Elegoo Saturn vs Anycubic Photon Mono X: need help to decide between budget resin printing’s brightest stars? Given their similarities and similar price tags, we can’t blame you. We’re here to help.
We’re putting them shoulder-to-shoulder in a definitive resin printing brawl to find out which one better suits your needs and, ideally, ward off any potential buyer’s regret.
As always, we’ll put personal preference to the side and make an unbiased comparison. We’ll meet the printers before jumping to a feature-by-feature breakdown to see which one fares best. Is the Anycubic Photon Mono X surplus to requirements given the Elegoo Saturn’s dominance in the mid-sized resin printer range?
Does its slightly larger build volume make all the difference? 3DSourced is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Printing technology: Resin MSLA. Build volume: 192 x 120 x 200 mm . Layer height: 50 microns. LCD: 8.9” 4K monochrome.
Elegoo Saturn vs Anycubic Photon Mono X – The Printers
Connectivity: USB, Ethernet. Software: ChiTuBox. The Elegoo Saturn is an entry-level resin printer that in many ways sets the benchmark for affordable midsize machines, using the ever-popular Elegoo Mars as a blueprint with some sensible tweaks to cater for a boosted build volume. It produces high-quality prints at a price previously reserved for much more expensive LCD printers.
It features a sleek 8.9” 4K monochrome with a 3840 x 2400 pixel resolution alongside a 192 x 120 x 200 mm build volume capable of an XY layer height of 50 microns, a precision that even two years after launch feels like a steal.
A sturdy all-metal build and the guidance of dual-linear rails along with a removable shroud in Elegoo’s signature red tint ensure reliability meets aesthetics. However, where the Elegoo Saturn stakes its claim as one of the go-to budget resin printers is the print speed.
The printer can competently cure layers in a nippy 1-2 seconds, making it 60% faster than competing RGB LCD printers without any loss in features and details, according to Elegoo.
Excellent print quality. No resin fill level indicator. Printing technology: Resin MSLA. Build volume: 192 x 120 x 245 mm . Layer height: 50 microns. LCD: 8.9” 4K monochrome. Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi.
Software: Photon Workshop, ChiTuBox, and Lychee.
Elegoo Saturn vs Anycubic Photon Mono X – Head-to-Head Comparison
Launched as a super-sized version of the popular Photon, the Anycubic Photon Mono X sits on the bleeding edge of consumer resin printers.
Much like the Elegoo Saturn, the aim is to deliver all the precision and fine detail of resin printing at a price point most consumers won’t cower at.
Under the hood, or should we say vat, it houses an 8.9″ 4K monochrome LCD pushing an XY layer height of 50 microns for superb detail and finish.
Its most distinguishing feature is, however, a large 192 x 120 x 245 mm build volume, giving makers a bit more Z-axis space than most resin printers in the same category.
Anycubic has also thrown in Wi-Fi connectivity for remote monitoring alongside a robust construction centered on an all-metal chassis and removable yellow cover.
Much like the Elegoo Saturn, Anycubic Photon Mono X doesn’t dawdle, pushing print speeds of 1-2 seconds per layer, a significant improvement on the first generation Photon that came before it.
The printer ships with Anycubic’s own Photon Workshop slicer, although there are also well-tuned profiles for popular third-party alternatives like Lychee and ChiTuBox.
High print quality.
Larger build volume.
Poor Wi-Fi functionality.
Warped plate issues.
With introductions done and dusted, let’s pivot to our Anycubic Photon Mono X vs Elegoo Saturn showdown.
We’ll dive into the essential features of each printer to determine what sets them apart.
It’s worth noting that the printers are incredibly similar in what they set out to offer makers.
Both are standout entries in the ever-busier mid-sized budget resin printer segment, proven by their popularity.
Whichever one you opt for, rest assured you’ll be investing in one of the best budget printers out there. The Anycubic Photon Mono X comes with an 8.9” 4K monochrome LCD pushing a 3840 x 2400 pixel resolution.
In practice, you’re looking at a 50 micron XY resolution. It allows for a layer cure time of 1-2 seconds per layer. The Elegoo Saturn employs an identical 8.9” 4K monochrome LCD with a 3840 x 2400 resolution, XY axis 50-micron resolution, and 1-2 seconds layer cure time.
As they are both monochrome screens, they boast excellent life spans compared to their RGB counterparts. Although, as with any resin MSLA printer, expect to replace the LCD at some point due to natural wear and tear.
The Anycubic Photon Mono X’s 192 x 120 x 245 mm build plate is larger than the Elegoo Saturn’s 192 x 120 x 200, so go for the Mono X if you plan to print tall prints.
On the Elegoo Saturn, the build plate is sandblasted, while the Photon Mono X plate has a smooth ground surface finish.
While different, both offer solid adhesion and print error negation despite their different finishes. Certain early models of the Anycubic Photon Mono X were plagued by uneven, warped build plate corners, a defect visible to the naked eye.
Some users reported a curved warp that deviated by as much as 5 mm in the most extreme cases. This caused all manner of print issues on what is mostly a highly user-friendly printer.
Anycubic remedied the issue in subsequent batches, but should any problems surface, the company is more than happy to send out a replacement. To stress this point, the problem popped up exclusively on the first run of Anycubic Photon Mono X units, so you can buy one safe in the knowledge you won’t have to contend with plate irregularities.
With almost identical specifications, the print quality between the two printers is indistinguishable in our experience. Both deliver solid, reliable results with ultra-fast curing times.
Details render beautifully with next to no touch-up work required. They excel particularly well for models, figurines, and miniatures with fine details. More importantly, squeezing out high-quality prints is near-effortless, thanks to minimal setup and simple bed leveling on both the Anycubic Photon Mono X and Elegoo Saturn.
The machines are on a level playing field in a head-to-head Mono X vs Saturn on print quality alone. The Anycubic Photon Mono X and Elegoo Saturn feature solid quality vats and FEP films.
Elegoo Saturn vs Anycubic Photon Mono X: The Winner
Similarly, they both have corner-mounted pouring aids to help reduce mess. The Anycubic Photon Mono X’s handy resin fill level indicator is something the Elegoo Saturn misses out on, though. The Anycubic Photon Mono X’s vat also has little padded notches on the underside that elevate it to ensure you won’t scratch up the film when it’s not sitting on the printer.
Turning to performance, we’d lean more towards the Elegoo Saturn, only because the Anycubic Photon Mono X tends to leave more cured resin residue in the vat after prints.
Not a deal-breaker, but sifting through the resin for tiny chunks adds to resin printing’s already involved workflow. The Elegoo Saturn comes with both USB and Ethernet connectivity.
We particularly like that Elegoo opted to mount the USB port on the side of the printer, a happy middle ground between convenience and safety.
Back-mounted USB ports are a pain to access, while front-mounted ports are prone to accidental knocks and bumps, although the placement is the most convenient.
Elegoo Saturn vs Anycubic Photon Mono X – At A Glance
You’ll find a USB port on the Anycubic Photon Mono X mounted on the side of the printer. It also does away with Ethernet for Wi-Fi.
In theory, it is a forward-thinking upgrade. But, in practice, Anycubic decided to mount the antenna inside the cover, not far from the vat, making it somewhat prone to stray resin likely to cause damage.
It also has a threaded pit that isn’t flush with the printer’s panel, likely to channel resin into the machine.
Furthermore, this isn’t full Wi-Fi connectivity. It only works when paired with AnyCubic’s mobile app and only offers limited functions: start/pause prints, monitoring, and minor print setting adjustments.
There’s no way to pair the Photon Mono X with a slicer to send prints wirelessly to the machine. Poor implementation of what could have been a beneficial feature. Seen through the lens of a Photon Mono X vs.
Elegoo Saturn showdown, the Elegoo Saturn is the more streamlined option, despite Anycubic’s attempts at convenience, which fall flat.
The Anycubic Photon Mono X ships with the standard in-house Photon Workshop slicer. It’s also compatible with both Lychee and ChiTuBox.
Photon Workshop is a just about decent slicer, though support generation tends to work better with third-party alternatives and the overall interface isn’t particularly beginner-friendly.
The Elegoo Saturn is compatible with ChiTuBox, a powerful, intuitive slicer that should cover all your resin printing needs. The clean interface lends itself well to beginners jumping in for the first time, with easy drain hole hollowing, support generation, and auto-layout tools that simplify some of the trickier aspects of resin slicing.
As expected, resin post-processing is a messy business with the Anycubic Photon Mono X and Elegoo Saturn, an unavoidable part of bringing prints to life. Naturally, you can piece together your own DIY cleaning setup, but there are other options.
Anycubic’s Wash & Cure Machine 2.0 sets you back around $130, while Elegoo asks for around roughly the same for the Elegoo Mercury Plus Washing and Curing Machine.
Both feature wash and cure modes with adjustable cure times along with handy accessories like cleaning baskets, turntables, and a washing container. Expect to pay around $500 for the Elegoo Saturn.
Thanks to successive price drops, you can pick up the Anycubic Photon Mono X for about $550, a significant price cut from the original $750 MSRP.
Such a slight price difference complicates singling out a winner for pure value alone, but the extra 45 mm on the z-axis warrants the additional $50, especially if you want to print taller models.
For its lower cost, better connectivity, and tried-and-tested print quality, the Elegoo Saturn is our pick in our Elegoo Saturn vs Anycubic Photon Mono X showdown.
It offers a gentle but potential-rich introduction to resin printing. It should suit hobbyists and small, modest businesses that want fast, detail-rich, and reliable printing.
Yes, the build volume is smaller than the Anycubic Photon Mono X. However, there’s enough printing space to suit demanding applications such as miniature making, modeling, tabletop gaming, cosplay, and even proof-of-concept prototyping and small-batch runs.
The Elegoo Saturn and Anycubic Photon Mono X measure up as mid-sized machines by resin printing standards. You get far more space to work with than, say, the diminutive Elegoo Mars, but for that extra Z-axis bump, we recommend the Anycubic Photon Mono X as the best for larger print projects.
The price’s steady downward trajectory means you can pick one up for a little more than what you’d expect to pay for the Elegoo Saturn, with a few choice quality-of-life convenience advantages, including Wi-Fi and a resin level, thrown in.
Other articles you may be interested in:.
While the applications auto supports are good, the settings need quite a bit of adjustment to get them right.
When it comes to support removal, they're best removed after washing and before curing; the resin plastic is extremely hard once cured.
Next, after each print has finished, I found it's essential that you scrape the vat base to check that it's free of hardened plastic residue.
Probably the most important thing to do is to sieve the resin every three to four prints to take out the flecks of plastic that can form in the resin, it's a messy business, but once you've done it a few times, it is relatively quick and easy.
It's also worth doing this if you leave the resin sat in the vat for more than 24hours. More than 48 hours in the open and I found the resin should be disposed of.
Anycubic Photon Mono X
The AnyCubic Mono X with the Wash and Cure is a phenomenal LCD-based 3D printing kit.
While small print sizes limit other similar LCD-based SLA 3D printers, the Mono X brings print sizes that we're come to expect from FFF and higher-end SLA printers.
There is little to fault when it comes to ease of set-up and use, and you can get up and running with your first print within an hour of opening the box.
While, for the most part, it's plane sailing, there are a few quirks and a step learning process compared with FFF printing.
Firstly, the build plate level is incredibly important; if you're just a little out, you won't succeed. Likewise, it's worth checking the resin for bits after each print, either by straining or using the scraper for fishing bits out. Again if there's any hard residue in the resin Vat, then the build plate will not lay flat, and your print won't work.
Next, resin printing gets better with experience, and the more you use the software and learn the best way to apply supports, the more success you will have.
Tilting models, adding rafts and supports is all required to gain the best results, but there's also an element of experimentation which for those new to resin printing, means that there's a steep learning curve.
Ultimately, once you learn to work with the resin, keep things clean and work out a logical workflow, there's little that can go wrong.
The result for the initial mess and experiments is more than worth it; the quality of the prints is exceptional, being as close to injection moulded as you can get from home.
If you want to take the step from FFF to SLA, I would highly recommend the Photon Mono X.
- We've also highlighted the best 3D printers