Back to the original topic.
So for the past couple of days, I’ve been having some troubles and tribulations with this little bugger, but I think those issues have been sorted now.
First of all, I updated the firmware, and as luck would have it, it created problems. After the update, every print failed in one way or another. Not only that, but noticed that the prints were taking a very long time, so I started watching it print, and noticed that every layer was taking about 40 seconds to print.
for those that are not familiar with DLP/MSLA printer, the first few layers (base layers) have longer exposures (30-40 seconds depending on printer and resin), and subsequent layers have a lot shorter exposures of 6-10 seconds.
In this printer’s case, the base layers were set to 40 seconds, and the rest were supposed to be 7 seconds. After the firmware update, all layers were taking 40 seconds. In fact a print that should have lasted about 5 hours, was still printing the next day some 18 hours later.
Anyway, I re-flashed the firmware, and now it’s working OK. But as I ran out the small sample resin, I bought some Apply Lab Works Modelling Grey for MSLA.
This time the issue is completely different. Even though the exposure rates for this resin are very similar to the resin from Monoprice, it creates such heavy suction to the FEP, that the print fails. It’s virtually impossible to lift the build platform and separate the print from the FEP, even by hand.
After browsing the web for some answers I found a Facebook interest group dedicated to the MP MiniSLA, and it turns out this is a relatively common problem with resins that are more viscous than the MonoPrice resins
What happens, is the bottom FEP itself is touching the LCD screen, and it can create a pretty good vacuum underneath. When the build platform tries to go up, the FEP has no give/flexibility as its stuck to the LCD screen. So the trick is to put a few strips of masking tape around the edge of the LCD with the corners open, so to create a thin separation between the FEP and the screen, and also allow the air to escape/breathe by having those open corners.
I’m printing a model right now, and will post some photos once it’s done.