Mar 31, 2023

FDM Printing With Resin Update

[Proper Printing] is at it again. He's trying to perfect his hybrid printer that works like an FDM printer but uses UV-curable resin gel instead of filament. You can see the latest update video below. If you missed our take on his early attempts, you might want to catch up with those earlier videos first.

The latest update brings a new nozzle, an improved light source, and changes to the formula of the resin. The nozzle and light source improvements hinge on conical lenses that convert the laser beams from a spot to a ring. The initial nozzles looked like the business end of a syringe, but this wasn't very stable. The new video shows a conventional nozzle which also had some issues. This resulted in a custom-made nozzle that solved all the issues with the conventional nozzle and the syringe tips.

The resin formula is particularly crucial. The second attempt used resin with glass beads to give thickness. That wasn't without problems, though, so it was switched this time with fused silica, as suggested by some comments on a previous video. They also used aggressive mixing and air removal. The consistency of the previous resins was that of a paste, but according to the video, the new mixture is more like a gel.

At some point, things started going badly. There were several equipment failures. Exasperated, he was ready to give up and was editing the video when he had an epiphany. We’re glad he didn't give up because the new results are pretty impressive.

These printers remind us of some strange laser CNC. It also reminds us a little of people curing resin outside of the normal print process.