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Why photosensitive resin is the material of choice for 3D printing

Which material is most commonly used for 3D printing? It is estimated that the first material that pops into the minds of people who are familiar with the 3D printing industry is photosensitive resin. Photosensitive resin is a type of 3D-printed plastic material. It is similar to ABS material. It has a smooth surface and high precision; the surface can be painted; and the hardness is also acceptable. The photosensitive resin is very suitable for printing prototype models, such as appearance design models, and some models have special functional requirements in addition to appearances, such as high-temperature resistance or higher toughness.
Photosensitive resin is formed through SLA/DLP technology. SLA is also called light-curing molding. It uses ultraviolet light or other light beams to solidify liquid, photosensitive resin. Photosensitive resin, literally speaking, is a resin material that is sensitive to light. It will solidify quickly after being exposed to light.

To put it more profoundly, photosensitive resin is a mixture of photoinitiators, monomer polymers, and prepolymers. This material can be cured under the focus of ultraviolet light of a specific wavelength. Compared with SLA, items printed by DLP have a smooth surface and high molding quality, so many DLP models are positioned as jewelry-level. The following is a detailed introduction to the characteristics and applications of photosensitive resins.

Characteristics of photosensitive resin
The photosensitive resin is generally in a liquefied state, and objects printed using this material generally have the characteristics of high strength, high-temperature resistance, and waterproofing. However, photosensitive resin materials can easily harden if not used for a long time, and the material has a certain degree of toxicity, so it needs to be sealed and stored when not in use.

In addition, the photosensitive material is more expensive than desktop-grade PLA. At the same time, since it needs to be poured into a container when used, it can easily lead to waste.

Application of photosensitive resin
The finished product 3D printed with photosensitive resin material has fine details and high surface quality and can be colored through spray painting and other processes. However, if items printed with photosensitive resin are exposed to light conditions for a long time, they will gradually become brittle and yellow. This material is mostly used to print fine models and complex design models that require high model accuracy and surface quality, such as prototypes, figures, jewelry, precision assembly parts, etc. But it is not suitable for printing large models. If you need to print large models, you need to disassemble and print them.

In addition to the high toughness, high-temperature resistance, and ordinary photosensitive resins mentioned above, there are also translucent and fully transparent photosensitive resins. However, it needs to be reminded that translucent and fully transparent printing require post-polishing. The transparency will be slightly worse in areas that cannot be polished.

Photosensitive resin materials not only have good molding effects but are also relatively cheap, so they have become the first choice for printing prototypes. Regarding whether it is feasible to make a sample to verify the appearance and function of the product before it is launched on the market, the sample fee is cost-effective. Compared with direct production without proofing, it can save a lot of money.

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