Resin Tray Redesign?

I’m presenting this as a suggestion to FL for research, rather than directly to the users to try themselves. I always feel a little guilty doing the latter because I know Formlabs isn’t very “open source” about hacks and user-based improvements, so I’m giving you the right of first refusal, I guess. :slight_smile:

I read user forums about several different resin printers and it seems this is emerging as a thing:

Non-Stick Film for Resin Printers

I can’t imagine it would be rocket science for Formlabs to eschew the PDMS of the resin tray and add this foil instead, doing one of two things:

  1. Installing thicker clear acrylic to equal the height of the original PDMS print surface, or
  2. keep the same acrylic and use the tray chip to tell the Form printer to lower the buildplate more than for a PDMS tray.

My first thought was to just slap the film onto the PDMS of an existing tray, but isn’t the point of silicone that nothing sticks to it? If the softness of the silicone is needed to provide wiggle room for the print process, there are optically-clear urethane rubbers, to which the foil (and anything else not nailed down) would surely bind. Certainly any discrepancies of refraction index in all these alternatives can’t be fatal over a distance of 1 - 2 mm?

I do plan to explore these options someday, but I thought maybe it’s in FL’s interests to pursue them under their own auspices, so they, rather than some meddling user, could be the leading-edge heroes! :wink:


I tried to use a FEP film layer available from B9 creator and had some success but in the end no success, the resin stuck midway through the print to the film and all was over.
I placed the thin film down to a new tray and it sticks very nice to the silicone, I then I sealed the inside perimeter with a rolled length modeling clay to keep resin from getting in around the edges.
Seems crude I know but looked really promising until about layer 220 and I think the power of the laser burns the resin to the surface and it stuck, I think a projector type printer with the FEP layer works better. test over.
I went back and decided it is not worth fighting the PDMS layer that works well, See my post “Glass bottom tray Form 2”. Bottom line $12.00 for a new tray is not bad for the amount of printing you will get.
For me a fresh tray is minimal amount certainly compared to the resin. I recently printed some handles for some cookware and the handles I could have hollowed out and printed but I
printed them solid with some fairly thick sections and they came out great, normally if you were over concerned about tray life you would hollow parts like that out but 5 to 6 handles
for $12.00 not a bad deal, I find myself much less hesitant to “burn” trough a tray on a job to job basis.