Introduction: Unveiling the Potential of Photosensitive Resin in 3D Printing
Photosensitive resin material is a star player in the realm of 3D printing, offering a myriad of advantages that make it an ideal choice for creating high-quality 3D printed models. Its exceptional surface precision allows for intricate detailing and precise material processing, making it a preferred option for manufacturing precision parts. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of photosensitive resin in 3D printing, diving into its strengths and limitations, and shedding light on the process of achieving full transparent surface treatment.
The Advantages of Photosensitive Resin in 3D Printing
1. High Surface Precision: Capturing Every Detail
Photosensitive resin boasts an impressive level of surface precision, which is a critical factor in producing 3D printed models with exceptional detailing. The resin’s ability to solidify layer by layer with incredible accuracy ensures that even the tiniest features and intricacies of the model are faithfully reproduced. This level of precision is particularly valuable in fields like medical and engineering, where intricate structures and fine details are crucial for functional and aesthetic purposes.
2. Fine Surface Quality: Enhancing Aesthetics and Functionality
In addition to high surface precision, photosensitive resin delivers fine surface quality. This smooth and refined surface finish enhances the overall aesthetics of 3D printed models, making them visually appealing and suitable for display purposes. Moreover, the fine surface quality also improves the functionality of the 3D printed parts, as it reduces friction and facilitates smoother interactions in mechanisms and moving components.
3. Suitable for Precision Material Processing: Meeting Industrial Demands
The exceptional properties of photosensitive resin, such as its high resolution and smooth surface, make it an ideal material for precision material processing. Industries that require intricate and accurate parts, such as aerospace and medical, benefit significantly from 3D printing with photosensitive resin. The ability to create precise prototypes and functional parts with this material streamlines the product development process and accelerates innovation in various sectors.
The Limitations of Photosensitive Resin in 3D Printing
While photosensitive resin offers impressive advantages, it is not without its limitations. Understanding these drawbacks is essential to make informed decisions when selecting materials for 3D printing projects.
1. Cost: The Noble Yet Expensive Polymer
Photosensitive resins, especially UV resins, belong to the nobility in the polymer field. As a result, they come with a higher production cost compared to most polymer polymers. This increased cost has limited the widespread adoption of UV resin materials in 3D printing to some extent, particularly in projects with budget constraints. However, the continual advancements in resin technology and economies of scale are gradually mitigating this limitation, making the use of photosensitive resins more accessible and cost-effective over time.
2. Limited Material Selection: Narrow Range of Applications
Compared to traditional polymers, the range of materials available for photosensitive resin is relatively limited. While it offers excellent precision and surface quality, it may not be the best choice for certain applications that require specific material properties, such as extreme durability, flexibility, or thermal resistance. However, continuous research and development efforts are expanding the range of available resin materials, catering to a broader spectrum of 3D printing applications.
Achieving Full Transparent Surface Treatment in Photosensitive Resin Models
The desire for transparent 3D printed models is common in various fields, including medical visualization, architectural prototyping, and consumer product design. Achieving full transparency in photosensitive resin models involves a precise post-processing technique. After 3D printing the model, it undergoes a surface treatment process that involves sanding, polishing, and applying a transparent coating. This treatment not only enhances the clarity and transparency of the model but also gives it a glass-like appearance. The process requires a delicate touch and attention to detail to ensure a flawless finish, and it showcases the skill and expertise of the 3D printing professional.
Conclusion: Embracing the Potential of Photosensitive Resin in 3D Printing
Photosensitive resin remains a favored material in 3D printing for its exceptional surface precision, fine quality, and suitability for precision material processing. While its cost and limited material selection pose challenges, the continuous advancements in resin technology are driving innovation and making it more accessible to a broader audience. Achieving full transparent surface treatment in photosensitive resin models elevates the potential of 3D printing, unlocking new possibilities in various industries. As technology evolves and materials improve, photosensitive resin will continue to shape the landscape of 3D printing, paving the way for even more astounding creations with unparalleled precision and elegance.
Often see some beautiful 3D printed model dolls, animals, such as the following picture of this deer. It is printed from photosensitive resin material.
So what is photosensitive resin material?
Photosensitive resin material is a common 3D printing model material, photosensitive resin material is generally liquid, composed of photoinitiator and monomer or pre-polymer, mainly composed of copolymers, additives and diluents, additives for photoinitiator. The addition of photoinitiator, through a certain wavelength of ultraviolet radiation, can cause the polymerization reaction of the copolymer, so that the liquid photosensitive resin material curing, the process is called liquid light-curing resin process, commonly used in three-dimensional light-curing 3D printing technology.
The performance of photosensitive resin material is similar to ABS resin, high mechanical strength, no volatile odor, wide application, convenient storage, short preparation process of photosensitive resin material, easy to cure, high molding accuracy, good surface effect, suitable for light-curing molding (SLA) rapid prototyping equipment. Under the laser or UV irradiation of 250~300nm, the photoinitiator present in the photosensitive resin material absorbs the UV light and forms excited state molecules, which then rapidly decompose and trigger the polymerization reaction of the polymer in the photosensitive resin. The whole triggering process is short and the photosensitive resin material can be cured in a short time. To improve the curing, the photosensitive resin material can be scanned and stacked layer by layer using 3D printing modeling equipment to obtain the desired finished 3D printed product and to realize the design model. Using the photosensitive resin material obtained by this technology, 3D printed products with high molding accuracy can be produced.
As can be seen from the above, photosensitive resin material has many advantages and is an ideal material for 3D printing models. The products obtained from this material have high surface precision, which can show better details of the 3D printed products, and the products have fine surfaces, which are suitable for precision material processing, especially in precision parts. However, it also has disadvantages. For example, UV resins are expensive to produce compared to most polymer polymers and are the nobility in the polymer field. Therefore, the high preparation cost has limited the development of UV resin materials in 3D printing to some extent.
Currently, there are more studies on the application of photosensitive resin materials in the field of 3D printing materials, but there are fewer reports of large-scale applications in the commercial field. It can be seen that the commercialization of photosensitive resin 3D printing model materials still has a long way to go. In addition to photosensitive resins, acid anhydride, PUA and vinyl ester resins are also among the widely used photosensitive resin materials. Acid anhydride, in particular, is more popular among researchers because of its moderate viscosity, which facilitates the molding process during 3D printing. However, acid anhydride material has low mechanical strength, low molding degree, high hardness, easy shrinkage, which is not conducive to obtaining the ideal size model; in contrast, PUA material has good optical properties, wear resistance and toughness, but PUA material also has disadvantages in some aspects, the polymerization process is not easy to control, the coloring degree is difficult to control and adjust; vinyl ester resin material has good chemical stability, high mechanical strength, molding material is not easy to shrink It is a better material for photosensitive resin 3D printing. However, the high viscosity of vinyl ester resin material, poor fluidity polymerization process using a long time, is not conducive to molding, to the 3D printing process brings a certain degree of difficulty, affecting the product molding process. Therefore, acid anhydride, PUA, vinyl ester resin materials have their own characteristics, both advantages and disadvantages, therefore, in the process of selecting 3D printing materials, in order to obtain suitable photosensitive resin materials for the application, as far as possible to play the advantages of the material play the advantages of the material, will use a mixture, different materials mixed in a certain ratio.