First print from a Mothballed Form1+ 10 months on

My Form1+ was basically mothballed for 10 months due to serious illness, now over. I had cleaned the unit up, put in a new build tray and covered it with a large satin cloth. There it sat on the work table. Resin was at least 12 months old also.

Yesterday I fired the unit back up. Put the resin in the build tray, set a couple of jobs and off it went without any issues at all. I do put a bit of silicone grease on the Z screw, very little. Did this when I got the printer and again yesterday when I fired it up. I didn’t even dust the mirrors… forgot to.

Here’s a photo of one of the prints. It’s a Dust Cyclone in 1:48 scale. This is just a test print as I’ll need to make some changes to the drawing and also to the support locations. Wish I could also change the orientation but that’s another matter.

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Very impressed that it came back to life so well. And congrats on feeling better.

I see you used the latest preform with the undercut base. They are working great for me.

Hi, Richard, I was totally amazed at the way it came back. Fact is it never left. I read the problems people have here on the forum and I cringe hoping I don’t have those issues, any of them.

Yes, I’m using the latest PreForm software and have a few issues with it. Mainly the fact that the manual Orientation is turned off. I don’t particularly like the thick base. The way the base was made before just snapped of my build plate with little effort. This base, default settings, almost needed a jackhammer to get it off and it broke apart. I’ll thin it up next time and maybe I’ll be happier with it.

You can still rotate your parts manually. Simply click the “Orientation” button and just click and drag on your model. Clicking and dragging off the model will allow you to window select other models and clicking “Orient Selected/Orient All” will auto-orient your model. I find the “Select Base” button a really useful way to orient too even for irregular shapes.

Orientation now works in the latest version of PreForm. Did some printing this morning and it was working.

Welcome back and glad to hear you’re feeling better.

Just wondering but are you using the 12 month old resin or a fresh bottle now? I’m asking because I stopped using my Form 1+ for over a year too (no illness, just super busy with work,) and I came back to using the printer earlier this year. After replacing the tray, I started out using a unopened bottle of Gray that was well over a year old. I thought my first prints came out looking pretty good but a few days after that, I started seeing one failure after another.

Support told me the resin I was using was probably too old even if the bottle had been opened only recently. So I replaced the old resin with a brand new bottle and, sure enough, my parts printed perfectly, and continues do so months later. In fact, the parts I’m getting with the new resin are much cleaner than the first parts that I thought looked ‘pretty good’ with the old resin.

Just an FYI, in case your prints start failing.

All I can tell is what I did and also what FormLabs told me. First. when I had an email from someone at FormLabs just inquiring into how I was doing with the machine. I mentioned I was going to start it back up and the resin was older than 10 months. He said it should be good as 12 months was the normal exp. time. So I went ahead and used it.

I ONLY use Grey FLGPGR02 resin as my parts are used as masters to make RTV molds. I can’t say how other colors might fair. Failures for me have been minimal plus I generally do 12 or more of each one so a few lost is not an issue.

Now, on using this old resin I’ve been over cautious. I mixed it totally and do every time I pour any out of the bottle. Second. I mix the resin tray before every print. If there is enough resin I just mix it. If it needs more I add new then mix. I ONLY use a plastic spatula in the resin tray never a metal one. Reason is I don’t want to scratch the silicone layer. Also, I only drag the spatula to mix unless I find something stuck to the bottom. Then carefully push to get it loose the drag again.

I had one partial bottle that was in the machine the last time I used it and been filtered and poured back into the bottle. I first used a new bottle. Then after awhile I slowly added some of the used resin. I have one old bottle still to go but this one is so full that I can’t shake it. I opened the top and it’s liquid so I’ll try mixing a bit into the first bottle and then shake that to get it totally mixed in. I’ll then shake up the second bottle and start using it. If it fails then I have lost nothing. If it works then I’m $$$ ahead.

My prints have been great with only a few issues. I print now at only .025mm as my pieces are small and they come out fantastic this way. I also use absolute minimum supports with .040mm attachments. Doesn’t take much to get them off the parts. Last, I’m using the water curing method learned here. Forgot the fellows name off hand but it was a great piece of info…

Hope this helps.

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