Last spring we had to close our Makerspaces at our university - Southwestern University - due to COVID-19 safety protocols. Both distancing and ventilation are not sufficient to provide a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff.
We have a Form 2 that has been sitting off and empty of resin for a little over a year and I’m searching for recommendations on steps or processes to bring the printer back on line. We also have resins in their cartridges - some have been opened and some not - that are stored in a dark cabinet along with their corresponding tanks with resin. A few times over this past year, the cartridges and tanks were shaken/stirred. We are hoping to begin working this summer to bring our Makerspaces back online for the Fall.
Thank you in advance for your recommendations and suggestions.
If you want an answer from FL, all the consumables have a shelf life that’s probably close to expired. The printer itself should be OK depending on the environment. Worst case, you’ll need to open it up to clean the mirrors. But the best thing to do is just give it a shot and see what happens. No one’s going to be able to give you any kind of guarantee regardless. Empirical testing will be required unless you just want to replace everything blindly.
@Randy_Cohen is right. But one thing I’d suggest is give all your cartridges a good shake (for > 10 minutes each) then set them down and let them settle for a while (e.g. 30 minutes) before using. I’ve gotten more than the 2 years shelf life out of some resins by doing that.
The resin that’s been sitting in the tanks will need to be gently but well-stirred too (again, I’d go with 10 minutes each) and inspected / tested (e.g. do a sample print) to see if still viable. I’ve noticed Black in particular goes all goopy if it’s been sitting for a few months and needs a good bit of stirring to become homogeneous again.
Also note the guidelines here and here:
The following Formlabs materials wear down standard resin tanks more quickly than standard resins:
Dental SG Resin
Denture Teeth Resin
Denture Base Resin
High Temp Resin
Avoid storing these resins for longer than one month in the tank to prevent resin leaks and subsequent damage.
The general guideline for LT tanks is three months (I’ve gone much, much longer without issue, but that’s for my own purposes, not not where I’m running a shop for others to use).