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Resin 3D-printing: 385nm vs 405nm

In this article we combine all internal data about the differences between 385nm vs. 405nm resin 3D-printers, and also about 385nm vs. 405nm resin itself. If you don’t want to know all about the technical details. 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 technological differences between 405nm and 385nm hardware and resins.


How does a 405nm resin work?

405 nm resins are widely available for both DLP, MLSA (LCD) and SLA 3D-printers. Typically these printers work with 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 as you can see in the reactivity curve below.

405 nm resin 405nm photopolymer resins explained MSLA LCD DLP SLAImage: Reactivity spectrum of a typical 405nm resin.


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3d printer sla lcd dlp icon

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

All 405 nm resins are reactive on 385 nm as well. However, 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. Liqcreate resins resins have been successfully printed on 405nm and 385nm 3D-printers. Send us an e-mail at when you need advice on a resin and printer compatibility.


What about 385 nm resins?

385 nm resins are in some ways similar to 405nm resins. Most of these resins are 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 printers that operate at 385nm. The main benefit of 385 nm resin is that it is possible to get an actual clear, non-yellowing product when the resin is developed properly.


What about 385nm hardware / 3D-printers?

Well, there are plenty of resin 3D-printers around that operate at 385nm. To our knowledge all of these are DLP based printers like the Asiga, Genera3D, Origin, Atum3D – 385nm version. We have not seen around any laser or LCD based printers in this wavelength. Light with a wavelength of 385nm is more difficult to work with as you would need special optics in your projector that does not absorb this wavelength. For 405nm the optics path is less critical. Additionally, LCD screens do not like <400nm wavelength as it will absorb too much of this light and cause early degradation.


Why does the majority of 3D-printing hardware run on 405nm?

First to say because it is widely available, more affordable, easier to work with and also most resins can function well on it. So except for some specific cases there is no need to build a more complicated and more expensive 385nm system.


Resin tests on 405nm vs 385nm wavelength

Our engineers have conducted some experiments with Liqcreate Premium Black resin at 405nm and 385nm (both 8mW/cm2 power) DLP printers. Premium Black is a resin that works well on both wavelengths. In the graph below you can see the differences as the resin behaves different on 385nm vs 405nm wavelength.

resin 3D-printing Ec Dp cure depth 385 vs 405 nm 385nm vs 405nm

Three things you can learn from the tests on this specific resin:

  • – 385nm is more efficient with the start of curing (lower Ec)
  • – 405nm is more efficient in curing thick layers (higher Dp)
  • – The slope of the 405nm test is steeper, making it more susceptible for through-cure but also can increase print speed at thicker layers.


Ec and Dp for 405nm vs 385nm wavelength

As you can see from the previous graph, the Ec and Dp values are also different for 385nm and 405nm. When nothing is stated, best is to ask the manufacturer on which wavelength the Ec and Dp is measured. Standard we do this at 405nm, but also intend to expand this to 385nm.

resin 3D-printing Ec Dp cure depth 385 vs 405 nm 385nm vs 405nm

Calculating both Ec and Dp of Premium Black at 405nm and 385nm would give the following values:

405nm 385nm
Ec 5,00 mJ/cm2 2,47 mJ/cm2
Dp 0,1714 mm 0,0932 mm
Cure depth ~ 0,60 mm ~ 0,40 mm


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.

About Liqcreate Premium Black

Liqcreate Premium Black is an opaque black photopolymer resin with excellent color stability, ideal for rapid prototyping and concept product development. 3D-printed parts from this material have exceptional dimensional stability and low shrinkage during printing. Liqcreate Premium Black is easy to use on all open source MSLA/LCD and DLP 3D-printers in the range of 385 – 420nm. This material has excellent properties like low shrinkage and low odor, which makes it ideal for applications that require an opaque, deep black surface finish.

Key benefits


3D-Printer compatibility

·        Opaque Black ·        Asiga Max & Pro 4K
·        Compatible with 2K, 4K & 8K printers ·        Shininig3D Accufab-L4K
·        Low odor ·        Elegoo & Creality Series
·        Low shrinkage ·        Anycubic & Phrozen Series
·        High reactivity ·        And many more
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