Cold Room Printing

Hi All,

Has anyone tried printing with Form2 in a cold room? I am not concerned about materials as those would be used in open mode and setting would have to be adjusted. Want to make sure that machine itself can do fine in that environment. Current cold room temp is between 45-47F.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Thank you.

Resin curing chemistry and viscosity changes quite a bit on temperature. Depending on the resin, you would likely encounter problems.

Wouldn’t an SLS system be better for that like the fuse?

why is the room so cold?
can you not simply put the Form2 in a cabinet where its own internal heater can keep the machine at a better operating temperature?

Resin is not an issue at this point. I will be working with custom material that requires a cold temp setting when it is being manipulated. I am interested to make sure form2 printer itself is ok to operate at a colder temperature and internal electronics (galvos, laser, motors, etc) wont malfunction. Heating of the tank, resin chemistry and viscosity are not a concern.

Thank you.

It could potentially be better but materials I am working with and trying will not work with an SLS machine.

Its a walk in cold room specifically designed for keeping lab work (sort of like a walk in coolers at restaurants). currently form2 is functioning just like it should. this would be for custom materials work that can not be performed at room temp due to material properties.

The only issue I’d see with it would be with the heater, but in our case, not an issue. Should print fine.

We definitely haven’t testing the printer and components at the temperature, but I can’t think of any big reason why the lasers and galvos wouldn’t work. It might not be optimal performance, but I doubt anything would break.

Thank you. When you say “may not be optimal performance” is there anything specific you are referring to? Speed? Laser power? Accuracy? Just wondering if there is anything specific I should watch out for.

Thank you.

No idea honestly. I’d be curious to hear about what you find.

ok. Happy to share what i find out. Is there any way you can check with your hardware team just to double check and make sure this is not going to ruin the printer before i embark on this project?

I checked with someone else on the hardware team. Neither of us think it would ruin anything, but we can’t make any guarantee here.

Still not clear on the need for a cold room.
The printer has a built in heater that heats the resin to a specific rather warm temperature.

Its going to try to do that in a cold room, So I have to assume you are planning on disabling the heater.

Are you going to use it with some unusual kind of resin that needs to be cold when cured?

I would say the biggest issue would be condensation on the printer parts. The motors and laser and power supply are going to generate heat- and in the enclosed optics bay that is going to bring the internal temps thru the dew point for whatever humidity the room has.

expect the mirrors and glass surfaces to fog up.

Thank you

Yes. Resin needs to be cured in cold temp environment thus the cold room setup. But that is a great point you brought up about condensation and screen. I did not consider that. Will need to think how to address.

dehumidify the room - and place open dessicants in the space.

Thank you.

I don’t have any inside information, but in general electronics are going to be perfectly fine in those low teperatures. Most electronics work better cold. In extremes the lasers might have odd behavior with their feedback systems etc. but for the most part above freezing won’t be an issue at all.
The mechanics could have some issues. Thermal expansion (contraction in this case,) could cause plastic or aluminum parts to get smaller faster than the steel parts they’re on (a plastic nut on a steel lead screw for example.) The more likely issue would be with lubricants. Generally viscosity goes up as the temperature goes down. So it’s possible some moving parts could get stiffer due to that. In general for low speed parts (nothing spinning at 1000+ RPM in these I don’t think,) you probably won’t see any issues there either.
Condensation shouldn’t be an issue if the room has appropriate relative humidity. Parts that make heat don’t get condensation on them, it’s parts colder than ambient that have the problem.