Tough 3D printing resins
- While FDM technology of 3D printing can use traditional industrial plastics like ABS and Polycarbonate, resin 3D printers require special photopolymer resins that harden (cure) under UV light. Most 3D printing resins are either epoxy-based or acrylate-based, the latter used more often in desktop printers.
- Many thinks of resin 3D printed parts as fragile and most suitable for ornamental and prototyping applications rather than functional and load-bearing components. But this is only true if the resin isn’t properly selected. That being said, if you’re buying a generic resin for a tough job, it won’t give you the strength that you’re looking for.
- Examples of super-strong resin can be found in a wide variety of industries. There are castable resins for making jewelry and 3D printing in dentistry to produce mouthguards, crowns, and surgical guides. High-temperature resins are also suitable for industrial applications and even resins that can produce rubber-like parts.
Tensile strength of Standard vs Tough resins
Tensile strength is the maximum stress a certain material can withstand while being stretched before breaking.
From the graph above, it’s clear how much stronger the tough resins are compared to the standard.
Note: Just because the resin is tough, it doesn’t mean that prints made from these resins will be twice as strong as those printed with a standard resin. Other factors like model design and print settings play important roles in the final print’s strength, which we’ll discuss in more detail later.
Tough resins vs FDM materials