Resin cartridge empty?

I do not understand this. The two empty tanks add 1.3 liters of use. Although there are 250 milliliters left in the tank, the second of the tanks should not appear empty, don’t you think?


There is still resin in the tank? How much approximately you got left in the second one?

Dunno how much i have left in the second cartridge, it does not say in dashboard, it just adds the amount used in both cartridges to dashboard.

Yeah, i have like 250ml left in the tank

The machine counts the volume of resin in the prints and support structures… it does not count how much liquid resin is dripping off the platform and prints, that ultimately is wasted.
Each time you run a print, the amount wasted is about the same- so if in running 1.3 liters, you ran 12 prints…
you can expect to have lost more resin than if the same amount was run in only 6 prints.

however- I have also had the dashboard show a cartridge empty when it it still had 50 ml or more resin still in it.
If you try pouring the resin out of the two cartidges you might find it has quite a bit in there.

The best thing to do is just put the cartridge on a scale. When the weight goes down to 330 grams it is just about empty.

Well said @Sculptingman, @eaelec.

Keep in mind that the resin count is not a rocket science as you don’t have a volume gauge inside the cartridge, it is an estimation. As you got left about 250 ml in the tank, the wasted resin due to cleaning and wiping is reasonable.

If you want to have less wasted materials, you can use the shovel and return some of the resin left on the build platform before you remove the parts. Don’t return resin after removing the parts as it might content small cured materials that left over the build platform. It will ruin your future printing.

Good luck!

I should add that when you have two cartridges showing that low- try pouring the remainder from the older cartridge into the newer.

As easlec points out, Genuinely empty cartridges usually weigh 330 or under. So if you weigh the combined resin in one cartridge, anything over 330 is a pretty good estimate of how many milliliters you have in the cartridge. ( the specific gravity of various resins vary…but are generally a little higher than 1- for an accurate number look up the specific gravity of the resin you are using… and divide the amount of resin in grams by that number if it is greater than 1.- e.g. if you weigh the cartridge and its 450g- you subtract the 330 weight of the empty cartridge and it says you have 120 grams of resin in there-
If the specific gravity of the resin is 1.16 you divide 120 by 1.16 and that tells you you have 103 ml of resin left.)

I think it doesnt make a lot of sense. If i have two empty cartridges and a resin tank with 250ml left, and the consumption marked in dashboard is 1.3ml, i should guess that i have wasted 400 ml of resin ? its a lot.

Also, if you can estimate an approach of how much resin you waste every print, Why does the dashboard say nothing about it ? And the most important thing, if the dashboard calculates how much resin is left in the CARTRIDGE by the sum of the prints made, and at the same time ignores how much resin is wasted, it should show that each cartridge has like 200ml left on it.
It doesn’t make much sense either, unless the printer has a cartridge weighing system and that’s why they say they are empty

You are right, its not fit that way.

The only thing I can think of is that it is taking in account the resin used to fill the tank, about 200ml. So if its taking 200 off each cartridge (400 total) plus the 250 left in the cartridge and the 1.3 mentioned, you are around 1.95 so its fit if your looking on the dashboard only.

I agree it is very far from optimistic.

Why your not just pulling the cartridge and estimate how much you got? Its just easyer then trying to estimate it through the dashboard. Keep in mind that dashboard wants to give you a heads up to order new resin so you wont be stuck without material. Been more conservative about the amount of resin left is an option, might not be the perfect choice but it is a choice.

By the way, are you sure you got 250 ml left? It might be more and then the previous calc is corrcect. Can you weight it maybe?

I weighted both cartridges. The first one says 326 grs, the second one 485 grs. So i guess i have 150 ml in the second tank remaining. 1300 + 150 + 250ml its 1700 ml. so i wasted 300 ml ? i still dont understand, 300 ml of waste is a lot and i still dont recognize why dashboard says tank is empty. it should show half a tank as formlabs dashboard does not count wasting.

Im afraid that if the tank appears empty but it has 150 ml it wont let me run my prints because it thinks tank is empty and wont refill

A filled tank is 250ml, right? its filled up the black arrow.

Just because it shows a red mark on the cartridge does not mean it thinks the cartridge is empty…
Dashboard and the printer issue a warning when the cartridge gets LOW- this is just an estimate based on how much you have printed… it is not even guessing at how much was been wasted. It just knows how much has been dispensed from each cartridge- based upon the resin sensor, and the volume of prints you have run.
The Resin sensor is the key component- because it adds resin until it reaches the top line. It knows how much resin it takes to get the tank that full, so it knows how much resin has been dispensed. Because waste takes resin out of the tank- it causes resin to be dispensed…

It will tell you resin is getting low- and ask if you want to continue the print or abort.
If you are printing something large, this is just an opportunity for you to swap out the cartridge for one with more in it. But if you know you have enough resin in the cartridge to complete the print, you just hit continue and it will keep dispensing resin.
I run into this frequently, because if I have a cartridge that has under 200 ml in it- I will often add that resin to another cartridge just to keep the print running. The dashboard and printer can not know I added resin… they keep warning me the cartridge is low- and I hit continue… knowing how much is in there, really.

The printer can tell when the cartridge is empty when it tries to dispense resin, and the level in the tray does not change.

The pisser is that when it can’t detect any resin dispensing, it will pause the print, even when you have enough in the tray to complete the print… if you don’t have another cartridge you can slide in, you either abort the print- or leave the print paused until you can get a cartridge… which leaves a line.

So if i refill the cartridge with 1L of applylabwork resin it will keep dispensing resin even it says its low ?

Not a good idea- you will void your warrantee if you put third party resin in the cartridge.
Moreover- one of the reasons the cartridges are chipped is so that the printer, and preform can know what specific resin you have in your printer.
Different resins have different viscosities, different specific gravities and interact with the resin sensor in different ways.

Preform creates entirely different support structures based upon which resin you are printing- and the printer sets exposure and dispensing parameters based on which specific resin is in the machine.

While you can run 3rd party resins in Open mode- open mode disables resin sensing and dispensing, and the wiper arm…so you add resin by hand as needed, because Formlabs can not begin to guess the properties of the 3rd party resins you might use.

For example- if the 3rd party resin you put in the cartridge is much less viscous than the original resin, the printer might expect to have to hold the bite valve open for 25 seconds to dispense a given volume of that cartridge’s original resin, but in that time
your 3rd party resin might flow so fast as to over fill the tray.

Or- suppose the resin sensor can not sense your 3rd party resin correctly, and as a result, it allows the level in the tray to be too low- or worse, too high- sloshing over the edges of the tray with each swipe of the wiper arm?

That said- I am sure that folks way past their warrantee must have tried it… it might work but, then again, most of the time russian roulette is survivable.

Either way- every cartridge also has an “expired” date- I’ve run as much as 2 liters of resin thru one cartridge… ( because I had a cartridge without a chip, so I poured the resin into the replacement cartridge as I used up its resin )
But after 2 liters the cartridge was “expired” and wouldn’t work.

Ok, this is a different story now using replacements.

You can purchase empty used tank from this community if you need a chip only.

Mainly, empty cartridge allow you to continue printing, unless it is so old that it is not supported anymore and there fore is rejected.

The applylabwork example was just something i said to understand how it works. I could say "If i fill it with water, would it still dispense fluid even though it thinks the consumption is over 1L?

it will tell you you are low and give you the option to continue or abort…

But it does not determine that a cartridge is “empty” until it opens the bite valve and the level in the tank does not change.

eaelec said it best: Once the Dashboard says you are low on resin, measure the cartridge with a digital kitchen scale like the one referenced above. I print dental arches, and each averages 20 grams. Being conservative, I consider an empty cartridge as weighing 350 grams. If I am printing 6 arches, I know I need the scale to say 470 grams or higher. If there is less than that, I insert a new cartridge.
But I don’t waste any resin. I hold on to the cartridge that was just removed, and when the new cartidge is halfway or so empty, I funnel the remains of the previous cartridge into the current cartridge. Then start weighing it as I’m approaching empty again. Very simple routine.
The only hassle is getting a pause in the start of the print job because a Resin Low warning screen pops up asking to Abort or Continue. Easy enough to push Continue when you know you have enough resin to do the job, but sometimes the warning screen doesn’t pop up for 5 minutes after starting the print. This is annoying, and I wish there was a way to disable the warning screen.

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