2 Printers, same files and materials, different speeds

I have two Form 3 printers. Both are using Clear V4 with adaptive printing set and the same job file. However, one of them prints significantly faster than the other. Their accuracy is also somewhat different which is important to me since I’m trying to print rather small parts. But I don’t know whether that is related or due to unrelated wear. These are company printers from before I joined, so I don’t know if someone may have set them differently when they were new, but we want them to be as close to identical as possible now. Does anyone know why they would act this differently? Is there some setting that I should check?

Firmware, would be my first guess

Define “significantly faster”.

Hi @Cakrause,

Firmware could definitely play a role in print speed as @RD_lab suggested. Aside from that, there could be other variables such as the PreForm version or the amount of resin in each tank before each print started. If accuracy issues persist, or if the print times continue to be very different, you can get in touch with Support for them to take a look.

@Randy_Cohen I just started the same print from the same program with the same material at the same time. They are both on layer 4 and one says there is 2hr 57min while the other reads 2hr 39min. I think the difference increases a bit as the prints run, so I will also update with their final differences when I can.

@Jesse_K Both are using the same rc-1.20.33-803 Firmware. Also, as I wrote above, I don’t think the resin is the issue because both printers are reporting very different times despite being on the same layer after the tank fill stage. Both prints were sent from the same version of PreForm since they were sent from the same computer.

The fact that the expected time is different as soon as the printers start is part of the reason that I think I might be missing something like a setting somewhere.

@Cakrause Thank you for the clarification! One other thing that came to mind - does one of the printers happen to be a Form 3+ rather than a Form 3? I wonder if that could be playing a role. Aside from that, I’m not quite sure, and the time difference seems fairly reasonable in terms of variance in estimation. Keep us posted as to whether the actual print times also differ by similar amounts.

You can’t go with the print time reported by the dashboard. That print time includes warmup time and resin fill time. It’s the time from when the printer was told to start, not from the time the first layer was printed.

I suspect the printers are running at (nearly) the same speed. But they may not heat at the same rate, and they almost certainly don’t fill at the same rate (since the rate resin flows out of the tank is a function of both how much resin is in the tank and the bite valve itself - the bite valve is not a precision metered orifice, I would bet they’re as different as snow flakes. I know I’ve gotten at least one resin tank where the valve wasn’t actually cut all the way through and no resin came out until I attacked it with a #11 Xacto blade).

To really know if they print at different speeds, you have to sit there and watch them and wait until they actually start printing before you start your stopwatch.

1 Like

Hello, @Randy_Cohen -
This is a lot of good information on the print startup process and how there can be differences there. You could just wait for layer 1 to start and record the time as the printer will give an accurate endpoint time, but a stopwatch will also work great.

Kind regards,