Apply Lab Works resin review


#68

I doubt that has anything to do with pigments settling, or resin not being"agited" or mixed or anything like it. I have printed with ALW beige that had been sitting in the tray for a week, and I forgot to stir it with my spatula. I use it in a Form 1+, so I don’t have a wiper to slosh it about, yet I never had flakes like that whne using it with the correct profile.

On the other hand when I was doing the grey mix, and experimenting with different profiles, I did have similar rashing or flaking or flashing or whatever you want to call it, when I was using wrong profiles.

Even the grey, it turns out it works fine with the White V1 profile. Once I started using that profile, all the flashing was gone. So it’s more than likely an issue with the wrong exposure due to the wrong profile. The problem can also occur becuase of dirty optics. Here is FormLabs knowledge base has to say:

Both rashing and ragging are caused by dirt or dust in the optical path. If your model comes out with rashing or ragging, go through the following cleaning steps:

Check the inside of your resin tank for cloudiness or any cured resin from a previous print.
Check the underside of your resin tank for fingerprints.
Check the large mirror for dust or oil.


#69

I am adding this update to my post/review as it obviously was not fair or correct. ALW contacted me and ran a few of the exact same parts, using my actual file and they came out perfect so there is obviously something wrong with my printer.

I have opened few tickets about this before and printed their test files and everything came back as there is no problem but obviously there is, but I can’t expect FL to troubleshoot a AM resin… I have gone through all the steps. (Cleaning all surfaces so all I am left with is to replace the Glass between the laser chamber/mirrors and the bottom of the tanks.
Here are some photos of the same parts printed by ALW
So my apologies to everyone here and ALW and I will crawl back into my hole and figure out whats wrong.

IMG_4041_previewCloseUp_HT04_previewIMG_4043_previewIMG_4040_preview


#70

OK. I totally upgraded the software and firmware on the Form 2 and Form Wash. Printed a job in the ALW black & beige mix and everything worked perfect. I’ve yet to do any extensive testing on the Form Wash but I suspect that to will be OK.

Thanks FormLabs support for fixing this big issue.


#71

I’m going to be doing my update tomorrow !


#72

Did some parts for a client and now that I have finally got my printer clean and working a little better. (Still can’t get my Tracks to print with the proper spacing on the “Snap” but VERY HAPPY with the results on these Castle nuts.


#73

Hi everyone,
I have the Form 2 for over a month now. I had a lot of prints to do for a client and it literally did not stop running from December 1st to January 16th. I must say this printer is incredible and extremely reliable. However one thing I hate after going through about 10L of resins is the waste, all those cartridges and tanks…ugh. I saw it is the concerns of a lot of people, so I hope FL will go the right direction and offer replacement silicones and being able to refill those cartridges.

So I went the ApplyLabWorks route and here is what I have to say and show.

The prints I did were all the same and I used the grey resin from FL (FormLab) and the grey resin from ALW (ApplyLabWorks) with the same settings. So all things are equal in this comparaison.

I am gonna start slow and go to the big con at the end.

The smell:
First of, the smell is not as bad as some tell, it has a kind a chemical cedar wood smell haha, but really did not bother me. However if you have the printer in your bedroom, then yes, to hell that smell.

The quality:
I noticed that the quality of ALW was better. The finish is glossier (it did not matter for me as I had to sand and paint the parts) than FL’s. I had extremely thin walls (on parts unneeded and they were more a design mistake than part of the design itself) and when they failed with FL’s they were perfect with ALW, as shown bellow.
Left is ALW’s and right is FL’s:

As ALW’s resin is glossier, the layers are more visible (left is ALW’s and right is FL’s):

A side note on FL’s resin, is that I found that there is sometimes some cartridge’s plastic that fall in the resin, some kinds of burrs. It ruined some of my prints as I had to pull them out and it left holes:

One of the only cons I had until the big next cons I will describe was the fact that we have to fill the tank manually. Since I had prints lasting for 26h and using 420ml, when it had to be refilled through the night, it would add time to the print (since I am not gonna wake up to fill it in the middle of the night obviously lol), bumping those prints to over 35h sometimes.

The mileage:
I I can’t prove it as I have no pictures, but I saw much less clouding using their resin than FL’s. So it means I could use more resin on one tank (I’d say about 3-4L).

The tank:
This came as a surprise and made a real mess. ALW’s resin is having a weird reaction with FL’s PDMS and it makes it lift from the tank, slowly lifting until they get big enough so that the resin goes under and SPILLS FROM UNDER!!! When it happened I thought it was the tanks problem, so I switch to a new tank and it happened again. This time I was not around to check it and it had made a mess on my printer. It took me 4h to clean the printer and I do have a small drop that went in the laser area (however just on the side, so it does obstruct any components, but still, scary).

Here are some pictures of the tank and printer:

So yeah it was a mess…

So I reached out to ALW. And a nice guy explained a lot to me.

He said that first of all, FL’s tanks’ quality started to go down the last 12 months, as those PDMS issues started only recently and they even had tanks crack.
But as I really loved their resin, I tried to go more in-depth on how to get that resin to work and he explained to me how to do so.
It all start with recoating. Recoating the PDMS is actually not that complicated and they explain it well here
A quick fix is to buy some silicon glue and actually glue the bubbles down.
He also said that we have to put grossly the resin back into the bottle, so the resin does not sit in the tank too long.

So here is my conclusion:

I loved ALW’s resin and I love that I was able to reduce my production waste. I just wish FL did not go the Blade and Razors business model and forcing us into some very wasteful habits.
So this is what I am going to do:
I am gonna buy myself some Dow Corning Sylgard 184 silicon.
I am gonna buy myself Z-VAT’s glas tanks and I am gonna be as free as a bird.
I am gonna be able to experiment with resins, mixes and stuff.
Is it a bit more work? yes
Is it cheaper? Hell yes
Is it really that much time consuming? I’d say it depend on what you do. If you print 50ml every 2 weeks, then it is maybe not worth the hassle. If you go through a lot of bottles and print non stop then it is not so much time added and worth the money and waste savings.

Hope it helped some of you who did not know if they should give it a try or not.

Peace!

Dylan Demnard


New digital forge 3d resin
#74

Then you’re going to like the Universal Cartridge as well. No more 100ml limitations. :slight_smile:


#75

OMG!!! This is great! Thanks for sharing!
:grin:


#76

FWIW, I use the ALW resin as well, and I re-coat my tanks with Sylgard.

I’ve been doing this for at least a year now, and I don’t have any issues with the PDMS edges or corners lifting. It did happen to me once, but it was an issue with the recoating on that particular tank (did not properly clean it before recoating).

I don’t think that’s all that important. Idon’t do that, and I have tanks that have had resin in them that went unused for weeks without any issues.

So welcome to the DIY world of Formlabs. You’ll love it.


#77

Thank you for the input, that is good to know. And thanks for the welcome .)


#78

You print that on an F1+ or F2?
If an F1+ use OpenFl and get the material file from Kevin as the stock gray v3 or v4 settings might not be adequate for your machine. I had issues with stock settings.


#79

This came as a surprise and made a real mess. ALW’s resin is having a weird reaction with FL’s PDMS and it makes it lift from the tank, slowly lifting until they get big enough so that the resin goes under and SPILLS FROM UNDER!!!

Yikes, this is not good.

Does anyone know if this also occurs with their Resin Tank LT?

Also, does anyone have a link to where we can buy some Sylgard 184 silicon?


#80

Hi,
Yes yikes indeed but as long as there is a solution that is saving money and on waste, we’re fine. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I don’t think it is too much hasle. Also I linked to a PDF above on how to recoat (z-vat also has a step by step on their FAQ)
Z-Vat industries (the ones making glass tanks) are directing to this supplier: http://krayden.com/buy/dc-184-sylgard-0-5kg-1-1lb-kit.html
Or you can find others online too.


#81

You can buy Sylgard just about anywhere. At the moment, prices for Sylgard are high, as there seems to be a worldwide shortage of Silicone elstomers.

The best price I was able to find was at Ellsworth for $109. Here is a link:
https://www.ellsworth.com/products/by-market/consumer-products/encapsulants/silicone/dow-sylgard-184-silicone-encapsulant-clear-0.5-kg-kit/

Remember, a 1/2Kg of Sylgard will yield about 7 tanks, max for a Form 1 standard tanks, assuming you do them all at once. The average Form 1/1+ tank will take ~65-67g. The ZVat takes about 56-58g.

If coating Form 2 tanks, those are about 105-108g, so you’ll only get about 4 tanks out of the Sylgard container.

There are other alternatives to Sylgard as well which are cheaper, such as ML Solar, or Qsil 216. In fact Qsil is about $40 for 1 LB of the stuff.

Last but not least. Don’t buy now thinking that you’ll recoat sometime in the future. This stuff has a shelf life of about 2 years from the date of manufacture, after that it will not cure properly. So make sure you check the date of manufacture and use it before it expires.


#82

Krayden is too expensive right now. They charge $145 for a 1/2Kg kit.


#83

Yes I saw… I guess it depends on how much is needed. Not there yet


#84

Oops did not see your previous post


#85

Thank you for all that info. Never heard of Qsil… I will look further into that. Have you tried? What was the print quality? How cloudy does it gets?
Best


#86

451, thanks for sharing your experience with ALW’s resins.

Another question for you, did you have any issues with tanks leaking during long 10+ hour prints when using ALW’s resin? Im thinking of buying their resins but now worry about having leaks and spilling onto or into the printer. Between prints, I do leave the FL resins in the tank and in the printer for weeks at a time.


#87

I have not had any issues with LT tanks leaking but haven’t had ALW resin in them over really a month yet. What I have had an issue with is FL LT resin tanks while more expensive and supposedly lasting longer are much more unforgiving with scratches or impacts (caused by miss prints) issues with adhesion to the build plate. I literally have an LT tank now with a gouge in it that I’m sure was caused by a piece that came off from the build plate plastic. But was told by CS that it looked like a spatula gouge from me using the sharp vs round edge spatula.

Im no idiot and did use the corner spatula not the round edge one but definitely didn’t try to use the corner of the spatula to remove the failed print from the LT tank.

So while they seem to last longer if you impact that layer in anyway consider it trashed after and FL not replacing it.

That being said I’ve got about 6 cracked. PDMS coming up, or bubbling Standard resin tanks. A few were replaced by FL so I can’t complain too much about there level of customer service for the Standard tank issues.