Mars sees its first action

For Father’s Day this year, my darling wife bought me an Elegoo Mars 3D printer. Well, summer being what it is, it has taken me a while to get it out of the box, but now that it is in action, I must say I am truly impressed.

Now, I will confess that I have my share of failed prints. Actually, the prints came out perfectly in every case; it is the support removal that I seem to find challenging. Many of my pieces are finer than the default Mars supports, even on the lightest setting. So, the part gives way before the support does.

The principle learning required with this machine is in how to design supports so they don’t impact the surface finish, and so they can be easily removed. I find the supporting/slicing software a little cumbersome, and for truly finicky parts, like the classification lights, I designed my own supports in OnShape.

I was quite concerned that the resin would be too smelly to run the printer in the house. However, with the paint booth fan running at its lightest setting right beside the printer, even my darling wife is unable to smell anything.

So, overall, I am delighted with the new 3D printer. The first things to emerge from the vat after the obligatory Elegoo rooks, were a new ashpan without a broken brake hanger, and the classification lights.

Those classification lights are a prime example of the power of 3D printing in our hobby. Not only are they the right pattern for the Canada Atlantic, but I designed them to mount on this specific model. Note that the straps to keep rain out of the chimneys are straps, rather than cast solid shapes. Sadly, the CA decided to mount them on the handrails, and I was unable to figure out how to get electricity in there while maintaining the correct handrail diameter.

2 thoughts on “Mars sees its first action

  1. I always enjoy reading your posts. Gosh this work is fascinating!

    I’m excited to see what you do with this printer. They seem so popular and I’m curious how they are to use. I’m glad you addressed the smell question. We’re in an apartment currently and I’m worried it might be too much to run inside. Though it’s starting to sound like maybe it smells no worse than, say, styrene solvent?


  2. Thanks Chris.

    For smell, I suspect it depends a lot on the particular resin. I am using Elegoo’s water washable resin, and I can really only smell it when the cover is off. The smell is considerably less than an open jar of turpentine (I’ve switched to using Flex-i-File styrene solvent, though, and I can’t smell that stuff at all).
    Having said that, if I don’t run the paint booth fan, I find the resin smell does accumulate after a night.

    I think if I were using the printer in an apartment that had two bathrooms, I would put the printer in the second bathroom and run the extractor fan. Otherwise, I think an extractor fan in a window would still be a good idea. I also think investing in the extra vats that have lids would be a great idea for apartment living. So far, my printer spends more time sitting than printing.

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