Resin Colour V's Laser Life

I don’t pretend to know much about this SLA 3D printing. A thought occurred after asking about selecting the correct resin. I was told (Implied) that there is a direct correlation between the resin colour and laser power. If so is it reasonable to assume that printing resins that require more laser power might wear out the laser quicker ?

And if the above is true, what is formlabs stance on 3rd party resins regarding warranty claims - could using a 3rd party resin actually harm the printer ?

any thoughts on this …

3rd party resins can’t damage the printer - they can potentially ruin resin vats though (if they over cure and stick to the pdms layer).

I thought that too, I was going on more power to the laser = shorter life.

I don’t think the laser has an intensity control but rather is controlled by speed because it is a diode and not a typical gas charged laser. I could be wrong on that.

As far as the colored resins (not counting specialized like flexible, strong and castable) have pigments and are based off the clear resin so the more opaque and dense the pigment the longer it needs to be exposed.

Many 3rd party resins are not tuned to the 420nm of the Formlabs printers and many lean more towards the UV end and typically require longer exposure on a Formlabs machine. If you had the ability to fine tune the settings on the Formlabs machine this isn’t much of an issue but because you can’t you need to find the closest setting (ie gray 1 or black) that can ultimately be too little or too much to get an optimal print with the least amount of wear on the PDMS layer. Many users do like 3rd party resins and have good results but it does take experimentation. Keep in mind that as the settings are refined through software versions of PreForm I suspect that 3rd party resin prints may or may not yield good results.

Not sure if there are any charts from any users that might have mix of resins and settings they used that they may want to share.

It would be nice to have a fine tuning on the systems maybe under advanced settings for people to be able to explore and use other brands as well as be able to tweak and mix their own using Formlabs materials. I believe there were a few other users that asked for this but it fell on deaf ears.

heres the crunch,

Jory seems to suggest it does alter laser power Selecting the Correct Resin Colour And Type

However you are correct in that it is a diode laser.

I am not sure where you are getting the 420nm from - the form1 (as is the case for most SLA printers) use a 405nm wavelength as far as I understand it. All of my 3rd party resins claim to be cured at 405nm.

Yes your correct, it is 405 nm. My mistake.
I thought that diodes were either on or off. I could be wrong on that too. in any case there is no fine tuning of the Form1 printing speeds to get optimal prints with 3rd party resins regardless of their sensitivity.

Yeah, I wonder why that is. It would seem a logical thing to be able to do after all. Formlabs Form1 /2 is not like inkjet printers where they virtually give you the printer for nothing in order to screw you on the ink. No the Form1 is a very expensive high consumer / prosumer device.

Every one wants to get the best out of it, and not necessarily be limited to a few resins by one manufacture.

I have had excellent results using photocentric firm grey resin in a 70/30 mix with formlabs grey v2. My resin vat is nearly dead so I’ll try the photocentric at 100% and see how that comes out. It’s quite whiffy though - definitely needs a room with plenty of ventilation.

Jason is right, 3rd party resins won’t damage the printer. Big trick is finding the right exposure setting. Too much exposure the part will over cure resulting in premature PDMS wear and too much sticking on the build platform, too little and your prints will fail, lack detail.

Wonder if anyone wants to make chart with their results that they might want to share?

There is a chart here: Resin list in order of exposure/curing?

I was looking at the resin from Solarez, pretty inexpensive but afraid I won’t get nearly the results I get with Formlabs resin which has been absolutely superb. Wish Formlabs had quantity discounts and options for smaller amounts. Sometimes I have a need for a small amount of flexible or super strong but can’t justify a full liter just for one job. I mainly use the clear now and if I could save buying a gallon that would be good.

I tried solarez over a year ago and it ruined my tank - cured far too hard. I can strongly recommend the photocentric resin though, firm grey at least.

Thats what I was afraid of. did you use gray 1 setting on it? Maybe clear setting is better?

It was a clear resin and I used the clear setting - they may have adjusted the resin by now, maybe experiment using an old tank?

They have made adjustments to the settings, My PDMS isn’t wearing out as quick on the courser settings. Still hate to blast through a tank and guess at what might be a good setting.

How do you read the chart ? what do the numbers on the left represent ?

The numbers are used to compare. You can figure out % difference between two settings for example. That’s all. Possible outcomes were in the range of 0 to 255.

If you want to read about how I came up with the numbers, I’ll put that link at the bottom of this post. Basically, they are the resulting brightness observed by a making the printer’s laser draw into a long-exposure camera. The laser is still just a dot waving around, but the pictures it draws is a complete slice of the object printed.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.