Consistent Bad Print Results

I have been using the Refurbished Formlabs 1+ (1+ in a 1 Body) for the past couple of months and I am very dissatisfied with the results. I have had issues in the past which I believe are due to the printer being located in a colder room and the resin was beginning to solidify in the tank. I have since moved it to a room where it is always ~70F. I have also adjusted the angles at which I print the parts and every time there will be one portion of my print that look terrible. It seems that whatever portion of my prints is at the highest point (printed last) comes out fine but the lowest point near the base is always jacked up. I tried to increase the height of my model above the base to see if this had any impact but it did not help.

I have spent a significant amount of time and money on this machine to keep getting results that are unusable. I have seen much more difficult parts printed to almost production ready quality but not once have I had anything that I didn’t have to spend a significant amount of time sanding and prepping only to get a sub-par finish.

I have attached two images, one that shows the orientation of the model in Preform and the actual part once it is removed from the support. If anyone else has had this issue and has a recommendation it would be good to hear.

I get a lot of prints that turn out like this as well. Non-organic shapes seem to have troubles hiding surface finish issues.

Make sure your support contact points are set as small as possible. Place the points yourself in places where the nubs will be the least visible.

Thing to try would be to flip the part and support on the flat face of the flange. The supports could then be easily cleaned up by running a razor blade along the edge.

Printing at an angle should definitely help, so if you print at about 30° in both X and Y such at there is only 1 lowest corner (instead of the current low edge) the part should be better supported. You can also use the custom supports to really make sure that the low corner is over supported-- the tradeoff being that they will be harder to remove and will leave more nubs to sand off, but you shouldn’t see any of the “scalloped edge” effect you’re currently getting from being slightly under supported.

I want to second Jason’s comment. I agree that non-organic shapes can be the most difficult to get a good finish on, but I have had plenty of good prints with similar geometry to the pictures posted.

I may be mistaken, but it looks like you reduced the support spacing from the default value. Usually this can be done without any bad results, but especially for flat geometry like yours, you might want to increase the spacing. I know its tempting to reduce the volume (and cost) of a print by reducing the support spacing, but if the result gives you a poor object, then you have just wasted all the resin that makes it up. I think of support like insurance. You can skimp on it for a while but when you realize that you really need it, it is too late and the print is a waste.

Another observation about flat geometry and thin walls is the issue of flexing during the peel process. I usually keep my wall thicknesses thicker then 2mm and well supported. I have gotten air pockets in parts where the wall was flexing back and forth with each layer because it wasn’t properly supported and its own geometry couldn’t keep it rigid.

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Joshua, hey. Is that FL resin, or is that makerjuice? The surface quality reminds me a lot of what I see on the support side when I use makerjuice (you can see it actually in the video I made of your clip - non support side looks pretty awesome, support side, not so much). I have tried a few different ‘power’ settings, so far it is what it is.

I get pretty much the same or similar results as Joshua, on the support side as well as any surface that’s even the slightest bit angled towards the platform.

See here: Printing hollow framelike/boxlike objects

Note the “molten”, irregular look in the first shot, as well as the fact my print was angled on both X and Y.

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