When it comes to choosing a 3D printer, you will always have to go through the factor of whether you should get resin or filament. Choosing one between these options can be a bit tricky. You have to know several things about each of them to make an informed decision.
That’s why I am here to help you out choose one of these options. Here, I will go through all the different factors and differences between Resin vs. Filament. So, you get to know which one works out the best for your needs.
Without wasting any more time, let’s just jump right into it.
The differences between resin and filament 3D printers
There are several differences that you get to see between these printers. And they all affect how the print will turn out to be. So, you must go through these differences and choose the printer that gives you the most benefits.
Let’s check out the factors one by one.
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First of all, there is a difference between the two 3D printers. Usually, resin printers will have the upper hand in print quality if you consider small details in your print. They are much more intricate in capturing the details, unlike filament.
However, that doesn’t mean the print quality of filament is bad by any means. They are still great in print quality. It’s just the fact of a better option, which resin provides you with more details.
So, if you are planning to print mini figurines or objects, then I suggest using resin over filament. They will provide you with better results with all the intricate details that make the models look much more realistic.
When it’s about the durability of the printed model, I would say filament is a winner over resin. Even if you are using the PLA filament material for your models, you can expect good durability coming from the models. And if you use ABS or PETG, then you can get even better durability and strength in your models.
On the other hand, resin prints can feel a bit brittle compared to any filament material. They also react to UV rays, so you can’t expect to expose any resin printed model. However, there are several high-strength resin material options available out there. But they aren’t as good as any filament material.
Especially if you are printing functional parts, filament printing should be the right choice because functional parts usually require a lot of strength, durability, and different functions.
Print build volume
This is a consideration that can help you immensely in choosing the type of printing you want to go with. Because there is a clear difference between resin printing and filament printing in terms of build volume, you can easily base your decision on this factor alone.
Filament printing has options for both larger and smaller models. You can print models of almost any size, whether it’s small or large, with the right kind of printer. They tend to have a much larger build volume. Usually, these printers have a build volume of 300 x 300 x 350mm or even more than that.
Whereas resin printing doesn’t have that luxury in the build volume. You are restricted to a much smaller build volume. Sure, you can easily print smaller models on your resin printer, but they aren’t the best option for printing large models. The typical build volume of a resin printer is around 192 x 120 x 150 mm.
So, it’s very easy; when you have to print a larger model, you have to go with filament printing. But if you want to print smaller models, you still have two choices, with filament and resin printing as the options. In that case, you will need to go through the other factors I discuss here.
This is where things get tricky for you. The printing speed is where you will need to dig very deep in choosing a type of printing and printer for your preferences because the difference in speed between these two printing options is hard to place.
The printing speed of filament is very fast for printing a single material. It can print out a single model very quickly within the quickest possible time. On the other hand, resin printers can print multiple objects very quickly.
So, the best way to choose a printer in terms of speed is to look at your project. If you are working on a project that requires a lot of different parts, then resin printing is the way. As for projects with not many parts or a single part, you will have quicker results with a filament printer.
Setup and assembly
Here is another factor that may dictate which one you choose for your needs. Because you don’t want to go through a troublesome assembly of the printer, no matter which printing method you choose, especially as beginners, you would want to choose a printer that is easy to set up and assemble.
Most of the time, Filament printers need a bit of assembly to get working. Sometimes, the difficulty can get too much depending on the chosen printer model. However, sometimes you may get options that come preassembled for the most part. However, that’s not the case most of the time.
On the other hand, due to their smaller dimensions, resin printers are most of the time preassembled. You won’t have to bother about assembling them by yourself. You can just unpack and start using the printer right away.
So, if you don’t have any issues with build volume, then resin printers can be a great choice for beginners. That way, you won’t have to go through the hassles of assembling and setting up the printer.
It’s not just about the hardware that has differences in both these types of printing options. The software you use for these methods also has some differences.
Now, if you are thinking of filament printing, then you will come across software that has a lot of different settings and features. You will need to go through a lot of functionalities in your software. You will need to learn a lot of different settings for your desired results.
However, choosing one isn’t that simple. You have to consider whether you want broader options for customizing the prints according to your needs. Or you want to keep it simple and make the prints come out good.
Ease of usage
Here is another factor that may make things difficult for you to choose between the two options. Because as I discussed earlier, resin printers don’t require that much assembly, so they are easier to set up. However, things get a bit different here.
When you are printing with resin, you have to make sure you are maintaining all the safety measures. Also, changing the material on a resin printer is much more complicated. Along with that, the fact handling resin properly is also something that you will have to worry about.
On the other hand, the filament is much easier to handle and use with your printer. You can easily change the filament material on your printer without too much trouble at all. Even if filament printing isn’t easy to assemble, they are easier to use overall.
I have to say there are many differences between them in terms of maintenance. Sure, there are differences, but it’s not that much.
Typically, filament printers will require more maintenance compared to resin because filament printers come with more moving parts, so you have to take care of those even more. The printer’s internal parts can get worn out on a filament printer if not taken care of properly..
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Now, here you won’t find too many differences when you are considering between the printers. The prices are similar for the printers, and you can’t find too many differences.
However, when you consider the ongoing costs of your printing, then I would say the cost of resin printing is much more than filament printing. Filament material spools are much cheaper and more available. At the same time, the resin isn’t as affordable; the fact that they need a bit of IPA solution or disposable gloves makes the whole thing even more expensive.
So, these are the differences in the two-method based on various printing factors. Going through them should easily give you the answer to whether you need resin or filament.
To sum up, resin vs. filament can be an important decision to make when you are just getting into 3D printing. While they fulfill the same purpose of providing you with 3D printed models, the journey is pretty different for both.
You have to think of the print quality and the build volume you require from your projects first. The easiest factor is to go with the build volume. If that’s none of your concern, then you can move on to the other factors to decide on your option.