Apply Lab Works resin review


#61

Did a few side by side prints using FL Version 4 and Version 3(Old prints sitting here done with 3) Grey resins and the ALW Beige. Latest Firmware and software… (After a roll back to get rid of the speed upgrade that was a total waste)

First I have to say… FL is claiming there is no difference between ver. 3 and 4 Calling BS… Parts that printed fine with Ver3 will barely print or failed prints with Ver. 4 starting to feel like an Apple I-Phone thing going on here… Changing formulas to force you to buy upgraded (More expensive materials) to achieve the same results we were getting with Version 3. (Sorry Formlabs but you tried to fix a problem that didn’t exist and failed) and this has cause some of us serious quality control issues where we are supplying customers with a final product right off the printer.

First set of Photos is a small/Mid Size part that is included in one of my Kits This part printed very well with the ALW Resin… Some of the details are a little softer then the V4 resin but acceptable… Presentation… No offense ALW The color is Horrid but will not complain to much :slight_smile:





This set of photos are some very small parts… The Cable clamps printed great, (About …062 wise and .015 Loops)

Now on the multipart track links… Not so much… This may be due to the ALW resin being thicker but all of the flex holes were filled and the snap holes are very inconsistent/ not dimensionally correct (Round) thus forcing me to drill each hole after printing whereas I don’t have this problem with the V3 and V4 resin (Sometimes if V4 doesn’t fail)





For the Large Items (My Selfie Model)… A lot of tearing but easy to clean up. Hollow print with 1.5mm walls so maybe they will chime in as to what a better setting would be to prevent this… For me personally it is not the end of the world as I rarely print these large items but I know many that do.


All in all… (Not that my opinion Matters) I would personally rate the ALW 8/10 and a decent alternative for small to mid sized parts non mission critical… Is it Formlab resin no. But at 1/3 the price it a very good alternative then any of the other AM resins I have tried which in my opinion were a waste of money.


#62

I totally agree, ALW is worth the money (for me parts without super fine detail) to print things I’d rather not go through the hassle of using FDM with lots of supports. My artist friend loves the quick cleanup of SLA and especially for the price he gets with ALW.


#63

Those flakes of stuff hanging off the print concern me. Is that a F2 machine? Seems the exposure is not optimized.


#64

Yes… That’s what I called Tearing… May be the wrong term… But once cured though it does flake off very easy


#65

What causes that? Is it if the inhibitors are not evenly mixed?
If you mix the hell out of the resin does it still do that and/or does it happen on extended printing times (suggesting separation over time)?


#66

I believe the flaking is caused by resin not being agitated due to the absence of the wiper in open mode. I’ve seen this before and very common in DLP printers.


#67

I guess I was fortunate to not have any of that or other issues with my liter of resin. I even forgot to stir it a couple times and zero tearing or discoloration. I’m happy with the resin overall for the price.


#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.