3D printing with resin is becoming a more accessible hobby for curious newcomers, thanks to affordable hardware and a growing community offering advice, but you'll need some essential extras before starting. Some of the best 3D resin printers, such as the Anycubic Photon and Elegoo Mars, are perfect for beginners with enough patience to learn.
It's a more complex method than FDM filament 3D printing, and you'll need these accessories to keep you safe. Some will make life a little easier when creating models, and some are critical to maintaining a healthy printing environment.
Made for cleaning
This little pickle container has a strainer perfect for cleaning your smaller models. Just fill 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.
You don't want to get resin on your skin. Nitrile gloves are the most critical 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 be safe.
Removing the print from the build plate to your resin bath is essential without damaging it. This extra-wide knife allows you to get the model without stressing it, and the 90-degree angle from the blade to the handle helps spread pressure evenly.
Resin printers often have lift-off acrylic covers that become dirty. This 2-pack of suction cup handles helps you remove the lid. One is clean for when you don't have resin on your hands, and one is dirty for when you do.
When things go wrong
Not every print is successful. 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 immediately ruin the FEP, so use one of these plastic scrapers instead.
Not for your teeth!
When you have detailed prints, you need to get rid of the excess resin from all the lines. These ultra soft-bristled toothbrushes work excellently, but you need to be as gentle as possible. If you scrub at them too hard, you could damage the print.
Strain away the bad
You often have to change resins when 3D printing, and it's essential not to get any cured resin mixed in. These nylon filters are perfect for filtering resin, and a 50-pack should keep you going for a while.
The Wash and Cure Box from Anycubic is cheap and, frankly, excellent for finishing the resin printing process, and you would be doing yourself a disservice by not owning one. It washes and cures your prints all in one handy machine.
All 3D-printing parts break at some point. Be prepared for the worst, and keep a spare FEP film handy or, in this case, six. A good quality film will last a long while in most DLP printers.
Molten resin is smelly. 3D printers should always be in a well-ventilated room, but having an air purifier certainly doesn't hurt. It clears irritants out of the air and works on any mold or smoke from your workshop.
The last step in finishing a resin print is curing, done in bright sunlight or using a UV lamp. With some elbow grease, this powerful lamp can make a cool UV curing station.
You only get one set of eyes. Even at relatively low levels of intense UV, continued exposure can be harmful. Besides, you don't want resin in or near your eyes either.
It might look a little much, but resin gives 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. With replaceable filters, this half mask will last you years.
This ultrasonic cleaner, an alternative to the pickle jar, is perfect for automatically cleaning your prints. All you need is a bagged print with isopropyl alcohol with the timer set for three to five minutes. This one even has a handy basket for easy removal.
Cleaning resin can be messy. After you've printed the model and before it is fully cured, you need to wash it in a bath of isopropyl alcohol. Isopropyl removes any excess resin so your model can look at its very best. You will use quite a lot, so consider this multi-pack.
Choosing the best accessories for 3D resin printers
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To properly enjoy resin 3D printing, we must be careful and respect the tools. While there are fewer toxic resins available (even some that you can wash in a bucket of water), the fact is that in their uncured state, these photopolymer resins are more dangerous than the thermoplastic filaments used in FDM/FFF printing.
Check our roundup of the best resin for SLA/DLP 3D printers for advice on which brand to choose. The nitrile gloves are an absolute must if you want to handle liquid resin or any models after printing. You want to be wearing safety glasses as well.
Nitrile is less irritating to the skin, and unlike latex and vinyl, far fewer people have adverse effects from wearing these. On a lighter note, the 3D printing community found pickle containers might help with cleaning, and they're right. Some suggestions might not seem so critical at first glance, but they'll prove their worth quickly enough when used with a superb resin printer like the Anycubic Photon.
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James built his first PC when he was 13 and has never looked back. He can be found on Windows Central, usually in the corner where all the 3D printers are, or huddled around the Xbox playing the latest games.
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