Our testing methodology

Resin Testing

Paul Chow

Co-Founder & CTO

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At 3DGearZone, we test every bit that goes into the 3D printer experience. When it comes to reviews, it’s the machines themselves that are the first to come to mind. While it is definitely the most important aspect of 3D printing, the consumables and materials involved in the process take an important role as well.

For example, there is a wide array of 3D printing resin available on the market, with some aimed for detail production, others for durability, others for special use cases like metal casting, or just as affordable as possible. It can be difficult to find the right 3D printing resin for your specific needs in the sea of resin products currently available on the market.

When we review 3D printer resins, we ask several important questions from the perspective of a resin printer hobbyist: 

  • How good is the resin at reproducing fine details? 
  • Is it easy to clean and post-process? 
  • How smelly is the resin? 
  • Is it durable enough to withstand a fall or played around in tabletop games? 

There are dozens of questions we answer when we go through the review process. We then analyze each answer, give it a value, and plot it in a chart to ensure we are fully impartial and give an objective review for every 3D printer resin we look at.

When we review 3D printer resin, we look at the following criteria:

All of these aspects allow us at 3DGearZone to provide an accurate and concise way to compare and contrast the wide array of 3D printer resins available today. Additionally, this allows you to focus on what is most important to you. 

Whether you’re an artist seeking resin that showcases intricate details, a tabletop gamer in need of durable resin for your miniatures, someone with limited space looking for low-odor options, or simply searching for budget-friendly resin—we break down the review process into specific categories, making it easy for you to choose the right 3D resin for your needs.

Test Setup

To give each 3D printer resin their best chance to reproduce fine detail, we made use of the ELEGOO Saturn 3 for all our resin tests. The ELEGOO Saturn 3 is currently the highest-resolution printer available in the market in 2023. Sporting a 12K resolution panel, it is capable of printing details several times smaller than a human hair. With a 10” screen and a 250mm print height, it sports a print volume large enough for the vast majority of printing most users would use a resin printer for.

We make use of an ultrasonic cleaner when cleaning up resin 3D prints. This gives us the best-case scenario for cleaning prints as an ultrasonic cleaner washes more effectively than hand washing or using a magnetic spinner found with many resin cleaning stations.

Review Criteria

When we review resin for a 3D printer, we examine it on a wide range of criteria to give a fair comparison against its peers. In this section, we’ll show you how we test each resin and our methodology. 

At first glance, packaging for 3D resin may not seem so important. However, resins are generally toxic, smelly, and a complete pain to clean if they spill or leak. As a result, packaging plays an important role in keeping both the resin and you safe from the perils of overseas shipping.

When we review the packaging, we ask questions such as how well-sealed the resin container is. For example, is it packed well enough to withstand the long travelers from the factory to the customer? What materials are used in the packaging to ensure it is durable and safe? We absolutely want to make sure that we’ve got everything covered.

Often, the first and most important question to a resin user is how well it prints details. To answer this question, we use a large variety of models to assess its performance in reproducing details, both large and small.

Dragon Bust

The model shows off an incredible amount of detail to push resin printers to its limits. There are minute details, such as scale texture and teeth, that only the best 3D printers can reproduce well. It is also a relatively large model that tests how well a resin can handle bigger models.

Tabletop Miniature Model

This model has some of the sharpest and smallest details we have ever seen on a 3D model. This makes it a perfect candidate for reviewing resins, as only the best resins can reproduce the fine details found in this file.

House Model

The house model is a relatively large resin print that tests organic and nonorganic detail reproduction alongside the ability to print larger objects that are dimensionally accurate. This represents an excellent test case for users looking to print terrain and structures for tabletop gaming.

Ease of Use

Resins are much more finicky than filaments used in FDM printers. As such, in 3DGearZone, we have learned to questions such as:

  • How well does it print in a normal indoor office environment? 
  • Do we need to do something special, like heat up the resin before use? 
  • Does the manufacturer provide print profiles or settings for the best chance for success?

A tenths of a second difference in exposure or a few degrees in temperatures can be the difference between success or failure in resin 3D printing. 

Clean Up

How easy is it to clean the resin after printing? Does it consume a lot of the solvent? Does a cleaning cycle fully remove the uncured resin, or do some remain on the model after cleaning? One of the most important steps in resin 3D printing is the clean-up or post-processing. Resin prints must be washed in some solvent (usually isopropyl alcohol), so both safety and added costs must be considered.


For users looking to go hands-on with their finished resin prints, durability plays an extremely important role. Resin prints, in general, are known for their brittleness, and many users often learn about this unfortunate trait when their printed model takes a tumble off the edge of a table.

To review the durability of resin, we printed nine copies of the tabletop miniature above. Along with the extremely fine details, this model also sports an extremely thin knife, skinny arms, hands, and a beak, which all can easily break. 

We then drop three of them at a time at three different heights: 60cm, 100cm, and 150cm, representing different heights, such as a coffee table, a tabletop gaming table, and a shelf. We then record any damage any of these models might have experienced when taking a tumble off these heights.


Many modern resins offer a small degree of flexibility to increase durability and to make assembly of multi-part resin prints easier. To test the flexibility of prints, we make use of a thin staff model and bend it as far as possible without it snapping.

Price and Availability

How does this resin compare in price against its peers? Can it be found on Amazon or other 3D printer retailers? Or can it only be purchased from the manufacturer? A resin can check all the boxes for detail reproduction, durability, clean-up, and more, but it would be worthless if it costs an arm and a leg or if it is not available anywhere. 

Wrap Up

We take the process of reviewing a 3D printer resin here at 3DGearZone extremely seriously. By making it an impartial and analytical process, we can accurately compare a 3D printer resin against its peers. This then allows you to pick the right resin for your needs. That’s why you can trust us for any 3D printer resin review.

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