Printing big areas on 25 microns problems

Hi all

I have a hard problem when i print more than one object at a time.
I am in conversations the support, but they sais to me that the printer cant print this.

I copy here the explanation and photos that i send to suppror and the replys ( its hard to write another time)

I want to say that i am very happy with the printer and his resolution:
I show you my works here:
My hobby little prints

The problems:

I did 4 duplicates and went very badly, with very many stripes, then did another print with 1 single radio and went perfect. I returned to print 4 and very bad (i generate another archive).

I think that problem may be a bug in the software, I cleaned the mirror with compressed air and came out the same, the 1 good, 4 bad.

I have spent a lot of resin making these tests and do not want to keep doing it until you tell me that you can try. I make also a testo on 50 microns, and was wood, ( this resolution for my work has too many stripes, but i want to test it too )

I put some pictures of the results.

This is that i have print:

Detail: (macro photos)

1 radio at 25 ( its perfect ) (this is done after the bad print of 4 radios - no printer problem)

1 radio at 50 Its quite good, not for my, ( but perfect )

4 radios at 25 … Terrible bad

The layout:

The suport reply to my:

I finished talking with our engineering team. They determined that the layer lines that you’re seeing in the sets of 4 prints are due to the increased peel forces that come with printing parts with such large layer areas. They suggested that you orient your parts more vertically to reduce the area of each layer. If you edit rafts of parts in an STL editor, you may be able to try printing the 4 sets of parts stacked vertically with internal supports between them. This technique comes with the risk of more failures and more touch points. Another option may be to increase your printing capacity with another printer.

And my reply to this:

I took 2 or 3 days thinking about the big issue this is.

The specifications of the printer, says that the volume of work is 12.5 x 12.5 x 16.5 and printing resolutions are 100, 50 and 25 microns.

At no site on your web or publicity says that if you print at 25 microns can only use 1/4 of the workspace or less. and if used, the resolution of the printer remarkably low. even worse than if printed at 100 micron laser problems.

And if I want to make an object that is larger than the phones I’ve done, for example, with a volume 100 ML and 8x8x8 size at 25 microns … leave me with the resolution specifies the printer?

In many of my future projects, there are quite larger objects than phones that can be like radios or heads and other stuff.

It is not software problem and their way of creating duplicates? If I print one phone to 25 microns, does it well. If I print it prints 2 appears as if it had put 50 micron resolution, and if I print 4, the resolution is worse than 100 microns.

The soluction to put 4 sets of parts stacked vertically, it not a solution, because that will damage the quality of the end result of my work because the marks of suports, and are designed so that these marks are in areas that are glued together and not be see in the final result.

If so, then the specifications that are selling your printer are false. that does not meet what you specify.

I can not do many tests, and fewer large objects that the resin is very expensive and I do not have time either.

Do not know what else to say, just that I will discuss this problem in your forum to see if there are any more users you have noticed this problem.

Please, I need a solution. Do not just say that the printer can not do that in their advertising says yes. My production has down less to the half for this problem with lots of wasted time ( 30 min per clean ) and resin. (Prints every time there spending resin to be cleaned with alcohol)

Now, can anybody help me or said me if have the same problem?

… and sorry for my indian English… :frowning:
Jose Ignacio

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Hi Jose. There are indeed limits. Printing too much surface area at once is one of them. It sounds like your best solution will be to print fewer at a time. The printer can print across the whole build area quite nice as long as it’s not all at once. For example, you could print something large if you place it diagonally. It’s not a software issue for sure, there’s just a learning curve. I agree with support except for your one image that is below the text “4 radios at 25 … Terrible bad”. That image makes me thing the resin was not mixed thoroughly before the print because the curing looks uneven. Again, I am sure software did not cause that issue either. Best of luck, and check out this forum for lots of good info on the printer’s limits.

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Thanks JoshK

The resin i think that is good mixed, i am make the same test 2 times with 4 radios and the result are the same bad, and in all of prints that i made there is no problem with the mix. The first 2 photos at 25 microns ( the ok`s ones) are printed after the 4 radios bad printed and with the same resin not wasted.

Its courious, if I print 2 radios at same time, the printer prints like if i put 50 microns of resolution.

Otherwise, i print 50x emblems, that have a lot of surface and this ones prints perfectly.

This ones:

Of course i dont said that the sofware has an error… I only wondered if it could be a software bug

Thanks :wink:

Can you show us a screenshot of the entire build platform at a layer that intersects the items in the picture “4 radios at 25 … Terrible bad” please? The slider control is on the right side of the screen.

Yes, I know…

I put you 5 sections of the model with the number layer too.

are OK?

Only one thing, the suports also has a lot of bad lines

From the surface area in layer 814 I would probably decide to only print 2 phones at a time maximum (instead of 4). But that’s just my opinion.

You will get noticeably better results if you hollow out the bodies of the phones.

The problem is that for any layer the more surface area it has the more it grips the PDMS layer, so when the peel process takes place the print pulls the tray up and moves it around. In the future this could be improved with different resin formulations that don’t grip as badly or changes to the PDMS layer such as using a different material or doping the material they do use so that cured resin won’t grip it as badly. Another thing that might help is a slower peel process but Formlabs gives no control over that.


Psst, dude, I’ve been doping on this, it’s good shit man… “Price Driscoll’s Ultra 4 Urathane Parafilm” haha

It’s like aerosol-ized Vaseline. A few months ago my printer finally came back from repair again and I discovered the silicone on the bottom of my tank appeared to have dried out. It was like one of my silicone molds when it ages, it got dry and rough. So I had some of that stuff to rejuvenate my silicone molds and I figured I had nothing to lose. I splashed some IPA in the tank and used the scraper to scrub it clean. (I know that made it drier, but who cares at this point.) Then I cleaned it up and dried it out. Then I lubricated it with a healthy blast of the spray. It made the PDMS look hazy so I rubbed it with my finger to get a glossy texture. I tested it by gliding my scraper over it and it really glided much better. After a few days it was super slick just like new silicone. I am still using that tank today.
But most tanks die from clouding, and you can’t reverse that.

Where did you see this? I want to learn to interpret the layers.

Which is the maximum total area that is advisable to print?

There is any video or Doc to see this process, i dont see it very clear

I dont understand your process to keep the tank ok more time

If your referring to the peel process, that is just what happens any time a layer is done printing. During this process the printer pulls the tray down on one side and then raises it back up again. After it finishes it prints the next layer and repeats the process till the print is done.

If instead of lowering smoothly the tray stays in place for a bit and then pops off the print then you know the print is gripping the PDMS. The bigger the pop on each layer the lower quality your print will come out.

If you look at the picture of layer 814 you can see on each of the large parts there is a large light blue area. Those big unbroken areas grip particularly strongly.

Another thing that helps decrease the amount a part grips the PDMS is if you make sure to use the spatula to move the resin around before the print. You want to do this enough so the PDMS layer is exposed to open air. This won’t fix the problem but it will help some.

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Hi Jose,
Rocus explained it very well, I totally agree. And don’t worry about my post about spraying tanks, that was an unrelated story I was sharing with Rocus.

Rocus has a really great input here. Hollowing out your models with a 2-3 mm wall thickness will reduce the peel forces and improve surface finish.

25 micron layers are really good for high detail and small parts like jewelry - it might improve print quality to separate out your detail components (like the buttons and knobs) for printing at 25 microns and print the body of the phone at a faster setting, which will incidentally save wear and tear on your tank.

Thanks a lot for you explanations… JoshK, Rocus and WillWalker.

I’m starting to understand a little as the printer works, still, I think this issue would have to say in the specifications of the printer why not say it is not telling the whole truth about how the printer prints at 25 microns.

Next time I’ll make hollow objects, to see how it behaves with less surface to be printed. (I thought it was just for resin spending not for that much area to print broke down the final definition of the object by the way that has this printer to work.)

Wilwalker, the 50 microns resolution its not good for my, my objects need to have the most smoth finish in hole object, because we make all photos very near… like this

And 50 microns has a little strips that peope show… and its no good

Your welcome. Also, a lot of us sand our prints to get better surfaces. I know that is difficult for things with lots of detail like yours.

Thanks JoshK

I’ll post my results here will also serve to everyone.

nice work. Its just a learning curve with any printer. But let me say your works is nice.
So what is the problem with the 25 microns? does the printer not print at 25 microns?

Thanks Cesar

Yes, the printer works perfectly, and the resolution on 25 microns settings are awasome, you can see the last image, the problem its that if i want to print telephonesobjects at a time, the print its very degraded. This is because there are much surface to print for 25 microns and the prints grip. I try to make hollow objects to try to print only the walls and reduce this way the surface to print in each layer.

Look this image of an emblem that i made for 1/6 scale Spanish soldiers from Blue Division, its only 10mm hight

and a reference:

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One thing oft overlooked is the build platform(BP) and its effect on printing. Before starting a print I like to check the build platform to make sure it is secured tightly to the carriage. Easy way to check is to just grab the top of the BP and try and rock it back and forth.

If it is loose, there should be a small set screw located near the base of the handle. Tighten the set screw in half turn increments and then check it again on the carriage. Repeat until there is no play between the BP and carriage.

If the BP is slightly loose it can shift during the peel cycle and cause offsets/striations in the print. It is rarely ever a primary problem and I doubt in this case it will allow you to print full platform print, but it is something worth checking.


Hi Clark

It is a very interesting tip and I’ll have in mind and I will check.

Thanks a lot

If I may chime in here…

Looking at the way your parts are oriented, it appears that your exporting all your components as one STL file. I’d suggest that you export each component and then import that into the software one at a time, then allow the software to auto orient and support each part, and edit if necessary.

I have yet to print at 0.025, despite having small details on most of my prints. besides, I would rather so 3 prints with preforms layout than one packed print - only to find errors on my objects.

I did contact support about surface finish once, and their suggestion was to consider the resin flow between each layer - if there is too much happening per layer, resin can get trapped, or not reach areas in the layers at all - resulting in the surface finish you are seeing.

hope that helps.

Also, I was curious about applying a release agent on my PDMS layer - might do that if you think it adds life for you without compromising anything, also, my build platform is wobbly as hell, but no really bad prints yet!