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Speed vs print quality

red Dog

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I'm on the market for my first 3D resin printer

I felt the buzz of the AnyCubic Mono M5s and I almost bought one but as often before I do I read a lot and look a lot at independant reviews.

I started to get a trend that the real advantage of these is speed if you use the right hi speed resin, which is more expensive - and that may come with a print quality decrease

So I kinda reverted to the M5, which is slower but apparently provide higher print quality


Then comes some elegoo review with basically the same conclusion between the Saturn 3ultra and the saturn 3. Ultra is faster but Saturn 3 is more quality

And it seems Saturn 3 might be a bit better than M5. So in a very short time I went from M5s to elegoo saturn 3


Granted, lots of interesting features are missing from the 5s but when I think about it, I'm not in 3D printing for speed.

i don't care if it takes 5h or 50 minutes. I have plenty of time when modelling. I don't plan on going commercial with 3D bits, just for my own use and the usual freind production from time to time. So I don't need to consider chain production.

Add to that the resin choice which is important and the added costs of hi speed resin. That's another argument in favour of the slower printers

but before I buy, what's your guys take on the comment above? Do they make sense to you or am I missing something?


The next step will be to find a good resin for our application and stick to it. But I'm getting excited already :)


Thoughts welcome, thanks



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I'm still a novice when it comes to 3D Printing, I have an Anycubic Mono 6K X, while I think this was one of their first machines that had better print times, I still lean toward detail over speed. If a small print is going to take 3-4 hours, I'm happy with that as the results are normally pretty damn good. But yeah I am looking at that machine too, looks fantastic.

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I don't think you can go wrong with either of the Saturn 3 machines. The 'high speed' thing is mostly marketing, and relies on the combination of specifically-formulated resins, and the use of ACF film instead of FEP in the bottom of the vat. You can simply use normal resins and swap out the ACF for FEP on these machines, and get the same quality results as the non 'high speed' units. The Saturn 3 Ultra has a few extra features that might make it worth the upgrade for you, but otherwise, the standard Saturn 3 should suffice.



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I can't say anything about Elegoo printers, but I can tell you after buying a Mono M5s, I can verify the high speed stuff is more than just marketing, and it has more to offer than just high speed.


The accuracy and speed at .05 layer height (or less) is astounding, and for me the fact that I have to do zero leveling and can just send a romote print to the printer without doing anything to it is awesome.

Yes the high speed resin is a bit more expensive, but I've gotten mine on Amazon and honestly it isn't outrageous.


The ability to print anything from a multitude of 3/4" 1/550th scale Star Wars ground speeders that retained nearly all the detail, to printing super detailed prints like a Bearded Dragon in under 3 hours is something I'm truly loving. 

It's super hard to even see any print lines with some of the stuff I've printed, using minimal sanding and a single primer layer.

Zero sanding needed on my little Beardy.

Again, I can't speak to other brands, but I can tell you that the Mono M5s with auto leveling is worth the cost I paid, 100%.









Retaining detail on SUPER small prints is  where this printer really shines.

These things were so small they were nearly impossible to get pics of the details, but it did a wonderful job on retaining detail on something I can barely see or photograph. Even the micro sized skid was captured faithfully:









So far the auto-leveling, hands off ease of use and the ability to copy super small ultra fine details are my favorite things about this printer. The fast speed to me is just gravy.....

Now I just to find a single reliable support/slicer program that does everything I need that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. 

Currently I'm split AnyCubics OOB slicer, Lychee and Voxeldance/VDT.


I may not be a 3D printing expert/SME/Guru but I can highly recommend the M5s.

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13 minutes ago, Out2gtcha said:


 I'm using the OOB NFEP that comes on the M5s.


Yeah, I think that's why you're seeing superior results. Most of the YouTube guys are saying that the ACF that comes with "high speed" printers by default can cause a degradation in sharpness in the resulting prints, due to the way the translucency of the film scatters light. Interesting that the M5s comes with nFEP by default.



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1 hour ago, LSP_Kevin said:


Yeah, I think that's why you're seeing superior results. Most of the YouTube guys are saying that the ACF that comes with "high speed" printers by default can cause a degradation in sharpness in the resulting prints, due to the way the translucency of the film scatters light. Interesting that the M5s comes with nFEP by default.




Yep I saw the same and that's what triggered my further research. They indeed said that swapping the film on the Anycubic 5s made print quality much better. I didn't know the 5s was delivered with the transparent film.

Some guys said that the Elegoo ultra didn't quite suffer from that, probably due to the fresnel lens probably. 


Anyway thank you all for your input. I'm sure i'll have plenty of questions once I get the  printer and start to screw things up :)

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Elegoo is also noted for excellent support.

I'm just getting into the SLA side of things. One thing that is pretty clear so far is that the level of product support is FAR better in SLA than in FDM, where it seems all the cheaper printers are essentially free of anything resembling customer support (Creality, I'm looking at you here....)

I guess that goes hand in hand with the difference in the printer design. Most cheap FDM printers are all open source bits (the basic i3 and Ender 3 designs, the Marlin firmware, the core board designs, even the slicers) while cheaper SLA printers are mostly just repackaged Chitu bespoke components in a custom enclosure, with closed source firmware and slicers, and you can actually buy support for the latter (the Pro versions of Chitubox and Lychee both feature manufacturer support as part of the deal)

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I have the Elegoo Saturn 3, these are the best printers I have owned, really great. Work really well with the ACF, apparently better than some of the other brands with ACF FILM, I do not know that first hand just what I have read.

I do not think that my settings are the fastest, but to me quality of print and consistency of print is far better than trying to print super fast, especially for our general line of model creation. However if you just want to print something where texture is not so important then you can print at a coarser resolution and crank it all up, and it will still be better than printing on and FDM printer in terms of surface quality.

I have only really ever owned Elegoo printers, their service is really great, I had to return on machine at one point and had no issues, also various spares were needed at various times, many came free of charge, some I had to pay for but they were all sent quickly and securely.

One big thing is, and this applies to almost all products purchased, even models and mine and other guys sets, IF YOU GOT A PROBLEM, go to the manufacturer in the first instance and get their advice before trolling through various online sources, and forums. 
I got so lost and confused and still do with settings, failures etc on printing, my first port of call is always first with the manufactures and or with the slicing software, on that my now very much preferred slicing software is Lychee, better than Chitubox in my view, although Chitubox does have some better points, tried the VOXEL slicer that comes with the Saturn 3, but struggling with that.

In my opinion I think the Saturn 3 ultra is one of the best machines available right now especially at the price point.


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