Form 3 needs a Mix Tank operation


#1

@gtl @dkirch Have you guys considered giving us a button in the firmware to make the mixer stir the tank for a bit? (e.g. 5-10 minutes). It would be a really useful feature (and would also reduce the amount of potentially harmful manual mixing required).

I’m sure you’re aware, some resins become a sludgy, sloppy goo if they’re left in the tank for a while without being used. This happens to me all the time with Black v4, but stirring the tank until it becomes runny and homogeneous again always results in perfect prints.

I’m not sure how long it takes for the sludge to precipitate, but today I had a nasty layer of it on the bottom of a Form 3 tank which was last used 5 months ago. I had installed the tank before realizing that, and surprisingly the mixer managed to get to the other side of the tank, but then it popped off when the machine tried to retract it back to the left.

This was the first time I had to deal with sludge on the Form 3, and it’s a little more challenging to stir than the old Form 2 and Form 1+ tanks (the new tank tool doesn’t do a good a job as a spatula). The clumps also get stuck throughout the holes of the mixer. Once I was able to mix it enough to restore free movement of the mixer, it would have been nice to delegate the rest of the task to the printer.

The handful of back and forth swipes it does before starting a print aren’t nearly enough for this scenario. I wound up abandoning and restarting the print a few times to coax it into some more swipes, but it would have been really nice if I could have just told it to periodically stir for a few minutes and let it do it’s thing. In fact, if the feature existed I might be inclined to schedule “mixing maintenance” every few weeks on my tanks and cycle them all through.

I know 5 months is probably longer than recommended (although the printer didn’t show any warnings about tank lifetime), but surely other customers also run into this on occasion?

Thanks!


#2

this is a great idea.


#3

I had to manually mix often on my form 2. I haven’t found the need to do this in my Form 3 though…even with Black or clumpy resins like flex v2 or rigid.


#4

@rkagerer that’s a good idea, I’ve captured it in our roadmap. It might take quite awhile for us to get to it as we’re pretty booked up through the end of this year, but we should be able to get to it in 2021. Thanks!