When they think of additive manufacturing or 3D printing, most people envision a large spool of plastic filament and a print head melting the material before it is laid down one layer at a time. Ultimately, after the completion of the printing cycle, an object will be constructed in three-dimensional form and ready for use or display.
This amazing form of 3D printing, resin 3D printing, is just one commercially available type. It truly does sound magical to think about submitting a sliced image to a 3D printer and then watching it rise layer by layer from a pool of colored liquid – like something out of science fiction! This revolutionary technique has made rapid prototyping much easier and more efficient.
How Does 3D Printing Using Resin Work?
3D printing is a process that is also known as additive manufacturing, but when it comes to resin printing, the terms stereolithography (SLA) and vat polymerization are more commonly used. Resin printing can be considered easier to understand this form since it’s simpler than using its technical names. It’s important to note that even though these words may be used interchangeably, they all refer to 3D printing.
Resin printing involves inverting the printing bed and submerging it in a vat full of liquid resin. This resin will remain fluid until exposed to ultraviolet laser light, which solidifies and shapes the material into its desired form. In other words, the UV laser acts as an activator that hardens the previously malleable resin to take on the desired shape.
The laser employed by the 3D printer functions as a print head, responsible for translating each design layer onto the print bed. As the beam of light touches the resin material, it solidifies and forms into its intended shape. This process is repeated until all layers are printed, culminating in a finished product that can be easily removed from the build plate.
The same steps need to be taken before pressing the print button; these include the process leading up to printing.
The 3D digital design must still be broken down into small slices and then sent to the printer for it to produce the desired object. Unfortunately, a resin 3D printer tends to operate slower than filament printers, as the resin requires time to solidify after being printed. Consequently, it takes longer for an individual layer of the 3D object to print out than when using a filament-based machine.
The Advantages Of 3D Resin Printing
Even though it is a slightly slower process, 3D resin printing offers numerous advantages over filament printers when creating intricate and complicated projects. It may take longer, but the precision and detail achieved with this technology far outweigh the small difference in speed.
If you’re looking to create detailed pieces with smooth finishes, then resin printing is the ideal choice. It’s perfect for printing miniatures and components that must be precise and delicate for tabletop gaming or other projects. Unlike filament-based 3D printing, resin prints have no visible lines which require sanding away – making them a more attractive option for those seeking a polished finish on their printed product.
The only significant disadvantage of using a resin 3D printer is that the build plate tends to be much smaller than other types of printers. This means that if you want to create something sizable like cosplay armor or weaponry, you must break your project into smaller sections and purchase enough resin for each piece before printing them separately. Consequently, this can lead to extra time spent waiting for all project parts to be completed.
Does Resin from 3D Printing Spoil?
Unlike 3D printing filament, the resin cannot be left in an open vat sitting on a desktop for extended periods without suffering from adverse effects. If the resin is stored correctly, it has a relatively long shelf life of approximately one year.
However, although you may come across certain brands which boast that their products can remain viable for anywhere from 18-24 months, it is important to note that leaving the containers open or in a vat exposed to sunlight, heat or other potential contaminants could drastically reduce the lifespan of your product and spoil its entire contents within days or even weeks.
It is important to store your resin in a cool place to maintain its integrity and extend its shelf life. Keeping it away from direct sunlight and intense heat will help ensure that the resin does not spoil or deteriorate prematurely. Additionally, it is wise to periodically inspect the resin for any color changes, as this could indicate that the product has gone bad and requires replacement.
Anything Can Be Printed
The remarkable capability of 3D printing is quickly gathering pace, becoming one of the most beneficial and multi-faceted tools to have been created in recent years. Consumers and professional engineers alike are increasingly turning to this technology to produce almost any item they desire, granting them unprecedented control over their creations.
Using 3D Resin For Your Next Printing Job
We hope you found our article informative and helpful. Using 3D resin for 3D printing is an interesting topic quickly becoming more popular, so we wanted to provide some insight into how the process works. We trust that you now understand the topic better and can appreciate its potential for various applications.