How clear are resin prints?

If you have a resin printer, how clear do you think a Lid could be for the Jackpot LR3 box?

If you think you can print up a fancy pretty clear one, I would love to buy a lid or two.

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Just putting this put there…

I have wanted to make a vacuum forming table for quite some time.

I would think that with a good mold, a vacuum formed lid could be made, and could easly be transparent.


I used to use a vacuformer a lot…IT could be done for sure. If I make one of those though, I will need to make custom covers for everthing in my garage.

Shoot looking at the resins available now. I think they are approaching PLA rigidity with a much higher temp resistance.

Do I need to get a SLA printer to run some tests?


I’m sure people would buy clear lids from your shop if you need to justify it :grinning:

Alternatively, you could redesign the case so it uses a milled piece of acrylic as the top.

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You choose your own risk, etc. Etc.

But I wouldn’t want you to do resin because you print too many parts and you’re making parts in your garage all day. Unless you put them in a fume hood with good ventilation or something. Resin is an order of magnitude (or more) worse than PLA. If you get an employee, it might even be required. That stuff intimidates me.

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My experience with the resin printer I purchased (Elgoo Mars 2),

  1. The transparent resins were very clear, and in my opinion quite fascinating. Assuming you had no bubbles in your vat.
  2. BUT not with just the normal printing, washing and UV curing process to create a object.

After the normal process, It has a “frosted” look to it, like you sanded the part with 220 grit or higher. I knew this going in, as it’s shared knowledge on the web. To get the “crystal clear” and “smooth as glass” finish for a truly transparent part, a rattle can with a clear coat of your choice, is IMO the easiest trick for the final step.

Others like brushing on more of the original resin and curing the top coat with a UV light again. I’ve always wondered if the people using that method, skipped the “wash” step if they wouldn’t get the result they wanted as well. However on the “lowest” point of the cure process, would be a cured “drip”, which would have to be resolved post curing.

For me, I didn’t want resin, curing on my UV turntable, so skipping the wash step, wasn’t an option. And I didn’t want to glove back up, to make it shiny again with more resin, so clear coat was my choice of solution. If I designed the parts to hang from a piece of wire, and had something resembling a crib mobile to hang them from, and rotate in front of the UV curing source, then I could see skipping the wash step and they should be shiny and clear, after curing.

But for mass production I would think vacuum forming would be the better, quicker option. And in my experiences, thin flat objects, like to “warp” or “bend” during the curing process for resin prints. There is the possibility that I was over curing, with hobby grade resins. But for me it was safer than risking not hardening all the resin. I did play with more expensive resins, none of which were transparent. I also never purchased any of the dental resins. Which touching what Jeff was pointing out, the higher the quality the resins…. I’m not letting the dentist put UV resins in my mouth, if I find out he’s using Elgoo resins.

But don’t abandon the FDM printer yet. I haven’t tried it yet, but I keep seeing thing like this:

And I’ve been wanting to see how well the technique works.
Seeing it more now with the MK4 out, but doesn’t seem to depend on a Prusa to make it happen.

Hope my experience helps

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CNC Kitchen did an interesting video on getting clear prints a while ago

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I did try this method with some Polymaker clear PC. With some trial and error it did work but the print took FOREVER. Not practical at all.

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I forgot all about clear filament.

I think this is probably the right answer.

Yeah, not a good choice long term at all.


Since when does anyone here listen to reason? :smiley:

If you want to preserve your aesthetic of a curved surface, I’ve seen a variety of YouTube videos heat forming acrylic using both a heat gun and an oven. You could CNC a wooden form to get the shape right.


Let me strongly agree with this!

In early 2020, I bought an Elegoo Mars to do some resin printing. I had become too busy with a spacecraft program and couldn’t continue to make time to use the Form2 printers that the local makerspace had.

I have training from all the polymerics activities done at work, and thought I’d be able to manage home use of the resins and cleaning setup. I was wrong. I built an enclosure with fume extraction, another enclosure for a homemade wash station, and discovered that the process stunk, made a huge mess, and on top of it all made me sick every time I used it. Getting the UV curing to work right was also a nightmare and in the end I wasn’t ever happy with it. Also, learning how and where to put drain holes in cube-ish closed parts so they drain properly was a bummer with the Chitubox slicer. I think there are now plugins for using PrusaSlicer/SuperSlicer- but again, why take the hassle?

I understand that the clear resins and engineering resins have greatly improved in the last few years, and now there are also 4K monochrome LCDs and better UV LEDs.

I still wouldn’t recommend this for you.

Mill and/or heat form an acrylic lid, or if you’d like an interesting challenge figure out how to get clear(ish) prints with one of your repeat printers and the available clear filaments.

Here’s the Dusty Mars sitting next to my project area, I actually got it out a few weeks ago to try and decide what to do with it. Probably going on craigslist or will be given away if one of the local makerspace kids wants it for a personal project. Or maybe not- I don’t want to make them sick, either.


It is rare for anyone in these forums say not to get a new toy…I mean tool. So I am not going to pursue this further.


I do think I will get some clear filament, though. Last time I tried that was nylon, like 10 years ago. Sounded like I was frying bacon.


Much better plan. Plus if you get that working on a repeat it becomes just another cool thing that the repeat can do. Win/WIn.



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If it’s a new um… essential tool… you’re after then what about making a vacuum former and making the lids that way.

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I think he answered that one already… he’d end up “needing to” make custom covers for everything in his garage.

A vacuum former is my next toy tool project.