What should I look for when buying a 3D Resin Printer? It’s a question we’re often asked, as 3D Printing resin developers and manufacturers.  Or more specifically, “what resin 3D printer should I buy?”- understandable questions, considering how many choices there are on the market these days!

It feels like there is a new resin 3D printer launched nearly every day at the moment. They pop up on crowdfunding sites such as Kick Starter & Indiegogo regularly.  Some Manufacturers upgrade their current models every few months making it difficult for the consumers to keep up. The technology is advancing rapidly, so it makes sense that the 3D resin printers are being updated with the latest tech when it happens.  Chinese companies are particularly good at updating and launching new models quickly (without much thought for the poor resellers who have just ordered a container of the now-outdated model).

Here are my five top answers to the questions “what 3D resin printer I should buy” and “what should I look for when buying a 3D Resin Printer”.

Do your Research – Follow the advice from those who have already done it! Join as many Facebook groups, Reddit threads, chats and forums as you can.  Make sure you are active and ask questions.  Remember, the guys in the groups were newbies initially, and most of them love to impart their knowledge and experience if you ask.  There are plenty of informative 3D printing news 3D printer manufacturer websites where you can find technical specifications and the most up-to-date information.  It’s always best to hear from the community and see what they are using.  Social media has been a handy tool for researching and finding like-minded people who are always willing to share their experiences with a newbie!  Here at Monocure 3D, we keep up-to-date with the latest printers.  Next time you are on YouTube, check out our ProTips Channel.  We unbox, review and set up the newest popular 3D resin printers.  If you need advice from one of our friendly 3D Printlab technicians, we would be more than happy to assist you, and please send us a message on our Contact Us page.  While doing your research, make sure you ask other people who have the printers what the company’s technical support is like and how responsive they are at fixing problems or replacing broken parts.  There are many negative stories from disgruntled customers who have waited months for spare parts or even gotten a response from some companies.  (It would seem some of them are only interested in the 3D printer sale, and the post-sale support is non-existent.)

Identify What & Why You Want to 3D Print.  Not all 3D printers will suit all types of models or applications.  For example, if you are printing miniatures for tabletop gaming, then a high level of detail and accuracy will be significant.  Or you might want to print large prototype parts, which would require a 3D printer with a large build volume.  Maybe, you want to print usable models for your new business idea, therefore needing the printer to be as fast as possible.  The types of resins you may need for your models is also significant.  At Monocure 3D, we have several different resin systems for most applications.  These are just a few examples of how the 3D resin printer needs to suit the models you intend to print and the application you want to use it for.


Avoid Printers That Have Closed Systems.  Just like buying a regular inkjet printer and discovering the hardware was a fraction of the cost of the inks in tiny cartridges! 3D printer resin can be expensive.  One of the more famous desktop resin SLA printers is the Granddaddy, who kicked it all off, Formlabs.  They started with an open system and quickly discovered that they could make more money by making the users buy resin in micro-chipped cartridges (very similar to those inkjets!).  Formlabs say that the printers are open source, but they make it very difficult for 3rd party resins to be used.  They disable some essential features, such as the vat heating function and the wiper between layers.  Also, don’t think you can cheat the system by just filling the cartridge…they have thought of that!  Our Monocure 3D resin systems work on all true open-source MSLA, DLP and SLA 3D resin printers.  Not being able to use 3rd Party resins can be expensive and very limiting to what material choices you have.  If you choose a 3D printer that has a locked-down (or closed system), then it means you will be limited to the resin types they offer.  We have a handy printer settings page that we update as often as possible to keep up with the latest 3D printers.  If the printer you are thinking of buying or have already purchased is not on our list, don’t hesitate to contact our technical support team.

Understand the Technology. 3D printing requires the use of computers.  If you don’t have a computer, don’t know how to use one, you need to understand that a PC or laptop is an essential part of the 3D Printing process as there are a few steps that are required to get a digital 3D model to a solid 3D object sitting on your desk.  There are plenty of online 3D model download sites, including ThingiverseCults 3D and several others.  Some models can be purchased, and others are free to download.  Some might ask for a license fee if you intend to print them for commercial use.  We have many free models that you can download from the Resources section of our website.  If you need a customised part that cannot be downloaded from a website, you might need to pay a 3D designer to create it for you.  Our in house 3D printing service, 3D Printlab offers a 3D design service, 3D scanning and, of course, 3D Printing.  To get a quote, fill out the form.  Our pricing is very competitive as we manufacture the resin in-house, our material costs are low.  If you have some design experience or enjoy learning new skills from YouTube, there are plenty of free and purchasable 3D design programs on the internet.  Some of the more popular free programs include BlenderSketch-Up and TinkerCad. Some of the paid programs are subscription-based, but most come with a free trial.  Do your research before diving in.  Some are easier than others to master.  Check out Fusion 360 if you are looking to do more technical models.  If you want to design models for 3d printing miniatures for tabletop gaming, then check out Z-brushMudbox and Meshmixer as popular choices among our Monocure 3D Ambassadors.  They have generously offered us some of their models as free downloads if you are looking for some incredible models to 3D print.  Once you have downloaded or digitally created your model, now you will need to use 3D Slicing software to make it 3D printable.  It is called slicing because it turns the models into a series of layer ‘slices’ for the 3D printer to print the file.  There are several 3rd Party slicers available, and the popular ones include ChituBoxChitubox Pro & Lychee.  Like the 3D modelling software, most have a free version with limited features to get you started on your 3D printing journey without having to pay.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Advice or Help! The newest 3D printers are becoming more user-friendly, but that doesn’t mean they are all easy to use!  Some have proprietary

software needed to perform the model slicing mentioned above.  Be aware that not all 3D printers are created equally.  This includes the various brands and the printers that come from the same factory and have the same model number.  If your 3D printer is not working as the recommended settings suggest or behaving the same as your friends, this is not something to be worried about. 

All 3D printers need a certain level of ‘dialling in’. This term is used to fine-tune your 3D printer’s settings with the resin you are using and, in some cases, the models you are attempting to print.  Don’t be afraid to change the settings on any 3D printer!  Settings are there to be changed. They make it possible to use a wide range of resin materials to print different shapes & sizes.  Let’s not forget that settings might also need to be changed depending on the ambient temperature in the room you are printing in. Several variables with 3D resin printers should be considered when using them.  As long as you are aware and not afraid to ask for help, you will enjoy your 3D printing journey!

I hope you got some helpful information from this article on what should I look for when buying a 3D resin Printer! We have a very active Facebook group, with lots of friendly customers, ambassadors, influencers who are always happy to offer help and advice. We hold 3D printing competitions and offer regular giveaways through our social channels. Remember to subscribe to our Youtube Channel – Pro Tips for all the latest 3d resin printers, plus heaps of tips and tricks to make your experience as smooth as possible. We love to share our experiences and hear yours on Instagram and now on TikTok. Please feel free to reach out to us through our website’s Contact Us page, leave us a comment below or follow us on our social media channels. 

Written By Charlie Anderson