Hi everyone. This is a WARNING. I would be VERY careful about doing business with “Digital Forge” or “The Collectors Showcase”. I just e-mailed them with a few questions because I was interested in their product after reading about it here, and was brushed off.
The correspondence went as follows:
My first message:
I’ve been hearing some good things about your resins and as a maker of high-end movie prop replicas, I’m interested in maybe testing it. However, I have a couple concerns since any possible mishaps by 3rd party resins may invalidate the warranty of the Form 2 machine.
I was mainly wondering if you have done any extensive testing with your resin in Formlabs LT vats and how the PDMS may react over time to your product. (It’s well-known that resin causes the PDMS to come loose over time, risking resin spill into the printer.) Since reports are saying that your resin has a much stronger smell than FLs own, it sounds like you use more solvent, which might adversely affect the PDMS.
Also, you stated somewhere that you use a lot of ‘hardener’ in your resin. Since I make props that need to be handled and take some abuse, durability is a main concern. Do you have any data on the durability (impact strength and so on) of your resin, and have you made comparisons to the different options that Formlabs makes?
Finally, what’s the glass temp of your resin when cured? (i.e. will it be stable over time under what conditions?)"
The reply by their sales rep “Brian Levy”:
“Our resin has a bit of nylon additive that adds to the strength. The PDMS layer will last about 20-30 large builds and then you should re-pour a new PDMS yourself if you want to: use Sylgar, or just buy a new VAT. The material behaves the same as Formlabs Grey in regards to the PDMS same life span really. Its pretty cheap, I recommend just trying a liter yourself. Cheers!”
Note that he essentially ignored my questions (and perhaps misunderstood one of them), instead trying to get a sale out of it. My reply:
"Hi Brian and thanks for getting back to me.
In regards to the PDMS, I wasn’t actually referring to the burn-life wear of the PDMS (which, naturally, would conform to FL Grey standards if it uses the same setting) but the fact that resins stored in a VAT for lengths of time will cause the glue holding the PDMS in place to dissolve, leaking resin onto the glass underneath, as well as possibly into the machine itself. (This is regardless of how many prints have been done with the tray.) Formlabs’ resins can safely stay in a VAT for a couple months at least, but some 3rd party resins have been known to cause leaks in under 100 hours! So, since people are reporting that your resin has a much stronger odor than FL, as do all other 3rd party resins I’ve read about, (indicating stronger solvents) I was wondering if you had conducted any testing into how your product affects the glue holding the PDMS in place.
There were also the other questions I had about how strong the resin is in comparison with others, and information on stability over time and glass temp (important for storage and longevity of printed items).
I mean no disrespect, but none of my questions were in fact answered and without sufficient information, I don’t think I would be confident in subjecting my setup (which is currently stable) to experimentation that can lead to disastrous consequences if something goes wrong. Cheers"
Brian’s next reply:
"No problem, take care!"
Mr Levy simply ignored my questions and gave me that thinly veiled “F O”. I don’t feel I was discourteous towards him. So either they don’t know or don’t want to answer- both are rather alarming. Looking at their website, there is no readily available contact information- you need to go to the CS HQ website to find information. Also note there is NO safety or technical data sheets on the website for their chemical product. With that kind of attitude, it’s safe to assume that IF something goes wrong with their product, you would be left stranded.
Formlabs may be expensive with their consumables, but their reps have done a lot of legwork answering various questions I’ve had and not once have I been treated like my business was not wanted. And that’s why I’ll stick with their resin for now.
Just thought you all might like to know about this experience.