So I went to check on my overnight print this morning and I was shocked to see the side plastic panel of the build plate hanging off and resin inside it! Why did this happen? I have been using the build platform with the Form Wash, could all the IPA be having an effect on the platform’s plastic and rubber band holding it together?
I have tried putting it back together after cleaning the resin out of the inside but the side panel keeps popping back out.
the side is only held in place by the force fit with the rubber gasket that is supposed to seal it.
It surprised me to hear that folks were immersing the entire thing in the form wash… while sealed against the viscous resins, I can not imagine the gasket can hold up to soaking in IPA… it would naturally tend to swell and literally push the side panel out.
Try allowing the gasket to dry out in the sun for a full day so that any IPA that it absorbed can vent off, and try to reassemble.
And I would remove the prints from the platform for washing… avoid immersing the entire build platform in the IPA.
I think Formlabs should research the rubber the gasket is made of and maybe come up with a replacement gasket that better resists a long soak in IPA
So if the build platform was damaged due to using formwash does it fall under any warranty? I want to buy the formwash next week just because it has this feature and is also advertised to do so. Damaging a critical part of the printer because of its use should be addressed promptly by formlabs.
The side panel of the platform is not glued in… its literally just pressed into place.
there is a gasket there to ensure it doesn’t allow resin to seep into the hollow interior.
When I got my printer the side panel was not fully seated at one end… I simply pressed it back in and never had a problem with it… but the gasket IS rubber and both rubber and certain plastics will swell when soaked in just about any solvent.
Silicone rubbers can swell to 3 or four times their original dimensions when soaked in mineral spirits, for example.
While I can see some folks might like the idea of putting the whole platform into the formwash… because it cleans the platform off, too… It seems to me that the amount of resin still on the platform would simply saturate your IPA three times faster… and cost you more in replacing the IPA than it saves in the time it takes to clean the platform with a scraper and paper towel.
so it’s a defect then? a design flaw? obviously side panels shouldn’t pop out when in use right? or is it normal? either way they need to address this. if they did, is there a way to know which ones are not prone to this? i really love the idea of placing the build platform in the formwash. Not only will it make it easier, it also cleans the build plate at the same time
To me the design flaw would be designing the formwash to take the entire build platform-
A part that is force fit with a tight seal is not that unusual and that you might have it work its way loose occasionally is not that big a deal.
I’d rather an immersible cavity be sealed that way than have the part GLUED in so that I can’t possibly open it to clean it if resin got inside…
But perhaps the rubber the gasket is made of was specced as being able to be immersed in IPA… but it actually can’t take a good long soaking.
Still curious to find out if the OP was able to reassemble the platform after the gasket aired out.
Some rubber compounds, once soaked in a solvent, will dry out to a significantly smaller dimension than their original size. We used to use this trick all the time to shrink silicone molds of relief sculptures down to a coin size from a 5" pattern.
At worst- Formlabs would have to provide a replacement gasket.
How old is this platform @Beth? We did take steps to address gaps in earlier versions of the build platform, and if you’re noticing this behavior on a newer platform I’ll make sure our team looks into it.
The build platform is 2 months old and I have printed about 2 Litres of resin with it.
I have pushed the side back in with a lot of force but it’s not 100% flush like the other side. I’m concerned it might pop out again during printing and damage the tank or worse the printer.
I have been using this platform with the Form Wash for a month and it’s been getting fully submerged in the IPA when I use it. I love how streamlined the Form Wash makes the cleaning process. It’s so convenient to slide the platform onto the Form Wash as soon as the print is completed, so I hope the IPA is not the cause of the problem.
Looking forward to hearing any thoughts you and your team might have @Frew. Thanks a lot!
How i wish this is just an isolated case. you need to contact formlabs and ask for a replacement build platform. In my opinion, the integrity of the platform has been compromised and cannot be trusted to perform according to spec during print. This could lead to a panel dropping in the resin tank mid print. from there I could think of a lot of different things that could go wrong.
Hey Ken, as I bought my printer though a UK distributor I have to raise the issue with them and then they will raise a ticket with Formlabs on my behalf (which is a bit annoying) Don’t worry, I’m definitely requesting a replacement platform!! They have only just recently replaced my Form 2 for a brand new one, the first one stopped working after having a number of issues after 1 month of use. I’ll let you know if they agree to replace the platform.
I sure hope you will beth. My form 2 is a few days old so I’m hoping for the best. Also thinking of getting a formwash. I’m a form 1+ user so I know the pain of manually washing parts and cleaning the plate. Based on what you told us, it seams you never did anything out of the ordinary, printing and washing in the formwash is I believe a recommended routine. Having your 2 month old build platform disassemble itself mid print sounds like a defective unit to me. Also I don’t understand why a formlabs product legitimately bought from a legitimate distributor by a legitimate buyer cannot go directly to the company who made it and know more about it. Maybe the process (logistics, inventory, verification etc) makes it systematic and easier for Formlabs but at the expense of the customer and their convenience.
I’m happy to say I’m getting a new replacement platform and sending the faulty one back I’m going to continue with my workflow and use this new platform with the Form Wash. We’ll see if the issue happens again.