Fixing Common Resin 3D Print Defects for Flawless Prints
After putting in hours of effort on modeling, slicing, and setting up your resin 3D print, it can be frustrating when you open the printer to find defects marring the final print. From rough textures to warped edges, resin print defects can stem from issues in the printing process or errors in print preparation.
In this guide, we’ll explore the most common resin print defects and potential solutions to help you get smooth, detailed 3D printed parts - without defects.
Warping and Detaching from the Build Plate
One of the most common issues with resin 3D printing is prints warping and detaching from the build plate during printing. This causes the print to fail partway through.
Warping is often caused by uneven curing and internal stresses within the print. As each layer is exposed, cured resin shrinks and pulls on the layers above and below. Too much pull results in upward warping.
Here are some tips to prevent warping:
- Optimize orientation to minimize print cross section
- Use enough supports and optimize placement
- Increase bottom layer exposure time
- Maintain an evenly heated print environment
- Level the build plate properly and increase bottom layer count
- Try a raft for better adhesion
- Use an adhesion promoter like glue stick or hairspray
Resin Sticking to Prints
Freshly printed resin models will have excess wet resin on the surfaces that can lead to resin getting stuck in cavities and details of the print. This resin cure and cause print defects.
To prevent excess resin sticking:
- Allow the print to drain thoroughly over the vat before removing
- Gently rinse prints in isopropyl alcohol to clean
- Use an air bulb to blow resin out of channels
- Avoid overexposure which causes excessive curing
- Lubricate and replace FEP film periodically
- Wipe the build plate regularly to prevent build up
Over time, photopolymer resin can start to discolor, especially when exposed to ambient UV light. Old resin and resin contaminated with particles can also cure with discoloration in prints.
To prevent discolored prints:
- Store resin properly and replace when expired
- Use blackout covers when not printing
- Filter cloudy resin before printing
- Ensure leveling is correct and no new particles are introduced
- Avoid temperature fluctuations while printing
Fine Particle Buildup
Dust, microparticles in resin, and failed supports can settle on prints during the printing process. This builds up causing rough texture and reducing detail.
To prevent particle buildup:
- Filter resin before each print
- Clean the resin vat regularly
- Allow prints to settle before removing
- Use appropriate support density and contact depth
- Cover printer when not printing
Large Layer Separation Lines
If layer heights are set too high, ridges will be visible in prints. The transition between layers needs to be gradual to get a smooth finish.
To minimize layer lines:
- Optimize layer height for your specific print
- Sand and polish prints to smooth layers
- Adjust orientation to hide layer lines
- Enable anti-aliasing in the slicer
- Use smaller layer heights for fine detail prints
How to Prevent Resin Print Defects: FAQ
How do I prevent my resin prints from warping?
Increase bottom layer exposure, use enough supports, maintain temperature, level build plate properly, optimize orientation, and try a raft.
Why are my resin prints sticking to the FEP?
The FEP needs proper tensioning and lubrication. Adjust the lift speed, height and force. Replace the film periodically.
What causes discoloration in resin prints?
Resin discolors over time with ambient light exposure. Contamination, expired resin, and uneven curing during printing can also cause discolored prints.
How can I reduce texture and bumps on the print surface?
Filter resin, clean the resin vat regularly, allow prints to settle before removing, optimize support settings, and cover printer to prevent particle buildup.
Why can I see distinct layers in my print?
Layer lines occur when the transition between layers is too abrupt, typically due to large layer heights. Reduce layer height for a smoother finish.
With careful resin handling, optimized print settings, proper print preparation, and controlled printing conditions, you can avoid common defects and produce smooth, professional quality resin 3D prints. Follow these tips to take your resin prints to the next level!