If you want to produce long-lasting miniature designs quickly and with great accuracy, the best resin printer for miniatures is your best option. They are great for hobbyists and allow almost anyone to dive into the miniature printing space to create figurines, models, or tools with minimal setup.
The ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro Mono MSLA 3D Printer lies at our top spot because it is a complete winner. As one of the pioneering resin-based printers, this unit sets a gold standard by just doing the job right. With its reasonable price, it makes it easy for everyone to enter the resin printing community.
This guide explores which resin printers are best for creating objects and miniatures that gamers will love.
Table of Contents
- Best Resin Printer For Miniatures – Comparison Table
- How to Make Miniatures with a 3D Printer?
- What Kind of Miniatures Can be Made with Resin Printer?
- Are Resin Printers Cheaper than FDM?
- Best Resin Printer Settings
- Best Resources to Learn 3D Printing Modeling
- What to Look for?
- Best Resin Printers for Miniatures
- Key References
Best Resin Printer For Miniatures – Comparison Table
How to Make Miniatures with a 3D Printer?
If you want to use your new resin 3D printer to bring your ideas to life, here’s how to design and 3D print your custom models like a professional.
- Get inspiration by scanning interesting sources in your favorite video games, shows, comics, or movies.
- Draw as many sketches of your character as you can to predict the maximum number of design considerations before proceeding.
- Open Blender and update the user settings.
- Import your design into Blender to use as your miniature reference.
- It’s time to block in all parts of the body – just start with the shapes in the center of the body and work your way up.
- To refine the shapes, add a subdivision parameter to the primitive representing the chest. You can do this in the menu on the right by pressing the wrench icon and selecting “Edit” from the drop-down menu.
- Duplicate the legs and arms and the mirror on the other side.
- Then you need to consolidate the mesh to make it convenient to work with Sculptris. To do that, import the repaired prototype into Meshmixer and switch to Edit mode. When you’re done, export again as a.obj.
- Open Sculptris and then import the mesh that you solidified here.
- You now have a sculpted silhouette with some personalities and details. Finish it with a few accessories and parts.
- You can now export the prototype to Shapeways. Just go to Shapeways. com and sign in. Press Load and choose Millimeters as the scale. Once the prototype is loaded, you can always change the scale if you think it is too small or big for your 3D printer.
What Kind of Miniatures Can be Made with Resin Printer?
A resin printer remains an innovative tool that unfolds a limitless world of possibilities to even the most ardent Warhammer gamers.
- The fairest use you can get from this is personalization. Indeed, the resin printer should not be seen as a tool that can substitute buying miniatures but as an object that can enhance its visual and playful rendering.
- New weapons, bases, suspenders, and even accessories are the kind of miniatures you can make with a resin printer.
- It’s very different if you’re not a war game enthusiast, just a fan of models and painting. With a resin printer, you can print any sculptures, busts, and models of varying sizes.
Are Resin Printers Cheaper than FDM?
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) or Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) running costs are generally cheaper than resin printers because the filament is the only consumable.
- However, resin printers require a more expensive resin, and the tank and build deck need to be replaced very often.
- Resin 3D printers, while much more expensive than their FDM counterparts, are often much more accurate.
Best Resin Printer Settings
Resin printers differ in the settings that work best. Some of the settings change as the brand and color of the resin change. Still, most settings are perfect for virtually any type of resin and application. Below are the best values for each configuration. However, you should also test your printer or resin.
A) Layer Heights
The ideal layer height for resin printing is typically between 0.01 to 0.05mm (10 to 50 microns). You can use 0.05mm for quicker speeds while also maintaining quality. If you are looking for exceptional quality, particularly for smaller 3D prints and miniatures, the 0.01mm layer height can be ideal, but printing takes much longer. Resin cutters typically have a layer height of 0.05mm, which is twice the upper limit of filament printers with a 0.1mm layer height.
B) Exposure Times
The best exposure time is between 6 and 14 seconds for standard resin printers with 2K LCDs, while high-performance 4K monochrome displays can have exposure times of 1.5 to 3 seconds, depending on the printer’s UV power and the color of the resin. It is difficult to limit the “exposure time” because many factors, such as printer type, color, and resin brand, play a role.
C) Bottom Exposure Times
The ideal bottom exposure time for standard resin printers is between 4 and 10 times. In contrast, with more powerful resin printers, you will see 12 to 18 times your regular exposure time. The average between more than 80 bottom and regular exposure times submitted by the user for Anycubic Photon X was 15.6 times shorter than the regular exposure time.
D) Bottom Layer Counts
While some 3D printing users are happy to use up to 10 bottom layers, 4-8 is the perfect number for most 3D printers.
E) Lifting/Retract Speeds
There are some elevation and speed settings in resin printing, but a good value is relatively slow. Many people tend to opt for lifting/retract speed of 60 to 180 mm/min or 1 to 3 mm/s.
F) Anti-Aliasing Setting
You have anti-aliasing settings on Lychee Slicer between 2 and 16 (currently 8 on ChiTuBox). People have had mixed results with anti-aliasing when it comes to resin printing, but as algorithms improve, so do the final print results.
G) Print Orientation
Print alignment is not a “nominal” type setup but a combination of various activities such as moving, scaling, rotating, and positioning the model on the build plate.
Best Resources to Learn 3D Printing Modeling
What to Look for?
A) Nozzle Diameter
The nozzle diameter is the hole size that the heated plastic will be extruded through to create a model. The most popular size is 0.4 mm, with larger nozzle sizes ideally being avoided. When shopping for the best resin printer for miniatures, you go for look options that will allow you to resize your nozzle to a smaller size. This will slow down the print but will produce finer details.
B) XY Precision
This is the precision of the print head’s movements in the X and Y directions, meaning in all directions except up and down. Typically, this is determined by the quality of the motors, belts, bearings, and the printer frame’s rigidity. You should go for a full metal resin printer as it offers the most stable platform to get good accuracy.
C) Layer Thickness
The printer’s layer thickness is the height of each layer of heated plastic that’s placed to create a model. The smaller the thickness, the more details are visible, but the construction is slower. To get the precision needed to print miniatures, we would only recommend resin printers with a layer thickness of up to 0.1 mm (100 microns) or less.
Best Resin Printers for Miniatures
Here are the top 6 best resin printers for miniatures on the market today:
1. ANYCUBIC Photon Mono 3D printer Review
Anycubic Photon Mono is a resin printer with remarkable print quality high enough for even the most intricate miniatures.
- It is a significant step up from regular filament printers. Once you have it in your arsenal, you will see exactly why it is trendy.
- For those who want to print right away and don’t want to worry about retouching, updating, and adjusting different settings, this resin printer is the best option for miniature printing.
- It was designed to be easy to use. So, don’t worry that you are not a tech geek or a seasoned 3D printer.
- Just take it out of the box, set it up, and start printing high-quality miniatures.
- The resin 3D printer’s build volume is relatively small at 130x82x165 mm (4.52 “x 2.56” x 6.1 “), but this should not be a problem for your intended use.
2. Creality LD002R LCD Resin 3D Printer Review
The LD-002R is a solid machine wholly assembled in an all-metal housing. A single Z-axis linear rail and lead screw offer a high level of stability.
- The build volume is not large, but not small either – 119 x 65 x 160 mm. This build volume is expected from inexpensive resin printers, they are hardly huge, and those with massive build volume are typically more expensive.
- Its design offers users many useful features: a perforated build plate and a front access USB port.
- The latter is hardly found in small 3D printers; it is generally used in high-volume machines.
- This feature provides quite good stability for the first layers. A 5.5-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 2K (2560 x 1440) is the device’s light source.
- This best 3D printer for small details offers excellent precision and relatively uniform light distribution on the build platform. Anti-aliasing is also available and can smoothen the edges of prints.
- Overall, the Creality LD-002R has a solid build, high print quality, and an easy-to-use design at an affordable price.
3. Creality LD-002H Mono Resin 3D Printer Review
The Creality LD-002H Mono is a compact resin 3D printer with an expanded volume of 5.1 x 3.2 x 6.3 inches (130 x 82 x 160 mm), improved print speed, etc.
- It is provided by an improved acrylic housing design.
- It is an extremely easy-to-use printer, making it a brilliant choice for inexperienced manufacturers or those who want to experience the wonders of resin printing on a budget.
- Like most resin printers, this unit is fully assembled, eliminating any play that could have been caused by improper assembly.
- The Creality LD-002H Mono Resin 3D Printer can print with a minimum layer thickness of 30 micrometers and gives your 3D models an incredibly smooth surface and precise angles to the millimeter.
4. PHROZEN Sonic Mini 4K UV Photocuring Resin 3D Printer Review
The Sonic Mini 4K from Phrozen is a lightweight and compact resin 3D printer.
- It has a simple design and uses LCD technology. However, the significant improvement over its predecessor – the Sonic Mini – is an increase in resolution from 1920 by 1080 pixels to 3840 by 2160 (4K resolution, hence the device’s name).
- This makes this 3D printing board game miniatures incredibly precise and offers an impressive detail level. The XY resolution of this resin printer is only 35 microns, making it one of the highest budget resin printers.
- This resin printer has a monochrome LCD light source that is durable and designed to last while making the machine much faster.
- The build volume of the device is on the smaller side of the spectrum. Still, it is pretty good compared to extremely cheap resin-based 3D printers, especially given the printer’s compact overall frame.
5. ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro Mono MSLA 3D Printer Review
ELEGOO Mars is a number one bestseller for 3D printers on Amazon, so you know it’s a machine to respect.
- This resin 3D printer is a professionally designed, easy to use, and semi-assembled unit, so you can start printing out of the box.
- You get a very modern cutting software known as ChiTuBox, which has been optimized for speed. So, this printer can cut files extremely quickly and is also very easy to use.
- The software can save resin by hollowing out models before slicing. Not only is this unit high quality, but it is also efficient.
- ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro Mono is equipped with a 3.5-inch color touchscreen and 40 watts UV lamps that enable high resolution and precision and a convenient and innovative printing experience.
- Add in an impressive design and easy-to-use interface, and you have a device that even beginners can use to print great miniatures.
- The large screen interface allows you to preview your SD card models in real-time using screen printing.
- This best 3D printer for making miniatures includes helpful items like a mask, measuring cup, as well as a tool kit for your resin printing needs.
- The ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro Mono has a rigid and durable structure that ensures long-term miniature printing success.
6. QIDI TECH Shadow 6.0 Pro 3D Printer Review
The QIDI TECH Shadow 6.0 Pro is an MSLA desktop resin printer. This is an updated version of the QIDI TECH Shadow 5.5 S.
- In contrast to its predecessor, it’s equipped with a six-inch 2K LCD, which offers a higher print resolution and larger prints.
- This 3d printer is a great, affordable device for new users. Its stable structure and robust design make it reliable and durable.
- As an MSLA unit, the 6.0 Pro uses ultraviolet light to cure the resin. The light is emitted by a unique matrix UV LED array developed to improve the printing accuracy.
- The newly designed lighting system lights up the building deck with greater intensity and speeds up the drying process.
- The QIDI TECH Shadow 6.0 Pro 3D printer can cure each layer in only 5 to 6 seconds, making it perfect for miniatures.
Our pick for the best resin printer for miniatures is the ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro Mono MSLA 3D Printer.
- This unit is the best resin printer that comes with the latest version of Chitubox cutting software.
- The 3.5-inch color touchscreen and 40-watt UV lamps provide high resolution and precision, making it perfect for printing miniatures.
Traditionally, resin 3D printing has played a vital role in optimizing production processes and reducing outsourcing costs. Previously, skilled craftsmen and technicians were required to operate the equipment.
With cutting-edge new age technology that even hobbyists can use to create eclectic designs, it is now easier to use. After you’ve gone through the list of the best resin printer for miniatures, it’s time for you to buy the printer that you have been saving so badly for!
- “How to Design & 3D Print Your Own Custom Miniatures – Spikey Bits”. Accessed February 27, 2021. Link.