best resin 3d printer ranking

Top 10 Best Resin 3D Printers 2022 (In Every Price Range)

Resin 3D printers use SLA, DLP or LCD technologies to cure liquid resin, creating crisp and high-resolution prints at great speed. You’d be surprised how many industries rely on these machines, from jewelry to dental.

So, we ranked the top resin printers in every price range, from $150 to $5,000+, so you can pick up the perfect machine for your hobbyist projects or business.

How does a resin 3D printer work?

Resin printerPriceBest price atAlternative
Anycubic Photon Mono$249Amazon hereAnycubic Official Store
Elegoo Mars 2 Pro$289Amazon here
Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K$349Phrozen Store hereAmazon here
Elegoo Mars 3$349Amazon here
Elegoo Saturn$499Amazon here
Phrozen Sonic Mighty 4K$549Phrozen Store here
Anycubic Mono X$599Amazon hereAnycubic Official Store
Prusa SL1S Speed$1,999Prusa Store here
Peopoly Phenom$1,999Matterhackers here
Formlabs Form 3$3,499Dynamism store here

Every type of resin 3D printing technology cures UV resin, they just differ in how they accomplish this.

Stereolithography (SLA) was the first additive manufacturing technology invented, with the patents granted to 3D Systems back in 1986, and SLA 3D printers use a UV laser and mirrors (called galvanometers) to selectively cure resin.

DLP 3D printing was pioneered by EnvisionTEC, and uses a projector in the same way a movie cinema projector works. LCD instead uses an LCD screen with individual LEDs turned on and off to selectively solidify certain areas of resin to form the final object. LCD is sometimes known as MSLA (masked SLA), such as by Prusa and Peopoly resin printers.

How much is a resin 3D printer?

Good cheap resin 3D printers start at around $200. Just a decade ago resin printers started at thousands of dollars, but with great advances — mainly in LCD printing — prices have come right down!

That being said, these budget resin 3D printers cannot compete with more professional, high resolution printers, such as the Form 3 ($3,499) or Peopoly Phenom ($1,999). They can still create accurate models, such as for miniatures and other fun projects, but as a resin 3D printer for a business, they may struggle.

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Best Cheap Resin 3D Printers (Under $1,000)

Anycubic Photon Mono — great low cost resin 3D printer

The newer Anycubic Photon Mono adds to Anycubic’s top-class reputation in the low cost LCD 3D printer space. Where once you’d expect to pay thousands for an entry-level SLA printer, now printers like the Mono offer great resolution at lower-than-ever prices. The Photon Mono brings new upgrades on previous models, including notably increased resin printing speed, and other precision improvements.

It features a high quality 2K LCD screen, more than enough for most hobbyist resin projects. But, for better resolutions and better quality for really intricate figurines or miniatures, we recommend going for the Anycubic Mono X for its 4K LCD — which we discuss in more depth later in this article.

Perhaps the most notably upgrade is the speed, up to a maximum 50mm/h from previous levels of around 20mm/h on older Photon models. Anycubic have also upgraded the Z-axis for stabler printing and better quality surface finishes with their new dual linear slide system.

Overall, we rate the Anycubic Photon Mono, as well as its competitors in the Sonic Mini and Elegoo Mars range, as the top cheap resin 3D printers around. But, if you’ve got a few hundred extra dollars and want better resolutions, go with the Mono X.

anycubic photon mono cheap resin 3d printer

ELEGOO Mars Pro / Mars 2 Pro — best cheap resin 3D printer

The Elegoo Mars is another cheap resin 3D printer, like the Anycubic Photon, that shocked makers with how good it actually was. With LCD 3D printing becoming more affordable, more precise and faster, the Elegoo takes advantage of this to deliver a cheap resin printer that delivers in quality and consistency.

This upgraded version, the Mars Pro, features improved precision thanks to a revamped Z-axis linear guide-way system that smoothens layers and makes each individual layer line less obvious — improving surface finish. There are also a number of safety improvements such as a silicone seal that prevents resin leaking on the 3D printer’s cover.

It features a 2K LCD projector, with a minimum layer height of just 0.01mm. The Elegoo Mars Pro comes with its own resin 3D slicer called CHITUBOX, and has a good maximum build volume of 115 x 65 x 150 mm. It’s also decently fast for a budget resin 3D printer.

elegoo mars pro

Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K

For a low price, the Phrozen Sonic Mini packs a powerful 4K 6.1-inch LCD screen offering 35μm quality and two-second layer speeds.

It’s a powerful low-cost resin 3D printer with everything you need to get printing, and while if you need a larger print volume you can opt for the Sonic Mighty 4K instead (more on this further on!), if size doesn’t matter too much the Sonic Mini 4K will more than do.

Phrozen say the Sonic Mini 4K is ideal for jewelry makers to print out resin molds, as well as being well suited for printing miniatures and tabletop models.

Read more: the best 3D printers for jewelry

phrozen sonic mini 4k

Elegoo Mars 3

With an Ultra 4K resolution LCD screen featuring Elegoo’s latest mSLA technology, the Elegoo Mars is now 30% more precise XY resolution (35 μm) than the Mars 2, as well as having a 37% larger build volume. For an extra $100, this is a very attractive deal for anyone wanting a slightly more premium resin 3D printing experience.

Other features are an upgraded light source for more even resin curing — even across the larger build area. 36 integrated, powerful LED lights and a new lens make for more consistent accuracy, and there’s also an improved heat sink and cooling fan, lengthening the printer’s lifespan and reinforcing its durability.

elegoo mars 3

Elegoo Saturn

Featuring an 8.9-inch 4K monochrome LCD screen for fast layer curing, the Elegoo Saturn comes much upgraded on standard models, printing 60% faster than the Elegoo Mars Pro, printing a layer every 2-3 seconds.

For your money, you get a number of other key upgrades, most notably the larger build area, turning the Elegoo Saturn into a solid resin 3D printer for larger resin models, as well as giving it the ability to print a number of smaller models at once in a batch.

The improved precision, owing to the Saturn’s double linear guideway Z-axis structure makes it steadier than ever, ensuring accuracy and uniformity across the print. And in case you’re a fan, the Elegoo Saturn also has an Ethernet port in the back to keep everything fast and efficient.

elegoo saturn

Phrozen Sonic Mighty 4K

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced resin 3D printer with a large enough area for either batch model printing or bigger resin prototyping, the Phrozen Sonic Mighty 4K even outdoes the Elegoo Saturn for size.

Aided by its strong and sturdy Z-axis for accurate prints all the way up to the top of the 22cm maximum print height, it offers good quality all-round, especially given the 4K resolution LCD screen. It also prints quickly, with two-second layer printing.

While Phrozen advises you use their own 3D printer resins, the Sonic Mighty 4K is compatible with most third-party resins around (but check first). So, if you have some spare resins lying around from a previous resin 3D printer, it should be fine.

phrozen sonic mighty 4k

Anycubic Mono X — Great budget resin 3D printer

Anycubic’s original Photon budget resin 3D printer is still one of the most popular 3D printers in the world, and now the Mono X proves the company can cut it even with more premium machines. The Mono X can print 3x faster than standard resin printers, with speeds of up to 60mm/h, and with a 4K LCD screen can produce extremely precise and crisp details.

  • The standard Mono is available for $289 here.

Additionally, the Mono X’s upgraded Z-axis improves stability makes for smoother surface finishes unaffected by outside variables like vibrations. The results are jewelry models and miniatures that you can barely see the layer lines on.

Another great benefit is WiFi printing, so you don’t have to keep unplugging an SD or USB card when printing multiple models throughout the day. The large 3.5-inch touchscreen makes navigation easy, and with the larger build volume you can print several models jewelry models or tabletop miniatures simultaneously. Overall, it’s one of the best budget resin 3D printers.

anycubic mono x

Best Desktop Resin 3D Printers (Between $1,000 and $3,000)

Prusa SL1S Speed

Prusa printers are known for being the best RepRap 3D printers. They’re so good that more than 150,000 have been sold, with founder Josef Prusa starting factories of his own printers just to make parts for more of them! Prusa-ception.

Now Prusa has moved into the SLA 3D printing sector, with the Prusa SL1 based on mSLA technologies: using LCD and LED panels to cure photopolymer resin layers. As mentioned previously, this creates advantages in scalability — multiple parts can be created simultaneously with no extra time cost — as well as strong precision.

As well as the printer, Prusa sell a washing and curing machine to aid with washing and curing prints, maximizing surface finish quality. The Prusa SL1 features a heavy aluminum body, designed to anchor the printer to the ground and make it more stable so printing is more accurate. I feel like the phrase “of course it’s good, it’s Prusa” is appropriate here.

prusa sl1s speed resin 3d printer

Peopoly Phenom mSLA Printer — large resin 3D printer with huge build volume

We’ve already included the Peopoly Moai 130 on our list — a fantastic DIY SLA 3D printer kit. Now Peopoly are back with the Phenom, a large resin 3D printer that combines LCD and LED technologies.

The Peopoly Moai has a simply enormous print volume for a resin 3D printer, at 276 x 155 x 400 mm, in addition to 72-micron resolution. This is virtually unheard of as resin printers typically have much smaller build volumes than FDM 3D printers. Peopoly recommend using their resins when 3D printing, which they sell for around $70 per liter.

Overall, it’s an impressive and accurate large format resin 3D printer.

We also have a buyer’s guide dedicated to large resin 3D printers

peopoly phenom msla 3d printer resin

Professional Resin 3D Printers ($3,000+)

Formlabs Form 3 — best resin 3D printer

Formlabs have become a huge name in the 3D printing industry since their original Kickstarter campaign in 2012. The US 3D printer company sell the Form 3 SLA 3D printer for $3,499, and it has since become very popular in the dental and jewelry industries.

  • Formlabs resins are available here.

The Form 3 comes with a huge variety of new features. It comes with new LFS technology advantages as well as a new Light Processing Unit (LPU) to improve resin part surface finishes, as well as better layer registrations. The Form 2 was already fantastic, and these added features elevate the Form 3 to a whole new dimension within SLA 3D printing.

Additionally, the Formlabs Form 3 has an automated resin system and uses smart cartridges that automatically fill the resin vat. In addition, it has a scanning system for the resin tray after each layer, and automatically adjusts based on the type of resin used. Furthermore, its got a fantastic touch screen and can be operated remotely via a WiFi connection.

This uv has a very nice print volume of 145 x 145 x 185 mm, and is extremely precise with 25-micron XY resolution. The Formlabs Form 3 is also compatible with a large amount of resins, though Formlabs also sell their own high-quality resin materials.

Formlabs have cemented themselves as leaders in Stereolithography with the Form 3. It has received rave reviews, and is used extensively in the dental sector. Formlabs also sell an SLS 3D printer, the Fuse 1.

formlabs form 3

Uses of resin 3D printers

Budget resin 3D printers are typically used by hobbyists to make accurate figures and miniatures at details FDM printers just cannot reach. They’re commonly used for 28mm miniatures, D&D figures, and other similar projects for tabletop models.

See also: our buyer’s guide for the best 3D printers for miniatures.

However, these low cost options can sometimes be used for creating wax molds for jewelry casting. For better quality casting with precious metals however it is recommended to use a more professional resin 3D printer capable of better resolutions and precision.

See also: our guide to the best jewelry 3D printers.

Resin printers are commonly used in the dental, audiology, jewelry, and medical industries. For example, within dentistry resin 3D printers can print orthodontic models and implants, and within audiology, almost 100% of custom hearing aids are now 3D printed.

See also: 3D printing in the dental industry.

See also: how 3D printed hearing aids took over the world.

Resin 3D printing vs filament (FDM)

Hobbyists typically turn to resin 3D printing when they desire better precision, smoother surface areas and crisper details on small prints like figurines or miniatures. Though FDM is simpler, it can’t achieve these levels of precision or smoothness.

However, the tradeoff is FDM is that in terms of filament vs resin, filaments are cheaper, easier to use and re-use, come in more varieties of materials, colors and types, and are generally tougher.

Resins are typically more expensive (though LCD resins are far cheaper now) and more complex to use. They need to be carefully washed and post-processed, and more care must be taken when printing and during resin 3D printer post processing — wearing protective items among other things — as the materials can be corrosive.

Resin and filament are therefore used for different applications, rather than being in direct competition for the same uses. For unparalleled accuracy for cheap 3D printers, and for fast dental, jewelry and medical models, resin 3D printers are the way to go. But for tougher — perhaps with more than one color — basic prototypes, FDM works best.

See also: our complete buyer’s guide for 3D printer filaments.

See also: our guide to FDM vs SLA.

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