Madness Or Genius? FDM Printing With Resin

We aren’t sure what made him think of it, but [Proper Printing] decided to make an FDM printer lay down resin instead of filament. Why? We still aren’t sure, but we admire the effort nonetheless. In principle, extruding resin shouldn’t be much different than other liquid things you print like icing or concrete. Then you’d need to UV-cure the viscous liquid quickly. In fact, they wound up making up a paste-like resin using several chemicals and a filler.

Armed with the paste, it would seem like the big obstacles would be over. Instead of part cooling fans, the printer now has two laser heads focused on the print area. Printing in vase mode avoids some problems, but the first few attempts were not very successful.

With a bit of perseverance, the setup did work — for a while. More fine tuning got acceptable results. However, he eventually changed the filler material and got a passable Benchy to print. Nothing to be proud of, but recognizable. Honestly, we were surprised that the laser’s didn’t cure the material still inside the nozzle and cause terrible clogs.

Why put this much effort into doing this? We have no idea. Should you try it? Probably not. Of course, being able to print a paste has its own value. Perhaps delivering glue or solder paste, for example. But you generally won’t need to make tall prints with that kind of material. Then again, we’ve never been opposed to doing something “just because.”

After all, why make a musical instrument out of a Game Boy? Why make a modem with tin cans? You might as well extrude resin.

29 thoughts on “Madness Or Genius? FDM Printing With Resin

  1. Why? Why not? I like to think of it as the spirit of inventing things. So try something ‘different’/’off the wall’… Never know what may come of it. So in that sense, go for it! One never knows until you try :) .

  2. I know this idea has occurred to me in the past. Overhangs would be nigh impossible but I’d guess layer adhesion is much better. Having said that I know I’ve seen this at least mentioned here before. IIRC a former successful Kickstarter was looking into this but nothing came of it. They were using their delta platform that had previously been released as an FDM printer plus CNC router plus ??? The machine was intended to be a PCB bot. I can’t recall the name though.

    1. The difference here is this is not exactly the same as their patents. Though I agree companies like to think their patents cover any possible new way of doing something vs a specific way. Part of the reason big companies haven’t tried to push out all the other 3d printer groups is open source. They may have a lock on the big fabs but open source ruins their monopoly.

      he is using existing open source to produce this so I suspect he is fine. Also since his quality is less than amazing I suspect they wouldn’t be interested till he can make quality parts that compare with existing resin printers.

    2. Thanks for spreading the word on our patents! Upgrading these instances of “patent infringement”s into “willful patent infringement” with help from good citizens like yourself gets us a bigger payout at court!

  3. why is he extruding directly into the part? I feel like extruding the resin onto an intermediary platform with a standard msla panel built in is most of the way to a homebuilt vlm multimaterial printer, and would certainly net you better print quality.

    1. Idunno… one of my ongoing projects is a homebuilt VLM inspired multimaterial printer and this looks… quite a way off. However, for the goal of adding continuous fibre into the part, it looks much closer; I just plan to cure the resin extrusion after the entire layer of continuous fibre is laid down instead of near-instantly.

  4. It’s sort of how the Objet printers work – they inkjet out some sizzurp and immediately chase it with some mercury arc lamp goodness. It’s a maintenance nightmare, and you never dare to shut the machines down, lest they never start again.

  5. Depending on the setting speed of the resin, one could use a narrow quartz tube, drawn to a fin point, as the extruder tip and initialize the setting of the resin just prior to it reaching the tip and the build-surface.

    1. Why it should be more energy efficient? You have a lot of movement, overpowered lasers where most of their power goes wasted. Also the whole process takes longer compared to standard resin printers.

      10″ DLP printer consumes about 10-15W at peak, I guess 7W average. LCD around 60-75W peak and about 20W average (the average is lower as the light source is on only about 20% of the print time).

  6. I just stumble on this on my news feed don’t know why… but… really?

    This era of youtubers and influencers is very positive but please guys… please… just search for real and confirmed research and technology on reliable sources when announcing new tech or approaches… this was experimented for many research centres 10/15 years ago and for instance currently is being done by Massiveit.

  7. In fact, there is already such a type of printing on the market. The massivit printer works that way, it uses a polymer gel that, when it reaches the nozzle, a laser solidifies the gel

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