Best Resin 3D Printers

The Best Resin 3D Printers 2021


Here you will find the best resin 3D printers. This type of machines is widely used by professionals and hobbyists. Let’s briefly look at the differences between SLA, DLP, and LCD processes, the latest innovations and see where such machines are used. As the technology evolves and more machines come out onto the market this guide is constantly edited.

This guide covers:

Resin 3D Printers – Brief History

Research in this area started in the seventies and the Stereolithography (SLA) process was patented in the mid-eighties. This makes this 3D printing technology one of the oldest. Because of its precision and reliability, SLA is still widely used nowadays. Together with the open-source movement and the hype around FDM machines, consumer resin 3D printing received a significant boost in the past decade.

SLA, DLP and LCD – Processes

The core essence of all three processes is curing photosensitive resin in a vat with the help of UV light. The difference is in the light source. Traditional SLA technology uses a laser beam to cure the resin. This process is precise but slower compared to LCD or DLP. In LCD resin printers, a screen is used to create the curing patterns. DLP 3D printers work similarly to the common projectors. In this process, the whole layer is cured at once, making it the fastest of the three. DLP is very precise but can be only used on a small area thus producing smaller parts. With both LCD and DLP technologies advancing through the recent years, resin 3D printers acquire better quality and it would make sense to go for the later models, especially when LED is involved.

Price Explained

As this technology became more accessible, we have been witnessing an influx of consumer-grade machines. It is possible to find bargains of older and slightly outdated models, sometimes with a price tag of around $150. But the cheapest doesn’t mean the best. So, what dictates the price? One of the major factors is the country of origin. Usually, products manufactured in China are cheaper. Other factors are brand awareness and reliability. A solid community behind the brand or high-standard customer service would allow keeping the price tags higher. Good examples are Formlabs and Prusa Research.

Elegoo Mars 2 Pro

Example in $250 Price Range
Process: LCD 6.08″ 2K
Build Volume: LxWxH
129mm/5″, 80mm/3.1″, 160mm/6.3″
Layer Height: 0.01-0.2mm
Speed: 30-50mm/h

Elegoo Mars Series MSLA Resin 3D Printers
Elegoo Mars 3, Mars 2 Pro, and Mars 2
(Image: Elegoo)

As Elegoo Mars 3 is a hot product that gets quickly sold out, try your luck on Amazon. We are not sure if this product will become available again any time soon. Very likely that it will come out in the form of Elegoo Mars 3 Pro. For now, Mars 2 Pro is still widely available and is one of the most praised resin 3D printers among hobbyists. Attractive price tags and a large user community brought Elegoo Mars printers into the league of the top bestselling machines for a few consecutive years.

Amazon
Affiliate links
AliExpress
Mars Series
Official Website
In the increasingly competitive resin 3D printing market, the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro has carved out a place for itself as an inexpensive, powerful, and easy-to-use machine.
Read the full review by Andrew Sink of Elegoo Mars 2 Pro and Washing and Curing station Mercury Plus.

ANYCUBIC Photon Mono X

Example in $500 Price Range
Process: LCD 8.9″ 4K
Build Volume: LxWxH
192mm/7.5″, 120mm/4.7″, 250mm/9.8″
Layer Height: 0.01-0.15mm
Speed: 60mm/h

Anycubic Photon Mono, Ultra and Mono X
Anycubic Photon Mono, Ultra, and Mono X
(Image: Anycubic)

Photon Mono X is one of the good examples of the XL (extra large) LCD machines. There are various models in the Photon series and they have been on the market for a few years now. DLP Photon Ultra (blue in the image) is yet to be delivered to the Kickstarter campaign backers. We will add this machine here when it becomes available to buy.

ANYCUBIC Photon Mono X
Amazon
Affiliate links
AliExpress
Anycubic Photon Series
Official Website

Prusa SL1S Speed

Example in $2000 Price Range
Process: LCD 5.96″, 2560×1620p
Build Volume: LxWxH
127mm/5″, 80mm/3.1″, 150mm/5.9″
Layer Height: 0.025-0.1mm
Speed: 1.4-2.4sec/layer exposure

Original Prusa SL1S Speed and Prusament Resin at TCT 3Sixty
Original Prusa SL1S Speed and Prusament Resin at TCT 3Sixty
(Photo: 3DWithUs)

Source: Official Website

The most recent machine from the Prusa Research team, advertised as a “lightning fast” LCD 3D printer offering only 1.3sec exposure per layer. This Czech manufacturer is well known for their reliable FDM printers, PrusaSlicer software, and the worldwide supporting community. They are also the dedicated followers of the Open-Source values, meaning that the 3rd party resins can be used.


Other Resin 3D Printers

Disclaimer: Some of the links are affiliate links – at no additional cost for you we will receive a commission if a purchase happens.
PrintersSpecificationsImagesLWH
Creality HALOT-ONE
Amazon
AliExpress
Res. LCD 2K
Speed: 1-4s per layer
Creality HALOT-ONE5x3.1x6.3in
127x80x160mm
Voxelab Polaris
Amazon
AliExpress
Res. LCD 2K
Speed: 10 sec/layer
Voxelab Polaris4.53x2.56x6.1in
115x65x155mm
Review
Phrozen Sonic Mighty
Amazon
Res. LCD 4K
Speed 80mm/hour
Phrozen Sonic MightyLxWxH
7.9x4.9x8.7in
200x125x220mm

LONGER Orange 10
Amazon
Res. LCD 2KPhrozen Sonic MightyLxWxH
4.7x2.6x6.7in
120x68x170mm

Elegoo Mars 2 Pro
Amazon
AliExpress
Res. LCD 2k
Speed: 30-50mm/h
Elegoo Mars 2 Pro5.1x3.1x6.3in
129x80x160mm
Review
Anycubic Photon Mono
Amazon
AliExpress
ANYCUBIC Photon Mono Resin 3D Printer
LxWxH
5.11x3.14x6.49in
130x80x165mm
Lotmaxx CH-10
Amazon
Lotmaxx CH-104.7x2.7x6.1in
120x68x155mm
Review
Elegoo Mars ProElegoo Mars Pro4.53x2.56x5.9in
115x65x150mm
Review
Original Prusa SL1
Official Website
Original Prusa SL1 3D printerLxWxH
4.7×2.6×5.9in
120×68×150mm
Formlabs Form 1+
Amazon
Formlabs Form 1LxWxH
4.9x4.9x6.5in
125x125x165mm

Innovations Around Resin 3D Printers

SLA in 3D printing used to be associated with the slow printing process which may be hazardous in the home environment. During the past few years, we have been witnessing a big number of resin 3d printers launched, the majority were LCD followed by DLP. Among the most common innovations were improved precision, speed, and a larger build volume. Other innovations were in connection to a more silent printing process, purifying systems, and better bed adhesion. All these contributed to resin 3D printers becoming a common choice for hobbyists.

Anycubic Photon Ultra DLP Printer (MP4: Anycubic)

Anycubic Photon Ultra

Process: DLP 4K
Build Volume: LxWxH
102mm/4″, 57mm/2.2″, 165mm/6.5″
Speed: Max 1.5s/layer 60mm/h

Anycubic Photon Ultra DLP Resin 3D Printer
Anycubic Photon Ultra DLP Resin 3D Printer

Photon Ultra is the most recent machine launched on Kickstarter. 4K+ backers pledged $2.3mln for the promise to deliver this high-precision 3D printer. With the DLP technology, Anycubic also promises a “blazing-fast” engine that can produce a layer in only 1.5 seconds. Other perks include long-life functionality and silent printing.

Source: Kickstarter Campaign

Elegoo Jupiter

Process: LCD 12.8″ 6K
Build Volume: LxWxH
277mm/10.9″, 156mm/6.1″, 300mm/11.8″
Speed: 30-70mm/h

Elegoo Jupiter in comparison with Saturn and Mars
Elegoo Jupiter in comparison with Saturn and Mars (Image: Elegoo)

With a strong community across the globe, it was not a surprise that this Kickstarter campaign accumulated $4.7mln with over 5,000 backers. Jupiter offers a large format high-resolution printing experience. Elegoo’s community and supporters actively suggest and comment on various improvements, and Jupiter’s design was tweaked during the campaign. As a result, an Ethernet port has been added together with a few other adjustments. The Super Early Birds were lucky to secure this machine for a special price of only $600.

Uses of Resin 3D Printers

The original SLA machines have been primarily used for prototyping. The main purpose of such machines is to help designers to test and feel the future product in a prototype mode. Nowadays prototyping is widely used in the automotive industry, medicine, for surgery planning, architecture, and other areas. SLA, LCD, and DLP resin 3D printers are gaining ground in dentistry, audiology, and jewellery.
From the hobbyist perspective, this technology is invaluable for creating complex figurines and miniatures that can be used in tabletop gaming. With the ability to print in great detail, designers can let their imagination run free.

What to Consider

With all the benefits that this technology brings, it may be tempting to try it out at home. There are a few aspects to consider.
– Health and Safety. Dealing with resins may be a messy job, and as this material is hazardous, strict safety measures have to be put in place. Wearing gloves and protective goggles is one. Designating the work area which is well ventilated and out of children’s reach is another.
– Post-processing. Prints made in resin require washing and curing, and this leads to buying an extra item – a Wash & Cure machine.
– Part replacement. LCD monitor lasts for 2-3 years on average, so be prepared for replacing it, which may result in an extra $200-500, depending on the brand.

Read more: Desktop 3D Printers – Guide & Reviews

Choose a desktop 3D printer that is right for you. Build volume, FDM or SLA, Kit or Plug-and-Play, well-known brand or a start-up – all to consider. The guide helps to compare and make a comprehensive decision.


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