The price points fathomed by resin 3D printers recently have been irresistible, so I didn’t.
Resolution, build volume, release mechanism, and z-axis rigidity are the key features that’ll get my attention and that’s why the Elegoo Mars has earned its spot in the stable over other candidates in the near-$200 price range.
The Elegoo’s size is considerably more desktop-friendly than my previous three, but IMO a little bit more height would put it in a perfect ergonomic level when sitting on a desk…
Option 1: Devote the next couple days to pulling out the table saw, making triplicate measurements, swapping out dado blades, adjusting fence distances, re-attaching a finger, and finally cleaning away sawdust and blood.
Option 2: Mark calendar as BUSY for the next 6 minutes. Open a lid, load plywood, smash the glowing PRINT button.
Don’t spoil it for the slower readers which route was taken…
I have an Anycubic Photon and an Epax X1, both LCD resin printers similar to the Elegoo Mars. I use them primarily for printing DnD and similar gaming figures. Excellent fun, and excellent results. Working with resin is no issue if you are careful and use common sense, and some ventilation. Don’t wait any longer… go get one. You won’t be sorry!
Behold functional storage for Resin Vats. The design goal is to support the vat at its edges and specifically minimize contact with the flush underside FEP film that serves as a crucial layer release mechanism in stereolithography printing. The custom-fitting nature of each slot ensures the covered vat sits in shadow to halt any stray 405nm UV light from getting at the resin.
Elegoo has released a bundled kit of twin metal vats. As if the Printer itself wasn’t the steal of the century, the Resin Vats are ridiculously underpriced considering what Anycubic charges for just ONE and moreso considering the cost of replacement vats on my first two printers from 2012: $500 and $120!
Modular design allows some of the fastest on-hand access to a grouping of resins for a particular project… Figurine printing will gather the cabinet insert that bundles Gray & Skinshade Resins. Model-making will call for the insert that bundles Black & Translucent Resins. Jewelry-making can have its own insert dedicated to Direct-Casting Resin.
No, most laser cutters will not cut Tempered Glass protectors. The Glowforge cuts cheep rigid plastic (polycarbonate?) protectors just fine though. FYI, an iPad Pro sized sheet will yield a dozen protectors for the Elegoo Mars screen.
Fun, frivolity & insight on this Elegoo Mars can be found here and here.
Excellent sharp-eyed catch on the 5.5 inch Masking Screen, Dave. I had previously been keeping tabs on the replacement screen listed by FYSETC for $40.
I AM a bit concerned about whether you’re killing those screens fast enough to warrant stocking four. Cracking the masking screen would suggest that the build platform zero-leveling is exerting waaaaay too much pressure. Disregard if you’re merely stocking up for the offered price.
Elegoo does it out of simplicity when they instruct users to press down on the Build Plate while locking down the grub screws, but I opine that doing so might
exert a tad too much pressure on the masking screen
waste an exposure opportunity at layer zero while throwing off the z-dimension accuracy
risk pressing an errant piece of cured resin into the (delicate?) screen for those who might not strain their vats between prints
At some point I plan to practice what I preach by re-zeroing the Build Platform but sandwich a tiny sheet of cash-register receipt thermal paper (50 microns thick) before retightening the grub screws. Regular 20lb office copy paper is about 100 microns thick and although most users are putting a 60-second exposure time on the initial “bottom layers” I would worry that it’s a gap threshold that might not provide a good solid anchor in that given duration.
I’d also want to investigate whether it’d be helpful to lay a 5.5” tempered glass screen protector on the LCD mask — or whether this particular M-SLA process doesn’t allow for ANY additional gap between the LCD and FEP film. (ie., stray, angled light if gap is introduced) My commercial resin printer from 2012 had a thick-ish protective tempered glass built into the vat but that was entirely permissible because the slices were projected from a distance.
Initially I had additionally planned to get my hands on the Elegoo disposable plastic vats (releases end of September) but after seeing how relatively painless it was to install the FEP film, I’ll probably stick with the metal vats and take the opportunity to uncover the hub-bub over EPAX’s “non FEP” film.
Aaaand to bring focus back to the glory of the Glowforge, I present to the Elegoo caucus, resin vat insert print files:
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This is optimized for two sheets of .125" Medium Draftboard. Might need to re-order the layer sequences in Glowforge UI. Text gets Scored first. Two series of small, internal cuts followed by a single outer perimeter cut. All curves have been optimized to cut once (no overlapping double-cuts)
BOTH files have a stray, separable panel that you can initially ignore and apply toward a scrap, fit-able piece of Draftboard. Exploded image posted earlier should provide a straightforward dry-fit before committing the tabs to glue. When gluing, I found it’s best to assemble from innermost parts outward.
I use copy paper on the LCD screen and then zero to that. In use the plate is going to be sitting off the LCD by the thickness of the FEP so I’m not worried about missing first layers - I haven’t had any fails there yet. I don’t know how thick the FEP is but it seems comparable to the paper but it might be more thermal paper thick. Just haven’t chased that spec down.
Thanks for the LCD link - picked up a couple of those for spares.