Elegoo Vs Anycubic – Washing and Cleaning Station Showdown?
Hello everybody and welcome to another review. Today we’ll be comparing two Resin Cleaning machines. The first is the Elegoo Mercury Plus and the second is the Anycubic Wash and Cure 2.0 and both are very similar yet different machines as we’ll see shortly. Full disclaimer, I purchased both of these machines myself for the purposes of this review, and the opinions you will see here are my own.
Now, before we begin, let’s quickly cover what these machines do and how they might differ to traditional hand cleaning methods. In this case, both machines serve two main purposes in the post-processing of a resin 3d prints. The first is to clean the model to remove any residual resin which might remain after the print has finished printing. The second is to fully cure the print to ensure the material’s full mechanical properties. Both of these machines are designed to take up as little room as possible by combining both purposes into one device.
Now I’ve been using both these machines for a while now, and I can say that both will achieve very similar results, however the user experience for each of these is quite different in certain aspects. Both of these machines were chosen for the comparison because they were the closest in design and function, So let’s take a closer look at each of them one by one.
The Elegoo Mercury Plus uses a series of buttons to switch between the different modes, as well as controlling the operations of the machines. All buttons are clearly labelled and easy to read, however it is more time-consuming to set cleaning and curing times. On this machine, you have to readily press the plus or negative buttons to achieve your desired cure setting, which is inconvenient, especially if your hands are covered in resin. If you want to run the cleaning mode you’ll have to do this with the machine cover on and although you can place the container lid on it will be a very tight fit. The container lid on my unit had issues with closing properly, and I would recommend that the company change this for future machines. In order to clean the build plate, this machine has an added adapter which clips onto the top of the machine to where the cleaning basket would normally be located. This holder is only currently compatible with certain build plates, didn’t work with my Anycubic Photon. I would have preferred a different method of holding the cleaning basket in place, since it must be clipped into the holder for every use. If you choose not to properly secure the basket, it can interfere or damage the rotational stirrer, since the basket does not have a raised portion. As a safety precaution, this machine does turn off the LED’s if the machine cover is not in place. When I opened up this machine, I did indeed discover tinned terminals, which I immediately proceeded to replace them with ferrules. Although this machine does produce beeping sounds, in most cases this machine isn’t overly loud in it’s warning and operation. A newer model has since been released, which does have some improvements and features.
The Anycubic Wash and Cure machine 2.0 uses a rotational knob to adjust its timing settings, which I’ve found to be a faster method for adjustment. When you press down on the rotational knob, it allows you to start and stop the machine. In order to change between cleaning mode and curing mode, you’ll press on the button that has a cycle symbol on it’s surface. I found that the LED which displayed the current mode selection to be very small and difficult to read. What you see on camera is very much the same as what a user experiences as in person, and it would be something that I’d recommend they improve in future alterations. The basket design has raised feet which helps prevent uncured resin from dripping down onto your surface, however you will still need to place something underneath since the base is still open. One of the best features I’ve found yet on this machine is the ability to place the cleaning container on the machine and run it without the cover. This allows me to run the machine the with the container lid on but not the machine cover, which helps contain the fumes a lot better while preventing the evaporation of the liquid. The top of the container is higher than the LED’s, which make it easier to place and remove the lid during normal operations. The cleaning container has another benefit in that it keeps the build plate above the base by using the tab’s which are designed into the container itself. This means that you don’t have to swap out an additional component when cleaning with your build plate. As for the curing portion, this uses a reflective foil and a base which is inserted onto the gear. The only main concern I have is that liquid may fall into the gear system, since it’s a more open design. As a safety precaution, this machine does turn off the LED’s if the machine cover is not in place, which is a welcome precaution. When I opened up this machine I was very happy to discover that they did not use any tinned connections at their terminals which is a positive move forward for the company. This machine does produce very loud beeping noises and humming sounds when in operation and is something I would like to see addressed in a future product.
Both of these machines do alternate directions when in a cleaning mode, which does help ensure that all material is removed from the prints. These devices would benefit from certain changes in their future designs, once of which is a memory of the last timed setting. Both machines reset to zero for both their washing and curing cycles, which is inconvenient in a production setting where time is at a premium. If an owner has a flex build plate installed, they should not place it inside the cleaning station since this can compromise the adhesive being used to hold the magnet into place. While these machines are great for larger parts, I would like to see them included a finer sized basket for cleaning smaller parts, since these are very likely to fall through the openings of the basket. In my case, I’ve started using a tea infuser to circumvent this issue, however it isn’t entirely ideal.
So with all of this information taken into consideration, what is the final verdict? There are certain aspects of each that I do prefer, however for me the clean winner is the Anycubic Wash and Cure 2.0 for several reasons. The main reason is the fact that they had proper wiring in their machine and the cleaning container. Their basket and container designs were well integrated with the rest of the machine, and this does come at a higher price point. So if you’re under a tight budget and won’t be utilizing your machine on a regular basis, then I would recommend the Elegoo cleaning station, however if you’re producing prints approximately twice a week I would definitely invest in the one by Anycubic. The Anycubic model is simply more user-friendly and can potentially save a user quite a bit of time because of how it has been designed.