3D Printing Material Comparison

Where do I start?

What material should I print my products I had designed? This question haunts many enthusiasts and is not uncomplicated to answer.

  1. It depends on if we print the item ourselves
  2. If we use a 3rd party printing service 
  3. Which 3rd party printing service
  4. What material options exist for the item we had designed.

How to use this information

This information should be read with the following considerations. The 3rd party printing service is FacFox.com in China. There are two different items that were printed, a bumper for a 379 and 389 DCP (Diecast Promotions/First Gear) 1/64 scale Peterbilt. There are four different materials that successfully print this bumper that were selected for this experiment. 

SLA Tough Resin

Prior to this article, the bumper has been printed in both SLA Generic and SLA Tough Resin. These are what I consider entry level plastic and work for 90% of my products printed by FacFox. I am uncertain if the print quality for this particular item is affected by the orientation in the printer or not. With both materials the print quality is the same as shown in the photo. 

The bumper was printed with aluminum paint with no treatment prior to painting. 

My cost for SLA Tough Resin for this item $1.17 

SLA ABS-like Resin

This material has much better finish the SLA generic and SLA HD Resins but not perfect. It was painted with aluminum to show off the detail as the raw material is difficult to capture well in photos. Again it is unknown how the item is oriented when made. 

My cost for SLA ABS-like Resin for this item $1.57

DLP Ultra Detail Resin SD

A first time using this material, the DLP Ultra Detail Resin SD is a notable improvement. A nice smooth finish showing all the detail and it appears to be strong and not brittle although I have not used this product as of this writing. 

My cost for DLP Ultra Detail Resin SD for this item $3.15

Vaccum  Plating

Another first is using the Vaccum Plating process offered by FacFox. This gives parts a chrome appearance and is wicked cool. First, the printed product was SLA Generic Resin. If you recall from above the raw part did not have great results. One of the choices for finishing the parts after they are printed is Vaccum Plating which gives it a chrome look. This process give the finished part a brilliant and smooth look that is very cool. 

The added process does come at a price which is noted below the image. However, this result is better than using a Molotow Chrome pen which I have used to achieve the same effect. 

My cost for SLA Generic Resin SD Vaccum Plating $12.50

Side by Side Comparison

  • SLA Tough Resin $1.17 
  • SLA ABS-like Resin $1.57
  • DLP Ultra Detail Resin SD $3.15
  • SLA Generic Resin SD Vaccum Plating $12.50


Regarding pricing for the various products. Each price can fluctuate a bit depending how many of each unit is purchased. Of course the size of each item printed will be different prices as well. 

Closing thoughts

I found results vary for different items I want to print. For many of the products offered at Rockinhfarmtoys.com SLA Resin Generic works well. 

Each person looking at 3D printing has a wide array of choices when it comes to a final product. Experimentation is the best way to determine what will satisfy our needs. This brief blog post will hopefully speed up the learning curve for those using this printing service.

Like what you have read so far? Start at the beginning with 3D Printing for Absolute Beginners to begin your 3D printing journey.