Resin Printing

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Resin printing involves curing a liquid resin by exposing it to an energy source which will trigger a hardening process. Usually this energy is a light source. In the desktop printing domain there are two techniques which are common. SLA and DLP printing. SLA works by directing laser beam at the target area. DLP works by using a light source and a rasterized light filter (usually an LCD screen) to allow light to pass to the areas where curing is required.

When compared to FDM printing, resin printers often allow for much finer details because the process doesn't depend on heavy moving parts to deposit the plastic. In the case of SLA printing the only moving part used for the imaging is the actuator for the mirror. For DLP, there are no moving parts for the imaging process. Both types of resin printing use a motor for the Z axis.

Resin printers create their prints upside down, as they require a bath of resin from which the print is drawn up. Gravity of course prevents us from having the liquid on top.

Here is a nice collection of resin tutorials.


UV resin is extremely toxic to touch and via fumes, it will build up in your system the more you are exposed until one day you become allergic, sometimes to extreme degrees (full explanation). It is crucial that all fumes are vented to the outside and gloves are worn when touching the resin before post-cure. Some robust discussion of resin safety


Here's a list of other items you may wish to buy in addition to your resin printer.

  • Isopropyl alcohol or ResinAway for cleaning your prints and bath
  • Cotton wool balls for cleaning the FEP film in the bath without scratching it
  • A big pack of nitrile gloves to keep your hands safe (latex will melt, and contact with the resin will over time make you deathly allergic to it)
  • An exhaust fan and tubes to pull the fumes away and outside.
  • A fume mask is good for cleanup, one rated for organic vapours.
  • Something to protect your tabletop from drips. I do most of my cleaning over a disposable baking dish, and have drawer liner on the counter.
  • Paint strainers for filtering any chips out of the resin (coffee filters don't work, the resin is too thick)
  • Some small glass jars for holding left over resin and isopropyl. (Wrap these in al foil to stop light)
  • A UV light (cheap ones for nail art work well)
  • Paper towels for spills
  • And old soft toothbrush and paint brushes for cleaning excess resin off.

Designing with a resin printer in mind

Although resin printing shares many properties with FDM printing, there are a couple of differences.


Supports are still a requirement when printing with resin. Because of the fine details on parts printed with a resin printer, supports can be a bit more finicky to print. You should keep in mind where you think you want to add supports and how you want the supports to connect to your model. Attaching supports on corners can make it easier to remove the marks they leave later on.

Drain Holes

If your model has cavities, you will have to include drain holes in your design. For each cavity, there should be at least two holes. One to allow for draining and one to allow for air to come in. Without the air hole, the drain will most likely not work unless the drain hole is very large.

Maximizing Resolution

There are a few ways to get greater resolution from your resin printer. The main ways being by optimising pixel density through angles, and the other through anti aliasing.

Optimising Pixel Density

On printers with a pixel size of 0.04725mm (this includes 2K, 115*65mm screens on the Anycubic Photon (and S), Elgoo Mars, Wanhao Duplicator 7, etc) the following angles and layer heights apply:

Layer Height (mm) Angle (degrees)
0.01 11.950
0.02 22.942
0.03 32.412
0.04 40.250
0.05 46.620

Set your print on the angle corresponding to your layer height on all 3 axes for the greatest pixel density on normally vertical and horizontal surfaces.


A good explanation of DLP resolution and anti alialising.


What 500ml of resin looks like in prints

Design Prototype Test - Elegoo Mars first print A video showing some of the issues you might run into when using a resin printer.

Making transparent prints