So I just setup my new Form 2 yesterday, and printed one object. Before that printed, however, I had to abort what would have been the first print because the resin wasn’t filling. (It was just a stuck valve on the cartridge. No biggie.) Now, Dashboard shows the original print was aborted BUT is still showing my material usage as if it completed. So, at the moment, Dashboard is showing that I printed double what I have. Does this effect what the printer itself assumes is left in the cartridge or is it just a Dashboard bug. If the latter, no worries. If the printer’s calculations are effected, that becomes an issue because it was 181mL of resin. Any info is appreciated. Thanks!
I think the printer will print until it tries to fill and it detects that the level is not increasing and then you can just tell it to continue after it pops up a warning
I don’t think the printer itself keeps track of what the cartridge level is, for example I hadn’t registered the printer until a bit after I got it and when I did the Dashboard reported the first cartridge as full even though it was partially used.
I was under the impression that the printer did keep detailed records of resin amounts. If it is simply measuring when resin is no longer being released into the tray, then refilling cartridges wouldn’t be an issue. (It would only care about running bone dry not ALMOST running bone dry.)
I guess I just want to make sure that Dashboard is not directly tied to the functionality of the tank. I basically don’t want to have the printer refuse 181mL of resin because it thinks it already did. Of lesser issue, I’d like to have Dashboard report a correct result for statistical tracking.
- The printer knows how much resin is in a full cartridge.
- The printer approximates how much flows out when the valve is open, it does not physically measure how much is being dispensed. It just assumes that X amount flows in Y time and keeps track of how long the valve is open in order to do the math.
- Each cartridge has a unique ID code that the printer records to remember what type of resin it is and to track how much it thinks has been used. This lets you swap cartridges and tanks back and forth between different jobs.
- The printer always attempts to fill from the cartridge. It will ask you to confirm that you want it to continue if it thinks the cartridge is empty. It will ask you to confirm that you want to continue if it tries to dispense resin and never sees the tank level increase. But there’s better than 200ML in the tank when the cartridge runs dry so if your print doesn’t need that much resin you can just ignore the warning.
- Otherwise, you can manually pour resin in to the tank (do not overfill) or pour it in to the empty cartridge and let the printer add the resin on its own (though you still have to tell it to continue the print because it has no way to know you’ve added more resin to an empty cartridge).
Got it. Then here’s a relate question: I have an almost full bottle of v3 resin from my Form 1+. When the cartridge does run empty, can I leave it in the printer and manually add from the bottle till it runs dry? I would use open mode but, as it is Formlabs resin, I’d like to keep using the heated bed etc.
I would just refill the cartridge from the bottle.
FL’s official position on refilling cartridges is that it should not be done owing to concern over fatigue failure of the Bite Valve. However, it’s probably not a big deal to run an extra liter. I have done exactly this (with Tough, in fact, for the same reason as you) and got away with it. But I only did it 1x. You don’t want the Bite Valve to fail, or the cartridge will flood the printer with resin.
Rumor has it the printer will refuse to let a cartridge continue to be used once you put 3L through it.
Cool. Yeah, it’s not even a full liter, so I think it’ll be fine. When you do this, does it constantly keep popping up an empty error or does it warn you once and, so long as the tank senses resin, keep going?
Ironically, on the first cartridge I wanted to use, I actually had to press the Bite Valve open with my thumb because the printer didn’t have enough initial force.
Yeah. The printer has no idea how much resin is ever in the cartridge. It just assumes the first time it sees it that the cartridge is full. And after it’s had the valve open long enough for the cartridge to have drained, it assumes from then on the cartridge is empty. But the printer knows its estimate of the amount of resin used is somewhat inaccurate so even though it thinks it’s out, the printer will let you continue to print after you have confirmed for the printer that there is enough resin remaining.
That’s the loophole that lets a refilled cartridge work. The printer never decides that the cartridge is truly empty so long as you continue to tell it that the cartridge is not empty.
Great. Thanks for the info!
I do believe though after it thinks that something like 2-3L of resin have been dispensed from a cartridge that it will not allow you to continue using the cartridge due to the possibility of the valve on it wearing out.
Sure. I’ll only need to run an additional 3/4 of a bottle, so I think it’ll be fine.
It definitely lets you do 2L since I’ve done 2L. I remember reading someone saying it would not let you do more than 3L but I don’t recall the specifics well enough to say if this was real or some other issue. That being said, I understand FL’s thesis with respect to not running additional resin through a cartridge bite valve. This is a wear-out part and if it fails your printer is going for a swim. I do reliability modeling as part of my job. If the printer only lets you do 3L, I wouldn’t push it past 2L…
I think it’s a bug in the Dashboard as my Form2 does the same thing regarding inaccurate reports of resin used.
As long as there isn’t some ‘Easter Egg’ bomb hiding in the code that shuts down the printer if it thinks there is no more resin, when in reality there is; then I can live with the glitch until Formlabs fixes it.
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