While I was making some resin models, I wondered whether resin prints can melt or whether they are heat-resistant, so I decided to do some research into this.
Resin prints can’t melt since they are not thermoplastics. When they get heated to very high temperatures like 180°C, they will scorch and deteriorate. After resin prints have cured they cannot go back to their original liquid state. Resin prints start to soften or lose elasticity at temperatures between 40-70°C.
There are more details that you’ll want to know so keep reading this article to find out.
Can Resin Prints Melt? What Temperature Does 3D Resin Melt At?
One important factor that you should know about resin prints is that they are not thermoplastics which means that when they cure and get hardened, they cannot melt or turn back into a liquid.
Some users say resin prints often get softened as the temperature increases and for most resins, it starts at around 40°C. However, this may be subject to the type of resin used and the condition required to cure them.
Many users think their resin has melted when it has actually just leaked out and expanded due to its properties.
When uncured resin gets trapped in a resin print due to not draining properly, it still cures but very slowly over time. While the resin is curing, it produces heat and pressure which can start to crack or even blow up the resin print.
If you’ve seen resin leaking or dripping from a model, it means that the uncured resin finally built up the pressure to crack through the model and release it. In some situations, this reaction can be really bad so it’s important to properly hollow and drain your models.
Check out these articles I have done to learn how to go through the resin printing process and avoid this happening to you – How to Hollow Resin 3D Prints Properly – Save Your Resin & How to Dig Holes in Resin Prints Like a Pro.
A visual example of this happening can be seen in the video below by Advanced Greekery.
He shared a video on YouTube where some 14-month-old Rook prints were oozing out some really toxic uncured resin on his shelf. He posited four possible reasons why his prints started “melting”:
- Heat from an LED light nearby on the shelf
- Heat from the room
- Some kind of reaction with the shelf paint and the resin
- Uncured resin within the Rook causing cracks and resin to spill
He went through all these possibilities one by one to debunk them and find the real answer.
- The first was the LED light which produces little to no heat and the light source didn’t really reach where the Rook prints were.
- It was in the winter, so the room temperature couldn’t have had such an effect
- The uncured resin didn’t cause a reaction with the paint because there was no mixing of the paint in the resin
The last reason which quite a number of users attest to was that the trapped uncured resin in the print built up pressure and ended up splitting the model open, resulting in leaking resin.
Are Resin Prints Heat-Resistant?
Resin 3D prints can be heat-resistant if you use a specialized heat-resistant resin like the Peopoly Moai Hi-Temp Nex Resin, having great thermal stability and heat deflection temperatures around 180°C. One user said Elegoo resin prints start to crack around 200°C and melt/crumble around 500°C, also giving off fumes.
Normal resins like Anycubic or Elegoo can resist heat fairly well but they do start to soften at lower temperatures like 40°C.
If you have a project where the object will be in high temperature environments, you want to get a heat-resistant resin. They do cost significantly more than your average bottles of resin so keep this in mind.
It may even be possible to mix together these high-temp resins with normal resins, similar to how you mix flexible or tough resin with normal resin to improve its durability and strength.
In some cases where you just need a little bit of extra heat-resistance, this could work really well.
One user who tried a few types of resin like water washable and ABS-Like resin found that they easily warped and cracked when subjected to heat. He also lived in quite a cold area, so the change in temperature from cold to hot could contribute to less heat-resistance.
You can also choose to cast models into silicone if you need very high temperature resistance.
Here’s a really creative way that a YouTuber by the name of Integza created a high-temperature ceramic part using porcelain resin. It can allow you to create a model that can withstand a temperature up to 1,000°C.
However, to achieve this, you may have to gradually and slowly raise the temperature by 5° every minute and a half until it reaches 1,300°C so as to burn out the resin and get a hundred percent ceramic part. You may cure the print with a kiln or a cheap furnace.
Unfortunately, the furnace actually blew up during this experiment since it was not meant to maintain such a high temperature for a long period of time.
However, the ceramic models that were 3D printed were able to withstand the heat from a very hot flame that was used to test its heat resistance.
For the Makerjuice High Performance General Purpose Resin, it has a data sheet which states a glass transition temperature of 104°C, which is when the material gets to a soft, rubbery state.
When you have the right high temperature resin, you can put them in boiling water for hours and they shouldn’t become brittle, cracked or soft.
Check out the video below by ModBot who puts Siraya Tech Sculpt Ultra to the test which can withstand temperatures of up to 160°C.
You can get yourself a bottle of Siraya Tech Sculpt Ultra from Amazon for a great price.
Check out 3D Printing Nerd’s video below on applying actual fire to a print made from the Siraya Tech Sculpt Ultra. I forwarded the time on the video straight to the action.
Heat Resistance of Elegoo Resin
Elegoo ABS-like resin has a thermal deformation temperature of about 70℃. This means that the prints get softened or malleable at this temperature and may burn out at higher temperatures. A user with a heat gun and laser thermometer found that Elegoo Resin starts to crack around 200°C.
At temperatures of 500°C, the resin started showing several cracks and deteriorated, also giving off visible gas fumes.
Anycubic Resin Temperature Resistance
Anycubic Resin is known to have a glass transition temperature of around 85°C. The thermal deformation temperature of Anycubic’s Plant-Based Resin is known to be lower than their standard resins.
In terms of printing the liquid resin at low temperatures, a user who purchased the Anycubic resin on Amazon left feedback that says that they printed in their garage during winter when temperature and humidity fluctuate with the weather.
The winter temperature in their garage hovers around 10-15°C (50°F-60°F) and the resin performed well despite the lower temperature.
Another user expressed their excitement about being able to 3D print with the Anycubic resin under a normal room temperature of 20°C which was below the recommended temperature for storing resin.
Best High-Temperature SLA Resin
There are actually quite a few types of high-temperature resins out there so I looked into it to find some of the best. Here is a quick list of four great high temperature resins that you can start using for your projects.
One of the best high-temperature resins you may want to consider is the Phrozen resin is specially made for LCD 3D printers with about 405 nm wavelength, which is most out there. This type of resin is able to withstand heat of about 120°C.
It has low viscosity and low odor, making it very easy to use and clean. Having resins that don’t have a strong odor is definitely appreciated. This resin also has low shrinkage so your models stay in shape as they were designed.
Not only do you have great temperature resistance, but your models should have good durability and toughness. They advertise it as being great for dental models and industrial parts.
You can get yourself a bottle of this Phrozen Functional Resin from Amazon for around $50 for 1KG.
As previously mentioned above, the Siraya Tech Sculpt Ultra Resin is a great choice for a high-temperature resin. It has a high-temperature resistance of about 160°C (320°F) and is priced competitively at around $40 for 1KG.
Even when the models reach high temperatures, since it has a great heat deflection temperature, they won’t soften very much. It’s perfect for the high temperature production and prototypes that need to maintain shape.
Another highlight of this resin is how it has amazing resolution and a smooth surface finish, especially with the Matte White color. It’s compatible with most resin 3D printers out there like Elegoo, Anycubic, Phrozen and more.
They do mention how you can mix this resin with lower temperature resins to improve the heat-resistance, like I talked about earlier in the article.
At the time of writing, they have a rating of 4.8/5.0, having 87% of ratings at 5 stars.
Get yourself a bottle of Siraya Tech Sculpt Ultra from Amazon.
Another one on the list is the Formlabs High Temp Resin, a more premium brand of resin. It was designed and manufactured to perform well under pressure, having a heat deflection temperature of 238°C. It’s the highest among the Formlabs resins out there, and very high compared to most others.
The compatibility does mention it usually goes with other Formlabs printers though, so I’m not sure how well it would work with other printers. Some users mentioned that Formlabs uses quite high power UV laser, so if you were to use it in your resin printer, increase the exposure times.
He did give an update to say he got some moderately successful prints from his Anycubic Photon, but it doesn’t have the greatest resolution, maybe because it needs a lot of UV power to cure it.
They have their Materials Data Sheet that you can check out for more details.
You can get a bottle of this Formlabs High Temp Resin for around $200.
Last but not least is the Peopoly Moai Hi-Temp Nex Resin, a great resin that has a heat resistance of up to 180°C (356°F).
They have a number of great properties such as:
- Handles up to 180°C (356°F)
- Good hardness
- Easy on the PDMS layer
- High resolution
- Low shrinkage
- Provides a great surface finish
- Easy to sand and paint
The unique gray color is perfect for delivering high resolution and smooth finishes. Users who love 3D printing sculpts and high detail models will definitely enjoy this resin.
You can get the Peopoly Hi-Temp Nex Resin directly from the Phrozen Store for around $70, or sometimes on sale for $40 so definitely check that out.