PDMS layer life time?


I’ve been having bad surface finish on my prints and I suspect that the pdms layer is reaching the end of it’s life
What are usually the symptoms to this?

With the tank empty and clean, looking through the bottom, you’ll see the PDMS has turned translucent in areas corresponding to where parts were located, aka ‘ghosting’. This ghosting will reduce laser effectiveness. Try printing the same part at a different, non-ghosted location on the PDMS to see if the finish improves.

Well, I’ve followed Mongerdesigns procedue to clean the tank and currently, the ghosting present is very heavy in one area and very light on most of the tray.

either get a new tray, get some sylgard 184 (pretty sure that’s the model number) and recoat, or try to place parts in the clearest areas.

did a print in a clearer spot work better for you?


Currently I’m trying with a new tray. I’ve been thinking about getting some sylgard, but I’m not sure if I can get it in europe.
I’ll be running some more tests later

Apparently this is the same stuff as sylgard.

Ignore the produce image, it’s incorrect. It comes in a sealed foil bag. Have a bag sitting on the shelf but only two of my tanks need their bottoms replaced so I’m just waiting on a third clouding up before opening it up.

Dear Joao_David,
I guess you have the laser malfunction as I do. Please do the laser test with the following link: You will find that whether the laser or silicon problem.

MAC User, inside Terminal:
…//Applications/PreForm.app/Contents/MacOS/PreForm.exe -diagnostic
Window 8 User inside command line:
C:\Program Files(x86)\Formlabs\PreForm\PreForm.exe -diagnostic

Once the PreForm is opened, you will find a new menu titled with “Diagnostic” on top right. Click on it. You will get it.

After a long back and forth between me and support, the issue was with dirty galvo mirrors and small mirror, not the laser. Besides, I don’t know how a healthy laser looks like but I tested mine and it seems to flare like hell, but I guess that’s a thing with our vision and the spread of light through the paper, but I digress. And trying to phtograph it in a half decent way is next to impossible since it plays all kind of tricks with the camera’s lenses and sensors

Be careful immediately jumping to laser issues. Yes there are people that have had legitimate issues but the vast majority of failures simply come down to proper care and maintenance. Making sure the mirrors are clean, properly mixing resin that is sitting in the tank prior to printing, Shaking resin before adding more, etc. Remember despite the user friendly kickstarter video, SLA printers are complicated machines. Jeez I sound like I work for Formlabs :stuck_out_tongue:

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