Don't Be Afraid of 100 Micron Layers (.1mm)

One of the coolest things about the Form 1 is the fact that you can print your models using extremely thin layers without hours of tweaking or levelling a build platform.  But I was also surprised to see how well “higher” layer heights, like 0.1mm, work on the Form 1.  With my RepRap or Makerbot, 0.1mm feels like a huge improvement in part quality over 0.2 or 0.3mm layer heights, but you can still really see and feel individuals layers, even at 0.1 mm.

With the Form 1’s stereolithography technology, I’ve found that the layers, even at 0.1mm, at practically invisible on many models.  Despite the increase in layer height, you still seem to get nice smooth sides that have a great finish to them.  And the prints go **_much _**faster this way, which is always nice.  Some models still do better with the higher levels of precision that the Form 1 can produce, but I was surprised at the quality of the 0.1mm layer objects.

The takeaway seems to be that layer height isn’t really the best metric for part quality.

Any chance you could post some pics of 25, 50 or 100 micron prints?  No doubt a pic would be worth a thousand words to show the difference.

I would also love to see some 25 micron prints! The same model printed at the three different resolutions would be cool!

How does the print speed compare to your marker bot or rep rap?

Martin - i completely agree. in fact, i’m having a hard time determining when i need X layer heights. so far i’ve been defaulting to use 100 um for quick work and 25 um for tiny, detailed parts - but that’s pretty coarse and i don’t see a huge difference though perhaps i need to throw these things on a 'scope to see more detail. do you have any hard and fast rules?

Here is a great article that just launched about layer height comparison: