Both resin and plastic are types of polymers. The main difference between them is where they come from. Resin comes mostly from plants, while plastic comes mostly from petrochemicals. Another difference is that plastics are made from synthetic polymers, while resins can be either synthetic or natural.
Core Differences Between Resin and Plastic
Can be brittle
Dense and hard
For 3D Printing
Plastics are synthetic or semi-synthetic polymers derived from petrochemicals.
The applications of plastic is very wide and we can see it being used in pretty much everything in our daily lives.
Such bottle, pen, frame, covering, keyboard, handles...etc
- Durable and lasts longer than resin
- Can stretch
- Affordable material
- Resistant to heat
- Doesn’t have impurities
- Modifying plastic products is expensive when carried on a smaller scale
- Can't retain colors well
- Synthetic plastics cause environmental pollution
- Polyethylene Terephthalate
- Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
- Polystyrene (PS)
Resin is a compound organic blend material that can be both solid and thick for 3D printing. (Aka, unprocessed plastic) It usually refers to liquids that hardens when they are heated, have a setting agent, or are exposed to light. There are two types of resin:
- Natural materials with additives
- Artificial polymers.
- Ideal for casting and scale model work
- Resin can hold intricate details
- Resistant to temperature changes
- Resin is environment-friendly
- Resin bubbles can impact the aesthetics of the product
- Toxic to human body after long exposure
- Can be brittle
- Can't be stretched
- Resin has impurities
- Balm of Gilead
When To 3D Print With Resin Material?
Resin material is best used for SLA/DLP 3D printers (Sterolithography/ digital light processing) to cure liquid resin into layers.
Resin provides highly detailed part for scale models - Extremely fine details than using plastic.
When To 3D Print With Plastic Material?
Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is the most common to print plastic material such as PLA, carbon fiber and Nylons. It's easy and affordable for making practical parts used to withstand stress.
These include: gears, handle, structural parts, moving parts and much more
Does Resin Become Plastic?
Yes, synthetic resin turns into plastic after it's cured. It can be either:
- Thermoplastic (Any plastic with low melting point when heated)
- Thermoset (Chemical reaction. Can't be reheated or broken down. Aka very stable to withstand temperature changes)
Is Epoxy Resin Considered Plastic?
Yes. Epoxy resin is considered plastic. It's a form of plastic, and we call it thermoset polymers.