Resin 3D printers are great. They produce extremely accurate prints, offer a wide variety of materials and are relatively fast. These precision machines used to cost thousands of dollars, but in 2018, desktop resin 3D printers have become ridiculously cheap.
See Also: Best 3D Printers of Winter 2018
If you want to look further through the list of resin 3D printers, please choose your budget to get to the right price range.
Otherwise, keep scrolling to the list of the best desktop resin 3D printers to find a printer for your needs. They are ordered by price.
Although SLA and DLP technology are extremely similar in principle, there are slight differences that separate the two.
SLA 3D printing utilizes two motors known as galvanometers. These motors, placed on the X and Y axis, work together to rapidly angle a pair of mirrors to aim a laser beam across the print area, solidifying resin into a 3D model. The layers of the model are broken down into a series of points and lines, which the galvos use to direct the laser beam.
On the other hand, DLP technology uses a digital projector screen to flash a single image of each layer across the entire platform at once. Each layer of the 3D model is displayed as square pixels, meaning that the print is comprised of voxels.
As for LCD 3D printing, the process is nearly identical to DLP in that it utilizes projected light to solidify resin layer-by-layer until a 3D model is built. The main difference is that LCD 3D printers use a bank of UV LEDs to project light through a mask of the layer on an LCD panel, whereas DLP 3D printers utilize an array of micro-mirrors (each mirror corresponding to a pixel) to either project light, or not, thus creating a mask.
A number of companies are attempting to rebrand LCD-based resin printing, with one notable example being Structo and its Mask SLA (MSLA) – a term also adopted by Prusa for the upcoming SL1.
If you’re interested in experimenting with resin 3D printing, or just a maker on a budget, there are plenty of affordable options on the market. Here are the best LCD/DLP/SLA 3D printers under $500.
The Sparkmaker introduced itself to the 3D printing community via a successful Kickstarter campaign, and thankfully the company behind this compact resin printing machine delivered to backers. This printer has managed to beat out other budget resin 3D printers like the Anycubic Photon as far as price goes, and can even be found online for as low as $250.
Considering that the cheapest resin 3D printer in its respective market, the Sparkmaker does lack certain features that other machines offer. For instance, it has a small build volume of 98 x 55 x 125mm and no touchscreen, opting instead to use a simple button that starts and stops the machine.
The Micromake L2 is unique among the printers on this list for it offering a built-in UV curing light module. Indeed, besides blocking UV light from getting in, the tall removable case of the Micromake L2 also emits it’s own print-curing UV light, taking some of the effort out of post-processing prints.
Additionally, the hood has a sealing ring that effectively keeps the nauseating and hazardous odor of resin from escaping from the printer.
Outside of the special built-in UV curing chamber, the Micromake L2 provides a build volume of 108 x 65 x 200mm, XY resolution of 57 microns and an exposure time of 2 to 15 seconds. This printer also has Wifi connectivity and a 4.3-inch high-definition touchscreen. Priced around the $500 mark, this DLP 3D printer offers some great features for a surprisingly low price.
There is also the possibility to give the resolution a bump with a 2K LCD upgrade, instead of the standard 1920×1080 panel.
Priced at just under $500, it’s no surprise that the Anycubic Photon has become one of the hottest tickets to getting into resin-based 3D printing. This affordable LCD-based 3D printer offers an impressive 2k resolution, and also comes pre-assembled.
However, the 115 x 65 x 155mm build volume is a bit small for some people, so if size is of grave importance, you may want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, the AnyCubic Photon 3D printer is an appealing option for makers on a budget who want to venture beyond the world of FDM 3D printing.
Anycubic Photon 3D Printer Review: 2018 Anycubic Photon Review – Best Budget Resin 3D Printer
Similar in form to the Micromake L2 but lacking many of the quality of life features, the Wanhao D7 could be considered a comparatively basic resin 3D printer. But what it lacks in features, it makes up for in community and manufacturer support.
The most recent incarnation of the Wanhao D7 is version 1.5, which features a redesigned Z-axis structure, improving stability and addressing issues with Z-wobble translating to prints. Unfortunate for those that invested early, but good news for those tempted by the D7’s large and inventive community for inspiration for further tinkering with their machine.
A Wanhao D7 Plus is also available, which boosts user-friendliness with a color touchscreen interface. As with many of the printers it offers, Monoprice rebadges the Wanhao D7 and D7 Plus as its Monoprice Mini SLA and Monoprice Mini Deluxe SLA 3D printers.
Widely recognized for bringing incredibly affordable desktop FDM 3D printers onto the market, Monoprice is also getting its feet sticky with cheap resin 3D printing as well.
A rebadging of Wanhao’s D7 Plus, the Monoprice MP Mini Deluxe SLA is capable of printing at a layer height of up to 20 microns. It can also print with negative gaps as small as 30 microns. You also get a relatively speedy printer that can print up to 30mm/hour vertically.
Monoprice claims that this desktop resin machine is compatible with a wide variety of UV resins, making it ideal for beginners looking to prototype for applications in the medical and dental field, as well as jewelry.
The Flyingbear Shine is an affordable DLP 3D printer with a generous 120 x 68 x 210mm print area, a full-color touchscreen, and fine layer resolution. This machine is equipped with a 2K LCD that offers a resolution of 2550 x 1440.
The Shine includes CNC machined aluminum parts and, looking to the mechanics, a ball screw driven Z-axis, which should give stable movement in the Z-axis. Other features include WiFi connectivity, an easily removable resin vat, two cooling fans and a dustproof net to protect the printer’s electronics.
For the price and features present, the Flyingbear Shine poses a compelling alternative to the likes of the Anycubic Photon.
Coming out of California, the Peopoly Moai is the cheapest laser SLA 3D printer in this list. In part that’s thanks to the fact that it comes as a kit that the user must assemble (a process that’s not very complicated).
SLA 3D Printer Review: 2018 Peopoly Moai Review – Best Value Resin 3D Printer
We’re fans of the Peopoly Moai’s simple, monolithic aesthetic — a nod to the Easter Island Heads its name evokes, perhaps — and appreciate the ability to pop the side of with little to no fuss to get at the internals for repairs, part swapping, and general curiosity’s sake.
Built to be experimented with, the easily configurable laser settings means the Peopoly Moai finds use in research applications but is just as at home cranking out detailed models, minifigs, jewelry and sundry other printables.
A notable upgrade to the previously released Phrozen Make, the Phrozen Shuffle is a new resin 3D printer that offers stunning print quality for a comparatively low price. Available in two variants that are identical in virtually every way, with the exception of print volume pixel size. Here, we’re focussing on the Phrozen Shuffle XL – the larger of the two, which features a tantalizingly large print volume of 190 x 120 x 200 mm.
Operable offline via USB memory sticks, and online when physically connected to your local network via Ethernet cable, the Phrozen Shuffle XL is capable of slicing models itself thanks to the inbuild Raspberry Pi running NanoDLP.
In our review, we found the Shuffle to be a premium-feeling and sturdy machine, albeit suffering from a stuffy workflow that takes some getting used to. Cross that barrier, and it’s a solid resin printing machine.
Go for the XL if you must have one and can stretch the budget — the large print volume rocks. The smaller, ‘standard’ Phrozen Shuffle has a print volume of 120 x 68 x 200 mm and retails for $799, with the only other difference being a finer pixel size of 47 microns, to the XL’s 85.
Polish 3D printer manufacturer Zortrax’s first crack at the resin printing puzzle, the Zortrax Inkspire appears a robust entry to the company’s array of professional machines. Filling the familiar form factor of an LCD-based resin printer, the Inskpire boasts of a large and elegant UI in its 4-inch color touchscreen, a 50 x 50 micron pixel size with 25 micron minimum layer height, up to 36mm per hour build speed, and 74 x 132 x 175mm build volume.
Operable with all resins designed to cure under 405 nm wavelength UV light, the Inkspire should serve as a versatile tool in any 3D printing arsenal. And perhaps best of all, it folds into Zortrax’s existing workflow using the company’s Z-Suite slicing software, so users of the company’s M200, M300 and Inventure printers will feel right at home.
Another great resin 3D printer option for jewelers, dentists, and designers is the Photocentric LC Precision 1.5. Priced at $2,175, it features an auto-leveling print plate, a disposable vat system, a decent build volume of 121 x 68 x 160mm and XY resolution of 47 microns, achieved via a 5.5-inch 2560×1440 display.
Besides the huge 7-inch color touchscreen interface on the front of the machine, and the possibility of offline operation – slicing and preparing prints directly on the machine – that Photocentric LC Precision stands apart for the comprehensive Photocentric Studio software that comes bundled with it.
Geared towards prosumers and small business, the Photocentric LC Precision 1.5 combines affordability and quality into one grand resin 3D printer.
While there are many budget options on the market, prosumers and small businesses looking to integrate resin 3D printing into their product development process will want to look at higher quality machines. The following LCD/DLP/SLA 3D printers are more ideal for professional use.
Colido may lack the same brand name appeal as FormLabs or 3D Systems, but the DLP 2.0 offers all the standard features you would expect from any DLP 3D printer. For an affordable price, you get a comfortable build volume, decent resolution, and sleek design.
The Hong-Kong-based company also provides their own line of resin, which is included with the machine.
Where to buy this DLP 3D Printer: Colido’s DLP 2.0
According to Nyomo, the Minny is the “smallest professional 3D printer in the world.” With an exceptionally high resolution, the Hong Kong company specifically designed this DLP 3D printer for dentistry, audiology, and jewelry.
Technical specifications aside, this miniature machine is also easy to use. An LCD touchscreen interface complements a sleek design and WiFi connectivity.
You’ll never go wanting for materials with this DLP 3D printer. The list of resin types includes standard (translucent orange, white, blue, gray), castable, and dental (stone and castable).
Request a quote for this DLP 3D printer from Nyomo.
FlashForge is known as one of the leaders in affordable desktop 3D printers and scanners, and that’s true as well in the DLP 3D printer market.
The Flashforge Hunter features a long-lasting proprietary DLP projector, providing uniform UV exposure throughout its generous build space. It also comes equipped with a durable aluminum resin vat, guaranteed to require fewer replacements.
Compatible with both Flashforge-made (including specialized dental, tough and castable) and third-party resins and operated using a slicer that offers numerous distortion correction modes to improve print quality, the Flashforge Hunter is a versatile machine.
The Formlabs Form 2 is the breadwinner of the SLA 3D printer market, far and away the most popular of the bunch. This SLA printer deserves its reputation, and not just for being the successor to a 3 million dollar Kickstarter success.
SLA 3D Printer Review: Formlabs Form 2 Review – Best Resin 3D Printer of Winter 2018
Ease of use is the key factor, coming in three main flavors. First and foremost is the automated resin system. By accepting cartridges, the Form 2 automatically fills the vat and adjusts settings based on the type of resin.
Next, the Form 2 SLA 3D printer has a user-friendly touchscreen and WiFi connectivity, which makes it easy to deliver instructions and monitor operation. Finally, there is a large assortment of resins available, including standard (clear and white), castable, flexible, dental, and tough. Formlabs brings new engineering SLA resins to the market at least twice a year.
Back in 2015, SprintRay was a huge crowdfunding success story with the MoonRay DLP 3D printer. Since then, the Los Angeles company has split the MoonRay into two distinct models, the MoonRay D and the MoonRay S.
Both machines are pitched at dental professionals with the promise of ushering in a “new era of digital dentistry”. And who are we to argue.
The MoonRay S has a build volume of 130 x 81 x 200 mm, with a 100-micron minimum feature size. That, and a slick black color scheme.
SprintRay uses its patented RayOne DLP projector in the MoonRay printers, which was built from the ground up for 3D printing applications. The MoonRay S comes bundled with long-lasting resin tanks, the user-friendly RayWare software, resin, and a handy print post-processing kit.
Professionals in need of better resolution can turn to the MoonRay D, which sacrifices some build volume for a higher minimum feature resolution of 75-microns.
From San Diego, USA, Uniz brings you the “world’s fastest desktop 3D printer”. Whether or not that’s true, it certainly is an easy-to-use LCD 3D printer that delivers.
Compared to the other printers in this list, the Slash+ offers a large build volume, and that for a decent price. Add to that a convenient cartridge system to easily swap printing material and a steel reinforced column to reduce deformation and enhance precision.
Uniz sells a list of resins with unique names, including ZABS (general purpose), ZPMMA (translucent), ZWax (castable), and ZFPU (flexible).
Like several others on this list, California-based Kudo3D is a startup company with a crowdfunding approach. Their first DLP 3D printer, the Titan 1, raised nearly $700,000 from backers.
The Titan 2 claims to offer better resolution and speed compared to most of its laser-based rivals, as well as advanced connectivity and workflow processes.
The secret to better detail and speed is called Passive Self-Peeling (PSP). It minimizes the separation force between the cured layers and the vat of resin, speeding up the 3D printing process.
A higher resolution variant is available in the Titan 2 HR, which trades off build volume for higher detail prints.
This professional desktop SLA 3D printer comes out of Shenzhen, China. Although its target applications are dentistry and jewelry, its ample build space and moderate price tag make it a good general purpose option, as well.
For a laser SLA 3D printer, the S130 boasts an impressively fine resolution. Combine that with a user-friendly touch screen and intuitive software for a well well-rounded machine packaged in a neat looking frame.
With its projector at its heart on full display, the B9Creator is arguably the most distinctive looking DLP 3D printer in the list.
Thanks to its high accuracy and a wide range of materials, this DLP 3D printer is ideal for both jewelry makers and researchers.
B9Creations provides castable (emerald, yellow, cherry) and prototyping (black and red) material. The latter is designed to be accurate, strong, and temperature resistant. Users can also use third-party resins.
A replacement for the now-defunct ProJet 1200, the 3D Systems FabPro 1000 continues to serve its predecessor’s niche of engineering and artistic specialists in need of fast, high-detail prints and the ability to batch produce parts.
Touted as faster than competing entry-level SLA systems, as a DLP 3D printer the FabPro 1000 is faster by the very nature of how it prints, projecting the entire layer at a time for curing, rather than tracing it with a laser.
The included post-processing station, user-friendly 3D Sprint print preparation software and desktop form factor of the FabPro 1000 make it one of 3D System’s more accessible machines.
Launched early 2018, the FabPro 1000 uses a selection of three 3D Systems resins: FabPro Tough BLK, FabPro Proto GRY, and FabPro JewelCast GRN.
The Aria DLP 3D Printer:
You get what you pay for with the Aria. The lofty price tag attached to this DLP 3D printer reflects its user features. Those include a touchscreen interface and networking capabilities through both Ethernet and USB.
EnvisionTec, headquartered in Detroit, offer three resin types for their DLP 3D printer: prototyping, castable (light and heavy), and heat-resistant.
Where to buy this DLP 3D Printer: EnvisionTec
Asiga, based out of Sydney, Australia, has been designing and manufacturing 3D printers since 2011. Their product catalog offers a number of machines, and even the Pico 2 has several different versions, depending on the desired resolution and build space.
Targeted towards dental, audiology, and jewelry professionals, the Pico 2 boasts an extraordinary 1 micron resolution in the Z-axis. Making this a reality is Asiga’s patented Slide-And-Separate (SAS) technology.
Other notable features of this SLA 3D printer include fast Single-Point calibration and the Squeeze Build Tray, which permits fast material swapping.
A wide variety of materials are available for the Pico 2, specialized for dental, audiology, jewelry, manufacturing, and biocompatibility.
The Xfab is unique in this list as the only SLA 3D printer with a cylindrical build space. Don’t let that scare you away, though. Italian company Digital Wax Systems has a long-running history of professional grade 3D printers.
Although this SLA 3D printer has a relatively high cost and wide laser, it does have a system for quick material change and a large selection of resins. Material types include transparent, castable, rubber-like, and nano-ceramic materials.
With the largest build space of the printers on this list, the Antares is a mammoth.
Not much else can be said about this SLA 3D printer, as it’s a relatively new product. On the other hand, Italian company Sharebot have a reputation for high-quality 3D printing solutions.
Apart from its generous build space, this device’s other notable feature is a that it can be operated remotely through a network.
Two resins are currently available for this printer: a black all-purpose material and a stronger, more rigid gray.
Touting Carbon’s proprietary continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) method, the Carbon M2 is capable of printing resin into functional objects at speeds unmatched in the industry. Whereas other systems must pause for each layer change to allow the resin to spread and settle during printing, CLIP allows for the continuous draw of the object as it prints. The print speed is not published anywhere, but to put it into perspective you can see the object emerge from the resin in real time.
Carbon offers the M2 as part of a subscription package that best lets the company serve its customer’s needs, with the M2 printer but one part of the SpeedCell automated production line. Adidas already uses Carbon’s M2 printer commercially, producing midsoles for limited edition runs of its FutureCraft sneakers.
A generously large build volume and easy to use software mark the M2 out as the most futuristic of resin printers to crown this list.
License: The text of "25 Best Resin (LCD/DLP/SLA) 3D Printers of Winter 2018" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Subscribe to updates from All3DP
You are subscribed to updates from All3DP
You can’t subscribe to updates from All3DP. Learn more…