Elegoo Saturn S 3D printer

Elegoo Saturn S Review: Large Format 4K Resin 3D Printer


The Elegoo Saturn S is an incremental upgrade of the popular Elegoo Saturn, one of the most popular large format desktop resin printers. Released at the same time as the next generation Saturn 2, the Saturn S offers minor upgrades across the board to the original Saturn, including a slightly larger masking LCD, slightly larger build area, and a built-in air filter. Let’s review the machine and 3D print some test models.


Elegoo Saturn S Specifications:

Layer Height: .010mm to .15mm
X/Y Pixel Size: 48 micron (0.048mm)
Print Speed: 30-70mm/h
Build Volume: 196 x 122 x 210mm / 7.7” x 4.8” x 8.3”
Material: 405nm wavelength UV resin
Masking LCD Resolution: 4098 x 2560px
Masking LCD Size: 9.1” Mono LCD
Connectivity: USB Thumb Drive
Pros & Cons
Price: $437-514.99
Elegoo Saturn S
Amazon
Official Website

The upgrades make the Saturn S a logical successor to the original Saturn, but anyone interested in higher resolution or a larger volume should also look at the Saturn 2.

The Elegoo Saturn S with the UV lid removed
The Elegoo Saturn S with the UV lid removed
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

Hardware Features

Just like the original Elegoo Saturn, the Saturn S is a bottom-heavy 3D printer that feels sturdy and solid. The UV-resistant lid is the same color as the other Elegoo desktop resin printers, and the printer is immediately identifiable as an Elegoo machine. The Z axis features a pair of linear rails that allow the gantry to move up and down smoothly without deflection or bending, even with a heavy print attached to the build platform.

Saturn S Unboxed
Accessories included with the Elegoo Saturn S
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

Accessories included with the Elegoo Saturn S

The Saturn S includes all of the tools you need to get started: gloves, a funnel for reclaiming resin, a full set of backup screws and Allen keys, a metal scraper for removing parts from the platform, a plastic scraper for cleaning the vat, and more are all packed in the box. This means that the only thing you need to get started is a bottle of resin, like the Elegoo Standard Photopolymer Resin, a resin that performed very well in a previous review.


Saturn S Build Platform Leveling

Just like the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro and the original Elegoo Saturn, the Saturn S uses a two-bolt build platform leveling system that is absolutely the best build platform leveling system I have ever used on a desktop resin printer. Leveling the platform consists of loosening two bolts, lowering the platform to Z 0, and retightening the bolts. That’s it. It’s fast, easy, repeatable, and I wish that other manufacturers used this same process because it is simply unbeatable. Leveling the build platform is one of the only types of maintenance required by the user of a resin printer, so making it this easy was a great decision by Elegoo.

Saturn S Build Platform Leveling
The Elegoo Saturn S features a simplified leveling process
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink
Saturn S Resin Vat - FEP 2.0
Resin vat with the new FEP 2.0 film

The Saturn S includes what Elegoo calls “FEP 2.0”, a longer-lifespan FEP film that constitutes the bottom layer of the resin vat. The FEP 2.0 film is advertised as being resistant to high temperatures, easier to release from printed parts, and offers a 95% light transmittal edition. In addition, the FEP 2.0 film on the Saturn S platform is 0.127mm thick, as opposed to the larger 0.15mm thickness of the original. During testing, I found the FEP 2.0 film performed very well: being particularly easy to separate parts from and also very easy to clean.

Integrated Air Purifier

The integrated air purifier in the Saturn S is such an obvious addition, I immediately found myself wondering why this isn’t a standard feature on desktop resin 3D printers. Elegoo sells a standalone air purifier that is compatible with any printer that it fits in, but it needs to be charged via USB and turned on/off before use. The air purifier that is included with the Saturn S plugs directly into a dedicated USB port on the printer, and runs continuously while the printer is turned on.

Elegoo Air Purifier
The integrated air purifier included
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink
Air Purifier - Saturn S
The integrated air purifier plugs directly into the Saturn S

The difference between printing with and without the air purifier is dramatic. Resins that typically have a strong odor such as elastomerics or “tough” resins are much more bearable to print with using this addition. In fact, the newly released Saturn 2 includes the same filter and it will likely become a standard addition to other desktop resin 3D printers.


3D Printing the Included Test Model

Just like other Elegoo resin 3D printers, the Saturn S includes a test print that features two chess pieces with internal geometry. I have written at length about how much I dislike this test print in the past, but why take my word for it when you can google “Elegoo Test Print Stuck” to see how problematic this print is. These parts print directly onto the build platform, and are very difficult to remove without damaging the platform, the part, or your hands. I typically use a scraper and a rubber mallet, which is a set of tools that you really shouldn’t need to remove resin parts from a built platform.

3D Printed Rook
Rook – Demo model after printing
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

Elegoo could easily address this by simply lifting the part from the platform and adding supports underneath, angling the pieces to reduce the cross-sectional width, or simply using a different test print. As is, this part does not show off the value of a resin 3D printer, and could easily be printed on an FDM printer like the Anycubic Kobra Plus instead.

Chitubox Slicer Software Preloaded Profile

Like other Elegoo resin 3D printers, the Elegoo ships the Saturn S with a USB drive loaded with Chitubox, a simple and intuitive slicer program that can convert an STL file into a 3D printable file. Chitubox allows for control over many aspects of the print, including exposure time, lift speed and height, Z resolution, and more. If you’re not interested in tweaking the settings and just want to get printing, Chitubox includes a preloaded profile for the Saturn S with conservative settings that favor print success over print speed.

Rook Model Preview in Chitubox
An alternative orientation for the included test part
Screenshot: Chitubox
The Chitubox Interface
The Chitubox Interface

Using Prusament Anthracite Grey Tough Resin, I printed a detailed model of a head from a 75mm miniature sculpted by Loot Studios. The detail on the model is excellent, and it appears smooth and even at first glance. Using a 50mm macro lens, it’s possible to make out the individual voxels (3 dimensional pixels) on the contours of the model. In the pictures below, these pixels are most visible on the nose, cheek, and chin, and are almost completely invisible to the naked eye.

3D Printed Head
Presupported head from a 75mm miniature
© 3DWithUs – Print & Photo: Andrew Sink
Head - Face Close Look - Visible Layers
Face of a 75mm Miniature
© 3DWithUs – Print & Photo: Andrew Sink

Printing the rest of the model using Conjure Rigid Resin resulted in a print with razor-sharp details and excellent resolution.

Soldier - 75 mm Miniature - Conjure Grey Resin
75 mm Miniature – Conjure Grey Resin
© 3DWithUs – Print & Photos: Andrew Sink
Soldier - 75 mm Miniature - Close Look - Conjure Grey Resin
The printed model, with visible detail


Parallel Printing on the Elegoo Saturn S

Just like the original Elegoo Saturn and similar printers like the Anycubic Mono X, the Saturn S is a large volume resin 3D printer. This large volume has two distinct advantages over smaller format machines such as the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro: the ability to print large models in a single piece without splitting them, and also the ability to print multiple small parts with no additional time penalty. The latter is a real benefit for anyone interested in using the Saturn S as a production machine, as the print time of an MSLA resin 3D printer is directly linked to the total Z height, and not the volume of parts printed.

Chitubox Preview - Full Plate - LTV vehicle model split up
Full plate – LTV vehicle split up
Screenshot: Chitubox
3D Printed Split LTV Vehicle - Elegoo Saturn S Platform
3D printed split LTV vehicle on Saturn S platform
© 3DWithUs – Print & Photo: Andrew Sink
Split LTV Vehicle After Washing and Curing
LTV Vehicle Parts After Washing and Curing
LTV Vehicle Model
LTV Vehicle Assembled – Model by loot Studios
© 3DWithUs – Print & Photo: Andrew Sink

To demonstrate this, I printed an entire build plate by filling it with the individual pieces of the LTV vehicle from Loot Studios. This model had a total print time of just over 4 hours, and each of the parts printed correctly with no defects or issues. I was impressed with the overall repeatability, and believe that the Saturn S would be a great fit for anyone looking for a production machine at home.

Barghest bust
Barghest bust by Fotis Mint
© 3DWithUs – Print & Photo: Andrew Sink
Barghest bust - Close Look
Details – Barghest Bust

Larger single-piece models like Barghest Bust by Fotis Mint also looked great, with fine features such as the teeth and fur of the model printing without issue. This is a pre-supported model, and importing the .stl (including the support structure) into Chitubox was a fast and easy process, something that users of resin printers will no doubt appreciate. Printed using Prusament Orange Tough resin, this model (as well as a small 32mm miniature from Loots Studios) printed flawlessly.

3D Printed 32mm miniature
3D Printed 32mm miniature
© 3DWithUs – Print & Photo: Andrew Sink
32mm Miniature Details - Close Look
32mm Miniature Details – Close Look
The Elegoo Saturn S - Close Look
Elegoo Saturn S
© 3DWithUs – Print & Photo: Andrew Sink

Conclusion

The Saturn S is a worthy successor for the original Saturn, and includes improvements across the board, however slight. The slightly larger masking LCD, slightly smaller pixel size (2 microns), and integrated air purifier all make this printer an easy choice for a solid large format resin 3D printer. The original Elegoo Saturn is one of my all-time favorite 3D printers, and the Saturn S is an ideal replacement that continues to innovate and add new features without abandoning the core functionality of this platform.

The Elegoo Saturn S is currently on sale on Amazon and can be purchased for $514.99, and is also available directly from Elegoo for $437.

Elegoo Saturn S
Amazon
Official Website

Elegoo Saturn S Star Rating
4.5

Review Summary

The Elegoo Saturn S is an incremental upgrade of the popular Elegoo Saturn, one of the most popular large format desktop resin printers. Released at the same time as the next generation Saturn 2, the Saturn S offers minor upgrades across the board to the original Saturn, including a slightly larger masking LCD, slightly larger build area, and a built-in air filter. These upgrades make the Saturn S a logical successor to the original Saturn, but anyone interested in higher resolution or a larger volume should also look at the Saturn 2.

PROS:
– Integrated air purifier reduces printing odors
– Build platform leveling is fast, easy, and repeatable
– Chitubox slicer profile is designed for a high success rate
– FEP 2.0 allows parts to release easily with minimal force

CONS:
– 4k resolution is lower than the competition


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