Has anyone used the tough resin yet?

Reading all of this, I am almost certain we are seeing the effects of large tolerances on the build platform… like I said, I have a platform that has been a SOB like forever, and another one that behaves itself; both seem to be scratched approximately the same, although the SOB has a few ‘war scars’ since I had, as far as I could see, on several occasions no alternative but to use chisel and hammer.

Also, I noticed this yesterday - look at the gap on the right hand side of the (good) build platform fixing:

So, when the next print job is finished, I’m going to measure what I can to get some dimensional comparisons between good and bad build platform… anyone else have any ideas for comparisons?

@Mariann_Cary I never said ‘thank you’ for the tip, by the way… I will try that, when I have finally gotten round to ordering everything on my ‘splurge’ list, and will get back to you.

Well my ticket is being looked at (can’t fault the service help guys and girls). Here’s the formlabs test print in both tough and regular resin. I was asked to print in regular as the tough was showing signs of issues in the optical path but the regular came out perfectly and I only just cleaned the mirrors a week or so ago when I moved into my new print lab.

The tough resin print left two of the butterflies in the tank and only 2 were properly attached, the third was attached but only by around 50% of the base. Getting those off that were attached was a nightmare. I ended up having to use a hammer and chisel as all the tabs broke off and the scraper was all but useless.

I really hope I can find out what the issue is with my setup as a good few requests that I’ve had could have used the tough resin.

Awesome! I haven’t played with the tough resin again yet because now my clear resin and white resin are both failing! Cleaned both tanks and giving the white another go as we speak. Trying as much troubleshooting before I put in a problem ticket. Good to know a scratched platform isn’t really affecting the prints. Mine is all kinds of scratched ATM. I may need to get a new one along with a new resin tank for the white resin…Thanks for doing that test print! :smile:

After some back and forth with support, I have had a few prints work ok. For my setup, I have been printing a pretty small object (~1.7mL of resin required). This generally has resulted in little rafts floating in the tough resin when the base doesn’t adhere to the platform. With the build platform offset tweaked to 0.1mm, and the model moved to the hinge edge, the prints adhere. The dimensional accuracy of the Tough resin is quite good - on a 0.05mm resolution print I see accuracy within about .001 inches when I use a micrometer to measure my print. If I move the model away from the hinge, my adhesion problems return. If I print with the Clear V2, things work perfectly so the printer is fine. I suspect that a wider initial base is required for the Tough resin to adhere to the build platform, so I think I’ll wait on any more small prints with the tough resin until there is an update to PreForm’s Tough resin settings.

Guys ‘n’ gals: for anyone having problems with adhesion to the build platform, may I suggest you go have a look at a hideously long post I just made after a few days of looking into this subject - I think and hope I have at least something to reduce the problem if not actually cure it:

It’s to do with the effect that bow, warp and skew of build platforms relative to resin tanks can have…

This is very interesting. I’ll need to check how flat the two platforms I have are. One being a lot older than the other.

My issues with the tough resin have reached a point where nothing more can be done until the new software update 1.9.1 comes out. I would recommend that anyone else that has had these issues get in touch with the help desk to be able to log the issues so they know how many people are experiencing the issues.

Guess I’m sticking with regular resin for the time being!

Interesting because all of a sudden I have been having multiple failures and it is because part of the support base is not adhering to the build platform…

Weird part is that the base platform is the same thickness across so it is almost like the layers were built and compensated along the way.


The low angle you are printing at presents a lot of peeling surface area and load. Have you tried printing at a steeper angle to try to reduce the peel area and load?

@Thomas_Judy : that is exactly the same kind of effect that I had had on lots of bigger models, it was also not totally predictable (I think due to the approx. 0.2mm shift accompanying removing the build platform, removing the model, and reassembling the build platform) - with me, it seems to be totally gone once the front-to-back non-parallel angle between platform and resin tank as well as lateral skew is compensated for… the bow in the platform can probably only be removed by milling it flat, which might loosen the 8 press-fit threaded sockets, but this approx. 0.2mm higher up in the centre seems not to be too critical if the other tolerances are compensated.

I know the method I used is not terribly high-tech; I also don’t know how long it’ll hold… compression of the paper shim may lead to mid-/long-term instability; really, the adjustable screws for the resin tank I read about should be able to give a first and perhaps in itself big enough improvement, but whoever wrote about that said FormLabs doesn’t allow you to touch these, so I stuck to modifying the build platform, where voiding the warranty isn’t a problem. Additionally, there is a variance from platform to platform anyway, so I doubt whether those screws would really solve it.

At any rate, for the moment, specifically coupled with @BrentONeill’s hint of using the hex screws to do some fine adjusting, with my method I really have got a) much more reliable and even adhesion to the build platform, plus b) much easier detachment of the models from the platform… no breaking tabs, no excessive sticking. Do be aware, however, that simply removing the build platform, detaching the model, and plugging the build platform back in and printing again can cause 0.2mm shift, thus different results, which in itself can make the difference between it-just-worked-that-first-time to oh-shit-what-went-wrong-NOW?!? before the compensation method is used.

Try printing my test file 2015_07_27-2cm_base_thickness_plate-x8_numbered.form (2.2 MB) - it prints in 14 mins on clear at 200µ / 18 mins in white at 100µ /24 mins in black at 100µ, using only 4ml of resin; adjusting the build platform using the results is a little trial and error, but I always got significant improvements for all 4 build platforms already after the first iteration; a maximum of 3 iterations requiring platform disassembly plus one further one without disassembly (using Brent’s fine adjustment) leads to around a max. difference of ~0.3mm across the build platform - this is compensated for very well by the simple but clever method FormLabs used… it’s only when you get a big tolerance problem that their method doesn’t seem to be enough, but it seems fairly common for this to happen. With 4 print runs, 3 platform disassemblies you are probably looking at 2-3 hours time frame per platform, with about 1 hour of actual work occuring. For me, a small price to pay for predictable printing.

The down side is having to keep a list of build platform/resin tank combinations with accompanying z-axis offset… AND having to remember each time you change platform and/or resin tank to readjust the z-axis offset… but I’d rather have that one-off effort than the constant frustration, money/resin wasting and resin tank ‘burning’ that accompanies the failed prints - maaan, do I HATE coming in in the morning to find a 12 hour failed print!!!

Give it a go with the tough resin, if you get a chance, and let us know if it helps.

I was debating on milling down one of my build platform but something in me is holding back because the standard resins do not have this issue so why is it that the new resin is giving us such grief… if the surface needs to be perfectly flat then why is it that I have two new build platforms that are not perfectly flat… one measured a 0.01mm dim with the others were much smaller, again not perfect but enough not to work?

I would think that if it needed to be perfectly flat then formlabs would have seen this issue during the initial testing and released a new platform that is machined and assembled better but as far as I know (partly because no one from formlabs as talked in this board) they have not experienced this issue and it is a select group of us that have this going on. I really don’t want to have my team at the surface grinders stop what they are doing to grind down my build plate just to have the same issue happen again or worse it works and I have to have them do this every time I buy a new platform.

Its just odd to me that all this time and they have no public response as to why this could be happening and if it is in fact that the build platforms are no good well I have two that will be needing replaced so that I can get this Tough Material printing.

I really don’t think it’s wide spread. That’s my guess anyway which is probably why we haven’t heard anything. Also while I haven’t experienced this yet(my build platform is perfectly straight in 4 directions) I think Brent is onto something. If there is an optimal torque spec for those mounting screws and Formlabs is simply zipping them together with a power tool during assembly there could be a lot of variance in printer performance.

I don’t want to accuse them of anything though until we hear from a Formlabs directly but the logic is sound.

So i just had another failure was pretty pi$$ed about it but I tried it one more time. I started my first print at a 0.05mm resolution I changed nothing on the second print except I moved it to a 0.1mm resolution and it worked perfectly

Same build platform and same resin tray and same resin… what gives lol

I am going to lose my mind on what the possibilities could be hopefully it is something that is easily fixed with a software or Firmware update

Keith, I just had my 4th fail with Tough Resin. Not one part sticks to the build platform. Not one.
These are not complex parts - they are a small skateboard truck pivot cup.
They print in Clear, and in Flexible. But I’ve not had one stick in Tough.

BTW, brand new build platform and brand new tank - bought tanks specifically for each resin system. New tank, new platform, no sticky to platform.
It’s not my tray, and it probably is not yours either.

I have the new preform software build that supports Tough Resin.
I’m putting in a ticket now.

Good Luck

Justin, I just had my 4th fail with Tough Resin. Not one part sticks to the build platform. Not one.
These are not complex parts - they are a small skateboard truck pivot cup.
They print in Clear, and in Flexible. But I’ve not had one stick in Tough.

BTW, brand new build platform and brand new tank - bought tanks specifically for each resin system. New tank, new platform, no sticky to platform.
I have the new preform software build that supports Tough Resin.
Printing in low res and high res. Fail. Moved about the platform for location. Fail
I’m putting in a ticket now.
I’m sure it’s me. Formlabs wouldn’t put out a new resin system which wouldn’t work.

I had bought a new resin tank at the same time I bought the tough resin. Total failure to print anything.
Out of curiosity I cleaned that tank and tried it with black resin.
At +1.0mm adjustment I can get some things to print and I never get a tough to remove part from it.

I now have a couple of other new tanks and will measure and try them.

Tough Resin Blues…it is kind of bluish isn’t it?
Well, I’ve failed at my parts, contacted a great Formlabs tech Nicholas, who had me try the butterflies in Tough…Fail. I tried the butterflies in Clear. Perfect. I sent him the little pivot cup I’ve been trying to do in Tough Resin, and he returned a test .form file with a cluster of 3 of my little parts located in the build platform in the back, left hand side. Basically located in the back of the tank, left hand side nearest the “hinge” of the resin tank.
I tried his way and location with default settings. only the part in the extreme corner printed.
So then we tried again, this time moving the build platform .1mm closer to the silicone.
Partial success. Now the part in the corner, and the one along the back edge printed. but the one which was supposed to print closer to the center of the platform…nope. No base adhered.
Building upon that partial success, I figured that if moving the platform .1mm closer yielded 2 of the 3 parts…then moving it .3mm closer would be even BETTER!. Nope! this time all three failed!
Finally, I tried printing the same 3 parts but fine tuning to only .2mm closer yielded the same results as the previous test, the same 2 parts printed, the one closer to the middle failed to even adhere a base.
I’m running out of ideas for Tough Resin. And running out of Tough Resin. I have 2 build platforms and 4 resin tanks. the Resin tank for the Tough was brand new, out of the box. The only prints on this tank are the multiple failures, now 8 or 9 in total. My build platforms do have a bit of camber, but not enough to slip a .003" thick piece of copy paper under the straight edge. Plus, these platforms and resin tanks work great for Clear and Flexible resins.

I love the whole formula and open source gig, but just maybe Tough Resin should have not been released until a LOT of beta success. No?

Similar experience here Tim I have no idea as to why it works in some areas of the build platform and not others the closer I seem to get to the hinge side the worse it gets. I am still waiting for support to figure out my issues as well I am almost out of my first resin bottle of tough with about a 30% success rate. Hopefully it comes out as a bad batch of resin or something that is easy to fix. I just really dont want it to be a “well we don’t know what happened keep testing it for us”… :no_mouth:

Wow, the closer I get to the Hinge side (back left hand side of the resin tank) is the only place I can get a successful print with Tough.
I’ve completely taken apart my #3 build platform to note that the sidewalls are now bowed outward and goo and IPA got passed the little black
gasket. Makes me also wonder if IPA can leak back out into a resin tank. IPA and Resin don’t like each other.

NEWS Flash! My old engineer (who left for a med device company, and got me to buy a formlabs printer after he bought his…) strongly suggested to me
that alcohol can’t remove all the film of the resin off the aluminum surface. He suggested to, once cleaned with IPA, to let dry then come back with Acetone (but don’t let the rag
touch the plastic.) and that film will be removed completely.

I can’t believe Tough resin got through beta with no problems. I don’t mind doing the work for Formlabs, when I have the time it’s kind of interesting, but I’m working and need to get things done NOW.
If formlabs wants us to do extended beta testing, give us the resin. Then I’m all in.

Has anyone used the tough resin yet?
Yes. I printed something small. My experience was good result, but support removal was not trivial. This was a test piece.

There are a couple areas I needed to sand more, but I put it outside to fully cure. Hence, the pic.