Hello, can anyone advise which might be the least brittle resin or the best resin to print figurines with please?
I will be printing 15cm figurines as prototypes for clients and want to make sure I have chosen the most suitable resin to work with and one that might not smash to pieces if dropped.
I will be doing the whole sanding, priming, painting workflow.
I have only ever printed with the Grey V4 and I find it can be quite brittle. I once dropped a finished figure on a wooden floor causing the arm to snap off and several chips and cracks🙈
Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!
Impact resistance comes at the cost of precision in finer details. Grey (and in general all the Standard resins) will be the most precise for highly detailed models.
Durable will be the most impact resistant (unbreakable even if thrown against a wall) but depending on the level of precision it might not be “nice” enough. Then comes Tough, which in my opinion is a good middle-ground between details and resistance, but for some it’s still not precise enough for small work… For a 15cm figurine though, it might well be enough. Next comes Grey Pro and Rigid… Grey Pro in my opinion is too close to Grey Std to be useful for you, and Rigid is very resistant but still has low impact resistance and might not resolve fine details well enough.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge @JohnHue I was originally thinking of changing to the Grey Pro but the Tough resin does sound like the most suitable option. I’ve just read that it’s similar to ABS which is great. I’ll order a sample of each to compare. Thank you.
None of the rigid resins have ABS like impact resistance but tough is the best bet when you need detailed results.
I also recently received some of the dental grey resin because I’ve heard that it’s more accurate. Haven’t used it yet though.
Consider your level of detail.
Tough and Durable do NOT print at the 25 micron layer thickness.
In addition- they are not opaque, so will require a coat of paint that might further obscure fine detail.
Dental is the most opaque- even more opaque than grey- and will print at fine resolution… but I can not speak to its brittleness.
Durable you will have problems with as it warps readily, and once bent will not spring back entirely…its better suited to more massive or functional parts.
Personally, if fine detail is not needed- I really love Rigid.
It comes out looking like filled polyester castings, but is not as brittle.
It is much heavier than the other resins and so FEELS substantial when handled.
And it has a soft pure white color that is just ever so slightly translucent- again, like a filled polyester resin.
It comes closest to approximating the look and feel of unpainted resin cast figurines.
Hey guys! Overall the advice here has been pretty dead on, I’d second the recommendation for Grey or Grey Pro for this sort of project.
One quick thing I’d like to address is the totally understandable misconception that smaller layer heights mean better detail on small prints. In general, a 100 micron layer height will produce better dimensional accuracy(and therefore detail), even on smaller parts.
The best use-case for 25 microns is if you need a very smooth surface finish, like a perfect sphere print for example.
This is not a hard rule across the board for every material we produce, obviously some resins are specifically designed for other layer heights, but it’s a good rule of thumb to get you started.
Thank you very much for all your advice. I think I’m going to upgrade from the Grey to the Grey Pro. I received a sample of the Tough and Grey Pro and I felt the transparency and colour of the Tough might be a little difficult to work with since I will be sanding and priming a lot to get a totally smooth surface. I usually print with 50 or 25 microns in order to limit the amount of sanding I have to do as I can sometimes loose some small details with excessive sanding. Here’s a photo of one finished figure prototype using the standard Grey at 25 microns. Pretty happy with the result (apart from it being very brittle) Looking forward to testing out the Grey Pro next.
Nice job on the finishing ! Very “production” looking.
With the relatively low level of detail of this part, I would expect Tough to work great and be much less brittle than Grey Pro, but I understand the issue with the resin not being opaque. Good luck
Here’s a print I did of one of my pieces(from Warhammer 40K but I modeled it), here at the office in Grey Pro. It’s pretty great for models like this in my experience.
I’m looking into the same thing, I’ve got some small high detail stuff that I don’t want to break if someone accidentally drops them. The standard grey just shatters very easily. Rigid is a bit stronger but it breaks easily enough as well. I doubt Grey Pro is any different.
I’m looking into using Flexible though, I don’t think it’ll have the issue with breaking, but it might not produce the details as well.
Resistance to drops doesn’t come until you go into the less rigid resins, starting with Durable. A Durable part would be hard to break (impossible, in normal use-case, depending on feature size) but the level of details would be a far cry from what Dkirch has just shared. Tough would be again a good middle ground (even though I know Formlabs doesn’t like to recommend Tough for details pieces, and rightly so ) but would still break most of the time of the parts were to be dropped from a table on hard floor…
It would be interesting to see if a mix between several resins would help, some users have done that with a base of Tough and other added resins with interesting results.
I was wondering the layer height at which you printed this?
I print pretty much everything, including this piece, at 100 microns.
If FL ever came up with a grey type resin that was also as tough as HIPS or ABS, as well as all its current characteristics, they would sell it by the tonne…
0.05 layer thickness, grey standard resin. Pretty pleased with these, but would love to have the material a little bit more robust!
Thing is, less brittleness usually leads to less fine details. I would also love a Tough-like material without the nice but obnoxious colour of Formlabs’ Tough.
I find that the durable resin is really great for durability as advertised, i haven’t tried painting it yet
For the gray and standard material (colors) I have found that slightly under curing them makes them slightly softer and maximizes their durability
Beth, I’d love to hear about what paints and primers you used to achieve that wonderful result. That pizza figurine is an absolute delight.