First of all, What is all this Resin 3D Printing?
Resin 3D Printing is the process of layering photo-curing polymers to build up into a 3D object. The term of Resin 3D Printing is given to cover a whole family of additive manufacturing.
3D Printing with resin is a messy and complicated business. Essentially the machine uses a Ultra-violet (UV) lamp to cure the resin above. There is an LCD screen between the bulb and the resin that is used to mask off areas of resin that do not need curing. Each layer requires a different masking off from the LCD screen.
Post Printing Processes
Now once completed, all being well you now have a beautifully detailed model on the bed ready for post-processing. Now this is where it gets really messy. The object sitting on the bed is still soaked in uncured resin.
And then, the next step is “washing” the object to remove all excess. Now typically, a lot of the resins out there require Iso-propyl Alcohol in order to break down the excess and clean up your object. Now there are plenty of options out there to achieve this, but essentially soaking and agitating the resin until your object is all clean.
Moving to the Last step is a final cure. Objects are typically about 80% cured when the printer completes. So after the wash it just needs that final curing. Again plenty of options available, but anything with the correct wavelength UV works. Sunlight is a great way to final finish your object.
Now you have a completed item!
So that’s the whole process in its raw form!
Lets break it down.
So first lets break down the basics of most Resin 3D Printers. From the bottom we have;
UV lamp. This comes on for a set period of time each layer.
LCD Screen. This shows an image to “block off” or mask where we don’t want UV light to go.
Next we have the Vat, with the see-through FEP base. The Vat is what holds the resin ready for each layer. The FEP is designed to allow the print to peel right off so each layer doesn’t get stuck in the Vat and fail the print.
And very importantly, above the Vat is the print bed. This is where ideally the cured resin sticks to. The idea of the print bed is that it lifts after each layers curing process, to allow resin to flow over the empty spots, and then lower again, but never the same amount, as to leave enough space for the new layer to cure. This “layer height” is set by us.
This process continues until all layers have been completed.
So why do we use Resin 3D Printing?
We create most of our models and minis using Resin 3D Printing. We have found the technology to be the best for the smaller more detailed items. So for tabletop gaming, role-playing and the like it is second to none for detail. Even the injection moulded big players of the industry struggle to print to the level of detail a resin printed model can.
The technology also had a great side-effect. This allows smaller or even solo design teams in on the action. With Resin 3D Printing, the smaller teams can create models and sell them for people like us to manufacture and distribute. This is where we receive most of our models and minis from. We operate under commercial licence with these designers to bring you a huge range. This allows us to support the small business enterprises.
Injection moulded models may be able to produce the same model 1000’s of times a week, but we can truly create a unique and wonderfully beautiful tabletop gaming experience, with the range and depth of design these great smaller teams can provide.