Did you just buy a new Resin 3D printer? Or maybe considering one. This is aimed and giving you a shopping list of things you’ll need to get going.
You may have heard a few things like they are messy, smelly, hard to use. I’m here to say it’s not as bad as all that. If you buy a few simple things to get you through the process you’ll be just fine.
We’ll be breaking down the things you’ll need by the following categories…
Environment: Where will the printer be? Is it in a ventilated area? Near a window maybe, or possibly you have a venting system like many people use for Airbrushing. Do you have a spot where you can store your safety gear? Is it an easy-to-clean area in case you spill a bit of resin. You get it.
Safety: Safety first! Look it’s not like you’re working at a nuclear reactor. It’s resin. But you don’t want to be huffing the fumes or getting the stuff on your skin or in your eyes. So an ounce of prevention is the way to go.
Post Process: Once you get something printed you need to clean it off and cure it. It’s easy, don’t worry. Short version: Soak it in alcohol, put it in the sun or a UV light. Done.
Clean-Up: This is mostly simple stuff, you may have everything you need at home already. I’m talking things like paper towels, some wipes, cleaning spray.
The big one here is ventilation. Put it near a window. If you can, have some kind of air circulation. The Resin I use doesn’t have a lot of fumes but they are there.
If you don’t have any air circulating it’s not going to be good. So in addition to a window what more do you need? Fans. I think the fan in my room made all the difference. Here are the solutions I’ve used:
Simple Fan: I already owned a basic fan like this one so I just used that at first. I pointed it at the printer, with my open window behind it. Done! Did the job but I felt like if the wind was blowing in, the fan was just fighting with it. So I wanted something a little better. I moved on to….
In-Window Fan: I ended up buying the Holmes in window fan. None of these fans get amazing reviews, but the bad reviews mostly say that it stopped working or it’s loud. It’s not super quiet… but mine works so… yeah. It’s great at venting and keeping fresh air circulating.
Airbrush Spray Booth: This is something I’m adding in case you already have one and didn’t think to use it. I wouldn’t buy this specifically for a Resin Printer but it does indeed work.
I have an airbrush (read more about that here) and I have this booth. The booth has a ventilation system that I hooked up to my window. I’m sure you can see where this is going.
I’m going to give you the big three here: Mask, Gloves, Goggles. I personally don’t wear goggles. But I’m a maniac. So don’t be a lunatic and protect your eyes!
Seriously though you don’t absolutely need them, but you don’t want resin in your eyes. If you have any kind of safety glasses at home, totally fine.
3M Respirator Mask: This is my favorite piece of safety gear. I actually like how this thing feels and smells when I wear it. I also use this when I airbrush. 1000% recommend it. Much good. Infinite win.
Nitrile Gloves: You want the nitrile ones because of science. I got these because they are nitrile AND purple. You can pretend you’re Thanos.
I read somewhere you’ll spontaneously combust if you use other kinds of gloves so Nitrile it is. 🙂 Something about latex not preventing it from seeping through to your skin for very long. Neoprene gloves also work but I got the Nits.
The Goggles: I have some goofy giant things I got from who knows where. If I had to buy some the ones in the link look good 🙂
Isopropyl Alcohol: This stuff washes all the excess resin off. Pretty easy. You want to dunk the prints in here. But how do I dunk it in there, what do I use to hold the alcohol? Glad you asked…
Pickle Bucket! Hah, I know what you’re thinking. These are awesome though. Pour in some alcohol, plop the print in there, use the strainer to dunk it up and down.
Pro Level: Get 2 and use one for the bulk of the cleaning, and a second for more thorough cleaning. Fancy.
The Sun or a UV Light: The sun was out of stock on Amazon but I gave you a basic UV light. This one is powerful, had a nice size opening, and does the job. Like I said though, putting it out in the sun, or any UV light you want to use.
Baby Wipes: I friggin’ love wipes. I use them for so many things in this hobby. They’re perfect for cleaning up when I’m painting, airbrushing, resin printing… anything. I use them a lot. Don’t flush these things, so have a wastebasket nearby.
Paper Towels: Do I really need to link paper towels? Probably not but I did. Another invaluable item when resin printing. You’re just gonna need to wipe stuff. So now you’re double covered.
Windex Spray: Again, use what you got. I have Windex. So I use Windex. Spray it to clean stuff. I don’t use it much, mostly the wipes.
That’s it for the Quick Start Guide! But I’ll go ahead and give you more stuff here:
1. A Container for Model Bath
The first thing you’ll need when using a resin 3D printer for printing miniatures is a plastic container to clean your models.
You can simply use a fruit/vegetable strainer container for this purpose.
The Ziploc Twist ‘n Loc containers are an ideal product made of BPA and phthalate-free, see-through plastic material to make it easy for you to see and keep a check on the models.
You can easily wash this container in your dishwasher after using it. The best thing is that it is stackable and so, it won’t take up much of your storage space.
You might be thinking, ‘Why the heck do I need gloves when I’m using a resin 3D printer for printing miniatures?’
I know because the first time I got to know about it, this was exactly the first thought that came to my mind!
Anyways, as strange as this pick may seem, you need to have a pair of good-quality gloves to make sure you don’t get resin on your skin. Resin printing is all fun and games until you splash some on your skin and have a nasty reaction.
Having your gloves on is the first line of defense against those severe chemical burns and skin allergies. Even if resin doesn’t affect your skin, its acrid flavor will definitely seep in and won’t go away even after washing your hands several times.
These nitrile gloves are a must-have product on your resin printing shopping list. Available in small, medium, large, and x-large size, these gloves are super comfortable and stretchable. They are made of powder-free material and tend to fit perfectly without impeding the sense of touch. These nitrile gloves are specially made to resist heat, chemicals, and punctures.
These gloves are latex, non-sterile, and allergy-free with textured fingerprints.
3. Print Removal Tool Kit
Another important accessory for resin 3D printing is a print removal tool. You’ll have to remove the print from the build plate to your resin bath while making sure it doesn’t get damaged.
This 2-tool kit contains a spatula and knife that are specifically designed for easy print separation.
4. Paper Towels
I’ve tried using different cleaning materials for cleaning up resin but there’s nothing better than paper towels!
Just a heads-up, you’ll require a good supply of paper towels since resin is very messy and it can cause stains if you aren’t quick in cleaning the mess.
Also, I’m not talking about the usual paper towels available in drug stores here – you need something more absorbent than them.
The Presto! Flex-a-size Paper Towels are quite strong and absorbent. Although a bit expensive, these napkins work great to mop up the resin.
As explained earlier, cleaning resin can be a messy task. Once you’ve printed your miniature model, you’ll have to bath it with isopropyl alcohol before it is fully cured. This is a not-miss step if you want your models to look their best.
Just make sure that you keep this product handy and somewhere safe because chances are, you’ll be needing it often!
Now, this is a product that you may know for its antiseptic properties for treating cuts and scrapes. Well, this solution also works wonders for cleaning resin with towels and for soaking your models after printing.
This pack of 6 bottles will be enough for you when you’re first starting with using a resin 3D printer for printing miniatures.
6. A Soft Toothbrush
Well, of course not for your teeth!
When you’re working with detailed and intricate prints, you don’t want to see excess resin stuck along the lines, right? This is where a soft-bristled toothbrush comes in handy.
The PRO-SYS Sensitive Toothbrushes have extra soft micro-tipped bristles and a pleasant-to-touch handle.
They can help you get rid of excess resin from all the lines to make sure your printing experience is perfect.
Please note that you’ll have to be extra gentle while scrubbing your models because otherwise, you may damage the print.
7. A Plastic Knife
As a beginner, you must know that things can go wrong when you’re using a resin 3D printer for printing miniatures. A common issue that many hobbyists face is that of the print not staying on the print bed. If you experience the same, know that you’ll have to remove the print from your FEP sheet in the vat.
Warning: Never think of using a metal scraper for this purpose, as it will ruin the FEP straight away. Always go for a plastic scraper.
The URTOYPIA Plastic Putty Knife Set features three knives of different shapes and sizes. All three pieces are made of high-quality PP plastic. These flexible scrapers don’t bend or break when pressure is applied.
These putty knives have a blade edge that makes scraping and filling easier. It is specially designed to be ergonomic to ensure maximum comfort and ease of use for regular prolonged use. The three knives are stainless and light and avoid scratches on your FEP.
8. A Tea Strainer
Another important step in resin printing is to filter failed cured resin from the recoverable resin before pouring it into a bottle.
While some people may use disposable filters for this purpose, a better option is to get your hands on a metal tea strainer.
Important tip: Don’t forget to wash your tea strainer with hot soapy water after each use to ensure the resin doesn’t get cured on them. This simple trick will keep your strainer in good condition for long.
This stainless steel strainer features a high-quality steel mesh and a plastic handle for an easy grip.
9. A UV Curing Light
Curing is the final step in a resin printing process, which requires bright sunlight or hard light from a UV lamp.
This UV Resin Curing Light uses 6 high-power UV LEDs to allow the resin to be cured efficiently in only 10-15 seconds when kept at a distance of 5 cm from the light.
Don’t forget to wear eye protection while using this light to prevent eye damage.
10. Safety Glasses
Safety glasses are the utmost important accessory when you’re using a resin 3D printer for printing miniatures. If you don’t wear them, there will always be a chance of resin and alcohol splashing on your face and causing chemical burns.
The Jackson Safety Glasses are anti-fog, anti-scratch goggles that provide maximum splash protection. The soft, pliable frame allows for a comfortable fitting and the headband buckles don’t interfere with peripheral vision.
Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, these glasses have clear lenses to ensure maximum visible light transmission. Interestingly, they can also fit over most prescription eyeglasses.
That’s A Wrap!
So, these are the top accessories you need to have with you when you’re using a resin 3D printer for printing miniatures. I know this list may be giving the impression that 3D printing requires you to be extremely careful but I want you all to enjoy the experience of printing miniatures as much as I do! When you’re equipped with these tools, you won’t have to worry about those chemical burns.
Happy resin printing, fellow hobbyists!