Resin 3D printing is rapidly gaining popularity as one of the best ways for creating high-quality 3D models. Thanks to the recent release of affordable desktop units, this technology has become more available to the general public, and we are loving it.
However, having a decent resin 3D printer doesn’t guarantee you top-notch prints. Resin 3D printing can, at times, be complicated and very messy.
To get the best resin 3D prints, you need to create a super-efficient workflow and workstation. To achieve this, you will need to get the right accessories and supplies.
So, to help, I’ve created a list of some of the best accessories and supplies for resin 3D printers. In this article, you’ll find some of the accessories and supplies used by the Pros to consistently achieve that top-tier print quality.
Based on their purpose, I’ve divided the accessories and supplies into three categories:
- Safety accessories
- Printer accessories (modifications)
- Post-processing accessories and supplies.
I’ll be going through each category the type of accessories required for each of them. I’ll also be dropping some pro-tips along the way, so watch out for them.
So, let’s dive into the list and start prepping your workstation for printing.
When starting any project, 3D printing or otherwise, safety should always be the primary consideration. This is especially true for resin 3D printing.
While using a resin 3D printer, you’re going to be working with some pretty dangerous substances like IPA, resin, etc. So to keep the workspace safe at all times and avoid injuries, you’ll need some of the following accessories:
As I said earlier, the chemicals you’re going to be working with while resin printing are highly toxic. These substances can cause chemical burns and all manner of irritations if they spill on your skin.
To avoid this, always wear gloves when handling resins and Isopropyl alcohol. The gloves will help protect your hands from these chemicals.
For the best protection, when buying gloves, always go for MedPride Nitrile Gloves. These gloves offer better protection against resin spills than standard disposable latex gloves.
It’s best to buy top quality gloves like these. Substandard gloves can easily rip during use, exposing your hand
You can also go for a pair of UxGlove Heavy-Duty Reusable Work Gloves. These are great for longer term use and don’t need to be thrown away. Many users mention how they can still handle smaller objects even though the gloves are fairly thick.
Protecting your eyes is also very important when working with a resin 3D printer. Stray splashes of resin and IPA coming in contact with the eyes can cause chemical burns and irritations.
Thus, make sure you use safety glasses before you start working with the resin printer. You can get sturdy, resin-resistant 3M Safety Goggles on Amazon. They can even fit over a pair of glasses in many cases as mentioned in reviews, but a few users said it didn’t work for them.
As long as you are working in a well-ventilated environment, masks are not really necessary per se. But it’s always good to have one ready because IPA and resin give off fumes that irritate the airways.
Most customers recommend using half-face masks because they offer maximum protection. You can also use them when painting the model to guard against paint fumes.
These masks help protect you, but always make sure you are printing in a well-ventilated environment. At least, make sure you have a fan to keep the air moving.
Plastic Table Covering (Table Cloth)
As I mentioned earlier, resin 3D printing is very messy. Stray bits of uncured resin coming off the print can easily stick to your desktop or other surface and harden, making them nearly impossible to remove.
A plastic table cloth takes care of these surfaces by providing a barrier against the resin. When the table cloth becomes fully covered with resin, you can always remove and replace it cheaply.
This way, you can protect your expensive desktop or workbench from resin.
I like Creative Converting’s Plastic Tablecloths from Amazon. They are easy to clean and they come in a long roll, so you can cut them to fit your table.
You can also buy the Wuppa Tablecloth Clips (12 Pack) to secure them to your table safely.
Silicon Mat (Slap Mat)
The slap mat is another tool for protecting your work surface from spills. It sits directly under the printer, where it can catch spills and resin runoffs from the printer.
The slap mat is made of Silicon, which means it doesn’t react with the resin. When the resin cures, it can easily be cracked off the mat and disposed of, making the slap mat very reusable.
A great choice for this is the BCZAMD Silicone Mat on Amazon. It’s a very simple and cost-effective mat which has amazing ratings and works for plenty of resin 3D printer users out there.
Avoid using scrapers or knives on these mats. Just wait for the resin to cure, and then you can peel it right off.
Resin Storage Containers
When working with resin and IPA, you will generate quite a lot of toxic waste material. Depending on your local environmental regulations, you’re going to need to follow special procedures when disposing of them.
It’s always a good idea to keep hold of your UV resin bottles since you can use them to mix different colors of resin to keep them separate. If you don’t have spares, you can get yourself some eTone UV Resin Amber Storage Bottle from Amazon.
These are suitable for long-term storage and come with 3 1000ml bottles. Make sure to strain your resin before you store it in these containers so you don’t get small cured resin pieces in there.
The pickle jars and plastic tubs are a way you can store these chemicals safely before disposing or recycling them. You can also use the bigger tubs as a washing station when finishing the resin print.
Note: If you are going to store resin in any jar, make sure the jar is UV-resistant. This is important to avoid the resin curing while it’s in the jar.
These accessories are upgrades that you can add to or use with your resin 3D printer for a better 3D printing experience. Let’s look at some of them.
Technically, this is more of a printer part than an accessory. However, you should always have extra on hand because FEP sheets can always get damaged or punctured, resulting in failed prints.
So, to avoid wasting time and compromising print quality, it’s advisable to always have a spare FEP sheet around. You can get this excellent quality FEP film from Amazon. It’s a bit pricey, but it has been proven to last long.
I wrote an article called 3 Best FEP Film for Anycubic Photon, Mono (X), Elegoo Mars & More which details some great FEP sheets you can buy, so feel free to check that out.
PTFE lubricant is an excellent non-stick spray that helps prevent prints from sticking to the FEP sheet.
Prints generally do not stick to the FEP sheet after curing, but sometimes after changing the resin or tweaking calibration settings, the issue might pop up.
Many 3D enthusiasts use a great product called Super Lube Synthetic Oil with PTFE, a staple lubricant for your 3D printer.
It is a premium, synthetic oil with suspended PTFE particles that bond to surfaces of moving parts providing protection against friction, wear, rust and corrosion.
This bottle of PTFE lubricant can also be used with other moving parts of things around your house, so it really gives you value for your money.
Handles for The Printer Cover/Door
Most desktop resin printers come equipped with beautiful acrylic doors and covers. These covers keep the UV light inside and also enhance the appeal of the printer.
However, while using the printer, you run the chance of smudging the cover. One common mistake users make is getting resin on the covers while opening and closing the printer. As you can expect, this ruins the cover’s beauty.
Attaching a handle to the printer’s cover helps solve this issue. Using a handle, you can open and close the printer without touching the doors and leaving marks on them.
The self-stick handles do have a great adhesive to go with it, leading to long-lasting grip and very easy to install.
Magnetic Flex Plate
Like the name says, a magnetic flex plate is a thin, flexible metal plate that attaches to the build plate magnetically. The flexplate makes print removal very easy.
Thanks to the plate’s flexible nature, all you have to do is flex the build plate, and the print pops right off. Using it extends the life of the build plate as you do not have to attack it with scrapers every time.
You can buy quality flex plates like the Fulament Fula Flex from Amazon Make sure you select the right size for your build plate.
Also, make sure you adjust your calibration settings after mounting the plate because most users experience issues after mounting flex plates.
Print Removal Spatula
These tools are a must-have for any 3D printing hobbyist, whether the printer is an SLA or an FDM printer. In addition, paint scrapers are an excellent tool for prying stubborn prints away from the build plate.
When buying a paint scraper, always look for a metal one with a broad blade like Eewolf 3D Printer Spatula Removal Tool from Amazon. This is because you can get more force under the model with a wider knife.
Plastic putty knives are also useful for scraping bits of cured resin off the FEP screen. Because the FEP screen is sensitive, you cannot use a metal knife on it. So, the plastic putty knife comes to the rescue.
The Amazon Basics Plastic Putty Knife Set is a great choice for this as it comes with three different sizes.
You can check out this plastic putty knife here. Plastic Razor Blades work well too, especially for getting cured resin off an LCD screen since they are a little more sturdy.
They also come with several replacement blades.
Silicon Funnel & Filters
From time to time, you’ll need to empty out the resin vat on your printer. Whether you’re changing resins or filtering out the old resins, you’ll need to empty out the vat without spilling the resin, and filter residue out of the resin vat.
While some resin vats come with funnels and pour spouts, it’s always best to have a strainer and set of filters on hand. A strainer will help pour and filter the resin accurately while keeping the workspace clean.
A really popular set that you can find on Amazon is the Jeteven Silicon Funnel with 100 Disposable Filters. These should last you plenty of time and they even provide a 180-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the product.
Post-Processing and Cleaning Supplies
Even after removing the finished model from the printer, there’s still considerable work to be done on it. To get the 3D model ready for its intended use, we have to remove its supports, clean it, and cure it.
To do this, you’ll need a set of specialized tools and supplies. Let’s look at some of these supplies.
Paper towels are an essential item in any workstation. Thanks to their absorbent nature, these towels come in handy when it’s time to mop up random spills of resin or IPA.
When getting paper towels, make sure you go for an excellent absorbent brand like Viva TaskSize Signature Cloth Paper Towels from Amazon, so the resin or IPA doesn’t soak through.
Also, resin-coated paper towels can be classified as hazardous waste. Make sure you dispose of them safely by curing the resin completely before tossing them in with the regular trash.
Supports play a huge role in holding up the 3D model during printing. However, once the printing is done, and it’s time for cleaning, they are no longer needed.
A flush cutter helps in trimming away stubborn supports that cannot be removed by hand.
I recommend buying a flush cutter with a flat nose like the Hakko CHP. With this, you’ll be able to cut the supports accurately without damaging the model.
Isopropyl Alcohol (99% IPA)
IPA is a cleaning solvent that we can use in getting the excess resin off 3D prints. It dissolves any excess resin on the 3D model, leaving it clean and detailed.
Although there are many varieties of IPA available, the 99% pure variant is the best for cleaning resin prints. However, if you can’t get 99% pure IPA, other lower grades are fine.
I’d recommend going with the Vaxxen 99% Isopropyl Alcohol Medical Grade is a strong cleaner that you can use to clear up resin from your prints.
Be very careful with high-grade IPA. It is very flammable, and it also gives off toxic fumes, so, handle it with care.
Denatured alcohol and methylated spirit are also pretty good choices for cleaning resin prints. Just make sure you follow the proper safety procedures while using these materials.
Check out How to Clean Resin 3D Prints Without Isopropyl Alcohol for more information about alternatives.
Just soaking the 3D model in a cleaning solvent doesn’t get rid of all the excess resin. Toothbrushes help in scrubbing off the excess resin off the prints. You have to get in there and scrub the model with a toothbrush to achieve the best results.
However, be careful not to use a toothbrush with stiff bristles as they can damage the model’s fine details. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush like the Colgate Extra Soft to achieve the best results.
Washing stations are containers made for cleaning and removing the excess resin from your prints.
Ideally, a wash station should hold the cleaning solvent, it should have a strainer (so your hand doesn’t make contact with the solvent), and it should be easy to drain and refill.
We have three main types of washing stations. Let’s look at them.
The pickle container is a small jar that comes with a strainer attached. After filling the jar with the cleaning solvent, you put your prints inside the strainer and dunk them inside the pickle jar for cleaning. You can also use a toothbrush to clean the print for greater efficiency.
The Pickle Jar is a very cheap option, and it’s also straightforward to use. Also, its airtight cover prevents alcohol from leaking out.
However, it’s only suitable for small prints.
Most customers recommend buying two. One for washing with IPA, and one for rinsing with water.
Ultrasonic cleaners are the premium options for cleaning resin 3D prints. They basically use ultrasound waves to agitate the cleaning fluid, which strips all the excess resins from the print.
You do not need to do any scrubbing while cleaning 3D prints with an ultrasonic cleaner. All you need to do is fill the machine, set the timer, and voilà, you’re done.
The Magnasonic MGUC500 is an excellent cleaner and should more than satisfy all your cleaning requirements. Trust me, you can even use it with jewelry, glass, etc.
Note: It is very dangerous to use flammable liquids like IPA with ultrasonic cleaners. It’s better to go for a non-flammable cleaning solution like dish soap.
After washing the prints, it’s time to cure them. Curing involves exposing the print to UV light and heat to improve its mechanical property and stabilize its structure.
There are many accessories for curing, but let’s look at two of the most common ones in use.
UV Lights with Solar Turntable
One of the simpler and effective ways to cure 3D prints is to use a strong UV light along with a turntable that rotates 360 degrees, so prints cure all the way around. This is what I started with when I got into resin 3D printing.
You want to get something like the Comgrow UV Resin Curing Light with Solar Turntable from Amazon.
It has an LED lamp that uses 6 high-power 405nm UV LEDs that can efficiently cure resin prints. It’s a necessary process for all resin prints so you want to make sure you have a good setup.
You also have the option of making yourself a DIY UV curing station or box that does well to reflect UV light all around your resin prints. This can be more effective since the bottom of the UV light is more even across your models.
Check out the video below for a great example.
Wash and Cure Stations
To save space and optimize workflow, some companies have started releasing 2-in-1 wash and cure units. With just one machine, you can post-process your 3D prints effectively without any stress.
I can definitely recommend getting one of these devices since I have one myself. It made a big difference to how easy it is to fully post-process resin models.
The two most popular wash & cure stations have to be from Anycubic and Elegoo.
The first one is the Anycubic Wash & Cure 2.0 from Amazon which works great for small or medium size resin SLA printers such as the Anycubic Photon, Elegoo Mars and so on.
As you can tell, it is one machine which provides the facilities to wash and cure models by using a washing bucket with a strainer, along with a turntable that attached to the machine.
It can wash the resin off models very effectively, using the propeller to create a tornado-like movements in your cleaning solution. A cool feature is how it changes its spin direction halfway through the wash to give a better clean overall.
You can either wash your models by placing it in the basket or by directly suspending your build platform on the machine.
After washing your model, you are able to suspend it above the washing basket to drain.
It has a great uniform distribution of light across the space with the curing side of things and has timers that can go anywhere from 1-60 minutes.
The second most popular wash & cure station for medium-sized models is the Elegoo Mercury Plus 2-In-One Washing & Curing Machine from Amazon. It has very similar features to the Anycubic Wash & cure but is slightly bigger.
If you have a larger 3D printer like the Anycubic Photon Mono X or Elegoo Saturn, you want to go with the Anycubic Wash & Cure Plus from Amazon.
It contains a tank with an agitator for cleaning prints, and a UV LED array for curing 3D prints rapidly.
It also comes with a wash basket and a rack for holding prints while washing. To cure prints more effectively, it has an L-shaped LED and a bottom reflective sticker to reflect the light more efficiently.
However, when curing prints, be careful with the timer as you can overexpose prints and make them brittle.
You can check out the Anycubic Wash and Cure Plus on Amazon.
As you probably quickly realized, resin doesn’t have the best smell. A great solution and resin accessory you should look into getting is an air purifier. I’ve got one myself and they work really well.
The Levoit H13 Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter is a great one to filter the resin smells, which you can get from Amazon.
Not only does it help filter the smells, but has many other benefits such as helping with allergies and airborne particles as small as 0.3mm. People use this air purifier for things like dust, smoke, pollen, odors and more.
Plenty of reviews swear by this machine and is a favorite of many who have tried out different air purifiers out there. It doesn’t operate at loud volumes like other air purifiers, also having a night-mode which works very quietly.
Hopefully, you found this article helpful for your resin 3D printing journey.
For people struggling with various 3D printing issues, you might want have wanted more guidance towards getting ideal 3D printing results. I created a full course that's available to purchase called Filament Printing 101: Beginner's Guide to Filament Printing that takes you through some of the best 3D printing practices early on, so you can avoid those beginner mistakes.