Beginner’s Guide: How to Use a Resin 3D Printer

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Resin 3D printers are becoming increasingly popular in the world of 3D printing. They offer more precision and detail than traditional filament-based printers. However, they also require a different approach to printing, and many people are unsure of how to use them. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry! In this article, we’ll provide a simple guide to using a resin 3D printer.

First, it’s important to understand the basic steps involved in using a resin 3D printer. The process starts with setting up the printer and pouring in the resin. Then, you’ll need to import an STL file into the slicer software and adjust the settings to your liking. Once you’ve saved the file, you can insert the USB into the printer and start the printing process. After the print is finished, you’ll need to remove it from the build plate, wash off any excess resin, and cure the print. We’ll go into more detail on each of these steps later in the article.

Choosing a Resin 3D Printer

If you’re looking to get into resin 3D printing, choosing the right printer can be daunting. There are many factors to consider, including print quality, build volume, and price. In this section, we’ll discuss some considerations for choosing a resin 3D printer and highlight some of the top resin 3D printers on the market.

Considerations for Choosing a Resin 3D Printer

Print Quality

One of the main benefits of using a resin 3D printer is the high print quality. Resin printers are capable of producing very fine details and smooth surfaces. When choosing a resin 3D printer, look for one with a high resolution and layer height. Keep in mind that the higher the resolution, the longer the print time.

Build Volume

Another important consideration is the build volume, or the maximum size of the objects you can print. If you’re planning to print larger objects, make sure to choose a printer with a larger build volume. However, keep in mind that larger build volumes typically come with a higher price tag.


Resin 3D printers can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Consider your budget when choosing a printer, but keep in mind that cheaper printers may have lower print quality or smaller build volumes.

Top Resin 3D Printers on the Market

Here are some of the top resin 3D printers on the market:

Printer Build Volume Resolution Price
Anycubic Photon 115 x 65 x 155mm 47 microns $269
Elegoo Mars 120 x 68 x 155mm 47 microns $259
Prusa SL1 120 x 68 x 150mm 25 microns $1,599
Formlabs Form 3 145 x 145 x 185mm 25 microns $3,499

These printers vary in price and features, so consider your needs when choosing a printer. The Anycubic Photon and Elegoo Mars are both affordable options with good print quality, while the Prusa SL1 and Formlabs Form 3 are more expensive but offer higher resolution and larger build volumes.

Preparing to Use Your Resin 3D Printer

Before you start printing with your resin 3D printer, it’s important to prepare your workspace, gather the necessary supplies, and get your printer ready for use. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Setting up Your Workspace

First, you’ll want to make sure you have a clean and organized workspace to use your resin 3D printer. Here are some things to consider:

  • Choose a well-ventilated area: Resin printing can release fumes that can be harmful to your health, so it’s important to use your printer in a well-ventilated area.
  • Cover your workspace: Resin can be messy, so it’s a good idea to cover your workspace with a plastic sheet or other protective covering to avoid any damage or stains.
  • Keep your workspace clean: Make sure your workspace is free of dust, debris, and other contaminants that can affect the quality of your prints.

Gathering Supplies

To get started with resin 3D printing, you’ll need to gather the necessary supplies. Here are some things you’ll need:

  • Resin: You’ll need to choose the right type of resin for your printer and project. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best resin to use.
  • Gloves: Resin can be messy and sticky, so it’s important to wear gloves to protect your hands.
  • Safety glasses: Resin printing can release fumes that can be harmful to your eyes, so it’s important to wear safety glasses or goggles.
  • Scraper: You’ll need a scraper or spatula to remove your prints from the build plate.
  • Isopropyl alcohol: You’ll need isopropyl alcohol to clean your prints and remove any excess resin.
  • Paper towels: You’ll need paper towels to clean up any spills or messes.

Preparing Your Printer

Once you have your workspace and supplies ready, it’s time to prepare your resin 3D printer for use. Here are some things to consider:

  • Level your build plate: Make sure your build plate is level before you start printing to ensure your prints come out correctly.
  • Check your resin tank: Make sure your resin tank is clean and free of debris before you pour in your resin.
  • Calibrate your printer: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to calibrate your printer and set the correct exposure times for your resin.
  • Check your printer settings: Double-check your printer settings to make sure everything is set up correctly before you start printing.

By following these tips, you can prepare your workspace, gather the necessary supplies, and get your resin 3D printer ready for use. Happy printing!

Using Your Resin 3D Printer

When it comes to using a resin 3D printer, there are a few key things to keep in mind to ensure a successful print job. In this section, we’ll cover the basics of loading resin into your printer, calibrating your printer, starting your print job, and post-printing cleanup.

Loading Resin into Your Printer

Before you can start printing, you’ll need to load resin into your printer. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Check that your resin tank is clean and free of debris.
  2. Open the resin bottle and pour the desired amount of resin into the tank. Be careful not to overfill the tank.
  3. Close the resin bottle and replace the tank cover.
  4. Make sure your printer is level to prevent resin from spilling out of the tank.

Calibrating Your Printer

Calibrating your printer is an important step to ensure that your prints come out accurately and with good resolution. Here are the steps to calibrate your printer:

  1. Use your printer’s software to adjust the X, Y, and Z-axis settings until the print bed is level.
  2. Use a calibration print to check that the printer is properly calibrated.
  3. Adjust the printer’s settings as needed to achieve the desired print quality.

Starting Your Print Job

Once your printer is loaded with resin and calibrated, you’re ready to start your print job. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Load your 3D model into your printer’s software.
  2. Adjust the print settings as needed, including layer height, print speed, and exposure time.
  3. Check that the resin tank is filled with enough resin to complete the print job.
  4. Start the print job and monitor it closely to ensure that it is progressing smoothly.

Post-Printing Cleanup

After your print job is complete, it’s important to clean up your printer and any leftover resin. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Use a spatula or scraper to remove the print from the print bed.
  2. Rinse the print with isopropyl alcohol to remove any excess resin.
  3. Dispose of any leftover resin according to your local regulations.
  4. Clean the resin tank and any other printer components as needed.

By following these basic steps, you’ll be well on your way to successfully using your resin 3D printer.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Resin 3D printing can be a finicky process, and even the most experienced users may encounter issues from time to time. Here are some common problems and how to solve them.

Prints Not Sticking to Build Plate

One of the most frustrating issues to encounter is when prints fail to stick to the build plate. This can happen for a few reasons:

  • Build plate not level: Make sure the build plate is level. Use a calibration tool to check the distance between the build plate and the printer’s screen.
  • Dirty build plate: Clean the build plate with isopropyl alcohol before starting a print.
  • Incorrect exposure settings: Make sure the exposure time is correct for the resin type and layer height being used.

Prints Failing Mid-Print

Another common issue is when prints fail mid-print. This can happen for a few reasons:

  • Insufficient supports: Make sure there are enough supports for the print. Add more if necessary.
  • Incorrect exposure settings: Make sure the exposure time is correct for the resin type and layer height being used.
  • Clogged resin tank: If the resin tank is clogged, it can cause prints to fail. See the next section for how to deal with this issue.

Clogged Resin Tank

A clogged resin tank can cause prints to fail and is a common issue with resin 3D printers. Here’s how to deal with it:

  • Clean the tank: If the tank is clogged, remove the resin and clean the tank with isopropyl alcohol.
  • Check the FEP film: The FEP film can become damaged or scratched, which can cause clogs. Check the film and replace it if necessary.
  • Filter the resin: Filtering the resin can remove debris that may be causing clogs. Use a fine-mesh filter to strain the resin before pouring it back into the tank.

By following these troubleshooting tips, you can avoid some of the most common issues with resin 3D printing. Remember to always refer to your printer’s manual for specific instructions and to experiment with different settings to find what works best for your prints.


In conclusion, using a resin 3D printer can be a great way to create highly detailed and precise models. However, it does require some knowledge and preparation to get started. Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • Resin 3D printers use UV light to cure liquid resin into solid polymer layers. There are several types of resin 3D printers, including DLP, SLA, and MSLA machines.
  • Resin printing can produce incredibly detailed and accurate models with very fine layer heights. However, it can also be more expensive and time-consuming than other types of 3D printing.
  • When using a resin 3D printer, it’s important to take proper safety precautions, such as wearing gloves and eye protection and working in a well-ventilated area.
  • Before printing, make sure to properly calibrate your printer and choose the right resin for your project. You may also need to adjust settings like exposure time and layer height to get the best results.
  • After printing, be sure to properly clean and cure your models to ensure they are fully hardened and ready for use.

Overall, resin 3D printing can be a powerful tool for creating high-quality models with incredible detail and precision. With the right knowledge and preparation, anyone can learn to use a resin 3D printer to bring their ideas to life.