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After the success of the Mars and the Mars pro, Elegoo announced at the beginning of the year the release of a larger model: the Saturn, announced at the maximum price of 600 dollars.
Before the mass production, Elegoo sent 20 beta units to different testers in order to test the machine and give them a feedback on this new product.
I was lucky enough to get one of those beta machines I’m going to talk to you about today. But beware, this version is not the final version, changes may be made before commercialization. [UPDATE: Elegoo has since announced the final version, its price and has proposed a series of machines for pre-order, see the end of the article]
It is true that resin printing brings an extraordinary print quality compared to FDM printing, however one finally finds oneself frustrated by the small size of the plate on machines such as Photon or Mars.
On the left is the Saturn’s tray, on the right is the Mars Pro.
The community is asking for bigger machines, they already exist, but at much higher prices, more than 1000€ for entry-level machines. So this $600 ad is really appreciated and the expectation is very high.
Introduction of the Elegoo Saturn
I remind you that the machine that I could test is not a final version, some modifications can be made. So I won’t go into too many details concerning the technical data sheet.
Overall the Saturn looks very similar to the Mars, with a printing area of 19.2cmx12.0cm for a height of 20.0cm (compared to 11.98cm x 6.8cm x 15.5cm for the Mars). It also integrates an ethernet port so you can send your prints to the printer via the network.
Despite this larger screen, the resolution is the same (2560*1440), so there will be a slight loss of quality compared to a Mars (smaller screen for the same resolution, with a finer print). [Update, the final version will finally be equipped with a 4K monochrome screen].
The USB port is on the front compared to the Mars [Update, finally on the side on the final version].
On the software side, the machine is already referenced under Chitubox, except that the ethernet functionalities are not yet implemented, the interface of the machine is also identical to the Mars.
First impression with the Saturn
After having made the tray adjustment with a sheet, I launch the printing of a tower (Saturn version), this first printing is successful. At first glance I don’t notice a loss of quality compared to the Mars, the writings on the top are clear.
For the second print, I use this model to check the finer details, I do notice a slightly less smooth surface compared to Mars. [Update, with the new 4k screen this shouldn’t be the case anymore].
Then we switch to XXL model printing!
21 hours printing in 0.05 (8sec per layer), for a total height of 188mm, I am bluffed by the result! It’s really nice to be able to print so big on a resin printer.
And this is the print of an miniature, about 12 hours of printing.
For a beta machine I’m pleasantly surprised by the print quality and the finish of this machine. This printing volume offers new possibilities, and should convince many users reluctant to the small size of machines like the Mars or the Photon. The disadvantage, however, is that a large stock of resin will be needed, preferably 1L bottles. Can’t wait to see the final version of this machine, hoping that Elegoo will respect its commitment on the announced price!
Update, announced price list and pre-order available!
Elegoo has just officialized the final version of this Saturn, with a very important announcement concerning the type of screen used, which will finally be a 4k resolution LCD, monochrome!
The 4K resolution allows to have no quality loss, compared to the 2k screen of the Mars/March Pro.
The use of a monochrome panel also allows a much faster printing compared to an RGB screen, the announced gain and 2 to 3 times faster. In fact, the exposure time can be reduced to 2-3 seconds per layer, compared to 7-9sec per layer with standard resin on the Mars.
The other advantage is also the lifetime of these screens, also multiplied by 4, so we will be able to print an average of 2000h compared to 500h for a color screen on a Mars. As for the price of the replacement screen, Elegoo was able to give me the price which would be less than 100$.
Finally, concerning the pre-order of this machine, and its price, the Saturn is proposed at only 400$! For the first 3000 units (the machines were all sold in less than 5min).
We can hope to see the Saturn available on Amazon, in November 2020, at a price between 500 and 600€.
A little more patience, then… large format resin printing is finally available thanks to this Saturn.