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Best advice for tank lifetime?


#1

Is there any consensus on tank lifetime now that they’re not tracked anymore?

I had a black tank that has been in use since Feb and it’s started to make prints with layer cracking, so I’ve changed it out and am trying again. The old tank surface looks fairly pristine as far as I can tell. I’ve started a retry of the last failed print with a new tank and we’ll see how that goes.

Is it just a matter of getting too many failed prints in a row and deciding it’s time?


#2

Yeah. Generally, you retire a tank when the print quality degrades (and you’ve confirmed it’s not a dirty optics issue).

Unless your tank looks like this, in which case it’s time to replace it now even though the last print came out just fine:


#3

I’m only using engineering resins. For the moment, the only 2 times I’ve changed tanks because prints failed a couple of times (tanks were already past due their elapsed time expiration date), I concluded afterwards that the tank was actually not the issue.
I have to say I’m always below the other decay marks as #layers, #print hours and #resin liters printed.

I always visually inspect the tank though, and try to not leave expired tanks idle in the printer.

My Elastic 50A tank for example is almost 500%(!) in time, and it’s still printing fine. But I’m still in the first liter (almost empty now, I’m using it with the floater taped) and it’s been 20 prints I’ve made.
I just hope a failure will not be catastrophic, though!


#4

After Print fail,

I randomly react like “Oh, No!!”

But It’s not stopping to repeat.


#5

Randy I’m hoping you could help with a question - have you ever had one print cause your vat to look like that? I’m asking because we’re going through vats ridiculously fast. I mean brand new vats, fresh out of the box, being damaged (?) by just one print and having to be replaced. The damaged/scrapped vat looks almost identical to your photo. The cost is really adding up quite a bit over here :frowning:
We haven’t had the issue be so prevalent before. It has been raining for 20+ days, I’m guessing the humidity might have something to do with it.


#6

I just realized I should probably mention - there are no print fails with the vat scrapping. The prints come out nicely and with their typical details all looking appropriate.


#7

That failure happened on the second print of a new tank with Durable V2 resin. Nothing unusual about the model, and the second print where this leak happened came off the printer every bit as perfect as the first print that did not cause a leak.

If you are seeing this more than once, you should open a ticket with FL. IMO there shouldn’t be any way for a tank to spring a leak except: User Induced Damage (like scraping it with something sharp), remnants of a print failure that remained behind (which would also constitute “UID”), or a defective tank.


#8

Thanks for the quick reply and the details. I appreciate it!!


#9

I have encountered the very odd cases where preform doesn’t catch a large cupping region which led to pinhole leaks in the tank like this. You get the “splotchy” areas like in that picture above.

From my experience this happens specifically with parts that have several concentric circles in the geometry and are printed vertical.

Not sure if they’ve fixed it, but just saying, there can be some orientations preform doesn’t flag that can lead to damaged tanks.


#10

FL blessed my .FORM file. It was not the model that caused the leak… But nothing in life is 100% defect-free. Even if FL’s quality levels are world-class, there are still going to be some defects that get shipped. Because: entropy. :slight_smile:


#11

In my specific edge cases - nobody (including FL support) noticed the cupping until I caught it. It wasn’t flagged in the software at all so nobody noticed it until I looked at it really closely during troubleshooting. It passed through several eyes at FL as well, so it can happen!