Resin Cartridge Rubber Valve ended up in Tank during print


#1

Hi,

I came home to a print error yesterday, and the entire new resin cartridge emptied into the tank. Suffice to say, the wipers also had thrown a bunch of it over the edges and I had a real mess to clean up. Hopefully no real damage done. (we shall see!)

Anyway, after cleaning everything up, I found the problem I think. The rubber valve was floating around in the tank.

I’ve never seen that happen? Any ideas how this could have happened?

I’ve filed a support request, but since they’re closed until Tuesday now, I wanted to see if anyone has any advice so I can be reassured enough to start printing again.

Thanks.


#2

Worth mentioning, the new resin cartridge was bought over a year ago, and kept in the sealed bag, in a box. So while it is old, it hasn’t been used before. So the valve is still “new” and never used.

That said, it’s weird how it ended up in the tank…:-1:


#3

So I cleaned everything and installed a new resin cartridge, and am using that with the old (now cleaned) tank.

Started printing, and about an hour in it stopped with a ‘motor jammed ’ Error.

The wiper blade makes a loud noise across the tank. There doesn’t seem to be anything in the tank.

At this point, I’m not sure what to do. Besides replace the tank completely, but that’s a big waste of money. And I’m still not sure why this is all happening.


#4

Hey,

Sorry to hear you experianced such a thing.

About the valve failure, it might be a manufacturing failure, I’m sure the support will want this cartridge back for investigation. Also ask for a replacement cartridge as you paid for it and haven’t used it.

About the wiper, sometimes when there is no resin in the tank or the machine just filling the tank, there is not enough lubrication for the wiper. You can do a few things for it:

Remove the wiper and move it manually in the resin so it will be fully wet by the resin.

Or pour some resin in the middle slot of the wiper, sometimes the wiper is so sealed so no resin going between thw two edges and its making an unpleasant noises.

Keep us posted.


#5

Sorry to hear that.

My very first print with a Form 2 ended with a floating valve cap. I was fortunately babying the machine at the time, so I was able to stop things before things went critical.

Because of this experience, I always manually make sure that the bite valve can be opened with proper “pinching” pressure. Many times now, I’ve needed to manually open the bite valve’s slit with a knife before using a new cartridge. I’d recommend you and any user of new resin do something similar.

That plastic orange tab isn’t enough, but I suspect FormLab’s supply chain is too deep for a rememdy to show up any time soon.

I realize that you don’t have proof that this ciould have been due to the age of the cartridge, but I feel like the situation hasn’t really improved with newer cartridges. I’d like to see/hear about manufacturing improvements if they’ve been made, and would suggest you ask for the same if FormLabs blames the age of the cartridge.


#6

That has happened to some people before, but it’s not very common. Contact Formlabs about it and at the very least they can tell you how to properly clean the printer though it’s possible that some parts are ruined from the spill.

Also, even though a cartridge may be unused if it’s more than a year old then it’s expired and you’d likely have problems anyway.


#7

Actually, different resins have different recommended lifetimes: https://support.formlabs.com/s/article/Choosing-the-Right-Material?language=en_US#lifetime

OP didn’t mentioned the resin type they were using, so it’s still possible that the resin is(/was?) still good.


#8

Thanks for replying everyone.

It was a Grey v4 resin type. ordered in July last year. So I guess it’s 14 months old (from time of purchase). So technically shouldn’t’t be expired based on that article linked.

As for the wiper causing “motor jammed” errors. It’s happening now even with the tank full (at correct level). So, the noises it’s making isn’t just plastic scraping on dry plastic.

I have contacted support, and hopefully they’ll be in touch today.

Thanks for all your help here on the forum! :slight_smile:


#9

That really sucks. I Have had a valve not open and Formlabs replace the cartridge. Maybe when the orange tab was removed it dislodged the valve and it got caught while inserting. Thank you for posting, I will make sure every valve is checked before inserting a new cartridge. I a cant imagine the mess that made!


#10

Yeah. It’s a big mess and a time suck cleaning it all up.

Formlabs support team has been extraordinary in helping me tho. Lots of guidance and information, and honesty about the potential issues at play.

Really 10/10 quality!!

I’ll update more when I have some further details to share.