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"Is there any big difference between FDM and Resin?" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

Murloo14 Jan 2022 10:50 a.m. PST

It's the first time i'm ordering models outside of big brand companies and i'm given the choice. Specifically, i'm ordering a couple of fleet packs from XPForge for Victory at Sea since Warlord and their prices can go Bleeped text themselves, and since resin is around 25% more expensive than FDM i was wondering if the extra bucks were worth it or the difference is negligible

McKinstry Fezian14 Jan 2022 11:37 a.m. PST

For me, yes. I dislike the lines that FDM produces and find resin significantly better but it may simply be a matter of taste.

You could always order the same model in both formats and decide if the cost differential is worth it to you. Something along the lines of a heavy cruiser should give you enough size to evaluate accurately and if you choose a class with enough ships, you can use both.

Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2022 1:18 p.m. PST

Resin is generally a better product.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2022 5:09 p.m. PST

From the images I've seen, resin printers provide a far better product, with significantly less visible printing striations.

Royal Air Force14 Jan 2022 7:24 p.m. PST

For miniatures of that scale, definitely resin. If you were looking at terrain or 28mm tanks, FDM would be acceptable.

lkmjbc315 Jan 2022 9:02 a.m. PST

The answer is very complicated.

The high level facts are that resin printers can produce much finer and smoother detail. This however is not definitive.

Resin Printers-
Excellent Detail

Stinky and difficult process
Expensive compared to FDB (4x as expensive)
Limited volume builds unless you pay big bucks (this is important for terrain… not for most miniatures)

FDM Printers
Moderate to Good detail
Large build volumes

Lower detail precludes smaller scales (15mm infantry is a bridge too far)
Insanely fiddley settings to get your prints to work. (Resin has exceedingly complicated settings… FDM is a step up from that!)

So, there you go. Now…I have some excellent 25mm figures printed on FDM printers. They are outstanding… however… the community has worked on the settings for rendering these figures for years. Not all figures can be printed with this success on a FDM printer. I have seen some figures that can't be printed at all (with acceptable quality).

I recommend searching youtube for videos on FDM vs Resin printing for figures… One warning… most of these vids are several years old. FDM printing knowledge and figure design has improved since then and you can get better results now.

So, Resin is difficult (stinky, messy, with multiple steps), expensive, and size limited, but produces insanely excellent prints.

FDM doesn't produce as good a quality and can be insanely fiddly in getting the settings correct… but is cheap, can produce large models, and can sit on your desk at home.

Another warning…
Both are hobbies unto themselves.

With all that being said…. here is the kicker…
Both types of printers can be had for less that $300 USD per printer. They are simply cheap.

Why not do both? I would start with FDM… and Then buy a Resin printer to put in your garage. You will have the best of both worlds… and double the fun!

Joe Collins

lkmjbc315 Jan 2022 9:27 a.m. PST

Here is a scenario.
You find a figure you want to print on your FDM printer, but the quality doesn't suit you.

You research and find out that you can purchase a more fine print head for better quality for 10 bucks.

Installing the print actually produces worse results because the amount of plastic is so small, the heat of the printer is actually warping the previous layers.

You dial back the print head heat… but now your printer clogs as the plastics isn't hot enough for the motors that drive it through the print head.

You drop 50 bucks on new more powerful motors (not a bad purchase as they are more reliable and will last longer)… Now however you find that your printer still has lumps due to the plastics you are using. You purchase a better or different quality plastic.

Your print then fails as the supports designed into aren't correct.

You add more supports.

Your print then succeeds, though it takes a week because of the micro detail you want.

You get a good quality miniature to show to your club!

Only to find that your buddy with a resin printer has produced the same miniature with insane quality… and he did it in one day- using the default settings on his printer.

You then pull out your St. Mere Eglise church you printed on your FDM printer and win.

Is this a Pyrrhic victory?

Joe Collins

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