Using a resin printer for (helmet) lenses and other transparent pieces

Citruspers

New Member
I've been messing about with my resin printer for a bit, and I think I have a decent technique down that I'm ready to share.

Let's start at the end, just to give you an idea what's possible:
backlit.jpg

front lit.jpg


So let's get started. You're free to model your own lenses, or use the ones I designed: Printables

Modeling:

You probably want to keep these lenses fairly thin, as even "clear" 3D printing resin isn't entirely clear.
Thin lenses will also need less time to cure, which will help us later.

Printing:

I used a resin printer (Mars 2) at 0.02mm layer heights, with Anycubic Clear resin. It's the only clear resin I've used so far, though I've heard good things about Sirayatech Blu Clear as well.
As you can see, the lenses are extremely clear right out of the tank, but unfortunately they're not ready for use yet.
build plate 2.jpg


Cleaning:

Wash the lenses in IPA, and wash them well. I use a two-stage process to get rid of any excess resin. First 7 minutes inside a wash&cure stirrer, and then some manual shaking in a pickle jar with very clean IPA.
The cleaning process gives the lenses a frosted appearance, this is normal.
cleaned.jpg


Curing:

I cure these lenses under water. As I understand it, this helps prevent (most of the) yellowing, and also allows for much shorter curing times. In this case, 1.5m was more than plenty for 4 lenses. You can go longer, but you risk (increased) yellowing.
curing.jpg


Coating:

The last step, and the one what brings back most of our transparency. Get some glossy clear coat spray and apply generously! I've also heard good things about pledge/future floor polish, but have not tried it myself yet.

Before varnish on the left, after varnish on the right:

before varnish.jpg


Good luck, and please let me know if this worked for you as well, or if you have suggestions for improvement!
 

Fallen

Well-Known Member
Member DIN
S922
A couple of drops of blue dye for resin helps combat yellowing as well. Just around 1-3 drops for a full vat tends to be enough.

As for resin type, I'm currently using Anycubic as well, but want to try out Nova3D Ultra Clear resin at some point. At around US$ 33 for 500g (US$ 50 for 1kg) it's definitely on the pricier side though.
 

Citruspers

New Member
A couple of drops of blue dye for resin helps combat yellowing as well. Just around 1-3 drops for a full vat tends to be enough.

As for resin type, I'm currently using Anycubic as well, but want to try out Nova3D Ultra Clear resin at some point. At around US$ 33 for 500g (US$ 50 for 1kg) it's definitely on the pricier side though.

I've heard of that technique, but with the short underwater curing, the yellowing isn't too bad with the anycubic clear resin imho. Clarity could be improved, though.

I did just try some Siraya tech Blu (Emerald Blue color), and it seems a bit clearer post-cure. I let the prints sit in hot (~60c) water for 15 minutes or so before curing, which also helped prevent yellowing. Siraya described the process here: How to turn reduce yellow in Blu (Blu Emerald Blue and Blue Clear V2

I haven't tried their clear version yet, but it may be a nice competitor to the Nova3d resin you've shared.
 

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