Is clear the best resin?

I think pigmented resin is good to initially see your print details. though the major disadvantages are having to mix the resin with the pigment to get a good result and also not being able to see any small cured resin bits in the tank.

When using clear I was getting good clean prints all the time and I could easily fish out cured bits from the tank because I could see them without blindly scooping one area from the other.
Also does the pigment have any disadvantages to the print as an extra additive to the resin? I seem to think the purer the better. I’m wanted to bring this up as I’m thinking if I should just go with clear as the models get painted over anyway. Pigment is useful if you have no plans to paint the model.

Interested to get other peoples thoughts on this.

I only use Grey V2 mainly because my prints are masters for making silicone molds, no other use. By sticking with one color I don’t have to worry about changing out a tray or build head. I’m on my third liter of Grey V2 with the same tray. I do have a bit of slight fogging starting but not interfering with prints. One thing I did notice yesterday is the orange acrylic plastic of the tray is starting to disintegrate along the upper edge near the back. A small piece broke off.

As I’ve had NO failed prints at all and I’ve made quite a few of them I hate replacing the tray but probably need to soon.

  • Walt

I have had the best luck with the black resin. Second best with the clear. I had a terrible time getting any prints with the grey. Black is all I use now.

Interesting. I’m using the grey at the moment and printing the same small detail models I get mixed results. Sometimes really nice clean prints and other not so nice (more stripy woodgrain texture). The best and most immaculate results I’ve had was when we first got the printer and I was very careful to maintain and clean it. Using the clear I was getting awesome prints, no failures. What I liked about the clear was after each print I could fish out any small pieces of cured resin to ensure the tank was 100% clean each print. The only thing I can think of as a factor to print degradation is the tank wear, particularly around the tilt area where I print the most. I think the grey resin we use was poured back into the bottle un-filtered and poured back into the tank again. I’m going to try pouring the tank resin and the bottle resin in a temorary new container and then filter the lot back into the bottle and make sure the tank is clean underneath.

The black does seem appealing though. Are you using a new resin tank scott?

Is there any loss in fine detail between the different color resins? They recommend black for small detail but is that just a visual thing or does the black hold smaller details?

About to order my next liter. Last liter I purchased from a 3 rd party company and it clouded my tank after a couple of dozen prints. I had no clouding from v1 gray.

I do like the clear for being able to see cured resin out of the tank. I use the scraper that came with the printer pull any pieces over to the side and I can usually fish them out. If I don’t have a failed print, there is never any left over resin.

A couple of things I have learned.

I never pour the resin out of the tank. Once it’s in there, all I do is add more.
I use the scraper it squeegee the bottom of the tank. To look for cured resin and more importantly, to stir it up and get oxygen to the bottom layer.
I only get between 1 and 2 liters of use out of a resin tank. If I am printing small things and can move the parts around, I get more use. When I am doing big parts that cover most of the bottom, I get less. When I scrap the tank I look for the cloudiness in the bottom. It will usually still print if it just a little cloudy.

I will say that when I was using the grey resin it was on the original Form 1. I am using a Form 1+ right now. It may have been the printer that was giving me trouble and not the resin.

I have got fantastic detail from the clear, things I thought would never print. I think I will stick to clear for those reasons that it is much easier to maintain as you can see the cured resin in the tank. Also I wonder why shapeways fine detail prints are done in clear/frosted?

Hey. I want to print the clear resin for a lens. I read on one of the articles from Formlabs that they were successfully able to print a lens using the clear resin on Form 1+. What parameters should I use if I’m using the Formlabs Clear resin? I’m concerned about Layer Height, Exposure Time, Power O/p from the projector, projector resolution, etc.

PS: I don’t use either Form 1 or Form 1+, I am using a self-made “DLP” system.

I have the same thing with two tanks used for one type of resin. both black and casting resin cause the same issue. Both are now missing pieces in the left back.

For me printing single small objects only take 10 to 15 ml of resin, fully cleaning a tank afterwards takes more than this. If I can print twice as much from one bottle while destroying one tank saves me money, time and inconcienience…

I heard IPA can cause this with the tank. Do you clean it with IPA alot?

I never cleaned my Resin Tank. It was the original tank and as long as I don’t change resin type or color no reason to drain and clean the tank. I’ve used 2 and half liters of Grey Resin with that one tank. If it wasn’t for the breaking down of the acrylic plastic I would have kept using it as I haven’t had a failed print yet. I keep the tank covered when not printing and just add extra resin and mix when starting a print. As I’ve said elsewhere, I use a plastic putty knife not the metal one. I feel there is less chance of damage that way.

I did finally drain the tank as I didn’t want to chance the side totally breaking and spilling resin into the mirror area. When I had it drained I notice it was starting to fog a bit but I probably could have used up the balance of the third liter of resin. I’ll leave the new tank empty, but in the machine, until I need to do prints.

  • Walt

Like walter I rarely clean my tank, too much resin is wasted while draining and cleaning the tank. The damage is above the maximum level line. My theory is the printing platform lifts the resin level slightly and leaves a small layer on the orange sides this damages the tank. There are no cracks at or below the maximum level. My other theory is the peel process stresses the tank only in the lest back but this seems less plausable.

Edit: I think I can make some pictures later this week (possibly tomorrow) I will open a separate topic for this.

I think you’re right. Must be to do with the build platform as it also pushes down on the bottom of the tank.

The only reason for emptying my tank is to filter the resin of any blobby or cured residue, and to also clean and polish the bottom glass.

Hmm, any tips on cleaning the bottom plastic with resin in the tank? I typically just try to keep it level and do it while holding the tank, I have thought about developing a fixture that would elevate the tank and support the top so I can clean more thoroughly instead of worrying about sloshing too much resin around and doing a quick “good enough” cleaning. As a bonus I’m sure it would make a great storage rack.

One of our tanks broke in a similar area to what you are describing (left rear corner as you look at the front of the printer) but I always suspected it was from removing the lid from the front edge instead of the center tabs. Could you post a picture of your damage to satisfy my curiosity?

I think the only way to polish that bottom good is to empty the tank. It’s also good to filter the resin at the same time. Then you are sure to get maximum print quality.

To clean the acrylic people have been using novus plastic polish. You can use IPA on the PDMS but becareful it doesn’t creep between the PDMS and the acrylic frame. I used Yellow Magic to clean my tank with room temp water to rinse and it worked really well. I used my finger tips to scrub it up, recommend the nitrile gloves so you don’t scratch it.

Yep novus does the job superbly! If there is resin on the bottom I have to use IPA, though in very scarce amounts like a touch on the paper towel. Never soak it in the IPA.

Thanks for the responses Edward and Ken! We are learning that cleaning the inside of the tank and filtering the resin is quite important as our print quality has slowly degraded over the usage of the tank. Prints are still excellent quality, but the first couple of prints out of the tank were 100% free of defects. Our tanks are now both fully isolated so hopefully the tank bottom will not require cleaning as often. I’ll try Yellow Magic and hopefully bring the F1+ back to perfection. Sorry for derailing from the original topic. =/

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