Resin prices

This is just a gripe post to be honest. I’ve been trying to find a good stockist of SLA resin here in the UK. Formlabs want a total of £134.13 for a litre of resin delivered to the UK from the European store. That is equal to 182 Euro or $204. If I lived in Washington (a state I had a Zip code handy for) it would have been $162 delivered from the US store. This really pees me off. Why am I paying $42 more to have a litre of resin sent to me from the European store? Is it being sent from the US to them first? I think it’s probably to do with Customs tax and the European Union, but why have a European store if we still have to pay the high tax, can’t it be manufactured in the EU?

Having researched prices and suppliers, and after being supplied with some MadeSolid resin with my printer that worked more reliably than the clear Formlabs resin I also got, it’s a sad fact that for the moment, I can’t afford to buy Form1 resin for my Form1 machine. I would if I could, but I’m not in a position to spend this much before I am ready to go commercial and before I can get the Formlabs resin to print as reliably as other makes. This makes me pretty sad, I’ve got a fabulous machine but can’t afford to run it how it’s supposed to be run.

I ended up buying two 500ml bottles of Makerjuice (1 black, 1 green) from a European company called, it cost me half the price of a litre of Formlabs resin. Ideally I need grey resin, but for half the price I’ll settle for another colour.

Sorry, needed a rant, would appreciate hearing other people’s opinions on this as I have a feeling I’m doing it wrong.


It’s good that you share this information, because it seems they might have made an error in the store… I live in The Netherlands and have to pay €162,- for a liter of resin. This is equivalent to roughly 120GBP and $182. This includes the tax, but excludes shipment.

excluding the tax the prices would be:

Therefore it seems prices seem to differ for “mainland” European countries as well. I don’t know how this difference can be up to $20,-


i’m based in the UK as well and was considering purchasing a formlab printer but having read your post on resin prices
i’m in two minds. in your honest opinion,do the pros of this machine outweigh the cons?

Hi @Eddie_Cook, not to hijack the original purpose of this thread; it all depens on what you’re going to use the printer for. If detail and quality is one of your bigger concerns, you should definitely consider the Form1+. Though you cannot be as competitive with other 3d printers (because of operating costs which are higher than the more common PLA/ABS machines, people that know the difference will choose a resin machine if they are looking for the quality and they know this is connected to a higher price. If you want to target the more general market then perhaps this isn’t the machine for you.

Resin is expensive (especially since Formlabs has a monopoly on these resins (if you don’t make makerjuice/B9 resins and such), Furthermore, the original purchase costs compared to plastic printers is a lot higher. The buildvolume is less than most printers. For me, though i’m having some issues with the printer right now, quality and detail is still a pro which outweigh the cons (price/costs/niche market compared to general market/colors etc.)

As of resin price. Yes it is expensive, however, if you calculate your operational costs correctly (without calculating your hourly fee, the costs per cm2 or ml isn’t much more expensive than regular ABS/PLA. The problem with the general market is that you’re not (in most cases) able to ask the same profitmargin as plastic printers, because then you’d be more expensive. People who are unfamiliar with the 3D world would just choose the cheapest one.

To get back on topic. I am able to live with the purchase price of the resin because:

  1. I don’t really have a lot of choice.
  2. I target the market who is looking for the specific aspects the Form1+ is offering and do not care about the general “key-chain-market” as i’d like to call it :wink:

Hi Alex
very interesting. i would be using this machine to print jewellery pieces so detail and quality is very important to me. I shall do more research

thanks again!

I believe that this is a great contender when it comes to jewelry. Especially with the new casting resin (haven’t tried it myself yet). I actually did a quick jewelry job a few days ago, which I’d never tried before. The customer was very happy with the results, which were far better than the results she got from PLA/ABS.

One more thing with considering the Form1+. Though it is sort of plug-n-play, getting proper prints out of it the first (few) time(s) will be a challenge. Thoroughly read through this forum regarding orientation/supports/layer height choices/hinge vs tilt side etc…

It’ll definitely help you on your way and keep your spirits up rather than having to deal with fail after fail :wink:

Search for ‘Formlabs’ on eBay, all the resins are available for £80 + £4 postage

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@Alex_Vermeer - All the prices I quoted were inclusive of shipping fees and taxes, so they might be the same as the figures you got.
The resin price per cm3 is not the only consumable with the Form1 though, the trays only last 1-2 litres of resin (in theory), and the laser only has a finite life, so every print is costing resin, tray life and laser life. These all add up so any saving has to be investigated.

@Eddie_Cook - it depends on what you want. I need a printer that will give me models with the highest resolution and smoothest finish possible, I believe the Formlabs printers do this (for less than five figures, anyway). I would say the same for you too, given the posts I’ve seen concerning jewellery. The Formlabs castable resin is also a huge bonus of these printers and I’m hoping to look into them with a view to having small bronzes cast of my own models.

@Julian_chatt - Thank you, I did have a quick look (got a lovely brand new orange resin tray for £40 from there which I’m pretty happy with) but I couldn’t tell from the photos and listings whether the resin was version 1 or 2. I will likely inquire though, after the fun I’ve had with this version 1 clear resin I am keen to try the version 2. That does represent a huge saving so it’s worth an ask!

I’m not being horribly cheap here, I will pay for resin that I am happy with, I think my own experiences, being limited to version 1 clear and MadeSolid white have put me off the Formlabs resins. I really need to get some grey or black version 2 and give that a go.

Any suggestions on whether grey or black are better in terms of reliability, long-term use (ie pigments settling, is one easier to remix than the other) and finish? I am certainly getting good value for money from these forums - I’d be lost without all I’ve learnt from here - thanks everyone! :blush:

You are right @Kelly_Sealey, resin price per cm3 is indeed not the only consumable. As you said you have the resin tank, build platform, laser, electricity, PC etc etc… However, these costs (per cm3) are managable.

A resin tank will cost you 8ct per cm3 (based on 1L per tank)… that’s 4cts if you are able to squeeze out 2L per tank.
The build platform will last at least 10L of resin, if handled properly. Maybe even more. So that’s only 1ct per cm3.
Resin itself is 13ct per cm3 (might be the old purchase price of resin. I’d have to recalculate that).
I’ve done some research with similar lasers and these lasers have up-time hours of 9000-12000 hours. By then, you’d probably have another printer (and computer) as the technological innovations have been skyrocketing the last decade(s). Therefore, the Form1+ will be obsolete within a couple of years. Mainly because of print time, laser quality and build volume.

It’s hard to calculate an exact cost price per cm3 as it really depends on the size of the model. if you’re printing a very small object it might cost you up to €2,- per cm3 as print time (= electricity + devaluation of the printer) costs are much higher than printing a large object (larger layer height) with less print time (percentage wise).

Roughly it’ll cost you between 45-70 eurocents per cm3. ABS/PLA costs about 30-50 eurocents per cm3.

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Great calculations Alex, really puts it into perspective. My biggest worry is the laser, I bought my Form1 second hand, it’s brilliant now but I know won’t last forever so am expecting to upgrade it to a 1+ (or a 2 or…) at some point, but hopefully I’d like to get a good few prints in before I have to fund that. Also the weeks without a printer worry me, I am hoping to offer this as a service to fellow model horse sculptors, they are usually quite relaxed about deadlines (within reason) but if I’m to be without my printer for weeks for the upgrade that could be a problem, or rather, if when the upgraded one comes back I find it’s one of the duffs with a bad laser or bad calibration or whatever, that down-time could turn into months. I think I’m developing a bit of a paranoia over the laser/upgrade, if, as you say they can last 9000-12000 hours, that would be more than sufficient for my plans I’m sure!

I can’t wait for the new resin to come, I’m trying a new print today and, whilst I’m very pleased it didn’t fail (first time my first attempt at a print has worked in the clear!) it is certainly not a perfect print. I’ll be very glad when I’ve used up all this old version 1 clear resin, if it wasn’t for the white stuff I also got I’d be totally lost as to why my prints are never very good, but thankfully I can blame the resin.

If you replace the PDMS layer in the tank rather than replace the tank you can extend the life of a tank for peanuts. Around £6 per tank for the PDMS off amazon if my memory serves me correctly.

You’re right and I’ve heard that RainX helps as well. Unfortunately for us europeans, Sylgard doesn’t ship cheaply from the US to Europe…

How has the makerjuice worked for you? I live in the US and find the prices also to be really high for the resin, I mean other brands cost about half, and specially when you do pieces for yourself, it’s pretty hard to sustain that amount of expenditure. And also, I don’t feel I can really rely on this machine to use it commercially, prints always have something that makes them not perfect, a little bubble here, something not soft over there,

Here is a calculation template I did:

@Nicolas_Gonzalez_Gar, Very nice calculation. It seems your calculation ends up being cheaper than mine, which is great. Mine was made on a rough draft, so I might have made a mistake. Though, again, it all depends on the print. If you have a small print (10ml’s @ 4hours (0.0025mm), the costs per ml are (according to your sheet): 94ct However, with your print of 310ml the costs are 21ct. This is both calculated without labour.

I did change the costs of electricity (€ per KWH) as these are €0.23 in The Netherlands (on avarage).

I think your print (310) and my pint (21) are pretty close to the two extremes of what we’ll be able to print (from a practical p.o.v.). Therefore is it too easy to say that an avarage print will cost between 50-60ct? ((94+21)/2)

I’ve used the green red and black makerjuice. The prints come out much the same as the formlabs ones. They are easier to clean up as the resin is far less viscous. The issue with the resin is that because it’s far less viscous, the dye falls out far quicker. The bottles I have sitting on the shelf have completely separated out in less than a week. Large prints may be an issue (might need a mix half way through a large print in the tray as best you can).

The thing I do like is that the bottles have a clear gauge on the side so you can easily see how much is left. On the whole I’d recommend them for the huge price difference. I ordered mine from the US and got them shipped to the UK as I wanted the litre bottles

@Gary_Cairns, any idea how the strength of the prints compares to the Formlabs? I’m tempted to try the MakerJuice since its so much cheaper.

I’m also curious to try the Madesolid Vorex since it claims to be so much stronger… although the Vorex is almost as expensive as the Formlabs, and I’m not sure if it really is much stronger or if its all marketing.


I believe the Formlab+1 printer is the best printer available for affordable high resolution printing at the 50 and 25 micron build layer thickness as it is super for model makers. The Galvo driven laser scanning system is elegant in design producing smoother finishes than other “mega bucks” printers using digital optical projection. I am glad to own one.

However, be advised that this standard of resolution is rather hit and miss, if the item to be printed has a significant pad area in contact with the print tray or if the item is tall or both . The “suck it and see” approach can be very expensive in terms of laser damaged print trays if the print fails. Prints with an area of less than 50% of the 120mm x 120mm have failed and damaged the tray irreparably on three occasions while trying to optimise printed output and coverage of the print tray…
I have had a long dialogue with Formlab support who have confirmed that they can not offer qualified guidance on this issue.
Buyer beware.

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Thanks you much for the costing sheet.

A very useful sheet

Perhaps you would wish to add the specialist cleaning materials for cleaning the two “mirror first” mirrors and the delicate Galvo mirrors.
I would recommend the filtering of the resin left in the tray after any failed print. I use “paint filters” with a 250 micron mesh.
In order to facilitate the filtering of the resin there is a need to purchase disposable container suitable to decant the print tray content. I use Food quality " take-away" containers.

In reality, it is crucial these mirrors are always clean or the print may fail and as a consequence the print tray can become unserviceable requiring replacement.
A failed print has a negative effect on the overall cost per mL of resin as the print may have to be repeated to get a successful print. Doubling print costs per mL.

One speck of dust may be the equivalent of one wasted print tray and therefore it is important to be more pessimistic in the assessment of print trays and resin usage.

Any print run that has a significant area in contact with the print tray is a “hit and miss” affair. Tall items are also an issue at fine resolution, so it is necessary to reflect that in the costing by having a parameter which factors up the cost as a function of print tray area and/or print height. In essence, I am reflecting on my own experiences which draws me to the conclusion that 1 tray per lire of resin is not a true reflection if one takes into account print failures.


This is an exception printer in terms of initial affordability.
It will not be long before cheaper resin sources come good.
My concern is the cost of the print tray at 55 euro. It is a consumable.

For example. You may be asked to print a standardised test file to indicate any deficiencies in the performance of the cleanliness of the laser path. If the print fails mid print the debris may be left bonded to the print tray. However the laser will continue to scan over this area and causes clouding of the special PDMS layer which represents the critical build layer of the printer.

The print tray is severely compromised from that moment on. You were only checking quality of the cleanliness of the optics.