I know that there are many people wondering just how long a bottle of 500ml or 1 liter of resin would last them. This article will aim to answer that question, so you have a better idea of how long your bottles of resin should last you.
Keep on reading for more information about how long 3D printer resin should last you, and even how to make it last you longer.
How Much Can You 3D Print with 1 Liter of Resin?
The question of how much you can 3D print with 1 liter of resin used to be a very important one because resin was so expensive in the past.
Luckily, with the increase in popularity and manufacturing of resin, we have seen a significant decrease in the print.
You can 3D print around 120 to 140 tabletop figurines or minis with 1 liter of resin, each model having a height of around 1 inch. If you 3D print cubes with a 1cm x 1cm dimension, then you can print 500 cubes of that size. Larger models can require 100ml+ of resin in one go.
The best way to determine how much you can 3D print with 1 liter of resin is to import an STL model into your chosen slicer software, then reading how many milliliters of resin will be used.
The SLA slicer that most people gravitate to is between PrusaSlicer, ChiTuBox, and my personal favorite, Lychee Slicer.
When you work out the amount of resin you’ll use for one print, you take 1000ml, and divide the number of ml for the print.
A simple chess rook of about 53mm in size can be printed using only 11ml of liquid resin. This indicates that you can print around 90 to 91 chess rooks of 53mm in size with 1 Liter of resin (1000ml / 11ml = 90.91).
Don’t forget to include the proper orientation and supports for the most reliable results.
Most SLA users use resin to print miniatures or small-sized models but require a lot of detail in them.
The fact that how much you can print with 1 liter of resin is directly dependent on the size and details of your designed model.
The video below goes through just how much each resin 3D printed miniature costs, giving a good insight to how far your resin can go.
How Long Does 500ml of Resin Last?
500ml of resin can last the average user around 2 weeks of normal use when printing small models on a regular basis. You could use 500ml of resin in a few really large 3D prints, which could take 2 or 3 days. 1 liter of resin can last you anywhere from 5 days to a month of printing.
It depends on the layer height you are using for your objects, because a 0.025mm layer height is going to need twice as many layers as a 0.05mm layer height 3D print.
Depending on the orientation of the model, the number of supports, the scale/size of the model, your success/failure rate, 500ml of resin can last you a month or so, or just a few days.
You can print a complete chess set including a few failures or mistakes, and you will end up sparing some liquid resin as well.
The Chess Set (SLA/DLP) files from Thingiverse is a good representation of a real life example. When you hollow the models with a 1.5mm wall thickness, and add a 2mm hole for resin draining, the set of 16 pieces takes around 156ml of resin.
With 500ml of resin, you’d be able to 3D print around 3 complete chess set pieces.
The exact answer to how long 500ml of resin lasts depends on different factors especially the size of your print.
Things such as the failure or printing mistakes you make during the process, whether your print is hollow or filled 100%, and the number of times you strain the vat can affect your level of resin usage, especially in the early stages of SLA 3D printing.
In the future with more experience, you reduce the usage of resin to print more by following some tips that will be discussed later.
How Does 1 Liter of Resin Compare to 1 kg of Filament?
Looking at the output mass with the same amount of resin and filament, you will get more output mass from 1 kg of filament as compared to 1-liter liquid resin.
Resin is a little more dense as compared to filament so when you compare 1 liter of resin to 1kg of filament, that resin is going to convert to less than 1kg in weight of the liquid resin.
For resin, you are looking at around 1.1 grams in weight per millimeter of liquid.
For Monocure 3D Rapid Clear Resin, they state a resin density of 1.12g per ml.
When you convert resin ml into grams, you get around 900grams of resin.
On the other hand, resin 3D printers mostly specialize with smaller objects, hence the smaller build plate, so 1 liter of resin may actually strength further than 1kg of filament in terms of how long it’ll last.
As the resin 3D printers are mostly used to print smaller objects, the printing use of 1-liter resin and 1 kg filament will be similar. If you are printing the exact same objects, with the same size, the filament may perform better.
You do have to take other factors into account such as infill, hollowing, supports, and more.
I think the comparison is pretty close and really depends on your overall experience and preparation techniques.
Many people don’t realize that you can get away with less support with SLA or resin printing, but this comes about with more experience.
If we talk in terms of the cost and dollars that you will spend on both products, the filament will clearly win the comparison.
UV resin is known to be more expensive than filament of any type, usually, the price of UV resin is about twice or even 3 times more than the filaments’ average price.
I think in the near future, we will start to see the price become a lot closer in comparison.
1 liter of resin most likely won’t go as far as 1 kg of filament. It’s a lot easier to waste resin compared to the solid filament, and infill can really make a difference.
Utilizing your software efficiently and angling the model efficiently on the build plate, you can mitigate the amount of support and can get printed volume the same as you get from 1 kg of filament.
There are many tutorials where they can correctly guide you on how to produce successful resin 3D prints.
How Do You Make Resin Last You Longer?
The best and most useful method is to design and angle your 3D print model in a way that reduces the amount of resin to print that model.
There are different ways to reduce the amount of resin, and you can start by reducing the support and this can only be done if you angle the print efficiently.
Many print settings can also help you in this regard. The size of your print, details, structure, and many other factors can affect the resin usage. Below are some of the best tips that can help you to print more models using less amount of resin.
- Angle Model in a Way that Reduces Supports
- Print Smaller Objects if Possible
- Try to Reuse the Clean UV Resin
- Hollow Your Resin Models
- Avoid Spills and Wiping up Too Much Resin
Angle Model in a Way that Reduces Supports
Supports are essential in resin 3D printing but the amount of the resin used for supports can be reduced.
You should use different types of software such as ChiTuBox, Lychee Slicer, or PrusaSlicer to add support. The software will allow you to see a visualization and angle the model in a way that reduces the need for support.
PrusaSlicer is known to use a large amount of supports, but they do work really well in reducing failures in your resin prints. I’ve had many 3D prints fail because of bad support settings and incorrectly calibrated UV power settings.
Having more supports and bracings can compensate for other bad settings, so it can actually end up saving you resin in the long-run. With more experience and tutorials, you can really improve your support placement and reduce overall resin used, making it last longer.
Print Smaller Objects if Possible
The larger your model is, the more resin it will consume. In some cases, you want to print some large models on your 3D printer, but doing this regularly will definitely cause you to use up a lot more resin.
Wherever you can reduce your model size, I would advise it if you want your resin to last longer.
As the example is mentioned above, a chess rook that is 53mm in size can be printed using 11ml of resin, but the same rook may use more than twice the resin when printed in 110mm in size.
Some people think doubling the size of an object means you’ll use double the resin, but you might be surprised to know that it increases at a much higher rate.
I illustrated this in my article about The Best Layer Height for 3D Printing which you can check out.
The difference between a 3D benchy at a 0.1mm layer height and the same benchy at a 300% scale is 2 hours and 56 minutes compared to 40 hours and 8 minutes. That’s about 13x higher rather than the 3x you might have thought.
Try to Reuse the Clean UV Resin
UV resin can be reused, you only have to ensure that there are no residues of cured resin.
Reusing the resin may cause issues but if you take it out of the vat, clean it properly, and mix it with the fresh resin, the results will be pretty good. Shake the resin bottle well so that fresh and used resin can form a great mixture.
Hollow Your Resin Models
Similar to infill with FDM filament printers, you have material on the inside of your models. Many people leave their resin models full, without hollowing out the model.
Hollowing your models can save plenty of resin over time, and depending how big of a wall you give your objects, they can still be as strong as you need them to be.
The general wall thickness for hollowing a resin 3D print is around 1.5mm to 3mm so give that a go and see how it works for you.
If you do want that extra strength for your resin prints without requiring such a large wall thickness, you’ll want to get a strong resin like the Siraya Tech Blu Strong & Precise Resin from Amazon.
You can also go with the Siraya Tech Tenacious Flexible & Impact Resistance Resin from Amazon also.
Avoid Spills and Wiping up Too Much Resin
Take some extra care when handling your resin to ensure it’s not spilling unncessarily or needing to be wiped up all the time. You want to have a good workstation where you have plenty of space and accessories to help you streamline the resin printing process.
Many people love having an all-in-one solution for washing and curing such as the ELEGOO Mercury Plus 2-in-1 Wash & Cure Machine from Amazon.
Does 3D Printer Resin Expire?
3D printer resin does expire after a while, usually having a shelf life or expiry date within 1 year or 365 days. Other premium brands have expiry dates of up to two years. Keeping your resin sealed properly in a cool, dark place should help it last longer.
You want to try your best to keep resin out of the light and not in a warm place to prolong its life. They will last longer if they have been left unopened for a while as well. Avoid putting your resin in an area like a window seal or where sunlight directly shines.
3D printer resin shelf life is one of the most common questions asked by UV resin users. Usually, all UV resin manufacturers claim that the shelf life of their resin is 12 months.
Most brands should have a production and expiry date on the bottle, but others only mention the production date, and you can assume that it will expire after one year.
Even though your resin has an expiry date, some people have 3D printed their expired resin successfully.
There are many users who have claimed that they are using 18 months old resin and the prints are coming out flawlessly.
The expiry date is mentioned because with the passage of time the substance like light receptors inside the resin may evaporate and this will require more time to cure properly.
Even if you face this problem you can alleviate this problem by mixing it with some newer or fresh resin to balance it out more.
Just make sure you keep UV resin in the best suitable environment away from the sunlight, and you can use UV 3D printer resin even after its expiration date. Don’t forget to shake well before using the resin.