Resin Printing at Hive13 - Effort vs Reward

I’d like to open up a discussion about the feasibility of resin 3d printing at the hive.


If you didn’t know, we have a resin 3d printer at the space. Currently, it is not usable and for a few reasons:

  1. we don’t have proper cleaning materials
  2. we don’t have proper ventilation
  3. we don’t have proper procedure in place

To get the proper materials and ventilation, I’ve put together (with the help of Kevin) a list of things we would need to get the area ready. This material, along with some work to get the vent installed, comes out to about $400 worth of stuff.

This list has been in my Google Drive for the better part of a year with no movement due to my obscene laziness, but if there is considerable support, I’ll move for a vote.


Is the effort of having a Resin 3D Printer at Hive13 worth having the machine in the space?

The “effort” here is purely dealing with chemical waste (IPA, Resin). I’m happy to learn how to use resin printers and how to care for them, as well as certify people on how to use them (because of the chemical waste).

What are your thoughts?

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Thanks for getting this conversation going Heath!

I would LIKE to have a resin printer available at the hive… But I’ll admit, I also don’t have any real personal motivation to get it set up, because I have access to one at work, and quite honestly, keeping up with that one is a lot more work than people like to admit.

The process is messy, and unlike some messy stuff we do at the hive, that messiness is HAZMAT… The resins (including the “water soluble” resins) are extremely bad for the environment if they enter the water system, and people can develop extreme allergic reactions to them with frequent repeat exposure.

I am very concerned some members (and even just one or two is enough to ruin it for everyone) won’t take the chemical handling requirements seriously enough and we will have resin poured down a sink or out on the railroad tracks…

I’m also worried folks won’t keep the resin tools and other hive tools seperate, and we will have tools sitting around with resin-sticky handles…

Resin printers make awesome prints, and I’d love to set up a castable resin to investment casting pipeline at the hive, but unless other folks are VERY eager to help set it up and will lead the effort and help maintain, I’m just as happy to skip the headache…

I think we should have a resin printer at the Hive and we will just have to have the correct procedures in place to handle the chemicals. If that means keeping them locked up and only people properly trained have access to them, then so be it.
We have LOTS of crazy dangerous stuff around the Hive. We have a high voltage transformer that will stop your heart. The whole hot crafts area is a potential bomb. Everything has risk and we just have to manage it.
I say go for it, and the first person that doesn’t clean up or improperly disposes of the leftover gunk gets a public shaming and suspension for 3 days.


Before you implement any shaming protocols, may be list what is the proper way to dispose of resin leftover waste disposal? I have never used a Resin printer and would like to know if I eventually use it some day.

Ha, no worries. That comment was more of the last resort for someone who openly violates the rules. We would need to have clear instructions for people to easily follow.
I linked to some good videos in Slack on how to do this correctly.
We have dangerous stuff all over the place (I could burn down the building with the welding gear).
I think we can handle a resin printer.

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So far I’m hearing one person who’s a definite “yes, resin printing is worth it”, and two people who are on the fence of “it’d be nice, but idk about if it’s worth all the headaches”…

That doesn’t seem a very compelling amount of support to me that this is something the hive should put resources behind. Do others who haven’t spoken up yet feel otherwise?

hi life has been wild so i’m gonna weigh in.

i think resin printing is super cool but also much cooler if we do this safely. i would also like to learn how to use the printers. i would vote yes on the $400 expenditure.

I’m going to throw another wrinkle into this…

There is a high probability that I will be moving to Chicago by the end of October.

So, we’ll need to identify not only another warden (if the wardenship is deemed fit to continue) as well as another champion for handling this kind of thing.

Don’t go heath! I’ll miss you!

Another thing to keep in mind with this is that resin and IPA waste will have to be collected and stored on-site till our containers get full, and then we will have to pay a company to come get it and process it as hazmat. So far, the best price I’ve been able to get for this at work is about $500 for pickup, transport, and disposal each time we have to empty our two 5 gallon Jerry cans we collect the waste in. It’s not a trivial thing.

This is a no brainer to me. 3D printing is an excellent tool for anybody in the space, whether it be to create mockups of a part that is to be made with a different material, for making molds or simply to print a finished product.
It is a great introduction to CNCs and a wonderful learning tool.
All that being said, resin printers are a bit different. They’re primary made for making finished products, typically Minifigures, detailed buildings etc. That wouldn’t be worth the hassle for the hive.

However we cannot ignore the capabilities of a resin printer over FDM. A YouTuber named integza uses resin printers to make small engines as the tolerances are far better. Resin is better for making molds as the layer height is far smaller, better chemical resistance, and the ability for true transparency.

In my opinion, if we consider the full capacity of what the printer is capable of, rather than what the current members use it for, it’s absolutely worth the 400$ price tag. Plus, it’s not as if that’s stretching the budget beyond what we can handle

As for the dangers of using it… well I’m a tad more scared that the lathe or Mill will turn someone into spaghetti than I am about the printer. Danger is something we’re familiar with.

Additionally, I have a resin printer at home I use all the time, I don’t mind to help maintain the hive’s whenever I get a chance to come in

It would be nice to have access to resin printer, have never used one before so would be nice to learn how to take care of waste.

Hive13 was my introduction to 3D printing and I appreciate the perspective it gave me. If hazards are involved in taking care of the waste, making it a certification required tool might help limit any issues and educate people.

I think we should get it to printing capability, and it should definitely join the list of equipment needing certification. There’s definitely been interest in it for awhile, and I personally know I would use it semi regularly.

We have plenty of dangerous machines and materials here that need proper disposal, storage, etc. I fail to see the difference between those and the resin for the printer.

I’m on the fence here.

Like Kevin, I would be VERY interested in using a resin printer as part of a workflow to produce very detailed objects for lost “wax” investment casting. Let’s put me down as extremely interested from that perspective.

However, the dangers stated are real. I don’t think it’s an apple to apples comparison to suggest that the lathe or machine tools are more dangerous. They’r “different dangerous”.

Also many of the resins are just crazy expensive. They make the cost of the printer itself seem pretty trivial. You’re not going to run out and buy a quart of wax resin on a lark. And having enough project work to use that whole quart is unlikely for a single hive member. It’s the kind of thing you go in with a group to buy. We’ve talked about it and it just hasn’t happened

I think that that final statement summarizes where my real feelings about a resin printer lie. “We’ve talked about it and it just hasn’t happened.”

I’ve noticed that 3D printers are one area of Hive13 where no matter how many we provide at the hive, virtually all members who are interested in 3D printing at all have one or more at home as well. I kind of feel like a resin printer is one of those things that maybe you should just have at home.

I would agree that the cost of setting up & maintaining a resin printer is not the real limitation here. We have made other fairly expensive purchases here, and the cost of keeping a bottle of resin on hand and planning for periodic hazardous waste pickup would be well within the budget.

I think the problem to be solved here is not one of money, but of time & effort. Not just an initial ‘lets buy this effort’, but the much less fun effort to continuously maintain the area.

From reading the earlier replies to this thread, I think the core issues mostly come down to finding one or more members who will agree to ‘own’ the resin printing area.

Tasks for that individual or group would include:

  1. Determine what things we need to purchase to efficiently & safely run the resin printing area and write up a purchase proposal for this. Once these items are purchased, they will also need to coordinate installing them.
  2. Write up a plan for storing & removing hazardous waste generated by the resin printer. The UV resins & by products are incredibly environmentally toxic, and cannot just be dumped anywhere.
  3. Come up with a certification plan for users of the resin area.
  4. Agree to teach that certification plan and maintain the resin printing area. Maintenance would include ensuring the resin printing area stays clean and readily accessible for use. I think this will be the bulk of the non-fun effort required to keep this going.

@heath has done an amazing job with the 3d printing area. However, with @heath hinting that he might be moving in October, someone else (or a group of someone elses) will need to step up and volunteer to take over this project in addition to the maintenance of the other FDM printers.

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we got a call today about a donation of 6 cans of resin. should i say “thanks but no thanks” or do we want these?? i’m posting this here in case this shapes anyones’ thoughts, feelings, or wants free resin.