Which Formlabs resin do you need?
You've got your Formlabs 3D printer set up, but which is the best resin for your current project? Let's take a closer look at the different options from Formlabs.
So, you've got your Formlabs Form 2 SLA 3D printer set up, and you're ready to take full advantage of its extensive capabilities. Of course, before you can do that, you'll need to be equipped with the right resin for whatever task you are taking on. The Form 2 boasts an Automated Resin System, so you don't have to worry about resin levels, tank life or a messy desktop, but you will need to decide which resin to use.
Part of the appeal of the Form 2 is that it features an 'Open Mode,' which allows users to experiment with third-party resins. For the best results though, we always recommend sticking with the precisely engineered Formlabs products, but even then there are a few varieties to choose from. Your first decision will be whether to go with a standard or an engineering resin.
Standard resins for 3D printing
Standard resins are sometimes referred to as 'commodity' resins, as they typically resemble the inexpensive plastics used in the construction of children's toys and similar mass-produced goods. Make no mistake though, the Formlabs standard resins are designed to achieve the very best results. They are custom-formulated to deliver great output, and maximise the amount of high-quality 3D printing you can get out of each cartridge. The two most important factors at play with standard resins are strength and ability to reproduce detail, and the Formlabs products deliver on both fronts.
Within the standard range, there are four different options to choose from. These aren't as varied as engineering resins, but can certainly have a big impact on how a printed object appears. The options include:
- Clear resin: The perfect choice for showing internal structure or capturing light. When polished, this resin becomes almost completely transparent. Buy now
- White resin: This resin is designed to provide a neutral starting point for painting, while still retaining all the detail of a model. Buy now
- Grey resin: With a smooth, matte finish, grey resin is designed for models with a lot of surface detail. It looks especially impressive when photographed. Buy now
- Black resin: Deep, dark and opaque, Formlabs' black resin makes even the smallest of details stand out. Buy now
Engineering resins for 3D printing
Unlike normal resins, engineering resins are specially formulated to replicate the features of certain plastics. By using these instead of the standard options, you'll be able to achieve a high-grade finish that very closely resembles injection-moulded plastic. Within the Formlabs range, you'll find everything you need to take a project from prototype to fully-realised final product.
Once again, there are a few different options to consider:
- Tough resin: Designed to simulate the strength and modularity of ABS plastic, tough resin is ideal for making shatter-resistant prototypes and is more than capable of handling stress and strain. Buy now
- High Temp resin: When things start to get hot, this is the resin that you'll want to have on hand. High Temp resin can withstand temperatures as high as 289° degrees Celsius, making it the best option for moulds or casts that will be used in production processes. Buy now
- Flexible resin: It's not all about strength and resistance. Sometimes you'll want a resin with a bit of give, and that's where Flexible comes in, simulating 80A durometer rubber. Perfect for soft-touch components such as handles, grips and cushioning. Buy now
- Durable resin: Once you're getting to final stages of prototyping and producing, you'll want something that can mimic the properties of polypropylene plastic, which is exactly what Durable resin does. The finish is attractive and glossy, but the material is still more than strong enough to be deformed without causing damage. Buy now
Jewelry Resins for Superb Detail
Formlabs jewlery resins are formulated to capture breathtaking detail, allowing users to design and print custom jewelry cost effectively and efficiently.
- Castable resin: Castable Resin was designed to capture precise details and smooth surfaces. It burns out cleanly without ash or residue, allowing jewelers and casting houses to go straight from digital design to a 3D print suitable for direct investment casting. Buy now
- Standard Grey resin: Standard Grey Resin's matte finish shows details exceptionally well, making it ideal for rapid and cost effective jewelry prototyping. Robust enough for clients and staff to handle without fear, it allows you to create an inexpensive “fitting ring” or “try on” piece to create excitement and deliver peace of mind to your clients before casting. Buy now
Professional materials for digital dentistry. Formlabs dental resins empower you to rapidly manufacture a broad range of dental products, all in-house , from biocompatible surgical guides to orthodontic models, splints, retainers and aligners.
- Dental Model resin: Designed for crown and bridge models with removable dies, Dental Model Resin is a high-precision, high-accuracy resin. Print crisp margins and contacts within ± 35 microns, and removable dies with consistently tight fit. A smooth, matte surface finish and color similar to gypsum make it easy to switch from analog to digital model production. Download our application guide for detailed instructions.
- Dental SG resin: An autoclavable, Class 1 biocompatible resin, Dental SG is designed for printing precise surgical guides and similar devices. Read our white paper to learn how we verified the performance of Dental SG, now trusted by clinicians for thousands of implant surgeries.
- Dental LT Clear Resin: A Class IIa long-term biocompatible resin with high resistance to fracture and wear that is ideal for hard splints, retainers, and other direct-printed long-term orthodontic appliances. This clear material polishes to high optical transparency for beautiful final products. Download our application guide for detailed instructions.
- Standard Grey Resin: Many of our dental clients prefer to print with the standard resins, a cost effective and reliable option. The smooth matte finish of standard Grey Resin shows details exceptionally well. It is ideal for a variety of dental applications, including orthodontic, diagnostic, and educational models, as well as for vacuum-forming aligners or other appliances. When used with a clear separator, Grey Resin can also be used to make retainers. Buy now
Cleaning and Curing
The Form Wash and Form Cure machines will assist you in cleaning up and post curing your prints to give optimal results and ensure you achieve the maximum potential from your chosen material. Learn more about post curing 3D prints.
And there you have it, the basics of Formlabs resins and a quick guide to help you choose yours from the current range. Keep in touch with Redstack for news on new resins as they become available.
Contact Redstack on 1300 667 263 for more information or browse your options and purchase today at store.redstack.com.au