While the Elegoo Mars and Anycubic Photon share several similarities, there are distinguishing features that set the two DLP printers apart. Here’s a breakdown of some important features to help you determine which might be the best option for all your resiny aspirations.
The build volume differences between these two DLP 3D printers are nearly indiscernible at a glance, but the Elegoo Mars ever-so-slightly beats out the Anycubic Photon with a 120 x 68 x 155mm build volume. The Z-axis measurements for these two contenders are the same, but Mars offers an additional 5mm on the X-axis and 3mm on the Y-axis.
For the most part, the print quality that resin 3D printing technology provides is indistinguishable to the naked eye. This especially rings true when comparing the Anycubic Photon and Elegoo Mars, as both 3D printers are said to offer an XY resolution of 47 microns and a Z-layer resolution as low as 10 microns. In other words, when it comes to print quality, both of these machines deliver satisfying results, especially considering the low price point.
Like most budget-priced 3D printers on the market, the price of the Anycubic Photon and Elegoo Mars is largely contingent on the retailer you purchase it from. For instance, as of Fall 2019, the Elegoo Mars is listed at $369 on the manufacturer’s website but is nearly $100 cheaper on Amazon. On the other hand, Anycubic has priced its DLP printer at just $249 (without resin) or $289 (with resin).
While the price difference between the Elegoo Mars and Anycubic Photon will likely remain in flux depending on where and when it’s purchased, there is an important distinction that gives the Photon the edge here. While the Elegoo Mars usually comes without any starting resin, the Anycubic Photon is, in most cases, accompanied by 250ml of starting resin.
Another similarity between the two machines is that they’re essentially plug-and-play 3D printers. Both come largely pre-assembled and require just a bit of light manual labor before users can get their toes sticky in resin. The main step for both machines is inserting the resin vat and attaching the print plate. Admittedly, the Anycubic Photon requires a few extra steps, making it slightly more time-consuming.
Once assembled, the bed leveling process also remains largely the same. Both the Anycubic Photon and Elegoo Mars can be considered as plug-and-play 3D printers. However, we did achieve quicker success with the Elegoo Mars, taking just two minutes for us to prepare and start printing.
Under the Hood
The technology the drives both the Anycubic Photon and Elegoo Mars are extremely similar. For instance, these two DLP printers employ a 2560×1440 2K HD masking LCD, which is what’s used to project light into the resin vat. The Elegoo Mars has a slightly larger touch screen and build volume, but otherwise the mechanics aren’t too different. On the other hand, the exteriors of these two machines are more distinct, especially when comparing the red UV-blocking lid on the Elegoo Mars and the more limited front-facing window of the Anycubic Photon.