Form 2 - Build Platform cleaning / Failed print assistance

Hello Everyone!

I just got a new Form 2 printer, have to say it’s really amazing and I’m stunned by the print quality / detail and PreForm is pretty nice, so is the information in the community, articles / videos available.

Build plate cleaning

  • One thing I couldn’t find in official articles, at least via search was how to properly clean the Build Plate? What’s the official say on that.
    Do you just scrape the build plate clean, or do you scrape it then wipe it off with some kind of cloth / paper towel?

Looking around the community I saw that just scraping when using the same type of resin is fine, as long as the resin is uncured on the plate and nothing cured/semi cured remains on it. But what do you do when you change resin types?

Failed print

0.05 mm, Grey v3
Model used: Alien Jockey Commemorative Bust / Model by Geoffro - Thingiverse “jockey_FULLPRINT.stl”

Failed print, 3rd print overall, I had 2 of my first prints successful before this one. After my second print I believe I did something wrong. The 2nd print, the one before this failed print was actually a test print of this one, but much much smaller and only 1.5 inches in size.

In the community I read to take a small bit of Yellow Magic 7 or IPA and then wipe the build plate with a cloth.
I did that, but with a paper towel and after that my next print failed.

Half of the model printed fine, even the space where the issues eventually occurred but then it seems resin started to cure against the resin tank and blocked the rest of that area for printing. After the print was done, that resin was really stuck on there and took some work getting off with the scraper.

I’m wondering which or any of these I did wrong, and if possibly my resin was contaminated.

  • Cleaning the build plate with Yellow Magic 7 with a paper towel
  • Using a paper towel on the build plate to wipe off any remaining resin and then scraping again after wiping the scraper with a paper towel.
  • 3D Model orientation / supports
  • I let PreForm auto orient the model, I also made sure that when it did, that the tallest supports were on the wiper side and that the model was printed at an angle to minimize the amount of surface area that would have to be peeled at any given time.

  • I inspected the glass under the resin tank and there was no debris or major dust etc, it was clean.

  • There was no free floating pieces of cured resin in the tank, the only cured resin was stuck to the resin tank itself.

  • I did notice that possibly the resin in the tank was a little more bubbly than usual? But I do not have much experience yet and have only seen 2 prints before this one.

I also made sure there were no red areas showing in PreForm for support placement, there was a 3 areas I made sure to add 1 support to the hottest spot to each after which the 3 red areas disappeared.

I saw articles for cleaning after a failed print, model orientation, keeping the resin tank clean and read them all and tried to follow their advice, I’ll try to more carefully. I also read to NEVER use a paper towel on the print tank or optical glass / mirrors and such.

Even with a failed print, I’m just floored with the detail.


I’m not going to bother filtering the resin from the tank, I’m disposing of it in case of contamination from paper towel lint, Yellow Magic 7 or something else I’m unaware of. I really want to learn what I did wrong or went wrong so I can get better in the future!

Thanks for any advice and help!

I think you are doing it fine. I can tell you that I have seen people dunk the build plate in their soaking tank of IPA, I’ve seen them use both IPA and YM7 to clean it with paper towel and cloth.
Personally, I lightly scrape extra resin back into the vat if it appears ok. Then spray UPS on the platform and wipe with paper towel. This method is safe and presents zero issues for me.
Do be sure to shake resin, lightly drag the PDMS with a scraper to ensure no pigment or sticking resin. Those two things have gotten rid of all print issues I have had.

Ah, Thanks for your feedback.

Perhaps it was the fault of not scraping the bottom of the resin tank between prints 2 and 3?
Looking at my dashboard, prints 1 and 2 both had partial coverage over the area where print 3 failed.

I’ll be sure to do that from now on between every print very lightly at a low angle just to kind of feel if I get any resistance at first as well as visually checking by swiping the wipe left and right after detaching it and running a comb through the resin.

I just played it safe for now and to test and used a new resin tank out worry, the 4th print came out flawless of another object. I’ll attempt this again later and hope it comes out great!

(It’s the Space Jockey from Alien ;p)

I never clean the build plate. If there’s any resin stuck to it (I have a heck of a problem getting Tough prints off my build plate some times) I chip it off. If I think there might be some flakes from my chipping I’ll wipe it down with a dry paper towel. That’s it. I don’t even bother when changing resin types.

If stuff isn’t sticking to your build plate, IMO based on my experience anyway, the problem isn’t because you’re not getting the build plate clean enough.

I wipe the build platform with a paper towel and then put some IPA on there and wipe it off, never had any issues with it.

In the case of that print, it’s a complicated piece and would need very careful orientation and support placement.
It’s highly likely that to get the best results you would need to split up the print into more pieces so that the pieces can be oriented better. Parts that are facing upwards will turn out the best so sometimes it’s necessary to separate a part so that you can orient the important details upwards.
The more supports that are required to place the worse the results on the print, so it can also help to split it up if that means you don’t have to put supports on areas that you would rather not.

I really appreciate everyone’s advice and insight into this all! I had one more failed print and 2 successful prints since my last post.
(the new failed print I think failed due to being so large, improper support and the actual object being one object, thin and flexible with many parts that can move/fold)

Between prints I’ve switched to cleaning the build plate by scraping excess resin off and discarding it out of fear of tiny contaminants in the leftover resin, cleaning off the build plate with a paper towel and IPA and then scraping it again with the scraper after it dried just to be sure and then inspecting for lint from the paper towel.

With 2 of my major failed prints I think it was due to 1) Not splitting up the model 2) The model being too high and breaking up near mid height due to supports not being thick enough 3) Orientation 4) The model possibly being too close to the edges/sides.

I swapped out print trays just out of curiosity and tried more prints I had 1 successful print of a turtle in separate pieces and then got bold and tried a kinematics bracelet from Kinematics Home - bracelet generator. It ended up being almost max size in length you could have something and I did not split it up into parts, it failed almost midway through

I had an awesome successful print of a facehugger (model was split into pieces) from alien afterwards too after straining / filtering the resin and scraping the cured resin from the failure off of the resin tank bottom.

Some pictures you may find interesting are below, I tried to align the top down view with the tank heatmaps from the dashboard, as well as the first picture of both failed prints together at approximately the same angle as those.

You’re much more thorough with build platform cleaning then I tend to be. If there weren’t any print failures and you’re not switching resins, it’s fine to leave excess resin on the build platform between prints. That is, so long as you’re not operating the printer outdoors where the risk of sizable airborne contaminants is relatively high.

The Nervous Systems model could be a bit challenging to print in that orientation and looks to be optimized for printing flat. There are sometimes local minima or small islands in the model that the support generation algorithm doesn’t catch which can cause failures like these. Excited to see your results as you continue experimenting!

Thanks a lot for everyone’s help and opinions.

I’ve not had a failed print since being more aware of orientation and trying not to make something that is very thin too tall, separating things into different parts seems to be the way to go if possible and then just keying / making registers to fit them back together in their intended orientation.

I know you’re supposed to make sure to angle most prints and minimize the surface area that needs to be cleared, but what do you do in the case of something like that failed bracelet above, is it even possible to print that flat? Or perhaps it’s best to re-design it with connection points that can be printed in a couple different segments vs being so tall.

The form 2 is simply amazing! I can’t get over the fine detail possible, you can even see the fingernail on the facehugger’s limbs:

Excited to hear that the Form 2 has been working out well for you!

That bracelet is a bit of a tricky case. The articulated joints lend themselves more to an SLS than SLA printing process. If I were to attempt it, I would print it flat on the platform but I’m worried that the articulating components are going to fuse and it might be a bit tedious to remove.

You’ll have to post up pictures of that facehugger when it’s finished :slight_smile:

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