Getting Started with Resin 3D Printing – Tabletop Minis

3D Printed Resin Mini

After having been using FDM 3D Printers for over 4 years, it was time to embark upon resin 3d printing. Fortunately, there is a new range of more budget friendly DUP (Direct UV Printing) Resin 3d Printers such as the Wanhao Duplicator 7 so it’s really a good time as any to get started on this. We’ll try to explain the basic workflow for taking a tabletop gaming mini from start to finish in this article.

Wanhao Duplicator 7 Resin 3D Printer and Monocure3D Rapid Resin

Here’s our 3d resin printing setup! The 3d printing resins we love to use are the Rapid Resin series from Monocure3D.

Fire Elemental Gaming Mini

The model we will make use for this is the Fire Elemental which is available from Duncan ‘Shadow’ Louca’s Patreon page.

Creation Workshop for Resin 3D Printing

The default software which is recommended to get started with Wanhao Duplicator 7 is called Creation Workshop. A special version of this catered for the Duplicate 7 is provided by Wanhao as a a download from their website. It’s a decent slicing software to get started with resin 3d printing but does entail that your computer or laptop will need to be connected to the resin 3d printer via USB throughout the duration of the printing process.

There is another alternative software called NanoDLP which we use now. It runs off a Raspberry Pi and is perhaps something which we may cover in a subsequent post 🙂

Resin 3D Printed Fire Elemental

For this model, we made used of Monocure’s Clear Rapid Resin. This allows for a much faster print time with around only 7 seconds needed to cure each layer. As can be see, the printed 3d model of the fire element mini and support all turned out well. Straight off from the resin3d printer, the newly printed model will need to be rinsed in a bath of IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) to remove the still liquid layer of resin on it. Typically this is done in 2 series – once first in a “dirtier” initial bath of IPA before a second dip in a cleaner IPA bath to clean it better.

Resin 3D Printed Fire Elemental Cleaned Up

Next, while the resin is still uncured by UV and still rather pliable, it’s time to remove the raft and supports with a good pair of sharp hobby nippers handy. This should be a fairly straightforward step but it does pay to do this step with the help of a good light source and with care not to snip off any parts of the model which are meant to be there!

After the support removal, the resin model will then need to be post-cured in UV. This can be done via simply curing the piece under strong sunlight for around an hour or two, or through the use of manicure UV chambers.

Resin 3D Printed Fire Elemental Painted with Clear Red

Once the model has been fully cured, we then tried to give it different paint finishes. Here it has been spray painted with a few thin coats of Tamiya Clear Red hobby spray. While the effect is eye catching, it doesn’t seem to do much justice to the details inherent in the model.

Resin 3D Printed Fire Elemental Fully Painted

So in the end, we settled for a typically painted gaming model look, done using the regular layering of paints from Game Workshop’s Citadel line of hobby paints. It does seem like this helps to bring out the details in the resin 3d printed piece a lot more, which really is one of the main advantages of making use of resin 3d printing in the first place!

Well, so there you have it, a quick look at the workflow of getting a tabletop gaming mini done from a STL file all the way to completed and fully painted model! =)

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