It is hard to know how much resin you waste every time you print. Since it’s a liquid, it’s hard to control how much you use, unlike with filaments where they’re extruded in controlled amounts. Resins don’t come cheap either. If you want to make sure your resin lasts long, here are tips to save it during 3D printing.
1. Optimise your print design
Some designs use more resin than others. Designs with tricky details, crevices, and textures can trap excess resin. Make sure your design is optimised for printing. While you can’t avoid printing out intricate prints with your LCD or DLP printer since it’s what it’s made for, you can expect to use more resin with these designs. On the other hand, if your main priority is saving resin (like for mass print production where you want to keep down costs), you can reduce the details.
2. Do away with rafts and supports
Rafts and supports are additional structures that use more resin. Do your best to avoid using them designing your print to stand on its own or reorienting your print on a slicing software to make it stand more sturdily. Vertical models are sturdier and won’t need as much support or raft. By cutting down rafts and supports, you also save time, reduce 3D printing costs, and create cleaner prints.
3. Hollow out your 3D print
The less volume that your print has, the more resin that you can save. However, it’s not as simple as just thinning out the walls. It comes at a risk: thinner walls can make your print more fragile. Hollow objects can also trap resin inside it, so it is important to add escape holes to your model to allow the resin to flow out.
4. Design for success
Imagine printing an entire model for hours and ending up with a misshapen model that you’ll just throw away. Heartbreaking, right? Poorly designed prints not only break hearts but also waste so much resin and time. Prevent this from happening by designing your print for success. For example, if your model has sharp corners, use gussets or ribs to strengthen the structure.
5. Reduce the print size
Bigger models use more resin, which is pretty self-explanatory. If the size isn’t vital to your printing requirements (e.g. prototyping), we recommend that you print small to save resin.
6. Avoid leaving your print soaked in the vat for too long
Leaving your print soaking the vat for days after it has finished printing may not damage your prints, but it renders the remaining resin unusable. Make sure to take the print out shortly after printing and leave it to drain.
7. Drain your print dry
Leave your print hanging from the build plate for a minimum of half an hour to overnight to make sure that the excess resin drains back to the vat. Some users have devised ways to hang the build plate at an angle to facilitate easier draining. See below for some examples:
(Credit: Formlabs forum)
Keep in mind that clear resins are also more watery making them easier to flow off the print than coloured ones.
Save resin during 3D printing with these hacks!
Make your bottle of resin last longer with these 7 resin-saving tips. Although if you do run out of them, you can always order our reasonably priced Phrozen and Monocure resins. For inquiries, you can call or email us.