My experience is mostly with FDM but since I started designing jewelry and other smaller pieces, I wanted to try SLA technology to get small pieces with high resolution. Also to take advantage of available functional resins (castable, for example).
I acquired a used Form 1+ and I have to say that the previous owner may not have been as careful with it as I thought. I had to purchase a new resin tank and I was afraid that the machine wouldn’t even work… but here it is, the first print I made, both to get used to the software (and thinking how the object is made ‘upside down’!) and to the printing process itself.
Here is a tea light holder with a Celtic wolf design wrapping around, made in grey resin. The PLA version is next to it for comparison. As I get better understanding on how to work with supports with this printer, I’m sure I’ll get less support marks and better results. I’m still learning! For starters, to make this print again I’ll have to make it hollow to save time and resin… As it is, the tea light holder is quite dense and heavy!
This print was made with the lowest resolution and took ~4:30 hours to print. Comments and suggestions to help me learn and improve are much appreciated!
Sanding may take care of the support marks… but the ‘wavy’ patters that I see towards the top may be a sign of something else going on.
I don’t know what to make of crack you see below the wolf’s mouth… Would it disappear if the print is made in higher resolution? Or is this something related to the rinsing with IPA… Following the instructions, I rinsed the piece first 10 min, and then 20 min in IPA (99%).
Lot of support marks… I’ll get better at this. Also, quite a few ‘cracks’ that I don’t know if are related to the rinsing process or maybe ‘old’ resin?
Please note - this is not Form-specific commentary… It is conjecture.
My experience with other resins & printers would suggest that printing in extremely thick sections can give rise to 2 problems - 1) difficulty in separating the layer from the substrate (PDMS, FEP et al) and 2) resin curing is exothermic; the thicker the section, the more heat can build up; consequently you end up with thermal expansion in a piece. Not such an issue for thinner pieces but potentially bad for a large solid lump.
Additionally, any UV curing isn’t going to be able to penetrate too far into the resin, so you’ll have part-cured resin inside, so don’t be too surprised if the print deteriorates. Equally, too long in IPA can cause cracking too.
OTOH, that does look like a design that might lend itself well to printing in Porcelite if you’ve got access to a way to fire the stuff afterwards. But I’d definitely shell it - FDM printers usually do the same thing albeit with infill patterns.
Thank you so much for your comment. It explains a lot!
The piece hasn’t been cured in UV light yet… only rinsed in IPA (two rinses according to one of the video tutorials). That will be one of the next things to either build or acquire, especially when I move to castable resin, which is the main reason I decided to learn more about this technology.
This piece in particular, was designed to be made in porcelain, and other plastic material that are available at one of the hosting companies where I have my designs made in other plastics, metals and/or porcelain.
Thanks again for the very insightful commentary!
Is that solid? If so then that causes issues, you can save material by making it hollow and avoid some problems.
As far as supports go, I would place them on the other side, and then space them out more, you can edit the supports manually so that you can place them exactly where you want.
If you print it hollow, make sure there’s a hole for the resin inside to escape, otherwise the pressure can blow out the side of the print.
Also, as far as the quality goes, it looks like the mirrors may be dirty, this is something that happens over time and is pretty much impossible to avoid, so since you got it used it probably needs to be cleaned, first thing to do is clean the large mirror underneath the resin tray, it’s the main one that gets dirty. If you have other issues on prints that should be OK, then you might need to clean some of the mirrors further inside. If so, contact customer service about that first if cleaning the large mirror doesn’t help.
When cleaning the mirrors, follow the support instructions since you don’t want to damage the mirrors. And don’t use air to clean them because it can blow dust onto the mirrors inside which are much more sensitive to dust.
You can also probably get better results printing at 50 microns, I think it’s pretty much the best setting in terms of reliability.
Thank you for your advise!
Use as few supports as possible. Space them out. Also use small support connection points. I use. .040mm and they work great.
What Walter said! Reduce those supports to 0.40 i have had much better success with removing them and not marring the object.