What do we need for 3D Resin printing

NOTE - this article is a work in progress - we will be adding to it as we get feedback in our comments. Some links are affiliate links and are marked accordingly.
  • Nitrile Gloves
    Resin and cleaning liquids are toxic. The Nitrile gloves will protect your skin.
    For Australia's cheapest we have found from Bunnings - https://www.bunnings.com.au/sabco-medium-purple-nitrile-disposable-gloves-100-pack_p0065945
  • Breathing mask
    Resins and cleaning solutions (like IPA) give off toxic fumes - some more than others. Protect yourself with a good-quality breathing mask that filters out fumes. A surgical mask or N95 will not do the job. We prefer the mask and ABEK1 filter from 3M from your local Bunnings (Hardware store).
  • UV glasses
    The glasses are not just to protect your eyes from UV when curing the model but also from resin and solvent splashes and the occasional airborne supports. Make sure they not only filtering out UV but are also shatterproof.
  • Household Wet Wipes (Disinfectant)
    Great for quick or last cleanup step
  • Eye washing station
    Your basic first aid eye washing cup will do. If you get resin in your eye, you will want to wash it out quickly before seeking medical help.
  • Material Safety Sheet
    For reference to understand risk of exposure

Work area
You will be working with toxic and UV-reactive materials. Make sure your work surfaces are non-porous and will allow a quick clean up when you have a spill, and can contain the spill (doesn't run down the furniture).

  • Silicon Mats
    We have covered our table with a large silicon mat (one of the baking mats) on which the printer sits.
    https://amzn.to/39g5t3o (AU Amazon)
    https://amzn.to/3ncgVk5 (US Amazon)

    A bit more expensive, but offers more protection is a mat with raised edges. It sells as pet placement mat with raised edges, available in large sizes. Imagine you have an accident and the resin leaks (hole in FEP is a common example), it will keep the resin from spilling everywhere.
    https://amzn.to/3bs9Nxk (AU Amazon)
    https://amzn.to/3yhEjCP (US Amazon)

    In addition, we have a smaller silicon mat in front of the printer and in other areas of the work area. This type of mat has a lip containing the resin somewhat. And yes - it is a pet placement mat.
    https://amzn.to/3xlQk8U (AU Amazon)
    https://amzn.to/3yhEjCP (US Amazon)
  • Sealable containers - clear
    We use different size sealable containers to hold our IPA and go through the containers depending on how dirty the IPA is. The first container is used to rinse the loose resin from the print pulled out of the printer and is usually the largest - the smaller ones are used for the second and third clean just enough to fit the models. We pop the model in, cover it half with IPA and give it a good shake.

    We are sharing a link to the ones we are using - but you will likely get them cheaper in your local supermarket. Here in Australia Woolies and Coles have them often on special.
    https://amzn.to/3OemMRp (AU Amazon)
    https://amzn.to/3OKAFXP (US Amazon)

    Note: the containers we use are for food storage and are leak proof - for food. With IPA having lower surface tensity there might be some leaks so make sure you handle and store the containers safely.
  • Tubs with a high wall
    We use tubs to put our build plate in after we pull it out and then scrape the model off. It will be messy, and they are good for containing the mess. The ones we use are silicone-based and are easy to clean.

    We are sharing a link as a reference - you might be able to pick them up cheaper at your local camp store or supermarket. Here in Australia we had a good score at Aldi.
    https://amzn.to/3xoRNet (AU Amazon)
    https://amzn.to/39RBfnH (US Amazon)
  • Paper towels
    There is always resin to wipe somewhere. Even if you are setting up the print and your printer is clean, when you pour the resin, there will be resin on the bottle opening. Clean it off before you close the bottle.

    Stock up on paper towels whenever there is a special. The cheapest we found are at Officeworks, but check Amazon and local Supermarket for Specials - you don't need the super absorbent. https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/hefty-mega-paper-towels-6-x-330-sheets-ic933kt
  • Plastic scraper or Silicone Spatula
    Most printers come with one - you can stock up from eBay and other sources.

    We prefer a silicon scraper similar to the one used in cooking. We got ours from Amazon
     https://amzn.to/3aPw0Fa (AU Amazon)
    https://amzn.to/3xQ3fQI (US Amazon)

    Use these only on the vat to scrape out the resin - it needs to have no sharp edges and ideally soft enough to prevent scratches on the FEP.
    • Resin Printer
      Consider the print size and speed required. Don't go for the biggest you can find, but rather the smallest to accommodate the largest model you will print.
    • Resin
      If you are new at printing with Resin, it is recommended to start with a resin from the printer manufacturer or a resin recommended by the manufacturer. Once familiar with tuning the different parameters, expand to other resin. Priority is to get to know your printer and optimise your workflow.
    • Spare Resin bottle for used resin
      To hold resin emptied from the vat. You want to avoid putting used resin back into the bottle with your unused resin. The bottle needs to be blacking out the light.

      If you don't have a choice, pour back into your first bottle and consider it from the first "back pour" as used resin.
    • Bottle to match printer mechanism.
      Some printers have an automated refill mechanism; however, it will only work with certain bottle and bottle sizes. E.g. Anycubic Photon M3 Plus and Max have an automated refill mechanism but needs to be connected to one of Anycubic's one-litre bottle. You might be able to print an adapter.
      • non UV Torch
        You might want to pause the printer to ensure the model is still attached to the plate or supports. The torch will allow you to see better what is happening without lifting the cover.
      When the print comes out of the printer
      You use the tubs, containers, gloves, paper towels and spatula already mentioned above.
      In addition, you will need
      • Cleaning solution
        The specifics of the solution depend on your resin. Some resin can be cleaned with water, but most of them require Isopropyl alcohol (IPA). IPA is highly flammable, so store it in a safe area in compliance with your local regulation. You will need a lot, we buy ours in 20 Litre drums.
      • Spray bottle
        Critical for the first rinse to get most of the loose resin off. Please make sure you spray in a container to prevent the resin from splashing everywhere (see tubs we use). Ensure the bottle has a good seal and some pressure which will come in handy when you clean between the supports).
      • Brush
        A soft toothbrush will work - get in there to scrub resin hiding in nooks and finer details. It needs to be soft, or you will scratch the uncured resin.
      • Automated Washing station.
        Using an automated washing station is optional - we have one, but don't use it. We don't print large models, so using the containers is more economical.

        Some use an ultrasonic cleaner instead of the common vortex cleaner. The idea is that the ultrasonic waves help clean the models better. We have seen this mainly used with miniatures. Warning: IPA is flammable and the temperature increases in the cleaner - do not leave unsupervised.
      • Automated Curing station
        An automated curing station is optional - we have one and use it. Very convenient with turn table, bottom reflector and strong UV LEDs.
      • Glass jar (different sizes)
        We like to water cure - that means we put our models in water and then into the curing station. For us, it gives us a shorter curing time.
        See the video for the science behind it - https://youtu.be/GN_Y2qx3ksg
      • UV Torch or UV station
        When you don't have a curing station, you will need a torch or UV station similar to the ones used in nail salons
      • Hairdryer
        Some use a hair dryer to dry off the models faster before curing.
      • Heater
        Resin likes to be at a certain temperature. If your ambient temperature falls below, you must consider heating your room or within the printer enclosure.
        Additional resources for Workflows, setups and getting started
        Disclaimer: Some of the links are affiliate links.

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