This printer is tiny but powerful. The printer uses a printing technique that is both more cluttered and far more accurate than the most basic types of 3D printers on the block. The Mars Pro is an MSLA 3D printer with UV light curing resin, thanks to a matrix UV LED array.
The ELEGOO Mars Pro MSLA 3D printer works with a maximum print size of 5.45 inches (length) x 2.56 inches (width) x 5.9 inches (height). So it’s pretty small. If you’ve seen any of our other 3D printer reviews, you know this is the smallest 3D printer we’ve worked on to date. … unless you are talking about the 3Doodler Pro + 3D printing pen and the rest of the 3D printing pens from this line.
This device has a rubberized lid seal to keep dust out and maintain resin order. This device also has a fan and air filter to soak up the resin odor and filter it out during the printing process. This fan isn’t quiet, but not loud enough to be bothersome. When I run this 3D printer in a room with the door closed, I can barely hear it outside that door.
This 3D printer works with the same software that we used with the Phenom from Peopoly. That means that we are working with ChiTuBox and that we are going back to basics. This software is easy to use once you get the hang of it.
If you’ve never prepared a 3D file for a 3D printer, there is some trial and error to prepare yourself mentally. If you’ve never used a 3D printer before and you expect the process to take a little getting used to, the ELEGOO Mars Pro is a great 3D printer to do your learning on.
All controls on the device are done from the front with a simple and easy touchscreen interface. Files are sent to the printer via a USB stick. On the back there is an on-off switch and a power connector that is connected to a power cord, which is also included.
The price of the printer is relatively low – outside of the cheapest off-brand 3D printers in the world, of course. You will need at least one bottle of UV curable resin to print with this printer. Make sure you research your resin before you buy – some are made specifically for this type of printer, while others require a ton of additional work to tweak before they work.
The good thing about working with a brand like ELEGOO is the functional and helpful online community. Since this printer is relatively well known, I was able to find a forum in which I could immediately find exact settings (for ChiTuBox).
Print speed and quality
If you are looking to print miniatures for Warhammer or action figures, or tiny little things of all kinds, this printer is a winner. The quality of the prints this device makes is as accurate, sharp, and solid as the Phenom – since they use basically the same printing technique – but all on a smaller scale.
Obviously, when deciding which 3D printer to buy for a project, size matters. In general, when you talk about printing with PLA via fused deposition modeling (FDM) with a roll of filament, it is best to get as large a printer as possible – there is no downside other than the space in your basement that you will need Reservations.
In general, if you are looking to buy a Vat Polymerization (SLA or DLP) 3D printer, you should find the 3D printer that is only slightly larger than the project you are most likely doing on a regular basis. If you only want to print one miniature action figure at a time, it’s best to have a tiny printer like this Mars Pro. If you’re printing a life-size Iron Man mask, you need a printer like the Phenom.
When printing with light-curing resin, use a liquid. This can get a little messy. I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error when it comes to this stuff, especially when it comes to final curing and leakage.
If I am printing a miniature with a hollow chamber, there is a good chance uncured resin will get trapped in it. If the print is properly sealed and the sides of the print are thick enough to avoid breaking, I don’t have to worry about the liquid trapped inside.
However, if I make the mistake of the printer printing some of the print too thin and I accidentally break inward while reprinting, the liquid resin will leak. I learned the hard way that this resin can cause a MESS with other materials.
For example, I printed a tiny model and didn’t check all the nooks and crannies properly to make sure I didn’t allow a leak. I painted the model with acrylic paint and thought I was done … but oh no!
As soon as resin emerged from the inside, the paint melted away from the outside. This resin DOES NOT play well with paint, ink, or other liquids that you may apply to your 3D print after it dries.
BUT that’s not the printer’s fault. If you tell the Mars Pro to print a model with proper drainage, or pages that are thick and waterproof, you will not have any problems.
We tried a semi-transparent blue, black, and white resin from Elegoo and they all worked with great results. Above you can see a black print with Elegoo resin and a semi-transparent blue print (Homer Simpson) with Elegoo resin. You’ll also see a sword imprinted with Siraya Tech FAST resin – this is a completely different resin that doesn’t come from Elegoo and also worked great once we found the right settings for everything to work properly.
Cleaning and maintenance
The pressure plate is held in place with a simple hand screw, and the moving parts in this machine are generally protected against dummy. Even the material that contains the resin to cure (FEP film) can be replaced by a very, very simple process. *
ABOVE: The top of the pressure plate is inclined. This is a very important detail. I used a printer with this part lying flat on top. Every time a print was stopped it carried a lot of resin and dripped all over it. The sloping shape of the ELEGOO Mars Pro allows the resin to slide off, resulting in a far less messy experience.
* Here’s another reason why you should do well to only get the size of printer that you need, not bigger. With the Peopoly Phenom, you have a huge piece of FEP film that contains your resin. This leaves a lot of room for user error. I went through a couple of trays pretty quickly, which meant I had to buy another replacement in order to keep printing.
With the ELEGOO Mars Pro, the FEP film is tiny and replacing the film is much cheaper than a much larger device. Elegoo provided us with a number of spare pieces of film so we can see how easy the process is. Replacing this part is easier than putting a screen protector on a smartphone.
The ELEGOO Mars Pro 3D printer is a small masterpiece. It’s easy to run and just the right size for small projects. At $ 250, the price is right, and the big enough brand name means 3D party support and online community help are effective.
If I was going to start printing parts for a Dungeons and Dragons party, or prototyping tons of tiny toys in my spare time, this would be the printer I would buy. This is a very, very good printer. It is solidly constructed and comes with a thoughtful experience from start to finish.
As you will see above, the ELEGOO Mars Pro comes with a variety of tools and accessories that are vital to your 3D printing experience. You can currently purchase this printer from a variety of sources for around $ 250, while 1000ml bottles of resin will cost you around $ 35-40. All of this is available online at Elegoo and / or (possibly) at third party 3D printing houses.