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2 min read

Resin 3D printer vs filament

Resin 3D printers

3D printers have revolutionised the way we think about manufacturing and prototyping, offering virtually unlimited possibilities for hobbyists, engineers and designers. Two of the most common 3D printing technologies are resin printing (SLA/DLP) and filament printing (FDM/FFF). In this article, we will explore the main differences between these two technologies to help you choose the one best suited to your needs.

STEREOLITHOGRAPHY: PRECISION AND DETAIL

resin 3d printers at weerg

Stereolithography (or resin 3D printing) uses UV light to solidify layers of liquid photopolymer resin. The two main variants are SLA (Stereolithography) and DLP (Digital Light Processing). Both offer incredible precision and are ideal for creating models with fine detail.

ADVANTAGES

  • High Resolution and Detail: Resin printers can produce smooth surfaces and intricate details that are difficult to achieve with FDM printing, as the process involves the solidification of liquid resin and not a construction of the object based on individual filaments.
  • Superior Finish: Resin-moulded objects require less post-processing to achieve a high-quality finish.
  • Versatility of Materials: There are various types of resin, including flexible, transparent, dental and high temperature resistant resins, which offer a wider range of applications.

DISADVANTAGES

  • Material Cost: Resin is generally more expensive than FDM filaments.
  • Maintenance and Cleaning: Cleaning the printed parts and the printer itself can be messy and time consuming.
  • Safety: Liquid resin can be toxic and requires the use of gloves and adequate ventilation.
  • Poor UV resistance: Due to the nature of the materials used in the technology, resin-moulded elements generally have poor resistance to ultraviolet rays, which makes objects made with this technique unsuitable for outdoor use.

 

FDM 3D PRINTING: ACCESSIBILITY AND ROBUSTNESS

FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) or FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) technology is based on the extrusion of a polymeric thread that is melted and deposited on the printing plate during the process, which allows an object to be made by superimposing several layers of material. It is the most widespread and well-known 3D printing technology.

ADVANTAGES

  • Cost: FDM printers and filaments are generally cheaper than SLA/DLP printers and resins.
  • Ease of Use: FDM printers are generally easier to use and require less maintenance than resin printers.
  • Wide Range of Materials: Available filaments include PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU and many others, each with specific properties that make them suitable for different applications.
  • Safety: filaments are generally less toxic and safer to handle than liquid resin.

DISADVANTAGES

  • Lower Resolution and Detail: Objects printed with FDM technology often have visible lines and lower resolution than those printed with resin.
  • Surface Finish: The surfaces of FDM objects may require post-processing to be smooth and attractive.
  • Deformation: Some materials, such as ABS, can deform during printing if not handled correctly.
  • Poor liquid impermeability: Due to the technology, moulded objects may have micro holes or voids in the walls, which means that objects moulded with this technique are not suitable for holding liquids or performing those functions where impermeability is crucial.
Filament 3d printers

 

WHICH TECHNOLOGY TO CHOOSE?

The choice between a resin or wire 3D printer depends on various factors, including the type of projects you intend to realise, your budget and the level of detail required.

  • For those seeking precision and fine detail, such as in jewellery, character models or high-quality prototypes, resin printing is the best option.
  • For those who need functional prototypes, robust parts and low costs, FDM printing is best suited.

In summary, both technologies have their strengths and weaknesses. By considering your specific needs and priorities, you can make an informed choice that will allow you to make the most of the potential of 3D printing. At Weerg, with a single file, you can get a free instant online quote for both technologies and print your part with the material that best suits your project needs.

 

GET YOUR FREE INSTANT QUOTE

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