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The march of technology is inexorable and nowhere is this more true than with graphics hardware. Every year cards get significantly faster and bring a whole new set of acronyms for fancy graphical tricks. 

Looking at the visual settings for PC games, you’ll encounter a word salad that contains such tasty nuggets as MSAA, FXAA, SMAA and WWJD. OK, maybe not that last one.

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If you are the lucky owner of a new Nvidia GeForce RTX card, you can now also choose to enable something called DLSS. It’s short for Deep Learning Super Sampling and is a big part of the next generation hardware features found in Nvidia RTX cards.

At the time of writing, only these cards have the required hardware to run DLSS:

RTX 2060

RTX 2060 Super

RTX 2070

RTX 2070 Super

RTX 2080

RTX 2080 Super

RTX 2080 Ti

The specific hardware in question is referred to as a “Tensor” core, with each model having a different number of these specialized processors.

Tensor cores are designed to accelerate machine learning tasks, which DLSS is an example of. If you don’t use DLSS, that part of the card remains idle. This means you aren’t using the full capacity of your shiny new GPU if DLSS is available, but remains off. 

There’s more to it than that chúng tôi understand what value DLSS brings to the table, we have to digress briefly into a few related concepts.

A Quick Detour Into Internal Resolutions & Upscaling

Modern TVs and monitors have what’s known as a “native” resolution. This simply means that the screen has a specific number of physical pixels. If the image you are displaying on that screen differs from the exact native resolution, it has to be “scaled” up or down to make it fit. 

So if you output an HD image to a 4K display, for example, it’s going to look quite blocky and jagged. Just as if you’ve zoomed a digital photo in too far. In practice however, HD video looks just fine on a 4K TV, if perhaps a little less sharp than native 4K footage. That’s because the TV has a piece of hardware known as an “upscaler” that processes and filters the lower-resolution image to look acceptable.

The problem is that the quality of the upscaling hardware varies wildly between display brands and models. Which is why GPUs often come with their own scaling technology.

The “pro” consoles that are designed to output to a 4K display present it with a native 4K image, so that no display upscaling happens at all. This means the developers of games have complete control of the final image quality. 

However, most console games do not render at a native 4K resolution. They have a lower “internal” resolution, which puts less stress on the GPU. That image is then scaled up to look as good as possible on the high-resolution screen using the console’s internal scaling technology.

While that sounds a lot like what’s happening on 4K consoles, under the hood DLSS is really something special. All thanks to “deep learning”.

What’s The “Deep Learning” Bit About?

Deep learning is a machine learning technique that uses a simulated neural net. In other words, a digital approximation of how the neurons in your brain learn and create solutions to complex problems.

It’s the technology that, among other things, allows computers to recognize faces and lets robots understand and navigate the world around them. It’s also responsible for the recent spates of deepfakes. That’s the secret sauce of DLSS. 

Neural networks require “training” which is basically showing the net examples of what something should be like. If you want to teach the net how to recognize a face, you show it millions of faces, letting it learn the features and patterns that make up a typical face. If it learns the lesson properly, you can show it any image with a face in it, and it will pick it out instantly.

What Nvidia have done is to train their deep learning software on incredibly high-resolution images from the games that support DLSS. The neural network learns what the game “should” look like when rendered using supercomputer-level graphics performance.

It then takes that lower internal resolution frame and, for lack of a better word, “imagines” what it would have looked like if a much, much more powerful computer than yours had rendered the scene. If that sounds a little like black magic to you well, you’re not alone!

When To Use DLSS

First of all, you can only use DLSS in games that support it, which is a list that’s growing quickly, thankfully. Each title also has its own requirements for DLSS, such as rendering at a minimum resolution, because that’s what the neural net has been trained on.

However, the big brain at Nvidia doesn’t stop learning and the DLSS feature on your card will keep getting updates, expanding per-title support and quality.

The best way to figure out if you should use DLSS in your games is to eyeball the result. Compare it to traditional upscaling or anti-aliasing to see which is more pleasant. Performance is also an important deciding factor. If you are targeting 60 frames per second, but can’t get there, DLSS is a good choice.

If you are getting high frame rates however, DLSS can actually slow things down. That’s because the tensor cores need a fixed amount of time to process each frame. Right now they can’t do it quickly enough for high frame rate play.

Essentially, DLSS is most useful when using a high-resolution display (e.g. 4K, ultrawide or 1440p resolutions) with a target frame rate at around 60 frames per second. It’s also incredibly useful when activating the other main party trick of RTX cards – ray tracing. DLSS can offset the performance loss of ray tracing quite well, with an end result that is at times spectacular.

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What Is Antivirus And Should I Use It?

You’ve heard of Antivirus software before? Of course, you have – It’s that piece of technology that helps prevent nasty viruses from infecting your PC… or so it used to be back in the 90’s. Today, the “threat landscape”, as security experts like to call it, is changing. That means the approach to protecting your privacy and your data should also evolve.

Antivirus alone can give you some protection, but as we’ve moved from a PC-centric world of desktop computers to one in which you’re likely to have multiple internet-connected devices across your home and as you travel, it may not be enough.

What is antivirus?

Antivirus software helps protect your computer against malware and attacks from cybercriminals. It looks at the data that travels over the network to your devices— web pages, files, software and applications. It searches for known cyberthreats and monitors the behavior of all programs, becoming alert at suspicious behavior or malicious code. It seeks to block or remove malware as quickly as possible.

When looked at simply, a computer virus is similar to a flu virus. It’s designed to go from one infected computer or device to the next, copying itself, and spreading malicious codes and programs that can damage and infiltrate your operating systems. Viruses are designed to give cybercriminals access to their victims’ devices.

Antivirus software provides protection against these types of cyberthreats by performing key tasks:

Pinpointing specific files for the detection of malicious software

Scheduling automatic scans

Scanning either one file or your entire computer at your discretion

Deleting malicious codes and software

Confirming the safety of your computer and other devices

Installing antivirus protection on your devices is a must to provide basic protection, given the array of constantly-emerging cyberthreats. If you don’t have protective software installed on your PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet – you could be putting yourself at risk of picking up a virus or being targeted by other malicious software that can remain undetected, potentially causing significant havoc on your devices and leading to data or financial loss.

Do I need protection beyond antivirus? 

With antivirus software installed you may think your perfectly secure. But it might not be that straight forward. If there’s any gaps in your cybersecurity defenses it leaves your privacy at risk. Cybercriminals are constantly tweaking their methods and could still try to find a way in.

Did you know that public Wi-Fi could be unsecure? This could be another point of access for cybercriminals to access your sensitive data. If your connecting to public Wi-Fi, you should be using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt the information you send and receive.

How do you manage your passwords? Passwords are the keys to your most private of information – email, financial and online accounts –and if they get into the wrong hands may leave you vulnerable. Having the same password across all your accounts is no longer an option and securing access to your online accounts is important.

Do you regularly back-up the information on your devices? Backing up your data is one of the best ways to securely store important files and documents as a preventive measure against data loss due to hard drive failures, stolen devices and even ransomware.

Considering all of the risks mentioned above, having the right protection that goes beyond antivirus is important. It can mean the theoretical difference between browsing online more safely — with your financial and personal information inside your lockbox at home, or going shopping with your personal and financial information available for the taking.

Introducing NEW Norton 360 Deluxe. Protection for your devices, online privacy and more.

What Is The Metaverse (And Why Should You Care)?

Is the metaverse just a trending topic, or is it going to shape the future of social media marketing? Here’s everything you need to know.

If you have to ask what, exactly, the metaverse is — don’t feel bad.

The metaverse is hardly a brand-new concept, but the speed with which it recently began making headlines is impressive. And the meaning of “metaverse” seems to expand daily, as more and more recognizable brands and businesses begin to incorporate it into their long-term plans.

While everyone from celebrities to global brands like Nike have gotten involved, Facebook is responsible for setting the metaverse buzz in motion. The company, a pioneer in social media (in a sense the earliest version of the metaverse itself) recently went through a major rebrand. Facebook is now Meta, and the company has plans to make significant moves in the metaverse world in the years to come.

This all begs the question: what even is the metaverse? The answer is at once a little bit complicated… and something you already know without even realizing it. It’s social media, the internet, video games, and online shopping all rolled into one.

Keep reading to learn more about the metaverse and find out if you should get in on the craze.

Download the complete Digital 2023 report—which includes online behavior data from 220 countries—to learn where to focus your social marketing efforts and how to better target your audience.

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is a virtual world in which users, businesses, and digital platforms can exist and interact. It includes everything from virtual social and gaming platforms (e.g. Roblox) to NFTs, a.k.a. non-fungible tokens (more on those later).

Fancy an NFT with your Happy Meal? 🍟

McDonald’s is making its way into the metaverse by registering for 10 trademarks in the virtual space 🤯

Yes, really. @anulee95 reports ✍️

— Metro (@MetroUK) February 10, 2023

It might seem like a new concept, but the idea of a multi-platform digital world has existed for years. We’ve seen it take form in everything from video games to social media. From World of Warcraft and Runescape to MySpace, the early versions of the metaverse have been a part of our world for quite a while. The 2023s metaverse simply builds on these ideas and takes them to the next level.

In October of 2023, Mark Zuckerberg announced that social media titan Facebook would be rebranding to Meta.

— Meta (@Meta) October 28, 2023

To be clear, Facebook (the social platform) has remained Facebook. It’s the parent company (under which Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, among others, are operated) changed its name to Meta.

The reason? It’s simple. According to Zuckerberg, “We’re basically moving from being Facebook first as a company to being metaverse first.”

Is the metaverse the future of social media?

With all of the buzz surrounding recent metaverse developments and investments, you might be wondering if — and how — the concept will shape the future of social media (and social media marketing).

2023 saw a great deal of money and resources poured into the metaverse. With platforms like Meta and businesses like Nike (who recently partnered with sneaker-centric metaverse giant RTFKT Studios) investing massive amounts of money and resources into the metaverse, there are clearly people and businesses out there who do think it’s the future of social media.

But the answer is still a bit up in the air. This version of the metaverse is very young. While 2023 may have been a breakout year for it, it’s actually the next few years that will determine its staying power.

What can you do in the metaverse?

With the high-level definitions out of the way, let’s take a look at some specific actions you can already perform in the metaverse.

1. Network

It seems that Meta’s metaverse is going to be a social platform first and foremost. After all, it wouldn’t be much of a virtual “reality” if users didn’t get the chance to interact in some way or another.

Sure, this applies to crypto exchanges and NFT purchases too, but it also involves socializing in a more classic sense.

A great example of this is Roblox, a digital gaming platform. In 2023, over half of kids under the age of 16 in the United States played it. Roblox is a platform through which users can play through a library of video games – all of which are created by Roblox users. There are currently over 20 million games in its library, many of which can generate revenue for the designers.

Users on Roblox can socialize through gameplay as well as an avatar-based platform similar to the early social media phenomenon Habbo Hotel. What it’s ultimately provided is a network through which aspiring game designers can test their skills, meet other people looking to work in the field, and… party:

— Roblox Corp (@InsideRoblox) February 4, 2023

Roblox is just one example of networking in the metaverse. Social media has long served as a way for professionals to meet peers and clients alike. The metaverse is a natural extension of that, and it often provides new and exciting ways to do it.

2. Invest and do business

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you’ve probably heard the terms “NFT” and “cryptocurrency.” Both are important building blocks in the metaverse and great ways for users and businesses to invest in the platform.

Cryptocurrency is a term encompassing a number of digital currency platforms. The most famous of these are Bitcoin and Ethereum. Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency run through a blockchain system. Its value is in a state of somewhat constant flux but longtime platforms (especially the aforementioned ones) have skyrocketed in value since their inception.

One of the big draws with cryptocurrency is the fact that it is not nationalized. As such, its value is the same in America as it is in Japan, Brazil, and any other nation. The metaverse is a global platform. As such, cryptocurrency is the preferred form of currency for many of its users. Investing in it now looks like it will pay off in the long run as its value continues to increase.

Speaking of investing, NFTs have become a cornerstone of the metaverse. The term stands for non-fungible token. This basically means that an NFT is a unique digital signature used as a sort of deed of ownership on digital goods. An NFT can be a piece of art, a photo, a song, or even a piece of digital real estate.

— ParisHilton (@ParisHilton) February 8, 2023

An NFT authenticates the ownership of whatever it’s attached to and certifies its value (which is unique to the item, hence the “non-fungible” part). It basically allows you to purchase the bricks that make up the world-wide web.

Right now, NFTs are a great investment. Like cryptocurrency, the overall value of NFTs is growing significantly. Some have already sold for millions of dollars. Others, like the famous “Bored Ape” series, have been purchased and shown off by notable celebrities including Justin Bieber (who’s actually built up quite the NFT portfolio recently) and Paris Hilton.

If you’re looking to get into the metaverse for the sake of investing, NFTs are a good place to start. The value of most NFTs right now is likely to keep going up as they grow in popularity.

It’s also a great time to mint some of your own. Almost any piece of digital media can be turned into an NFT. If you or the business you work with has a catalog of music, photography, or art, your potential NFT portfolio may already be bigger than you realize.

3. Shop

These days you can use cryptocurrency to buy just about anything in real life. Heck, New York mayor Eric Adams even accepted his first paycheck in Bitcoin and Ethereum. In that sense, the shopping possibilities of that corner of the metaverse are endless.

At the same time, there’s a form of shopping that relates far more directly to the metaverse. Whether you’re building up your inventory of NFTs or building out your avatar’s world on a platform like Roblox, there’s plenty of shopping to do in this new virtual space.

Earlier we talked about “digital real estate.” It’s exactly what it sounds like – pieces of virtual land in online worlds like the one Roblox has built out. Digital real estate is just the first step in building an identity in the metaverse. Platforms like this are going to be big as the space develops. Meta’s plans currently include an endeavor called Horizon Worlds that has been described as “Minecraft meets Roblox.”

— Meta Horizon (@MetaHorizon) December 9, 2023

Users in spaces like these can shop for all kinds of upgrades for their avatar, from new outfits to sneakers to new ways to style their digital real estate. It’s a way to create an identity for yourself in the world of the metaverse the same way you would in a video game.

If you’re more into the metaverse for the gaming aspects platforms like Roblox provide, there’s still plenty of shopping to do. From buying games to buying upgrades on your library, it’s already a huge part of life in the metaverse.

— XRCentral (@XRCentral) February 3, 2023

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What Is A Vpn, And Why Should We Use A Vpn?

If you are like most people, you spend a lot of your time online. Finding a way to keep your identity and your personal information safe should be something you are passionate about. Failing to take cyber-security seriously can lead to a variety of problems.

What is a VPN

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. VPNs can be used to access region-restricted websites, shield your browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi, and more.

In very simple terms, a VPN connects your PC, smartphone, or tablet to another computer (called a server) somewhere on the internet, and allows you to browse the internet using that computer’s internet connection. So if that server is in a different country, it will appear as if you are coming from that country, and you can potentially access things that you couldn’t normally.

Related: It is now time to use VPN software also for Security and Privacy.

So how does a VPN help you?

Good question! You can use a VPN to:

Hide Your IP – Your original IP address will be replaced with another one from the VPN network, making it impossible for third parties to track you online.

Bypass geographic restrictions on websites or streaming audio and video.

Watch streaming media like Netflix and Hulu.

Safe Online Transactions – With VPN, nobody will be able to pry into your personal conversations, browsing history or online transactions, even on public WiFis.

You can see different prices for the same ‘sit’ on a flight by choosing different countries.

Gain at least some anonymity online by hiding your true location.

Protect yourself from being logged while torrenting.

So for the summary, from all the risks online we can say that today, everybody needs a VPN.

How do you get a VPN, and Which one should you choose?

With all of the different programs out there geared towards keeping your online transactions safe, selecting the right one can be a bit difficult. For years, people have used a VPN to stay anonymous while online. Over 30 million people have used this service loyally and for good reasons.

So, how do you choose the best VPN for your Windows PC? Here are just some of the benefits that come with using a VPN.

Strict No Logs Policy

DNS and IP Leak Protection

Highest possible speed

Automatic Kill Switch

Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Routers

Simultaneous connections on multiple devices.

Related: Which VPN is the best to buy? VPN Comparison Chart.

Easily Hide Your IP Address

The only way you are identified when surfing around online is by your internet protocol (IP) address. This is a numeric value that is assigned to your home’s network.

If you are tired of being tracked with this number, then using a VPN program is a great option. With a VPN, your IP address will be replaced with one from the VPN team.

This means you will not have to worry about third-party apps or even your internet provider knowing where you have been online. The whole idea behind the internet was to remain anonymous, which is why using a VPN is essential.

Read: Difference between VPN and Antivirus explained

VPN allows you to access Restricted Websites

Are you having trouble getting on certain websites due to censored materials or geo-restrictions?

Not being able to go to the places you want to on the internet can be downright frustrating. Failing to mask your IP address will only create more problems if you try to access these restricted sites. There are a number of internet service providers who may suspend your service if you visit or download content from restricted sites.

Make your Online Transactions safer

Most people fail to realize just how easy it is for a hacker to access their browsing history, view their online conversations and take a peek at their online transactions. If a hacker can get their hands on your IP address, it is only a matter of time before they know intimate details about your life.

Instead of leaving your personal information at risk, you can use a VPN to prevent these problems. By getting rid of your IP, you can stay protected even if you are using a public WIFI network.

These days, you can never be too careful when it comes to cyber-security, which is why using this program makes sense. The money paid for a VPN program will be worth it considering how much protection it can offer you online.

Read: What is a VPN tunnel?

You can block Malicious Content with VPN

With a VPN program on your computer, you will have no problem blocking out malicious content. Each time you access a website, this program will run it through a database to make sure it is safe.

Their dedicated database is updated constantly, which means they will be able to let you know if a website has been flagged as unsafe. The last thing you want to do is get a virus on your computer due to visiting a malicious website. You can avoid these problems by getting this program today.

Read: VPN vs GPN – Differences Explained.

Get Protection for all of your Devices

Another benefit that comes with using a VPN program is that it allows you to protect multiple devices for one price. The software can be downloaded on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS platforms. This means that all of your personal data will be kept away from the prying eyes of hackers and third parties.

Can anyone track you if you use a VPN?

If you use a good quality VPN your web traffic and IP address cannot be tracked. But if you use a poor-quality VPN, you could still be tracked. But if you are asking for the Polivce, yes, they can track you irrespective of which VPN you are using.  If the Police get an order from the court, they collect your network information and usage logs from your ISP. The usage logs help Police track the person connected to VPN.

Will VPN stop hackers?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN not only hides your IP address while surfing the internet but also protects you from hackers. When you are connected to a VPN, the transfer of data is encrypted. This means your activity cannot be tracked or mishandled by third parties.

That’s it.

Data Automation In 2023: What It Is & Why You Need It

What is data automation? 

Data automation refers to optimizing data uploading and delivery procedures using automation tools that eliminate manual work. The traditional practice required manual labor from the IT department to manage and administer data updates on open data portals. Sometimes the responsibility would fall on the employees in different departments that had to handle the data while carrying on their other duties. The manual process is time-consuming and labor-intensive for enterprises. In addition, manual handling of data is error-prone and can affect strategic business insights derived from the data. Hence, data automation is a vital tool for any enterprise looking to upgrade its data integration to a more efficient level.

Do you need data automation in your business?

There are four clues to look for when deciding if you need to automate data automation in your business:

What are the approaches to data automation?

ETL is one of the most common data engineering approaches used by data professionals. According to the procedure, the data automation process includes three steps based on the function of the used tools. These three stages are commonly known by the abbreviation of ETL (Extract, Transform, Load). These stages include:

Roadmap to Data Automation 

Identify problems: Determine where the repetition occurs and prioritize the data sets based on their added value. It is significant to prioritize the datasets that create the most value for the company as they take more manual effort. 

Define data ownership within the organization: Determine which teams will handle different stages of the data automation process. There are three main approaches to data access and processing within an organization: 

With the centralized approach, the IT team handles the data automation process from A to Z. 

In a decentralized method, each agency processes their data, from extracting the data from source systems to loading them to data portals. 

There is also a combination of the two methods. The hybrid method allows different departments to work with the IT team. IT teams are responsible for loading the data into data portals through a hybrid approach.  

Define the required format for your data transformation: Define the required format for your data transformation. It is crucial to have a set data format policy, to secure data coherence for better insights. Moreover, ETL tools require users to define the preferred formatting of the data categorization.

Schedule updates: Dataset update allows businesses to make better decisions on their operations. Hence, It is crucial to schedule updates for consistent and up-to-date data for datasets. 

Determine the right vendors for your operations: Businesses can rely on automation consultants’ expertise to help them identify the best vendor according to the business needs and the business structure. 

Explore our ETL tools list if you believe your data integration tasks may benefit from automation.

To gain a more comprehensive overview of workload automation, download our whitepaper on the topic:

Contact us for guidance on the process: If you need more customized recommendations.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.





What Is A Resin 3D Printer And Should You Buy One?

Home 3D printers have now been on the market for many years and are affordable to anyone who wants one. They’ve grown from a hobbyist curiosity to useful tools that can help you fix small problems around the home, create art pieces or help you prototype parts for projects. The uses for a 3D printer are only limited by your imagination! 

Now, however, an entirely different type of 3D printer is entering the home market. These “resin” 3D printers use very different principles to create 3D objects compared to the ones you may have seen thus far. What is a 3D resin printer and should you buy one over the more traditional models already out there?

Table of Contents

A Recap of Conventional 3D Printers

If you want to have an in-depth explanation of how 3D printers work, check out HDG Explains : How Does 3D Printing Work? If you don’t have the time for that, here’s the short version.

What most people think of as a “3D printer” is actually something called an FDM (fused deposition modelling) printer. It runs a filament of material (usually plastic) through a hot extruder head and then deposits precise layers of the material to slowly build up the model.

The most common FDM machine is the “Cartesian” type of 3D printer. This has a print head mounted on movable rails that can put the tip of the head precisely at any XYZ coordinate within the build volume of the printer.

Whatever type of FDM printer you’re looking at, it’s the layered extrusion of filament material that’s shared among them all. Resin printers are fundamentally different in this regard.

Resin 3D Printers Explained

Resin 3D printers differ in a few fundamental ways from FDM printers. First, the material is a liquid resin rather than a spool of filament. This liquid is kept in a reservoir.

The resin printer still uses a build platform for the model that’s being printed, but it’s usually upside down. The platform is lifted out of the resin vat as each layer is formed. The resin itself is light-sensitive and cures when exposed to the right type of light. 

A precision light source is used to form each layer on top of the previous one until the entire finished model has been pulled from the vat. It certainly looks much more futuristic than FDM printing!

Types of Resin Printer: SLA, DLP & LCD Technology

While all resin printers use the basic principle of curing photosensitive resin with a light source, they don’t all do it in the same way. There are in fact three major subtypes of 3D resin printers.

SLA: Stereolithography

SLA is actually the original 3D printing technology and has a long history in engineering, especially in aerospace.

This type of printer uses a laser and movable mirrors to direct a small point of light. Wherever the ultraviolet laser is focused will harden the resin, so each layer can be rapidly drawn.

SLA printers can have the upside-down inverted design, where the model looks like it is pulled up out of the tank, but they can also have an upright design where the platform is lowered into the tank of resin as each layer is completed.

SLA printers generally produce very smooth surfaces and offer high-precision detailed prints.

DLP: Digital Light Processing

You may have heard the term “DLP” in relation to projector technology before and that is indeed the connection here. DLP resin printers use the same digital micromirror technology that DLP projectors use to project images.

In this case, the DLP projection is used to cure an entire layer of resin at a time, which makes DLP printers a little faster than SLA models, which only cure one point at a time.

DLP resin printers are also known for nice smooth surfaces, but large print areas might not show the same sharp and accurate detail as laser-based SLA machines.

LCD: Liquid Crystal Display Resin Printers

These printers use a monochrome LCD panel with a UV backlight to cure each layer. The LCD panel essentially acts as a mask by selectively blocking out light or letting it pass. This is a clever use of mature and well-understood LCD technology and has driven the cost of resin printers down dramatically. Most of the affordable resin printers that you can buy today use LCD technology.

LCD resin printers are faster than SLA machines and more accurate than DLP printers, which can exhibit distortion. The downside of LCD printers is that they have a shorter lifespan than the aforementioned technologies and they need more maintenance.

The Pros and Cons of Resin Printers

So why should you (or should you not) buy a resin printer over the more conventional FDM machines?

On the positive side of the equation:

Resin printers offer much more detailed and smooth models.

Resin prints don’t require extensive post-print finishing to look good.

They are faster than FDM machines.

Resin models are generally stronger and more resilient.

On the negative side of the equation:

Resin printing is more expensive overall.

It’s messier and requires more maintenance.

You need to prepare a safe environment to print in and store your resin.

Resin printers have smaller build volumes on average.

Uncured resin is toxic and has to be handled with significant care.

It’s important that any prospective resin printer owner be entirely prepared for the reality of resin printing, the dangers, environmental issues and maintenance burden. Take the time to watch a few YouTube videos to see the printing process from start to finish.

Who Should Buy a Resin Printer?

The main market for desktop resin printers is people who need to make small, finely detailed models. For example, if you want to create detailed pieces for tabletop gaming or intricate 3D jewelry, a resin printer might be a good option. If you are a 3D sculptor using software such as Zbrush, only a resin printer is going to do your finely detailed models any justice.

It is entirely possible to paint resin models, although you need to follow a lengthy process of preparing the resin surface to hold paint. If you don’t need the detail and quality of resin prints, then you’re far better off opting for an FDM 3D printer. You can also improve your FDM print finish quality by using techniques such as sanding, for a smoother model surface.

3D Resin Printer Recommendations

There are more and more resin printer choices on the market as time goes by, but one or two options stand out.

The AnyCubic Photon Mono X also caught our eye as a much more high-end (and costly) option. The substantially higher asking price nets you a larger, higher-resolution LCD panel and an impressive build volume, at least as far as resin printers go.

Of course, you should do your own research according to your specific needs, but based on customer reviews and their specifications, these two printers are a great place to start.

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