Sorry for the lengthy post. TLDR: I’m seeing early signs of success with using a base layer that I pre-printed. I haven’t done many tests yet though.
First I will say I really like that the parts print on supports. It’s fun to tear them off, they enable the part to have overhangs/undercuts, and they also make it possible to print stuff that doesn’t have a flat plane on the bottom. They’re great. They do have a downside though: the base that the supports print from. I gotta say, I don’t like the base. It’s wasteful (in both time and resin) and more importantly: it’s really hard to remove from the build platform. I stick the spatula on the edge of the base and pound it with a hammer - this creates some issues that I won’t get into here.
Full disclosure: I have very little experience with the printer at this point. Being a know-it-all though, my lack of experience isn’t stopping me from messing with how the printer operates. I decided that maybe pre-printing the base (and leaving it there) could be a solution.
The first problem with pre-printing the base is that in order to get PreForm to automatically create supports you are also forced to create a base. No base: no supports. To get around this little niggle I manually added some supports to a model and saved it as an STL.
Next I created a 125 x 125 x 2 mm rectangle and printed it directly to the bottom of the build platform (using the 100-micron setting). Actually, to make it print I had to scale it down to 98% of its original size (~122.5 x 122.5 x 1.96 mm) - no biggy.
I then tried printing the model…
It didn’t work. The supports didn’t stick so instead of a 3D object I got a 2D slice of it stuck to the bottom of the resin tank. What a drag!
I figured it was possible that the extra 2 mm of “height” on the bottom of the build platform might have been causing a problem. Maybe it was creating too much pressure or something. I dunno.
I decided that, since the Form1 didn’t seem to calibrate itself (it doesn’t do a “homing” move) I could possibly correct the 2 mm by manually turning the screw to lift the platform a little. I just eyeballed it. Now I’m thinking that there must be a “calibration mode” somewhere in the Form1. Relying on a stepper motor to keep absolute precision would be silly. Does it calibrate if you unplug it and plug it back in? Can you do something with the button to activate it?
I am now printing the supported, baseless model again and it actually seems to be working. When it finishes I can just break it off and drop it right in the alcohol tank. I’ll then cut the supports off flush with the rest of the preprinted base using some wire cutters or something.
Sorry to create this post without any real results to show. I plan to take some pics and stuff later. I just wanted to get this thread started in case anyone else was contemplating this or has has tried this and wants to share their results as well.