Slow print

Hi everyone,

I started a long print yesterday which should theoretically take around 51 hours (2 days and 3 hours).

Today, after 20 hours of print, the printer indicates 47 hours left (1 day and 23 hours on the screen).
At this point, 236 layers out of 6357 had been printed.
So basically, instead of having more or less 40% of the print achieved, I have only 4%.

At first I thought maybe the first layers (the base of the model) took really long because they occupy more or less all the surface of the platform, and maybe the printer calculate the time left based on the time it took to print these first layer, explaining why 20 hours became 4.

But 2 hours later, the printer is still stuck on the same 236th layer and keeps indicating 1 day and 23 hours left. At this rate, the print will last 2 weeks, instead of 2 days!

Did anyone ever experience the same problem?

That sounds very wrong, a model taking up the entire build volume shouldn’t take that long. How big is your print and what resolution are you printing at?

Sounds like it’s stuck… maybe a software bug. No single layer could possibly take 2 hours to be exposed.

I’d try to hit abort, wait for the platform to raise itself, then resume. See if it continues after that… otherwise I’d cancel and restart the print as you’ll likely spend too much time trying to giagnose the issue and you’ll loose the print in doing so anyway.

So I aborted it. I print in Black V4, 0,025mm

I started again the same print, which this time, after one night simply did not start (still layer one, nothing happening).
I aborted it again (I had to reboot the printer, cause trying the abort it the “normal” way lead only to the screen freezing for a few seconds and nothing happening).

I am now trying to print again, but I optimized the 3d data, just in case the resolution of the mesh would be simply too high for the printer to handle the data correctly.

Wait and see…

This wouldn’t be an issue since the printer doesn’t receive 3D data, only code that dictates the laser movement.

I would open a ticket on Formlabs support website, they’re usually pretty quick.

Ja, I thought so… but I am under time pressure, so I am ready to look in every direction for solutions…
But anyway the part I am trying to print is actually one half of a model. The first half, with similar size, mesh resolution, etc… was correctly printed. I don’t quite see why the second part with same characteristics would fail.

I opened a ticket, the problem is definitely elsewhere and I won’t solve it without support from Formlabs

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!

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Hey there @jp_mazdaeur,

I know you’re already talking to our support team, which is the right move, but I wanted to ask if there was a particular aspect of this project you’re working on that necessitates printing at 25 microns?

Counter-intuitively, the results folks are looking for out of that layer height will actually be produced better with a larger height. The only situation where we really recommend using 25 microns is when the absolute most important thing for your model is surface smoothness(like printing a perfect sphere for example.

For models where dimensional accuracy and details are your highest priority you’ll typically want to stick with a larger layer height, as weird as that seems. :slight_smile:

Hi DKirch

I am indeed already talking to the support team who reacted quickly to my message.

We are printing a full car that is meant to be later on painted with real metallic car-paint. Therefore, my colleague, who will do the paint, always asks for the highest resolution because it makes (according to him) his job of sanding and later on painting much easier.

So we are a little bit in between the two situations you described: we need smooth surface (the carbody) and we need also dimensional accuracy and details for smaller pieces like lamps, grids, logos, etc…

By the way, quick update: the printer is now printing the new, lighter file that I uploaded without visible issues. So I cross my finger that it will go to the end without failing.

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