To get the best quality prints, a 3D printer needs quality resin. Because of that, it’s crucial to know whether or not 3D printing resin goes bad.
3D printing resin can go bad, deteriorating output quality. In most cases, 3D printing resins expire within 12 months. However, sunlight, heat, and chemical contaminants may make them unusable within days or weeks.
Read on for more insights into the shelf life of 3D printing resin. I’ll also discuss the factors that make it go bad quicker and ways to keep it usable for the maximum possible period.
What Makes 3D Printing Resin Go Bad?
3D printing resin can go bad for several reasons. It can be damaged due to exposure to UV light, contamination with oil-based substances (plasticizers), and environmental factors like exposure to heat and humidity.
Besides, suppose other plastics have contaminated the printer itself. In that case, the ink will also take on those properties, eventually causing it to turn colorless, sticky, or unusable altogether!
3D Printing Resin Life Span
Most manufacturers of 3D printing resins have a shelf life of around 12 months, while others claim 18 or up to 24 months.
Before you go out and order a lifetime supply of 3D printing resin, remember that the expiration date is not necessarily when you will have to throw away your material.
The expiry only means that 3D printer resin cannot be guaranteed to perform as expected after this time.
Generally speaking, most resins are good for at least one year if kept out of direct sunlight and excess heat.
A good rule of thumb is that the colder it is, the longer it will last.
If you’re looking for a quality 3D printing resin, I recommend this Siraya Tech Blu 3D Printing Resin from Amazon.com. It is smooth, flexible, and produces durable, quality prints, making it an excellent choice among 3D printing enthusiasts.
How To Tell That 3D Printing Resin Has Expired
How do you know if your resin has gone bad? The visible discoloration is a tell-tale sign that your batch may no longer be suitable to use.
Suppose you notice that your resin has changed from one color to another. In that case, chances are it has gone bad.
Another way to tell if your 3D printing resin is still suitable to use is by checking its expiry date.
The expiration date is printed with an open jar icon on the bottle, which tells you it will be unusable after that time frame.
How To Store 3D Printing Resin
As a rule of thumb, 3D printing resins should be stored in a cool environment where humidity levels are low. The higher the temperature and humidity, the faster the 3D printing resin will expire.
To keep your resin usable for as long as possible, try to find a cool, dry cabinet or closet to use as your storage space.
It is also better to store your printer resin inside an air-tight container with activated carbon, which absorbs the harmful substances in the air without affecting the resin’s quality.
This is particularly useful in areas with high humidity, where contaminants in the air can quickly affect your resin.
If you aren’t using your resin within two months, consider buying smaller portions so you don’t have to keep up with large quantities that could go bad.
It might seem counterintuitive to buy filament in bulk when it could expire before you even have the chance to use it.
Pro Tips: 4 Ways To Make 3D Printing Resin More Durable
Here are some valuable tips to make your 3D printing resins last as long as possible:
Avoid High Temperatures and Humidity
3D printing resin doesn’t like direct sunlight or extreme weather conditions.
Try to store it in a cool and dry place and avoid exposure to humidity. Keep the cap on tight when not in use.
Keep It Away From Oil-Based Plastics
Different kinds of 3D printer resins are made up of different basic polymers. Some resins, like ABS, rely on plasticizers that help make them flexible enough to be used in printing projects.
Oil-based plastics will also leach into resin pools, causing chemical reactions and reducing the print quality.
Keep It in a Dark Place
Most 3D printing resins don’t last long in the presence of sunlight.
When exposed to sunlight longer than recommended, they can lose their color stability over time, which will affect the print quality.
Store It in Air-Tight Containers With Activated Carbon
Activated carbon absorbs harmful molecules, such as those found in the air inside your house or those released by certain resins and plastics during storage.
It can come in handy when you are starting to notice that your resin is discoloring or when it starts giving off strong odors.
Common Causes of 3D Resin Print Failure
Frequent causes of failed prints include:
- Viscosity and rheology problems, such as polymer degradation and insufficient surfactant level or mixed-ink layering. These issues usually clear up with the right tweaks to your printer’s settings.
- Layer adhesion problems, such as under-curing resin leading to warping and peeling after print removal. The solution is more humidity for higher durability before applying lower layers—and curing time should be matched to layer thickness for desired cure depth.
- Electronic issues, such as incompatible software or hardware for your printer and resin. You can usually get around these problems by using a different machine with similar working functions and features or by contacting the manufacturer about new hardware or software that can fix the problem.
This video describes the other common causes of resin print failure:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Reuse Leftover Resins?
You can reuse leftover resin as long as it hasn’t cured. All you have to do is mix it with fresh resin. This may reduce print quality, but there are some exceptions.
For example, resins that use dyes instead of pigments will retain their color better than those that rely on pigments.
Do You Need To Cure Resin Prints?
It would be best if you cured resin prints. Curing improves the quality of the final output. Besides, if you do not, the detail may start to break down, degrading print quality.
The duration varies based on print complexity, size, and artist preference. A small project may require only five minutes, while more complex ones may need up to 10-12 hours of light.
It would also help to note that the curing time may vary based on the intensity of lights used for curing.
Are Resin Prints Stronger Than FDM?
Generally, resin prints are not stronger than FDM. Instead, the resin is more brittle and fragile. Conversely, FDM can withstand more force, making it great for objects that hold up against heavy use.
Here are the typical use-cases for each technology:
- Resin: Designed for small objects with a smooth, even surface in a limited number of colors.
- FDM: Designed for larger objects that need to withstand high volume production.
If you’re a 3D printer owner, it’s crucial to know whether or not your printing resin goes bad. In most cases, these resins expire within 12 months and should be replaced with every batch of prints. However, sunlight, heat, and chemical contaminants may make them unusable in as little as days or weeks!
That said, to get the best quality prints from your machine – one that won’t fade due to exposure to these hazards – it is essential to purchase high-quality resin for use in your 3D printer.