Printer problems

My first post here. I submitted a ticket to support from the formlabs web site on Sunday Oct 23. What is the common practice for responding to support tickets? I sent pics and described my issues with more than enough information. Ive been chasing problems through process of elimination. Any ideas on getting these folks to respond?
Thank you in advance

The amount of time that has passed is a bit long for them. Did you get an email confirmation of your ticket? Or can you check in your account information for open tickets? If you didn’t get the email and there is no ticket, chances are that the ticket didn’t go through. It seems to be a glitch that has happened to me once or twice over the years.

If you post up your issues and pics here, perhaps the community can help while you wait.

Several different problems. My form1 is about 10 months old. It has run flawlessly until here recently. I ordered new white resin on Sept 18. I spent the next several days printing and reprinting, and cleaning. Trouble with sticking to my tank. after almost a full container and not 1 successful print. I noticed it seemed thicker/chunkier than normal. I ordered a new tank/new white on Oct30. I started fresh with new tank, new build platform, and new white resin. First print nothing stuck to build platform. I cleaned. Second same results. Third I switched back to old build platform and a little bit of my design printed, some stuck to tank, and some didnt stick. I recleaned everything, and strained my tank again. I tried to print the butterflies 4 times and nothing worked well. My final print actually stayed on the build platform except the center butterfly. Ive spent lots of money expediting orders and materials with very little success. Needless to say here I am on 10/25 resubmitting a service ticket since the one I placed on 10/23 didnt register. Help I have lots of printing to do and a useless printer at this point. Thank you Rob

Some assumptions,
You have a Form 1+ as it is 10 months old and I assume you purchased the machine new from FL.
You are using the latest version of PreForm 2.8.0
The white resin is V2.
Your Z adjustments are at 0.0
For the butterflies that did stick, it looks like 3 of the 4 that I can see printed well. Is this accurate? What is wrong with the left rear one in your picture? Do any of the butterflies have ragging or rashing?
When you cleaned your mirrors, did you use IPA and did you do all 4? Your main mirror and the first mirror as well as the galvo mirrors? Being your printer is 10 months old, I would be sure to have FL send you the documents and blessing for cleaning the galvo mirrors and the block mirror. You don’t want to accidentally break something without having FL know your are in there.
If the butterflies printed well, your mirrors may be clean and you just need to nudge your build platform into your vat a smidge.

I have noticed that different vat / build platform combinations need slight nudging either raising or lowering for optimal raft generation and adhesion. In the past, I have had problems with adding / straining resin and re-using it. If you never dumped the resin after multiple failures and just kept topping off the resin in your vat, you may have been contributing to the failures. I have learned to remove the resin when I have had multiple failures and use new resin. It has helped me in the past. You can keep the resin you removed and use it sparingly to put enough resin in a vat for a print to finish. Just remember that if you start having failures again to remove what is in the vat and add new resin.

David I stopped that print in the photo. The 4 might have printed just fine. Im going to send the butterflys over again after adjustments and see what happens. I have totally drained and refilled my tank a few times during my battle. I cleaned the main mirror and the one towards the rear of machine. I havent dismantled anything on this machine. My nature is to take it apart and see whats going on. The logical side of me is waiting to hear from people that know what they are doing. current version as well. This rev seems to be printing slower on prints that have been successful in the past. Just trying to give as much info as I can to get this problem resolved. Thank you for your assistance to this point DR.

Please verify how to adjust optimal raft generation and adhesion as well. Raise and lower. I think I understand but dont see those exact options in my menu. Sorry to be a pain just trying to learn. Thanks again

The Form1 printer (or the +) has an Achilles Heel, the optics deck is exposed to the ambient environment. The mirrors will all haze with time. They will all haze at pretty much the same rate. Cleaning the primary works maybe once or twice, depending on the environmental factors at play. But at some point you are almost guaranteed to need to disassemble and clean the Galvo mirrors.

Your problem is almost certainly dirty mirrors. And if you’ve cleaned the primary mirror (beneath the resin tank) without using the FL approved “Pec Pads”, or if you’ve cleaned that mirror multiple times, you may have ruined it. It’s not a normal mirror. The reflective coating is on the face of the glass plate, not the back like a typical mirror. It doesn’t take much pressure or abrasion to scratch or remove the reflective Aluminum coating. For example, a paper towel will destroy the mirror.

Also, I’m not sure what “towards the rear of the machine” mirror you cleaned. Near as I recall from when I took my Form1+ apart to clean all the mirrors, there is one large primary mirror below the resin tank and two small mirrors one on each of the X and Y Galvanometers, neither of which can be reached without removing the case… Beam path is laser to Galvo 1 to Galvo 2 to primary mirror to resin tank bottom.

I guess I should add, I had to clean my Form1+ after about 6 months. It went from working great to not working at all literally partway through a print. Night and day change. But, I am ashamed to admit, my printer is in the same room where I smoke cigars (consider a “man cave” if you like). After cleaning it, I made a cover, and while I haven’t used it as much since I got my Form2, it still works great at more than 6 months past the cleaning.

I used pec pads only and 91% isp. Thje smaller mirror in the back is aft of the jack screw that raises the build platform.

No smoking and a clean environment.

Hmmmm. I simply do not remember that. Must have been there when I took mine apart I guess, and if it was there, I cleaned it…

But in all probability you do need to get at the Galvo mirrors next and for that you need instructions from FL, which they’ll send you at some point I am sure. Cleaning my main mirror didn’t fix my printer. Cleaning the Galvos did.

right on. Thanks for the advise Randy

Here is a link to the fine tuning instructions:

Being that you did not take the printer apart, you will want to get the directions from FL to properly clean the galvos and the mirror on the block. I know that I can not properly clean and inspect it without removing the block from the printer.

@Randy_Cohen, there is a small mirror on the aluminum block. The path is laser to galvo 1 to galvo 2 to first mirror to main mirror. You are correct, The mirrors in the back can not be properly cleaned while the block is in the printer.

While you wait for the go ahead to clean those mirrors, give the Z axis a nudge and see if you can at lest get all 5 butterflies to generate the raft. If you do get all 5, let the print finish and clean them up to check out the surface. Post up some pics so we can take a look.

I’m on it DR. Thanks

Well I nudged it to 2.0 and it was not so good. Stopped print

Trying clear back at 0 height

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