Although purchasing one of the best 3D printers is exciting, there’s a learning curve to knowing how to use it properly. And, while 3D devices that use resing are known as some of the best printers on the market, users need to know some basic principles before getting started. Below, we’ll explain how to use a resin 3D printer, including some tips you can use to achieve the best outcomes.
- Resin printers create highly intricate objects by curing a vat of liquid resin via a UV laser or digital light projector.
- Uncured liquid resin can cause irritation to the skin and eyes and release toxic fumes during the curing process; this creates a need for specific safety precautions.
- Post-processing requires removing the excess uncured resin from the object’s surface and then sanding/polishing to meet textural preferences.
If you don’t have a washing and curing station, use isopropyl alcohol and a soft brush to clean the object after it’s finished printing.
How to 3D Print with Resin
Understanding how to use a 3D printer can be complex. And resin-based devices, while capable of producing incredibly detailed objects at rapid speeds, come with their own rules.
However, once you understand a few basic principles, you’ll be printing in no time.
Ready to get started but need to know what to print? Kickstart your creative juices by reading our guide on what you can make with a 3D printer. Also, consider following up your reading with our article that explains how to dispose of 3D printer resin.
Select the Right resin
Not all resins are created equal, and selecting the right one comes down to your needs. 3D printing resins are developed with varying chemical compounds and qualities, resulting in products of different strengths, colors, and toxicity.
Always research and select the perfect resin for your project before printing.
Understand the Necessary Safety Precautions
Before it’s cured, the liquid resin can irritate the skin; it’s also dangerous if it comes into contact with the eyes. Always use rubber or nitrile gloves when handling the resin to avoid coming into contact. It’s also wise to wear eye protection.
Lastly, the fumes from resin as its printing can be toxic. Make sure you have the printer set in a properly enclosed and that there’s adequate ventilation in the space you’re in. As a bonus, use an air purifier to filter out harmful toxins to guarantee good indoor air quality.
Know How to Remove the Object From the Build Plate
Most resin printers come with a spatula-like tool for removing the object. When removing, be as gentle as possible, and do your best not to jostle or bump the thing as you move it from the build plate. Remember that finished objects will have uncured resin on the outside, so wear a pair of gloves to protect your skin as you remove it.
Know how to Clean Your Print Model
One of the main differences between resin printers and polymer filament printers is that the finished object needs to go through a post-process cleaning to remove the excess resin. There are a handful of ways to do this, but you should consider purchasing a washing and curing station to speed up the post-processing stage.
Finish Strong and Smooth
Resin printers are known for printing objects with outstanding resolution. However, to ensure you get the smoothest, most polished print model. Most often, people use sanders.
Most wash and cure stations only work for smaller 3D print objects.
An electronic sander is the most accessible and efficient way to polish your resin print. Understanding and testing different grain sandpaper helps get the right texture; the higher the grain count, the smoother the finish.
Know When to Replace FEP Film
The FEP film is a thin transparent sheet placed at the bottom of the resin vat, allowing the light rays to enter and cure the resin. Usually, after a few prints, the FEP film because scratched or damaged and needs to be replaced.
STAT: Resin printers can cost anywhere between $100 and $500,000. But a good beginner’s resin 3D printer costs about $400-$500. (source)
Always check the film before you print, as using a damaged FEP film will lead to a poorer outcome.