In the support article, they say “If you are switching resin types, or if you do not plan to reuse the build platform right away, clean the build platform with IPA and paper towels to thoroughly remove liquid resin from the build surface and edges.” My question is how long is right away? A few days, weeks? We are just starting to learn the quirks of our Form 3 and I’m completely new to SLA printing so any input would be appreciated!
While printing in Black V4 for the past 6 months I don’t think I ever clean build platform with IPA. Even with 1 week break between prints I would just let it sit inside printer as it was. No issues.
Thanks for your input! I guess there is no set time frame for how long the printer can sit and there be no need to clean the platform. With the lid closed I don’t imagine there’s much chance for the resin to harden on the build platform in a matter of days or weeks…
I’m the opposite - I always clean the build plate well after each print.
Resin starts to cure when it’s exposed to light. And I think thinner layers (like you’d have on some parts of the platform) cure more quickly. Also, resin exposed on the build platform outside the printer can pick up contaminants like dust.
I typically either put the resin-covered platform back in the printer after removing a print, or wipe it clean with IPA and paper towels. A couple times when I was in a rush, I put the platform (with resin still on it) in a dark cupboard for a few days without any ill effect.
I’ve left resin-covered platforms inside the printer for several weeks (or longer) also with no ill-effect.
I would not suggest leaving a resin-covered build platform outside the printer for any longer than the time you need to work with it. There’s no rush, but if you leave it for days (or in too much light) you might have to scrub off partially-cured or contaminated resin before using it.
Note if you’re putting the whole platform, with a print on it, into the Form Wash, you likely don’t have this problem. That said, after a wash I usually give it a wipe with paper towel and IPA anyway, to remove residue left behind under the print, up the sides where the Wash didn’t reach, and the inevitable aluminum dust I’ve found seems to accrue after the plate is exposed to alcohol for a while.
I clean after every print. If you don’t it can be fine, but you will likely have to do a “deep clean” of the build platform once and a while, as resin will get caked-on.
I run a scraper over the platform to remove any remnant chunks of cured resin. That’s it. Though I’ll wipe it down if changing resins. Been doing it this way since my Form1+, never been a problem.
When I first started using the Form 3, my only “cleaning” of the build platform was running it through the Form Wash. But as my wash solution became saturated with resin, I would get a build-up of resin on the build platform.
Eventually I had to scrape it off with a chisel. It’s doable, but not very pleasant.
Now after every print I scrape off as much uncured resin as I can, put that back in the printer. Then I run it through the Form Wash. Then I dry it off with a paper tower, and give it a light wash with uncontaminated IPA, and wipe it down again. I leave the build tray on its side (for several hours) on a clean surface, so I can see if there is any uncured resin running down to the bottom. If so, I clean again.
We have a tiny studio at the moment with limited space so I have got in the habit of just prying off the print and putting the build platform back in the printer when I’m done. Until reading this thread I didn’t even know throwing the platform in the formwash was an option… Might have to do that when changing resins. Thanks everyone!
The formwash has a “holder” for the platform, right at the top.