Looking for an LCD, DLP, or SLA 3D printer? Check out our 2020 buyer's guide to find the best resin 3D printer for your needs.
Resin 3D printers produce incredibly accurate prints, offer a wide variety of materials and are relatively fast. These precision machines used to cost thousands of dollars, but in recent years desktop resin 3D printers have become ridiculously cheap.
If you want to learn about the differences between LCD, DLP, and SLA 3D printing, click here.
If you just want to get a few parts, professionally 3D printed in resin, we recommend Craftcloud, the 3D printing and price comparison service from All3DP.
The Phrozen Sonic Mini is our Spring 2020 pick for "Best Budget Resin 3D Printer". Using a mono-LCD masking screen to achieve layer cure times as short as 2-seconds-flat, the Sonic Mini is a fast-printing budget MSLA powerhouse. Learn more
The Peopoly Phenom one of our Spring 2020 picks for "Editor's Choice". Using MSLA and touting a huge print volume, Peopoly's Phenom is positioned as a productivity beast, ready to output big high-detail prints, fast.
The Formlabs Form 3 is our Spring 2020 pick for "Best Resin 3D Printer". Utilizing Low Force Stereolithography (LFS) to produce more accurate prints with lighter and less destructive supports, expect high quality and effortless operation. Learn more
If you have a budget in mind, we’ve split this list of resin 3D printers into price brackets. Hit the links below to start at your preferred price point.
Otherwise, keep scrolling to the list of the best desktop resin 3D printers to find a printer for your needs.
The following printers are ordered by price. Note that prices fluctuate, and as such, we provide approximate values that were correct at the time of publishing.
|3D Printer||Max. Build Volume (mm³)||Resolution (µm)||Market Price (USD)||Check Price|
|Phrozen Sonic Mini||120 x 68 x 130 mm||XY: 62 |
|Monoprice MP Mini Deluxe SLA||120 x 70 x 200||XY:- |
|Elegoo Mars||120 x 68 x 155 mm||XY: 47 |
|Creality LD-002R||120 x 65 x 165 mm||XY: 47 |
|Anycubic Photon||115 x 65 x 155mm||XY: 47 |
Z: 25 - 100
|Qidi Tech Shadow 5.5 S||115 x 65 x 150 mm||XY: 47 |
|Elegoo Mars Pro||20 x 68 x 155 mm||XY: 47 |
|Longer Orange 30||120 x 60 x 170 mm||XY: 47 |
|Epax X1||115 x 65 x 155 mm||XY: 47 |
|Anycubic Photon S||115 x 65 x 165||X/Y: 47 |
|Phrozen Shuffle XL||190 x 120 x 200||XY: 85 |
|Peopoly Moai 130||130 x 130 x 180||XY: 70|
|Phrozen Shuffle 4K||120 x 68 x 170 mm||XY: 31 |
|Original Prusa SL1||120 x 68 x 150 mm||XY: 47 |
|Peopoly Phenom||276 x 155 x 400||XY: 72 |
|Zortrax Inkspire||74 x 132 x 175||X/Y: 50 |
|Uniz Slash Plus||192 × 120 × 200||XY: 75|
Z: 10 - 300
|Formlabs Form 3||145 x 145 x 185 mm||XY: 25|
|B9Creations B9Creator v1.2||100 x 75 x 203||XY: 30 - 70|
Z: 5 - 200
|FlashForge Hunter||120 x 68 x 150||XY: 63|
Z: 13 - 50
If you’re interested in experimenting with resin 3D printing, or just a maker on a budget, there are plenty of affordable options on the market. Here are the best LCD/DLP/SLA 3D printers under $500.
Our new fave, the Phrozen Sonic Mini is a wickedly fast little printer that manages to keep the cost down without making any noticable compromises.
Making use of a monochrome LCD for its masking screen, the Sonic Mini is able to achieve layer cure times of two seconds flat (experimenting a little can squeeze this down to sub-two second cures.)
Overall it’s a tidy package that brings something super-fast printing to the high-detail world of MSLA.
Widely recognized for bringing incredibly affordable desktop FDM 3D printers onto the market, Monoprice is also getting its feet sticky with cheap resin 3D printing as well.
A rebadging of Wanhao’s D7 Plus, the Monoprice MP Mini Deluxe SLA, is capable of printing at a layer height of up to 20 microns. It can also print with negative gaps as small as 30 microns. You also get a relatively speedy printer that can print up to 30mm/hour vertically.
Monoprice claims that this desktop resin machine is compatible with a wide variety of UV resins, making it ideal for beginners looking to prototype for applications in the medical and dental field, as well as jewelry.
Offering staggering print quality, effortless simplicity in operation, and a rock-solid print preparation workflow for a paltry sub-$300 price tag, the Elegoo Mars is a superb budget resin 3D printer.
It is already a pretty straightforward process to print on LCD-based resin printers, but the Elegoo Mars masters this simplicity with a partially self-leveling print plate (using a hand-tightened ball joint), contemporary print preparation software in ChiTu’s ChiTuBox, and overall competent print performance.
It’s not particularly flashy, but for the price, it offers everything you could want with no fuss or frustration.
The LD-002R is not Creality’s first resin printer. It is, however, the first Creality resin 3D printer to catch and hold our attention.
Crammed into a sleek stamped metal body that sits a little squatter than contemporaries such as the Elegoo Mars, Creality’s machine hits layer cure times of around 6 seconds, uses up-to-date ChiTuBox firmware (meaning super snappy .ctb file compatibility), and has a tidy machined metal resin vat with resin level indicators.
It’s not the most original printer on this list, but we find it one of the better-looking options. Performance-wise, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this and its closest match, the Elegoo Mars Pro.
Once upon a time, the Anycubic Photon was one of the hottest tickets to get into resin-based 3D printing. Today, it holds up as a decent and affordable LCD-based 3D printer, offering the standard 2k resolution and coming preassembled for ease of setup.
However, the 115 x 65 x 155mm build volume is a bit small for some people, so if the size is of grave importance, you may want to look elsewhere.
Qidi Tech has quite the following for its enclosed, semi-professional FDM 3D printers. In 2019, the company released its first resin 3D printer, the Shadow 5.5 S.
As with the majority of budget resin printers, the Qidi Tech Shadow 5.5 S is plug-and-play, meaning only a simple setup stands between you and printing.
Providing something of an edge over the competition, the Shadow is equipped with not just one, but two built-in carbon air filtration systems, which should aid in removing the stench of the resin 3D printing process.
Elegoo’s update to the near-mythical Mars 3D printer, the Mars Pro addresses many of the small complaints with the original, elevating the quality-of-life experience using the machine and ticking the price up.
In a lineup, you would not be able to tell objects printed on the Mars Pro and the original Mars apart. But, with an air filtration unit, a better positioned USB port and updated innards allowing it to hit slightly faster cure times than its predecessor, there’s enough to justify the Mars Pro as an upgrade pick (even if we struggle to reason what exactly is “Pro” about it.)
In addition to the 2K LCD screen – a common sight in budget resin printers – and the somewhat standard print bed size of 120 x 68 x 170 mm, Longer’s Orange 30 also features a high-temperature warning system that monitors the printer’s temperature in real-time, presumably to trigger a shutdown in case of a potentially damaging build-up of heat. An uncommon feature, but one we’d wager is handy for especially long prints left to run unattended.
In addition, Longer 3D developed a proprietary slicer, Longerware, for use with the Orange 30. Alongside the expected slicing features you get advanced support generation, including cross-linked support grids for better print stability.
Part of the great wave of affordable new LCD-based resin printers, The Epax X1 is another commendable choice if a tight budget is your primary concern. While not quite as affordable as other printers on this list, the Epax X1 offers a couple of unique features that at the least make it stand apart.
For starters, it comes with a proprietary FEP film for its resin vat. It is claimed the benefits include reduced peel force and prolonged operational life compared to other common resin printing interface layers. Another highlight is, Epax claims, improved Z-axis stability.
Folding user feedback into its devilishly simple design, the Anycubic Photon S is an incremental update to the wildly popular, but a welcome one all the same.
Increased rigidity in the Z-axis thanks to dual linear rails, plus a different UV unit that Anycubic claims give a more uniform distribution of UV light should translate to marginally better prints.
Fundamentally the printing will be the same as the original Photon, thanks to the same 2K resolution screen giving, again, a 47-micron pixel size across an 115 x 65 mm print area. The differences lie in small improvements to the usability, from a redesigned UI and inclusion of an activated charcoal air filter to a small bump to the printable Z-height.
For makers on a bigger budget and those looking for sturdier machines to operate in the long run, here are the best resin 3D printers going for $2,500 and less.
The Phrozen Shuffle is a resin 3D printer for a comparatively low price. Available in two variants that are identical in virtually every way except print volume and pixel size; we’re focusing on the Phrozen Shuffle XL – the larger of the two, which features a tantalizingly large print volume of 190 x 120 x 200 mm.
Operable via USB memory sticks, Ethernet, and as of the latest iteration also via WiFi, the Phrozen Shuffle XL is capable of slicing models itself thanks to the inbuilt Raspberry Pi running NanoDLP.
In our review, we found the Shuffle to be a premium-feeling and sturdy machine, albeit suffering from a stuffy workflow that takes some getting used to. Cross that barrier, and it’s a reliable resin printing machine.
Go for the XL if you must have one and can stretch the budget — the large print volume rocks. The smaller, ‘standard’has a print volume of 120 x 68 x 200 mm, with the only other difference being a finer pixel size of 47 microns, to the XL’s 85.
Building upon the robust platform established with the original, the Moai 130 offers the same print volume, granular control of its laser, accessible electronics and an active community, but slaps on a wealth of hardware upgrades tailored toward improving reliability and ease of use. And all for some $100 more than the asking price of the original printer.
Gone is the cumbersomely fiddly bed leveling of the original, replaced with an easy-to-level print platform that pairs well with the new metal resin vat featuring FEP film for its interface layer.
Boasting a greater lifetime and improved performance against peel forces, the FEP vat goes some way to boosting print reliability, as does the also-new print chamber heater. Indeed, your resin stays a toasty 35+ degrees Celsius, ensuring optimum printing performance.
Another goody thrown in with the Moai 130 is a dedicated UV LED curing lamp for expediting your post-processing and locking your green models in mere minutes.
Those looking to print big — like, really big — should check out the Moai 200. It’s the same machine, albeit with a 200 x 200 x 250 mm print volume.
The Shuffle 4K is a high-resolution resin 3D printer produced by the Taiwan based manufacturer Phrozen.
Phrozen improved on the already great performance of the predecessor, the Phrozen Shuffle, and took it to a new level. The biggest change, and as the name might suggest, is the Phrozen Shuffle 4K’s newly added 5.5inch 4K-resolution LCD screen, capable of providing an XY-accuracy up to 31 microns.
With a print bed size of 120 x 68 x 170 mm, an upgraded ParaLED unit, air filtration, WiFi connectivity, and the capability to use third-party party resin, the Phrozen Shuffle 4K offers a pretty robust package of features.
While the SL1’s print bed size (120 × 68 × 150 mm), and the built-in 2K LCD screen are on par with budget resin printers such as the Elegoo Mars or Anycubic Photon, the SL1 stands apart for its wealth of ease-of-use features.
For example, the manual fill level indicator and inbuilt resin sensor give you a heads-up if a print is likely to run out of resin mid-print. Also unique to the SL1 is the use of a tilt motor, gently tilting the vat after each layer change. Present to aid in separating the print from the FEP film, it’s one of many thoughtful features that, while wholly unnecessary for successful resin printing, are utterly missed on other machines once you’ve encountered them.
Following the massive success of Peopoly’s Moai series of SLA 3D printers, the Hong Kong-based startup has released a new, and even bigger resin printer: the Peopoly Phenom.
Abandoning the laser-based SLA tech used in the Moai series, the Phenom utilizes masked stereolithography (MSLA), precisely, a mix of LCD masking screen over a UV LED light source to cure the resin. On top, Peopoly introduced a customized alternator that provides proper light distribution, as well as a cooling system to improve printing results while extending the life of the mask needed for the MSLA process.
In addition, Peopoly has incorporated a film processing technique that reduces the adhesion between the hardened resin and the vat floor after each layer. To complement the Phenom, Peopoly has developed a fast printing Draft resin for the system that boasts both high impact strength and temperature resistance. Third-party 405 nm resins are also compatible with the Phenom.
The Phenom uses a 4K LCD, and the print bed size of 276 x 155 x 400 mm is seldom seen in resin printers, let alone budget resin printers.
Polish 3D printer manufacturer Zortrax’s first crack at the resin printing puzzle, the Zortrax Inkspire, appears a robust entry to the company’s array of professional machines. Filling the familiar form factor of an LCD-based resin printer, the Inkspire boasts of a large and elegant UI in its 4-inch color touchscreen, a 50 x 50-micron pixel size with 25-micron minimum layer height, up to 36mm per hour build speed, and 74 x 132 x 175mm build volume.
Operable with all resins designed to cure under 405 nm wavelength UV light, the Inkspire should serve as a versatile tool in any 3D printing arsenal. And perhaps best of all, it folds into Zortrax’s existing workflow using the company’s Z-Suite slicing software, so users of the company’s M200, M300, and Inventure printers will feel right at home.
Setting it apart from most machines on this list is the Inkspire’s inclusion of a dedicated part cleaning module — a Zortrax Ultrasonic Cleaner is included in the box. Less mess, more making.
While there are many budget options on the market, prosumers and small businesses looking to integrate resin 3D printing into their product development process will want to look at higher quality machines. The following LCD/DLP/SLA 3D printers are ideal for professional use.
From San Diego, USA, Uniz brings you the “world’s fastest desktop 3D printer”. Whether or not that’s true, it certainly is an easy-to-use LCD 3D printer that delivers.
Compared to the other printers in this list, the Slash+ offers a large build volume, and that for a decent price. Add to that a convenient cartridge system to easily swap printing material and a steel-reinforced column to reduce deformation and enhance precision.
Built-in multi-printer management and connectivity options make it a solid choice for those looking to create a farm of remotely observable machines.
Showing what the tippy top end of the desktop resin printer market is capable of, Formlabs knocks it out of the park with the Form 3. A plethora of sensors provides meaningful feedback on print progress and other variables, giving professionals oversight and the ability to manage resources.
The company’s web-based dashboard allows direct ordering of replacement resins and vats, request model support should a print fail, which in our experience was a rarity thanks to the PreForm software generally doing a standup job appropriately arranging and supporting prints. As turnkey as they come.
With the DLP projector at its heart on full display, the B9Creator is arguably the most distinctive looking resin 3D printer on this list.
Thanks to its high accuracy and a wide range of materials, this DLP 3D printer is ideal for both jewelry makers and researchers.
B9Creations provides castable (emerald, yellow, cherry) and prototyping (black and red) material. The latter is designed to be accurate, strong, and temperature resistant. Users can also use third-party resins.
FlashForge is known as one of the leaders in affordable desktop 3D printers and scanners, and that’s true as well in the DLP 3D printer market.
The Flashforge Hunter features a long-lasting proprietary DLP projector, providing uniform UV exposure throughout its generous build space. It also comes equipped with a durable aluminum resin vat, guaranteed to require fewer replacements.
Compatible with both Flashforge-made (including specialized dental, tough, and castable) and third-party resins and operated using a slicer that offers numerous distortion correction modes to improve print quality, the Flashforge Hunter is a versatile machine.
Although SLA and DLP technology are extremely similar in principle, there are slight differences that separate the two.
SLA 3D printing utilizes two motors known as galvanometers. These motors, placed on the X and Y axis, work together to rapidly angle a pair of mirrors to aim a laser beam across the print area, solidifying resin into a 3D model. The layers of the model are broken down into a series of points and lines, which the galvos use to direct the laser beam.
On the other hand, DLP technology uses a digital projector screen to flash a single image of each layer across the entire platform at once. Each layer of the 3D model is displayed as square pixels, meaning that the print is comprised of voxels.
As for LCD 3D printing, the process is nearly identical to DLP in that it utilizes projected light to solidify resin layer-by-layer until a 3D model is built. The main difference is that LCD 3D printers use a bank of UV LEDs to project light through a mask of the layer on an LCD panel. In contrast, DLP 3D printers utilize an array of micro-mirrors (each mirror corresponding to a pixel) to either project light, or not, thus creating a mask.
Several companies are attempting to rebrand LCD-based resin printing, with one notable example being Structo and its Mask SLA (MSLA) – a term also adopted by Prusa for the upcoming SL1.
Phew — quite the terminological quagmire, that. Return to the list to check out our top resin 3D printer picks.
(Lead image credit: Zortrax)
License: The text of "2020 Best Resin 3D Printers (Spring Update)" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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