Small resin printers are nice since they are fairly cheap and have a large userbase if you need help. The two main printers to go for are the Elegoo Mars 2 and the Anycubic Photon Mono. Both of these printers are super reliable and there is no wrong answer between the two.
Photon Mono and Mars 2
- The Photon Mono and Mars 2 essentially have the same XY resolution, 0.051mm and 0.05mm respectively.
- Both printers have plastic vats by default, but this doesn't affect print quality. If you desire aluminum instead, pick up a Sovol vat.
- The companies have a comparable level of customer service, and it is difficult to escape spotty service until you exit the budget realm (Formlabs, Prusa etc). Thus, if you can order the printer on amazon, you will have the amazon delivery speed plus the return policy in the event something goes wrong.
Anycubic Photon Mono
- The Photon Mono sports an extra 15mm in build height over the Mars 2.
- The main potential downside on the Photon Mono is that it uses a pre-assembled FEP; this can either be super convenient or annoying if you want to use your own FEP. You can solve this by purchasing a Sovol vat after your FEP sheet needs to be replaced, which can take a while anyway.
Elegoo Mars 2
- Elegoo often has cheaper replacement parts compared to Anycubic.
- Why not the Mars 2 Pro? The Pro version does come with slightly extra build height, and this should be its only selling point. The plastic vat on the regular Mars 2 works perfect fine and Sovol has cheap aluminum vats anyway. The 'air filter' on the Mars 2 Pro is 13.6 gram brick of compressed carbon that requires taking the entire printer apart to replace it (elegoo's video). Instead, you can download the print files for our P Mini air cleaner for free.
As you can tell, there are not too many differences between these printers since they largely consist of the same components under the hood. Your purchase decision will rely on the small feature differences, preference of company, and the purchase price in your location.
To compare resin printers, browse resin, and get equipment inspiration visit our Ultimate Resin Guide.
To compare FDM printers via an interactive table, side-by-sides, and in-depth articles.
Application & Safety FAQ answers common questions about resin.
Ventilation Simulations has animations for common DIY venting setups, and Heating Resin Printers during winter provides data for specific heat sources.
Our Resin Print Settings Table has associated images, mixes, and does a resin giveaway.
To browse resin properties and find your ideal strong, durable, flexible, or high-temp resin visit our Resin Properties Table. To find properties of filaments, visit our FDM Properties Table.
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