Hi as I recently upgraded firmware and the software package to my Form 2 I noticed that I have a new 160 micron setting. By going to this setting I believe it is supposed to be faster and slightly lower detail but what other changes should I expect? Is the laser running at the same power consumption as standard 100 micron with Grey V4 and is the tank lifetime changed?
Your help will be most gratefully received.
As far as I know, its just adding more layers on the same part so your model will be much more “dense” and looks like its high quality part. The layers will be much harder to notice compare to less resolution part.
Sorry, that’s not correct. The layers are thicker (0.16mm) and therefore there are fewer layers. This is to speed up printing and it doesn’t make your prints more “dense” or “like a high quality part”. As a consequence of the thicker layers you might notice a reduction in quality. Having said that, I’ve done a couple of prints @ 0.16mm and they looked pretty good.
Thanks for the correction, as a little knowledge can be far more dangerous than none at all.
I asked the above questions as I had received poor advice from a distributor about resin. I have been using Grey resin for the last couple of years and have had some use cases for White a couple of times a month. I usually paint those cases but have seen an increase and it can be very time consuming. I asked the distributor whether there was any difference between the Grey and the White resin and was told " no difference at all". After trying it I found that the prints were of a poorer quality and that the lifetime of the laser had been reduced because of increased current draw from the PSU.
That’s the reason for the question
How can you tell if the life-time of the laser has been reduced?
There is no diagnostic information within the Formlabs printer to deduce how long the laser will last. However the laser diode has an average lifetime in hours, used at a certain current rate. The white resin I used makes the laser draw more current to compensate for the fact that the beam will be deflected by the white pigment in the resin. More current draw will put stress on PSU and the laser diode as it has to work harder to produce the same result.
There’s no user-accessible diagnostic information on the laser lifetime in the Form 2, but the Form 2 does gather diagnostic information that can be shared with Formlabs Support to evaluate laser performance in the field and tell when it’s time for a replacement.
For some unofficial answers, my take would be that:
- 160 micron settings use more laser power than 100 micron settings, but that those levels should not be so high that they age the diode or power supply faster.
- I would expect tank lifetime for standard PDMS tanks to be the same or better in terms of volume of resin printed with 160 micron settings, and about the same in terms of number of layers. For LT tanks, it might take a very long time to measure a difference between the effect of 100 micron and 160 micron settings on tank lifetime.
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