Resin or Filaments for 3D Printing - Which One is Better for You?

As technology evolves, the accuracy and precision of engineering grows to great heights. There exists a revolutionary innovation that has captivated the minds of many - 3D printing. Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing is a transformative technology that is reshaping our perception of design, creation and production.

Based on the layering of materials such as plastics, metals, and even biomaterials, 3D printing brings digital models to life, enabling the creation of intricate prototypes and fully functional end products. Its impact spans industries from healthcare and aerospace to automotive and consumer goods.

But wait, it can be set up at your own home, and they have become increasingly demanding and accessible with the advancement of technology. It empowers individuals to unleash their creativity and tackle practical challenges.

In this article, we will explore the differences between resin and filament 3D printing, offering insight into their individual strengths, weaknesses, and practical applications. Whether you’re interested in the intricate precision of resin printing or the versatility of filament materials, this guide aims to provide clarity for those embarking on their journey into the world of 3D printing.

Resin or Filament for 3D Printing

Resin vs. Filament 3D Printing: The Reasons Why You Choose

Whether it’s any type of printing, let’s say traditional printing, the right type of ink is important to get the best results and likewise, for 3D printing, choosing the right type of material is equally important.

The right type of material is crucial in 3D printing for the following reasons:

1. Print Quality

There is no such thing like no-brainer pick when it comes to material. It totally depends on your desired aesthetics and applications. Below is the table that helps you out with what each material can offer you and will justify your need.

2. Availability and Cost

Resins: As you guessed, the resins are expensive compared to filaments. Again the type, brand and quality will determine the price, however, the specialty resins like castable or flexible resins are much more expensive. Resins have very limited availability as they are sold by fewer suppliers. It is certain that the availability of resins will grow as the resin 3D printers popularity grows.

Filaments: Filaments are inexpensive compared to resins. Although, the price can vary depending on the material, brand and quality. Standard ABS and PLA filaments are economical options, while the specialty filaments might be expensive. They are readily available to purchase from online as well as physical stores. The popularity of FDM printers are the reason behind the larger market for filaments.

3. Performance

The resins based printers usually provide you with high resolution printing and fine details. They tend to have smooth surfaces with intricate details. While the filaments provide you with lesser details but high strength and durability.

4. Safety

Most of the resins come with safety precautions, and they need to be followed as there are chemicals involved in the post-processing of the prints. The liquid nature of resin can also be a bit on the messier side. On the other hand, the filament prints can easily be handled, sanded and painted.

Until now, we’ve barely skimmed the surface of the comparison between resin and filament-based 3D printing. However, delving deeper into this topic reveals its true intrigue. Our intention is not to dictate a particular material choice, as both resin and filament have their own distinct capabilities. Instead, this comparison aims to aid you in making an informed decision on which material is best suited for your needs, ultimately guiding your choice when purchasing a 3D printer.

Resin 3D Printing

The main focus of resin-based 3D printing, commonly referred to as (SLA) or (DLP), is on achieving high levels of detail, precision, and surface finish. Resin printers use liquid photopolymer resin that is cured layer by layer with the help of light, such as ultraviolet (UV) or digital light projection (DLP), to create solid 3D objects.

Resin based printers offer the ability to produce outstanding details and precise prints by achieving features as little as few microns, making them suitable for intricate and delicate designs. Coming to the finish, resin offers smooth prints as it can achieve very thin layer heights. The design which is critical in complexity and also aesthetically, then resin can handle the job pretty well. They also require minimal post-processing as they are smooth out of the printer.

The only part where the resin lacks is availability of materials when compared to filament based printing. However, there are different types of resins available, including standard resins, castable resins for jewelry, and even bio-compatible resins for medical applications.

If you are someone that likes to print the miniatures as a hobbyist, or would like to print complex designs, then resin 3d printers should be your first choice.

Our new Halot Mage S is a very capable resin-based printer you can get hands on.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that resin 3D printers usually require a good level of expertise, and the more expertise you have, the better results you can get out of these printers.

Filament 3D Printing

As the name suggests, filament-based 3D printing uses a solid thermoplastic filament that is melted and extruded through a nozzle layer by layer to build a 3D object. It is also referred to as the FDM or FFM process. Filament-based 3D printing offers unique capabilities such as strength and durability.

Filament 3D printing is one of the most popular options, and usually the beginners jumping into the 3D printing realm usually start with filament 3D printers. The key features that it offers are the wide range of materials with different mechanical properties, including the high strength materials like the nylon, PETG and the ABS.

Filament-based 3D printing can help you print prototypes and functional parts such as housings, brackets, hinges, or custom components for your electronic projects. All this is possible due to the high strength and durability that the filament has to offer.

The filaments are inexpensive and readily available, making them ideal for home 3D printing. It offers great versatility in choosing the material based on your needs, i.e. temperature resistance, flexibility, or special features such as metal-infused or wood. This can allow you to create projects around home decor, cosplay and props, and so on.

If you are a beginner to 3D printing and also love DIY, then filament 3D printers are the best choice. Although you can print the miniatures and figurines, it will lack the details compared to the resin 3D printers.

Our K1 Speedy 3D printer is one of the fastest and beginner-friendly models, making it 12 times faster than the regular FDM 3D printers.

In short, the filament 3D printers prioritizes durability, strength and cost-effectiveness.

You may be interested in Creality K1 Series Printing Parameter Settings


To sum up, the decision is solely based on your specific requirements and the preferences. It does not lie on what more benefits can resin give over filament. It’s totally up to your needs, and both are considered effective in their own ways.

If you need strength, durability, and a wider range of material options, filament 3d printer is likely more suitable, meanwhile if you are looking to get higher resolution and quality print with detailed texture, resin 3d printer is ideal for you.

Consider your desired outcomes, budget, and the nature of your projects to make an informed decision for your home 3D printing needs.

tipsRelated Guides:
Creality Resin 3D Printers Settings
Creality 3D Printing Materials Buying Guide
Creality 3D Printers Filaments Parameter Setting