Users that have an Elegoo Mars can sometimes go through failures and problems. Many of these are fixable if you have the right methods, so I decided to look into some ways to fix various Elegoo Mars troubleshooting solutions.
Here are some problems that you can encounter with the Elegoo Mars or Mars 2 Pro 3D printers.
Troubleshooting Issues with the Elegoo Mars – Causes & Solutions
- Elegoo Mars print fell off build plate/build plate adhesion
- Prints sticking to FEP
- Only printing supports
- Not printing at all
- Suction pressure separating printed layers
- Build plate not staying level
- Horizontal lines showing on the print
- Low room temperature
Elegoo Mars Print Fell off Build Plate
One of the issues that you can encounter while resin printing is your prints falling off the build plate. I have also experienced this a few times in my resin 3D printing journey.
For a successful print, the model needs to stick to the build plate during the whole printing process. When the print is not firmly attached to the build plate, it may lead to the print falling back into the resin vat, especially if they are large and heavy prints.
If it doesn’t fall off the build plate, it can still lead to failures due to the model moving around and not having stability.
- I’d recommend taking a look at your bottom layer settings and making sure they are adequate. A good number of bottom layers to have usually falls between 4-6, while the bottom layer exposure depends on your printer and the UV power. For a 4K LCD printer like the Anycubic Photon Mono X, a bottom layer exposure of 30 seconds usually works well.
- Decrease the weight of the resin model by either scaling the model down or hollowing the print. If you hollow your models, make sure there are multiple drain holes so you can relieve suction pressure.
- While modeling in your chosen slicer, check that all the ends of the support are well-connected to the print, so the print does not get weak and fall back in the vat. You can also add manual support if your slicer doesn’t add enough.
- Make use of heavy supports and bridging to increase the strength of your supports. You can also increase the support density if the supports are an issue that you can see.
- Increase the normal exposure times to strengthen the supports and foundation of the print layers. If your normal exposure is too low, it can result in the cured resin being flimsy and weak.
- Some 3D printer users suggest trying different angles of the support as supports are part of the print and if well-positioned, will hold up better and not fall off the build plate.
- Ensure that the plate is properly leveled by sticking to the instructions in the manual. You can also make sure that your built plate surface is clean and smooth to improve adhesion.
- Make use of a raft to ensure more stability
- The solution could also be to do with the orientation of your model, where the weight or density is concentrated on one side or area. Try to orient the model in a way where the weight is evenly distributed.
Elegoo Mars Prints Sticking to FEP
While resin 3D printing, some prints may stick to FEP film which can get very frustrating. Your prints should come off the FEP film easily with the Z-lift and a pop sound when the remaining part of the surface detaches from the film.
That popping sound on your resin 3D printer is not only normal, but necessary for a print that is working well.
- You may want to tilt the model some degrees away from the surface and add good supports. Experts recommend tilting the model about 20-45 degrees away from the surface. This should help to reduce the surface area contact of the FEP film thereby reducing the instance of the print from sticking to the film.
- Make sure your FEP is installed correctly, being not too tight or loose. A properly installed FEP film should have a little bit of slack so that it has space to peel during the printing process (creates the popping sound you hear).
- PTFE lube can be used to reduce prints sticking to the FEP film. They are film lubricants that reduce friction between two surfaces, so this can be an effective way to stop your prints from sticking to the film.
- Reduce your Z-lift speed so the cured resin has a better chance of peeling off the FEP and onto the build plate
I’d recommend using something like the CRC Dry PTFE Lubricating Spray from Amazon.
I wrote an article specifically on this issue called How to Fix Resin Prints Sticking to FEP & Not Build Plate, so definitely check that out.
Only Printing Supports on Elegoo Mars
Another issue that I have noticed while resin 3D printing with Elegoo Mars printer is that only supports are printed. It can be disappointing when you have gone through the process of modeling and printing to see that only the supports are getting printed.
- The first thing I’d do to fix your Elegoo Mars only printing supports is to increase the number of supports or support density as this will improve the foundation for the actual model to print properly.
- The next fix would be to increase the strength and size of your supports, especially the support tips. You can increase the diameter to add more strength to the support itself.
- Another thing that helps supports is to ensure you are using support bridges, and possibly “Parent” supports which are when multiple supports are joined together near the bottom and branch out. This helps add stability and durability to supports during the printing process
- Ensure the quality of your resin is high. You want to make sure your resin is well-mixed by shaking the bottle before pouring the resin in, or gently stirring the resin before the print.
- You can choose to partially add a tough resin to your resin vat to improve the durability of the supports
- It may be that your resin is experiencing under exposure, so I’d also try increasing your normal exposure times by 20-50% and seeing if that helps fix this issue.
Elegoo Mars Not Printing at All
It’s not uncommon to experience your Elegoo Mars not printing anything at all, often caused by very insufficient curing times or by low quality resins.
If you have just gotten your Elegoo Mars and it is not printing at all or your old one just suddenly stops printing, here are methods you can use to troubleshoot the issue
- Check that your LCD or UV light display is working properly, by checking the exposure/detection tests on your resin 3D printer. It may need to be replaced if you have been printing for several hours, or had a resin leak.
- Have a look at your FEP sheet and see if there is any cured resin that is covering it. If there is, you’ll want to clean and potentially filter out the whole resin vat to clean it thoroughly
- You may want to also ensure you don’t use old or separated resin for your 3D printing. If your resin has been in the vat for too long before you use it, you may want to stir the resin with a spatula to mix up any separated substance.
- Ensure you’re using the correct and recommended exposure time for your resin 3D print. You can use a resin calibration test to figure out the optimal exposure times for your printer and resin. Check out an article I wrote called How to Calibrate Resin 3D Prints – Testing for Resin Exposure.
Elegoo Mars Print Layers Separating – Suction Pressure
One major issue that I often see with resin 3D printing is the section pressure separating printed layers. When there is a suction pressure, it can cause a vacuum in between layers thereby resulting in nonalignment of print layers.
This has happened to me recently due to large surface layers that require a lot of pressure to remove it from the FEP and attach to the build plate. There are a few reasons this could happen though.
- One major method that you can use in reducing suction pressure in resin 3D printing is by improving your print orientation. This reduces the suction pressure that happens between layers when there is too much surface contact. Angle any large flat layers so they aren’t too big.
- You may want to tilt the resin print about 10 – 45 degrees away from the surface area to reduce the suction pressure. Suction pressure may be unavoidable in resin 3D printing but you can reduce the rate at which it happens for a successful print.
- Hollowing your print helps to reduce the suction pressure since the layers aren’t as full. Adding multiple drain holes to your hollowed print helps air to pass through, resin to leak out, and pressure to reduce further. Make sure when you hollow the model, there aren’t parts too thin on a layer basis.
- Make sure you add large enough drain holes that resin can actually pass through it. Resins that are thicker or more viscous require larger drainage holes.
Elegoo Mars Build Plate Not Staying Level
Another thing that can cause a failed print with the Elegoo Mars printer is when your build plate is not well leveled. The build plate is what the raft, support or model sticks to while resin 3D printing so it should be well-positioned to not have your print falling off your build plate.
You may have adhesion or support failures too if your build is not staying leveled.
- Re-level your build plate using the standard leveling technique for resin printers
- Try to tighten the screws around the build platform to ensure that the plate is stabilized.
Before you begin re-leveling your build plate, make sure it is fully clean of resin or any residue.
The standard leveling of a resin 3D printer build plate is as follows:
- Clean the build plate
- Carefully remove the resin vat so you can see the screen
- Place your leveling paper on top of the screen
- Loosen the relevant leveling screws on your machine
- Lower the build plate using the Z-axis movements until it touches the piece of paper
- It should be lowered to the point where the paper can be slightly moved and tugged
- Now gently press down on the build plate with your hand and tighten the screws to fit it in place
- This is the optimal Z-height, so we now set Z=0
- Your build plate should now be level so you can remove the paper and reinstall the resin vat.
After following these steps, your build plate should be leveled successfully. Here is a video by Elegoo official that you can watch to further simplify the process involved in leveling your build platform for you.
Horizontal Lines Showing on Elegoo Mars Prints
Horizontal lines showing up on your print is a common issue that can be troublesome when printing with your Elegoo Mars resin 3D printer. Horizontal lines on your print are often confused for layer separation but they are not the same.
The good news is that you can reduce the possibility of seeing the horizontal lines on your print with the right methods.
- Add a good number of supports to your model so it has a good foundation to build upon. You want to make sure your print is not under-supported. I’d rather make sure my prints are over-supported than having them under-supported.
- You want to reduce the surface area difference in your prints as layers with large surface areas have a high tendency of detaching from layers with small surface areas. An example would be something like a stand and bust on a model. The stand may be thin, while the model is wide/large, leading to a small to large surface area difference.
- Increasing the normal and bottom layers exposure time can help to drastically reduce horizontal lines in resin 3D printing since it creates more stability if your prints were previously under exposed.
- Check the official resin profile of the resin you’re printing with and ensure you pre-dial in the correct resin setting. You can also Calibrate your Resin Exposure Time
- Inspect your FEP film for print residue and clean to clear any leftover cured resin that may interfere with your print.
- Make sure your build plate screws are tightened enough and there isn’t wobble in your build plate when you move it.
- Lubricate your Z-axis trolley/leadscrew. If you have consistent horizontal lines or failures, and you have tried many methods in this article to no avail, you may have a Z-axis carriage that has too much tension.
Check out this video to troubleshoot and calibrate your Z-axis carriage.
Low Operating Temperature for Resin Printing
The temperature under which you carry out your resin 3D printing is important to a successful print. Resin can be sensitive to temperature which is why it is important to keep the temperature warm and constant.
The resin may not solidify if the temperature falls too low so you want to ensure your resin is at room temperature for it to work fine.
- Shake up your resin vigorously to help mix it up, then place it in a bucket of hot water. If the resin bottle is not fully submerged, I’d recommend turning it around a few times, so the plastic bottle can absorb the heat.
- You can use a space heater, radiator, or increase the temperature of the room you are printing in to help combat issues from low temperatures.
Other Troubleshooting Fixes for the Elegoo Mars
- Using PrusaSlicer instead of ChiTuBox can be a good fix to prevent failed prints with the Elegoo Mars resin 3D printer. One user who tried PrusaSlicer instead of ChiTuBox found that the supports held on much better throughout the printing process, leading to successful prints.
- Hollowing out your models is a very important step while slicing your model to prevent failed prints in resin 3D printing. You want to make sure that your prints are well hollowed with the print walls at 2mm or so (depending on the model) to potentially improve your prints, success rates and to save resin.
- It is recommended that the resin temperature should be about 70°F (21°C) and not too much lower than that to prevent failed prints.
- Add manual supports in cases where your slicer does not add enough auto-generated supports
Check out this video by 3DPrintingPro on how to add manual support to your print
- Some people recommend to place some tape on the borders of the screen to reduce the space created between the LCD and FEP film. This can help reduce the print from sticking to the FEP. It is also a good measure to prevent resin from leaking inside the screen.