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Explained: Daylight, 405 & 385nm resin for DLP, MSLA & SLA

Sometimes it can be difficult to select the right resin for your application. Next to mechanical properties, you also want the resin to work on your type of 3D-printer. In this article we try to explain the technology and differences behind daylight 405nm, 385nm and 365nm resins and why some resins are specifically for SLA or DLP printers.

 

Printer compatibility with 405nm or 385nm resin.

If you don’t want to know all about the technical details, but just select the right resin for your application and 3D-printer, then click on this link or contact us and our engineers will help. In the link above Liqcreate and partners have optimized over 50 different printers and settings are published. Keep reading if you want to learn more about the technology behind all different resins.

 

Daylight resin and wavelength / compatibility of daylight resins.

Daylight resins are mostly used by 3D-printer manufacturer Photocentric as some of their machines run on quite high wavelengths. So what makes a resin a daylight resin? Well it has to do about the wavelength that the resin is reactive. For instance the Photocentric Magna (V1) uses a 460nm light source. If you run a 405nm resin on it, it won’t cure at all! So if the printer uses 460nm LED’s, your resin should also be reactive on it. Basically they are using a different reaction initiator that react in this area. An absorption spectrum of such a resin can be found here. This means this resin is reactive up to 500nm.

405 nm resin 405nm photopolymer resins explained MSLA LCD DLP SLA Daylight resin

Image: Reactivity spectrum of a typical daylight resin.

If you look at the graph, you would think that a daylight resin would also be reactive on 405 and even 385nm resin 3D-printers. Technically a daylight resin can cure at this wavelength. The only problem is that these resins absorb too much light in the 385 – 405 nm spectrum and therefore it is difficult to cure a layer of 50 micron.

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Printer compatibility

Our resins are available for a wide variety of SLA, DLP and LCD 3D printers (385 – 420 nm). Do you want to know if your printer is compatible?

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405nm resins explained

405 nm resins are widely available for both DLP, MLSA (LCD) and SLA 3D-printers. These printers operate on a 405nm LED or 405nm Laser diode. Resins for a 405nm wavelength are typically much less yellow compared to a daylight resin due to the color of the blockers and initiators. 405nm resins will not work on a daylight printer and have a reactivity of sometimes up-to 420-440 nm. At higher wavelengths these resins will not cure at all.

405 nm resin 405nm photopolymer resins explained MSLA LCD DLP SLA

Image: Reactivity spectrum of a typical 405nm resin.

 

Are 405nm resins compatible with a 385nm 3D-printer?

All 405 nm resins are reactive on 385 nm as well. It is depending on the type of resin and components if it is possible to actually get successful prints on a 385nm resin 3D-printer. For Liqcreate resins, all resins have been successfully printed on 385nm 3D-printers. Send us an e-mail at info@liqcreate.com when you need advice on a resin and printer compatibility.

 

385 nm resins explained

385 nm resins are quite similar to 405nm resins. The resins are often reactive up to 400nm and in most cases it is too difficult to print them at higher wavelengths like 405 nm. Often these 385 nm resins are specifically designed for this wavelength. The main benefit of 385 nm resin is that it is possible to get an actual clear, non-yellowing product if the resin is developed properly.

 

365 nm resins explained

Originally resin 3D-printing started with big SLA – laser based- printers that operated at 355 – 365 nm. Companies like Covestro Somos (formerly DSM) and 3D-systems developed epoxy/acrylate resins that were reactive on these wavelengths. Currently these are still used today. Due to the reactivity of these materials, they can only be used on 355 – 365nm 3D-printers and are not compatible on either 385 or 405 nm.

3D-printing technical data sheet resin formlabs comparison resin

 

SLA vs DLP vs MSLA 405nm resin

When comparing resin compatibility on a range of printing technologies, obviously the operating wavelength is an important parameter to check if a resin is compatible. But there is more. There are a few differences within the printing technology that would make a 405nm LCD resin not compatible on a 405nm SLA (laser-based) 3D-printer. This is how it works; for resin 3D-printing, next to the wavelength, also the power / intensity of the printer in combination with the absorbance of the resin is important. Resin can be developed with different reactivity at for instance a 405nm printer. This is the difference between the reactivity between our Premium range and the other resins. Premium Model for instance is a very high reactive material at 405 and 385 nm wavelength. The high reactivity is very welcoming on low powered 405nm printers like MSLA / LCD printers. Although it is reactive at 405nm, it is too reactive for laser based printers and high power DLP printers. On the other hand, Liqcreate Strong-X is also reactive in the 385 – 405 nm range and has a lower reactivity. This is perfect for laser based SLA printers and high powered DLP 3D-printers. But makes it slower (still possible!) to print in LCD based printers. This makes it difficult to select the right material even though it is reactive at the right wavelength. Our engineers are happy to help and assist you when you have any questions about Liqcreate resins and their printer compatibility. Feel free to reach out at info@liqcreate.com.

Hope this was an educational read. Team Liqcreate wish you happy printing. If there are any questions or remarks, feel free to contact us any time.

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