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There’s no easy answer to what the best 3D printer on the market is. And the reason for this is that there are many different types, each with advantages. However, resin-based printers are among some of the most highly favored, and they’re known for their speedy print times and high quality. But various decisions go into choosing the best printer, even if you have narrowed the options down to one that uses resin. Below, we’ll discuss the differences between a 2K vs 4K resin printer and help you get closer to buying the perfect device.
If you want to learn more about the different printer types, we have some helpful articles, such as our comparisons of SLA vs FDM and DLP vs FDM 3D printers.
Always level your build plate before you begin any print job.
You may see “2K” and “4K” and be reminded of TV resolutions. Well, you’re right to think so because it’s the same concept.
Resin-based 3D printing works by projecting a UV laser powered by an LCD screen onto a vat of liquid resin and cures each layer. These printers use different backlights of varying resolutions, just like TV screens.
The two most common types of these lights are 2K and 4K. This is because both use the same technology, with pixel density being the only difference.
Depending on which type of printer you have, it can significantly impact the overall print quality, print time, and cost of operation.
When buying a 3D printer, it’s essential to consider every spec, just like with any gadget. For more of our resources on 3D printer specs, we have a couple of articles that talk about different layer heights. For example, it’s important to know how using a 100-micron vs 200-micron 3D printer affects quality. And likewise, you should know the same for 50-micron vs 100-micron 3D printing.
All things being equal, a 4K printer will likely result in better output quality than a 2K printer. However, it’s essential to understand that there’s more at play than the LCD resolution. For example, the resolution doesn’t have anything to do with the pixel size or XY resolution, which are more critical factors in overall quality.
The greatest strength of a 4K resin printer is that it can significantly decrease the print time compared to 2K printers. The reason is that the more powerful screen leads to an increased UV light that can cure the resin quicker than the same light of a lower resolution.
Never use a 3D resin printer in a room with too much ambient light. This can ruin the quality of the print model.
Higher LCD resolution is a feature that will raise the overall cost, but ultimately, not by much. Generally, a 4K printer sells for around $50-$250 more than a 2K printer.
STAT: Resin printers can create very thin layers between the 30-150 micron range. (source)