The reason you’re here is because you realized just how bad polyester resin smells, and I don’t blame you! Luckily for you, there are some proven ways to reduce the smell and in some cases get rid of it completely if you have the resources.
How do I reduce & get rid of resin smell? The best method to reduce or get rid of the resin smell is to first start using a resin that is designed to be low-odor. Then you should work on building an enclosure & ventilation system that actually vacuums out the particles that make resin stink.
Try to wash & cure your resin parts quickly after printing.
These are the basic steps you can take to achieve your goal of reducing UV resin odors, but the details are important. Keep reading to find out some useful information about this issue.
What Makes Resin Stink in the First Place?
It’s a good idea to know why resin smells in the first place before we are able to solve the problem
SLA 3D printing uses a photopolymer resin which changes its physical properties when it is exposed to a light source. Anything from a lamp, lasers, a projector or even LEDs can be used to harden the liquid resin to slowly build a high quality part.
Unfortunately, this creation process does come with an issue well-known in the 3D printing community, the odor of resin.
Styrene is the chemical responsible for the stinky smells you get in resin. You’ll be glad to know, out of the several types of resin that are out there, UV resin isn’t the worst smelling resin but it can be pretty pungent at times.
If you live in a hot location, the smell can get even worse.
Some people have definitely had stories of their resin printer stinking up the whole house, and even one where resin accidentally spilled on the floor of a hotel during a workshop! The surrounding areas of where your 3D printer is can easily be affected if you don’t take the right steps.
Is it Dangerous if I Can Smell Resin?
Some people have reported feeling dizzy and faint after smelling strong resin, especially if they put their nose next to it. Headaches from being in the same room when the resin is heating up and emitting strong smells can occur also.
The smell of resin can be quite dangerous as it gives off a noxious smell. It’s a good idea to not only wear a mask of some kind, but make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area.
When it’s uncured, you get the worst of the strong resin smell. Making sure your resin is properly cured (minus the sticky surface) is a good way to know your resin is pretty safe, but the smell can still be bothersome.
More research and development has been put into photopolymer resin, so manufacturers have been able to make resin that isn’t as dangerous to inhale as it used to be.
There are a few methods that you can use to get rid of the resin smell altogether, so you won’t have to make use of a lot of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) measures but you still want to be as safe as you can be.
How Do I Reduce or Get Rid of the Resin Odor
You don’t have to continue to live with smelly resin so use the following methods to reduce and get rid of the troublesome resin smells.
Many people solve this problem with top-tier ventilation, whether it’s an extractor fan, air purifier, with a combination of open windows.
You want to avoid using your resin 3D printer in a place that people occupy or in an place that isn’t properly ventilated.
Resin 3D printers will have a fan on the inside which creates a vacuum inside the machine and since they have openings, the resin smell escapes through making the surrounding area smelly.
Some people choose to disconnect the fan on the inside of the 3D printer or seal the holes where air is escaping.
On the ELEGOO Mars, you’ll find them where the Z-axis motor is mounted and where the homing sensor is connected.
Purchase Resin Developed to Smell Less
The first thing you want to do is get a trusted, reliable brand of resin that specializes in making photopolymer resin with a light odor.
Clear resin is known to have the least smell, with white and black coming in next. Resin with colors or flexible resins can give off a pretty bad odor.
Resin can get very smelly, but with a refined formula that goes through research and development, you can get resin that doesn’t have much odor.
One of these resin brands that you can trust is the ELEGOO UV Standard Resin. Not only is it one of the most popular resin out there, the smell is better than most resins out there and the price is very competitive.
Another reliable resin brand out there that fits the low-odor factor is the Anycubic UV Plant-Based Resin. People that are sensitive to smells have reported being a lot better off with this, as the smell is very faint and don’t give off prolonged smells.
It comes in gray, clear, black, green, translucent green, white and yellow. It’s also biodegradable and fast-curing, so definitely try this out if you want to upgrade your 3D printing experience.
Packaging is important when it comes to resin, and they package their products properly, so you don’t have to worry about accidental spills or breakages in transit.
Use a Professional Wash & Cure System for Resin Prints
Sometimes washing your parts with Isopropyl Alcohol and water for a while doesn’t always get rid of the resin smell.
This is something that tends to happen if your curing process takes to long, like leaving parts in the sun. It can easily leave small pockets of uncured resin inside the walls of your model.
It’s even more likely to happen if your model is solid and not hollow because the outside will get cured, then the UV light might not be strong enough to penetrate the resin on the inside fast enough.
For a while there weren’t too many professional solutions for the average 3D printer hobbyist to post-process their resin prints. We now have an outstanding solution.
The Anycubic Wash & Cure 2 in 1 Machine (Amazon).
Not only is it an affordable machine, its design was made specifically for all the people who print with resin who want an easy solution to their washing and curing process. It has an almost perfect rating on Amazon for good reason.
The Anycubic Wash & Cure gives you three ways to submerge your parts and has a clear ‘curing’ or ‘washing’ mode which does exactly what it states. There’s now no need to swirl all those smelly resin parts in containers filled with isopropyl alcohol, splashing toxic, smelly substances all over the place.
Simplify your 3D printing experience with this great product.
If this is a little expensive for your taste and you don’t mind doing the extra steps, I’d recommend you at least get a UV lamp to quickly cure your parts. A good choice for this is F1RST LAYER’s UV Resin Curing Light Station.
It substantially decreases your post-processing times and generally makes your 3D printing experience easier. The less time your parts have uncured resin on them, the less smell will be exposed to your surroundings.
This all-in-one UV curing station has a rotating display stand where 6 high-powered UV LED lights work to cure your resin parts. Another great feature of this station is the automatic power that it generates from the solar panels on the side, so eliminate the need for batteries. You’ll get 24/7 customer support with this also.
Build a DIY Air Purifier System
Many people avoid some of these DIY tasks for their own reasons, but if you are up for a little project you can use this method to reduce odors and even get rid of them if done up to standard.
This video does a pretty good job explaining just how building a ventilation system on your resin printer works to direct smelly odors away from your surroundings.
Even if a place in your house has an extractor within the room, this won’t work faster than how much airborne particles are being produced by your resin 3D printer.
You should aim to use a strong fan to blow the fumes out. Without blowing the fumes out, it will just sit within the cabin and be released all at once after you open the cabin up.
What you’ll need:
This is widely used in grow rooms and those get a lot more smelly than a resin 3D printer so you know it will be very effective. You only have to replace the filter every 6 months and is versatile, so when you aren’t using your printer, you can use it wherever else it may be useful.
Although it’s a small fan, it should be powerful enough to vacuum the air away from inside the 3D printer to where you will direct it to. It has a low noise level of 30 db, a fan speed of 2500 rpm and airflow of 195 CFM.
- Diameter: 4 inch
- Power Supply: 110/120V
- Power: 28 W
- Speed: 2500 RPM
- Airflow: 195 CFM
- Cord Length: 5.9 feet
This is a high quality, top-rated hose that is built to last with corrosion-resistant wire and reinforced flexible 3 layer designs. The best part is how easy the application is, just tighten the steel clamps securely and you’ll be good to go. Plus, the black color goes well with a 3D printing environment to blend in nicely.
Its double walled so no smells can manage to escape out of build up over time.
A 3D Printed Adapter to Connect the Parts Together
Depending on what resin 3D printer you have, you’ll need to secure a part which ensures the hose has a clean, airtight connection with your printer. In the video above, an Anycubic Photon is used and you can find the Rear Vent 4″ Adapter on Thingiverse.
Now what this 3-piece system will do is vacuum the smelly resin odor through the carbon filter then be displaced to wherever you point your ventilation hose. Some people decide to skip the carbon filter and just exhaust the fumes outdoors.
If you do this correct, it should get rid of those troublesome resin smells that you all know too well.
It works best when the 3D printer is in an airtight enclosure, so no smell has the chance to escape before it’s cleared out.
Purchase a Professionally Made Air Purifier
Not everyone has the know-how, experience or the effort to put into making their own DIY air purifier system. In many cases, it can be a better idea to leave it to the experts and get you a professional made air purifier.
There are a number of solutions that you can go with, but there is one that sticks out in terms of popularity, reliability and brand.
That choice is the LEVOIT Air Purifier with H13 True HEPA Filter (#1 bestseller at time of post).
- 3-Stage filtration
- Compact design
- 3 fan speeds
- Change filter reminder
- Motor has excellent stability, efficiency for a long lifespan
- Quiet operation at just 25 db – gentle white noise
- Absorbs smoke, dust particles, pet dander and even cooking odors.
It has so many benefits and features that check every box that you need. The only downside is the price but air purifiers don’t come cheap and for what you’re getting its a great deal
If you prefer a slightly cheaper option, you can go with the younger brother LEVOIT LV-H126 but it isn’t as efficient and does run louder.
I hope you found this post helpful, if you want to read more about 3D printing I have some posts you can check out.
- Best Resin 3D Printers for Printing Minis
- 51 Cool, Useful, Functional Objects that Actually Work
- 25 of the Best 3D Printing Upgrades You Can Get Done