What is Resin 3D Printing?

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Updated February 3, 2023

If you are new to the world of physical printing, you may wonder what is resin 3D printing. Some of the best printers, after all, are 3D printers that use resin instead of melted plastic filament to create objects. The resin is formulated to harden when exposed to air and light, and the object is built up layer by layer. So how do the best 3D printers work, what exactly is resin printing, and what are some advantages to this printing method? Keep reading to find out.


  • Resin printers, as the name suggests, use liquid resin to build prints and not plastic filaments of any type.
  • The standard resin hardens as it is exposed to the air and the printer’s light source and cools, so uncured resin ships in a liquid form, typically in a resin tank. DLP stands for digital light processing.
  • Resin printers are known for being fast, accurate, and great for creating durable models with smooth surfaces, though there are various types of resin.

Before learning what 3D printer resin is made of, it is helpful to understand how 3D printers work. These appliances create 3D models out of raw materials if you are wondering what 3D printers are used for. The models are built layer by layer, even if you are just learning about DLP printing. There are plenty of materials out there to choose from, even if you just learned the definition of an LCD printer.

Insider Tip

The printing process is different for resin and filament, so prepare for a learning curve if this is your first time working with resin.

What is Resin Printing?

There are many 3D printer models out there. Many of the consumer-grade printers available for purchase use filament, which is a material that melts when heated and then reforms again once cooled. Resin, however, is different from the filament. Liquid resin ships, as indicated, in liquid form before it is used to build a 3D object. It hardens when exposed to air.

Benefits of Resin Printing

Resin is popular for a reason or for several reasons. Here are some of the benefits of choosing a resin-based printer for your next 3D printing task.

Fine Details

SLA, DLP, and other resin printers use high-powered lasers to create fine details in the finished 3D object. This translates to ultra-precise and high-quality print jobs. When comparing the detailed work within different types of printers, it becomes clear that resin-based models excel when compared to filament-based printers. It is worth noting, however, that filament-based printers make it easier to add some detailed work after the fact.


Generally speaking, resin printers are faster than filament printers due to the nature of each design. Filament printers, by their very design, go slow as they build prints layer by layer. Some resin printers can create entire layers at one time, thanks to the inclusion of high-powered lasers.

STAT: Stereolithography (SLA) is the oldest form of 3D printing. It works by exposing a layer of photosensitive liquid resin to a UV-laser beam; the resin then hardens in the desired pattern, and the object is built layer by layer until it is complete. (source)


Final prints made by resin printers are durable and can even be left outside for moderate periods of time with little or no risk of damage.

Resin Printing FAQs

Resin vs filament printer: Which is best for you?

A filament printer is different from a resin printer, but each one has its uses. Choose a filament printer to save money on both the printer itself and the materials. Resin is great for making detailed prints.

How much is a resin 3D printer?

These printers range wildly in price depending on the features. Some fused deposition modeling printers are on the budget-friendly side, while other resin 3D printers are extremely expensive, as they deliver a smooth surface finish when compared to a filament printer.

What are the best resin 3D printers?

There are many options out there, just like when choosing a filament printer. Modern resin printers include large resin tanks, a powerful UV light laser, and more. Choose based on your preferences for a resin 3D printer, such as print quality and the addition of an LCD screen.
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