Whether you're working with standard or specialty formulations, the types of resin for 3D printing you use are essential for bringing your creations to life. In this guide, we'll look at the different types of resin available for 3D printing, each with its own properties and applications. Common Types of 3D Printing Processes Each manufacturer […]
A Comprehensive Guide to Types of Resin for 3D Printing
Whether you're working with standard or specialty formulations, the types of resin for 3D printing you use are essential for bringing your creations to life. In this guide, we'll look at the different types of resin available for 3D printing, each with its own properties and applications.
Common Types of 3D Printing Processes
Each manufacturer has its own unique process for producing plastic and metal parts. They also vary in material selection, surface finish, durability, production efficiency, and pricing.
Stereolithography (SLA) is one of the earliest 3D printing processes, invented by Chuck Hull in the early 1980s. SLA was the first commercially viable 3D printing technology, and it cleared the path for the advancement of other additive manufacturing processes.
SLA printers excel in providing high levels of detail, smooth surface finishes, and precise tolerances. The surface finishes of SLA parts appear quite impressive in terms of quality.
In the automotive industry, SLA is utilized for producing concept car models and prototyping components. In the medical industry, SLA creates anatomical models for planning surgeries and creating patient-specific implants. Furthermore, SLA is vital in the design and manufacture of jewelry since it allows for the incorporation of delicate details and complex designs.
Curious about how Stereolithography (SLA) brings your designs to life? Discover how this cutting-edge 3D printing technology operates by watching the below video to gain a deeper understanding and unlock new possibilities for your projects.
Digital Light Processing (DLP)
Digital Light Processing (DLP) is a cutting-edge technology in the fields of projection and 3D printing. The technology uses micro-mirrors to project light onto the resin, making it innovative in additive manufacturing.
DLP 3D printing uses a digital light projector to create objects layer by layer through an additive manufacturing process. UV light activates photopolymer resin in a vat via a digital micromirror device or similar light source.
The UV light is projected in patterns that match the object's cross-section at a particular layer by accurately angling the mirrors. The resin solidifies when exposed to UV light, at which point the build platform is lowered to start the next layer.
In the context of 3D printing, a Digital Light Processing (DLP) technique creates things with smooth surfaces and intricate features, making it perfect for applications that demand high resolution and precise details.
In dentistry, Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology is utilized to create precise dental models, crowns, bridges, and orthodontic devices. In the production of hearing aids, DLP plays a crucial role due to the high degree of precision and customization required.
Curious about the fascinating world of Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology? Delve deeper into the mechanics of DLP in this insightful video on YouTube! Let’s watch and gain a better understanding of how DLP works, offering incredible visuals and innovation.
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
FDM is a popular 3D printing process invented by Scott Crump in the late 1980s. FDM is renowned for its ease of use, low cost, and a broad variety of material compatibility.
An additive manufacturing technique called fused deposition modeling creates three-dimensional items layer by layer. It works by heating and extruding a thermoplastic continuous filament, like ABS or PLA, through a nozzle. The carefully deposited molten material cools and solidifies quickly after being placed onto a construction platform.
The Deposition Modeling (FDM) process creates three-dimensional objects through the precise layering of thermoplastic material. Depending on the precise project needs, these items might have a wide range of sizes, levels of complexity, and material qualities.
FDM 3D printing is frequently used in rapid prototyping for product design and development, enabling engineers and designers to produce useful prototypes rapidly and affordably. The education industry also gains from FDM because it is a practical tool for developing creativity and teaching STEM concepts.
Watch this interesting below video to dive into the world of additive manufacturing and discover how FDM brings your designs to life layer by layer.
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
The development of the 3D printing technology known as Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) began in the middle of the 1980s, invented by Dr. Carl Deckard and Dr. Joseph Beaman at the University of Texas at Austin.
The additive manufacturing method of Selective Laser Sintering uses a powerful laser to fuse specific powdered materials, such as metals, ceramics, or polymers, to create three-dimensional things layer by layer. The laser heats the powder particles to their melting point wherever it lands, forcing them to fuse together. The construction platform is then lowered, and a fresh layer of powder is applied, continuing the procedure until the entire item is produced.
In the automotive sector, SLS is used for rapid prototyping and the manufacture of elements like interior trim and intake manifolds. SLS also helps the medical industry by creating specialized implants, prosthetic parts, and anatomical models for surgery planning. Furthermore, SLS is employed in the manufacture of consumer goods like tool handles and fashion accessories.
Let's dive into the world of additive manufacturing and understand how SLS creates incredible, functional parts by watching this video.
Different Resins for 3D Printing
Whether you're a seasoned maker or just starting your journey, understanding these materials is key to unlocking new possibilities. Let's continue to read our post to explore the fascinating world of different resins for 3D printing.
|Plant-Based, Eco Resin||
|Tough Resin (ABS-like)||
|High - Temperature Resin||
||SLA/ FDM/ SLS|
|Water - Washable Resin||
|Ceramic-filled Resin (Rigid)||
Standard resin is a photopolymer, which means that it reacts chemically to change from a liquid to a solid when exposed to particular light wavelengths. This substance has a smooth surface finish and excellent printing properties.
- High resolution
- A wide range of colors
- Smooth finish
- Low viscosity & good fluidity
Standard resin has a low viscosity that effectively balances fluidity and stability to allow for precise deposition without excessive dripping or sagging. It greatly reduces the need for labor-intensive post-processing because of its flawless surface finish. Additionally, the variety of hues available increases its adaptability and gives designers more creative freedom.
It is vital to take into account its brittleness, though, as this might be a drawback in situations when the object will be put under a lot of stress or strain.
It can be used in a variety of fields, such as prototyping, dentistry, the arts, architecture, and the manufacture of functional parts.
Plant-Based, Eco Resin
Plant-based or eco-resin refers to a type of resin that is derived from renewable plant-based sources such as soybean oil, corn oil, or castor oil. The development of these resins has been directed toward minimizing the environmental impact of plastic manufacture and use.
- Renewable source
- Safe and with ultra-low irritant chemical composition
- Superior tenacity and accuracy
- Reduced carbon footprint
The environmental sustainability of plant-based eco resin is one of its main benefits. It lessens reliance on fossil fuels because it is made from plant-based renewable resources. It can also naturally disintegrate over time due to its biodegradability, reducing its environmental impact.
Compared to the manufacture of petroleum-based resins, the production of resins derived from plants often produces fewer emissions. This may lessen the overall carbon footprint of goods created using eco resin, aiding in the fight against climate change.
It has a wide range of applications, including professional prototyping, science fair projects, early exposure engineering, secondary education courses, and industrial parts and components.
Flexible resin is one of the 3D printer resin types and is known for its capacity to produce objects with flexibility and elasticity. It is frequently employed in situations that call for rubber-like or supple materials.
- High degree of elasticity
- Good toughness and impact resistance
- Tear resistance
- High elongation
- Wide adaptability
One of flexible resin’s important properties is its capacity to imitate rubber's characteristics. This enables it to be utilized in situations where a certain level of flexibility and impact resistance is required. Moreover, it is appropriate for a variety of functional and prototype applications due to its soft texture and flexibility.
However, flexible resin has the tendency to be more difficult to print than stiff materials. Additionally, it may be slightly more expensive than standard resins, ranging from $40 to $100 or more per liter.
These properties make it suitable for many applications, including prototyping, footwear, prosthetics, consumer electronics, medical modeling, and art.
Draft resin is a kind of photopolymer resin used in 3D printing. It is designed to cure quickly, making swift layer-by-layer printing possible.
- Fast printing speed
- Lower resolution
- Reduced detail accuracy
- Smooth surface finish
The speed of draft resin is one of its main features. Engineers and designers can iterate on their designs more quickly since it enables the quick manufacture of prototypes. This is especially helpful when iterating on a design several times to improve a product.
However, it is necessary to keep in mind that draft resin makes some accuracy and detail compromises in favor of speed. This makes it less ideal for making extremely precise or intricate pieces.
It is commonly used for uses such as initial prototyping, fit testing, creating architectural models, and so on.
Tough Resin (ABS-like)
Tough resin, also referred to as ABS-like resin, is a photopolymer resin created with a resemblance to the mechanical characteristics of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic.
- Excellent impact strength
- Strong flexural endurance
- Good heat and chemical resistance
Tough resin has a number of benefits, one of which is the capacity to create 3D printed objects with ABS plastic-like qualities. This resin is appropriate for a variety of engineering and industrial applications because it strikes a balance between durability, toughness, and flexibility. Additionally, the high flexural strength and impact resistance are especially beneficial for items that may be subjected to mechanical stress or probable impacts.
It is well-suited for a wide range of applications, from functional prototyping to the production of end-use parts in industries such as automotive, consumer electronics, and manufacturing.
Transparent resin, also known as clear resin, is a 3D printer resin type known for its optical clarity and transparency. It is applied when making components or prototypes that need to have a translucent or see-through quality.
- High detail resolution
- Chemical resistance
- Low shrinkage
Transparent resin's capacity to create components with remarkable optical qualities is one of its key characteristics. As a result, it is perfect for uses where transparency or translucency is sought, including lenses, light covers, or display cases. Furthermore, transparent resin is frequently used to make aesthetic or ornamental items since it can provide fine details and an eye-catching appearance.
It is crucial to remember that while transparent resin improves optical clarity, it can also be more brittle than other resins. Due to its brittleness, the material may not be suitable for some applications, especially those requiring flexibility or impact resistance.
It is used in applications such as medical models, aerospace, and aviation, or in the production of optical components, prototyping for optics, and so on.
The most recent resin to enter the market, 8K resin, promises to benefit from the quick transition to ever-higher resolution resin printers.
- Bright and stunning colors
- Low viscosity
- Non-brittle and less odor
- Wide applications
A key characteristic of 8K resin is its low viscosity. Because of its low viscosity, the printing process flows smoothly and consistently, improving the precision and accuracy of the final product. Its non-brittleness, which results in improved robustness and endurance in the finished object, is particularly remarkable.
Additionally, the diminished odor element is a nice relief, making working with it more enjoyable and user-friendly.
It can be used in a variety of applications, such as the arts, architecture, and the manufacture of functional parts.
High-temperature resin is a unique substance that has been developed to maintain its structural integrity and performance at high temperatures. This kind of resin is frequently utilized in situations where exposure to heat plays a key role.
- High heat and chemical resistance
- Excellent stability
- Low thermal expansion
- Mechanical strength
High-temperature resin has a number of benefits, one of which is its dependability in high-temperature conditions. Due to its exceptional thermal stability, it can sustain its qualities even after being exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time.
Furthermore, because of its low thermal expansion, it maintains its dimensional stability, a vital characteristic in applications where accuracy is crucial.
The ability to endure exposure to a variety of corrosive chemicals is another crucial characteristic. It is a great option for situations where the material may come into touch with chemicals, fuels, or solvents.
It is valued in sectors including aerospace, automotive, and oil & gas where exposure to extreme heat and corrosive materials is typical.
Water-washable resin is a type of resin for 3D printing that allows for post-processing and cleaning with water. Users who value convenience, safety, and the environment will find this product very appealing because of its distinctive properties.
- Reduced odor
- Water solubility
Water solubility is one of the main benefits of resin that may be washed in water. After a print is finished, the part can be cleaned and finished by rinsing it in water to remove any remaining resin. This can be done for the printed object, supports, and even the build platform.
It is also a more comfortable and user-friendly option for both professional and hobbyist 3D printing applications due to the softer odor during printing.
It is especially well suited for applications in education, the arts, dentistry, and hobbies, as well as where there is a need for streamlined environmental cleanup.
One different resin for 3D printing is heat-resistant resin, which was developed to maintain structural integrity and functionality at high temperatures. It is made to endure circumstances that would cause typical resins to distort or fail.
- Withstand elevated temperatures
- Low thermal expansion
- Good chemical resistance
The capacity of heat-resistant resin to function dependably in conditions where conventional polymers would soften, deform, or lose their strength is one of its main advantages. It has exceptional thermal stability, which enables it to keep its qualities even when exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time.
Heat-resistant resin normally has a low thermal expansion, so it keeps its size and shape even in temperature variations. This feature guarantees that printed items keep their accuracy and fit.
It is appreciated in sectors including aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, and chemical processing.
Dental resin is a different resin for 3D printing used in dentistry for a variety of purposes. It is designed to specifically satisfy the needs of dental professionals, making it safe for intraoral use and suitable for the oral environment.
- High detail resolution
- Wide color options
- High hardness and wear resistance
The biocompatibility of dental resin is one of its most important properties. This guarantees that oral tissues and structures can be directly contacted without risk. It is appropriate for a variety of dental applications because it was specifically created to be compatible with the human body.
Additionally, the dental resin has superb detail resolution, enabling accurate representation of anatomical structures and minute features in dental models and restorations. This is essential to ensuring that the finished product fits correctly and performs well in the patient's mouth.
It is used for a wide range of applications, including the creation of dental models, temporary restorations, surgical guides, orthodontic appliances, and more.
Ceramic-filled Resin (Rigid)
Ceramic-filled resin is a unique resin type for 3D printing that integrates ceramic particles into the resin matrix in its hard state. In comparison to conventional resins, the ceramic particles contribute to a more rigid structure and improved mechanical performance.
- High level of hardness
- Excellent dimensional stability
- Super resistance to cracking or fracturing
- Great endurance to heat
The remarkable hardness of ceramic-filled resin makes it perfect for uses where resistance to wear and abrasion is essential, such as in parts that come into contact with abrasive materials or are subjected to friction.
Additionally, resin with ceramic fill resists heat well and keeps its qualities even when exposed to intense heat. Because of their low shrinkage, printed objects are guaranteed to maintain precise proportions, improving the quality of finished products.
It finds use in fields including dentistry, tooling, wear-resistant parts, electronics, and automobile manufacture, where components need to be very wear-resistant, hard, and durable.
Mammoth resin is a substance that may be used to print enormously big objects since it is made of liquid resin that has been laser-hardened.
- Big-scale prints
- Good surface quality
- Moderate mechanical resistance
One of the most distinctive properties of mammoth resin is the creation of enormous models. They can reach a maximum size of about 2100 x 700 x 800mm. In addition, models made from mammoth plastic have a smooth surface and are comfortable to the touch. However, design freedom is limited due to the structure needed to support the model during printing.
It can be used to create bicycle frames, decorations, big-size models, and so on.
Recommended The Best 3D Printing Resins To Buy
|ELEGOO Water-Washable Resin
||$18.99 - $65.99|
|Siraya Tech Fast||
||$36.99 - $155.00|
|Monocure 3D CMYK Pigment Set
|ANYCUBIC Eco (Plant-Based Resin)
||$15.00 - $37.00|
|ELEGOO ABS-Like Resin
||$29.99 - $31.99|
|Siraya Tech Blu Resin
||$29.99 - $210.00|
|Phrozen Onyx Rigid Pro410
|Nova3D Printer Resin
*Prices are updated as of September 2023
ELEGOO Water-Washable Resin
ELEGOO Water-Washable Resin is one of the best , providing a user-friendly nature since harsh chemicals like isopropyl alcohol are not needed for post-processing. It offers excellent printability and durability, generates fine detail in printing, and its models are simple to clean.
Additionally, the absence of overpowering smells that are associated with other forms of resin is also a big plus because it makes working more comfortable. Its ability to work with a wide variety of 3D printers makes it a flexible option for a range of applications, from complex models to working prototypes.
However, some users claim that water-washable resin may take a little longer to cure than conventional resins, which can cause the printing process to take longer.
Uncover the game-changing properties of ELEGOO's Water-Washable Resin in this comprehensive review video! Let's watch and learn how this innovative resin can revolutionize your 3D printing experience.
Siraya Tech Fast
Siraya Tech Fast Resin speeds up the printing process significantly. This is very useful for individuals who prioritize productivity and seek to shorten average project completion times. Fast resin also generates smooth, finely detailed prints and has great layer adhesion, all of which contribute to a high-quality final product.
However, this is its relatively strong odor which might be more noticeable compared to other resins.
Monocure 3D CMYK Pigment Set
The Monocure 3D CMYK Pigment Set permits the production of a wide spectrum of colors, enabling complex and unique designs by combining cyan, magenta, yellow, and black pigments. In addition, the pigments are extremely dense, so a tiny amount goes a long way, making this set economical over time.
However, the use of pigments may somewhat alter the mechanical characteristics of the resin, thus affecting how durable the finished print is.
ANYCUBIC Eco (Plant-Based Resin)
Plant-Based Resin of ANYCUBIC Eco is a 3D printer resin type made from renewable plant materials that has an environmentally friendly composition. As a result, it has a lower environmental impact than resins derived from petroleum. This resin generates a relatively light, natural scent during printing, making it more enjoyable to work with.
Moreover, it is perfect for producing prints that are aesthetically pleasing due to its bright pink tint and silky finish. Beyond its eye-catching hue, Eco Pink has exceptional printability and accuracy, guaranteeing that your 3D models are produced with stunning detail.
Nevertheless, users may discover that the print quality is not as smooth or detailed as with other conventional resins. It might necessitate somewhat longer curing times, which might lengthen the entire printing process.
ELEGOO ABS-Like Resin
ELEGOO ABS-Like Resin may replicate the characteristics of ABS plastic and provide better impact resistance, flexibility, and durability than regular resin. Additionally, ABS-Like Resin shrinks very little during the curing process, producing prints that are more precise and stable in terms of dimension.
However, compared to other resins, this one has a tendency to smell harsher, therefore, adequate ventilation is required while printing.
Siraya Tech Blu Resin
Siraya Tech Blu Resin is a superior option for functional and engineering-grade prototypes due to its great tensile strength and durability. Because of this resin's low shrinkage while drying, even prints with complex designs will be accurate and dimensionally stable. Furthermore, Blu Resin has a comparatively low odor, which makes the workplace more comfortable.
Blu Resin is stronger than other resins; however, it may not yield prints with as smooth a surface finish, requiring more post-processing work for a polished outcome.
Phrozen Onyx Rigid Pro410
The Phrozen Onyx Rigid Pro410 resin 3D printer is one of the best 3D printer resin types. It has high-resolution printing capabilities, making it possible to create precise models that are complicated and detailed.
Moreover, it uses a stiff resin that produces prints that are strong and long-lasting, making them ideal for engineering applications and functioning prototypes. Its monochrome LCD construction allows quicker curing times and better print speeds, making it a useful tool for both expert and hobbyist users.
The build capacity of the printer is, however, quite small, which might restrict the size of the products that can be generated.
Nova3D Printer Resin
Nova3D printer resins provide customers with the flexibility to select the tools they want. It is renowned for having a low odor, which makes for a more comfortable working atmosphere. It is crucial to remember that post-processing is still necessary, including the elimination of supports and careful cleaning.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Types of Resin
We have listed some factors to consider when choosing types of resin for 3D printing for optimal material selection. Keep reading to gain invaluable insights and improve your printing abilities.
Printing Process Compatibility
Different 3D printing processes (SLA, FDM, SLS, DLP, etc.) require specific types of resin that are formulated to work optimally with the respective technology.
Ensure that the resin you choose is compatible with your 3D printer and its specifications, such as the resin vat material and UV light wavelength (for SLA and DLP).
Consider the mechanical properties required for your application, including tensile strength, hardness, flexibility, and impact resistance. While certain resins promote flexibility or rigidity, others are engineered for high-stress applications.
Some different resins for 3D printing are formulated to be more durable and resistant to wear, making them suitable for functional parts that will be subjected to regular use or environmental stressors.
Quality of Finish
Depending on the type of resin used, the surface finish of a printed object can vary significantly. Some resins deliver immaculate, virtually smooth surfaces right out of the printer. To get the required finish, certain others might need further post-processing operations like sanding or polishing.
The level of detail that can be achieved in a printed object is referred to as resolution. It is influenced by things like the size of each resin particle, the layer height settings on the printer, and how precisely the curing process is carried out. A resin with tiny particle sizes and exact curing must be used for intricate or highly detailed applications.
Printing Speed and Curing Time
Resins may have different curing times and printing speeds, affecting the overall time taken to complete a print. Shorter manufacturing cycles can result from faster curing periods, but they may also have equipment requirements or layer thickness restrictions. Balance the need for speed with the desired print quality when selecting a resin.
Types of resin for 3D printing are often more expensive than other types of resin, ranging from $15 and up to more than $200.
Analyze the overall cost of employing a specific resin, which includes the cost per volume (such as a liter or kilogram) as well as any supplementary costs such as resin tanks, building platforms, and maintenance.
Overall, the types of resin for 3D printing offer unique advantages and considerations, making it essential to carefully evaluate project needs and priorities. When choosing a resin, keep in mind your unique requirements, including those for high precision, flexibility, or cost-effectiveness.
Does it matter what resin you use for 3D printing?
Yes. Different resins have special characteristics suited to different uses, affecting things like strength, flexibility, and surface polish. Therefore, choosing the appropriate resin is essential for getting the required outcomes.
What are the different types of resin available for 3D printing?
There are several types of resin available for 3D printing, each with unique properties and applications. The most common types include Standard Resin, which offers a balance of detail and strength, Flexible Resin for parts requiring elasticity, and Castable Resin designed for jewelry and metal casting.
Are all resins compatible with all 3D printing processes?
No. SLA, DLP, and LCD printers use liquid resins, which require exposure to light in order to cure, whereas SLS and MJF use powdered materials.
What is the best resin brand for 3D printing?
The "best" resin brand varies based on personal preferences and particular project needs. Some of the well-known companies making top-notch resins include Formlabs, Anycubic, Elegoo, Siraya Tech, and Peopoly.