What is 3D Printer Resin Made Of?

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Updated February 3, 2023

If you are new to the world of physical printing, you may wonder what is 3D printer resin made of. Some of the best printers, after all, are 3D printers that use liquid resin to create objects. Unlike 3D filament, resin comes as a liquid that’s made from a variety of chemicals. So what exactly is a resin printer, and what is resin made out of? Keep reading to find out.


  • Some 3D printers use spools of filament, while others use vats of liquid resin to create 3D models layer by layer.
  • Resin is made from a wide variety of compounds with varying mechanical properties working in tandem to transform into plastic when hardened, so long as there is an adequate light source for digital light processing.
  • Resin is more toxic than filament, so practice caution and wear protective gear when dealing with toxic types of resin.

What is Resin Made Out Of?

Liquid resin ships in a vat, tube, or container and is a raw material used with many 3D printers. It differs from filament as it is in a liquid form before being allowed to interact with the outside environment. The container is typically airtight with a protective film on the bottom. Resin is shaped via lasers or powerful UV lights to create 3D models.

Insider Tip

Paper towels and isopropyl alcohol are common household items that will help with cleaning up resin.

Printer resins are made from a wide array of chemicals in the monomer and oligomer class of artificial particles. The actual chemical solutions vary, but they all have share one thing in common. The liquid resin hardens into plastic. With that in mind, there are as many resin types as there are types of plastic.

Before you can learn what you need for 3D printing and what resin to use, you need to understand the basic printing process. Resin 3D printing uses a liquid resin, while other forms of 3D printing require filament or powders. Next, these materials are shaped and extruded, which means you need to know how to dispose of 3D printer resin eventually. Finally, a 3D model is created layer by layer. Some modern printers even make objects that shift over time, which is known as 4D printing.

Is Printer Resin Toxic?

This depends on the specific chemical formation, but, generally speaking, printer resin is more toxic than printer filament. This is due to the fact that the chemical reaction that turns liquid resin into hardened plastic is hastened by the printer, whereas filament is already in its final form (more or less.)

How to Stay Safe With Resin

There are some ways to ensure you do not risk encountering any unsavory toxic qualities of your preferred printer resin. Wear protective gear at all times, work slowly, and exercise caution when installing a new resin tank.

STAT: Resin manufacturers are legally obliged to provide you with a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), which outlines vital health and safety information and precautions that need to be taken for that particular resin. (source)

Resin Ingredients FAQs

How much is a resin 3D printer?

Resin printers range wildly with regard to price, depending on how advanced the light source is and the various material properties of integrated printing materials.

Is photopolymer resin 3D printing right for you?

This depends on what you are using the printer for. Filament requires slightly more post - processing than resin, but resin demands certain safety measures.

What should you look for in 3D printer resins?

There are many 3D printing resins out there. Standard resins are more budget-friendly for resin printing, while eco-friendly 3D printing resins are less toxic when dealing with excess resin.
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