While doing some cleaning I discovered that two of our resin tanks in storage were leaking. There was resin everywhere and it had created a big sticky mess. These tanks were not used in a couple of months (and not
moved). It looks like the adhesive holding the clear plate to the tank just let loose.
Upon closer inspection it looks like the adhesive is completly dissovled. Both the tank and the clear plate are both corroded by the adhesive, which explains the roughness on the edges.
Luckily the tank was not installed on our printer.
In the meantime our local dealer contacted Formlabs for us and they handled the problem
They advised us to remove the resin in each tank after one month to prevent this from happening again.
Now I realize that the other tanks we have in use will also be useless, because of this “expiration date”.
Anyone else had a problem like this?
This seems to be more of an issue with the new V3&4 resins.
The LT tanks are a really good alternative and last quite a bit longer. Downside is availability.
I always remove resins that can settle out regardless of the tank used. Rigid and white can settle out and be a pain to get off the tank surface.
Something I’ve been wondering about this issue is this: What if you print one resin constantly in a single tank? Or if you print 1-2 models per week?
Does that mean you have X amount of time to print as much as possible before the tank starts leaking, and then have to replace regardless of whether or not the tank is becoming cloudy?
If so, using LT tanks, as I have, there’s a risk that you will never be able to wear them out through actual printing. Having to shell out for new tanks as a routine, no matter if you’ve printed one or one hundred models, because of bad adhesive, would be pretty bad.
(Even if you empty a tank, there will still be a little resin residue in the crevice between the silicone layer and the frame, eating away at it…)
I have had zero problems with this issue and LT tanks.
With the standard PDMS style tanks, just emptying them out seems to avoid this issue. So, a little bit of resin left in the tank isn’t an issue.
I’ve had a couple of different resins setting in LT tanks for well over a month without any issues.
Thank you for your response.
So with emptying the tank you mean pouring the resin back in the cartridge?
Or do you mean simply pouring it in the bin? Seems a waste to just throw it away.
We will try the LT tanks in the future.
I feel like it’s more a quality issue with some tanks than a real “expiration time”, coupled with Formlabs protecting themselves. I’ve had tanks sitting with resin for over a year, seeing very little use, and I have had no issues.
As stated by Formlabs in these very forums, if you use the LT tanks correctly and have no failures they could well live way longer than advertised, and as such they will have resin in them for more than 2 months… they will not officially say it but I don’t think Formlabs expects us to empty the tanks after every print if we’re not planning on using them in the next couple of days.
I have small HDPE bottles that I pour the resin back into instead of the cartridge. Got mine from Freund Container reasonably cheap. I run it through a paint strainer to capture all the little bits and half cured resin that are in the tank.
With the LT tanks I only empty out resins that settle (white and rigid settle a lot).
If you pour back into the cartridge the machine can think you’re out of resin early leading to either “worn out cartridge” issues or the new improved “cartridge removed” issue.
Ive had 3 tanks fail because of resin in them and recently found another. FL has been good to me and replaced two of them (upgraded to theLT tanks so I paid a little more) but it is a bummer the resin cannot be left in the tanks.
This final standard tank I have that started to bubble in one spot and I was able to move the bubble around is pretty much brand new its as if it just came out the box (no clouding) and it still is failing because resin was in it over a month. I will not leave anything in the LT tanks over a week at this point. I don’t want to risk losing 100 bucks. it is annoying to have to clean them out each time but I guess it is what it is.
I am going to try and get as much out of this brand new standard tank that started to bubble. I plan to just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t leak. would be nice to seal it around the edges to prevent the edges from lifting. What do you all think would be a good adhesive just around the edges to seal it? that part doesn’t come in contact with the physical parts so maybe it won’t matter what is used. Thoughts?
I doubt the air got in around the perimeter. The PDMS seems to swell over time with the new resins (You could leave V2 resins in the tank for months at a time without issues).
If the air gets pulled in through the glue joint in the acrylic window there isn’t much you can do. Even worse once the PDMS fails at the edge you have an escape path for the resin to leak into the machine. (leak at edge, under the PDMS and through the glue joint).
Exactly that makes sense, just sucks seems like a huge waste
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