Resin Upkeep


I’m working at a company that has a form 3 printer. I’ve been tasked with handling documentation since I have prior experience with it. While creating a document for resin care, I came across the fact that you’e supposed to shake the resin cartridges every two weeks to keep them uniform throughout.

Do people actually do this? If you do (or don’t), have you noticed a difference when you do otherwise? I’m asking because I have never done this and would love to avoid having to put it down as actual documentation that some poor soul will have to keep track of.

The printer is in constant use by two departments, so I feel this is an extraneous step. My proposed plan is to circumvent this by including a shake step in work instructions for printing if someone decides to use a resin that was not used in the most recent print, and is therefore less likely to be homogeneous.

Would love to get some thoughts from the community, or any employees before I submit this documentation.

Sorry for writing a novel, thanks if you read all the way!

I shake from time to time but not nearly every 2 weeks.

At the extreme end, I’ve left Black resin, that had expired, sitting on a dark, room temperature shelf for many months (maybe a year?). Trying to print after that long without shaking led to failures (and even pouring any out could wind up spoiling the whole cartridge because the components aren’t evenly mixed and maybe you just poured out most of your actuator / pigment / whatever). But shaking for a good 20 minutes produced results that were almost as good as new.

That was with the old Black v2… my impression is Black v4 doesn’t have the same longevity.

These days I have a resin mixing “rotisserie” and from time to time do a ‘remixing day’ where I’ll put each of the cartridges I have in inventory in it for 10 mins each to keep them homogenized. But I’m not always the most diligent about it. Does not doing it reduce the lifespan? Who knows, maybe; I haven’t done any empirical comparisons. I imagine Formlabs has, then published its recommendations based on their observations but with a wide safety margin.

I’d be curious if Formlabs’ own warehouses are shaking cartridges every two weeks (I’ve received resin that was manufactured several months prior so I know in at least some causes their turnover isn’t fast enough to make it irrelevant). I’ve certainly seen shelves of resin at resellers that perhaps sit there for months (just a guess) without any special TLC.

Personally I think your resin management plan is likely better than the vast majority of other customers out there (but of course I invite others to jump in and refute that).

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