Why this problem?
Can you share a .form file and tell us more information about how you set up your prints?
You can also open a customer support ticket here.
Tell tale sign of dirt on the galvos or early in the laser path. Formabs should be able to walk you through the cleaning procedure, Not that tough to do but you do need to be careful.
What happens is the laser spot is diffused from usually dust on galvos, small mirror and or large mirror. The resin is then partially exposed on each pass of each layer causing it to gel up and get clumpy. Early in the print looks good then it starts to fail.
In my past experience, if the main mirror is dusty then the others are usually dusty too.
The lens and the mirror are clean, no dust…
It is hard to tell but if main mirror shows no haze or dust, the tank is crystal clear then the small mirror and/or galvos are dirty. It doesn’t take much to mess a print up.
I would open up a support ticket have Formlabs walk you through.
I had this problem with my Form1+. At the time, there was much talk in this forum about “shifting” laser collimators and the “bunny ear” shape of the laser spot at the resin tank. I was convinced my Form1+ had that problem in spite of FormLab’s persistent recommendation that cleaning the mirrors on the Galvos plus the main mirror would fix it. Took me a while to get around to doing the cleaning because I had already decided it wasn’t going to work. Boy did I feel stupid when it worked great. The printer has been printing flawlessly ever since.
Note, my printer is in a room where I also smoke cigars (because Cigars + CAD = More Relaxing). The room is well ventilated but not perfectly so. I made a tight fitting cover to go over my Form1+ when it’s not being loaded or unloaded (I put the cover on when printing). With that change in my behavior, I have not had a problem with the Form1+ since. And it’s been better than 2x the time now that it originally took to stop working.
The Form1’s Achilles Heel is that the optics are not protected. While my environment is “extra harsh” the fact is that there are enough volatiles wafting around the average home or office workspace (and in all likelihood, inside the Form1 itself from things like components in the PCBA and plastic parts and the lubricant used for the Z axis ball screw) that the mirrors can’t help get get dirty over time. You know what the inside of the windows of your house look like if you don’t clean them regularly? The same thing is happening to the mirrors in the Form1. So you may not be looking for dust bunnies or resin drips (though those certainly will cause problems). The mirrors develop a nice, uniform haze you really can’t see but that increases the specularity of the mirror, scattering the laser beam. You have to take it on faith that it’s there, clean the optics, and see if that helps.
I bought a Form2 in large part because the optical deck is sealed and I should never need to clean the mirrors. But I made a cover for the Form2, too, just in case…
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