Resin 3D printers include SLA and DLP, whereas filament 3D printers include FDM. There are several crucial aspects to consider when selecting whether an FDM or SLA/DLP printer is the ideal choice for you when comparing these two types of printers. Here is what to know when comparing resin and filament printers.
Cost of Printing and Equipment
When choosing a 3D printer, you must consider not only the printer price, but also the cost of filament or resin, as well as other accessories and time constraints. At every level, FDM printers easily outperform SLA/DLP printers in terms of cost. Budget and entry-level SLA/DLP printers are hard to come by, especially for beginners. You must also consider the printer’s maintenance. A spool of filament will set you back $25 or less, and nozzle replacement will be infrequent if you keep up with regular cleaning and maintenance. With resin printers, both the resin and the resin tanks will need to be replaced on a regular basis. A tank will set you back roughly $40, and a liter of resin would set you back around $80. When comparing expenses, an FDM printer is significantly less expensive.
The quality of the objects you’ll be producing is a crucial concern in 3D printing. Extruder precision, nozzle size, and layer adhesion are all important elements in FDM printers. As the layers are steadily pressed together, warping, shrinkage, and shifting are frequent. However, these flaws can be fixed in post-production. On the other hand, SLA/DLP printers offer excellent quality because the laser decides minute details, resulting in exceptionally precise, high-quality print products. When comparing finished products, resin 3D printing outperforms the competition.
Ease of Use
Regardless of whether you use a filament or resin 3D printer, there is a learning curve. For filament printers, you’ll first need to use a palette knife to remove the final print from the print bed, followed by some post-processing to snip off any excess plastic and sanding. Removing the final print from a resin printer is a little more difficult because there is a lot of remaining resin. Objects will also need to be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol, and, in certain cases, placed in a UV oven for final processing. Both types of printers require postprocessing, though filament printers may be a little more user-friendly.
While choosing a printer may not be the easiest task in the world, we hope that our article on what to know when comparing printers has helped your endeavors! If you already have a printer and need a little more advice on what filaments you should choose for your next project, look here!