Mars Elegoo 3, does anyone have one?

They’re on a good sale on amazon right now at $170. it would be my first 3D printer and i don’t have a lot of experience, just printed a couple of premade pieces for houses/hotels for my monopoly board on the Makerbot Replicator+ at my office.

so, thoughts? is this a decent beginner 3D printer?


I have the original mars, and it’s pretty cool.

The big BIG advantage to the mars 3 over the mars is speed. The printing process is roughly 3x faster than mine. Granted, that doesn’t mean it’s fast, it’s just significantly faster. You can still be looking at 8-hour prints if your model is really tall, but for something like a game token it’s going to be 30-45 mins probably.

If I were going to be looking at one at this point I would be torn. There’s Adam Savage’s rule of thumb that says “get the cheapest version of the tool first, master it, then buy the really good one”, but in this case the operation of the tools is almost identical, so there’s not much learning curve from one machine to another – just speed and resolution.

So. I’d be looking at XY resolution and speed first, and elegoo has a bunch of good options on that front.

The mars 3 4k: XY Resolution: 0.035mm

My original mars is more like 0.047mm, which is noticeable.

The elegoo saturn 4 8k is even better at 0.0285mm

The saturn 12K is even better at 19×24μm, but now you’re talking like double the price. Definitely some diminishing returns. I think this is their finest resolution on the market right now.

EDIT: Nope looks like it’s the mars 4 9k, 18x18 μm resolution, that’s pretty dang good.

To compare speeds look at the spreadsheet of settings, layer time is a big part of the duration, but it’s kind of like laser engraving, there’s a little overhead per layer that doesn’t decrease. So if a layer takes 1/2 the time, the print job won’t be exactly 1/2 the time. more like 65%.

Clear as mud right? The mars 3 4k sale looks really great, $171 is a great deal. If I didn’t have my mars already I’d probably jump at it. Heck, I’m thinking about it anyway.


Oh also you’ll need a UV light for curing. They have their curing station, and I’m sure it’s nice but it’s also not 100% required. I use a cheap nail curing light and it works perfectly.

Something like this:

Also resin printing… you have to think about the celanup process. Most resins need isopropyl alcohol. The way I do it is that I have 2 plastic bins with lids. One is the main wash and the second is the rinse. The main wash IPA is pretty permeated with dissolved resin, then I shake all that off and do a final rinse in the clean stuff.

An ultrasonic cleaner is also a nice thing to have but not necessary at first. Over investing before you find out how much you use/like it is a bad plan.

I recently made a super low budget fume hood by hooking up a Y to my external inline fan, cutting a hole for the vent hose in a big box and putting the whole IPA print/rinse setup inside it. I was getting irritated by the IPA and/or resin fumes and decided a negative pressure environment was a good plan. turned out to be an outstanding idea, and now I have no issues.

Oh and lastly, a magnetic flexible build plate is also a good accessory to buy. Makes removing the prints far simpler.


thanks for all that detailed writeup. I’m not sure i can justify spending more for the higher end ones, i don’t think i’ll use it a lot. But at $170, it’s cheap enough that i don’t mind taking a flyer.

their 2 in 1 curing (wash and cure) is down to $99 right now, too. I kinda like having both wash and cure in there, as well as the turntable for curing. am i overthinking that?


The way it works is that there’s a separate bucket for washing that you replace on the same base. There are more details on the elegoo site:

In my mind, I don’t love one-off tools like this. I’d rather get a standalone ultrasonic cleaner that can be used for all kinds of stuff and the UV curing light is also useful for other stuff. The Mercury station is a slick package but it really only does the one thing.


i have an ultrasonic cleaner. i haven’t thought about maybe using that with alcohol instead of the normal cleaning solution. i can’t really think of a time i needed a UV curing light, but maybe if i had one, i’d invent some.


Once you have uv resin laying around… it’s an amazing glue and can be almost instantly set with a uv light. You can also get into casting parts. Who knows what you’d get up to.

I also have a pretty good UV flashlight that I use to help with cleanup. You end up using lots of paper towels and I like to do the entire cleanup process on a piece of sacrificial cardboard that catches inevitable drips.

When I’m all done I hit all the trash/cardboard with the uv flashlight and set all the liquid resin so it wont get on things. It’s fairly toxic in liquid form so I don’t let it stay that way.

Of course, you also have a huge free UV lamp that’s about nine light minutes away. You can always leave prints or contaminated paper towels out in the sun and they cure quite nicely, albeit a bit more slowly.


ooh, i do have a couple of UV flashlights. they’re really nice for charging up the lume on my watches.


I have the Mercury Cure and cleaning unit it’s very nice and convenient. I don’t know if I need it but I’m glad I have it.

P.S. I have Mars II and now that I saw this thread, I want to upgrade to III or IV.


alright, i just pulled the trigger. it’ll be here Tuesday.


Great tips from @evansd2!

I also got a first-edition Elegoo Mars when they first got inexpensive and, did a bunch of cool prints. It was pretty easy to get going and, made nice prints. The LCD panel developed burnt spots relatively quickly (after maybe three dozen prints). I got a replacement panel but, they were back ordered.

I got an Anycubic Photon M3 while I was waiting. It has also been good but, was more difficult to get going initially than the Mars.

I also do a two vat wash of prints, using Simple Green for the first and IPA for the second. I use sealable plastic pickle containers for that.

You can also get a pretty plain UV lamp for curing, like this:

I have my resin printer in a room I can close up with a strong exhaust fan. Out of an abundance of caution, I wear a respirator, nitrile gloves and a tyvek apron while working with it.


They are messy but a ton of fun.


the $99 price isn’t amazing, just $20 off, so i can hold off for now and decide if i’m more interested later. camelcamelcamel says it drops under $100 occasionally, too.


i don’t have a good room to close up. but our “junk” room is on the opposite end of the finished attic from my office. i can probably keep it a good 30 ft away with an open doorway in between. and i can put my air filter over in that side.

i did read the toms hardware review, and they mentioned wearing gloves. i do have a respirator, too.

is this an issue only when running the printer? or is it an issue with cleaning, too? I can do the cleaning outside on my screened in porch for better ventilation.


Generally, I’m pretty lax when it comes to safety, but I do feel the need for gloves when handling the uncured resin.


The main things are not to get resin on your skin – you can develop a sensitivity to it in some cases – and, not to breathe the fumes a lot. Avoid ingesting it, of course. I’m not sure there is a lot of solid data on how bad it is for you but, why chance it? It may also vary with different resins.

Air filter should help with fume control. They also make some designed to go inside the enclosure.

Cleaning outside is probably fine but, be aware that sunlight has enough UV to cure the resin.


I find that cleaning is the only phase that causes me grief. i think it’s probably the IPA. My bodged fume hood has been a game changer… I’ll post a pic and you’ll laugh.

Oh also bonus alcohol spray bottle in the foreground. I find it’s useful for the very final cleaning of various surfaces to spray and wipe them down… it uses very little alcohol. 99.9% IPA is pricey (not really but kinda, it’s the principle of the matter)


hey, nothing wrong with makeshift stuff like that! why spend a fortune on something when a modified cardboard box will do the trick? i’d probably do the same.


Yeah I tried to complicate it and got all into planning a Real Live Vent Hoodtm, scheming and planning for a week or two but in the end I said “or I could use a box” and was done in like ten minutes.

I don’t even use a mask or anything anymore. I just crank that fan and there are no fumes in the room at all. It just goes out the same vent hole that the GF uses.


Spray and wipe down is a great idea. I use two of those pickle containers, for a dirty wash and a clean wash, but I find I wind up wanting some friction.