Resin printers are becoming cheaper and more accessible all the time, and the best 3D printers like the Anycubic Photon and the Elegoo MARS are driving the cost of resin printing down like never before. However, resin printing is a lot more complicated than FDM printing, so there's a lot of different accessories you might need. Some of them will be to make your life easier, some will be to make you safer, and all of them are helpful for you to start your journey. Here are 18 of the best accessories for your resin printer.
Made for cleaning
Pickle container/model bath
Thanks to the fantastic 3D printing community, we have this gem. This little pickle container has a strainer that is perfect for cleaning your models. Just fill-up the container with isopropyl alcohol and put your model in the strainer. You can then use the strainer to lift it out of the bath when it's ready.
It might seem strange to have something like gloves as one of the leading picks but, trust me, you don't want to get resin on your skin. Nitrile gloves are the most critical thing on this list, and having a good supply will save you from some severe chemical burns. Resin printing is a lot of fun and rewarding, but I had a nasty reaction just from some splashing on me. Be safe. These gloves aren't disposable but can be cleaned with IPA to make them safe.
Slap Mat by Wham Bam
Having a silicone mat under your resin 3D printer will keep your work surface tidy and clean from spills. Because silicone is completely non-reactive, you can cure the resin directly to the mat and crack it off when it is safe. The Slap Mat is thick and well made so it's well worth the money.
BuildTak 3D print removal tool
Essentially, this is just a pallet knife or paint scraper, but it's essential to remove the print from the build plate to your resin bath without damaging it. I like to use this extra-wide knife, which allows me to get the most purchase on the model without stressing it.
$19 at Amazon $20 at Matterhackers
DDSKY 2-pack strong suction cup handles
Most resin printers come with lift-off acrylic covers that can get dirty when you have your nitrile gloves on. This two-pack of suction cup handles helps make lifting the lids off easy. I use both; one that's clean for when I don't have resin on my hands, and one that's dirty for when I do. This reduces the chances of me getting resin on my hands accidentally.
Absorbent for spills
Amazon Pantry paper towel
I have yet to find a better cleaning material than a paper towel for cleaning up resin, and you'll need a good supply since resin is messy and stains if you don't clean it quickly. Paper towels you find in drug stores aren't as absorbent, and the resin doesn't mop up well.
For cleaning not drinking
Isopropyl alcohol grade 99% anhydrous
Cleaning resin can be messy. After you've printed the model and before it is fully cured, you need to wash it in a bath of isopropyl alcohol. This removes any excess resin so your model can look its very best. You will use quite a lot, so keep it handy and keep it safe.
When things go wrong
Plastic putty knife
Not every print is a winner. Sometimes your print doesn't stay on the print bed, and you need to remove it from your FEP sheet in the vat. Using a metal scraper will ruin the FEP almost straight away, so use a plastic scraper instead.
Not for your teeth!
Soft bristle toothbrush
When you have detailed prints, you need to get rid of the excess resin from all the lines. Using these soft-bristled toothbrushes works excellent, but you need to be as gentle as possible. If you scrub at them too hard, you could damage the print.
Strain away the bad
100 Micron paint strainers
You will often have to change resins when 3D printing, and it's essential not to get any cured resin mixed in. These nylon filters are perfect for filtering resin, and the included funnel is a godsend.
Anycubic Wash and Cure V2
The Wash and Cure Box from Anycubic is cheap and, frankly, amazing for finishing off the resin printing process, and you would be doing yourself a disservice by not owning one. It washes and cures your prints all in one handy machine.
All 3D printing parts break at some point. Be prepared for the worst, and keep a spare FEP film handy. This isn't the cheapest option out there, but it's good quality and will last a long while in most DLP printers.
UV curing light
The last step in finishing a resin print is curing, done in bright sunlight or using a UV lamp. This lamp is powerful and can make a cool UV curing station with a little elbow grease.
$24 at Amazon $45 at Matterhackers
Don't go blind
Just last week, I didn't wear my goggles. Some resin mixed with alcohol splashed onto my eyelid. I had a red chemical burn there for four days. This stuff is no joke, people. Wear all the protection you can.
Dual cartridge respirator
This may look like overkill, but resin gives off noxious fumes. If you don't have a great ventilation system, then a respirator is essential. If you're planning on spray-painting your prints, you'll want one of these anyway.
An alternative to the pickle jar, this ultrasonic jewelry cleaner is perfect for automatically cleaning your prints. All you need to do is put your print in, add Isopropyl alcohol, then set the timer for 3-5 minutes and walk away. The cleaner will do the rest. This one even has a handy basket for easy removal.
Typically, these little turntables are for displaying pretty things. Happily, they also work for curing prints. If you put the print on the turntable then use a UV light, the model will rotate, making sure it cures evenly on all sides.
Give it a wash
An alternative to the standard IPA that many people use for cleaning parts, Denatured alcohol works a little better in our tests while also being less of an irritant to your eyes and nose. You will still want to make sure that your work area is well ventilated and that your state allows the use. California banned the sale of denatured alcohol as fuel, but it's unclear if it can still be used to clean 3D-printed parts.
While resin printing isn't carcinogenic, it can be smelly, and the fumes can irritate your eyes and nose. Always use resin 3D printers in a well-ventilated room, but having an air purifier certainly doesn't hurt. It will clear any significant irritants out of the air. It works on any mold or smoke from your workshop as well.
These things are important
I know I sound like a broken record telling you to be careful, but that's because it's essential. I love this hobby, and I want you to enjoy it too. To do that, though, we have to be careful and respect the tools. You shouldn't have to worry about chemical burns.
The nitrile gloves are an absolute must if you want to handle resin in its liquid form or just after it has been printed. From personal experience, you want to be wearing safety glasses as well.
On a lighter note, the 3D printing community found this little pickle strainer for cleaning and sold them out in a single day! When we find something to make our lives easier, we jump on it, and we bought so many of them that when you add a resin printer to your Amazon cart, it suggests you buy this as well. Brilliant.