Resin 3D Printing: Everything You Need to Know

 |  Print Britannia

Resin 3D Printing: Definition, How it Works, and Types

resin 3D printing

Trophies 3D printed using Resin

We have been watching a crazy demand for resin 3D printing services. Resin 3D Printing is a substantial family member of additive manufacturing technologies. In recent years, it has been significantly more popular than ever before. 

Did you know the global additive manufacturing market grew to over $10.4 billion in 2019? So it is pretty imaginable how much it will expand in the following years! Observing its huge potential, we have prepared this guide on Resin 3D Printing. What you need to know from different points of view we have arranged here. Are you ready to dive in? 

Resin 3D printing has various applications and benefits. Let's jump downright! It will be best to learn it in detail.  

What Is Resin 3D Printing and How It Works?

Simply put, resin 3D printing is that sort of additive manufacturing that cures liquid photopolymers or light-activated resin layer-by-layer into a solid object. Experts also regard this as Stereolithography or VAT Polymerization printing. Generally, a resin 3D printer comprises a light source, build platform or build plate, mirrors, and a resin tank to form an object. This printing technology leverages you to print out all types of 3D models. Now it's up to you to either use it for professional attainment or only to demonstrate creativity. Do you want to know how it works? 

How Does Resin 3D Printing Works?

In resin 3D printing, a 3D printer constructs an object both normally and upside down. It depends on the components' positions inside the machine and the pattern of the build plate. However, the upside-down orientation is favorable for desktop machines. In that case, you will enjoy an easy operation without compromising quality. Allow us to illustrate its working procedure through some phases below:

  • First, you will have to fill the resin manually provided that you are trained enough because there are some cautions. Otherwise, you have to rely on the automatic filling process. 
  • Then the printer commands the build platform to create a thin layer of resin with the help of the build plate.
  • Next in the resin, a light source draws the pattern of a single layer and helps it solidify. 
  • Then the plate permits the uncured resin to get in and construct a new thin layer above the plate. 
  • After getting equipped with a roller, a unit will pass through the building area and ensure that the resin lies accordingly. 
  • Thus, these steps keep continuing till the ultimate forming or construction of the object.

Types of Resin Printing

The working procedure is identical. However, a resin printing technique may differ depending on the light source and way of curing. Anyways, the types are as follows: 

  • SLA
  • PolyJet/MJM
  • DLP
  • MJP
  • DUP (LCD-based)
  • CLIP

Crucial Things to Learn  

Let's assume that you are going to start a resin 3D printing business. Nowadays, going for such a start-up is not a big deal. The point is to be capable of dealing with some crucial things. These are as follows:

Finding 3D Printing Files

Having a 3D printing file is the prerequisite of printing. Generally, we regard this as an STL file. There is a lot of 3D modeling software available that you can use to create your STL files. As you choose a 3D modeling software, you need to select the one that you can learn easily, and it should not cost an arm and a leg.

For that case, I recommend using SelfCAD for designing your 3D models and even generating the STL files. You don’t need to have any experience in 3D modeling to create your 3D models. The program is intuitive, and anyone, regardless of their background, can get started with much ease. The interactive tutorials feature of SelfCAD too is handy in learning 3D modeling as it helps in knowing where each tool is located and its functions.

All the designs created in SelfCAD are 3D printable, and it also has an in-built slicer that you can use to generate the G-Code that you can send to your 3D printer.

If you can not execute your design for any reason, you can hire an expert 3D designer. Besides, you can rely on some websites to get 3D printing files such as:

  • Thingiverse
  • Myminifactory
  • Cgtrader
  • Yeggi
  • Cults
  • Pinshape
  • MyMiniFactory
  • Threeding
  • YouMagine
  • Shapetizer 

Some of the websites are free; some are not. However, you have to be careful of the copyrights of the STL files. Let not your resin 3D printed products be a matter of controversy. 

The Selection of Resin 

Experts named this printing method following this significant material - resin. Most probably, you can imagine how vital its selection would be! It is a combination of different chemicals. It becomes solidified when exposed to UV light. You will have to pour the resin into the resin vat. In reaction to that, an array of LED chips will project UV light. The UV light will go through the LCD screen across an entire layer. 

There are several types of resin. It depends on your requirement what type you should choose. Nonetheless, for example, we suggest Aqua-Gray 4K resin for applying in dental models, jewelry items. This is one of the best for professional applications- Same Day printing services in London.  

Applying Slicer Software

resin 3D printing

Setting up SelfCAD slicer

Before you save the chosen 3D files onto your USB, you have to slice them. By this, you need to be sure that your resin 3D printer can read the file. After getting sliced, the STL file turns into layers. It helps the resin 3D printer decode the STL file at the time of printing. It would help best if you did not forget that your 3D prints' height will directly correlate to the amount of printing time. Let us share the best 3D printer slicers for 2021 below: 

  • SelfCAD
  • Cura
  • Slic3r
  • CHITUBOX 
  • KISSlicer
  • Repetier
  • Simplify3D
  • OctoPrint
  • Repetier
  • OctoPrint

However, adding support to your 3D model by your chosen Slicer Software is a must before you slice your STL files. This sort of support will facilitate the 3D models at the time of printing. Moreover, it will keep your 3D prints balanced while dealing with the resin vat. 

Now it is time to set the print profiles. These are essential for the optimal printing settings for your 3D printer. The optimal environment varies from printer to printer. You have to adjust the settings of your resin 3D printer to come up with a perfect print. 

Setting up the Resin 3D Printer

resin 3D printing

Resin 3D printer. Image source: Tom’s guide

This is another crucial part of resin 3D printing. The success of printing your 3D models depends much on it. After choosing and slicing a file, you need to set up your resin LCD 3D printer. It would help best if you covered the following steps:

  • Manually setting up the resin 3D printer
  • Going through an LCD Test 
  • Calibrating the Z-axis of the LCD 3D printer

The Post-Process of Your 3D Prints

Post-processing is the next chapter in 3D printing. Post-processing is the process to ensure that the printed 3D model does not crack. In addition to that, it verifies the finish and durability of the products. In resin 3D printing, post-processing includes some steps. Please go through them one by one.  

  • Washing: You have to remove uncured resin leftovers from a print. For this, you have to put your 3D prints into alcohol or water. 
  • UV-Curing: You need to expose the prints to sunlight or a UV lamp. It will make them stronger. 
  • Supports Removal: It includes the removal of all supporting structures. In resin 3D printing, you will have to use many tree-like supports to hold an object. It can be a bit time-consuming, but no worries, these are easy to remove. 
  • Sanding: You have to remove taps with dry sanding tools or wet sanding. Sanding provides you with a smoother surface for your 3D print. It includes using special liquids and polishers. 
  • Patching Escape Holes: It will allow your 3D models to release resin from the inside. 
  • Finishing: This will help you cover parts with special coatings. Finishing strengthens a part and hides flaws.
  • Painting: You will have a wide range of colors and compositions for this.
  • Polishing: It makes the surface smooth and clearer. Also, polishing ensures transparency after sanding. 

Resin 3D Printer Cost

Usually, a resin 3D printer costs between $500 to over $250,000. However, there’s nothing to worry about. A resin printer to build larger models is available within $1k anywhere in Europe or America. 

Common UV Resin Types in 3D Printing

Let us introduce you to the common UV resin types in 3D printing. It will help you decide better. These are as follows:

  • Standard resin
  • Glass-reinforced resin
  • Durable resin
  • Flexible resin
  • Tough resin
  • Castable resin
  • Dental resin
  • High-temperature resin
  • High-detail resin 
  • Shell casting resin 
  • Ceramic resin 
  • Clear resin

Some Must-have 3D Printing Accessories 

Shouldn't you think of your utmost good? There are accessories you must have. And it is for your comfort and safety. These are:

  • Disposable gloves
  • UV curing light
  • Slap Mat
  • Print removal 
  • Paper towels
  • Safety glasses
  • Soft bristle toothbrush
  • Isopropyl alcohol 
  • Plastic putty knife
  • FEP film
  • Dual cartridge respirator
  • Ultrasonic cleaner
  • Solar turntable
  • Denatured alcohol

FAQ 

Question: What is UV printing?

Answer: Some 3D printers use UV light for layer curing. Those sorts of printers are UV printers, and it is UV printing.

Question: What kind of resin printers are there?

Answer: You will see resin printers of several types in the market. However, the most dominant resin printers are- Digital Light Processing (or DLP) printers and Stereolithography (known as SLA).

Question: Is resin printing faster?

Answer: Sometimes, 3D resin printers are faster than standard FDM printers. However, it will depend on the object size, orientation, and exposure time.

To Wrap Up 

Hopefully, you are glad to get a detailed eye for Resin 3D Printing. This was a generous endeavor from team Print Britannia. And it is nothing but a self-commitment of our age-old printing service. We firmly believe that sharing is caring. No matter whether you are an enthusiast, entrepreneur, or business holder, this post will benefit you in the long run. Stay good, stay safe. 


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