Anti Vat Fogging optimization

Reading at the troubleshoot guide, you are saying that after many prints the bottom of the vat can “fog” rendering the print difficult.

Would it be possible to have a function that keeps a density map of the printed area IE:

1/ The user would need to register each print done
   (unless the printer can send back to the PC which files have been printed)

2/ The Soft would ‘flatten’ each profile of the print to know for each location of the bottom plate how many layers have been printed

3/ The result would be added to the current historical printing history

4/ The user / software could use this “wear map” to select the most suitable location to print the next job and thus try to optimize the usage of the tank and prevent early fogging / extend to life expectancy of the vat.

Any thought?


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I like this idea. If the software can keep a “heat map” that can be turned on optionally, I would find that really helpful. Even a rough estimation would be nice.

To add to this, since the resin tanks can be swapped out, perhaps they could include a labeling system for such maps. That way individual tanks could be kept track of (“clearResinTankA”, “grayTank2”, etc.).

I guess instead of heat map you should call it fog map :wink:

but yeah I agree, having an option to keep an image of multiple vats would be handy.


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“Fog map,” I like that. :smiley:

Is this Fog issue with the actual tank? So I’m guessing the tank is made out of a clear plastic or polymer, or is it a glass? Would it be possible in the future to have an upgraded tank that would resist this fogging?

There is a silicone coating on the inside of the tank that keeps the cured resin from sticking to the tank during the “peeling” process. This silicone layer is what fogs. Given that folks using the B9Creator have also been seeing their non-stick layer clouding as well, I’m guessing it has something to do with the resin curing process that does it. Perhaps in the future there will be a coating that can be used that doesn’t cloud (hopefully). :slight_smile:

I also like the idea of a fog map, it could even be used to auto set the default object position.

I don’t know if the laser has any feedback (this could even be just a plain light sensor in the bottom of the enclosure), but if it has, the laser could “scan” a simple barcode on the corner of the vat, making it possible to keep track of different tanks.

When I read that this is a problem, I started taking screenshots of the top-down view of the build area for each print. I can layer them later to see a rough actual usage as a heat-map of sorts. It’d be cool if this were something it could do for me without having to carefully position everything for screenshots.  Though it doesn’t account for how much was actually build at each location, since it’s just a ‘something was here’ map. Better than nothing! :slight_smile:

I think we’re trying to solve a symptom of a design limitation - not the actual problem. As I see and understand it (keep in mind I don’t even have my printer yet. I just ordered it yesterday :), a 'tearing 'effect is occuring at the surface of the silicone, likely exacerbated by the resin and the heat right on the surface of the silicone coating.  I was thinking about this for a bit today, thinking that replacing the entire tray every 3 liters of resin is not really acceptable. I think the tray itself should be optical glass - pyrex-ish possibly, and the silicone layer should come in precut pieces, and adhese to the glass similar to a cell phone screen protector. e.g. it gets squeegee’d down with a liquid to help get all bubbles out.  Maybe this silicone sheet also has co-molded vertical sides out of a stiffer plastic like ABS that clip to the top sides of the glass tray as well. A tray liner basically that’s easily and cheaply changeable.

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I just came across this post after brainstorming a “Print History” feature. Essentially where PreForm keeps track of the material base outlines and then automatically tries to position parts in non-used areas to alleviate print area wear in one area … Example: the hinge area. As a community member suggested above, a “fog prevention map”.

This would require either adding to hardware to provide RFID, (magnetic) encoding, or optical (bar/qrcode) recognition of tanks, etc … or requiring users to manually enter in laser etched or tank sticker codes into PreForm (not ideal). I would think most Form users would have more than one tank now that there is a variety of recipes, and use cases for each resin type … thus the need for the tank detection and tracking.

All in all, a visual inspection and routine maintenance check might be a better route in opposition to add-on price to a newer model Form … maybe a better route is to ask users to inspect tanks on a more routine base? … in order to do this, though, the Form would need to know if a tank was being exchanged in PreForm. To be honest, I can’t recall if PreForm warns a user if a tank is not inserted into the machine or not (going to check when I have access to my machine though). If it is detected, maybe after a few removals of a tank, it can prompt the user to remember to clean and inspect the tank?

So, it comes back to encoding the tanks in a manner that is transparent to the user. This means adding cost to the machine through hardware … Maybe a boot up “tips” modal window would be an easier solution? … it could be handy tips that are provided by Preform when it is booted, but easily turned off through preferences. Many software apps have such a feature once applications grow in functionality. I know there is a lot of material documented on the website, but it might be nice to have shorter tips or links to articles within PreForm itself.

Personally, I’ve had only one tank go foul so far. Granted, I do not print 24x7 … and that was because of lack of maintenance and poor care on my part. I do wonder about the tank longevity in the broader community … especially those who print in a 24x7 environment, when whether a “anti vat fogging optimization” feature is even warranted.

I have to agree though, that not having to empty a tank to check it would be ideal. Scraping to see the clarity of the tank isn’t ideal in some situations where lighting is a problem. You either have to remove the tank and tank it to light, or possibly have a light near by to show the optical clarity of the tank.

Just some thoughts.

Odd I am bringing this thread back to life. Did FL actually do this for the Form 2 on the Dashboard?

If so, what happened to the Form 1 owners???


Where are the Form X developments…

As a Form 2 owner, I am not aware of this capability. I’ve seen a few threads about it and like the idea.


Absolutely Fabulous!

Exactly lines up to the items i have printed.

@DavidRosenfeld So what your saying is you don’t see this at all? (under the materials section of the dashboard)

I have a form 1+… The printer doesn’t report to the dashboard… If FL implemented this in Preform, we all would be able to use it.

I remembered you were a F1+ user… I had forgotten the fact that it doesn’t report to the dashboard.

Going forward it probably makes sense to further expand their online Dashboard as it is in the cloud, mobile friendly, etc. It is a bummer for current 1 and 1+ owners, but in the grand scheme of things it is probably the best option as far as the company is concerned.

I am just disappointed. I get the business decision. Based upon the content in the article, I wouldn’t be surprised if they suspend Preform and go to cloud based slicing. I would never use it for models that I cant share but in the grand scheme of things, FL being able to dynamically watch what happens and being able to immediately “fix” the slicer and exposure settings is a really good idea.

It would be really nice if FL made a plugin that would enable the F1 users to use the dashboard. Yes the vats aren’t chipped and the resin bottles aren’t chipped. Why couldn’t we serialize the equipment ourselves and “chip” them with a P-Touch. It is only in our best interests to keep track of things. But then FL would have to invest time in the 1 / 1+ users. I think they are concentrated on the 2 / 2+ or 3 users…

ONO is going to use cloud based slicing… if they ever figure out how to ship the rewards to us. I am really looking forward to seeing how the Slash peels models as it uses some film instead of a PDMS layer. No more clouding…
I may see if I can hack the 1+ with Open FL and get good prints, if I can ever get the 1+ repaired… but that is a different story. Or I am going to gut the 1+ and turn it into a DLP printer. No more failed lasers or calibration issues.

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