Keeping Resin Warm with a ThermalVatBand

I’ve got a few resin printers, and even down here in the South, we get some cold temps. When I’m working in my garage workshop and it’s between 15-30°F, the resin gets pretty chilly. The stuff I like to use needs to be around 68°F for the viscosity and photopolymers to activate. They just don’t work well in the cold.

But don’t worry, there are a few options to keep your resin warm:

All of these options will get you to your goal, but each has its pros and cons. For example:

  • A PTC heater heats the entire box, including the resin, which might not be ideal.
  • A fermentation belt needs a thermal control system, unless you’re okay with the default temperature setting.

I chose the ThermalVatBand and installed it on the interior of my vat for fast thermal transfer. However, the creator of the TVB doesn’t recommend interior installation because it can be tricky. Resin is a slippery and invasive substance, so it’s important to get a good seal on the flash tape. In my first attempt, I had some trouble, but for my second install, I used wider flash tape and wrapped it under the vat before the fep tray goes in. This way, the longest runs of tape aren’t in the resin, which reduces the risk of a breach. After three months, I haven’t had any issues yet.

Now that I’m done with the installation, and had it in working order for the winter, I’m pretty happy with it. Honestly, if I hadn’t messed up in the beginning, I probably wouldn’t have gone for an interior install. But hey, it’s all good now and I’ve refined the process. The most important thing to keep in mind is to clean the vat thoroughly. Seriously, keep scrubbing until you’re rubbing off the coating. You don’t want any resin on your tape because it’ll dissolve the binding and leave you with a flapping piece of tape inside your vat. Yuck! Once you’ve cleaned it, make sure you secure it well and fold it back on both sides. Keep an eye on those corners too.

All in all, I’d definitely buy the ThermalVatBand again. It might be a bit more expensive than DIYing it, but it’s worth it to have everything in one package and a creator/owner to reach out to if you need help. Of course, your experience might be different, but for me, it was totally worth it.

(note this is just my opinion, I bought a TVB on my own)