Newbie Question Regarding Layer Thickness

I’ve been lurking here since the Form 1 was first announced, later I watched the Form 1+ get released and I still was not convinced. I live in the desert and for me, a dust free environment is as elusive as unicorns and Big Foot. But I got up Tuesday morning and watched the Form 2 announcement and immediately placed my order the moment they mentioned sealed optics.

Anyways, back the question at hand. I see that the Preform software that is available now has layer thickness settings that go from 0.1mm to 0.025mm. My question is, why would you ever not use the highest resolution setting available? The only possible scenario I can come up with for using a lower resolution might be that you need something faster and don’t want to wait for the higher resolution part. I’m guessing both use the same amount of resin but of course one might take longer to “print”.

Is there any other logical reason you might not use the highest resolution setting?

I’ve had an FDM machine for years and never once printed a part at any setting lower than the best possible.


Allen Rockwell
GameCraft Miniatures

The printer is SLA, so the layer thickness doesn’t have as large of an effect on the part quality as it does with FDM. I print almost all of my parts on 0.1mm layer height because its both faster and has less peel cycles. My print time is mostly dependent on the number of layers because the peel time is longer than the time required for the laser to cure a layer (unless you have a very large layer area). The fewer peel cycles helps prints in two ways. It reduces wear on the PDMS layer in the tank (my tanks get more than 2L without spreading my print over areas of the tank to reduce wear), and it decreases the chances of a print failure. If a print fails for me it is because the peel failed and some material stuck to the tank. Layer height doesn’t change the mechanical properties or tolerance of the part, it just lets the printer resolve more detail and provide better surface finish. If you want very detailed small parts, 0.025mm layer height is better. Otherwise 0.1mm will get you better reliability and better speed.


James hit it right on the nose. 25um is mainly used by jewelers who are taking parts to casting. Here is an article we wrote that shows some details on layer height differences.

When you place parts at 25um, 50um and 100um side by side…it’s very difficult to tell the difference.

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