Tools of the Trade - Part 2: Resin Handling

18 Aug 2021
Welcome back to our Tools of the Trade series. This article is part 2 in the series. If you missed part one, check it out here.
This series is designed to get you equipped to start 3D printing your own model car and truck parts quickly and as inexpensively as possible.
Let's save you money!
In this series, I outline everything you need to get started 3D printing your own model car and truck parts with a resin SLA 3D printer. I share with you the tools and materials that I use personally in my successful 3D printed parts business. Where there are free or cheap alternatives, I point those out, and where there are dedicated tools for a certain purpose that are more expensive, I share those too so that you can see all of your options. In some of these cases, the expensive object may make life a lot easier, but in general I think you will see that you can start 3D printing for your model car builds for less money than you might think!
Please note: links to products in this article may be affiliate links. This means that when you purchase an item from an affiliate link, you pay the same price you normally would but I earn a small commission. My goal is to bring you accurate and helpful content, therefore I only recommend products that I myself have used and stand by. If I mention a product that I do not have experience with, I will clearly state that.
 
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Part 2: Resin Handling
3D Printing resin is seriously goopy, messy stuff. Keep yourself and your workspace clean with the following tools.
  • As I discussed in Part 1 of this series, resin is not only messy - but it can be dangerous too. Part 1 covered how to keep yourself safe. This article will cover everything you need for clean and effective resin handling, including everything needed to blend our custom model car resin - members get access to a video tutorial on how to mix the custom resin blend we use to print non-brittle, durable, and highly detailed model car and truck parts. Learn more here.
Tools for resin handling
  • Large Glass Measuring Cup: A vital tool for measuring resin when mixing a resin blend. Look for a large measuring cup (at least 500mL) made of glass. Glass is important here, as many resins will attack and destroy certain plastics. A quality glass measuring cup such as this Anchor Hocking one will last forever. 


    Cheap/Free Alternative: Plastic measuring cups will work as long as they have metric markings on them. Just be aware that they may be damaged by the resin. For a couple bucks more, you can get a durable glass one.

    If you prefer to just print stock resin out of the bottle, you probably do not need a measuring glass. But to take advantage of the benefits of mixing up our proprietary blend of resins, you will need a measuring glass.

    Order now:

  • Measuring Shot Glass: Used to measure out smaller amounts of resin additives, a glass measuring shot glass is another essential tool for mixing your own resin blends. Look for one that has markings every 10mL for precise measuring. As with above, spend a couple extra bucks for a durable glass one that won't be damaged by the resin.


    Cheap/Free Alternative: Some printers include a plastic measuring cup in the accessory kit. These work fine, but may not stand up to the resin for long.

    If you prefer to just print stock resin out of the bottle, you probably do not need a measuring shot glass. But to take advantage of the benefits of mixing up our proprietary blend of resins, you will need a measuring glass.

    Order now:

  • Silicone Funnel Set: Crucial for cleanly pouring, mixing, and transferring resin, as well as cleaning prints, these silicone funnels are amazing. They stand up to the resin and the alcohol, are easy to clean and come in 4 sizes to match any task. The also work well with the strainers below.


    Cheap/Free Alternative: Most printers come with a small plastic funnel in the accessory kit. These work ok, but they are typically small and made of plastics which may not stand up long-term to the resin.

    Order now:

  • Mesh Strainer Set: Straining your resin when filling the vat or after a failed print may just save your printer screen from irreparable damage! If you buy nothing else in this article, buy this strainer set! These fine mesh strainers filter out any debris or bits of cured resin. They are also useful when cleaning small parts after printing and fit well in the funnel set above.


    Cheap/Free Alternative: Paper paint filters (the kind with a fine mesh in the bottom) also work for straining resin and are available cheap or sometimes even free at paint stores and big box stores. The work well for straining resin, but aren't reusable like the wire mesh strainers and also don't have handles.

    Order now:

  • Polypropylene Bottles: Useful for storing different resin blends that you've mixed. These bottles are made of brown polypropylene which shields the resin from light and resists damage from the resin. These bottles are available new from Amazon as well as photographic supply companies, but honestly, I just thoroughly clean and reuse the bottle when I use up the last of the resin in a bottle.


    Cheap/Free Option: Just clean and reuse the bottles you're already going to be buying anyways. Important note: the bottles Elegoo uses for their resin are polypropylene and therefore stand up to the resin, but the caps are not. I usually reuse the bottle once or twice and then discard it, because I have had a couple old caps break when shaking the resin - WHAT A MESS!

    If you'd prefer to order new, order here:

Check out the rest of the Tools of the Trade article series here:

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Author: Chris Bell
Chris Bell is a passionate model car builder, resin 3D printing expert and owner of Scale Speed Garage and Bolide Plastic Motorworks.

(He's the one on the left in this picture.)

Want to check out the accurate, detailed model car and truck parts that Bolide Plastic Motorworks creates? Check it out at: www.bolidemodels.com