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Elegoo Mars 2 Pro Review

If you value detail above all else and are looking for a printer for high-quality miniature models, then this is our all-around favorite
Elegoo Mars 2 Pro
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $300 List | $254.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Exceptionally detailed prints, solid capabilities
Cons:  Prints require cleanup, much messier
Manufacturer:   Elegoo
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  May 11, 2021
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61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 14
  • Print Quality - 40% 10
  • Ease of Use - 30% 2
  • Print Capabilities - 20% 5
  • Support - 10% 5

Our Verdict

If you care about the fine detail on your printed models above all else, then we highly recommend the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro. This compact resin printer produced prints that would be practically impossible on a filament-based printer and is a solidly capable machine. Like all resin printers, it can be a bit finicky for novices and is much harder to use, as prints will require both cleanup and post-curing before being handled. However, we think this printer is one of the best options for anyone looking to make very detailed models on a small scale.

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Elegoo Mars 2 Pro
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Elegoo Mars 2 Pro
Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award   
Price $300 List
$254.99 at Amazon
$669 List
$626.00 at Amazon
$280 List
$236.00 at Amazon
$300 List
$249.99 at Amazon
$340 List
$249.99 at Amazon
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Pros Exceptionally detailed prints, solid capabilitiesCompact form factor, excellent prints for FFF, easy to useGreat budget buy, solid printing capabilities, decent print qualityDetailed prints, inexpensiveInexpensive, decently capable
Cons Prints require cleanup, much messierSupport could be better, a bit more assembly than other printersFinicky with ABS, can require a bit of tinkeringDifficult to use, limited customer supportInterface can be finicky, limited customer support in our experience
Bottom Line If you value detail above all else and are looking for a printer for high-quality miniature models, then this is our all-around favoriteIf you're seeking a great value option, it's hard to beat this user-friendly machineIf you are looking for an inexpensive bare-bones printer and don't mind making some adjustments to it, then this model is an exceptional choiceIf you are shopping for a resin printer on a slimmer budget, this can be a great optionWhile this printer is a decent budget option, it somewhat failed to stand out from the rest of the pack
Rating Categories Elegoo Mars 2 Pro Creality 3D CR-10S... Creality 3D Ender 3... Anycubic Photon Mono Anycubic Mega S
Print Quality (40%)
10.0
7.0
6.0
10.0
5.0
Ease Of Use (30%)
2.0
7.0
6.0
2.0
6.0
Print Capabilities (20%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
Support (10%)
5.0
5.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
Specs Elegoo Mars 2 Pro Creality 3D CR-10S... Creality 3D Ender 3... Anycubic Photon Mono Anycubic Mega S
Build Volume (XxYxZ) 130x80x160mm 300x300x400mm 200x200x250mm 130x80x165mm 210x210x205mm
Maximum Extruder Temperature N/A 260°C 255°C N/A 260°C
Layer Cooling Fan? N/A 1 2 N/A 1
Heated Bed N/A Yes Yes N/A Yes
Build Plate Material Aluminum Aluminium build plate with an adhesive printing sheet Aluminium build plate with a magnetic course plastic sticker Aluminum Tempered Glass with mesh covering (Ultrabase)
Maximum Bed Temperature N/A 110°C 110°C N/A 120°C
Compatible with Third-Party Materials? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Included Nozzle sizes Not applicable 0.4mm 0.4mm Not applicable 0.4mm
Print layer resolution 0.025 - 0.1mm 0.1 - 0.4mm 0.1 - 0.4mm 0.025 - 0.1mm 0.05 - 0.4mm
Filament Size 405 nm resin 1.75mm 1.75mm 405 nm resin 1.75mm
PLA? N/A Yes Yes N/A Yes
ABS? N/A Yes Yes N/A Yes
Network Printing No No No No No
Standalone (SD card or USB drive) Printing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Given this machine's very detailed prints and smaller overall build area, it's a great option for hobbies that involve miniatures, like model building or tabletop gaming.

Performance Comparison


If you want top-tier print quality, then we highly recommend this...
If you want top-tier print quality, then we highly recommend this printer.
Credit: Jason Peters

Print Quality


First and foremost, we rated and ranked the print quality of each of these 3D printers. For the resin printers, we made a selection of test prints and compared their quality against each other, since the mechanism by which these printers print renders many of our typical FDM printer tests useless. The Mars 2 Pro created some excellent prints, earning one of the better scores of all the printers we have tested.


This printer did an excellent job of recreating all but the tiniest details, which we noticed would occasionally warp, depending on the orientation in the printer. It did very well with bridges and overhangs, as long as they have supported and oriented correctly to avoid islands.

The smooth curves and immaculate surface finish thoroughly impressed...
The smooth curves and immaculate surface finish thoroughly impressed us.
Credit: Jason Peters

The stairs and spirals on the chess rooks had very smooth curves and an excellent surface finish. It even delivered an almost flawless Eiffel Tower, with even the smallest towards the top of the tower coming through in the print.

Even the finest details came through in the prints by the Mars 2 Pro.
Even the finest details came through in the prints by the Mars 2 Pro.
Credit: Jason Peters

The tiny figurines and the icebreaker ship all had immaculate details, with the Mars 2 Pro creating exceptionally thin and detailed features, like the antennas on the icebreaker. These were actually so delicate that we frequently broke them off when cleaning. All in all, we think we would be hard-pressed to expect more from a consumer 3D printer and highly recommend this one to anyone who values print quality above all else.

You definitely pay the price in labor for the exceptional print...
You definitely pay the price in labor for the exceptional print quality.
Credit: Jason Peters

Ease of Use


Unfortunately, the performance of the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro plummeted in our next metric. While resin printers create exceptionally detailed prints compared to FDM printers, they can also be notoriously more labor-intensive to operate, with the Mars 2 Pro being no exception. This printer earned one of the lower scores of the group overall but comparable to similar resin-based printers that we have tested.


The main difficulty when it comes to using resin printers is the resin itself. You should be wearing gloves if there is any chance that the resin might come in contact with your skin. It also just tends to make a mess, so it makes it much more difficult to swap different resins, as you should filter the resin back into the container, then clean the vat out — usually with isopropyl alcohol — before you can swap in a different color.

This printer can be a bit more work to operate than FDM models.
This printer can be a bit more work to operate than FDM models.
Credit: Jason Peters

Fortunately, the Mars 2 Pro doesn't require a ton of setup or assembly and is essentially ready to go right out of the box. It also is considerably easier to level the build plate compared to an FDM printer in our experience. You usually loosen the screw, lower the Z-axis with a piece of paper separating it from the screen, then re-tighten the screw and set the new Z-axis height.

The build plate on this printer is a bit larger than some of the...
The build plate on this printer is a bit larger than some of the other resin models we have tested.
Credit: Jason Peters

Files are sent to the Mars 2 Pro via USB thumb drive and the screen gives you some basic operation about the status of the print while the machine is running. However, you also have to deal with all of the cleanup and other tasks that resin printing entails. After a print is removed from the Mars, you usually will need to remove any supports and then thoroughly wash off and properly dispose of any uncured resin on the model.

Finally, you need to post-cure the resin using UV light — either sunlight or a UV-light chamber — before the print is finished. This whole process requires plenty of consumable materials — gloves, paper towels, isopropyl alcohol, toothbrushes, filters, UV lights — so you will also want to take this into account if you are considering the Mars 2 Pro.

This printer has a decent range of capabilities.
This printer has a decent range of capabilities.
Credit: Jason Peters

Print Capabilities


Our next round of tests for the Mars 2 Pro and the other printers focused on each printer's different capabilities, such as build volume, available materials, and slicer compatibility. The Mars 2 Pro did a bit better in this regard, earning it a score in the middle of the group overall.


We used the ChiTu Box slicer software for our tests, which is what most people will use with this printer. There are a few other slicers available but you definitely have considerably fewer options than an FDM printer. The build volume for this printer is a bit on the small side, measuring in at 130mm x 80mm x 160mm.

The stock build plate worked fine for our uses with plenty of different resins. We like that this printer is quite open when it comes to materials, compatible with any 405 nm resin — both made by Elegoo or third-party manufacturers.

Overall, we weren't the most impressed with the customer support for...
Overall, we weren't the most impressed with the customer support for this printer.
Credit: Jason Peters

Support


Our last set of tests focused on the customer support available with this 3D printer. The Elegoo team wasn't the most helpful in our opinions but still did decently well, earning a score just above average.


We like that there are plenty of videos about how to troubleshoot, fix, or replace various components of your machine on the Elegoo website. They also have a contact form and email — but no US phone number — if you need to reach out to them for support. We have had a bit of a mixed experience with their support team, finding them decently helpful but sometimes with considerable wait times in the response.

Value


For producing such excellent prints, the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro is actually one of the more affordable printers of the group. However, it does come with an associated cost in consumable supplies that needs to be taken into account, but even with that, this still can be an attractive budget-friendly option for anyone looking to make highly detailed miniature models.

Conclusion


If you are looking for a top-tier printer that can make an incredibly detailed model on a smaller scale, we highly recommend the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro. It takes a bit more work per print than many of the FDM printers but we think you will struggle to find better prints from another consumer printer at this price point.

David Wise and Austin Palmer