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Form 1+ Mirror - A haze I can't escape from (streaks/haze)

I spilled resin on the Form 1+ mirror. I tried cleaning it.

I should preface this by saying that I’ve only ever touched the mirror with PEC Pads. Yes, I understand the dire warnings, and thus I heed them.

My first attempts at cleaning were with the Novus 1 plastic cleaner, as I mixed it up and thought Novus was for the mirror. At first, I was lighting the area with my phone flash from above. It looked clean, I was satisfied, I moved on. Next prints came out OK, but some strange artifacts - a broken support here and there - made me want to look again.

Now I put the phone inside, shining at the same angle the laser comes from. A hazy, streaky mess appeared.

Every time I wipe it down, dry wiping with a PEC-Pad, the haze disappears and it appears clean. But within the seconds it takes to be satisfied, the haze starts reappearing.

I don’t get it. I’m going crazy trying to clean this thing. It seems uncleanable.

Today, I re-read the instructions and followed the routine for cleaning with IPA. I thought IPA would damage the mirror, but there you go. So, yet more PEC-Pads, one sopping wet one, one very slow wipe to clean it off. Nope, that made a complete streaky mess. OK. How about one single solitary drop of IPA on a dry PEC-Pad? Yeah, that worked great! Wipe wipe wipe, pretty clean (though a far cry from when it was new, a state I no longer believe is achievable). Cool. Now I try a print.

Fk my life, right?!

How can I recover from this disaster? The more I clean, the more I lose hope as the haze re-appears shortly after.

I’d also completely disassembled and cleaned the machine, too (what a task of delicate work), so there’s no spilled resin left inside, but it still strikes me as… moist, perhaps?

Most IPA out there isn’t really up to the job of cleaning optical surfaces. Do you have Acetone? If yes, try that, but be very careful to not touch any plastic parts in the process.

try this,

get a few pec pads, first give the mirror a wipe with a dry one. then get a 2nd ped pad, and spray some novus on it from a few inches away , (misting it very lightly, almost barley) is what im saying.

give the mirror a wipe in a circile motion clockwise, then very quickly get a dry pad and wipe it in the opposite directon. Yes the karata kid method. more novus does not equal a better clean…

try to perfom it quickly, in a fairly warm room. and see if results are changed…

-I also attempted cleaning the mirror also saw the same haze. I just eventually accepeted it until later instead of getting upset, in your pics you posted the motor, that motor gave me more headaches then the mirror haze. I hated that motor so bad. Not mad at FL tho. that was my problem with the form 1

I’m scared shitless to bring acetone anywhere near this mirror… it’s such a delicate thing and acetone is the most dangerous chemical I can think to bring near it! Wouldn’t that just straight-up destroy the thing? I’ve heard of people using it, but then just … I dunno, disappearing from the thread? lol. Sounds a lot like “microwave your phone to quick charge it” or “replace your oil with antifreeze” advice :wink:

I’ll give the novus idea a try. Novus got it as clean as it’d ever been, before it got totally ruined with IPA. I’ve got a virtually endless supply of PEC Pads, so not afraid to spend a few more new ones on it :slight_smile:

No love. The wax on/wax off method worked at first, but it revealed a dark secret: spots on the mirror. The more I worked at them, the worse they got. Sure enough, it looks pretty definitively like I damaged the mirror surface by trying to clean it.

Fairly sure the IPA did that damage. I really shouldn’t’ve read that guide. It just took me down a path of pain…

F*ck my life, fully and completely, right now. I just bought a new Z-Vat and a stock of resin for it, too.

Little wonder that FL decided to guard the optical path in the Form 2 with an intermediate window in the very next version - just as they added a heater and added a way to automatically fill the tank, and did away with the peel motor, a whole stack of essential improvements. A resin spill can be a death sentence in this machine, while in the Form 2 it’s less disastrous since it’s all pretty well guarded and controlled.

Seems this is the only way forward, but is it really the ONLY source for the mirror?

update: Now that it’s all pitted and screwed up at the top edge, I got it clean. I love how things work out. I’m trying a test print with just the back edge of the mirror now (though I think my prediction of angle might be wrong).

update: prints good at the back edge. Relieved, though still frustrated that it went this way.

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so what excalty worked here and what didnt? So IPA cleaning is a no-go , but the wax on/wax off with a light mist of novus worked better?

Also: I think the mirror is made of reflective acrylic, which responds badly when exposed to IPA/windex
This may have caused the damage you explain… It appears to be glass but is actually acrlyic…This is why novus is used… as an example, have you ever seen a badly damaged ATM machine, same thing. Wrong cleaning solution.

I own a photon and a tip that I am seeing is lining the area edges where the vat sits with masking tape was shown to protect from resin leaks ( at least on the photon/other resin printers) Pretty much this:

Not sure if this is also applicable to the form series of any type… just sort of lining the glass edges may or maynot work to prevent resin drips… the point is, it creates a seal.

The only possible theory I can think of to clean up dried up resin is to maybe use a heat gun to attempt to heat up the left over dried resin, but I can’t confirm this theory. or if a heat gun will get the resin warm enough to wipe away, like using a heat gun to cleanly remove stickers is what im going for… but can’t confirm… maybe if available try it on a small surface to see if this may or may not work… (disclaimed)

Another theory would be to use a dremel polish head that is safe for acrlyic polishing without damage…

The more ideas the better around here… just use judgement as of none of these ideas I suggest have been personally tested, so I can not confirm or deny success or damage… I always test on a small portion first to see, but in this case, I havent… just putting ideas into the ether…

IPA is literally what Formlabs recommended. (“90% or higher isopropyl alcohol (IPA)”). So that was my mistake - trusting literally the manufacturer’s recommendations. What’s really F’d up is that I didn’t read that at first, and I started with Novus, which got me most of the way clean, until I had a light haze problem… so I looked it up, then started trying to clean with IPA after reading that article.

I didn’t have drip problems, I had a spill - I overfilled the tray while pushing my luck prepping an overnight print that wanted a refill close to the end of the print. I did a trick where I start the print, let it submerge, get a few layers in (raises the bed and gives more room for resin), then filled the tray all the way up; the level would never get above that point so it would be safe. Except that I did it when the tray was lowered in the peel position, and when I closed to resume, it moved the tray back up, displacing the platform into the resin, splooging resin all over the godforsaken place. Entirely my dumb fault.

A tiny drop spritz of Novus on a clean, dry Pec Pad, followed immediately (with two hands at first) with a dry pad behind it, is what did the miracle cleaning. Just wish FL’s damn article said to use Novus instead of IPA.

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odd because I always thought formlabs said only use novus, once I cleaned the outside orange case with either windex or IPA ( cant remember) but it also didnt end well using anything but novus… there should be an insert in what not to use to clean the machine… but if the form 1 is still printing after this long, you gotta give it credit, Formlabs is still a trendsetter in my eyes. I just wish they would release a smaller lest costly machine to reach a bigger market…

Reflective Acrylic? I don’t think so. Acrylic responds very badly to IPA, so FormLabs surely won’t recommend cleaning it with IPA then. I’m quite sure that it is a glass mirror. Also, Acetone is not “the most dangerous chemical etc. pp.”. You only have to know what material you are dealing with. Acetone is perfectly safe for cleaning glass, metal etc. Many plastics, however, shouldn’t be exposed to it.

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Problem is, this is a “first surface mirror” as they say, so the material you’re cleaning is not the glass, but rather the reflective compound that’s applied to the glass. Thus the damage done to the mirror when cleaning with IPA. IPA won’t hurt glass, sure, but that’s behind the mirror :wink:

It’d be good to know what the reflective material is, to know if it may be damaged by cleaners.

(the fact that it’s not glass is exactly why I’m so afraid to use acetone, too! But I wouldn’t think IPA would be worse… even 99% which is what I had)

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…and that first surface will be the usual materials, meaning very thin layers of certain metals. What hurts these is especially mechanical abrasion from dry-wiping them, certainly not IPA, and I guess Acetone is also safe. recommends lacquer thinner, which is essentially acetone.

As already said, the usually available IPA is not capable of properly cleaning optical surfaces, because of all kinds of residue that seems to be in there and leaves streaks when drying. Also I read that if the cleaning tissue is held with bare hands, IPA will dissolve the skin oils and evenly distribute them on the surface you want to clean…

Update: I’ve been printing with it almost every day for the past week or so, been working well. Haven’t even really noticed an issue with the spotty areas. Surprising. Mirror could probably use a tiny bit more clean-up, but it works.

Might’ve dodged a bullet there, but for now it’s a working Form 1+ :slight_smile: