top of page

2 Expensive Mistakes to Avoid when Buying a Resin 3D Printer which Will Keep Costing You Money

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

This case study outlines the two most expensive mistakes people make when buying a resin 3D printer that keeps costing them more money long after the purchase.


Not taking into account the cost of consumables and replacement parts over time when choosing which printer to buy is the biggest mistake people make when purchasing a resin 3D printer. The running cost of some printers can quickly end up costing more than the price of a much more advanced, low-maintenance 3D printer that you might initially think is out of your price range.

Avoid getting caught by ongoing, sometimes hidden costs by learning what to look for and think about when purchasing a resin 3D printer.

CLICK HERE to look at the data of a comparison we did between our GiziMate Xtreme Gizmo 3D Printer and a well-known competitor machine with a similar print volume close to the same price. When looking at different printers, ensure you are comparing "apples with apples" so-to-speak.

Running cost comparison graph between an industrial Gizmo 3D Printer and a large SLA 3D printer

Note that in this case, the upfront cost of the competitor machine is less than the GiziMate Xtreme. The upfront price seems to be the Aha! moment for a lot of people when choosing which printer to buy. Unfortunately, this is where many people make the biggest mistake when purchasing a resin 3D printer: Not considering the running cost of the machine.

The data shows the cost comparison of the replacement parts and resin used by each machine for over three years.

We based our calculations on 4L of resin used on average per month.

The graph shows the breakeven point between the Gizmo 3D printer and the competitor machine is less than six months when using our most expensive resin. It highlights within six months, the competitor machine starts costing more than the GiziMate Xtreme, which you will discover throughout this case study, offers a far more efficient and enjoyable printing experience.

When comparing the cost-effectiveness between the printers, you will see in the data that Gizmo 3D printers require far less maintenance as no parts need to be replaced between prints. Plus, the vats are stainless steel making them exceptionally reliable and long-lasting. The vat of the competitor machine is plastic with a layer of silicone which deteriorates over time. These vats need to be replaced after every 2L of resin used. Owners of these printers whom we spoke to said they were surprised to learn how often they have to replace the vats after purchasing it. Can you afford to waste time and money on this tedious and expensive task of regularly replacing these parts as often as you print?

The competitor machine also doesn't have a guaranteed lifespan of three years because the laser and internal lenses can expire sooner. The printer can only run for around 1,000 hours before some of the internal parts, such as the laser and internal lenses, will need to be replaced. In contrast, the Gizmo 3D Printer design doesn't incorporate any of the lenses that expire in the competitor machine. The light source on a Gizmo 3D Printer is also not a laser, but a DLP projector, which according to the manufacturer, has an LED that can last 50,000 hours. That's 50 times longer lasting!

But you get what you pay for - which leads us to the next big mistake people make when buying a 3D printer...


If you were to buy the competitor machine purely based on its cheaper upfront cost - you'd not only get caught spending a lot more time and money on maintenance. You'd miss out on all the additional benefits that give users of a low maintenance Gizmo 3D printer a MUCH more cost-efficient, effective and rewarding printing experience.

The incredible benefits a Gizmo 3D Printer offers you that the competitor machine does not, include:

  • Groundbreaking printing speed

The Gizmo 3D Printers can print up to 33 times faster than the standard 3D printers in the market. Being a DLP 3D printer, it can print multiple objects at once, which the laser-based competitor printer can't do. Instead, the competing SLA 3D printer can only print a speckle of a layer of a single part at a time, which is very slow.

Would you like to get your hands on your designs faster or significantly speed up your printing production?

  • Compatibility with hundreds of third-party resins

Some users of the competitor machines have tried to use third party resins to save money. Many resins are much cheaper than the resins the manufacturer of the competitor machine makes and recommends using on the device. Their website states that the machine allows for experimentation with third-party resins when some settings on the machine are adjusted. Unfortunately, some of the machines' functionality stops working if you do make those adjustments - including the heater, wiper and resin pump.

The Gizmo 3D Printer is compatible with hundreds of third-party resins without any limitations on the functionality or risk to the machine.

Would you love to try and test different resins in the future as new resins become available? Would you benefit from having the flexibility to choose resins better suited to your budget?

  • The benefits of printing on a top-down resin 3D printer instead of bottom-up

Bottom up resin 3D printer versus top down resin 3D printer

A lot more can go wrong during the 3D printing process on a bottom-up machine (which the competitor machine is) versus a top-down Gizmo 3D printer. With a bottom-up 3D printer, the light source sits below the vat/tank. The light has to shine through the tank and a layer of silicone to cure the resin. Hardened bits of resin can sink to the bottom of the vat, blocking the light from successfully curing the resin. Users of bottom-up resin 3D printers have to spend time cleaning the tank after every print to ensure no debris blocks the light when printing. Not doing so could lead to weaknesses and inconsistencies in the 3D print.

The silicone layer deteriorates over time, can become cloudy or get scratched during cleaning and affect your print quality. By the way, with bottom-up machines, you have to clean the vat after every print! Before you decide on which printer to buy, look at how tedious it is to replace the film or silicone layers that form part of bottom-up resin 3D printers. Now imagine doing it often! What a nightmare, right? You can skip all that fuss by printing on a top-down Gizmo 3D Printer instead. Users of Gizmo 3D Printers NEVER have to replace a film or silicone layer as our top-down technology doesn't rely on any film or silicone layer to print. What would a more pleasurable 3D printing experience be worth to you?

That's not all that can go wrong when choosing to print on a bottom-up 3D printer. There is a peeling step in the bottom-up resin 3D printing process, which can (through suction-forces) pull delicate prints apart, stretch them or even pull them off of the build plate completely. In the latter case, if sharp bits on the print hit the silicone or film layer, it could scratch it. It doesn't help that any print formed on this competitor machine hangs upside down from the build plate as it prints. The printing process on the Gizmo 3D Printers involves no peeling step and the print sits on top of the build plate as it forms - with zero risk of falling off, no matter the size or weight of the print.

  • The flexibility of settings to achieve the print result you desire

One-click printing (as offered by the competitor machine) has its advantages, but it can be limiting if you'd like to tweak your results. We think of it as being similar to giving a professional photographer a camera set to shoot in Auto mode only, thereby limiting their creativity. As opposed to giving them a camera that can shoot in Manual mode that grants the user much more freedom and flexibility to get the exact result they want.

Users of the Gizmo 3D Printers can control the duration and speed of the different actions the build plate and light source performs during the printing process. Many of our customers from universities appreciate being able to configure a range of settings and more freedom for experimenting. Customers of Gizmo 3D Printers will soon be able to choose between printing in Auto (one-click printing) or Manual mode!

  • Expandability

Another advantage of our machines over that of the competitor is that users can upgrade it. Where the competitor machine has a set print volume, the print volume of any Gizmo 3D printer can be modified to suit your needs for example. You can choose which add-ons you want to purchase and when you want to purchase them. Our printers are built to grow with your budget and project needs.


Although some people might be put off by the upfront cost of a Gizmo 3D Printer - the calculations and graphs in this case study show our GiziMate Xtreme ends up costing less than the competitor machine within as little as six months. Yes, in less than six months, our GiziMate Xtreme with the largest vat we offer filled with our most expensive resin works out cheaper than one of the large-volume prosumer SLA 3D printers offered by a well-known competitor. Plus, the Gizmo 3D printer provides a staggering amount of additional benefits the competitor machine does not.

Please note: This calculation was generous based on a best-case scenario of the number of times the vat of the competitor machine would need to be replaced. It could be a lot more if the user prints regularly.

Even more surprising - we found even the smaller printer this competitor sells works out more expensive than the GiziMate Xtreme over three years. In this case, the buyer could have enjoyed having a machine that's almost ten times larger than the smaller competitor machine at a lesser expense. Questions about the Gizmo 3D Printers? Click here to book a call with one of our technical advisors or email Pin this blog to Pinterest by clicking on the image below.

2 Expensive mistakes to avoid when buying a resin 3D printer which will keep costing you money

bottom of page