Resin 3D printers use different technologies including SLA, LCD and DLP. Each of this technology produces distinct results that may suit best for your project.
Resin 3D printers or stereolithography 3D printers are a great investment for those who are into the 3D printing business. These machines are extremely fast and accurate. It can produce a wide variety of materials in a short span of time making it perfect for prototypes.
Resin 3D printers come in different technologies including DLP, SLA and LCD. I will explain each in this article as we explore the best resin 3D printers on the market. So, let’s get started!
So, without further ado, let’s get started with the top 10 best SLA 3d printer on the market!
- 1 Best Resin 3D Printer Reviews
- 1.1 Best SLA 3D Printer Resin
- 1.2 Best DLP 3D Printer Resin
- 1.3 Best LCD 3D Printer
- 2 SLA 3D Printer Material
- 3 How Do Resin 3D Printers Work?
- 4 DIY Resin 3D Printer
- 5 Conclusion
Best Resin 3D Printer Reviews
There are tons of resin 3D printers on the market but not everyone delivers the result it promises. To help you find the best resin 3D printers, we gather the best one and categorize it according to the technology used SLA, DLP and LCD.
Best SLA 3D Printer Resin
SLA 3D printers tend to produce smoother and better high-resolution projects than FDM 3D printing. Are you working on a project that needs intricate details?
If you do, then you should get a stereolithography SLA 3D printer. This type of machine also known as UV resin 3D printer or laser resin 3D printer is more costly than FDM, but there are already a number of brands offering SLA 3D printing machines at a friendly price.
You can find the best SLA 3D printers on the list below.
#1 SparkMaker Review
This is one of the most affordable SLA 3D printers you will ever find in the market.
But, the brand doesn’t sacrifice quality for the price.
To make the entire experience convenient and SparkMaker allows offline resin 3D printing. You don’t need a computer connection, just insert an SD card preloaded with your design and press the print button.
#2 Formlabs Form 2 Review
This is the most popular SLA 3D printer in the market.
This resin 3D printer started a Kickstarter campaign. It was successful and has grown into a million-dollar business. One of the best thing that makes Formlabs Form 2 a standout to other SLA 3D printer is its very simple interface.
Even beginners will not have a hard time operating this large SLA 3D printer.
In addition, there’s nothing to complain when it comes to Formlabs Form 2’s performance. This resin 3D printer delivers high-quality outputs with an incredibly good resolution! This laser SLA 3D printer is no doubt a beast in 3D printing.
#3 Peopoly Moai Review
Peopoly Moai SLA 3D printer is a cheap resin 3d printer and is very competitive when it comes to performance.
This comes in a DIY kit, so you have to assemble it upon arrival that’s why it’s much cheaper compared to other 3D printers in our list.
Peopoly Moai SLA has a simple and open design that sets it apart. Its laser exposure settings are fully accessible, too. You can adjust the laser power level and exposure time to get the results you want.
Aside from delivering professional 3D printing results, its printing cost is much cheaper as its resins and consumables are affordable. So, you can make the most of your budget and print more using Peopoly Moai resin 3D printer.
Best DLP 3D Printer Resin
DLP printers use the digital light processing DLP technology in designing and creating a 3D printed object. DLP is a type of vat polymerization that makes use of liquid photopolymer resin which is able to cure (solidify) under a light source. This is the reason DLP is also called liquid resin 3D printer.
Here’s our top pick, the best DLP 3D printers for you.
#4 Anycubic Photon Review
Anycubic Photon is a low-cost desktop DLP 3D printer.
This resin 3D printer machine has a reputation of being reliable and affordable that’s why it tops our list.
Unfortunately, this has a small build volume but on the positive side it makes this portable, has great resolution and very affordable. This is great for 3D printer enthusiasts. But, maintaining this SLA DLP 3D printer is not easy as using resin can be messy.
#5 Wanhao Duplicator 7 Review
Chinese company Wanhao designed this DLP 3D printer for hobbyists.
Although this resin 3D printer comes with its own software but works with multiple other software. It is compatible with third-party slicers, too.
Wanhao printer offers a solution to dental and jewelry manufacturer, thanks to its precision and accuracy.
For more convenient usage, Wanhao Duplicator 7 DLP is equipped with HD LCD touchscreen that offers 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution and build speed of 15mm-35 mm/Hour.
#6 FlashForge Hunter Review
FlashForge Hunter is low-cost compared to other DLP 3D printer but the quality is not inferior.
For beginners looking for the best resin 3D printer, you will love FlashForge Hunter DLP resin because it is fully assembled.
This is a plug and play 3D printer. It’s also faster than most SLA 3D printing out there.
For easier operation, this is compatible with third-party resins. It has a self-developed light engine and a simple and intuitive user interface with a touchscreen operation to help you monitor your progress.
FlashForge has fused filament fabrication FFF printers too like Creator Pro.
#7 Micromake L2 Review
Micromake L2 3D printer also offers USB or Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can work conveniently anywhere you are at home or in the office.
It has a variety of print modes, too. All the print operation can be completed on the LCD touchscreen. To make your 3D printing setup easier, this is designed with automatic platform alignment.
In addition, it has more than 6G storage space. The team delivers worldwide, but you shouldn’t worry because they made sure that you’ll be able to use it upon arrival. This includes multi-language UI and software support.
When it comes to results, you will be in awe. It delivers high-quality, high-resolution 3D printed objects that you will surely love.
#8 Phrozen Make Review
Phrozen Make is a professional DLP 3D printer created by Phrozen, a Taiwan-based company.
While it’s not the best it’s packed with cool features.
This DLP 3D printer is a product of a successful Kickstarter campaign. There are 369 backers who pledged to help this project come to life because it’s very promising.
That’s not all because it is 10x faster compared to other printers, has 60% higher contrast ratio, and is open to party resins. In addition, it prints in 3 easy steps.
It has a simple and user-friendly interface that is very easy to operate. In fact, it only takes 5 minutes to adjust the platform level, set the parameter and leave Phrozen Make to do the rest.
#9 Uniz Slash+ Review
Uniz Slash+ is designed with the aim of improving printing speed. it’s built to be bigger, better and faster with a huge build volume.
In fact, it’s the fastest SLA 3D printer in the world to date.
Just like Phrozen Make, Uniz Slash+ is another product of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Many believe in its potentials and it truly delivers.
Uniz addressed the three major obstacles of 3D printing – speed, volume and cost.
With this feature, this resin 3D printer enables you to produce incredible 3D printer projects.
Best LCD 3D Printer
LCD 3D printer is similar to laser printer. However, instead of using a laser to create an image, it uses a light through a liquid crystal panel. The liquid crystal shutter printers produce print quality equivalent to that of laser printers.
10. Monoprice Mini Deluxe 3D Printer Review
FDM brings another affordable SLA 3D printer in the form of Monoprice Mini Deluxe SLA. Don’t be mislead by it’s name because even if it’s called SLA this resin 3D printer actually uses LCD technology so some called it LCD 3D printer.
Monoprice Mini has LCD screen that lets the UV light through. If the screen is clear it lets the light through and the resin solidifies. If the screen is opaque it blocks the UV and the resin stays liquid.
The printer lowers the print bed into the resin creating a thin layer that is exposed to the light. By repeatedly raising and lowering the print head, Monoprice Mini Deluxe forms the print layer by layer.
This resin 3D printer is great for its price. However, it’s not easy to configure this LCD SLA 3D printer and it comes with a number of limitations for one, it has a small print area. In addition, it’s difficult to configure and the manual that comes along with it is not very helpful.
You also have to change the base of the vat that is consists of a sheet of transparent FEP plastic every 10 to 20 prints. The process is not easy as you have to remove the 18 screws that hold the retaining ring that keeps the FEP sheet in place. Then put it back after replacing the sheet.
Although the process with Monoprice Mini Deluxe sounds daunting, it’s still great for its price. It is fast, has high resolution and affordable.
SLA 3D Printer Material
SLA produces parts from thermoset polymers. The good thing with this is that it has a smooth, injection mold-like surface finish. It has fine features that are highly-detailed and high stiffness.
Unfortunately, it is relatively brittle which makes it not suitable for outdoor uses. Overexposure to UV radiation may change the material properties and will make this susceptible to creep.
When it comes to SLA 3d printer resins, you will find tons of options, too. Here’s an overview for you.
Standard resin. This produces high stiffness, high-resolution prints with a smooth injection molding-like finish with. They are low-cost which makes them ideal for prototyping applications.
Clear resin. This is similar to standard resin but can be post-processed to near optical transparency.
Engineering SLA resin. This material stimulates a range of injection-molded plastics to provide engineers with a wide choice of material properties for prototyping, testing, and manufacturing.
Tough resin. This is developed for applications requiring materials that can withstand high stress and strain. Parts printed with this SLA 3d printer filaments have tensile strength and modulus of elasticity that is comparable to ABS.
Durable aluminum resin. This is a wear-resistant and flexible material with mechanical properties similar to Polypropylene (PP). This can be used for parts that require high flexibility, low friction and smooth surface finish.
Heat resistant resin. This is ideal for applications requiring high thermal stability and operates at a high temperature. This material has a heat deflection temperature between 200-300°C making it great for hot air and fluid flow equipment and casting and thermoforming tooling.
Rubber-like resin. This material allows engineers to simulate rubber parts that are soft to touch. It has a low tensile modulus and high elongation at break. This is well-suited for objects that will be bent or compressed like packaging, stamps, wearable prototyping, handles, overmolds and grips.
Ceramic-filled resin. This material is reinforced with glass or other ceramic particles and result in very stiff and rigid parts with a very smooth surface finish.
Dental and Medical SLA resin. There are different classes of this material. Class I is for custom medical equipment like surgical guides, Class IIa biocompatible resins can be in contact with the human body for up to a year. This is used to produce custom hard splints or retainers.
Castable SLA resins. This material enables printed parts with sharp details and a smooth finish. It will burn out clearly without leaving ashes or residue. This allows the production of parts directly from digital design to investment casting through a single 3D printed part which makes it suitable for jewelry and other small and intricate components.
How Do Resin 3D Printers Work?
Most resin 3D prints use SLA technology. Basically, this is all about UV laser that’s why these printers are also referred to as UV resin 3D printer or UV curable resin 3D printer.
Here’s how it works.
1. The roller of the printer spreads out a razor-thin layer of liquid polymer. Since this layer is liquid it will spread out over the entire platform ensuring that each layer has a consistent thickness.
2. The liquid polymer is UV sensitive. When struck by a computer-controlled UV laser the resin will change from a liquid to a solid-state. The laser draws the outlines of the print onto the resin layer and hardens the part that it touches. The parts that are not touched by the laser will remain liquid.
3. The two steps above are repeated over and over again. The model is lowered by a fraction and the roller spreads out a new layer. The laser then solidifies specific areas of that layer, which will become parts of the 3D print object. This is repeated until the model is finished.
4. Once the printing process is completed and the entire object has been printed, the print is raised out of the resin tank. The excess liquid will simply flow away and can be reused for other prints. The prints then need to be removed and finished manually. The post-process usually includes removal of the support structure and smoothening and spray-painting surfaces.
DIY Resin 3D Printer
If you are in a tight budget, can afford the best resin 3D printers on the market or you just enjoy challenging tasks like assembly, you can get an SLA 3d printer DIY kit. Building a DIY SLA 3D printer is challenging and fun at the same time.
The advantage of this is that you will learn about your 3D printer head on because you assemble it. More importantly, you will save tons of money.
In this section, I will share some machines, software to control your DIY resin 3D printer and instructions to help you start your DIY resin 3D printer.
Nano DLP. This is a software that you can use to control a DIY DLP 3D printer with Raspberry PI. This is accessible by connecting to Raspberry Pi through a web browser.
It accepts SLC file as input and produces the images on HDMI port. It also allows you to control Z-Axis, Shutter and other hardware.
Hi-res DIY DLP 3D Printer. This is a high-resolution DIY resin 3D printer. It is designed by TristramBudel and delivers really good results. In fact, the commercial Atum3D printer is based on it.
If you want to get the best SLA or DLP 3D printers on the market, you should pick one in our list. The 3D printers mentioned above have proven track records of delivering high-quality prints.