Can You Use Expired 3D Printer Resin?

on April 21, 2024

Generally, expired 3D printer resin can still be used but print quality and finish may be affected if it is well past its use-by date.

So, how do you know when expired resin is still good to use?

In this post, we’ll help you find out what to look for in older resin to determine whether it’s suitable for new prints. 

Loctite IND147BlueCast X10 LCD & DLP

Understanding 3D Printer Resin

Composition and Types

There is are lots of different compositions and types of resin to choose from, including:

  • Standard resins
  • Clear resins
  • Water-washable resins
  • Flexible resins
  • Heat-resistant resins
  • Burnout resins
  • Medical and dental resins

If you want to learn more about different types of resin, filament, and other materials, check out our guide on printing materials.

Shelf Life and Expiry

Standard 3D printer resin typically lasts for around 12 months in liquid form, providing the container is not opened and stored appropriately. However, UV and polyester resins generally only last for around six months, while polyurethane resins may expire within three months. 

Every bottle or container of resin will feature a ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date, so use this for guidance and aim to use the resin for printing before it reaches its expiration date. 

That said, you don’t necessarily have to discard resin simply because it’s past its expiry date. A best before date simply means that the manufacturer guarantees optimal performance, providing the product is unopened, stored properly and used before the specified date.

After this, the resin may still provide a great print finish, even though the manufacturer doesn’t guarantee its quality. 

Risks of Using Expired Resin

Quality and Consistency Issues

3D printer resins are made from numerous components and the lifespan of some components may be shorter than others. Due to this, you may notice a negative impact on the quality of your printed materials when you use expired resin.

For example, some resin printers report ‘overcuring’ issues, which means a rougher texture and less accurate details. 

If you're interested, check out our guide on 3D resin printers.

If you’re printing multiple items, you may also notice less uniformity in the finished products. While expired resin may be suitable for one-off prints, it may be less usable if you’re printing numerous identical pieces that need to be exactly the same in terms of form and finish.


All resins will eventually turn yellow, which is one of the reasons why you shouldn’t stockpile resin. If a bottle or container of resin is well past its expiry date, it’s likely that it will have a yellow hue, even if it container is unopened.

While it may still be good to use, you’ll only want to use it for prints where colour isn’t critical. Once the seal is broken on a resin container, the oxidisation process accelerates. This means the resin will turn yellow even faster. 

Potential Printer Damage

One of the biggest concerns surrounding expired resin is whether it will damage your printer. After all, you don’t want to risk ruining an expensive 3D printer with an out-of-date resin. Despite this, many 3D printers maintain that expired resin doesn’t impact the functionality of their printers at all. 

Ultimately, it’s a personal choice whether to risk using expired resin with your printer but using recently expired resin is unlikely to cause major issues, providing it has been stored appropriately and looks as it should.

Extending Resin Shelf Life

Proper Storage Techniques

Storing resins appropriately maximises their longevity and helps to improve subsequent print quality. To get the most out of your resin, follow the manufacturer’s storage instructions and be sure to:

  • Keep resin in its original container
  • Store in temperatures of 5 °C to 30 °C (41 °F to 86 °F)
  • Place resin containers in a zip-lock bag
  • Avoid keeping resins in direct sunlight
  • Shake resin containers every two weeks

Unused Resin in Printer Vat

It’s not unusual for unused resin to remain in a printer vat once you’ve completed printing. In some instances, you can cover the resin in the vat and simply store the vat in a cool, dry place until you want to use it again. Depending on storage conditions, resins may be usable for up to two months if kept in this format. 

Alternatively, you may want to remove the resin from the vat and store it in a separate container. If so, don’t attempt to pour the resin back into its original container if ‘new’ resin is still present. Instead, use a separate container to keep ‘new’ resin separate from the resin that’s already been added to the printer vat.

Remember – resin is toxic when it’s in liquid form, so safety protocols should be in place when storing or handling it. It’s particularly important that children and/or animals cannot gain access to resin when it’s stored in a home environment, so choose a secure place to keep unused resin and be sure to use containers that can be securely fastened. 

Similarly, proper measures should be followed when disposing of resin, so that you don’t cause harm to yourself, other people or the environment. Generally, curing the resin in direct sunlight prior to disposal is sufficient to ensure safety. 

Alternatives to Using Expired Resin

If you want to achieve the best finish and enjoy peace of mind when you’re working on your next 3D project, it’s always advisable to avoid working with expired resin.

At Pro3D, we stock a wide range of resins in varying sizes, so you can purchase the exact amount you need for an upcoming print. This ensures you’ll always have access to the printing materials you need and that you won’t have to worry about storing large amounts of unused resin. 

Explore our collection of resins now or contact our expert team for help finding the best resin for your 3D printing needs.