MakerJuice Mechs


#1

Hey everyone! I’ve been lurking on the forums for awhile and haven’t had a chance to post anything. When I bought GracefulViper, my Form 2, I was completely new to 3d printing. I’m still pretty new as I have just gotten through my second liter of resin.

Anyway! I thought I would share results with Makerjuice, since I have seen so many posts about third party resins.

I ordered two liters of MakerJuice SF in Black for 65 bucks each. I thought what the heck, if it doesn’t work I wont be out too much…

So I put the resin in an empty Blk 1 container and shove it in the machine, print a test piece and oh man the machine had a fit. It wouldnt fill right, it wasn’t full enough, it was too full, etc etc.

I had to abandon using the heater and wiper and switched on open mode.

I switched to the reccommended blk 2 settings and printed some test mechs. This time the machine had no problems and went off without a hitch.

The results?

I’m surprised!

I had heard such tales of these not working and with just a little tweaking to the settings the pieces are great!

These are about 35mm tall and were printed with the Blk2 settings at the lowest resolution. Took about 7 hours for 8 pieces, with structures and all.

Pardon the pictures my phone isn’t all that great at them. Short story is they look pretty good and are nice and strong. Some torture tests with pinching the legs together were quite impressive. I’ve found resin as a whole to be far more brittle than I was expecting, but the MJ seems to be fairly flexible as well.

Thanks guys for sharing all you do. It is quite inspirational!


#2

Thanks for sharing your results, There needs to be good quality competitive resins available in the market that work with the Formlabs printers to keep Formlabs resin price inline. Which, I personally believe is very high priced. I have also tried the MJ resins with mixed results. Formlabs resins still out perform everything I have tried to date by a wide margin. But, still hoping someone can produce something near the quality to edge the prices down. Resin prices are a limiting factor in how much I print, which was never an issue with the FDM printers.


#3

ravageandruin

Cool designs
Thanks for sharing your experience.


#4

@ravageandruin,

We don’t want to discourage creativity, but Formlabs does not support 3rd party resins in our cartridges. One of the reasons, as you discovered, is that the resin level sensor is not tuned to these resins and you run a significant risk of an overfill (and subsequent spill) when doing this.

Also want to point out that you should keep an eye on the integrity of the tank when using 3rd party resins. Some 3rd party resins can have a very negative effect on the plastic tank and will cause it to crack and break. This will result in a major spill.

As @mlabird said, even though our resins are more expensive than some 3rd party resins, they work very well in our printer and make the whole experience much more turn key.

Hope you are having a blast with your Form 2. it is a great machine!

-Aaron


#5

Aaron_Silidker:

why is this so, that the 3rd party resins in the cartridges? The sensor does not respond to 3rd party resins? Is it turned off or is there a problem with the viscosity?

Can I perhaps mix Formlabs tough and white together?
I would like to have a mixture of both properties, say 20% tough and 80% white std.
The tough parts are slighty too soft; the std parts somewhat too brittle!
I have just ordered a white cartridge with this intent.


#6

I hope that does work. I am planning the exact same experiment using 25% tough and 75% grey for the same reasons you cited. I plan to measure out 250ml of the grey and pour in 250ml of the tough into the tank and then run it using the grey as the printer set up. Anyone tried this and had problems?


#7

@mdrm,

The sensor is a non-contact sensor. The electrical properties of the specific resin being used actually determine how the sensor will react. 3rd party resins can cause readings that are too high, too low, or just completely out of range. The biggest risk here to the printer with a 3rd party resin in a cartridge is one that reads artificially low. The printer will overfill and cause a huge mess.

If you mix resin, you will have to use open mode. Tough and white have different viscosities and a mixture of the two would be somewhere in between. The wipe portion of the print cycle is tuned for each specific resin. Viscosity that is different than expected may cause a wave that spills over the tank when the wiper moves.

@danjep and @mdrm, if you try any custom mixes and are not running them in open mode, make sure you do not overfill the tank and make sure the printer is level. When the wiper moves to the left, it can create a wave. if you are using the wrong setting for the resin in the tank or have overfilled the tank, this can create a spill. We always recommend open mode for anything other than using a Formlabs resin matched to the correct print settings in PreForm.

I hope that my quick explanations will help you both to make educated decisions that minimize the risk to the printer while still allowing you to have some fun with custom resin mixes. As always, we are happy to help you learn if you reach out to us on here or through official support.


#8

I’ve had good results with photocentric resin in empty cartridges. I’d be more than happy to use open mode, but it’s a bastardised version until it works with the heater and wiper.


#9

My experiment of mixing 25% Tough with 75% Standard Black resin had very good results. As planned I did use the standard resin setting rather than open mode so I would have heat and wiping. Because the tough is quite a bit more viscous than the standard resin, I watched it carefully during warm up and made certain the mixed viscosity would not make a wave and overrun the ends of the tank, which it did not. I did notice the printer pausing several times during the print to verify resin so the printer knew something was amiss but not enough to stop the process.

The parts were much closer to PP injection molded parts than any of the resins I tried with the standard resins too stiff and brittle and the tough too pliable and hard rubber like. I purchased flexible resin but based upon the results of the tough I did not even bother to try it for this set of parts. Most of the parts I have printed have had issues with curing, even after placement in the UV chamber for extended periods of time, immersed in water, not immersed etc. I usually end up placing the parts in the sun outdoors to get rid of the final stickiness that seems nearly impossible to get rid of. I see some posts about a IPA substitute cleaner from the printing industry, but I don’t know if that would be better at removing the layer of uncured resin that clings to the parts post print. Disaster struck when I placed my blended resin parts in the sun for final curing. Both parts got a chalky white appearance and deformed badly in the sun. Brought them back in but the damage was irreversible. I printed another pair, shortened the UV cure time and DID NOT expose them to the sun and they are much better. I sprayed them with UV blocking clear coat so we’ll see how they look over the next couple days.

Bottom line, the results were much closer to PP than any Formlabs resins, but still a long way from being PP clones. I see Xlab has a PP clone resin available for their SLA desktop printer, so hopefully Formlabs is getting ready to release something similar. In the meantime if anyone has any suggestions as to what I might try to modify my experiment in trying to get as close to PP as possible I would appreciate it. As a product developer most of the products that come in are for PP, PE or other commodity grade injection resins and the closer I can get my results to mimc PP the more business opportunities I see being possible.


#10

I’ve done a bunch of experimentation mixing resins. My goto is now 50% clear / 50% tough which I find is optimal for my prototype that relies extensively on precision waterproof silicone gasketed snapfit components. search around here for tuff and tufflex for a couple mixes I was testing.


#11

@danjep
i am wondering why you have cure issues with 75 StBlack - 25 Tough mix. A few questions:
1 . Do you shake or mix properly?
2. Have you tried to use Standard Black settings?
3. With Form1 or Form2?
4. What Post-Cure light source do you use?
5. What Temperature do you postcure at?

Has anyone an explanation why there are exposure issues withthis mix?


#12

@mdrm

  1. I mixed as well as I could, perhaps not well enough.
  2. I am using the standard black settings
  3. Form2
  4. I have a UV Sterilizer with a 415nm bulb. Seems like all black parts take long times in the sterilizer probably due to the pigment that blocks the UV.
  5. I cure at room temperature 76F.

The subsequent parts done since then have turned out much better so long as I do not place them in warm sunlight and spray them with UV blocking clear coat when curing is where I want it. The parts are much closer to PP than standard resin but still not where I would like them to be. The PP is a bit more slippery feeling and slightly more flexible than the parts I am printing, but results are acceptable at this point.


#13

@danjep
thank you for the info. I also use the Form2 for mechanical objects so I would like similair material properties as you.
I will try a 75% White2 - 25% Tough2 mix out in a few weeks, once the new white cartidge arrives and I finish off one of my cartridges.
You have the Form2; what is the best way of filling up the cartridge? Drill a hole, put a plug in and fill it?
For post-curing tough and clear material models I use a 3W 405nm (narrow spectrum) led light source. I have tried putting the objects during post-cure in hot water, approx. 60°C (I measure temperature with a cheap infra-red thermometer) and that works well. As a temper process for post-cured models I have another 10W UV “black light” disco LED array (approx. 365nm, wide spectrum) and the tough material models are put under that over night - the tough material models are significantly stiffer, but I would like them to be more so. I have also tempered post-cured tough material model in bright sunlight, which works well too.
I have not had deformed parts with clear standard or tough as you have had with black-Std-tough, Perhaps they get too hot in the sun; do you live in a desert? I put the parts on the window ledge of an air-conditioned office. I have noticed that tough material models above 60°C get really floppy, that must be avoided.


#14

I use beakers to pour out the resin into ml measurements then place the mixture in a beaker, mix thougroughly then pour it back into the container. Works just fine. I have put standard black parts in the sun for several hours. They get very brittle but not warped and chalky like the black/tough blend parts did. Not certain why. Since then no sun expesure and clear coating when they are sufficiently cured seems to work great. My next experiemtn is to injection mold parts in cavities printed, but just for prototyping not for any large volume of parts. Looking at copper/hard nickel coating the prints prior to injecting them to give them a tough skin.


#15

that’s a pretty good idea for strength, but you’ll probably lose precision and detail a bit. search for electroplating here on the forum - a guy a couple years back was doing it and he did a pretty good write up about how he did it at home with a simple setup.


#16

sorry to bother you
but I just used the maker juice grey resin on my F2 and I made lot of prints with it(open mode with grey resin setings with both 50 & 25 microns), and your comments surely encouraged me to use it, but the thing will be more useful if the system in the F2 will enable wiping in the open mode at least it will dramatically enhance the experience.
hope you will share it for me.
thanks.