3D Resin Printing and the Best Resins for 3D Printing. Learn more now!
The list of materials used in 3D printing is continually expanding. Resin is a thick, photosensitive liquid material used with 3D resin printing. Liquid resin is a mixture of various chemicals and additives that enhance the resin’s mechanical and chemical properties.
3D printing is making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. A 3D-printed object is created using additive processes, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes. 3D printing is used in a wide variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, medical, and consumer products.
This article discusses resin 3D printing and the best resins for the 3D printing industry.
The four most common resin 3D printers that produce quality parts with liquid-based photosensitive resins include:
The best resin types for 3D printing depend on the specific application. Generally, the most popular resin types are ABS, PLA, PETG, nylon, polycarbonate, and resin. Each resin type has unique properties that make it suitable for different applications. Resin performance depends upon the printer in use and the object being printed.
The increase in industrial, commercial, and consumer resin 3D printers has helped the resin industry expand. Standard resins are available for dental, engineering, ceramic, jewelry, and other unique applications. In general, the most popular resins for 3D printing are:
ABS does have some issues of concern, including shrinkage, thermal expansion, poor chemical resistance, UV degradation, and it is a highly flammable material requiring flame retardant additives in specific applications.
The downside of nylon is poor weather resistance, poor chemical resistance, high shrinkage, poor machinability, and higher cost.
Yet, there are negatives. It is vulnerable to hydrolysis, and it can be challenging to print. It requires a heated bed and a cooling fan to maintain a consistent layer height, and it is more expensive than other types of filaments.
The disadvantages of PLA resin are that it is not suitable for high-temperature environments and is not food safe. PLA is not UV resistant and is not as easy to work with as other materials. Therefore, it requires more time and effort to produce a quality product. Plus, PLA resin is not as strong or durable as other materials, such as ABS or PETG.
The drawbacks to polycarbonate resins include susceptibility to UV degradation, vulnerability to attack from solvents and acids, prone to stress cracking caused by mechanical stress or thermal shock, and it is also more expensive than other plastic resins.
For prototyping and general-purpose projects, PLA and ABS plastics are popular choices. For more specialized applications, such as medical models or detailed miniatures, resins such as nylon or polycarbonate may be better suited. Resin materials like epoxy, polyurethane, and silicone can also be used for high-strength and flexibility projects.
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