The Elegoo Saturn 2 is an SLA printer with 8K resolution at a very reasonable price, allowing users to print high-quality prints with great surface finishes.
Because Elegoo printers are so pocket friendly and have an open materials system, they are favorites with university researchers and makers alike.
In this review, we will look at how the Elegoo Saturn 2 improves on the original Elegoo Saturn, and will hopefully help you decide if this is the right printer for you.
Primary Features of Elegoo Saturn 2
The Elegoo Saturn 2 is the company’s highest resolution printer to date, and it gets this ability thanks to its 8K monochrome LCD screen.
But what else does the Elegoo Saturn 2 have to offer?
For starters, the Saturn 2 has a huge build volume compared to the original Saturn.
The Saturn 2 has a build volume of 219 mm x 123 mm x 250 mm, which when compared to the original machine with its 192 x 120 x 200 mm, is an increase of 43%.
This allows for printing of much bigger individual parts, and also allows for printing many more parts if printing in batches.
Print Quality and Precision
Resin printers are noted for their fine layer heights, which allow for incredibly smooth surface finishes and highly detailed prints, and the Saturn 2 is no exception.
Again, there is a huge improvement in layer height when compared to the original machine, as the Saturn 2 can print with layer heights of just 0.0285 mm, which is half the height of the first Saturn, and 1/10th the height of your average FDM printer.
The 8K (7680 x 4320 pixels) screen allows for miniscule detail to be perfectly printed, which results in an XY accuracy of just 28.5 microns.
You will not find that on your average FDM printer.
User Interface and Software
The Saturn 2 comes with a 4.3-inch capacitive LCD touchscreen, allowing easy navigation through the printer’s functions.
Some may find the 4.3 inches (ca. 11 cm) a little diminutive, but it’s not like you’re going to be typing essays on the thing, so it’s a minor hassle at best, if it is a problem.
The UI itself has been improved over the previous iteration and is a little more user-friendly.
Select whichever one you are comfortable with, as they all work just fine.
Firmware updates and print files can be uploaded to the machine via the easily accessible USB port on the side.
There is minimal assembly required for the Elegoo 2 Saturn, and it can be up and running within 20 minutes of taking it out of the box.
The Saturn 2 comes with an activated carbon air filter to protect you from breathing in those resin fumes, and it does need some minor assembly.
Asides from that, there is a bit of bed leveling required before you can start printing.
If you have ever had to assemble an FDM printer, you will have zero issues with assembling the Saturn 2.
And even if this is your first printer, the instructions are clear and there are videos on YouTube detailing the easy process.
|Printer Dimensions||305.9 mm x 273 mm x 567.3 mm|
|Build volume||219 mm x 123 mm x 250 mm|
|Display||10″ 8K Monochrome LCD with scratch-resistant tempered glass|
|XY Resolution||7680 x 4320|
|Z Axis Accuracy||0.00125 mm|
|Layer Thickness||0.01-0.2 mm|
|Light source||UV LED 405 nm|
|Printing Speed||30-70 mm/h|
Pros and Cons of Using Elegoo Saturn 2
So, the Elegoo Saturn 2 is easy to set up, and it has great resolution, resulting in high quality prints.
What else can we say about the benefits and downsides of using this low-cost / high quality resin printer?
- Great quality prints thanks to 8K LCD
- Excellent value
- Open resin system
- Improved FEP film for better release of prints
- Equal light distribution
- Resin profiles are lacking
- Touchscreen is a little small for some
- USB is on the side rather than the front
Comparison to Similar Models
We have already compared the Elegoo Saturn 2 to its predecessor, the Saturn 1, and we can see that it’s basically better in every regard, from the hugely increased print volume to the resolution.
The original Saturn only had a 4K LCD screen, which allowed for an XY accuracy of 48-microns when compared to the Saturn 2 with its 28.5 micron precision.
Just as a reminder, so you don’t have to scroll way back up to the top of the page, the Saturn 2 has a build volume of 219 mm x 123 mm x 250 mm.
And for your reference, the Saturn 2 costs just $549.99.
So let’s not compare the 8K Saturn 2 with any more 4K printers. We already know that 8K blows 4K out of the water.
For a more accurate apples-to-apples comparison, how does the 8K Saturn 2 compare to other 8K resin printers?
Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K
First up, we have a couple of printers from Taiwanese company, Phrozen 3D.
The Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K is indeed “mini”, with a build volume of just 165 x 72 x 180 mm, making it a fair bit smaller than the Saturn 2.
But it is a very popular printer indeed, and some say that it is the best small 8K resin printer that you can get for the money.
This is because the XY accuracy measures just 22 microns, making it capable of printing features as small as 0.022 mm, making this printer ideal for printing miniatures.
It has a layer height of 10 microns, making it half that of the Saturn 2.
It is capable of printing at speeds of 50 mm per hour in the z-direction, making it “not bad” in terms of print speed.
I would say that if resolution is important, then consider buying this over the Saturn 2.
If size is more important, then get the Elegoo printer.
They are both roughly the same price, so it really boils down to those two factors.
Phrozen Sonic Mega 8K
If the Mini is too small for your tastes, then consider the Mini’s bigger brother, the Sonic Mega 8K, with its huge 330 x 185 x 400 mm build volume.
This size increase does come with a couple of tradeoffs, however, as the Mega 8K has a pixel size of 48 microns, around about double that of the Mini 8K and the Saturn 2.
Another tradeoff is the price. The Mega 8K will set you back a cool $2,199, making it the most costly on this list. You could buy four Saturn 2 printers for that price.
But it does have a maximum print speed of 70 mm/hour, so it’s no slouch.
While the price may seem a little steep, it’s probably the biggest 8K SLA printer you can get for this price. It’s worth considering if you want to print bigger, and don’t mind taking a small hit on resolution.
Linant 3D Base Pro
The Lindant 3D Base Pro is an 8K LCD printer with a build volume measuring 218 x 123 x 240 mm, capable of printing at a reasonable 60 mm/hour.
It has exactly the same pixel size as the Saturn 2 with an XY accuracy of 28.5 microns. The Saturn 2 has a couple of extra millimeters build area, and a whole 1 cm extra on the z-axis.
It’s not a particularly well-known brand, so it doesn’t have the same community support as the other popular brands on this list, but the print quality is pretty great, and it is a sturdy machine.
The main issue is the price. At $1,299, it’s almost twice the price of the Saturn 2.
Is it twice as good? We would say not.
Anycubic Photon M3 Max
First up, the Anycubic Photon M3 Max is really a 7K printer, and not 8K, but we’ll include it on the list because it’s pretty darned close.
It offers a large build volume of 298 x 164 x 300 mm and a sturdy design.
The printer also features an easy-to-use interface and can be used in conjunction with other Anycubic products such as wash and cure stations and resins.
However, the Z-axis resolution is 10 microns (10x higher than Saturn 2), and the XY accuracy is only 46 microns.
It’s still a great option for those in need of a large build volume, but who do not wish to spend as much on a larger printer as they would when buying a Phozen Mega Sonic.
The Elegoo Saturn 2 is a good all-rounder, with a reasonable price, excellent resolution, and ease of use.
It is the cheapest printer on the list of 8K printers we have looked at in this article, so if the price is your only consideration, then purchasing the Elegoo Saturn 2 is a no-brainer.
However, if you don’t mind spending a little more cash, and resolution is more important than print size, then you may wish to consider the Sonic Mini, from Phrozen 3D.
And if price is no concern, and you wish to go a little bigger, then the 7K AnyCubic Photon M3 Max is not bad value at all.
Personally, I would go for the Sonic Mega 8K, because having the ability to print 330 x 185 x 400 mm objects with an open resin system is more important than a few microns in resolution here or there.
But hey, that’s just me.
We hope our guide has helped you with your decision. There are only a few 8K printers on the market as of writing, as the tech is still relatively new, so keep an eye out for new printers as they come onto the market.
This industry changes pretty fast, and there’s always something potentially better just down the road.