
Have any questions about Mars 3? Let us know in the comments.