Another finishing print question

Hi guys,

after about 20 prints I’m back with some more questions on finishing our beautiful prints.
I have a Form 2 and I love everything about it.
The resins, the speed, the build volume, the details it can produce. Everything, except… for 1 thing.

The cleanup.

I just can’t get my prints look like what formlabs produces and that is because of the supports.
When I use auto generate supports my print is flawless, but most of the time just removing the supports breaks sharps edges and make things look plain ugly.
When I use edit mode for the supports I get failed prints a lot, even when I don’t see any red shade in the example in preform.

On the other hand, when I position the supports in a different location then the auto generate, it’s easier to remove them.

Here is my process once the print is complete and was successful:

  • I remove the print with jig from the build platform
  • Put it to rest for 10 minutes in 90% ISP in bin one
  • rinse for a minute 90% IPA in bin two
  • dry off with paper towel and let the rest of the IPA evaporate
  • position the pieces in a nail dryer curing lamp 36WATT (4 bulbs)
  • remove the supports with flush cutter
  • sand off any marks with very fine sand paper (sometimes soaked in water with soap)
  • rinse away any dust and airdry the print

Doing this method I haven’t been able to produce very nice and slick results as shown on the Formlabs website.
Either I’m doing something seriously wrong, or it’s just not doable for a normal human being getting a super slick outcome.

I don’t need a finer Z resolution, what I need is a solution to remove supports more easy.
I’m even thinking about getting an Ultimaker with a PLA/ watter soluble PVA combination so I’m done with this messy cleanup.
On the other hand, the speed is so much slower then with SLA I feel.

So I don’t know what to do to be honest. Maybe I’m just to inexperienced or something, unsure.
The thing that I would like Formlabs to do is produce a real time video with the complete process on how they finish their protrayed models. Because they look so superslick that I have no clue in how they do it.

All tips are more then welcome.
Many many thanks in advance to everyone.


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Hello, i have the same issue, lots of prints and none with a excepcional finish. I also have the ultimaker and let me say this to you: change is not the solution (at all!).

I would like the postprocessing video also, with though material will be perfect.


Orientation and location of supports helps immensely. When you orient an object, you want to get it in a way that requires the least number of supports and that will place the most important surfaces facing more upward where they will get the most detail.
Ignore the red shading, it’s wrong very often (like red shading on an area where a support is). Auto generation can also put supports on areas it shouldn’t, like within the model sometimes. Usually you need much fewer supports than what the auto generation gives you.
What I do, is after the IPA I rinse it off in warm (not hot) water, and then I fill a container with water and put it in there and then in the UV box for about 5 minutes, after that I take it out of the water and dry it off, and then once it’s dry I put it back in the UV box for 30-45 minutes.
If your print is not thin and fragile, then it can help to remove the supports before curing while they are still soft. Otherwise, leaving the supports on will help keep the print from warping as it cures.

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Part orientation and support placements are skills that are learned over time and that’s most of the trick to producing parts with the finish you’re looking for. The idea is to place supports in such a way that they either won’t be visible or can easily be sanded away.

We just released new videos on our support pages that walk you through both optimal orientation and support placement techniques. They go into greater depth than the pages themselves and you should definitely check them out.

As for sanding, my favorite technique is wet sanding with increasingly high grit sandpapers. I start with 200 grit and work my way up to 800. Wiping the part with a bit of mineral oil on a cloth is great for final part finish after sanding.