Eight Resin 3D Printers

The Best Budget Resin 3D Printers 2024


Discover the Top Budget Resin 3D Printers of 2024: Whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, our comprehensive guide covers the best budget resin 3D printers across various build volumes. Dive into the latest innovations and explore the diverse applications of these machines. Stay updated with our continuously edited guide as new models emerge in the ever-evolving 3D printing technology landscape.


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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 It is possible to find bargains of older and slightly outdated models, sometimes with a price tag of around $150.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.
Does higher resolution affect price? Yes, but not significantly. From year to year, we witness how resin 3D printer manufacturers have increased the UV light source resolution from 2K to 12K. In many cases, such high resolution is just not relevant, and due to the intense competition, these machines still come at a low price.


The Best Small Volume Budget 3D Printers in the $300 Price Range

These are the most popular resin 3D printers, mostly because they come with a very affordable price tag. During sales or other campaigns, machines in this category, even from popular brands, can be found for as low as $150, while clearances can push the price to below $100 in some cases. Compare Mars 3 Pro with Photon M3 and Halot One below.

Elegoo Mars 3 Pro 4K

Price: $225-350
Resolution: 4K
Build Volume: 5.64×3.52×6.89in / 143x89x175mm
Product affiliate links:
Elegoo Mars 3 Pro
Amazon
Official Website

Attractive price tags and a large user community brought Elegoo Mars series printers into the league of the top bestselling machines for a few consecutive years.

Mars 3 Pro without UV Protective Cover
Mars 3 Pro without UV Protective Cover
©3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

The successor to the highly-rated previous model, the Elegoo Mars 3 Pro offers incremental hardware improvements without compromising on any of the features that made its predecessor such a success. Check the print quality and read the Elegoo Mars 3 Pro review by Andrew Sink.

Anycubic Photon M3

Price: $187-299
Resolution: 4K
Build Volume: 6.4x4x7in / 163x102x180mm
Product affiliate links:

Anycubic Photon M3 100px
Amazon
AliExpress
Official Website

Anycubic is another brand that has a very strong community, especially on Facebook. Photon M3 is just one of the options from a wide range of machines in the Photon series.

Anycubic Photon M3 and 3D Printed Models
Anycubic Photon M3 and 3D Printed Models
©3DWithUs – Photo: Will Zoobkoff

The Photon M3 from Anycubic is a cutting-edge MSLA 3D printer. It meets all of the current resin 3D printing trends with its mid-range build capacity, 4K+ screen, and monochrome display. The Anycubic Photon M3, housed in a beautiful black frame with a simple user interface, is capable of generating high-quality prints with minimal effort. Check the print quality and read the Anycubic Photon M3 review by Will Zoobkoff.

Creality Halot One Pro

Price: $219-349
Resolution: 3K
Build Volume: 5.1×4.8×6.2in / 130x122x160mm
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Creality Halot One Pro

Amazon
AliExpress
Official Website

Creality, boasting of their successful sales in the FDM 3D printer market a few years ago, introduced the Halot series machines as their resin 3D printers.

Halot One with Cover Off
Halot One with Cover Off
©3DWithUs – Photo: Richard Hirst

The Halot series has been on the market for a while, and the Halot-One sets an excellent benchmark for hobbyist-level printers. One of the standout features of this printer is its 2K screen and printing size, which is surprisingly impressive for its price point. Additionally, the Halot-One includes many features that aid in print quality and ease of use. Check the print quality and read the Halot One review by Richard Hirst.


The Best Medium Volume Budget 3D Printers in the $600 Price Range

Sometimes with twice the bigger build volume compared to the small-sized printers featured above, these machines are more for professionals who print items in bulk or enthusiasts who decide to give highly detailed miniatures and fan art a larger scale. Compare Anycubic Photon M5S with Elegoo Saturn 3 and Uniformation GKtwo below.

ANYCUBIC Photon Mono M5s

Price: $519-719
Resolution: 12K
Build Volume: 8.58×4.84×7.87in / 218x123x200mm
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Anycubic Photon Mono M5s 3DWithUs Editor's Picks Award

Amazon
Official Website

The Anycubic Photon Mono M5s is the latest installment in the popular Photon Mono line of resin 3D printers from Anycubic. This line primarily brings resin 3D printers to beginners and new users at a reasonable price point.

Anycubic Photon Mono M5s with the Test Print
Anycubic Photon Mono M5s with the completed print
©3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

The Photon Mono M5s has a list of new hardware features that is guaranteed to impress even experienced 3D printer users, and features quality-of-life features designed to help beginners. Between the 12K resolution, the new automatic build platform leveling process, and the 3rd generation release film on the vat, the $539 Photon Mono M5s boasts across-the-board upgrades without the corresponding jump in price. Check the print quality and read the full review by Andrew Sink.

Elegoo Saturn 3 12K and Ultra 12K

Price: $399-450
Resolution: 12K
Build Volume: 8.58×4.84×7.87in / 218x123x200mm
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Elegoo Saturn 3 12k
Official Website

Elegoo Saturn 3 Ultra 12K

Official Website

This year, Elegoo introduced Ultra printers to both the Mars series and Saturn series. To compare the new Saturn models, the image below can provide the best picture. While the Saturn 3 Ultra has some significant changes in design and features, the Saturn 3, following the success of the previous year, maintains trusted features and a very competitive price.

Elegoo Saturn 3 Comparison Table
Elegoo Saturn 3 Comparison Table
Image: Elegoo

As the universe of 3D printers continues to expand, the new Elegoo Saturn 3 Ultra 12K is the latest 3D printer to bring ultra-high resolution and fast print speed to the sub-$600 price point. With an impressive 12K resolution, Fast Mode for lightning-fast prints, and an LCD interface that’s larger than the original iPhone screen, the Saturn 3 Ultra 12K is poised to be a very popular machine in the desktop resin 3D printer market. Check the print quality and read the Saturn 3 Ultra 12K review by Andrew Sink.

Printed rings getting removed from the build plate
Printed rings getting removed from the build plate
©3DWithUs – Photo: Max Funkner

Elegoo Saturn 3 12K, apart from higher resolution, doesn’t have many differences compared to its predecessor and therefore it is still a stable machine that does the job well and looks nice. Stability, a strong community behind it, and a good price are the major factors why I believe this model will still be popular in 2023/2024. Check the print quality and read the Saturn 3 12K review by Max Funkner.

UniFormation GKtwo

Price: $799
Resolution: 8K
Build Volume: 8.9x5x9.6in / 228x128x245mm
Product affiliate links:

UniFormation GK TWO 3D Printer

Amazon
Official Website

At the beginning of 2023, Uniformation GKtwo surprised with a couple of innovative features that pushed this printer higher in our ranking despite the high price.

UniFormation GK TWO - Lifted Cover
UniFormation GK TWO with the Lifted Cover
©3DWithUs – Photo: Richard Hirst

The 8k resolution allows for incredible levels of detail and accuracy. The easy-build plate attachment and lock-in vat make printing a breeze, even for those new to 3D printing. The heated printer, built-in air filter, and 5-inch interface screen are user-friendly and provide a smooth printing experience. Check the print quality and read the UniFormation GKtwo review by Richard Hirst.


The Best Large Volume Budget 3D Printers in the $1000 Price Range

What are the biggest build volume resin 3D printers that can be purchased for approximately $1000? Professional grade 3D printers are obviously used for mass 3D printing or to print extra-large objects. Compare Anycubic Photon M3 Max with Elegoo Jupiter.

Anycubic Photon M3 Max

Price: $869-1,099
Resolution: 7K
Build Volume: 10.9×6.11.8in / 298x164x300mm
Product affiliate links:
Anycubic Photon M3 Max
Amazon
AliExpress
Official Website

The Anycubic Photon M3 Max SLA 3D printer is at the forefront of technology. Due to its high build capacity, 7K screen, and monochrome display, it satisfies all of the current resin 3D printing trends. This product is capable of creating high-quality prints effortlessly. The Photon M3 Max is the largest model in the new Photon lineup from Anycubic and offers a tremendous build volume.

Printing timelapse
©3DWithUs – Print & MP4: Will Zoobkoff

The Photon M3 Max is one of the best large-volume SLA printers on the market, and its pricing is far cheaper than that of comparable-sized rivals. If your budget permits, I strongly suggest investigating this machine. Check the print quality and read the UniFormation GKtwo review by Will Zoobkoff.

Elegoo Jupiter

Price: $940-1,200
Resolution: 6K
Build Volume: 10.9×6.11.8in / 277x156x300mm
Product affiliate links:
Elegoo Jupiter and 3D Print

Official Website

With a strong community across the globe, it was not a surprise that this Kickstarter campaign accumulated $4.7mln with over 5,000 backers. To have a feel how big this machine is please check the image below where Elegoo Jupiter placed next to Mars and Saturn printers.

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.


Best Resin 3D Printers

PrintersSpecifications
Size: Extra LargePrice: $719 - $919
Anycubic Photon M3 MaxAnycubic Photon M3 Max

Amazon

Official Website
Print Volume:
11.8x6.4x11.8in
298x164x300mm
Res: LCD 7K 13.6''
Speed: 1-3 sec / layer
Automatic Resin Feeding
Review
Elegoo Jupiter SEElegoo Jupiter SE

Amazon

Official Website
Print Volume:
10.9x6.1x11.8in
277x156x300mm
Res: LCD 6K 12.8"
4-point Leveling System
Automatic Resin Feeding
Air Purifier
Size: LargePrice: $369 - $849
Anycubic Photon Mono M5s ProAnycubic Photon Mono M5s Pro

Amazon

Official Website
Print Volume:
8.81x4.98x7.87in
223x126x199mm
Res: 10.1-Inch 14K
Speed: 70-105mm/h
Air Heater & Purifier
Leveling-Free
Review
UniFormation GKtwoUniFormation GKtwo

Amazon

Official Website
Print Volume:
8.97x5.03x9.6in
228x128x245mm
Res: LCD 10.3'' 8K
Speed: 1.5 sec / layer
Quick Release Vat
Screwless Clamping Design
Review
Elegoo Saturn 3 UltraElegoo Saturn 3 Ultra

Amazon

Official Website

Print Volume:
8.62x4.84x9.84in
219x123x250mm
Res: LCD 10" 12K
Speed: 1-3 sec / layer
Wi-Fi Transfer
ACF Release Film
Review
Size: MediumPrice: $179 - $319
ElegooElegoo Mars 4 Ultra

Amazon

Official Website
Print Volume:
6.5x6.04x3.06in
153x77x165mm
Res: LCD 7" 9K
Speed: Up to 150mm/h
Anycubic Photon M2Anycubic Photon Mono 2

Amazon

Official Website
Print Volume:
6.49x5.62x3.5in
163x102x180mm
165×143x89mm
Res: 6.6" 4K
Speed: up to 50mm/h


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.

Auto Leveling System

Leveling the build platform can be a daunting task for beginners, as the platform must be perfectly planar with the LCD screen and resin vat film in order to get a consistent offset at all points. Typically, resin printers like the Anycubic Photon M3 Plus or the Elegoo Mars 3 Pro use a multi-bolt leveling system to set the position of the platform, which can be a tedious and difficult task. If the build platform isn’t leveled, parts will have difficulty adhering, be dimensionally inaccurate, or potentially cause damage to the delicate LCD screen.

Build platform
Automatic build platform leveling means no bolt tightening required
©3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

Anycubic has addressed this by adding a mechanical sensor to the cantilevered arm of the Photon Mono M5s which is able to detect when the platform is level automatically when a print starts. Read Photon Mono M5s review by Andrew Sink.


A Quick-release Vat System

One of the standout features of the GK TWO printer is its unique resin vat docking system. As someone who has worked with different printers in the past, I can confidently say that using the GK TWO was much more efficient and streamlined. Instead of fumbling with bolts on either side of the vat, simply slid it into place and it locked securely into position. Read Uniformation GKtwo review by Richard Hirst

Resin Vat
Resin Vat
©3DWithUs – Photo: Richard Hirst

We are delighted to see that such enhanced features, usually seen on professional resin 3D printers, are getting implemented on budget 3D resin printers as well.

Anycubic Photon Ultra

Process: DLP 4K
Build Volume: LxWxH
102mm/4″, 57mm/2.2″, 165mm/6.5″
Product affiliate links:
Official Website

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

Photon Ultra is another machine launched via 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.

DCLF 3D Printer – HITRY Rocket 1

Rocket 1 by HITRY benefits from a new DCLF, Digital Continuous Liquid Forming, technology for printing in resin and promises a higher speed and better quality using a new type of resin. Let’s take a look at the Rocket 1 campaign, check specifications and take the first glance at this novel technology.

Submerged HITRY Build Plate
DCLF 3D Printing in Process – Submerged HITRY Build Plate
(Image: HITRY)


Resin Pump System

While the automatic pump works well, the amount of tubes, wires, and probes make this system look a little less professional, and a little more like a science project. In addition, the black tube which delivers the resin will need to be flushed whenever resin is changed to fully change colors and to prevent it from potentially hardening and blocking the stream. Read more in Anycubic Photon M3 Plus review by Andrew Sink.

The automatic pump system for M3 Plus
The automatic vat filling system for M3 Plus
© 3DWithUs – Photo: Andrew Sink

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 jewelry.
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: Best Wash and Cure Stations

Post-processing is a big part of 3D printing in resin, and additional equipment, like wash and UV cure stations, is needed. In recent years, these two separate units started coming as two-in-one stations. Similar to 3D printers, washing and curing stations … Read more …



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