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Resin Suitable Exterior Use

Hello. I’m looking for suggestions for a resin that would suitable to withstand exterior usage (so UV stable and able to do well in fluctuating temperatures from 100° F to around 25° F). For example, a resin that could be used to make hinges for a pop open window for use on a camper trailer. Would any of the existing Formlabs resins meet these requirements? Thanks for the suggestions.

I’d also be interested to know. One suggestion is a UV clear coating spray but I do find no-one will comment on a suitable type or compatibility! I do have a can of Rustoleum Crystal Clear Matt (AE0040003E8) which worked nicely for protecting outdoor painted garden ornaments in the past but not tried it on a 3d print.

In my opinion, for that usage, I would get an FDM printer and print PETG parts for that application. The layering will be more visible compared to SLA resin printing but the material is very UV stable/resistant, robust, and chemical resistant as well. Depending on what FDM printer, the layering can be kept fairly minimal to where it is very acceptable. At my company, we have tried just about every Formlabs material and most of the time, small parts last indoors (little UV exposure) for a couple months before they start deforming. From my understanding most SLA printing resins are not 100% UV stable other than Carbon 3D resins but their machine is very very expensive. You can of course always spray it with UV clear coat but if that is the case, I would just choose Grey resin because it is the easiest to work with and does not need frequent tank replacements like Tough 2000, Rigid resins, or Grey Pro. Hope this helps!

use printer to make a mold, then cast in UV stable plastic.

None of the Formlabs resins will stand up to long term outdoor UV exposure as-printed. An option which should produce a very long lasting and high quality part would be to have it electroplated. RePliForm (which I have not personally used and I’m not affiliated with them; I have simply researched them for my future use - comes up readily on a google search) can electroplate any of the non-flexible resins. When done you will have a very strong UV resistant (and corrosion resistant if you select the appropriate plating) part that will be probably as good as an all-metallic part. When I recently researched them they had a very reasonable fee/process for small lots / small-single quantities.

This is a link to an on-demand webinar that is totally worth watching
[The Closest Thing to Metal 3D Printing with a $3500 Printer | Webinar | Formlabs]
(The Closest Thing to Metal 3D Printing with a $3500 Printer | Webinar | Formlabs)

Electroplating is a really workable solution, except for the cost.

I contacted Repliform, and they quoted $400 to plate two 6 inch prints, which would have to be thouroughly prepped by me before plating.

They also said there were no economies of scale, since pricing was determined by how much of a platfom the print takes up.

I’m now doing my own electroplating, but it’s for sculpture, not induatrial objects. I don’t see a way for volume production