Types of Printers: Key Difference Between the FFM and Resin 3D Printer

 A resin 3D printer uses light to cure the liquid resin as it forms layers.


When you want a custom design, you need a custom machine. The inception of 3-D printing has opened up a world of custom design to common people, unlike any other innovation. Now the average Joe can purchase a 3-D printer and begin fabricating their own solutions and designs like only engineers would have done in the past. 

How does one know what 3-D printer to buy, though? As you begin exploring 3-D printing, you'll begin to hear a variety of unfamiliar words. The resin 3D printer and the FFM 3D printer accomplish the same outcome, a 3-D image, using different techniques. 

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the difference between a resin 3D printer and an FFM 3D printer. 

Resin 3D Printer

Technicians and 3D printing gurus refer to a resin 3D printer as stereolithography or digital light processing printer. A resin 3D printer uses light to cure the liquid resin as it forms layers.

Some versions will use an LCD to cure the solid layer by shining a UV image at the resin. As the resin cures, the print bed rises. As a result, the model has fine details and requires less work to carve out the details after the print has been processed.

You end up with a detailed final product.

Here are a few downsides to Resin 3D printing: 

  • Smaller build plates and thus smaller images
  • Longer finishing time since the resin has to cure
  • More maintenance in that you have to wash the print and cure it more post-production

The engineers that designed resin printers understand these weaknesses and have sought to mitigate them. For example, you can purchase a wash-and-cure station that makes your curing process shorter. Plus, companies are releasing larger resin printers regularly so you can print larger images. 

All of these changes make 3D printing at home simpler and more doable. 

FFM 3D Printer

The FDM printer or Fused Deposition Modeling is also known as the FFF printer or Fused Filament Fabrication. FDM and FFM refer to the same type of printer. 

The FFM takes a small strand of thermoplastic and deposits it in layers to form a 3D printed object. The plastic filament goes through a hot extruder that softens it enough to shape and form an image. The print head then places the filament one layer at a time in the print area to create the image. 

You can find FFM 3D printers in a variety of budget ranges from just a few hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars. This price variance makes FFM 3D printers especially attractive for individuals with a 3D printing hobby. 

Different Printers For Different Purposes

Since each printer has its own method of printing a 3D item, each has its own purpose as well. 

For example, if you're looking to print a small, detailed miniature item like board game pieces, detailed models, or small parts, then the resin printer works best for you. The resin printer creates an extraordinary level of resolution. 

The FFM printer works well if you need a larger item printed or if you need an item printed faster. Many people use the FFM 3E printer to produce a prototype quickly. This printer gives you the greatest range of options at the most affordable price. 

3D Printing Hobby Ideas

If 3D printing interests you, welcome to the 3D hobby club. Many people have purchased 3D printers and are exploring their value in practical and creative ways. 

Engineers, scientists, and medical technicians have found creative solutions with 3D printers such as manufacturing small parts on the fly for quick solutions. The medical field is even exploring the idea of printing 3D organs. The boundaries seem limitless. 

If you want to begin printing at home, here are a few creative ideas to try out with your new 3D printer. 

1. Cord Organizer

You can use a 3D printer to help keep your charging cords organized. Create a USB cable holder that helps you avoid tangles or a print desk cable that keeps all of your cords where they belong. Use your creativity to design holders with troughs that keep cords separate. 

2. Kitchen Organizers, Tools, and Devices

There's no better place to test out your 3D creative skills than in your kitchen. You can print dishes, cutlery, and devices that solve small problems.

Need a way to keep yoghurt cups closed? Invent and print a solution with a 3D hook.

Maybe you keep losing small items like bag clips or bottle openers? A 3D printer will help you create a tool to keep your kitchen more organized. 

Perhaps you keep losing some of your best kitchen tools like measuring spoons. You can even print copies of these so you have multiple spoons around and can avoid losing them. 

3. Planting Pots

You can use the synthetic process of 3D printing to feed your love of organic art. Indoor plants, for example, can benefit from your printed creations. You can print simple planters because they have the simplest design. 

Your new pot can have the design, colour, and size that you want and need. So instead of shopping for the perfect planter, you can now make one.  

4. Functional Items

Hardware stores have aisles designed for creative solutions. Hooks, hangers, and home organizers allow you to put things where they belong and organize your home. 

You no longer have to rely on a hardware store if you have a 3D printer. You can create your own home organization tools and hardware. Best of all, you can customize the hardware to fit your particular problem. 

So if you need a hook with two heads or a specialized hinge, you can create this. A 3D printer gives you endless options for home organization solutions. 

Your Ideas, Your Solutions 

A resin 3D printer and an FFM printer can solve a variety of problems at home for the 3D printing hobbyist. Once you begin printing, you begin to think of more ways to use the printer. Before you know it, you have an entire cache of 3D items that you've created. 

Just remember that the resin printer will produce smaller, more detailed items. The FFM printer will produce larger items in a shorter amount of time. These are your main differences. 

If you're interested in purchasing your own 3D printer, contact us. We can answer your questions and help you find the printer that you need. 

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