Print quality is slowly getting worse and worse (photos)

From left to right, we have a print we did about 2 weeks ago, one a week ago and then one from today. I’ve done other prints with other colours in separate tanks too.

I’ve checked the mirror and blown the dust off with compressed air so it looks fine. I’m using clear resin but still stir the basin before every print. We’ve been using the same bucket of IPA as the beginning, but following the same post production routine. Besides, the prints look like this before the IPA bath anyway.

Any suggestions for what could be wrong? I just want to go back to how they looked two weeks ago because thats what our clients are expecting from us!

I’m assuming Form1+?

Using compressed air can cause problems. There’s “propellant” in the air if you’re using the type that comes in a can. If it’s from a compressor, unless you’ve got a really good trap/filter, there’ll be oil from the compressor. You blow dust off, but coat the mirror in a thin film of oil.

My Form1+ prints started to degrade in a way similar to yours. There was no dust on the mirror. It looked fine. But there was a thin uniform film that had built up from whatever happened to be floating past it in the air. I followed FormLab’s instructions for cleaning the mirrors (the “Galvo” mirrors and the main mirror) and it completely corrected the problem.

Ask FormLabs support for help. It takes about an hour to take everything apart, clean, and to reassemble. It’s not very difficult, but you have to do it right. The Galvo “blocks” are very delicate. Which is why you need to as FL for the instructions.

Thanks for the reply!

Yes we are using the form 1+

We checked the big mirror and it definitely had some grease residue from the compressed air. We cleaned it as per formlabs instructions but the prints still failed.

Like I said, there are other mirrors besides the big primary mirror. You likely need to clean those “Galvo” mirrors, too. But the printer needs to be disassembled for that, and you need FormLabs to provide you with the instructions.

Also, the way you do the mirror cleaning is critical to not damaging the mirrors. Unlike most mirrors where the reflective surface is on the back of the glass, the mirrors in the Form1 printer have the reflective coating on the face of the mirror. It’s not a very thick coating and you can literally wipe it off the glass if you rub too hard or use the wrong cleaning materials.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.