Saturn Vs Mono X – Resin Printer Showdown


Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video. Today’s we’ll be taking a closer look at two similar SLA resin printers and see which one might be best suited for your needs. As always, what you see here represents my own opinions and no money has exchanged hands.

To start things off, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Mono X by Anycubic and the Saturn by Elegoo. Both have very similar specifications and build style, but their implementations are quite different. While the Saturn has a build volume of 192 x 120 x 200, the Mono X has a slightly larger one at 192 x 120 x 245. As is common with newer machines, each uses a mono screen to mask out the UV light for the curing process. Both work with the Chitubox slicer, although they will need to have the firmware updated if using the latest software. Unlike most FDM printer’s today, neither company has currently released a wiring diagram to make repairs easier, which is why I’ve begun releasing my own reference PDF’s. One great feature is the inclusion of the raised feet for the vats of both machines. This is great news for most user’s since it prevent accidental damage to the FEP sheet when placing the vat on the surface during regular maintenance. It also has the added benefit of locking the vat into the correct position for printing.

The Elegoo Saturn when it was first released was quite innovative in its offerings. It was the first to use a mono screen and implement raised feet to lock the vat into place. During the initial release, it was an extremely affordable machine, but was limited in its availability. Currently, at the time of making this video, the price is no longer as competitive, but it’s still quite affordable for the features which are included. The build plate design uses a ball joint mechanism, which makes it easy to un-level during the print removal process. It’s well worth considering a flex build plate to prevent this issue for arising. On my particular machine, I did in fact notice some Z wobble but seeing as I haven’t seen anyone else complain about it, therefore perhaps only a few machines have been affected. The Saturn and the Mono x both require a firmware update prior to using the most recent Chitubox release. The Saturn does use a Chitubox board, which does limit which slicers can be used with the new firmware. Chitubox does provide a free version at this time, but this is not guaranteed to be the case in the future. While inspecting the wiring, I did discover that it had tinned connections, which I recommend replacing with ferrule one’s instead. I do have a video walking through that process that you can check out here.

When the Mono X was first released, it was several hundreds of dollars more than the Saturn, however at the time of recording this video it is no longer the case. In fact, if you keep an eye out for the sales, you can get it at a much cheaper price point. The Mono X uses its own proprietary motherboard, which does allow Anycubic more flexibility in how it’s implemented. For instance, some great features include the ability to change the UV light strength for the machine overall, rather than relying on the slicer to do so with exposure settings. Additionally, this machine isn’t locked within the Chitubox ecosystem, and they’ve readily made it available for other slicing software. This more open approach makes it more flexible in the long term, but it also means, you will need to purchase any replacement components through their company, which is good so long as they are still available for purchase. Unlike the Saturn, this machine does have proper wire connections and is the only company that I’ve found doing this so far. Both their curing station and their Mono X use proper connectors, which is a great sign. Along with these proper connections, we also have the integration of Wi-Fi which thankfully is an optional implementation. This coupled with the sturdy build plate and linear rails system has made this by far my most used resin printer. But there’s also one huge problem with this machine. The knobs have a nasty tendency to melt when exposed to isopropyl alcohol and to this day, machines are still being shipped with the defect. You can see the knob replacement video at this link here.

So with all this information, what is my final verdict? Well, it’s going to depend on what you’re planning to do with your machine. I found that the Mono X was very reliable and consistent, however the knobs were a pain to deal with until I printed new one’s. The Saturn was much more capable at printing detailed pieces once properly calibrated, especially once I added a flex build plate. With the release of new versions coming to market, their prices have become a great value for what they offer. I was very tempted to pick some up for my production runs but since you guys want to see more videos I’ve pre-ordered some newer machines instead. So assuming that those machines actually get delivered, I will hopefully have more reviews in store for you in the future. Thank you for watching, I hope to see you guys soon. Thank you and take care.