This is one of those questions that will result in dozens of different answers depending on who you ask. I can tell you what resins I use and in what situations, which has worked wonderfully for me.
For the sake of saving money, I have three different resin mixes that I use. Yes, I said mixes. In most cases, mixing resins together to get the desired result is fine – even between different brands.
1. The Budget Resin Option
ELEGOO ABS-Like 3D Printer Rapid Resin – Since ELEGOO added the “ABS-Like” tag to their resin, I’ve found it to be a bit more flexible than the old resin. Small details like claws, swords and such now flex a little bit before they break. A great resin for printing large miniatures with no ultra-fine details. The detail is still great, but it struggles with details like scars and eyes on 28mm scale miniatures. For epic sized monsters, however, it does a wonderful job without breaking the bank.
ANYCUBIC 3D Printer Resin – Also a great budget option, but a bit more brittle than ELEGOO ABS-Like resin. If I find it on sale, I’ll pick some up and mix it with the ELEGOO I have left.
2. The Trusty+Budget Resin Option
Weistek Toughness Resin – This brand is relatively new(or at least new to me) at the time of this update in May 2021. This was recommended by a friend, so I decided to give it a shot. This stuff is straight up amazing. Extremely flexible and resilient while still retaining fine detail. The only downside is that it can sometimes be TOO flexible, so I would recommend mixing it to some degree with any standard resin if you need more rigidity. The best part, however, is the low cost.
3. The Trusty Resin Option
SIRAYA Tech Blu – The most economical option with a balance of detail and flexibility in one bottle. A great all-around resin that will work great for anything you want to print. The translucent blue color is a bit weird to me, but it’s easy enough to prime. About as resilient as the ELEGOO ABS-Like resin, but allows for finer detail in your miniatures.
Siraya Tech Tenacious & Elegoo Grey – Siraya Tech Tenacious was originally on my “not recommended” list, but after hearing it has improved I gave it another shot. I was pleasantly surprised to find it no longer reduces detail when mixed with other resins. About 10% mixed with Elegoo Grey, this has become my go to resin for most of my miniatures. It’s not quite as fine on the detail as the ultimate resin option, but more than acceptable for most prints.
4. The Ultimate Resin Option
SIRAYA Tech Sculpt and Monocure Flex100 – Sculpt is designed to be accurate for very fine details. It can be a bit brittle, however, so I mix in about 25% Flex100 to give it some flex. With this mix, I can print an ultra-detailed miniatures with appendages that bend up to 45° without breaking. Both resins are quite expensive, so I only use that mix for very special miniatures that need and deserve it.
5. Resins I don’t recommend.
- IFUN Resin: I have had terrible luck with this brand. I had to double my exposure times just to get it to finish a print. The finished print was still soft and scuffed easily while cleaning. I have seen others claim good results with it, however, but I personally don’t recommend it.
Siraya Tech Tenacious: This resin is specifically formulated for toughness and not precision. It shows. Since I’m focused on miniatures here, I can’t recommend this resin. I’m sure it’s great for the applications for which it’s intended, but the one bottle I used gave details that were washed out. I originally planned to mix it with Siraya Tech Sculpt, but that didn’t fix the issue.
- SainSmart Resin: Prints fine and the details are good. However, it’s probably the most brittle resin I’ve ever used. First print, I dropped a mini and it broke into three pieces. Hoping it was bad luck, I continued. First miniature I tried to paint, I was filing away a nub and the arm broke off. Tried to mix it with Flex100 to solve that issue, but it didn’t seem to want to mix properly.