I received a shipment of Maker Juice resin today to test how good it is and if it works with the Form 1. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work well at all. If you decide to try it, know that it may cause pits in the silicone if parts get stuck to it, and it fogs the silicone very quickly (just 2 prints fogged it, though the 2nd print had a lot of over-cured resin stuck to the silicone). This was tested using my stress test part on a “defective” resin tank (the one with the sides that were crazing).
Additionally, the black SubG resin I ordered didn’t seem to hold the pigment very well in the tank. This may be because the resin doesn’t move around enough, as I saw a lot of the pigment collecting in what looked like sand dunes.
Note that this isn’t a jab at Maker Juice’s quality, the resin was probably just not formulated to work with our printers. I’m going to do a more substantial write-up about it soon, and I’ve written to them to let them know they might want to put a disclaimer on their site for Form 1s for now.
Edit: I’m going to continue testing the resin on parts of the resin tank that are still usable, like trying different layer heights. I’ll update when the prints are complete.
Edit 2: changed the title a bit to reflect that this post is about the resin.
Edit 3: I’ve been experimenting with Maker Juice’s cyan blue pigment as well, and you can see some of the results in the comments below. I’m still doing some tests with it, and I’ve been in contact with Josh of Maker Juice for ideas and support (thanks, Josh!). I mixed 0.3mL of pigment into 60mL of Formlabs clear resin, and the result was that it settled very little, and the resulting print came out very vibrant, but apparently this was WAY too much for 60mL. The resolution suffered very, very slightly (some details got muddied together), and the resin wasn’t cured as well as it was without the pigment, but the print looked very nice otherwise. The only real negative was that the silicone layer fogged after just one print, similar to how the black resin did.
Hi Tj, thanks for the heads-up, very interesting and brave test Did you manage to get some extra trays ?
Just the one I received to replace the defective tank. Hopefully they’ll start selling the tanks on their own soon.
I wonder if this tray would work for the Form1?
This could be handy too, if it works, could it considerably extend a tray´s lifespan ?
I don’t think that reservoir will fit. The size looks a little more rectangular than the more square shape for the Form 1, and the Form 1’s tank has these kind of “wings” along the bottom to secure it to the tilt mechanism. I like the idea of a glass resin tank that’s more resistant to scratches, though.
The teflon coating sounds interesting! That might actually be worth a try, to see how it works (on the damaged resin tank, of course lol). Seems like a decent price, too.
They do sell the reservoir as a kit, maybe one could cut it to size, still the wings would be missing, or could they be printed on the Form1, and glued to the glass ?
I think it would actually be possible to make a mostly-glass tank, possibly without sourcing any parts from the mUVe. The only thing I’d worry about is potential shattering if the glass tank isn’t built properly. The resin tank seems to press up very firmly against the build platform, so if something isn’t aligned properly, I’m guessing the pressure could shatter the glass and make a big mess inside the printer.
Update on the resin itself, I got a reply from Josh over at Maker Juice. It seems he had hoped that it would work on the Form 1, since the resin works well on a printer with similar operation, the Pryntech OpenSL. He says both the Form 1 and the Pryntech printer use the same laser, but it’s probably the cure time that’s the problem. He also mentioned that he’ll continue to invest time into finding a resin that will work with the Form 1.
Since the resin tank is still usable in other sections, I’ll continue trying the resin to see if there’s something I missed, or if the resin can be utilized in some way with other prints.
Thanks Tj for the valuable info. Won´t be glueing glass trays soon then
It´s interesting to notice that the B9 resin seems to work on both (B9 and Form 1), but the MakerJuice doesn´t.
Before you completely junk your old tray how about trying prints with B9Creator resin and the SolarEZ resin or do you already have feedback on those from the vendors?
Hi guys. I wanted to thank Tj for his efforts, as I know people appreciate the choice. As he said, I believe the lack of customizing the cure times in the Form software is definitely part of the problem we have to overcome.
Additionally, I’m quite surprised that Form chose to use PDMS as their non-stick coating. That stuff is extremely fragile, and expensive to replace. I would definitely suggest trying the teflon films posted above on mUVe, as that stuff is just as non-stick as PDMS, but a LOT tougher. For what it’s worth, most other printers are using teflon. The only other I know of that doesn’t is the B9, and that’s because they use the weird sliding vat mechanism. Anything that tilts/etc should be fine using teflon film though.
And as Tj says, I’ll keep working on the testing. It would be beneficial if I had someone to work with near Kansas City, KS so we could speed up development… so if any of you guys are within a few states (or closer!) let me know!
Josh @ MakerJuice
Just to chime in a bit here. The non-stick coating for sale on the mUVe 3D site can be cut with scissors and should work well on a large array of reservoirs. Just make sure to completely clean the surface of the previous coating before trying to attach it. It won’t stick well at all if there is residue or any remnants of the previous non-stick material still on the surface.
If it turns out that the Form1 folks would benefit from a custom size FEP coating then I’m sure it could be ordered and added as a product to help support the 3D printing community.
did you use the clear setting ? maybe the grey has a stronger/longer laser beam exposure than the clear.
I used the clear 0.1mm setting for the first test. I’ve been continuing more tests since I initially posted, and it does appear that even parts that don’t get stuck to the resin tank silicone will cloud it significantly faster than with the Formlabs clear resin. I did a 1cm cube in a spot that wasn’t clouded or heavily used and just that one print caused some clouding. It wasn’t as bad as what’s shown in the photo above, but it was definitely noticeable.
I’ve attached some photos of the Stress Test part printed with the black resin, the one that failed. This was printed at 0.1mm, situated at the left side of the printer, away from the peel side. These really aren’t the best examples; I left the part in the alcohol bath a little too long, so some surface cracks formed along some of the structures and split some of the supports as it dried (oops). What I’d like to highlight here is the horizontal splits in some of the photos, and the uneven distribution of the pigment. The resin is very low viscosity, so the pigment doesn’t stay suspended in the resin long enough. Parts are very heavily-pigmented to start, then it gets lighter as the pigment starts to collect in other parts of the tank. Since the tilt mechanism is rather gentle, it’s probably not agitating the resin enough to keep the pigment well dispersed.
One plus of the resin is that it seems to handle fine details a bit better than the Formlabs clear. I couldn’t take a decent photograph of it, but it managed to hold a small 0.1mm wall, and it printed the flag quite nicely. This might be thanks in part to the resin’s fast curing speed.
On the plus side, Maker Juice’s pigment seems to work really well…! I mixed about 0.3mL of the pigment into about 60mL of the clear resin, poured it into the resin tank, and printed a test cube and the Stress Test part. I printed it at 0.1mm, though I can’t recall if I used the clear or grey setting. With that small amount, the color came out extremely vibrant, and most of the details seemed to stay fairly crisp. Other details became a little “gooier” so to speak, with parts that were separate in clear test prints kinda blending together in the pigmented form.
I have to say, I’m really, really excited about how the color came out.
The first one looks like a war zone! The ice cream cone looks nice though. The blue looks really good too!
LOL, the lego is surreal.
Haha you’re right, it does look surreal. xD Like something straight out of a Dali painting.
A little bit of bad news regarding the pigment: after the blue print, I noticed fogging on the silicone just like those from the black resin print. Since I’ve never noticed this kind of fogging happening at all with the clear resin, I wonder, is the fogging caused by the pigments? If so, perhaps it might be a good idea to keep a few tanks around when they start selling them, one for clear only, and two for colors (one to use while the other is being recoated, perhaps?).
The photo attached shows the fogging from the blue print. This was after 1 print, over an area that was completely clear prior, and there was only a few areas that got stuck (mainly the arm for the lantern chain and some of the flex tests).
Maybe adding the pigment results in a higher laser spot temperature (more laser energy converting to heat in a small area vs. passing through the ‘clear’ resin) and that’s what causes the fogging? (Maybe that’s what’s behind the switch from gray to clear resin after showing the gray for so long?)
I wonder how critical the low surface energy of the release films really is… (eg, could a sheet of Gorilla Glass or sapphire glass sheet be used for a tank base without a release film? Or even just regular glass? I assume it doesn’t work or they’d use it if it was better, but it’d make for an interesting science experiment…) Probably relates directly to the type of print-- large solid areas might need the PDMS/PTFE/etc. film, but maybe if you only print delicate objects without a lot of surface area per slice just straight-up glass may work?)
Clay, Josh said pretty much the same thing about the laser temp. Without Formlabs saying themselves, I suppose we can only speculate about the switch to clear. ^_^;)
I’m guessing the silicone layer provides a less-sticky surface for the resin to adhere to than other surfaces would. Given how well the resin sticks to the build platform, perhaps the silicone is one of few surfaces the resin doesn’t adhere as readily to.
Here’s a pseudo-time lapse vid I whipped up last night showing the pigment settling in the clear resin over about an hour. http://youtu.be/x8mYEIqB0GY
Too much pigment. x)