Resin Tank Care

General Question:

Is it better to leave the resin in the tank for long periods or put it filtered into a opaque jar with lid? We go through stages of a lot to print or nothing at all. I just want the get the most out of the tank and the resin.

And if it is better to drain the tank do we just lightly scrap as much as we can out of it or gently wipe it out?
I haven’t read of anyone asking this question but again, just trying to make things last.

I had this exact question for support a while back as we have a cyclical schedule as well, printing for a week solid, then we might not print at all for up to a month. It is perfectly safe to leave it in the resin tank with the original black cover for extended periods as long as it is not exposed to any extremes (UV light, temp, etc.). We have ours in a cupboard, in lab with no windows and limited light. I have left resin in the tanks for months at a time with no issue.

Do remember, however, that the color separates from the resins over time. I use the wiper to slowly and carefully mix the resin for 2-3 mins before printing again.

It will happily sit there for weeks on end, just mix well before printing.

I just wouldn’t leave the vat with resin in it in the printer. I had a cracked vat (that I didn’t notice it was cracked and leaking) that I left in the printer. I got lucky. The resin didn’t pour out. It just leached between the bottom of the vat and top of the vat holding bracket.

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I have left black resin in the tank, in the machine with the cover down, for weeks at a time without use and it was fine. I don’t even put the black lid on the tank must of the time. Just needs to be stirred very good.

Thanks for the info, we have had some problems all of a sudden with the grey resin and thought that it might have went bad just sitting in the tank.

Thanks for all the replies, I will follow the general consensus of just leaving it alone in the tank. All of this came up because we have encountered print problems with the grey resin. So we will have to look else where to track down the issue, probably first with just using a new tank. Just for a FYI for me, is there a proper way to clean the insides of the tanks? Reading the info on the Formlabs site it just says to gently scrape it to get as much of the resin out of the tank as possible but once that is done if it is not filled back up then I assume it dry’s up and leaves some residue or am I wrong and it says gooey?

As long as there is no light source, it will stay a liquid.

I leave it in the tank, just make sure to stir it very well before printing with it again, especially for the resins with pigment.

If you want to clean it out, I recommend not pouring it, since it can drip on the outside which is a paint to clean up.
What I do, is use a syringe like this:
prop up the tank so that the resin goes to a corner, and then use the syringe to pull the resin out and then use a paint filter as you put it back in whatever container you are going to put it in. As you remove resin, use the scraper to get the resin all into the corner. There should be very little left and just use a paper towel to get the rest after you can’t get any more out with the syringe.
After that, I would still put the lid back on and store in a dark place.
Also, don’t try to clean it with alcohol, that will make the orange acrylic become weak and crack

Thanks Zach, That is pretty much what I had come to the conclusion of. It was wiping it out with a paper towel I was worried about. I messed up the first tank so I am a little more careful with the ones I have now.

I have the resin filtered in a glass jar, black, and have it stored in a dark place. I was worried about the temp but it has a range of 64 to 80 degrees and as far as I know the temp here has not dropped below that, even if when it got to -14 last night. So I think I am good now.

Thanks to all of you that have responded. I really appreciate the feedback.

I store my resin in the tank, with the lid on, in the original box. I filter the mater before reuse after every few prints. I use the paint filter method. Here is funnel that makes the job easier.

Thanks Dig, do you happen to have a STL or OBJ of this file? If so can you post it here. We have other 3D printers that don’t cost a much as the resin does, that can print them with out using the Formlabs printer.

If you read the discussion, I share both the STL and SolidWorks files a bit farther down the discussion.

What kind of printers are these that are so inexpensive?

Well we started with and still have Makerbot and PowerSpec but I but probably use the Atlas. We get 40kg rolls which drops the price of buying small rolls. Lots of Small rolls will fit in our 20 or 40 Kg rolls.

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