Elegoo Mars 3 Resin 3D Printer Review


The Elegoo Mars 3 is Elegoo’s latest entry into its extremely successful Mars line of resin 3D printers. The new, extremely resolution 4K LCD display is what defines the Mars 3 and its competitors in this generation of small form factor resin 3D printers. It is an iterative step up from its predecessor, the Mars 2 Pro with an increase in resolution, print volume and price. Overall we found the Mars 3 to be a worthy upgrade over the previous generation and better than its competitors such as the Anycubic Mono 4K and the Creality Halot One. However, to take advantage of its high resolution LCD display, users would have to splurge on pricier high resolution resin.


Manufacturer: Elegoo

The Pros
The Cons
Paul Chow
Paul Chow

Co-Founder & CTO

Last year we found the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro to be one of the best small form resin 3D printers in the budget category. This year, Elegoo aims to step it up with an upgraded, higher resolution LCD display, improved cooling, larger overall print volume and a slight design change to help differentiate itself from its competitors.

Elegoo claims its new LCD screen allows for a 30% increase in resolution and a 37% increase in overall print volume. This is coupled with a 30% price increase over the previous Mars 2 Pro at release. It also competes against the Anycubic Photon Mono 4K, Prozen Sonic Mini 4K and newcomers such as the Creality Halot One, which all have roughly the same specifications and price points. 

However, the biggest question is whether the upgrade is worth it compared to its previous best seller, the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro. On paper, the 30% boost in resolution from its upgraded LCD screen sounds nice, but as per our review of the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro, that printer already produced resin prints with an amazing level of detail. We are skeptical of the claims between the print results of the Mars 3 versus the Mars 2 just like when resin 3D printer manufacturers claimed that the switch to monochromatic screens netted a 3x print speed increase.

Hard hitting questions like this, and whether the Elegoo Mars 3 deserves your money over its competitors are just some of the questions we’ll answer in this in-depth review of this resin 3D printer. 

Table of Contents

Key Features to look for in a Great 3D Printer

3D printers are becoming more and more popular, and one of the important things to look for is the ease of setup. You don’t want to spend significant money on a new 3D printer if you need to be a rocket scientist to know how to set it up. This is why we love the Elegoo Mars 3 for newcomers because it comes fully assembled from the factory, and you can get straight to printing! This is why we scored the Elegoo Mars 3 a 9/10 for setup. 

The next important thing to look out for is the print quality, which is why you bought a 3D printer in the first place, to make cool stuff! The Elegoo Mars 3 Pro is equipped with one of the newest 4K LCDs and is able to print details as small as 35um. We tested out its capabilities by printing a number of figurines, models, towers, and more. And in every case, the Mars 3 printed-out models with fantastic quality!

You also want to be on the lookout for maintenance and repair. The Elegoo Mars 3 replacements for the LCDs are usually in stock directly from Elegoo and cost around $50 to replace after 2,000 hours of use, resulting in some maintenance downtime. While the older generation printers have lower maintenance costs, the Elegoo Mars 3 has very reasonable costs for newer generation resin 3D printers. 

Lastly, you want to ensure there is great community support as you venture into the 3D printing world. The Elegoo Mars 3 Pro has an extremely large community following due to the popularity of the Mars series by them. Buyers can get all kinds of information to resolve issues, so we gave this printer a 9/10 for community support.


Overall Score

Ranked #1 of 10
SLA Printers

Learn more about our review methodology.

How We Researched This Printer

The Elegoo Mars 3 is part of the latest generation of small-form-factor MSLA resin 3d printers specializing in highly detailed and quick 3d prints. Resin printers are well known for their small size, ease of setting up, and large community support. 

We put the Mars 3 through a series of different test prints, subjected it to difficult print environments, dove deep into its support forums, and subjected it to print things beyond its capabilities and more. We compared it to other printers in its class to get a baseline, including the Creality Halot One, Anycubic Mono 4K, and the Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K.

Resin printing is continuously evolving quickly, with new printers coming out multiple times per year. Selecting the wrong small-form-factor MSLA resin printer can leave you with poor-quality prints, little support, poor setup, and a running tab of repair and power bills. You would want to take the time to read this research piece. We will ensure that your hard-earned dollars go towards the best printers and features. 

Printer Setup

The Elegoo Mars 3 arrived to us fully assembled from the factory and nearly ready to print straight from the box. The resin printer itself is well packaged with protective foam around the printer, build plate, and resin vat. We noticed that there were small bits of foam scattered around the printer and vat that were broken off from the rest of the packaging foam. We suspected that this was damage from shipping overseas. Users should carefully remove any foam particles around the build plate and vat before first use. The resin vat also has a protective film that is difficult to see and must be removed otherwise, prints will fail.

Apart from removing the protective foam and installing the build plate, users must also level the build plate to the LCD before printing with the Elegoo Mars 3. Just like all resin 3D printers in this category, the build plate must be manually leveled. For the Elegoo Mars 3, two large hex screws lock the build plate in place and must be tightened during the leveling process, which is identical to their previous printers. While this is adequate, we much prefer the spring-loaded build plate of the Anycubic Mono SE or the four leveling screws of the Phrozen Sonic series, as we found that the two hex screws of the Elegoo series allow a small amount of skew of the build plate. 

Resin 3D printers’ main strengths are their print quality and ability to resolve extremely small details, and this is dictated by the quality and resolution of their LCD screen. The original Mars sported a 2K display which allowed it to resolve details as small as 47um, and the Mars 2 sported a slightly larger 2K display which had a slightly worse resolution of 51um. In real-world testing, there was no discernible difference between the two screens. The Mars 3 comes equipped with a much higher resolution 4K screen that allows it to resolve details as small as 35um. We’ll be running an extensive array of tests to see if that translates to real-world improvements.

We tested the Mars 3 in 3 major areas: the ability to resolve detailed models, z height consistency, and consistent UV exposure across the whole build plate. To test the Elegoo Mars 3 Pro’s ability to print detailed models, we had it print several detailed figures, both large and small. When printing small details, the printer had absolutely no issues. We then printed a mech model and figurine. The Mars 3 had no issues printing each of these models, and the texture came out perfectly. 

We later tested the Mars 3’s ability to print tall objects and exaggerate any issues related to the z-stepper motor or with the linear rail on the z-axis. Due to shipping damage, the lead screw for the Mars 3 came extremely bent, and we were very worried that this would negatively affect its z print quality. Surprisingly the Elegoo Mars 3 had no issues printing out the small details in the tower and showed no issues with z alignment despite the bent lead screw.

We finally printed a series of detailed tiles across the Elegoo Mars 3 to test how evenly the UV light is distributed across the build plate. If the light distribution is uneven, then the details on edge will look different compared to the details in the middle. Elegoo claims its UV light system ensures that UV exposure is uniform across its entire build area. We found there was no difference between the tiles found on the edge and those found in the middle.

When printing with the standard grey resin, we could not see any discernible differences between the 4K screen of Mars 3 and the lower 2K screen of Mars 2. However, when we reprinted all the models alongside an even more detailed test model in Siraya Tech’s Navy Gray resin, we could see a very small improvement in how sharp the details are in the Mars 3 prints. This resin was designed with extremely high-resolution printers in mind, like the Mars 3, and highlights that you’ll need both an extremely detailed model and higher quality resin to take advantage of the increased resolution of the latest generation of resin 3D printers.

The Elegoo Mars 3 outputs excellent quality prints and are on par with every other monochrome LCD resin printer in its generation.

The Elegoo Mars 3 is more than capable of printing some of the best resin prints we have seen to date.

Print Speed
Elegoo claims that it takes between 1.5-3s which would indicate extremely quick printing speeds. While it is true that UV exposure per layer may be 1.5-3s, the printer must also raise its print bed which usually takes another 5-10s to complete. For a typical 28mm tabletop miniature, it would take the Mars 3 about 2-3 hours to complete.

Slicer Compatibility
Elegoo has recommended and shipped Chitubox as its slicer of choice. We highly recommend the Chitubox to users due to its presets and support from Elegoo and the 3D printer community. 

However, we did not highly appreciate Chitubox locking the Mars 3 to just the Chitubox slicer at launch. Third-party slicers such as Lychee Slicer are excellent alternatives, and it was disappointing that Elegoo locked out compatibility until several months after launch. 


The Elegoo Mars 3 keeps the same red & black design DNA as the previous Mars 2 and Mars series, but gone is the straight rectangular lid and in with a new tapered lid design. While we appreciate the lengths Elegoo has gone to differentiate itself from the previous generations and its competition, we personally liked the more minimalist rectangular design of the previous Mars printers. However, this is purely subjective and plays absolutely no role in the performance of the Mars 3 resin printer. 

The size of the Mars 3 printer also changed slightly. With an overall size of 227mm (l) x 227mm (w) x 430mm (h) and weighing in at 5.7kg, it is around 20mm bigger in each dimension compared to the previous Mars 2 to accommodate the larger LCD screen. Similarly, the build volume of the Mars 3 is bigger at 143mm (l) x 90mm (w) x 175mm (h) compared to the 115mm (l) x 65mm (w) x 160mm (h) of Mars 2. This allows users to accommodate much larger 3D models within its print volume. Overall, the Mars 3 grew in size while remaining compact enough to fit on nearly any desk or table.

A substantial change from the Mars 2 Pro to the Mars 3 is the heavy use of plastics through the base of the machine. Previous Elegoo resin 3D printers had the entire outer shell out of metal, giving the 3D printer a weighty but very sturdy base. Mars 3 changes this by using plastic throughout most of the base. This makes Mars 3 significantly lighter than Mars 2 at 5.7kg versus 7.5kg of Mars 2. While the plastic shell is sturdy, free of creaks, and not cheap, we appreciate the more premium feel of the metal shell of the Mars 2. We expect that this was more of a cost-saving measure, and it does not affect the overall performance of the Mars 3. 

Like the vast majority of the resin 3D printers, the Elegoo Mars 3 features a removable acrylic lid to shield the resin from environmental EV exposure. Unlike the previous generations, there are no alternatives like the Anycubic Mono SE, which features a gull-wing door, versus the removable lid. We are disappointed in the lack of options in this generation as we prefer the gull wing door to the removable lid, as users would need to remove and store the acrylic top to access the build plate. We found this to be rather inconvenient to do in our small office. Some users may appreciate this feature as it grants them 360o access to the build plate.

As the vast majority of affordable resin 3D printers utilize the same components, manufacturers have to differentiate themselves with construction, durability, features, and price. In this generation, the difference mainly falls into the design of the lid and price. The Elegoo Mars 3 features a tapered lid design giving it a much more organic aesthetic compared to the previous Mars 2’s straight rectangular lid. While we prefer the aesthetics of the Mars 2, it is far better than Anycubic’s redesigned lid in which the build plate collides with it when reaching its maximum height. 

Safety Highlights

MSLA resin printers are electrically safe compared to filament-based FDM 3D printers. Resin printers need very little power to drive an LCD screen, UV light source, and one stepper motor versus high-power heaters used to melt filament and heated beds found in FDM printers. The Elegoo Mars 3 continues this trend with low overall power usage, little electrical risk, and low fire risk.

Resin Health Concerns
When it comes to health concerns, there are some risks involved when dealing with 405nm UV resin. For example, 405nm UV resin is extremely toxic if ingested and can cause severe allergic reactions when it comes in contact with exposed skin. When handling, there should be several precautions taken. The Elegoo Mars 3 does come with a small number of extra items to assist with this.

When handling resin, nitrile gloves should always be worn. Elegoo ships its resin printers with a few extra pairs of disposable gloves alongside a couple of face masks to help reduce fume exposure. Users should never operate without wearing nitrile gloves when dealing with any resin 3D printer. 

Additionally, the 50w UV light source has the potential to harm one’s eyes and can be dangerous to look at directly without safety glasses on. The acrylic top of the Elegoo Mars 3 is tinted red to prevent UV light exposure. This protects the user alongside protecting the resin inside from environmental UV exposure. However, users should be aware that the Elegoo Mars 3 will continue operating even if the lid is removed.


Finding Replacement Parts
In resin 3D printing, the LCD and FEP sheets in the resin vat must be replaced periodically. A major advantage the monochrome LCDs have over older RGB screens is their vastly longer lifespans. Monochrome LCDs are rated for 2,000 hours compared to the previous generation’s 400 hours, resulting in far fewer times these types of printers need to go offline for maintenance. The Mars 3 has replacement LCDs for around $50 directly from Elegoo. In comparison, the Mars 2’s replacement LCDs can be had for as little as $35 direct from Elegoo and can be found at retailers such as Amazon. 

FEP sheets can be found at many 3D printer retailers and are cross-compatible between brands and models, making them very accessible and inexpensive.

Accessing the Control Board
Since there are very few moving parts on the Elegoo Mars 3, opening up the resin printer should be a rare occurrence. However, if the user needs to access the control board or any other internal components, it can be done by removing a few screws at the rear of the printer. This exposes the control board and other electronics. Competitors and previous-generation machines require the user to remove multiple panels to access the control board, which is mounted on the bottom. We vastly prefer the Mars 3 method of control board access as it allows users to get to the control board without flipping over the printer.

Features & Upgrades

6.6 Inch 4K Monochrome LCD
The newest generation of small form factor resin 3D boasts some of the highest resolution displays found in any resin 3D printer. The Elegoo Mars 3 comes equipped with a 4K resolution panel compared to the 2K panel found in previous generation printers such as the Elegoo Mars 2. Elegoo boasts that this represents a 30% increase in the print resolution, which should translate to crisper details on resin prints. However, as the previous generation resin printers already produce outstanding prints, it is unknown whether this would translate to any real-world differences. 

Community Support

The Elegoo Mars 3 enjoys a large community following due to the popularity of the Mars series of printers. Users can get information for issues on various places such as forums, Facebook groups, and subreddits specifically for the Mars series of printers. Some of them include: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/elegoomars
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/ElegooMars/
Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/groups/mars

Final Verdict

The Mars 3 is an iterative update to the excellent Mars 2 Pro printer. It increases its print resolution, print volume, overall size, and price tag compared to its previous generation. Producing some of the cleanest and most detailed resin prints, it easily beats its competitors like Anycubic and Creality in detail, resolving well-thought-out designs and community support. However, its stiffest competition isn’t coming from competing brands but its previous generation. The Mars 2 Pro, while older, still produces very similar quality prints when not using high-resolution resins while costing less to purchase and maintain. 

Overall, the Elegoo Mars 3 is one of the top recommendations when looking for top-quality small form factor resin 3D printers while keeping an affordable price tag.

Technical Specifications

  • Build volume: 143mm (l) x 90mm (w) x 175mm (h)
  • Printer size: 227mm (l) x 227mm (w) x 43-mm (h)
  • Weight: 5.7kg
  • Enclosed print area: Yes
  • Display: Color touchscreen
  • Drive type: Resin (MSLA)
  • Resin capability: 405nm resin
  • Connectivity: USB type A
  • Build Surface: Aluminum
  • Bed Leveling: Manual
  • Maximum movement speed: 150mm per second
  • Maximum XY accuracy: 0.0035mm
  • Minimum Z height: 0.00125mm
  • 3rd party resin support: yes
  • Operating System: Windows, MacOS, Linux
  • Supported Slicers: Chitubox, Lychee Slicer
  • Supported File Types: STL, OBJ, M3F

3DGearZone.com is a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We don’t guarantee, however, that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services. 3DGearZone.com is independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. Learn more. 

1. Elegoo.com, “Elegoo, INC.” Accessed July 26, 2022.

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