|1. Elegoo||2. Anycubic||3. Longer Orange|
3D printing has changed the way businesses conduct production and prototyping. The advancements in technology are making 3D printing more accessible and affordable each day. Not only industries, small-scale designers, engineers, artists, and others also are integrating the best SLA 3D printer applications in development cycles.
SLA, or Stereolithography 3D printing, has progressed significantly. Professionals can now avoid outsourcing costs, create prototypes and product designs faster, optimize production, and possibly even form entirely new business models. The advanced yet affordable technology has allowed Resin 3D printers to become a reality for the average entrepreneur.
The industrial-grade performance and unmatched printing can be achieved only by the best of the best resin 3D printers. This is why we have gone through all of the products available and shortlisted the top resin 3D printers of 2020.
Best Resin 3D Printers 2021
1. ELEGOO Mars
Elegoo Mars is a budget-friendly, quality 3D printer model. The company has been producing components for 3D printers since 2014 and finally launched their own 3D printer. Applying their years of experience, they used UV photocuring technology.
Mars keeps it simple and doesn’t go overboard with the features and construction. With its quality, feel, and price, Elegoo Mars proves its worth to you and provides you with everything you could ever want in a desktop resin printer. With the continually dropping prices, you will have a 3D printer on the go without any fuss or hassle. Elegoo Mars can be used by anyone, irrespective of their knowledge about printers.
- Speed: Elegoo Mars uses the latest technology of CHITUBOX Slicing Software. The software takes 1 minute to slice 30Mb.stl model files. CHITUBOX hollows-out your model before slicing, saving resin during the process.
- Saves Resin and Precision Printing: CHITU BOX hollows out your model before slicing, saving resin significantly, during the photocuring process. The 40W UV lights guarantee great precision in printing details. Mars uses 2560×1440 2K HD masking LCD for accuracy and an XY axis resolution of 0.00185 inch/0.047mm.
- Offline Printing: The printer has USB connectivity with a computer board inside. This lets you print your designs without hooking up the printer to your computer, just by the USB. The large 3.5-inch color touch screen makes things even more convenient.
This 3D printer comes semi-assembled and can be put together in under 5 minutes. Compared to other products on the market today, Mars is relatively basic. Despite that fact, it still creates quality prints. It is simple to set up and use. At a reasonable price, you get a precision printer with a durable all-aluminum fuselage and acrylic cover.
2. ANYCUBIC Photon
The Photon 3D printer made by the Chinese company, Anycubic, is one of the cheapest models on the market. Despite the small price tag, the printer photo-polymerizes resin using an LCD screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 px. The Photon comes with a full-color LCD screen, Photon Slicer software, and a carbon filtration system.
It operates on a production volume of 115x65x155 mm and a minimum layer height of 25 microns. The 3D printer is simple to assemble and is built with metal and CNC ensuring durability.
- Quality Parts: The model has a full-metal structure. The parts are made from CNC, delivering consistent performance after repeated uses. This makes the product durable in the long run.
- Considerate Design: A unique air purification system with activated carbon is installed inside the printer. A resin vat extends the life of the FEP film.
- Offline Printing: This printer supports offline printing, so you don’t need a computer to create designs. The model has a built-in operational system with innovation working at its best.
- Easy to Use: The SLA 3D printer is completely hassle-free with its easy setup. Unlike DIY printers, the Photon works in a few simple instructions, and voila you’re ready to go.
- Fast Slicing, Precision Prints: The resin 3D printer employs the newest version of in-house designed slicer software. The software lets you enjoy the best user experience with minutely fine layers, not visible to the naked eyes.
A resolution of 2560×1440 2K HD masking LCD offers the most precise details in every print with a Z-axis resolution of 0.0000492 inches. The 50 LED light sources allow for even light distribution and efficient printing, taking the least amount of time. You can even line up multiple models on the build plate and still have them ready on time.
- Speed: This model takes only 1 minute to cut a 30ml stl file. The 2.8-inch full-color interactive interface lets you monitor the progress in real-time.
3. LONGER Orange 10
Longer 3D was founded in 2014 by Chinese National Distinguished Experts. They have worked closely with MIT scientists to develop 3D printing technologies, focusing on providing comprehensive solutions for the global market.
Their Longer Orange 10 is one of the best resin 3D SLA printers affordably available in 2020. It features 24 parallel LED lighting, UV-light curing LCD printer, and self-developed slicing software, all delivered preassembled with an easy setup.
- Uniform UV Light Design: Orange 10 uses an upgraded UV-LED module that allows special optical path design. The energy and light are evenly distributed enhancing the precision in cut and prototypes. The better printing result is also due to the 24 parallel LED lighting fixed inside the printer.
- Smart and Fast Splicing: The advanced technology automatically recognizes suspended parts with a push of a button. The smart feature also adds cross-linked grid support, for more stability and to increase the success rate of complex models. The printer has an output of 100 M slicing file in 1 minute, which is three times faster than the open-source solution. The software is reinforced by CHITUBOX.
- High-Temperature Warning: The SLA 3D printer enables a temperature detection system. This lets you know when the UV LED temperature level crosses the optimum and auto-pauses the device. The printer resumes the task once the temperature is under control.
- Convenient and Simple Design: Like the others, Orange 10 also uses a 2.8-inch full-color touch screen to preview and monitor the status in real-time. It has a sturdy metal body and allows offline printing. The resin flow back design is a declined plate that facilitates the resin to move back to the material vat. This prevents dripping and wastage.
4. Creality LD002R
An alternative to Longer Orange 10, with similar functions, is the Creality LD002R. With a small difference in prices, this model carries additional aspects of an air-filtering system, anti-aliasing masking, and integrated high-strength tempered glass in the LCD screen.
- Air-Filtering System: The LD002R model is qualified to be one of the best resin 3D printers because of its air filtration. A small box at the rear of the print chamber contains a pouch of activated carbon. Double fans and activated carbon particles work together to deodorize the smell of resin at your workspace.
- Efficient Slicing Software: This model promises speed and precision and employs
the latest version of CHITUBOX slicing software. The strong 30W UV light makes for fast printing having an output of 4 s per layer.
- Anti-Aliasing: LD002R uses an LCD masking screen. What this means is that the screen technology covers the image of each layer over a UV light source. Made of hundreds of thousands of pixels, this engineering leaves signs of the edges of these pixels on the print surface. Although barely visible, this effect can be minimized using a digital process called anti-aliasing, which is done by Creality’s LD002R.
- 2K HD Masking Screen: The high-resolution masking screen comes with a special high-strength tempered glass.
- Ease of Use: Despite the high technology involved the printer is fairly easy to use. The setting up is done in limited instructions and does not take much time. The process of choosing the files and viewing is also made convenient by installing a 3.5” full-color touch screen giving real-time updates.
- Resing Vat Cleaning: A unique FEP release film is stretched from both sides. This effectively and efficiently collects any residual resin from the vat. All you have to do is slide the film out to clean the filter. This extends the service life of the machine.
5. ANYCUBIC Photon S
Photon S is the upgraded model of the Anycubic Photon model. This unique model is considered one of the best resin 3D printers because of its design and the advanced technology it employs.
The improved UV module is the greatest feature. The light is evenly distributed, with high definition, which makes the texture of the modules uniform. Besides the modern UV module, the printer requires special software from the company to run properly. This makes Photon S arguably the best resin 3D printer, at least for professionals just starting.
- Splicing Software: The special splicing software speeds up the process but does not compromise on precision and quality.
- Air Filtration System: The foul odor of resin is removed by the thoughtfully employed air filtration. By using activated charcoal and dual-cooling fans, the foul smell is removed whilst also keeping the machine cool.
- Dual Rails: A new z-axis dual linear design is used in Photon S to keep the rail stable and sturdy. This also helps with the movement and keeps the bed stable in the middle of the printing process. This is especially helpful while dealing with larger objects and finer details.
- Upgraded LED Array: The new lighting and the 2560*1440 high-resolution screen were installed to make the outcomes accurate and printing much tighter than any other 3D printer in the same range.
- Pre-assembled: Photon S comes almost entirely pre-assembled. By following only 3 simple instructions, you can get to printing in under 5 minutes after your product arrives.
6. QIDI TECH Shadow 5.5 S
The Qidi Tech manufacturer shows promise in its product, guaranteeing quality, and reliability. With most of their 3D printers already ranked as the best in the present market, it’s no surprise that their Shadow 5.5 S model is also a bestseller. Made with the up-to-the-minute Qidi technology, the Shadow 5.5 S is an LCD resin 3D printer with an exclusive industrial design.
What makes the Shadow 5.5 S great? Starting with the hardware, which is a 2540 x 1440 pixel LCD panel built in an area of 68 x 120 mm, matching a pixel size of 47 microns. The print-results are no less than those of Elegoo Mars, Anycubic Photon, and Creality LD-002R, at an even cheaper price. The Z-axis is fixed and stable thanks to the unique dual-rail.
- Slicing Software: The professional slicing software used makes for precision cuts, fast slicing, and resin-saving processes.
- Dual z-axis linear guide: Adopting the greatest stable structure available, the innovative z-axis linear guide is double slider fixed. The model uses a four optical axis structure to make the 3D printing as stable and still as possible.
- 2K HD masking screen: This model is equipped with a high-strength tempered glass which allows the release film to be smoother and long-lasting.
- Air Circulation: Dual fans are installed inside the 3D printer with activated carbon for filtration and cooling.
7. ANYCUBIC Photon Zero
The Photon and the upgraded Photon S models were a success, but keeping up with the fast-changing engineering in 3D models Anycubic created its Photon Zero.
Photon Zero continues to offer the same top-quality and thoughtful features, as its sibling models. The biggest selling point is the price of this model. In the lowest budget possible, you get a good functional MSLA 3D resin printer.
The design is compact and convenient. The Photon Zero is delivered in a little black box with tapered orange UV light. They send this model completely assembled to you. With its small budget, Anycubic managed to use a linear rail for steadying motion through the Z-axis.
- Upgrade UV Module: The modern technology of UV modules allows even the distribution of UV light. This is crucial to get precision in your prints.
- 16x Anti-Aliasing: Photon Zero employs up to 16 times more anti-aliasing. This allows the highest-detailed prints ready in instants.
- Sturdy Linear Rail: The linear rail and lead screws work together to give a stable structure along the z-axis, for the best printing quality.
- Lid-Removal Sensor: The sensor detects motion, and automatically pauses the printing process when you remove the lid.
- Marks in Resin Vat: The ml markings in the resin vat let you easily measure the amount of resin left or used in your 3D printer.
- UV Cooling System: The cooling system stabilizes performance during the printing process and extends the life of the product.
8. LONGER Orange 30
Orange 30 is the new and improved version of the last Longer orange 10 models. The upgrades include higher precision and resolution, uniform matrix UV lighting, bigger printing size, more stability and durability, and an overall better printing experience.
- 2K LCD Screen Resolution: Orange 30 has a built-in 2K (2560 x 1440) resolution LCD screen. This allows a pixel resolution of up to 47.25 μm for fine and smooth printing.
- LongerWare Slicer: The self-developed LongerWare slicer software is easy to
understand and is three times faster than other printers. It also generates support with a single click. The printer is also compatible with CHITUBOX if you are more comfortable with that.
- Temperature warning system and fast cooling: Orange 30 has an upgraded cooling system, with shortened cooling time increasing the life of the machine. Along with that, it has a temperature sensor that sets off when the levels are abnormal.
- User-Friendly Touchscreen: An easy-to-use full-color touchscreen makes things run smoother. It also lets you check the printing status.
9. ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro Mono
Going two steps ahead of the Mars model (upgraded version of Mars Pro), Elegoo developed its Mars 2 Pro Mono. The satisfactory improvements made in Mars Pro are exaggerated in this product, making it the new best-budget buy monochrome LCD resin 3D printer in the series. This model boasts a monochrome screen and an increased build volume, with the usual CHITUBOX slicer landing it on our best resin 3D printer list.
- Mono and Speed: Mars 2 Pro has a 6.08-inch monochrome LCD of 2K HD resolution. The printer has a speed of 2 seconds per layer of exposure to slice resin. Along with the enhanced printing efficiency, the Orange 30 has a longer life span and a more stable performance.
- Upgraded UV Lights: The new light source makes for an even distribution of UV light. That, paired with the monochrome LCD, results in fine details and precision printing.
- Multi-language interface: The new version supports 12 different languages for users across the world. The 10 new language upgrades are Japanese, Dutch, Korean, French, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, and Portuguese.
10. VOXELAB Proxima
Voxelab is a leading 3D printer manufacturer that focuses on the design, research, and production of 3D printers and related products. Their Proxima model is a desktop UV Resin LCD 3D printer. It produces accurate prints and cures resin with a light of wavelength of 405 nm. Another notable mention is its build volume measuring at 130 x 82 x 155mm.
- 2 Slicing Softwares: Proxima supports two powerful slicing softwares- The CHITUBOX Slicer and the self-made VoxelPrint Slicer.
- Precision and High Resolution: The z-axis has a linear rail structure for added stability and accuracy. Get reduced layer lines on the 3D model with smoother surfaces and fine detailing with Proxima.
- 2K LCD Screen: The 3D printer comes with a 6-inch 2K HD LCD monochrome screen. The screen has 2560*1620 resolution and 50µm pixel size.
- Consistent Performance: Even after repeated uses, the accuracy and precision don’t diminish with time.
- Range of Resins Compatibility: Proxima is compatible with most 405 nm wavelength resins including Standard Rapid, ABS-Like, Water Washable Resin, etc.
3D printers are the latest ‘on-trend’ innovations. They have molded the way business, designing, prototyping, and production is done. With advancements in technology and with new products being developed each day, it’s hard to be on top of what’s good, what’s best, and what works for you. But now that you have the scoop on all the best SLA 3 D printers, it’s time to choose the best one for you.
Things To Consider When Buying A 3D Printer?
There are a few different varieties of 3D printers available in the competitive market today. Thanks to the development of technology and several companies venturing this product a range of 3D printers can be found. From SLA to DLP and everything in between including Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Digital Light Process (DLP), Multi Jet Fusion (MJF), PolyJet, Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), and Electron Beam Melting (EBM).
With that long list, it is important to sort your priorities and the reasons why you need to buy a 3D printer. Is it for a business? Will it be used in small-scale production or industrial grade? According to these answers, you will be able to decide on the type of printer you need.
In simple words, if you need a high-quality, professional-grade 3D printer you will need to get one of the high-end products with a bigger budget.
2. Printing Speed
3D printing is not a fast process. It takes time to develop that precision and get the fine detailing just right. That being said, companies are working to develop on this aspect and the various other models. So always check this factor while browsing for the right 3D printer.
3. Build Volume
Build Volume is one of the most important criteria to understand while purchasing a 3D printer. In simple words, build volume is the dimension of the models that can be created using a particular printer. So, if you are buying a 3D printer for DIYs, or smaller production outputs, any average printer should do. 3D printers with a large build volume are feasible for bigger models, but they take more time to create the prototypes.
4. Printing Quality
The most obvious factor to consider is the quality of the prints. Particulars like resolution, pixels, anti-aliasing technology, and most importantly the slicing software is what decides the end quality of the model. Apart from these basic properties other aspects to keep in mind include machine noise, user-friendliness, smoothness, and added features.
The final decision is ultimately based on your budget. These days a range of products are accessible in almost any price range. One thing to think of is that buying a 3D printer is not something you’re bound to do very often. Any piece of technology you purchase, you are going to want it to last for several years–a one-time-buy. So investing a little bit in one of the best SLA 3D printers is probably a smart decision.
Since 3D printers are not something you are not going to buy very often, it is crucial to test the durability of the product and its components. Generally, printers with all-metal or aluminum bodies are considered to be strong and are not easily damaged.
FAQs on Resin 3D Printers
1. What Is SLA?
SLA, or Stereolithography, printing is the most widely used 3D printing technology. It was first developed at the beginning of the 1980s by Japanese researcher Hideo Kodama. Kodama invented the modern layered approach to stereolithography by using ultraviolet light to cure photosensitive polymers.
SLA is an additive manufacturing process that uses an ultraviolet (UV) laser on a vat of photopolymer resin. Aided by slicing software (CAM/CAD), the laser draws a pre-programmed design onto the surface of the photopolymer vat. The resin is photochemically solidified and forms a single layer of the 3D design. The process is repeated to build layers one on top of the other and finally builds the end product.
2. Why Use Resin?
The liquid material generally used in SLA printers is called ‘resins.’ Resins are thermoset polymers. Standard resins result in high stiffness, high-resolution prints, which also gives a smooth injection molding-like finish. To top that, resins are low in cost, making it feasible for prototypes.
3. What Are The Different Types Of Resin?
Standard resin or more commonly known as just ‘resin’ is the most popular choice for SLA 3D printing. But other options include:
- Glass-reinforced resin- Glass additives are mixed for extra strength and stability. Prints are rigid and do not easily deform.
- Durable resin – This is used to design parts that undergo mechanical stress and wear.
- Flexible resin – This type solidifies to a rubber-like substance. It is used for elasticity and flexibility.
- Tough resin – Also called ‘ab-like’ material, used for increased stiffness in heavy-duty models.
- Dental resin – Photopolymers that are biocompatible are used in the medical field like dentistry to form products like retainers.
- Shell casting resin – This is a form of resin used in shell casting to create soft parts.
- Ceramic resin – A photopolymer with ceramic additives used to replicate objects made of ceramics.
- High-detail resin – These resins have various names depending on the company you buy from. But the common property is that it helps to get better resolution in the prints as it reacts better when exposed to a light source.
4. What Types Of Resin Printers Are Out There?
There is a wide range of resin 3D printers available in the market, today. The most popular types are Digital Light Processing ( DLP) printers and Stereolithography (SLA)printers.
5. What Are The Post-printing Steps For A Resin Prototype?
Resin 3D printers require a post-printing procedure to reach the end-product. These involve the following steps:
- Washing: The model is washed by dipping into alcohol or water, or at the very least is left to dry to remove all the residual uncured resin.
- UV Curing: The print is hardened under a UV lamp to solidify and strengthen the model.
- Support Removal: Resin printing involves using support to create the structure. After the print is formed, this support is removed.
Additional (optional) post-processing steps include sanding, patching escape holes, finishing, painting, and polishing. These may be done either manually or by using special pieces of equipment.
6. What Are The Applications Of 3D Printers?
- Prototyping and Manufacturing: The primary use of 3D printing was prototyping and production. It was meant to speed up the production process by creating single molds much faster. It also significantly reduced lead times required in traditional manufacturing.
- Medicine: For the past several years, many 3D printing applications have been introduced in the world of medicine. The areas of bioprinting, where biomaterials (cells and growth factors) are joined to form tissue-like replicas of their biological counterparts, prosthetics, assistance in surgery, etc. have seen success with 3D printing.
- Construction: The technology of 3D printing allows engineers and architects to study and plan the construction of complex infrastructures. Printing is used in the fields of extrusion (concrete/cement, wax, foam, and polymers), powder bonding (polymer bond, reactive bond, sintering), and additive welding.
- Education: With the increased accessibility, students are getting the opportunity to learn 3D printing and designing. It helps to prepare the students by studying and creating prototypes without having to spend loads of money on expensive equipment. 3D printing fills in the gap between images on paper and theory and real-life models and structures.
- Art and Jewelry: You may think that 3D printing has no use in the art department, but you’re wrong. An unexpected venture for this new innovation can be seen with artists and jewelry designers. 3D models allow them to play with ideas and experiment with designs as testers before forming the final product.