3rd Party Resin from ApplyLabWork


Should be using the V3 setting. ALW Gray and Beige are the same except for coloring. That’s the setting I’ve been using right along with no issues.


Well, I got to throw some cold water on this discussion. I have been having a lot of issues with my 2 Form 2 printers. Bad prints and every trays having the PDMS layer de laminating. Even had one tray crack and spill resin.

I’ve been blaming the FL resin trays. Well the only common thing here is the AWL Gray resin. It’s not the optics, not the settings as I’ve been running OK with these right along. Only thing that has changed is AWL changed there chemicals a shot time back and since then I’ve started to have increasing issues.

I’ve got an email into AWL on this. I use to mix the old Beige and Black resins and had no issues. Then they change suppliers or just chemicals but since then the issues. So I will be testing Digital Forge Gray resin next. I can’t continue with all these lost prints and damaged resin trays. I manufacture and use about 4-6 liters a month.


You are only printing in open mode, correct?

The problem with open mode is that the peel layer of the tank(the PDMS) does not get oxygenated. As a result, resin will stick much harder to the PDMS, increasing the peel force and this can de-laminate the PDMS. The wiper in closed mode is used to oxygenate your tank. Resin does not like to cure when there is a lot of oxygen around and therefore the non-cured resin can be seen as a non-stick lubricant(The carbon 3D printers use this effect for their fast printing method by the way).

This is why the 3rd party Universal Cartridge is developed. It has been tested by multiple 3rd party resin manufacturers and their feedback was that parts are more accurate and the success rate for large thin-walled printed parts is much higher in closed mode. This is due to lower peel forces(I know ALW claims they developed the resin for open mode, but the resin just works more consistent in closed mode)


I’ve long wondered why Formlabs won’t make the wiper an option in open mode. Almost like they are taking things away to make it more of a problem to use Open Mode.

I had none of these issues with the old ALW resins. I ran those for almost a year with no problems at all in both machines. Besides the PDMS issue right now I’m also having issues with the build base sticking tight to the build platform sort of like when Formlabs came out with V4 of the Grey resin and changed Preform to a higher power on the first layers. I had to use a hammer and chisel back then to clean the build plates.

I still want to try digital forge resin to see if it’s any better. I’ll use a brand new resin tray for that.


have you tried the LT tanks yet? I also will be trying DF once I run out of ALW. not because I’m not happy with ALW but just to see what all the hype is about with DF


I really can’t figure out why some folks are so hung up on this? I don’t have a Form 2, but I’ve had a Form 1+ for nearly 3 years, and routinely keep my resin tank full, or nearly full. The only “oxygenation” the PDMS gets is when I stir the resin with a spatula a few times prior to a print job.

The idea that the PDMS needs to be oxygenated to keep it functional is, no offense, ludicrous.

FWIW, I’ve never had the a PDMS failure, other than once and that was a recoating mistake on my part.


That manufacturers build printers based on that principle and spend millions in research to understand it is I guess ludicrous as well then. It’s not that you need oxygenated PDMS to keep it functional, but to lower your stick. It will work without, but has drawbacks. You can’t compare a F1 with a F2, the peeling principle is very different. I got plenty of material on printing the same resin with and without oxygenation. Some large models(full build plate and full height) would simply 100% fail without wiper installed.


I think the greatest asset’s on the Form2 are the wiper and heater.

The wiper ensures that resin has covered the separation material (In this case the PDMS) The heater reduces the viscosity and surface tension of the material and that increases the flow rate helping ensure an even layer between exposures (layers)

The oxygenation is a secondary issue / advantage. The peeling principle of the form 2 (both lateral and vertical) is perhaps the best for SLA / DLP printing and certainly reduces the force required to separate the material from the build tray


No, I don’t see an advantage to the LT trays. From what I’ve read on here they aren’t worth the money.
I’ve gotten long life out of the standard trays because the heating is what exaggerates the fogging. With the heater turned off my tank’s clear window stays nice and clean for about 2 to 3 times longer than when the heater is on.

As I’ve said before, Up until AWL changed the formula of the Gray resin I had no issues at all with it. The resin could stay in the tray until the tray fogged up. I only use the Gray resin. In the beginning I mixed Beige and Black to get the Gray. I suggested they do the mix and sell Gray. They did but at the same time the formula changed for one reason or another. I immediately saw problems and questioned them on that.


Gotcha, personally I’m doing ok with the LT tanks. That being said the models we print vs your application maybe different.

I have read a lot of posts on how delicate people are stating the LT tanks are personally haven’t had any issues with the dimples affecting my prints or the light scratches. Second I have switched out countless colors of resins and different types of resin with the tanks and print quality had not suffered.

I also had major issues with cracking of the standard tanks. Not sure when the change happend but I’ve got over 5 standard tanks that have some sort of issue either cracked or lifted pdms.


Well, I now have 3 standard tanks plus one I threw away that have both or one of these issues. I’ve started blaming the resin but it might be poor resin tank quality control. I can’t afford this to keep up.

We’ll see how the Digital Forge resin works next week.


I’ll be looking out for your review !


Walter, I think you have hit the nail on the head - certain resins do increase the rate at which the PDMS deteriorates. The phenomenon that you describe as “fogging” is the deterioration of the PDMS, that occurs due to a mixture of things, one is chemical attack, the other is due to the effect of UV on the material. Heat simply speeds up that reaction, But heat also reduces the viscosity which helps the printability of certain types of resin

Sometimes one of these mechanisms( UV or Chemical damage) may work faster than the other. Thats why with some resin types you will simply see an outline of what you have printed in the PDMS after a number of prints (in much the same way as some household paints yellow when exposed for a period of time to sunlight (UV energy). In other types of resins the component chemicals attack the PDMS and you see the whole area “fogging” after a period of time.

The fogging stops the UV energy curing the resin so well (It stops the UV passing through the PDMS), and eventually the PDMS looses the ability to pass UV energy into the resin efficently to effect a cure (hence failed prints after a period of time)

There is no doubt that FEP does not suffer in the same way, but it is not as “non-stick” as PDMS and is easier to damage with scratches.

Life is about a compromise. PDMS with its fantastic “release” abilities is good, but it “fogs” in reaction to certain resins and UV light. FEP has not got quite as good release properties, but outlast PDMS in terms of printing service life. The resistance of FEP to certain chemicals used in the resins and its ability to transmit UV long term is vastly superior to PDMS, but FEP does not seperate the printed layer as well as PDMS with a tensile force. However in shear it is better.

A simple alteration of the separation timing sequence to use the shear separation forces on the Form2 as the principle mode of separation (rather than tensile) would help dramatically, but us mere mortals do not have any control over such things.

A metal tank, with clear windows for the sensors would work great, but it would loose an income stream for formlabs (I doubt they would want to loose that)

Both PDMS and FEP are and should be treated as “consumables”


I really haven’t seen the issues I’ve reported on until the last month or so. Up to that time I was printing on two Form 2 machines as fast as I could change jobs out. Not sure I blame AWL but when they changed to their new formula that’s when things started to go south.


OK, Received a 1 liter jug of Digital Forge Grey Resin. I put a new tray in my older Form 2 and filled it with the DF resin. Printed one of our rather fine detail items, the HO Scale Cigar Store Indian. I’ll attach a photo of the result of that print and also an S scale AWL resin 3D print.

For the most part I will stick with AWL. I’m not dissing the DF resin just that the results aren’t what I’m use to and switching on my customers can cause issues if the change doesn’t bring better prints.

The DW resin has more filler so there is no translucence to the print which there tends to be with AWL prints. Also with the HO Scale version I felt the detail wasn’t there like it was with our other prints.

I feel this resin would be best used on larger parts than what I print. It runs with V4 settings. The AWL runs with V3 settings. I notice a lot of banging when the printer slid the tray. I need to swap out the tray and see if that continues as I had not noticed it in the past. AWL sent me a resin tray that had the PDMS layer replaced. I want to see how that works out as well. On inspection it looks great. If I was to do this I’d have to find a lower cost than what I’ve seen when I did a search for the silicone.


Here’s a better photo comparing the two resins with both prints in HO Scale (1:87 ratio), Digital Forge on the left and AWL on the Right.
You will notice a distinct difference in the prints. Look close at the build base lettering. Also the size of the supports and the model itself. There is growth.

Both were printed from the exact same print file. The difference is the resins.


That looks overcured! I’d try printing again but then with a different profile. Like Clear V2, or Grey V2. If that’s not enough, you need to add a blocker of some sort(Pigment, UV Blocker).


I’d contact DF, this doesn’t look right, especially for a resin tailored specifically to the Form 2.


I’m using Applylabwork resin for a while but I’m having an issue with my last liter I brought. My resin isn’t curing in the UV chamber, after an hour of curing the resin still sticky.


I find that if I don’t wash the prints real good. I let them dry on a mat of a couple of paper shop rags on a sheet of cardboard. Usually I leave them like this overnight. If still sticky then I put them in the wire basket and run them through the Form Wash about 5 minutes and again let dry on the mat. That usually takes care of it.

Stick prints, after washing and drying usually indicates the IPA is getting used up and has too much resin in suspension. I change mine frequently and the reason I have my own still to recycle the IPA. Well worth it.