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Pro grade FDM printers vs. Consumer grade Resin printers

Spud

New member
Take a pro grade FDM printer from Stratasys or the like, will it create a model with higher definition than consumer grade Resin printers?

From what I've been reading, the Resin printers have higher resolution than FDM printers. My only expereince making stuff on a 3D printer is on the Stratasys Dimension 1200 at college, which is an FDM printer that uses ABS plastic. It was good but I was hoping for higher definition.

The Resin printers that sell for under $2000 , will they create a finer model than a $15K FDM printer?

I don't need a large build envelope; a 12" x 12" envelope is more than adequate. I also don't need it to be fast and have no problem with time consuming post processing.
 

sfriedberg

New member
You'll have to compare the specific models you're interested in, but in general the SLA resin printers have a much higher resolution than the FDM thermoplastic printers in the same price range. I thought about getting a $300-400 SLA printer for making miniatures (1" tall detailed statues) and would never seriously consider a $500-800 FDM printer for that application. That's a lower price range than you are asking about, so the gap in resolution between SLA and FDM might differ in the higher price bracket. But I kind of doubt it changes that much.

Read the specs on the specific models.
 

BugRobotics

New member
The $2000 resin printer will be able to produce finer prints with better detail. Even a $400 resin printer will beat that pro FDM printer for detail. I work with both. The resin printer has totally replaced the FDM printer for my needs.
 

rbent

New member
The $2000 resin printer will be able to produce finer prints with better detail. Even a $400 resin printer will beat that pro FDM printer for detail. I work with both. The resin printer has totally replaced the FDM printer for my needs.

Something I haven't seen much of is how the resin materials stand up to UV/Heat for outside applications and mechanical parts. I use my FDM printers for mechanical fixturing parts and jigs and have been thinking about a resin machine for smaller parts but don't know about the durability of the actual parts. I know you can mix things like the Tenacious resin in but don't know anyone local with an actual resin printer to discuss it with. Any idea if the resin print parts creep as much as things out of say PLA?
 

BugRobotics

New member
I use a mix of 50/50 mix of Strong and Tenacious and have been very happy with the stability. I don't use my parts for fixtures or jigs so can't speak to that but the 50/50 mix is tough. I'm posting a pic below of a small part I printed in a large batch to organize some cable I had running to equipment. It is pretty damn tough. Just applied a load to attempt to break it by bending the thin section didn't get a failure or permanent deformation. I'm sure the same force would have permanently deformed PLA. Another benefit is this resin can be easily finished and painted. This particular batch I colored the resin with dye before printing.

PXL_20210928_162532985.jpg

I will say that all I use is the 50/50 mix except for some tiny 100% Tenacious resin parts that I use as a gasket shown below. The Tenacious resin stays pretty flexible. This part is about 6 months old and can still rebound after bending it almost 90°. All other resins I've tried are way too brittle for my needs.

PXL_20210928_163328758.jpg
 

LockNut

New member
If you are going to go with resin, do a little research comparing the more common LCD printers with the newer DLP resin printers. Prices are really starting to come down on these. DLP is far superior to SLA and LCD printers.
 

Spud

New member
The $2000 resin printer will be able to produce finer prints with better detail. Even a $400 resin printer will beat that pro FDM printer for detail. I work with both. The resin printer has totally replaced the FDM printer for my needs.


Are these the advantages the FDM has over Resin: Lower cost of consumables, faster build speed, larger work evelope for a certain price range, less post processing, non toxic consumables compared to Resin ?

Are Resin printed models just as strong as FDM printed models?
 

BugRobotics

New member
Yes, resolution is one benefit. With respect to the other variables you mentioned:

- Consumable Cost - This goes to FDM. You need resin, 99% IPA, gloves, wipes, etc for resin printing.
- Build Speeds - For more than one part this goes to the resin printer. Resin can be much faster as the development time per layer is the same for 1 or 50 parts.
- Work Envelope - I'd say that you can probably find larger FDM printers for less money. There a number of large format DLP printers on that market. Check out the new Elegoo Jupiter on Kickstarter. I'll be buying one of those when it gets on the market.
- Price Range - Resin printers that work very well can be had for $400 (plus $100 for consumables and resin). I'm sure there are cheaper FDM printers than that but not sure about the quality of prints.
 

Spud

New member
Yes, resolution is one benefit. With respect to the other variables you mentioned:

- Consumable Cost - This goes to FDM. You need resin, 99% IPA, gloves, wipes, etc for resin printing.
- Build Speeds - For more than one part this goes to the resin printer. Resin can be much faster as the development time per layer is the same for 1 or 50 parts.
- Work Envelope - I'd say that you can probably find larger FDM printers for less money. There a number of large format DLP printers on that market. Check out the new Elegoo Jupiter on Kickstarter. I'll be buying one of those when it gets on the market.
- Price Range - Resin printers that work very well can be had for $400 (plus $100 for consumables and resin). I'm sure there are cheaper FDM printers than that but not sure about the quality of prints.


Can you re-use unused resin?

It totally depends on what resin you use. Some resins are brittle, especially after exposure to full sunlight or other UV source.
What's the downsides of using a resin that creates a strong part that will not break after UV exposure?
 

BugRobotics

New member
Can you re-use unused resin?


What's the downsides of using a resin that creates a strong part that will not break after UV exposure?
Yea, you place resin in a vat that sits in the machine. I've printed parts months apart with the same resin. I'm sure there is some shelf life but I haven't had an issue thus far.

Not sure there is a downside. Keep in mind that other than a few exceptions I don't use 3D prints in any type of load bearing scenarios. Organizing bits, maybe some templates, static fitups etc.

If you have a part you want to try shoot it over and I'll print it for you.
 

sfriedberg

New member
What's the downsides of using a resin that creates a strong part that will not break after UV exposure?
Potentially: price, color, rigidity, other mechanical limitations. I'd encourage you to glance at the "star diagram" near the bottom of this page, where one manufacturer compares six physical properties of eight different resins they offer. Among other things, notice that the clearly strongest resin has the worst impact resistance.

It wouldn't hurt to read some of the other material on their website. They have some good comparisons of SLA, SLS and FDM printers, and what the various tradeoffs are.
 

bryan_machine

New member
Same for FDM - there are a *whole lot* of filaments, some which require beds, enclosures, or print heads that aren't on run of the mill commodity FDM printers.

This guy is a little goofy but pretty fast paced and gives an idea of part of the market for filaments: Zack Freedman - YouTube

PLA is very limited, I presume there are "start here" resins that are similarly useless. But the strongest resin vs the strongest nylon-carbon-fiber filament would require some research.

FDM printers scale OK (at least if you want to build one) and there are commercial ones listed up to I think 600mm x 600mm (though I've not seen that in person.) How well does resin printing scale to larger sizes? (I have no idea...)
 
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