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Best 3D Printer Resin – CNET

Best 3D Printer Resin – CNET

Updated January 31, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. PT

Written by

James Bricknell

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James Bricknell Editor-in-Chief

James has been writing about technology for years, but has loved it since the early 90s. While his main area of ​​expertise is manufacturing tools – 3D printers, vinyl cutters, paper printers and laser cutters – he also enjoys playing board games and tabletop RPGs.

expertise 3D printers, maker tools like vinyl cutters and Cricut-style laser cutters, traditional paper printers credentials

  • 6 years working professionally in 3D printing / 4 years testing consumer electronics for large websites.

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Square. Feet of the laboratory room $37 on Amazon Siraya Tech Fast with Buddha head

The best all-round resin you can buy

Siraya Tech Fast

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$40 at Anycubic A brown bottle of high clarity 3D printer resin

Almost glass-like quality

Anycubic High Clear resin

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$49 on Amazon Three bottles of resin

A great bulk purchase

Sunlu 3D Printer Resin (4 Pack)

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$20 on Amazon Brown resin bottle with green label

A great budget option

Elegoo plant-based resin

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$50 on Amazon Brown resin bottle with white label

Make your models shatterproof

Robust Anycubic resin

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Resin 3D printing requires completely different machines, materials, and cleaning products to be used safely. Most of the best 3D printers use a material called filament to create prints, but some also use reactive resin to create stunningly detailed models. These printers use a special type of UV resin that comes in different colors and chemical compositions, each capable of producing a different end result.

What is the best 3D printer resin?

No matter how many different resins I try, I always end up coming back Siraya Tech is fast resins. They print so easily and produce such good models that anything else seems too tedious. I’ve used Fast Resin on every printer I’ve tested and the quality is always there.

Many of these resins are special and probably not needed every day. However, things can get complicated when it comes to finding the right material. We’ve put together this helpful list of the best resins for you to choose from. The list will be updated as our team tests more resins.

Best 3D printer resin

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Siraya Tech Fast offers the perfect balance between price per gallon and functionality. There are cheaper resins, but many have a tendency to split or stick together if handled improperly. Fast has been my favorite for several years and never lets me down when it comes to reliability.
I also use it for all of my 3D resin printer reviews so I know what each printer can handle. The smoky gray color is my favorite, but there are some great colors to choose from.

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The holy grail of clear resin is to stay clear after curing. When you add UV light to clear resin, it tends to turn slightly yellow, making it look more like nicotine-stained glass than freshly made glass. Anycubic’s high-clear resin resists the yellowing of other clear resins and, as long as you do not over-cure it, retains the clear appearance of crystal.

Pro tip: After you have cured the model, spray it with several coats of high gloss clear varnish to give it a real shine.

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If you’re just starting out, it’s helpful to purchase a large quantity of inexpensive resins to start your collection. This four pack of 500 gram bottles of resin can be mixed and matched, giving you four different colors perfect for creating different effects on your models.

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While Elegoo touts its vegetable resin as non-irritating and safe, it is much better than any other resin in this regard. It should continue to be handled with gloves, a respirator and safety glasses until it is completely cured.

It’s cheap, easy to use and delivers reliable results for the price. I also like that the smell of resin is almost non-existent with vegetable resins.

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Resin can be quite brittle, and if you’re building parts that are subject to stress, a resin similar to Anycubic’s tough resin can help with its longevity.
The tough resin works the same as other resins but allows for some flexibility in the final model. This reduces the chance of it shattering into pieces like dry spaghetti.

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One of the coolest things I ever did with a resin printer was making a cast for jewelry. I used some of this resin to print a Green Lantern ring and then took it to a friend of mine with a kiln. She wrapped it in plaster and burned it. The resin has a high wax content which helps it melt and leaves a perfect shape for casting silver.
This resin isn’t cheap, but if you’re interested in making your own jewelry and have access to a kiln, this may be right for you.

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Resin 3D printing is very different from other types of additive manufacturing. It can be dangerous, but it’s incredibly rewarding when done right. Here are some of the frequently asked questions I get about this process.

Is 3D printing resin dangerous?

Short answer: yes. Long answer: Yes, but if you’re careful it’s fine. Touching resin with bare hands can cause chemical burns, and the more you handle it, the more likely you are to have an allergic reaction to it. I have to be extra careful now as I get swollen eyes if liquid resin comes into contact with my skin. It is no joke. When using resin it is crucial that you wear the correct protective equipment. At a minimum, you should wear nitrile gloves when handling uncured resin. However, I would recommend safety glasses and a respirator to keep the toxins away.

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Can I use regular Michaels resin?

The type of resin you may find at Michaels or other craft stores is not the same as 3D printing resin. Most of these resins are two-component systems that chemically combine when mixed. UV resin cures under UV light. However, this only happens at certain wavelengths, so not all resins work. You must use resins that are specifically labeled as 3D printing resins.

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What happens if I don’t cure the model?

There are two main stages of curing a resin printed model. The first is curing, which occurs in the printer when the UV light hardens a layer of resin to form the model. The second process happens after the model is finished. When you first remove the model from the build plate, you still need to handle it with gloves as the outside is covered in uncured resin. You need to wash the model in isopropyl alcohol (preferably 90% or more) and then cure it one last time in a UV chamber or in the sun. This hardens the outer surface and makes handling safer.

If you do not perform this second curing, the model will remain sticky and will no longer be safe to handle. Even if you cover it with paint, it will not become a danger to you and everything around you, including animals and plants. I would recommend a wash and cure system to streamline this process.

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Can I 3D print something from resin that is food/body safe?

3D printing resin is never food safe. Curing makes it safe to handle, but it never reaches 100% and ingesting any amount of resin is an absolute no-no. The best way to make food-safe products from your resin prints is to make a silicone mold out of it and use that to make food-safe resin products instead.

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Are there different types of resin?

Although all UV resins are essentially the same, some have different properties that help you achieve different results. Standard resin is great for many projects, but can be quite brittle. Some are very flexible but do not lend themselves to fine detail, making them great for more practical prints. There are even resins that can be used to make denture molds, so the possible uses are endless.

Siraya Tech Fast – the best overall resin on our list – can be mixed with other types from the brand to achieve different properties. So you can buy the cheaper resin and mix it with a small amount of more expensive resin with different properties.

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