Please consider including a filtered fan to provide positive air pressure to the Form 2 (1++?) in order to keep dust out of the housing.
Ideally, the fan and filter should be robust to be left on indefinitely without the machine as a whole powered up. If that level of quality is not feasible, then just something that can be turned on when the printer is in active use would be helpful.
From a user perspective, this feature would quickly pay for itself if it meaningfully reduced the number of failed prints and/or the amount of time spent on cleaning the various mirrors.
I have lots of fans and filters on my PC case, yet dust still gets in.
The use of continuous low-level positive air pressure is a well-known technique for addressing this type of issue. You won’t find that type of equipment on a PC, which is consumer oriented, but you will find it on an industrial-grade glovebox for working in dust/germ-controlled environments.
The quality of the filter and fan are important and should be industrial grade, but nevertheless are relatively inexpensive components. The overall design of the housing should also reduce the points of ingress for dust while also channeling the flow of air to the various points of egress. Both of the latter are just mechanical-design issues that require some forethought and (hopefully) experience with modeling airflows.
As far as I can tell, this approach is likely the best means of reducing the presence of dust inside the Form 1+ without incurring additional Fresnel loss or diffusion. The drawback is that approach will works best when the fan is on continuously. Might be simpler for some just to buy or build a basic glovebox. Either way should reduce the presence of dust though.
I have “fresh eyes” having received the Form 1+ fairly recently, and want to chip in my two cents before time and other work crowds out these quick thoughts and suggestions.
I have been meaning to suggest this for a while because I keep having to clean dust off of my main mirror and had to clean the galovotometer mirrors once as well which made me pretty nervous. For what ever reason my apartment is always dusty and I have setup my desktops to have positive air flow and like you say as long as it’s setup correctly and you have a good filter it keeps the insides pretty dust free.
I would still love to see all of the mirror systems in the form1 with some kind of cover to keep any resin spills from wrecking the important bits.
If you really want to get fancy the coal mining people use filters made of goretex fibers to block dust from touching their fans. Expensive but really good. On the other side I have a +60 year old Tektronix curve tracer that uses an oil coated grate on it’s fan that you just wash and re-oil periodically to do the same thing.
I have to wonder how much of the dust is from the assembly process and how much is from usage (like the resin tray being slid in and out).
I keep my Form1+ covered with a Glad tall kitchen garbage bag at all times when the lid is not open - even while printing. It fits over the Form1+ perfectly (but does look a bit ghetto chic :), and you can still read the LED panel through the white bag.
Dust has not been an issue for me at all, and my shop is pretty dusty as I cut off my supports with a dremel-like tool and a circular razor saw bit, then finish the nubs down with a helical bur bit, both of which produce a fair amount of plastic dust.
I made a dustcover using some painting tarp material I bought at the local Home Depot. Wrapped it around the Form1 and folded in the top end like I was wrapping a gift box, left the bottom end open. Held it all together with good old fashioned duct tape. Holds the shape of the printer when removed, fits like a glove when installed. Leave it on the printer except when I need to actually get in to the printer. Even when printing. A few dollars worth of stuff and 5 minutes effort with the tape and a pair of scissors.
Man, our Form1+'s are going to have a market value of less than 1K when the next best thing comes out in the same $3K price range that fixes all these quality issues. Dust nightmares, laser nightmares, etc.
Good point about that resin tray. Mine tend to kick up a bunch of loose plastic whenever slide into place. I also find it frustrating that the supports were added along the interior of the perimeter wall, rather than the exterior. The latter really makes maintenance much harder than it needs to be.
The positive thing to do would be to note the many opportunities for improvement! Thanks for your note.
Thanks for this suggestion. I’m trying it tonight in fact.
On a related note, may I ask how much of an improvement you found the dremel-like tool over an exacto-type blade? Is it faster, better quality, easier on the wrist for complex pieces? I have been thinking of getting one.
I said ‘Dremel’ as one might say ‘Coke’, in the sense that it’s a rotary tool with a chuck and also collets. Mine also has a 30" power takeoff flex-shaft, so it’s lighter and easier to use than holding the motor. I did a lot of research, and settled on Proxxon, as opposed to Dremel. They have an interesting product line, and their stuff is pretty well built. At least better than Dremel.
I have these tools and accessories:
I generally cure the part with the supports attached, then carefully cut the supports off very carefully, and I mean insanely carefully, (did I mention carefully?) with this http://www.widgetsupply.com/product/BLW86.html then clean up the nubs with this http://www.widgetsupply.com/product/BLW29.html
The saw will heat the plastic and make it sticky pretty quickly, which will make it grab the blade. It can really get away from you if you’re not careful. That blade will take off your finger with a ‘ziing’ before you can say WTF!? So the best way I’ve found in it’s use is to dip the blade into the plastic smoothly, cut in just a bit, then pull it out let it cool a sec, then repeat, until you’ve cut all the way through. Works very well for me.
Thanks for the very detailed response. I think that I’ll pick one up with the stand too. If I can save a few minutes on cleaning each piece it will be worth it. Too inattentive to risk getting a saw blade though. I’ll still keep using the shear-edged snips for the supports.
Dust is a bear, and get into absolutely everything. These are some really great recommendations how to keep dust out of the Form 1
A couple of thoughts for a future generation of the Form 1:
-What about taking a play from the digital camera play book and use ultrasonics on the mirrors, similar to what the camera guys are putting on their sensors?
-Perhaps an anti-static coating on the mirrors to help mitigate the collection in the first place? Possibly even in addition to the ultrasonics.
Damn good suggestions. Really.
Kudos also to ChristopherBarr for suggesting the “Glad” method. I’ve been using it and it does indeed cuts down the amount of ambient dust entering the FL1+. At one point I had considered picking up a glove box; the Glad-method is much more sensible.