First print, not adhering but no cured resin found in tank either?

Hi all,

Apologies if this is covered elsewhere, I couldn’t find this specific issue in any posts.

I just got my printer yesterday, I couldn’t stretch to a brand new one so bought a Form 1 second hand, I believe it was working successfully up until a couple of months ago when it was boxed up and stored until I bought it. I know it’s a gamble but worst case scenario (I think) is I send it for an upgrade to the Form1+, so it is a calculated risk and spreads the cost a bit.

I cleaned the big mirror first (hoping the little ones are ok as I’m a bit scared of touching them!) and set it up for a test print, I wanted to just fire out a small print, expecting failure of one kind or another, so that I at least had something to go by on what to concentrate on. I am using the Formlabs butterfly at a small scale (0.2) and at 0.1mm layer thickness as I felt a small print would let me work thing out a bit quicker.

The printer came with some resin, I’m using the used clear resin to begin with as I expect to ruin it while I work out the process. I’m using the best of the trays supplied with it, it looked very clear when I opened it up, I’m not expecting a perfect print, just something. I have it all set up, the mechanics are all working well, it’s making the right noises and the laser is firing. I’ve not performed a laser test just yet but I do plan to.

The problem is that I’m not getting anything. As in, nothing is adhering to the build platform and there is no cured resin in the tank either. I wasn’t surprised to see nothing print but expected to find some cured resin in the tank at least. I’ve gently scraped through the resin looking for any cured stuff and combed through it too, but didn’t find ANY cured resin. The laser is firing, looks like a nice neat beam watching it but I’ll check that after this next print attempt.

I lowered the platform by 0.1mm as per the troubleshooting guidelines, but the second print did the same - no print, no cured resin in the tank. Not even any jellified resin or anything, I’m searching for it quite thoroughly too!

I’ve now changed it to a larger scale model and 0.05 resolution as that appears to be the most fail-safe. I’m not holding out much hope for this one but though I’d post here as I am likely missing something really obvious.

EDIT - something is printing, I can make out a base so I did something right this time. I’m still very curious about not finding any cured resin after the failures though, it doesn’t match any of the troubleshooting or forum posts I’ve found. Very strange…

Well here’s the results of the third attempt and, even though you can see it was a failure, I’m really pleased!

The detail level is good, the area that shows the layers is good and regardless of the fact the butterfly was adhered to the bottom of the tank, it’s edges are nice and clean. The supports don’t look very tidy, I’m a little worried about that (my biggest worry is the laser dying before I’m up and running), but I don’t think there’s anything here that isn’t due to user error and lack of expertise, and I can fix that!

I still don’t know why there was zero cured resin in the tank those first few times, if anyone can suggest a reason for that, please share.

Well, attempt number 8 was a success, needs fine tuning but I’m really thrilled! Apologies for the crappy photos, re-hashing my tech at home and can’t access the good pics, these are from my phone.

I am having the exact same issue as you, my printer has been boxed up for a while and I just took it out to print again and the prints are coming out like yours.

What did you do to fix yours?

@adamhammad I just kept printing, after 3 of 4 goes it seemed to work ok. I’ve not had that issue since, so I’m afraid I’ve no idea what fixed it! Maybe just do a few small tests to get it to work out the bug?