What Resin To Use
Standard vs Engineering Grade vs Water Washable
With so many materials on the 3D Printing consumer market, it can be tough to distinguish between what materials are best suited for various projects. Over this guide, we'll walk through our decision-making process on what material to use. For the sake of keeping this article short and effective, we'll be sticking to the three resin types that we support: Standard, Engineering Grade, & Water Washable. Remember that no matter the resin, FDM prints will always be more robust.
- Before We Start
- Standard Resin
- Engineering Grade Resin
- Water Washable Resin
Before We Start
Before we jump into the individual materials, it's going to be essential to know the difference between the following mechanical properties:
- Ductility: Ability of material which allows them to deform plastically under tension
- Tensile Strength: Ability of a material to resist a force that tends to pull it apart.
- Impact Resistance: Ability of a material to withstand intense force or shock applied to it over a short period of time.
Standard Resin is the most commonly used material, known for its incredible detail, low odor, paintability, and cost-effectiveness. It's great for display pieces, miniatures, and models that highlight an excellent level of detail. The downside of Standard Resin is its mechanical properties, so avoid any parts that are expected to be put under stress. Compared to FDM materials, it has some of the worst ductility and impact resistance. This sits in between the Water Washable and Engineering Grade resins for the worst mechanical stability in the resin world.
Engineering Grade Resin
With the tradeoff of being more expensive, needing higher exposure times, and a worse odour, Engineering Grade resin brings a significant increase in tensile strength and impact resistance over Standard and Water Washable, with a very minimal loss of print quality and print details. However, even Engineering Grade Resin is known for being quite brittle compared to its FDM counterparts.
Water Washable Resin
Water Washable Resin was designed for convenience. Parts can be post-processed with regular tap water instead of an IPA bath. Water is cheaper and safer to source, appealing to many. Please make sure to dispose of the water correctly! Resin contaminated water cannot be poured down the drain and has special disposal procedures based on your location. With the added convenience, you are making a trade-off for the worst mechanical performance of any resin and a minor loss in print detail.
My Favourite Material
I've personally always leaned towards FDM printing. I enjoy the mess-free and structurally strong parts that FDM can support. I use resin primarily for printing parts that need to be highly dimensionally accurate or have a high level of detail. So in my use case, Standard Resin is my go-to material. It's simple, with fast exposure times and a low odour! After printing, I throw it in a Wash and Cure station, and 20 minutes later, I have my finished part! What is your favorite resin? Let us know in the comments!