Resin printers are becoming cheaper and more accessible all the time, and 3D printers like the Anycubic Photon and the Elegoo MARS are driving the cost of resin printing down like never before. However, resin printing is a lot more complicated than FDM printing, so there's a whole raft of different accessories you might need. Some of them will be to make your life easier, some will be to make you safer, and all of them are helpful for you to start your journey.
- Made for cleaning: Pickle container/model bath
- Safety first: Black Nitrile gloves
- Print removal: BuildTak 3D print removal tool
- Absorbant for spills: Amazon paper towel
- For cleaning not drinking: 91% Isopropyl Alcohol (6 pack)
- When things go wrong: Plastic putty knife
- Not for your teeth!: Soft bristle toothbrush
- Strain away the bad: 100 Micron Paint Strainers
- Permenant filter: Tea strainer
- Don't skimp: FEP film
- Hard light: UV curing light
- Don't go blind: Safety glasses
Thanks to the amazing 3D printing community, we have this gem. This little pickle container has a strainer that is perfect for cleaning your models. Just fill up the container with Isopropyl alcohol and put your model in the strainer. You can then use the strainer to lift it out of the bath when it's ready.
It might seem strange to have something like gloves as one of the leading picks, but trust me; you do not want to get resin on your skin. Nitrile gloves are the single most important thing on this list, and having a good supply will save you from some severe chemical burns. Resin printing is a lot of fun and rewarding, but I had a nasty reaction just from some splashing on me. Be safe.
Essentially, this is just a pallet knife or paint scraper, but it's important to remove the print from the build plate to your resin bath without damaging it. I like to use this extra-wide knife, which allows me to get the most purchase on the model without stressing it.
I have yet to find a better cleaning material than a paper towel for cleaning up resin, and you'll need a good supply since resin is messy and stains if you don't clean it quickly. Paper towels you find in drug stores aren't as absorbent, and the resin doesn't mop up well.
Cleaning resin can be messy. After you've printed the model and before it's fully cured, you need to wash it in a bath of Isopropyl Alcohol. This removes any excess resin so your model can look it's very best. You will use quite a lot, so keep it handy and keep it safe.
Not every print is a winner. Sometimes your print doesn't stay on the print bed, and you need to remove it from your FEP sheet in the vat. Using a metal scraper will ruin the FEP almost straight away, so use a plastic scraper instead.
When you have detailed prints, you need to get rid of the excess resin from all the lines. Using these soft-bristled toothbrushes works great, but you need to be as gentle as possible. If you scrub at them too hard, you could damage the print.
You will often have to change resins when 3D printing, and it's essential you don't get cured resin mixed in. These nylon filters are perfect for filtering resin, and the included funnel is a godsend.
If you don't like the idea of disposable filters, you can always use these metal tea strainers. Remember that you'll need to wash them with hot, soapy water after each use. Otherwise, the resin will cure on them and make them useless.
All 3D printing parts break at some point. Be prepared for the worst and keep a spare FEP film handy. This isn't the cheapest option out there, but it's good quality and will last a long while in most DLP printers.
The last step in finishing a resin print is curing, which is done in bright sunlight or by using a UV lamp. This lamp is powerful and can be used to make a cool UV curing station with a little elbow grease.
Just last week, I didn't wear my goggles. Some resin mixed with alcohol splashed onto my eyelid. I had a red chemical burn there for four days. This stuff is no joke people; wear all the protection you can.
This may look like overkill, but resin does give off noxious fumes. If you don't have a great ventilation system, then a respirator is essential. If you're planning on spray-painting your prints, you'll want one of these anyway.
An alternative to the pickle jar, this ultrasonic jewelry cleaner is perfect for automatically cleaning your prints. All you need to do is put your print in, add Isopropyl alcohol, then set the timer for 3-5 minutes and walk away. The cleaner will do the rest. This one even has a handy basket for easy removal.
Normally these little turntables are for displaying pretty things. Happily, they also work for curing prints. If you put the print on the turntable then use a UV light, the model will rotate, making sure it cures evenly on all sides.
While resin printing isn't carcinogenic, it can be smelly, and the fumes can irritate your eyes and nose. You should always use resin 3D printers in a well-ventilated room, but having an air purifier certainly doesn't hurt. It will clear out any significant irritants out of the air. It works on any mold or smoke from your workshop.
These things are important
I know I sound like a broken record telling you to be careful, but that's because it's essential. I love this hobby, and I want you to enjoy it too. To do that, though, we have to be careful and respect the tools. You shouldn't have to worry about chemical burns.
On a lighter note, the 3D printing community found this little Pickle strainer for cleaning and sold them out in a single day! When we find something to make our lives easier, we jump on it, and we bought so many of them that when you add a resin printer to your Amazon cart, it suggests you buy this as well. Brilliant.
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