Support structure stuck onto baseplate

I made a model for fixing some test tubes for air sampling, with a couple og snap fittings gripping the tubes. On the base plate I managed to fit 6 of these and proceeded to print them using Tough (v3) resin. The print took just over 11 hrs, and the models came out beautifully! :slight_smile:
But the problem began when trying to break the support loose from the base plate… Usually I use the supplied metal spatula (sharpened on one side), and everything comes off easily. But not this time!! 25 minutes of hard work, and still there was pieces left, welded stuck on the base plate, which now was with a lot of dents and deep grooves…
So I had to grind the base plate using coarse and finer sand paper (finished on 1200 grit). The base plate is now fine again, but why did the support get SO stuck that it was impossible to remove it? Any tips on what to do if this happens again?

Did you have a chance to take pics before grinding the base plate? How many prints did you do on this one? I know the metal spatula can leave some marks on it which can make the parts more difficult to take out due to some resin interlocking in the grooves. Also did you reduce the base height? I try to lower it down to save some material :grin: but this as well make it more difficult to take out the base and weaken it a bit.

In total I’ve made 85 prints on this base plate, but I have grinded it a few times to get rid of marks and grooves… We’ve got grinding equipment from Struers (TegraPol-35), so it’s no big problem getting a good finish. :slight_smile: I have not done any adjustments to the base heigth. Yet.

That material might have a high exposure for the base, maybe it’s had some issues in the past with prints not sticking to the platform so they made it a bit higher.
You don’t need to worry too much about scratches on the platform, unless it’s some crazy gouge in the surface then it’s not going to affect the print, though if you’re having issues with getting prints off the platform then the scratches will make it tougher to remove.

A rough build plate gives parts more crevices to adhere into but the magnitude of the effect shouldn’t be that great. Did you find that sanding the build plate returned adhesion to normal? Oftentimes, we’ll see over-adhesion caused by over-compression of the early print layers which can be corrected via Z fine tuning.

I had fits getting Tough off my build plate. I abandoned the FL tool in favor of a 10" “insulation knife” which has a sharp enough edge to get under the base, where the FL tool just breaks pieces off the lip of the base. It’s a bit more dangerous than the FL tool, but significantly more effective. However, I also tweaked my Z by -0.2mm which didn’t completely eliminate the problem but did substantially reduce it.

I’m told that hitting the print with a blow drier to heat it up also helps get it loose. But I haven’t tried that.

I wouldn’t use any heat on a print since that’ll make it warp

I have noticed that if I remove the items from plate early they seem to be easier to get off. For example I printed 32 items in V4 tough. They were close enough together that the supports all touched on the plate. When the print was completed I was able to remove all the supports with the spatula very easily. They all stuck together as a single piece and came off as one. The next batch I waited about a day to remove it from the build plate. I had pulled the build plate out of the printer and let it sit on top of one of the cleaning tanks. There was a little water at the bottom of the tank but not much. It didn’t contact the printed pieces. When I tried it took about an hour to remove all the supports because they all cracked and broke apart into smaller pieces. They were really stuck on there to. I had to use the cool cutter tool to remove most of the really stuck pieces. But I scratch up my build plate. sigh. I am not sure why time made a difference. Did it have time to cool off and get brittle? Not sure. but now I try to time my print jobs so I can remove the parts as soon as possible after the print is complete.

Hey Formlabs guys. Have you tested and found a correlation with removing the supports? Do you know why it went from flexible to Brittle? Was it heat? Would it make sense for me to keep the parts at the 31 ish degrees until I can remove the supports? Or could I let it cool then later heat the supports back up with a heat gun when I am ready to remove them?

I ask because if it turns out that you have to maintain the warmer heat until you are ready to remove the supports then maybe the printer should get a firmware update that will maintain the heat after the print is done.

When parts are soaked in IPA, they absorb a bit of the IPA and can become more flexible. You’ll notice this especially if you forget you have parts in IPA (I’ve done this more than once) and they remain overnight. After parts are removed, the IPA will begin to evaporate and they’ll start to become more brittle. This compounded with UV curing from ambient light might make the parts a bit more challenging to remove but it won’t be a significant difference. Extended time in a UV cure chamber will make parts notably stiffer but ambient light shouldn’t make much difference.

Heat will soften your parts and a few users have had success with heating the build platform for removing Tough V2 from the Form 1 / 1+. If you’re noticing that your parts are consistently challenging to remove, you should open a ticket with our support team so that we can help to troubleshoot further.

I have this problem when i change resins types and i clean the build plate with IPA, so when the supports get stuck i break of the model, without breaking the model itself then i put the whole build plate in the oven for 20 mins at 80C / 175F, That will weaken the resin enough for you to peel it off. But don’t put it in when the oven is too hot or for too long.

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