SLA 3D printers were the first of many additive printing processes that were discovered in 1986 by Chuck Hull. SLA also is known as Stereolithography is a technique that works on the photosensitive resin which hardens when it comes in contact with UV light.
This takes place one layer at a time. After this technology surfaced, many improvisations have taken place giving birth to parallel processes such as DLP. However, SLA 3D printers never ceased to lose its importance among all the new developments.
The fact that these printers are capable of printing highly accurate parts, few of the best SLA 3D printers are even used for modeling functional prototypes for aerospace and automobile industries, not to forget its contribution to the jewelry niche too.
You can cover a lot of industry when using the best resin 3D printer. Although there are few shortcomings of these SLA printers, the efforts always seem to be worthwhile. By creating highly precise models, you can certainly leave every traditional process way behind.
Moreover, the machines are well capable of accelerating the manufacturing regimen with greater satisfaction. And, with time, these printers have become accessible to commercial users as well.
These days, one can expect to purchase an SLA 3D printer for less than $500 as well. However, opting for a bit higher budget 3D printer would let you experience the best quality results. Hence, justifying the indulgence of SLA 3D printers over any other cheap additive manufacturing processes.
Which Are the Best Resin 3D Printers?
As mentioned before, the number of companies offering SLA desktop 3D printer has surged immensely. There are many 3D printers that are available at an affordable rate.
However, are all of these 3D printers worth the money? Sorry to disappoint you all but not every resin 3D printer can get you the optimum results. You must walk through a few of the choices to find the one that suits your work perfectly.
With few best resin 3D printers up your sleeve, you can find yours easily, without getting yourself into clueless directions. These printers ranging at different budgets would assist you in speeding the selection process.
Photon S by Anycubic
The first one on the list is the cheapest of all the SLA 3D printers mentioned here. Photon S comes for $359 and is very reliable. This 3D printer is developed by Chinese manufacturers, Anycubic. The printer uses an LCD screen to photopolymerize the resin while offering a resolution of 2560 x 1440 px.
If you are considerate about the features, do not be fooled by its cheap cost. It does have some of the best to offer to its users. You get to work with a full-color LCD screen and a proprietary software known as Photon Slicer. The printer also includes a carbon filtration system.
The 3D printer is compact and best suited for home use as well as for placing it on the office desks. Providing a build volume of 115 x 65 x 155 mm, the printer can be utilized for a decent number of applications.
Features of Photon S
Let us go through some of the best features of Photon S that make it a few among the best SLA 3D printers. Despite the low cost, the printer flaunts some of the magical technology that lets it print the best quality models.
✔️ Matrix UV Lighting: This is an upgraded UV module technology that helps the printer to achieve high precision with a resolution of 2560*1440. This technology also helps in uniform distribution of energy across the models while being printed using this amazing device.
✔️ Dual Z-Axis: With dual Z-axis configuration, one can create a smoother surface finish. It enhances the stability of the Z-axis and further improving the details of the designs.
✔️ Easy Leveling: You would be amazed to see how easy it is to level the 3D printer. The device uses a creative structure to ease the entire process of leveling and making it easier for users to set up the printer.
You cannot go wrong with Photon S. This cheap 3D printer can be used by professionals as well as home users for learning more about the technology.
The Nobel 1.0 A by XYZprinting
XYZprinting is known for manufacturing the best 3D printers and is very popular among users from various nook and corner. The company started by creating some of the best low-cost FDM printers and have gotten into the resin 3D printer manufacturing right after the demand for desktop SLA printers showed some hike.
Nobel 1.0 A is the resin-based 3D printer that offers a build volume of 128 x 128 x 200 mm. Apart from a decent print volume, the printer includes a resin tank with an intelligent filling mechanism.
To operate the printer, one must load the STL files using the USB cable or the USB key. While printing with this machine, you can enjoy a higher laser strength alongside higher resolution and higher accuracy.
Features of Nobel 1.0 A
The 3D printer which has made many customers happy with its undeniable best results owns few of the amazing features. The printer is capable of a lot of things that not every 3D printers can uncover.
✔️ Automatic filling resin Tank: This is a very revolutionary technology that has been adopted by the company to ensure an uninterrupted print. The resin tank makes sure that the users have an optimum amount of resin before they start every print.
✔️ Monitoring system: The monitoring system is capable of informing users of the actual amount of resin left in the tank.
The price of the 3D printer is around $1099. You can get hold of this printer if you wish to attain high precision.
Though the size of the build volume may be of concern for a few users, the shortcoming can be handled by those able to connect the smaller parts for creating the bigger ones.
It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that the team led by Josef Prusa strives for nothing less than perfection after looking at the 3D printers offered by the company. And, SL1 is no exception to that list.
This open-source machine has a decent size build volume of 120 x 68 x 150 mm. It uses an LCD screen to cure the resin. Each layer takes around 6 seconds to cure.
Definitely, this will depend on the type of resin and the design of the model, however, the company has worked a lot to improve the speed of the device.
The resin tank that it uses has a transparent and flexible FEP film. This is a great inclusion while easing the process of changing the tray. The cost for this printer is around $1600 and is also one of the cheap choices for SLA 3D printers.
Or, call it the cheap MSLA 3D printer as it cures the layer at once. MSLA stands for a masked SLA 3D printer. This is so because the printer uses an LCD screen instead of UV light.
Features of SL1
This 3D printer is equipped with many great features. One can depend on this printer for realizing complex designs without any hassle.
✔️ 5.5″ 2K LCD screen: The machine exhibits an LCD screen that helps cure the resin for achieving an XY axis resolution of 47 microns. This helps in creating detailed prints with high complexity.
✔️ Removable Resin Tank: The resin tank isn’t unusual for an SLA 3D printer. However, there is a difference that the company has tried to create by covering the tank with a flexible transparent FEP film. This makes the removal of parts after printing easy and simple.
Apart from these features, the company also offers great slicing software known as PrusaSlicer. This is accessible and very easy to operate. You can do wonders with your design optimization by using this straightforward tool.
With minimal setup, you get to work with one of the most convincing SLA 3D printers that have been noted for its ultimate quality and precision.
Form 3 – A Formlabs 3D Printer
The company does not need an introduction. Formlabs has been the pioneer for SLA technology and has never left to amaze users with its best 3D printers. After Form 2, the company has come up with two new versions: Form 3 and Form 3L.
Although the features do not change much, the company has tried to bring larger volumes for model printing by releasing these variants in the market.
Talking about Form 3, one can parts measuring a maximum volume of 145 × 145 × 185 mm. The printer offers high accuracy while capable of achieving a minimum layer thickness of 25 microns. If you are looking forward to owning Form 3, you must have around $3,499 budget.
Features of Form 3
There is a lot to talk about when it comes to discussing the features of Form 3. However, let us stick to the best ones that make this machine unique and worth paying for.
✔️ 250mW laser power: Can you imagine what difference a high power laser can bring to the parts created using this machine? You must try this printer to understand the same. Moreover, a spatial filter is introduced in the machine for guaranteeing a clear laser shot.
✔️ LFS Technology: To reduce the printing forces, the machine comes latched with LFS technology.
✔️ High Precision and Accuracy: This is achieved with the help of lenses and mirrors.
✔️ Integrated Sensors Constant Monitoring: The printer is equipped with integrated sensors to enhance the maintenance of ideal conditions throughout the printing process. Hence, offering high performance and stability.
✔️ Optical Sensors: These sensors have been introduced to detect dust and alert users as well as for detecting other problems such as power.
✔️ Easy materials management: The company has included an easy material management cartilage. Switching between different materials is not a problem anymore when working with this device.
Overall, Form 3 is a complete performer and can be used for plenty of applications. Even for specific and detailed prototypes, this machine can bring a huge difference to the quality.
Moai From Peopoly
Now, this one on the list is not a pre-assembled option. The MOAI comes as a DIY kit and must be assembled before starting the 3D printing process. Manufactured by Peopoly which started in 2016 and came up with 3D resin printers seeking help from a Kickstarter campaign, has really surprised everyone.
The printer costs around $1,199 and is also one of the cheap SLA 3D printer choices. The printer seeks hard work and effort from the user’s end.
You may have to go through long hours putting the parts together if you are a novice. However, with lots of support available from the company, you may be able to complete the task early as well.
Features of Moai
This 3D printer can help you achieve an accuracy closer to the industrial-grade printer. You can expect it to work even better than the Form 2 3D printers which are expensive when compared to this option.
The device has been able to beat most of the expensive 3D SLA printers in terms of resolution and precision. So, what all features the 3D printers boasts?
✔️ Complete Laser Control: The 3D printer provides complete freedom to change the laser settings as desired, hence, making it accessible for users to adjust every detail. This is the reason why you can achieve high-quality 3D prints when printing with this SLA 3D printer.
✔️ High Resolution: The machine exhibits a 70-micron laser beam to produce a high resolution.
✔️ Multiple Resin Compatibility: The device can work with a variety of liquid resins. One can work with general as well as specialty resins when working with this 3D printer.
One can use Cura, the free slicer to optimize the models. Being one of the easiest applications for slicing the design, it is easier for beginners to operate this machine with minimum experience.
Uniz’s Slash Pro
Are you ready to pay over $4000? If yes, this could be a great choice for your job. Uniz, a Californian company released Slash Pro packed with many astonishing features. This is an SLA 3D printer designed for professionals. Definitely, for such a price tag, no one would like to create just fun models.
The company has come up with a doubled Z-axis than the predecessor owned. Like many others on the list, the 3D printer uses LCD technology to cure the resin.
With a decent build volume of 192 x 120 x 400 mm, coupled with the unmatched speed of 200 mm per hour, this machine is capable of some great applications.
Uniz provides a wide range of resin to suit the needs of different niches such as dental or jewelry industries. The price is around $4500 with some highly interesting features up its sleeve.
Features of Slash Pro
Users expect a lot from this machine and it has been able to justify itself wisely. With many amazing features to tune the performance of the device, the company has focused on providing easy operational options for users.
✔️ High Speed: Not every SLA machine can be patted for high speed. This is the parameter at which most of the SLA machines fail to perform anywhere close to an FDM counterpart. However, this device is very fast and highly accurate. It maintains a rhythm between its speed and accuracy without compromising precision.
✔️ Improved Z-Axis: To enhance the stability of the machine, Uniz has doubled the Z-axis and the change has certainly helped the machine to bring a huge difference to the performance of the device.
Along with all these features, the company provides great support to the users. You can find help materials on the website of the company and many videos to deal with the printer’s settings.
Phrozen Shuffle XL
If you have worked with Shuffle lite, you would find a great difference when working with another offering from the same company, Shuffle XL.
The company offers a completely assembled device that can be used right after connecting it with the power socket. It uses LCD technology for curing resins and is very precise in doing so.
Features of Shuffle XL
✔️ Great Precision: The printer uses a 5.5” LCD mask coupled with a resolution of 16000 x 2560 (2K). Hence, you can create detailed prints achieving a precision of 75 micrometers.
✔️ Enhanced Stability: not every SLA 3D printer utilizes Z-axis with dual linear rails. This ultra-stable Z-axis can provide the highest level of stability to the designs. Without losing the quality of the prints when working with larger models, one can create wonderful designs with the help of this machine.
✔️ High Speed: The device utilizes parallel light sources for increased print speed. If printing with this device, you would find it faster as compared to other traditional SLA printers that use a single light source.
✔️ Easy to Operate: The printer has a 3.5” touch panel. This can be used for changing the settings of the print as well as for monitoring the progress. One can connect the printer to the computer using the USB slot, as well as with the help of a Wifi connection. It also offers a QR Code connection from a computer.
You can make huge progress in the field of 3D printing when utilizing this device. The fact that it supports almost every resin in the market, gives you the freedom and access to greater options.
Inkspire from Zortrax
You can call it the best resin 3D printer for its high-quality results and faster prints. The printer works on LCD technology and is known for producing high-resolution prints. It is used by hobbyists as well as professionals because of its various benefits and affordability.
As per the company’s claims, this device is capable of providing 8 times faster speed and 9 times more accuracy than the other printers available for a similar price range.
However, the company stays behind in terms of offering a large build volume. And, suffice the platform with 74 x 132 x 175 mm space. One can achieve a minimum resolution of 25 microns.
Features of Inkspire
This 3D printer is among the fastest SLA 3D printers available. You can count on it for providing speed without losing precision. The many unmatched features that come handy with this device, make the 3D printer one of its kind.
✔️ UV LCD Technology: This revolutionary technology used by Inkspire makes it 8 times faster as well as 9 times more accurate when compared with other SLA 3D printers.
✔️ Highly Precise: You get 50 x 50 microns pixel size with the XY axis. Moreover, the z-axis gets you 25 microns minimal layer height. This kind of precision is very helpful in creating detailed models with the best surface quality.
✔️ WIFI Connection: The printer provides the WIFI connectivity for remote access of the printer alongside the support for a USB port.
✔️ Constant Speed: Maintaining a constant high speed is one of the few challenges that most of the DLP or SLA printers face. However, this is not the case with Inkspire. With a constant speed of operation, it appears to be the most scalable solution for companies engaged in small scale manufacturing.
The 3D printer is sleek and can be used for many applications. Though the small print space is one disappointing feature, users still prefer the device for its many exemplary features.
XFAB 2000 from DWS
DWS Systems is one of the most specialized SLA manufacturing companies from Italy. The company has manufactured many variants of SLA 3D printers and this one is released for the creation of jewelry.
Providing a build area of 180 × 180 × 180 mm, the company clears its stance of giving the jewelry industry a decent space for experimenting with their designs.
It also features its patented BluEdge laser. The printer consists of a 180mm diameter cylindrical printing tray providing 10 to 100 microns of layer thickness for high precision.
Its capability to print with a range of 12 materials makes this choice a highly popular one. When working with this printer, you would be amazed to see the results that are only possible with industrial-grade printers.
Its high-end DWS SLA technology competes for the neck to neck with most of the expensive printers in the market. Plus, increasing its accessibility by offering the printer at an affordable rate.
Moreover, the TTT (Tank Translation Technology) that the printer utilizes helps to maintain the health of the tank. It distributes wear evenly while avoiding any localized laser damage. Hence, you get to enjoy a very smooth experience when using XFAB 2000, though not for home users.
Features of XFAB 2000
Features of XFAB 2000 are many. And, few of those are listed below to help you understand the unique qualities of this 3D printer.
✔️ DWS’s Patented SLA Technology: By inducing the company’s patented laser SLA technology, the device lets users print using around 12 materials. Either you wish to print with acrylate resin or ABS or polypropylene rigid rubber for castable wax or even ceramics. You would have no trouble doing so.
✔️ High Resolution: The printer exhibits BlueEdge® BE-1300X laser which is capable of producing print layers of up to 10 microns. This helps in creating high-resolution parts. This also ensures accuracy and can be used for applications that require high precision.
✔️ Auto Calibration: This device is a plug and plays machine which is easy to operate and does not require calibration. Providing beginners with ease and simplicity of operating an SLA 3D printer.
✔️ Smart Heating System: The 3D printer features an automatic heating system. This ensures the temperature is evenly maintained for the resin and various materials used inside the 3D printer.
Apart from all these features, the 3D printer provides an easy design for changing or refilling different resins. The cartridges are provided which are easy to remove and install. While doing so, you do not have to worry about spilling, hence avoid wastage of resins.
3D Systems FabPro
One more SLA 3D printer for the list is FabPro 1000 by 3D Systems. You can expect this device to create prints in hours instead of making users wait for days.
The printer is equipped with high-end technology for enhancing the quality of the parts. The company claims to provide three-times-faster throughput print speeds as compared to its competitors.
This is because of the advanced technology that they use which utilizes a projector to image each layer. This not only makes the job easier but accurate as well. One can print multiple smaller parts using the same machine.
You can enjoy a decent build size of 125 x 70 x 120 mm while working with FabPro. This printer is amazing in terms of precision and quality. Being a resin-based printer, you can certainly imagine the difference this printer is capable of creating.
However, this option takes the challenge to the next level. It gives you the ease of operation together with the awesome performance.
The company recommends getting the UV curing unit for completing the newly developed parts. The company does provide an option for its users, however, it does not limit its offering.
Features of FabPro
Here are some of the features that make this 3D printer unique. The advanced technologies and involvement of experts in the making of this machine have really paid off.
✔️ Efficient and Affordable with Repeatable Runtime: The printer is engineered to provide maximum material efficiency alongside its consistency. Moreover, the ability to run repeatably helps in increasing the speed of production.
✔️ 3D Software: The company offers its own print management software that allows for complete material usage optimization, helping to save resin by providing the best possible support structures and details of the prints.
✔️ Simple to Operate: The company aims at providing simplicity of operation. Hence, the product is designed in the same way to ensure that the beginners, as well as experts, are benefited equally. The 3D printer is durable and highly reliable.
You will find it works like a pro from start to end. Either it’s the setup or material filling or even the post-processing stage, all are well structured and takes lesser time as compared to many other SLA 3D printers.
The company also produces resins for the printers. You can get almost every type of material from the company.
Either you are looking for tough engineering plastics or the flexible castable resins, the company will never fall short of the options you would ever desire. Although the company allows you to use third-party materials, however, recommends its own resin for high-end results.
All these features combined together provide easy access to an affordable SLA 3D printer.
3D printers and its applications are surging. With an industrial 3D scanner, one can design parts easily and can use that file for printing it using 3D printers.
This means that the technology is focused on getting easier access to unlimited parts and models using 3D printers. And, the race is not going to end any sooner. Companies are exploring the various 3D printers and are trying to find the ones that may provide them with the best results.
The various options available make it difficult sometimes to decide what to buy. However, one of the good news is that technology is reaching the masses.
From prototyping to the manufacturing of products, additive manufacturing technology has evolved exponentially. The plethora of benefits provided by these small devices cannot be sufficed by words.
This is because the awareness about the possibilities of 3D printing is no more limited to industrial use. The drop in the price of SLA 3D printers that were once available to a few giant competitions has led the fire to reach even smaller players in the market.
One can certainly buy the best resin 3D printer without investing life long savings. Isn’t that exciting? It is and a lot of companies, even home users are investing in desktop SLA printers. And, the momentum is only going to rise.