Print on build platform issues

Hey all,

Been having some serious issues when trying to print a part using the “On Build Platform” feature. I have attempted to print using the standard raft but the shape is a bit awkward and seems like it be would be ideal for this new setting.

Alas, it has failed every time, and is sticking layers to cartridge, less than 20 layers in.

This is not the first time this happened to our prints, in fact every time we have used the setting the print has failed almost instantly.

We use rigid resin and an LT tank, using default settings and changing the settings doesn’t help.

Here is a google drive link to the files if you want to take a look.

I’ve had one cartridge fail on me already, and we are 3 days delayed in this project so far cause we can’t get the damn print to work.

Anyone have any advice when printing with this setting?? I’m utterly lost at this point as to what to do. The raft print as mentioned that we tried really struggled with the last 3rd of the print

Hi alexm,

Could you clarify: Does it only fail when you print direct on the base, and does the same part succeed when you print it normally on a raft with supports? From your post it sounds like the latter succeeds up to about the last 3rd of the print. What’s the struggle you encountered at that point? Did you orient the part identically in both tests (i.e. straight up and down)?

What sticks and what doesn’t? Do the first 20 or so layers adhere to the build platform, then nothing after that? Do the mini-rafts adhere, and do any of the lattice posts rising up from them print? Do you wind up with a silhouette or a pancake stuck to the LT tank? (I assume when you said “sticking layers to the cartridge” you meant something like that?) Any of the other symptoms described here (e.g. delamination)?

I’m trying to determine if you have a general issue impeding build platform adhesion (often caused by dust on the optics), or if there’s something specific to this part. Have you tried printing any other parts directly on the base? (You could try this graduated cubes test, it should complete pretty quickly). What about any other resins?

I agree the shape looks well-suited for direct-on-base printing (especially if you can tolerate some dimensional inaccuracy from compression on the end that touches the platform). The channels along the sides should act as “vents” to prevent any cupping issues.

Inspect the bottom of your tank for dust, clouding or damage. If there’s any wear, try moving the model to an area that’s still clean. Inspect the glass optical window of your printer for any dust and look through it toward the main mirror in the chamber to see if you notice any contamination.

You may also want to filter your resin if it has any chunks in it from previous failed attempts.

If the optics are clean, try adjusting your Z-Compression. Often times I’ve found moving the platform lower by a couple notches solves adhesion issues. Since you’re in a hurry, this might be worth a shot on your next attempt. At worst the print will just be a little more squashed at the bottom, and harder to remove. You can also take one of the prints you did on a raft and measure the thickness of the raft. If it came out significantly thicker or thinner than the “Raft Thickness” setting you used in Preform, it could further indicate some Z fine-tuning is required.

One more thing. I noticed some possible minor weirdness going on in Layers 16 through 35 when you preview your way through the slicer. There appear to be blue laser paths overlapped with areas already laid down in orange “support” structure.

Usually that’s the sort of thing seen if there are issues in the STL file, but since it doesn’t occur when I slap your part down directly on the base with no support structure at all, I don’t have reason to suspect your file. I think the artifact is being introduced by the “Early Layer Merge” feature, and it might even be innocuous (I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the quirks of that feature). But you might try humoring me and regenerating the direct-on-base supports with “Early Layer Merge” set to 0. I think that should be OK for your geometry. Double-check whether you wind up with any new red zones on that first chamfer, in which case you can add a few smaller touchpoints like the one I put in here to eliminate them:

Keep in mind Rigid is a more challenging material than others.

Also those exterior fins get pretty thin where they contact the build platform, and might be prone to breakage when you try to remove the part. If you do get a successful print, I suggest using a razor scraper to carefully detach them. Doing so while the print is still warm and fresh might be easier than if it’s been caked on for a whole day. There are lots of other tricks on detaching stubborn prints if you search the forums (e.g. letting some alcohol soak the edges, applying some heat from a hairdryer, even putting the platform in the freezer, I’m told).

EDIT: One last thing I forgot to mention - if you keep having trouble, open a ticket with Support. If you’re on a deadline, might be an idea to get the ball rolling on that sooner rather than later.

Adjust your Z-fine tuning on your printer to get better adhesion to your build plate. If your layers are sticking to the tray and not the build plate … its your Z-fine tuning. This will bring your build plate closer to your tray. As far a adjusting the Z-compression within the software … that is mainly used to help adjust the parts Z dimension at the start of the print as there is compression going on at the first few layers that will affect the Z dimension of your parts features closest to the build plate.

Thanks for such an in depth response mate! :smiley:

To start this reply off, we have since attempted 2 other prints, your standard type setup using rafts. They are failing and we got an error message on the last failed attmept, error code 23. Quick research has come up with no responses by formlabs about what this means. We’ll likely be opening a support ticket for this as we’ve now wasted a lot of time and money on these failing prints.

Does it only fail when you print direct on the base, and does the same part succeed when you print it normally on a raft with supports?
It was “successful” when printing with rafts, but the last 20 or so layers began to break down. It wasn’t the nicest print with some issues, likely due to its odd geometry, hence why I wanted to try this method of printing.

While these artifacts you’re mentioning are odd, its failing before it even gets to them, less than 20 layers in. I stopped it at 17 layers in, but it likely failed way before then.
Here’s some images of the build platform and tank I took, I didn’t want to resize them so I’ve uploaded them to imgur. They’re also pretty crappy images, so apologies for that!

Prior to this, we did the print with rafts, I noticed that towards the end of the print the supports were getting thinner than usual, and so was the print. To the point where it was breaking down / not printing the last 10 or so layers. Going through the “Diagnosing Print Defects”, I can say that we are experiencing a few. Non-Adherence in our most recent case. Underdeveloped features on the print previous to the one mentioned in the above thread. and Raft silhouetting is also becoming more frequent.

Everything about this is odd, the build platform is new(ish), we replaced it around March this year and its seen less than 30 prints to date. The cartridge is new, and so was the tank. It was our last spare which has now been battered with prints sticking to it.

Where to go from here
First step, I’m going to thoroughly clean the glass under the tank and use a torch to inspect the inner glass and see if any dust build up is occurring.
I’m going to adjust the z axis in the settings and attempt to print again and see how it goes, because every print now is failing I won’t try the “print on build platform” just yet. I want to get back to successful printing first.

I’ll keep this thread updated as often as I can in an attempt to help others and also aid formlabs.

Ugh, how frustrating. Definitely open that support ticket. If you find out what Error Code 23 means, let us know (others have been wondering).

It sounds like something started going wrong with your printer toward the end of that previous print, and got worse from there. Until it’s sorted out you may want to use models with smaller footprints for testing, to make your tank last a little longer. Good luck and keep us posted.

Yea I saw that thread when I was searching for what error 23 meant… Annoying that there was no response about it. Usually manuals will list every error number and what it means for convenient troubleshooting. I guess coming from a car background and using obd readers/scanners. I expect everything to have that form of error code management. Makes troubleshooting so much easier!

So a little update on the situation.

I cleaned the glass thoroughly and cleaned the build platform thoroughly again. I changed to an old grey pro tank and cartridge, we stopped using it because the sides of the tank started peeling up, but the center was fine so I gave it a crack - worst that could have happened was a failed print in an already unused tank. The print was a success!! :tada::tada:

Seeing this, I took the rigid resin tank and got rid of the resin assuming it could be a bad batch with all sorts of particulates in it from failed prints. I cleaned the tank with paper towel and refilled it with rigid resin. We had a bottle that was nearly empty and no print would continue because it kept warning us that there may not be enough resin to complete a print. No point wasting it so it went into the tank. I’ve just put on the same print that was successful, except this time in rigid resin to see how it goes.

I will update you all in a couple hours and let you know of the state of the print!

We have success!!

Test print was a success with the cleaned tank and new resin! Now back to the original issue at hand - printing on the surface with no raft! :joy:

Any other tips for using this setting?


Been a couple days since the previous post. I am now back at work and have started a new print. This print has 3 parts all using the typical raft support structure. Assuming this goes well, I’ll move on to the “build on platform” model that failed previously. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan!

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Ladies and Gentleman we have a successful print!! :tada::tada::tada:
Perfect way to round off a working week!

The print went well overall, I have noticed a little deformation on the bottom of the print (circled on red), but its not too serious. The rest of the print is immaculate though!

I have been talking to a 3D printing design engineer at freedspace technologies (where we get out printing supplies from) and he has not been able to find what error 23 is unfortunately. Hopefully it doesn’t come up again - if it does I’ll open a support ticket and get it answered :slightly_smiling_face:

Would like to thank everyone who replied to this and that tried to help out! You’re all champions!


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