How cool is that! Thanks for sharing…
I’m not sure I understand how you’re ending up with this 20% statistic. A bare build platform will not retain a significant amount of resin. If you’re talking about the platform before the print is removed, I could imagine there’s a little resin to be saved if you let the print sit over the resin tank for a while before you try and pry it off (which I do sometimes. But I just leave the print on the platform in the printer for a few hours. given the viscosity of the resin, angling the platform shouldn’t make much difference).
20%? That’s a lot. Doesn’t feel like a “real” number. Do you have some data you can share?
This number is from the video with the parts’ volume 59ml. If you keep printing the same or similar parts that is the number for 1 liter of resin. 1000ml/59ml=16.95, 16.95*12.5ml=212ml (even more, but rounded it is 200ml)
Even if you let the part sit for a few hours there will still be resin on all surfaces, especially on those that are horizontal including the platform itself. Plus, sometimes you just don’t have those extra hours - you need to start the next print pretty much right away. This device helps greatly to speed up the process. The parts in the video were printed 3-4 hours before the filming started, so it is not like I just printed it and started taking video right away to show as much saved resin as possible. My goal is not to make any money on this thing, but to help other people to save more of the expensive resin. That is why I uploaded the STL file. You are welcome to use it and change it any way you like.
Just looking to understand what you’re saying before I consider making the effort. Only reason for asking!
Like @Randy_Cohen, I also let parts print and don’t get to them immediately so it isn’t much of an issue for me either. I enjoy people trying to improve our machines with their own ideas though.
I feel the resin on the build plate is irrelevant in this case as it is a simple and quick process to just scrape it into the vat as you remove the plate. Was that part of your 20%?
Say you printed a plus sign vertically, if you tilted it to one side, the resin will run off one side and accumulate at the intersection from the other side. Thus making it necessary to tilt it the other way and wait for runoff correct? Anything with complex geometry might lead to more time wasted fiddling with such a device.
Just creative thinking. Keep up the thought process.
I always pop the parts off the platform and scrape the remaining resin back in the tank. No need for extra tools
Thank you for the comments. This is all true, but imagine you have 15 small parts on the platform and you are going to use Formlabs washing station. There is no way you can scrape off all of the resin with the parts being still attached to the platform because this is how you wash it - with the whole platform partially submerged to IPA. So, all the resin from the platform will end up in the IPA tank. This add-on allows for the resin to leave before the washing process starts.
BTW I have 2 Formlabs printers (thinking of buying a 3rd one), use it extensively, literally non-stop and this all comes from my personal experience. It really helps me to save resin.
This makes 100% sense when thinking about the wash station. I have thought about how much resin would be wasted when you dump the whole set up in the IPA
This sems to me very smart !
I find the whole SLA process extremely wasteful.
When a print fails and the tank has to be cleaned / resin filtered, a shocking amount of resin is wasted too.
The disposable resin tanks are also a complete scandal, so any effort to mitigate all this is very welcome.
Good idea. Does the additional time on the build platform cause any issues with removing the parts? I always pop mine off immediately after printing.
No, you can leave parts on the platform for a few days without any issues, As long as they are under the orange cover and are not exposed to a direct sunlight.
One way to look at it is if someone told me they had a way to reduce my build times by 40 minutes and it cost me $3/hr I would gladly pay that money, so this resin savings isn’t worth it for my application. Interesting idea though.
Maybe you could do another study where you immediately put it on your tilter for say 5 min, 10 min, etc. and compare it to letting it rest flat as it normally does. I assume you get most of the resin to drip off quickly and it slows down over time so there could be a time that gives you the most bang for you buck.
Also, they have a basket that goes into the Formwash so you can pop off individual parts rather than submerge the build plate. The submerging thing is there mainly for automation and simplicity. Form Wash - Build Platform Submerge
Man the idea is good but please do not fool us with your calculation / weighing. 12,5ml is a block 5cmx5cm 0.5cm tall. These few drops will make 1 to 2 ml.
Also, the wash station comes with a wire basket, if you want to remove the parts from the build plate and just wash the parts, so you can scrape the build plate into the tank, or whatever you like. This holder could still help for faster dripping-off of resin on a complex set of parts on the build plate.
LOL, It all depends on the geometry / orientation of the part you are printing. If the part oriented not parallel to the platform and the geometry is basic, the resin will drip off it eventually back to the tank and you can scrape the platform from the resin leftovers. If geometry is complex and the part is oriented with some surfaces parallel to the platform (see my example) it does help. It is up to you either to use it or not. I am not trying to fool you, my gosh… If you print a block, of course, there is nowhere for the resin to stay.
very nice, thank you for sharing.
Wow, why are people so critical of an idea?
Thanks for sharing your idea with us Konstantin! I love these little hacks - how meta! Making an improvement with the tool that it is for. Keep the ideas flowing - don’t be discouraged!
Just came by to say thank you for the nice words.
I use Form Wash now and this thing is very useful especially when you can’t clean the resin from the platform between parts. It takes time though for the resin to drip. 1 hour is the minimum.
Unfortunately, when parts are placed in the wire basket, during the washing process they bump with each other and basket walls , making scratches and dings in each other, especially if they have sharp edges. For rough, functional parts it doesn’t matter but for delicate parts where preserving a surface smoothness is important I would not do that.