After many months of testing we're finally ready to start offering a brand new full-color 3D printing option to customers using our full body 3D scanners to run their 3D printed figurine businesses: Full-color Resin 3D Printing. It's an exciting time to be in the 3D printed figurine business as this new type of 3D printing could open up brand new use cases that just weren't possible before with full-color sandstone 3D printing. In this post we'll explain how it works, discuss benefits of full-color resin over full-color sandstone and give you more details about the beta program.
How Full-color Resin 3D Prints Are Made
Full-color resin 3D prints are made on the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 full-color 3D printer. The Mimaki works by firing resin out of ink jet print heads and then curing it with a special UV light. The basic process is:
- Resin is fired out of inkjet print heads and cured by a UV LED light
- Once it completes a layer, a roller flattens out the layer and the UV LED light is fired again
- After a layer is complete, the build platform moves down and the process repeats
Dissolvable support materials are used in cases where a part has an overhang. Supports are later removed in post processing.
3D printed figurines produced with full-color resin 3D printing are much stronger and have better color quality than parts produced with full-color sandstone 3D printing. For your customers buying 3D printed figurines this means:
- More freedom in how to pose- With parts being stronger, 3D prints are much less likely to break during the 3D printing process allowing your customers to be much more expressive in how they pose. While there are still some constraints, stuff like arms/fingers spread apart, brims of hats and other intricate details are much less of an issue to 3D print with full-color resin.
- Longer lasting products- In addition to being stronter, full-color resin 3D prints are more water resistant than the full-color sandstone product. This means they'll likely be more resistant to humidity. Also, being stronger not only means more freedom in how to pose, but also means the print is less likely to be damaged if a customer accidentally drops it.
- Smaller sizes- Full-color resin 3D printing also means being able to 3D print at much smaller sizes while still retaining detail. This makes offering 1-inch and 2-inch 3D printed figurines a possibility: opening up brand new use cases for the product. For example, if the customers you sell to are in the miniature community it now makes it possible for them to put themselves in their own dioramas.
- Lower prices- Being able to print at smaller sizes also means lower starting wholesale production costs for full body 3D printed figurines. During the beta period wholesale prices start at $15 for full body resin 3D prints.
*Keep in mind that full-color resin 3D prints have a different surface than full-color sandstone 3D prints. If full-color resin 3D printed figurines are something you want to offer to your customers, make sure to get samples to have on display.
Here are a few pictures of full-color resin 3D prints to help you better understand this new product and get you thinking about new use cases:
(1-inch to 3-inch full-color resin 3D prints)
(1-inch full-color resin 3D portrait next to a miniature plant)
(2-inch full-color resin 3D portrait in a gift box)
So you might be wondering now, does full-color resin 3D printing replace full-color sandstone 3D printing? The answer is not entirely. While full-color resin 3D printing does have it's benefits it does get much more expensive than full-color sandstone 3D printing at larger 3D printed figurine sizes. For this reason, we'll be offering full-color 3D prints only up to size 3 inch during the beta.
Interested in joining the beta program (limited spots available)?