Difference Between FDM and Resin 3D Printing

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printing uses plastic filament that is heated to a high temperature then deposited out an extruder in a series of layers. This is cheaper and great for large prints such as terrain or larger minis. The material we use is called PLA (polylactic acid). This may leave trace amounts of material like in overhangs or thinner areas. Supports may also leave trace material. Any excess material can easily be cleaned up with hobby tools.

Resin 3D printing uses light to cure plastic at the 405 nm wavelength at smaller resolution. Resin results in a cleaner/smoother look and is good when high detail is required. For large models, this may not be necessary. However, for smaller figures, this may be preferred. This is a more expensive material. If supports are used, they may leave small imperfections, although we try to minimize the impact they have on the model.

See below for several models in comparison. Please note that these are super close shots and you may only notice the smallest details up close. If a model is usually sitting a foot or 2 away from you, it may not matter. The choice between PLA and Resin comes down to the amount of detail desired vs value for your money. Also note that PLA and Resin can be painted like other plastics/polymers and will help cover up any small imperfections.

If you are interested in more references, see the links below:

Resin left, PLA right.

Resin left, PLA right

Resin left, PLA right

 

PLA left, Resin right

 Resin left, PLA right

 

PLA left, Resin right

 

 PLA Print

 

Resin Print