today is Sep 28, 2022

The quality of consumer-grade 3D printing has gone way up in recent years. Resin printers, in particular, can produce amazing results and they get less expensive every day. [Squidmar] took a miniature design and printed it (or had it printed) on some cheap resin printers and a 65,000 Euro DWS029. How much difference could there be? You can see for yourself in the video below.

We were surprised at the specs for the more expensive machine. It does use a solid-state laser, but for that cost, the build volume is relatively small — around 15 x 15 x 10 cm. There were actually five prints created on four printers. Three were on what we think of as normal printers, one was on the 65,000 Euro machine, and the fifth print was on a 10,000 Euro printer that didn’t look much different from the less expensive ones.

Of course, there is more to the process than just the printer. The resin you use also impacts the final object. The printers tested included a Phrozen 4K Mini, a Phrozen 8K Mini,  a Solos Pro, and the DWS 029D. The exact resins or materials used was hard to tell in each case, so that may have something to do with the comparisons, too.

Do you get what you pay for? Hard to say. The 8K and Solos were neck-and-neck with some features better on one printer and some better on the other. The DWS029D did perform better, but was it really worth the increase in price? Guess it depends on your sensitivity. The 8K printer did a very credible job for a fraction of the cost. Of course, some of that could have been a result of the materials used, too, but it does seem likely that a very expensive dental printer ought to do better than a hobby-grade machine. But it doesn’t seem to do much better.

The DWS printer uses a laser, while most hobby printers use UV light with an LCD mask. We’ve seen low-end resin printers on closeout for around $100 and you can get something pretty nice in the $200 neighborhood. In between these two extremes are printers that use Digital Light Processing (DLP).