Open mode suggestion for refill

I wish that I had an option to choose myself the moment when I want to refill.
It would go like this :

-Run the print
-Pause the print whenever I want to refill
-Print resumes , resetting the 100ml counter

The “Auto-stop after 100 ml used” would still be active for safety, but at least, this would give the user the option to “fill’er up” before he needs to leave.

This Friday, I had a print going, and I had to leave , I would say, at around 80ml used, so the printer paused and I wasn’t there to refill and resume.
Result : after I resumed the print when I came back from my trip, the part had so badly warped that the print failed.
If I had been able to refill and “reser the counter” just before I left, the print could have finished flawlessly.

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Again, I find myself in the situation that I need to leave the printer unattended, and I KNOW that it will pause in my absence, thus my part will either have an ugly step mark, or will fail altogether.

This is extremely frustrating because I know that if I fill the tank now, there will be more than enough to finish.

Please consider this request seriously, Formlabs people !

There ya’go…
At least, his time, it didn’t mess-up and make the print fail completely , but damn is it frustrating !!!

If you put the new resin in a syringe you could add it to the tank without stopping the printer, couldn’t you?

You don’t understand the problem…
In OPEN mode, the printer stops on it’s own after each 100ml printed resin, no matter what you do.

The thing is that there is no way to choose WHEN it stops.

What I want is to be able to “top it off” whenever I want, so as to be confident that a print can finish even when I’m not there (provided the remaining print volume is under 100ml of course).

Do you have to wait until the printer stops? can’t you just add resin before it has used the full 100ml?

Of course, you would have to be careful not to put too much resin in otherwise it would stop with an ‘overfilled resin error’

It appears that you have never used Labs mode, and fail to understand where the problem lies.
Please re-read what I wrote.

When you print in open mode, the printer assumes you filled the tank and will not dispense resin.
After 100ml of resin consumption, it will automatically pause and wait for you to press continue: this allows you to check if there is still enough resin in the tank.

You can not skip this pausing and the machine does not do any resin sensing.

How does it know that 100ml of resin has been consumed without resin sensing?

Layer height x total surface area for each layer, until it reaches a volume of 100ml… probably, Preform already calculates this in advance and bakes the refill breaks into the program which is why it may not be all that straigh-forward to change… I don’t mean to say that it’s a good way to do it or that it shouldn’t be changed though.

I don’t mean to say that it’s a good way to do it or that it shouldn’t be changed though.

Hmmm… so if it’s handled by Preform and not by the printer, then it’s even worse !
Unless Preform is able to keep track of previous prints, and eventual failures, how could it know precisely the current resin consumption ?

I wish Formlabs could step in and clarify.

To be clear that’s only an assumption…

However I don’t see how the printer could have access to more precise data. AFAIK the printer is only equipped with a single capacitive sensor for the Tank, and as such it can only detect if the resin is either below or over a fixed level.

Maybe I’m missing something but I have trouble imagining another way to calculate these 100ml than by estimating what has been printed based on the file. The thing is, if this is hardcoded into Preform’s print files then you’d have to upgrade both the printer and Preform to change this behaviour… whereas if it’s all in the printer then an upgrade to the printer only will suffice.

It’s most probably managed only by Preform, as you mentionned.
This leaves me wondering if Preform assumes that you start a print with the tank full or if it keeps a record of all that has been printed since the last pause/refill…

Preform assumes you start with a full(200ml) tank. Then calculates in preform when it reaches 100ml of printing volume and then automatically stops.

Looking through my list of completed prints, 100ml builds take about 9-10 hours (YMMV). So knowing how long the printer takes to use 100ml changes a ‘This-machine-doesn’t-do-what-I-want’ problem into a simpler one of time management.

Time management as in working more than 9 hours a day? Or starting it in the middle of the night so it’s done in the morning?

That still doesn’t get rid of the ugly thick defect in your print.

So no, “time management” is not the solution.

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This is the feature requests & ideas category, if you don’t feel you’d benefit from an idea there’s no need to pull it down. I’m sure Formlabs will be able to decide by themselves if they want to implement this or not :wink:

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There ain’t no free lunches.

It has been suggested that the line on the print is caused by a fall in temperature of the resin when the printer stops after the 100ml mark. It is likely that putting 100ml of relatively cold new resin into a warm working tank is almost certainly going to lower the temperature of the tank. The answer to this is to warm the new resin so that it more or less matched the working temperature of the tank. This may not entirely cure the defective prints, but it should go a long way towards mitigating the defects.

The corollary is that if you rely on adding resin when you want, without warming it, as the OP suggested, you will get a line on your print each time the printer stops.