Updated: Aug 6, 2020
Knowing the differences between top-down and bottom-up resin 3D printers can be advantageous if you are in the market for a resin 3D printer. This blog will help you learn what to look for, what to expect, their advantages and disadvantages. Let's start with the DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BOTTOM-UP RESIN 3D PRINTERS AND TOP-DOWN RESIN 3D PRINTERS.
Two key differences distinguish bottom-up resin 3D printers from top-down resin 3D printers:
1. How the finished print is positioned on the build plate of the machine
As the graphic above shows, the finished print of a bottom-up resin 3D usually hangs
upside down on the build plate.
The finished print of a top-down resin 3D printer sits on top of the build plate and the light source is generally situated at the top of the machine.
2. Where the light source of the resin 3D printer is situated
As the graphic shows, the light source of a bottom-up resin 3D printer is generally located at the bottom of the machine.
The light source of a top-down resin 3D printer is usually located at the top of the machine.
ADVANTAGES OF BOTTOM-UP RESIN 3D PRINTERS AND PRINTING
1. The machines are usually small in size and compact
A small and compact resin 3D printer is ideal if you have limited workspace or would appreciate being able to move your printer around comfortably.
2. The vat is usually smaller and requires less resin to fill
Needing less resin to fill the vat makes the startup cost of getting a bottom-up resin 3D printer less than a top-down resin 3D printer, which requires more resin to fill. 3. There's a wider variety of affordable bottom-up resin 3D printers in the market
If you're on a tight budget, you can easily pick up a decent bottom-up resin 3D printer for USD 500. As with anything however, you get what you pay for and some of the very cheap resin 3D printers can be high maintenance and unreliable. Examples of Bottom-up Resin 3D Printers with these benefits include: Any resin 3D printer from Formlabs, Anycubic, Peopoly DISADVANTAGES OF BOTTOM-UP RESIN 3D PRINTERS AND PRINTING
1. The build-volume of the compact bottom-up printers can be limiting
If you're looking to print sizeable objects, a bottom-up resin 3D printer might not be the right solution.
2. The printer can run out of resin while printing
As the small vats don't hold much resin, you can sometimes run out of resin during the printing process. It's usually not a problem if you are around the printer to fill it up with resin again as needed but not great if you like printing through the night.