Flexible Resin 3D Printing
Flexible Resin is a legacy formulation of the stiffest soft-touch material in our library of Flexible and Elastic Resins. It gives a more flexible and malleable design, suitable for certain manufacturing applications or other designs. Though it is slightly more complex than printing using other materials and filaments, the properties of the material make it a really popular choice.
Flexible Resin Explained
Flexible Resin 3D printing is often seen as an alternative to printing rubber, which cannot be printed because of the fact that it is a natural material and can’t be turned into a resin or filament. This gives you an idea of the sort of textures that can be achieved with printing using a flexible resin.
Flexible resin’s properties make the material easy to bend and compress, but not to stretch. The form of the resin will bounce back into position when stretched. This can be perfect for some moving parts or sealing rings within manufacturing purposes. The flexibility is achieved by having “elastomeric” properties but not having much “elongation”. Bendy and moveable can be achieved with these resins but they are not quite as durable as rubber.
Flexible Resin in 3D Printing
Flexible resin has become popular in 3D printing due to the fact that it has different properties to a lot of the other, firmer materials. It is relatively strong in spite of the fact that it can bend.
This makes it a little more difficult to print with, and this means that a lot of people look to 3D printing online and use other people’s services rather than attempt printing themselves.
3D printing uses can be as simple as toys and kitchen utensils, and as complex as moving parts for machinery or automotive. Because flexible resins are not quite as strong as some other flexible materials, such as rubber, it is often used for prototyping and testing designs that will eventually wind up being made out of other materials, but these cannot be prototyped so easily.
3D Printing with Flexible Resin: Pros and Cons
- Flexible resin can provide an inexpensive and quicker alternative to making something out of rubber.
- Flexible resins can provide properties that not a lot of other 3D printing materials can, they can be springy and can bounce back into position, and they can also be used for moving parts.
- Great for testing and prototyping parts that can eventually be manufactured using polypropylene (PP) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE).
- After 3D printing, the post-processing can be quite intensive. Flexible resin 3D printing must be washed in alcohol and dried out. UV light can sometimes be used to cure the final product.
- The perfect temperature is required or the results of the 3D printing will most likely be very poor.
- You will require more consumables to print using flexible resin, such as alcohol and curing processes.
- A well-ventilated space is required for 3D printing using a flexible resin.