Elegoo Mars Troubleshooting Guide for Beginners

The Elegoo Mars is an extremely popular 3D resin printer. With prices starting at under $200, it’s cheap, accessible, and compact enough to fit onto most desks. But, that also means it’s likely your first 3D printer. That means you will have problems and you won’t always know what to do about them.

This Elegoo Mars troubleshooting guide will walk you through some of the most common problems beginners face with their printers. This includes quick fixes for errors, failure to read cards, print failure, and more.

Diagnosing Common Problems with Elegoo Mars

Figuring out what your Elegoo Mars is doing is the first step to fixing it. Unfortunately, there are many common problems that occur when running a resin printer. Some of those issues are machine errors. Others are because of human error. In both cases, there’s likely a quick fix.

LCD Display Not Working

The Elegoo Mars comes pre-assembled. This means that when you take it out of the box, everything should just work. However, a couple of things can go wrong, especially with the LCD display.

This includes that the display cable might have come loose from the mainboard. Alternatively, your LCD might be fine, and you might have messed up updating the firmware. Worst case scenario, if your Elegoo Mars LCD display doesn’t work out of the box, you’ll might have to contact Elegoo for a replacement.

How To Fix

The first step is to figure out what has gone wrong with your LCD display. If you have static bars or lines in the screen, it may be a defective LCD panel or a loose video cable. If you’re getting a blue screen of death or “no” screen, it’s more likely to be a firmware issue. If your screen is white, you probably have a bad display and should contact Elegoo.

Check the Cables

If your Elegoo Mars shipped with a loose cable, it might cause issues out of the box. If the screen is black, this is likely the issue. Here, you can use a Phillips #1 screwdriver to remove the back cover.

  1. Make sure your Elegoo is unplugged
  2. Take off all four top screws from the back cover
  3. Then pull the cover off.
  4. Check the LCD screen wire and make sure it’s firmly plugged in. It’s the wide gold strip attached on the left. If it’s not firmly in, fix it.
  5. Check the motor line limit switch line. It’s the red and blue set of wires attached at the top center of the board, immediately to the left of the LCD screen wire.
  6.  Check the USB extension line. It’s the Blue, red, and turquoise wire set immediately to the right of the motor line limit switch, near the top of the board.

If you’re not sure, it’s okay to unplug and plug things back in. Just be sure to use the clips and don’t damage them. Then, put everything back together, close your Elegoo Mars and try booting it back up.

If that doesn’t fix the issue, you may have to contact Elegoo directly.

Update the Firmware

Updating the firmware is a relatively simple process. Here, you can download files directly from Elegoo. Make sure you have the correct version for your Elegoo printer and model.

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From there:

  1. Unzip the downloaded file
  2. Plug the Elegoo Mars into your computer
  3. Go to the Elegoo Mars folder on your disk and click through to the Root Directory
  4. Paste the files and click “yes” to replace the files
  5. Restart the Elegoo Mars. It should automatically load the files. The machine should beep and

That’s it. If your file has been corrupted or you get a “Same Firmware already exists”, you can always just try again. Elegoo Mars has a built-in bootloader, and you can’t overwrite that by making a mistake.

LCD Exposure Fail

If your first print test isn’t curing, it likely means your LCD may not be working properly. That could be because of settings. However, it could also be because of the screen itself. If there are dead spots in the screen, you can find them by doing an exposure test. Alternatively, you might just have the exposure settings too low.

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How To Fix

The first thing to do after having a print fail to cure is to check the exposure settings. Here, you can check Elegoo’s official Resin settings based on your printer model and the type of resin you’re using. If you’re using resin other than something officially supplied by Elegoo, try to match it to what they provide.

Double check the Elegoo settings against these standards.

If your exposure settings are good, you might have to do an exposure check. Here, you’ll have to download the Exposure Test File.

  1. Undo the thumbscrews on either side of the resin tank and pull it out
  2. Remove the build platform
  3. Copy the Test exposure file onto a USB drive and plug it into the printer
  4. Print the file from the menu
  5. Pay attention and look for dead spots or failure in the screen
  6. If there are dead spots, you’ll have to replace the screen. Check if you have a warranty.

If you have a Mars Pro or Mars 2, you can use the firmware as this feature is built in. Instead of downloading the Exposure test file, you’ll want to go to “Tool” and then “Tank Clean” and then run the full-screen exposure.

Elegoo Mars Not Reading SD Card

If your Elegoo Mars isn’t reading your SD Card or USB Flash Drive, it may be an issue with the drive itself. That’s especially true because the Elegoo doesn’t have a native card reader.

How To Fix

There are a couple of reasons why your USB might not be working. The first step should always be to

  • Elegoo Mars only supports USB 2.0, if you’re using a different USB format, it may not work
  • Make sure the USB is formatted to FAT32.
  • Make sure that your USB drive is MBR. If you have a Mac, it will auto-format to GPT, which the Mars cannot read
  • The Mars cannot read a USB stick that is larger than 4GB

The same holds true if you’re using a USB flash card reader and a flash card. It should be FAT32, MBR, and not larger than 4GB. In addition, the plug has to be USB 2.0.

If all of that is true, you can try reformatting the disc (Instructions are for Windows)

  1. Back up any data on the drive
  2. Open Disk Utility
  3. Select the disc in the left-hand panel. If it’s already formatted to Fat32, erase it first.
  4. Select the “Erase”
  5. Go to Volume Format /Format (device name/ letter) and click File System. Then, select FAT32
  6. Click OK
  7. Wait for the formatting to complete

From there, you can add content back to your device and try it again.

If you have partitions, you may also want to set the one for the Elegoo Mars to “primary” partition.

Prints Sticking to FEP and Not Build Plate

If your prints are sticking to the FEP film, it’s likely an issue with temperature, Z-layer settings, or the bed. However, because the issue can stem from multiple issues, you’ll have to troubleshoot in order to get a fix.

How To Fix

Starting with an issue working your way down is always a good idea. This troubleshooting for why your prints are sticking to the FEP and not the base plate starts at the most likely issue.

1. Level the Base Plate
  • Remove the resin tank
  • Fasten the rotary knob
  • Loosen the front and side screws
  • Slide a piece of paper onto the build plate
  • Use the menu to lower the Z-axis to home (Tool > Manual > Home)
  • Press the metal plate down
  • Tighten the screws, starting with the front screw then the side screw
  • Pull the paper. If it moves with only slight resistance, your bed is leveled. If it doesn’t move, raise the bed by 1mm. If it moves easily, lower the bed by 1mm. You can do this from the menu. Check the paper again each time you adjust and keep adjusting accordingly. Keep in mind that if the Z-axis is pushing into the LCD plate, it’s always too low.
  • Set the Z-axis height at the current “first level” position from the screen.
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2. Clean the Base Plate

Any grease or oily residue on the base plate can cause the print not to stick. This might cause it to partially stick, or to adhere to the FEP rather than to the base plate, because that bond is stronger.

Here, you can clean the plate with alcohol wipes. If there’s still residue, use isopropyl alcohol to get it off.

3. Adjust Base Layers

Elegoo recommends that you always have at least 5 base layers. In addition, these layers should be set to the same thickness as the rest of your layers. If they are too thin or there aren’t enough of them, you might have sticking issues.

4. Adjust Exposure

The exposure time and base exposure time should change per resin type you’re using. If the cure time is too long or too short, it could cause sticking issues. You’ll want to check your settings against Elegoo recommendations for the type of resin you’re using.

5. Check Your 3D Print Model

If your 3D print file isn’t designed well, you could have sticking issues. Here, it’s always a good idea to check your slicer to see if the base actually connects with the base plate. Many slicers will show things in green if they do.

In addition, if your model is too large, it could cause too much suction, meaning it doesn’t stick to the base plate. Redesigning your model, using supports, or otherwise modifying the base could help.

No Authorization Error When Updating the Firmware

If you’re getting a “no authorization” error, it normally means something has gone wrong with the firmware. In most cases, this happens because of a glitch or a failed update.

How To Fix

Fixing a “no authorization” error on your Elegoo Mars requires restoring the original version of the firmware.

  1. Download the original version of the firmware from Elegoo here.
  2. Copy the firmware files without folders to an empty USB drive. The USB drive must be formatted in FAT32 and should be smaller than 4GB
  3. Insert the USB flash drive into the Elegoo Mars and click “print”. You should still get an Unauthorized error.
  4. Turn the printer off. Then, reinsert the USB flash drive
  5. Turn the printer back on. It should beep and automatically recognize the firmware update
  6. Check that the firmware update is the same as the firmware update you’ve just tried to update

If this doesn’t solve the issue, contact Elegoo.

Elegoo Mars Lines or Layer Shifting

Line or layer shifting normally happens because you’re printing too fast, if the nozzle collides with the print, or if something else causes the 3D print to move before it’s finished. Additionally, if your model doesn’t have enough support, it could collapse in on itself

How To Fix

There could be quite a few things causing layer shifting. This will walk you through all the troubleshooting steps you can take to fix the issue.

  1. Check the print speed. If it’s on the upper range, try lowering it slightly and trying again. The more detailed and complex your print, the slower you should be printing. In general, around 50mm/s is a good rule of thumb for bottom lift speed. Standard lift speed is normally safe around 80-100mm/s although it really depends on what you’re printing.
  2. Make sure ChiTuBox or whatever slicer you’re using is set up for your specific Elegoo Mars
  3. Adjust anti-aliasing. This feature reduces “pixelation” in your print. At the same time, if it’s set too high for a high-detail print, you could lose details, resulting in a blurred finish and layer shifting. Similarly, not using anti-aliasing at all can result in highly pixelated ends that don’t look smooth at all – which can mimic layer shifting. If you’re using ChiTuBox, go into the advanced settings, check the “Anti-Aliasing” box, and then select a level. In general, you want no aliasing for very fine-finish prints, and then increase the anti-aliasing based on reduced detail on the model.
  4. Check the Z-Axis. If your Z-axis is homing below the first layer, you may get collision and layer shifting. That’s also true if the Z-axis itself is loose. Here, you should check the screws around the base of the Z-axis and around the build platform. Make sure they are tight and that the Z-axis doesn’t wobble. Then, check the Home settings on your Z-axis. The printer should Home to a point where a piece of paper just fits under the nozzle, with a tiny bit of resistance. If it’s lower or if it pushes into the LCD, you should re-level it.
  5. Check the Print. If your 3D print design doesn’t have enough support, if it has loose parts that break or warp, or if it’s too complex for the nozzle to navigate around, you could get layer shifting. Here, the easiest check is to add more supports in your slicer and see if it helps.
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Uniform Horizontal Lines on Elegoo Mars Prints

Horizontal lines or banding is a common problem with 3d prints. However, it can occur because of a number of issues. These include printing speed, extrusion calibration, temperature changes, mechanical issues, and some other problems.

How To Fix

  1. Check your platform to ensure it’s leveled and fastened properly. Releveling the platform may solve the issue if one of the screws is slightly loose or you have some wobble.
  2. Check printing speed and try slowing it down if it’s above 50 m/s.
  3. Make sure the printer is running in a temperature-controlled room. If it’s too cold, the temperature suddenly drops, or the bed temperature changes, you could get banding. You’ll also want to make sure the temperature doesn’t fluctuate during the print.
  4. Over extrusion can also cause banding. Here, flow rate, a worn nozzle, and flow rate settings. Double check settings and compare to those recommended for the material you’re using.
  5. Your printer could be causing banding because of mechanical issues. This might range from adjusting and lubricating the Z-axis to replacing the Z-axis motor. If you have a Mars rather than a Mars Pro, you can also remove the print plate, carriage, and arm to access the center rolling bearings. You can then adjust those to tighten them. The Mars Pro is not adjustable, so if you’re having tension issues, you’ll have to replace the arm instead.

Elegoo Mars Not Printing Anything

If your Elegoo Mars isn’t printing anything at all, you very likely have an exposure issue. However, failure to print may be related to several other issues such as resin quality or availability.

How To Fix

  1. Check the resin in the tank. If it’s low, the access points are blocked, or the resin is very low quality, your printer may not print
  2. Make sure your resin is not old or starting to separate. If it’s been in the vat too long, you should stir it to reduce separation issues.
  3. Remove the resin tank and the build plate. Then, run the Exposure test by either running the Exposure Test File from a USB drive or gong to “Tools” and clicking “Tank Clean” from the menu. The latter only works on Mars 2 and 3. If the screen doesn’t light up properly or you have dead pixels, the screen could be the issue.
  4. Check your exposure settings in the slicer. If exposure is too low, the Mars could refuse to print. You can double check recommended exposure against your resin type here.

Final Thoughts

Getting started with a resin printer will always mean having a learning curve. That’s even true if you’re already used to printing with filament. You’ll always have issues. This beginner’s troubleshooting guide of the Elegoo Mars covers many of the first problems you’re likely to run into.

Good luck getting your printer running smoothly.

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