Elegoo Mars to Form2 or Form3?

I’ve had an Elegoo Mars for about a year and generally I’m pretty happy with it. I’ve now got to a point where I am starting a low volume business that only requires one or two prints a day, all of which comfortably fit on the build plate of the Mars. However, quality is key as the finished items, after post production and electroplating, sell for $300 - $500 a piece. Is it worth upgrading to a refurbished Form2 or a brand new Form3? What I print has relatively complex geometry and even with very precise supports and orientation I would estimate it fails 25% of the time on the Mars. So far I’ve had to replace 3 screens and 8 or so FEPs on the Mars, which although they aren’t expensive can be a pain.

TLDR: is upgrading from a Mars to a Form2 or Form3 worth it and if so, is the 3 worth the extra cash?

Hi, i did the oposite, bought a Form 3 before i knew that the inexpensive printers exist, i am having second taughts on my desition, i will share My ecperience so far, and you can share yours with me. The printer is really nice and shows Quality, from what i know is slower than the Mars it takes a Lot of time specially 25 microns. The prints are Nice and i think the fact that You can customize the supports is neat, don’t know if with Chitu box is posible, it does have the problem, with the suport joints it tends to build small protuberances wich i think are normal.
In resume, from my ecperience, is a high tech machine with lots of mechanical parte that produce quality prints with the same problems than the cheaper ones like the issues with the supports, but does give you 25 micron resolution, if you need this then go for it, if you want to skip allá the cleaning also has an advantage. Other than that if You are happy with your prints, i think is more of having a more premium ecperience, i can make a analogy betwin driving a Mercedes ir driving a Chevy. Again i’m not a expert by any means but definetly i’be been into this the last mobth ir so.
Now your turn, i’m printing jewelry with very small details, You think the Mars is up to the task?

I went from a FDM to form 3 and have printed about 25 parts. Not a single failed print yet (knock on wood).

The cost is high for sure, not sure what your profit margin is for the jobs you do but this will surely address your failed print rate. But at $3K+ it is an investment for sure.

I have been using both Form2s and Form3s for a few years now and if you have had to replace so many parts on your Mars then for sure go for Form3. It is much more reliable and is made for production use.

Depends on. For small stuff, the LED printers are actually good. The main difference for the quality actually comes from the software like how to generate supports than the printer itself. In that case, the formlabs definitely is better and easier to use. I have Phrozen LED printers too and I use the Chitu Box which is pretty good and it keeps upgrading.

Form2 has a large lager beam like 140um which is not as good as LED printers for small stuff. That’s why the Form 3 upgraded that part to be more competitive in the small prints area.

The annoying thing for Form3 is the cost. You will need to use the resin/tank from Formlabs since then. They lock up the open-mode option and put a tracking on the tank life which means you will have to replace it after a certain printing time or 4 months even you don’t print it at all. Unlike the Form3, form 2 you still can hack by using 3rd party resin ( 1/2 the price normally) and recoat your tank (I would say just buy a long-term tank and it worths the money).

It is all about my own experience. I owned a lot of printers since the early stage of desktop 3D printers came to the market.

If it’s “just” 25% failed prints, you’ll still be a lot cheaper with a low-cost printer.

Don’t get the Form2 or 3. It’s an expensive machine to begin with and you’ll get good results just by going with a less expensive brand. You can get 2 machines for the price of a Formlabs machine and thats’ what we plan to to. We’ve had 6 replacements machines in the past 4 years not even with heavy usage. Looking back, I should’ve looked at different options sooner, but I was loyal to Formlabs until our Form3 did not want to work on day 1. Their support team just gave me the run arounds and just don’t even read what I wrote them. Pretty much just pushing me around to different people responding. Formlabs used to be good, but they’re just looking out for their own interests at this point. By the way, with the Form3, you can’t even use anyone else’s resins anymore, you are stuck using their expensive resins and tanks. You can’t even try to clean and reuse their resin tank with another Formlabs color or material either. Before you could clean the resin tank on the Form2 and reuse it with another color. If you are playing with 5 different materials or color, you’ll need 5 different tanks. Formlab’s resins are at least twice as expensive as other options. I’ve contacted other 3D printer resellers and they have been more than happy to help.