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What is the Best Resin for 3D Printing Miniatures?

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 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.

3. 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.

Alternatively, you can mix SIRAYA Tech Sculpt with SIRAYA Tech Blu to achieve better prints as well. It’s won’t be quite as flexible as mixing with Flex100, but it will survive a fall more readily.

4. 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.

13 thoughts on “What is the Best Resin for 3D Printing Miniatures?

  1. Tried the Sculpt/Flex100 recipe and I have to say I’m impressed. I printed a phoenix with a lot of detailed feathers and fire effects.

    I printed it with just the Sculpt at first because it arrived before the Flex 100. The detail was better than I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, using a toothbrush to clean it kind of scratched away some of the finer details. What I get for using “firm” toothbrushes from the dollar store.

    After I mixed in a bit of Flex 100, I reprinted it. Same amazing detail, which remained after a thorough scrubbing. Now I just have to wait for my airbrush to arrive, because I know priming it out of a rattle can will kill the detail.

    Appreciate the post.

    Sam

  2. I hate anycubic resin. The cheap stuff they sell will break when trying to remove supports. I’m sure it’s fine for some things, but not for miniatures.

    1. That’s why I consider it a budget option. It works, but that’s about it. If your budget is small, you have to work with what you can get. And to be honest, it works fine for a lot of the supportless miniatures that avoid finer details and easily breakable segments.

  3. Just curious on your exposure times for your Siraya Sculpt/Monocure Flex100? I know they both are listed separately on the guide of resins but if you found something that works better for them mixed that would be awesome. Thanks!

    Seth Chapa says:
    1. I don’t change the exposure time after mixing. They are both transparent resins, so mixing them with other resins doesn’t seem to change their required exposure times. I have to mark my bottles with percentages, because I can’t tell they’re mixed afterwards.

      PrintedMini says:
      1. New ro printing. I bought your recommended resin combo (SIRAYA Tech Sculpt and Monocure Flex100). You say they are both clear. I bought from Amazon, using the link you provided, and the Sculpt is not clear. Whatevs though, I don’t need it to be clear. I’m using the Epax X1 and right now I am trying to dail in my print settings. Any recomendations using this resin combo? Exposure, bottom layers, sct. Thanks for setting up this page and helping all us out.

        Joseph Erickson says:
        1. Only the Flex100 is clear. I don’t think Sculpt has ever been clear.

          I don’t have experience with Epax X1, but judging by the stats on it, I’d say 60 seconds on the bottom few layers, 8 seconds per layer after that.

          PrintedMini says:
  4. Would you say the Siraya Sculpt is as brittle as Anycubic green? So far I’ve only used the Anycubic green and it is pretty brittle. I have the Flex 100 and Siraya Sculpt I just thought I’d use what they gave me to get to know the machine. Also did you experiment with less flex in the mixture if so was there better detail with less flex? And is S Sculpt that much more noticeable detail than Anycubic green. Besides being brittle the Anycubic green printed pretty solid mini’s.

    1. Siraya Sculpt is pretty brittle, but I haven’t used Anycubic Green specifically to compare. Sculpt, in my experience, is really only good if you’re doing very intricate details. Due to the cost, you should definitely stick to cheaper options for most of your miniatures. Sculpt shines when printing 28mm miniatures with details like feathers or patterned lizard skin.

      I use the 25% mixture, because it gives me miniatures that won’t break when dropped off the table but I’ve seen no distinguishable loss of detail. If you’re printing for display, not play, you can certainly reduce the mixture.

      As far as noticeable detail; if you print two identical miniatures with Sculpt and pretty much any other standard resin, you will be hard pressed to tell the difference. However, when it comes time to paint them, the mini printed in Sculpt will paint very much like a standard molded miniature from Reaper or Nolzur’s.

      The mini printed in standard resin will start to show the layer lines as you put down the first coat of paint. Layer lines you couldn’t see with your eye will have more pigment resting in them and it will become painfully obvious. Of course, it disappears with a second coat of paint, but some areas on models you will only want a single layer of paint, so finding the balance is the trick.

      PrintedMini says:
  5. Hi,

    I do have problems to find SIRAYA Tech Sculpt in my country. So do you could give me a recommendation alternate for a Ultimate Recipe?

    Best regards
    Pascal

  6. Hi,

    I do have problems to find SIRAYA Tech Sculpt in my country. So do you could give me a recommendation alternate for a Ultimate Recipe?

    For the two trusty option … in between those two you would prefer one over the other?

    Best regards
    Pascal

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