What is resin 3D printing?
In simple terms, resin 3D printing technology enables the curing of liquid polymers one layer at a time until they turn into solid objects. The resin 3D printing machines work specifically with resin components. Photopolymerization is applied to convert raw material into finished objects. A digital model is uploaded to a computer that converts it into a code. The resin materials are called light-activated resins (photopolymers). During the process, the material components are kept inside a vat or resin tank. Under the correct light wavelength, the resin turns to solid. The light sources that are viable for use in producing resin 3D prints are LCD panels, projectors, and lasers.
First, the resin material is added manually. The machine then adjusts the build platform up or down, creating a thin layer resin in contact with the build plate. A light source can then draw a pattern of a single layer in the resin. This makes it solidify. This goes on until the final object is formed. So which is the best resin 3D printer?
The makeup of a resin printer
A modern resin 3D printer is made up of a build platform, a light source, a resin tank, and mirrors. The residual object is formed upright or upside down. The formation depends on how the constituent parts are positioned in the printer. Desktop machines work well with upside-down orientation due to the associated ease of operation and fabrication. Quality can also be maintained.
Best 3D resin printers
- Sparkmaker – one of the most affordable resin 3D printers available today. It generates very high-resolution prints, as opposed to the prints obtained from DLP 3D printers. It comes with an LED light to show the status of the print job. It also enables offline resin 3D print jobs. It comes fully assembled, with a level bed manual, SD connectivity, and weighing in at 4.4 pounds. It runs silently, is easy to use, and has built-in slicer software. It also allows the machinist to use resins that are non-proprietary. Pricing starts at $219.
- Formlabs Form 2 – currently holds the largest market share. From a Kickstarter campaign, this resin 3D printer has evolved into a million-dollar project. It has a straightforward interface compared to other printers and is suitable for beginners. The resin system is fully automated, combined with a touch screen that enables WiFi connections. It is capable of producing very high-quality objects at incredible resolutions. It runs on SLA technology and weighs 28.66 pounds. It also allows large print jobs for the hardworking machinist. The customer support team is amicable, and a wide variety of resin parts are available for use with the machine. It is, however, more expensive compared to the other resin 3D print machines.
- Peopoly Moai – This is a cheap resin 3D printing machine. It offers versatile performance and comes with an inbuilt DIY kit. The reason it is cheaper is that the users have to assemble it themselves. The machine features a simple and open design. It has settings that you can adjust to set the laser power strength and the exposure time for the resin.
Resin 3D prints are here to stay. The printer you pick will affect your build time, resolution, and quality of resin print that you can produce. While it is good to go for an affordable machine, it is also good to consider one with excellent customer support and is easy to use.