Gray Material V3 Issues

Is anyone else having trouble with V3 of the gray material. It seems to cure a lot worse than V2 and is coming off the connection points of the build. I have had this happen to me twice already on something we printed before in V2 material with no issues. I believe I have wasted about 1/2 the of the material since I have to dump all the material out to clean the resin tank. I will notify support about this issue, but I wanted to know if anyone else is having the same issue and how to resolve it.

I’ve also gone through roughly half a cartridge of gray V3. Supports seem to be disconnecting from the part very frequently and throws the whole print off.

Grey V3 has been my favorite resin so far. My longest, most complex models have come out beautifully.
I’m on the Form 2 though - I have heard other complaints on 1/1+ using the grey.

One thing that I think has come up before is using the ‘Black V2’ settings for Grey resin to help with curing.

I think V3 is less forgiving than V2 because the edges of each layer, as the laser goes, less over-exposed (if at all) than with V2 which allows to get much smoother surface compare to V2. I have also noticed that base overexposure that happens for the first 5mm with V2 is only 2mm high for V3, So if you are doing your own supports you need to make sure they are sturdy enough - I guess make them wider…
All in all I recommend opening a ticket with the Formlabs support team and see if they can help you. They are really good.

Thanks. I will try to build the product with more supports and larger connection points.

Are using a Form 1/1+ or Form 2?

I started a very similar thread about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Near total failure due to supports with the new resin. At the time it appeared I was the only one using it on the older printer.

No problems with Gray3. I had been shipped a bad cartridge that leaked but was replaced.
I have close to 300 prints of various resin types on my FL2 both white and gray are the best.

I use support points of .4mm and carefully reposition supports close but still away from weaker parts of the print. So that the force from snipping doesn’t damage the details.

What I found is that there is a balance to be juggled between minimal layers and minimal contact surface so the part pulls off the Silicon easily.

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I’m on the Form 2 having issues. I replaced the build platform, used a fresh tank, and cleaned the optical window. I’m only getting about half coming out good. Talked with support and tried to send in my diagnostic logs, but the form 2 just keeps getting stuck on the uploading phase. I’ve recently had to start doing .9mm support contact points and had more success, but I didn’t think .6mm supports would’ve been a problem.

I am interested in your experiences with resins. I recently found that the Grey 02 was clouding my tank faster than the recommended 2Liter interval, and switched to clear, which doesn’t cloud as quickly (I am assuming due to less exposure time / local heating). My goal would be to find the resin that would print the most accurately (dimensionally), as well as be able to swap out the tanks every 2 Liters without errors in between. Thank you.

@Darick_Nordstro do you structure with a step of more than 25µm layers? I haven’t searched the Forum on this, but I suspect that printing with 50 or 100µm layer heights (which requires much more laser intensity) clouds the tank much quicker.
I generally print with 25µm overnight and I replace the tank after 4 cartridges. I can also see where a higher print step has been used, it starts to clouds practically at once. I see you do dental work, I presume due to time constraints that you print at 50 or 100µm
I have a Grey V3 but have not started to print with it, I will observe this issue.
I normally print with a 75% black V2 and 25% tough V2 mixture in a black cartridge (mechanical parts), with black settings (Form2).

Seems to me there would be little difference in laser intensity whether 25 micron or 100 micron layers. There may be a marginal increase in intensity. But, you have to make four times the number of passes with the laser at 25 microns so the damage to the PDMS would almost certainly be higher at lower layer thicknesses.

A while back I started buying a tank with each cartridge. It increases the cost of consumables, but completely eliminates this variable from concern.

I’m using the Form 2. We print almost everyday, so this issue is causing a lot of problems for us. I got the model to print yesterday, but I had to shell the part and add 2 drain holes.

We did the same thing with our tanks and cartridges and removed all other materials beside gray, which provides the best contrast for us to see our forms. Unfortunately, the gray 3 is having issues with our print. Clear has been consistency successful, but there is a lot of post processing that needs to be done with our products we develop.

I was also told by the Tech Support to fine tune my Z axis to -.03. This appears to help along with the shelling, larger contact points to .7, and increase density. I’m trying to print a fishing reel rotor today with new update software 2.11, but i can’t get it to not show red. :, i’ll let you all know if we can resolve the issue.

Thank you. I do print at 50u as a compromise (after doing a few 25u), and feel that your explanation is correct. Because the spot size limits x-y resolution, I felt that angling the dental model and using supports would give me an increase in overall resolution over flat printing, even if I have to print at 50u, due to the doubled print time. Since there is essentially 0 opacity with clear, there is less exposure time, and the tank seems to last a little longer, but higher net resolution with the grey 03 or? that has higher opacity to limit blooming, requiring more-frequent tank changes, would definitely be a fair trade-off. The clear prints reliably well, but I’m not sure about the difference in accuracy between it and the grey after all is said and done with the post processing. Still learning. Happy for the support in the forum.

@pmcgarr according to the Beer-Lambert law the absorption is an exponential function. The ratio of the inital required intensity or radiance between 100 and 25µm would be exp(100)/exp(25) which is 3,7E+32. That means the material exhibiting clouding (Silicone PDMS) has alot more necessary exposure at larger layer thickness.
Perhaps my math is not correct, someone may gladly correct. But based on looking at the trays after prints I can only notice clouding at 25 layer thickness after many many prints. I can, however, see clouding exactly where I printed using 100µm after one print already (using Black, Tough, White, Clear).
I also have one tray per material which is suggested.

Back to the topic of the threadstarter: Gray V3 printed fine with me (Form2, 25µm, 0,6mm support connection). Gray V3 is far too brittle for my use (mechanical parts such as small gears, housing) and I will be mixing ToughV2 into it.

@mattmycat why do you loose so much material when you filter the tank? I use a cone-shaped paper paint strainer (they are very inexpensive) to funnel it back into the cartridge and there is almost no waste.

Regarding resin tank life: Darick_Nordstro, are you printing your dental models for individual restorations or full arch appliances? We print for the latter in Gray V3, plus a lot of Dental SG for guides. I have found a major increase in tank life by printing support free and vertical, both guides and models. Basically using Meshmixer to do a plane cut (models) or a flat-terminated y-axis extrusion (surgical guides). This creates a minimal footprint for the prints. By coordinating print placement in Preform with Heatmaps in Dashboard, I am able to essentially eliminate base overlaps over time. Resolution is fine for our full arch applications; I do not know the effect of vertical support-free printing of a model on single prep resolution, though. Can anybody comment on that?

Thanks for your experience. I am almost always doing full arches. I will have to find some time to futz with Meshmixer (I was using NetFab until I had a crash, and can’t seem to get my single user license to work). I had started ‘trimming’ the models when I bought the F1+ way back, but ended up just printing them on supports (positioned at 45degrees) to balance out the resolutions. I would love the time savings once I get the trim workflow down. Great idea to use Dashboard like that.