Resin Tray Lining: A Thought Experiment

The main reason this is a “thought” experiment is that it’s very difficult to get materials sent here to Romania for testing - vendors won’t ship there, or if they do, Customs/VAT kills you. So I’m tossing out the idea for someone with better access to resources to maybe try.

Many substances have been bounced around here as replacement resin tray liners. As I understand it:

  • PDMS is closest to factory lining, but it clouds just as quickly
  • Urethane clear rubber is very adhesive, opposite of silicone
  • FEP/Teflon sheet is too thin and needs cushioning under it.

So how about trying the latter two in combination? Fill the tray with urethane rubber as you would with PDMS and lay the FEP tape on top of that. The tape should stick to the urethane quite well, and if the urethane doesn’t fog or inhibit UV, you might have something quite long lasting. Any thoughts/takers?

There is a conversation discussing FEP on PDMS over on the Unofficial Google Group. No results as of yet but there are individuals actively pursuing this.

I think the factory uses a version of PDMS (Polydimethylsiloxane or clear silicone rubber ) to line their tanks. The problem with FEP (generic for “Teflon” film) is that nothing sticks to it. The tank designs that use it successfully hold it down mechanically. Here’s an example, on the Muve3D: I don’t think they use any cushioning under the sheet, though.

The urethane might work by itself, though, assuming the resin didn’t attack it (or vice-versa) and you can find it in water-clear. I haven’t heard about anybody trying it.

Holding the FEP down mechanically seems feasible though I would worry about increased overflow potential depending on the solution. I also think that this would be easier to implement on the F2 due to the upwards peeling motion of the F1.

And of course, the elephant in the room, changing materials may change the path and transmitted energy of the laser. How significantly? Who knows. We would need detailed data sheets to speculate, just something to keep in mind. I think we are all here because we were drawn to the accuracy and reliability of these machines, if you lose those qualities it doesn’t matter how long your tank lasts.

That said, I am excited to see where this leads. =]

The new Cubicon Lux resin tray. It looks like Cubicon have enough faith in the silicone + Teflon/ FEP idea to use it in their printer as standard. They say it’s good for 100,000 layers too

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