Issue: Cured drips and bubbles on high points

Hi Everyone,

Relatively new to 3D printing. I have noticed I am getting drips and bubbles curing on high points in my prints. (while in the printer) This is causing a huge loss of detail. Any help or advice would be much appreciated!

I am using the clear v2 resin (the grey is a fine primer to allow the detail to be seen), and it is set on the highest resolution.

From my experience in paint, bubbles happen as a part of outgassing (in this case outgassing as a result of the oxygen layer on the resin). I’ve never seen bubbles cured on clear v2 like that so I can only imagine maybe the resin isn’t fully cured when you paint it?

Try washing the parts in an alcohol bath per standard method, dry them using a fine paper towel to remove some of the surface uncured resin, rewash, and airdry/cure before painting. I would then try to follow the formlabs guide for finishing parts. Sorry if that doesn’t help!

Ah no I think the paint is missleading. All that softness, filled valleys, bubbles are in the resin and solid way before the paint was added. the print was put in IPA alcohol straight after printing and then allowed to sit in the sun for a day with not paint on it. The paint is only a light spray to show up the detail so it is possible to see how it looks.

How long do you put it in IPA?

If it is really in the part before painting, then not all uncured resin is dissolved by the IPA. The highest points of the parts is where the resin will accumulate. It takes longer for the thick layer of resin to dissolve.

Are you post curing it in sunlight or a UV box? That’s almost an absolute in my book.
I rinse my prints in the two IPA baths as recommended then wash quickly in Yellow Magic 7 bath and let dry. Then put in a UV box for 2 hours. This has resulted in really go pieces for me. Mine are much smaller than yours but that shouldn’t matter I’d think as long as all the resin inside your parts is cured.

HI, thank you for your response. That could be it. The weird thing is the excess drips seem to be cured upon leaving the printer…
I usually leave in the IPA for about half an hour. You think much longer?

I don’t use a UV box, but curing it is not the problem sadly. It is the excess left on the high points and some of the surfaces facing down in the printer that are curing while in the printer.
They are quite large prints, maybe time is an issue?

Does anyone think using maybe the grey opaque resin might help this?. My thinking here was that with the clear, the light from the laser is being spread over a larger distance that its contact point…if this makes sense?

Well, having the grey should eliminate or reduce your painting step a bit. I see where you’re coming from with the clear, but I don’t think that’s the issue. I’d recommend opening a support ticket for this if the drips are cured from the printer even with the grey resin. Never seen that issue before.

Form Labs only recommends 15 minutes in each bath of IPA. I don’t time mine but try and keep it as close to that as I can.
Some form of curing is a necessity I feel. It totally hardens the part making light sanding for finish easy plus the pieces don’t have that sticky feeling.
Setting in sunlight is ok but I’d rotate it every 15-30 minutes and leave it in the sunlight at least a couple of hours. A UV box is really good for none sunny days. I made mine out of white foam core board, 14" thick. Covered the inside with reflective aluminum prism paper. Then I used a string of the proper LED lights wrapped around the walls about 6 times. Sides, Top and bottom. Then I made a small clear acrylic table to raise the parts from the bottom about 2". The box is around 6" square and 12" high.

Pigmentation does play a slight role in blocking the diffusion of the laser, but most of this is mediated by special UV blockers that keep the laser from curing surrounding areas.

This looks like it might be caused by small bits of debris in your tank. It’s possible that rogue bits of uncured resin are obscuring the laser and causing a ‘pitting’ effect. You might try filtering the tank to see if that corrects the issue.

Sadly the curing is not the problem here. It is the excess that has already cured within the printer. I find that leaving outside for a few hours if not a day, rotating, fully cures any stickiness left after the IPA bath. I too have been trying to stick to the total of around half an hour in the IPA that is recommended. Great idea about building your own UV bath though, will look into it.

Just thought I would show you the model on the screen so you can see how the details in the affected areas have just been covered over and filled in by the excess resin

Cheers, I will look into the support ticket!

Thank you! will look into that.

It’s possible you need to hollow the print. The thickness of the print my be some of the problem plus you are using a lot more resin than you need to. If you hollow it so you have 1/4" thick walls it would be good. Just remember you need drain holes.

I patch issue with my parts or glue parts together with a high powered UV flash light that has a focus-able lens so I get a pin point spot. I have a orange prescription pill bottle with some of the resin in it that I dab on the spot or spread on a joint then point the laser at it. I do have proper glasses I wear when I do this.

Just an idea to add to your list.

Thanks Walter. Love the idea of gluing the parts with he actual resin and UV! I do hollow them out with drainage holes… otherwise I think the resin would bankrupt me!

The LED flashlight I use is a Laser 301 blue, 405mm wavelength. As I said it has an adjustable focus so the beam can be made small or large. Bought it off Ebay but didn’t come with the battery which isn’t an over the counter one. I had to go to Batteries Plus for that. Still worth it.

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