Tough Resin doesn't stick to the build platform?

Hi all,
I’m pretty new to the formlabs community so here’s my first post. I’ve recently purchased the new tough resin as a lot of the work i do revolves around functional prototyping. I’ve been printing in black/clear and white resins all before so have a general idea of what types of forms print well and which don’t.

So yesterday after making a new mount for a Gopro i set off both my machines, one in clear and one in tough. I came back this morning and found a semi-printed model emerging from the resin like the titanic, while in the clear, everything was fine! ( Same settings and location for both prints may i add). I’ve tried to tweak the .form settings and after three more failed prints nothing appears to be sticking to the build platform!!

I can see straight away that this tough resin is way more viscous than all the others so something in the chemical properties is going to be different and have searched the forums for any info about this? Has anyone got any good settings for successful prints with the tough?? I’m wondering if theres any tricks in lowering the Z axis slightly etc?

I found this great post by @Seagull talking about offsets in the manufacturing of the build platforms which can cause fails in prints but i’m dubious to start dismantling things straight away!

Any input would be great!


Having never tried tough resin, but having read all of the trials and tribulations about it, I’m going to say it’s suction due to viscosity that pulls the object off the build platform.

What happens if run the print job in an 80F (27C) degree environment to reduce the viscosity? e.g. build a plastic tent around the printer and put a heater in there with it.

@Formlabs To add further, I’ll bet slowing (or stepping) the peel rate would have a similar positive effect, and be one that you can control, as opposed to temperature.

Another good reason to add in some more knobs to alter the systems’ behavior. You seem to think everyone is technically challenged and just want a Go! button, and that this strategy will lead to happy customers, but I think you underestimate the technical chops of your users…

Maybe these knobs only appear if you start preform with the --expert switch?

@Tom_Nappey I can understand the reluctance to dismantle things you have bought, which are supposed to do the job out of the packet… having read about things that various users have done with the laser, the potentiometers, etc. I can well understand your dubiosity w.r.t. dismantling things - I would quite like to cut a hole in the back to introduce a high pressure fan with a (fine) HEPA or even better filter to produce a positive pressure, anti-dust ‘zone’. On the other hand, I think FormLabs might have something to say about that with regards to the warranty :smile:!
Still, you could try at least printing the file I uploaded to test the bow/warp/evenness of the build platform… that is pretty much completely without risk - even if it doesn’t stick it isn’t going to ruin the tank, because it’s only printing 20 layers (on 100µ setting). From that you should at least be able to see if you are in a roughly green zone., whether it’s even worth adjusting the build platform, as well as what z-axis offset you should be using for that build platform/resin tank combination. I mean, it’s a good indicator with the clear printing working, but maybe try printing my test file both with clear and tough on the same platform, maybe even a couple of times (to get an idea of the repeatability between prints) per resin. It only takes about 15-25 minutes (depending upon resin type) and uses only about 4ml (plus waste drops on platform etc.).
With that file you are looking not only for as close to 2.00mm plate thickness at all 8 positions, but also any indications for over-compression (the plates will be brittle), or under-compression (the plates may not completely stick, or be slightly misformed, or have some goo under the plates instead of being solid all the way to the platform).
In any case, before you start adjusting anything, you need to know where you stand, and this file of mine is quite handy to figure that much out. At least download it and have a look in preform - any questions, I’ll be happy to help.

@Seagull Hi. Looking at your file, what are the various different ridges for?

They mark the 1-9 positions as on a 3x3 matrix - I measure the thickness with a calliper while on the build platform but also after a (short!) wash… the marks let me know where the plate is/was on the build platform without having to scratch a number in or anything by hand (even while on the build platform they help, they mean I don’t have to think which way round the platform is on the desk etc.). I guess I could have used numbers :blush:

The thickness measurements are not terribly precise, but good to within 0.1-0.15mm I think… certainly enough to spot the hideous out-of-whack 1.3-1.4mm non-parallel differences I had at the beginning; a measurement on the platform followed by a measurement after the alcohol bath are averaged to provide a reasonable degree of surety.

I’ve had some luck with larger items that cover more of the build platform, but on pretty much all of the smaller items whose base only covers 10-20% of the platform I get failures every time. I’ve moved parts around the platform and tried differing angles without success. Usually parts will only be partially adhered after I can see the bottom platform ~100 layers at 0.1mm and I cancel the prints. I’ve tried different build platforms and the result is the same.

On the plus side the larger successful print I’ve had looks pretty nice and feels “tough” enough to actually use.

@Seagull Thanks for the advice, ive been away this week but im just about to set off your print files today on both clear and tough resins. In regards to both your comments about tweaking, no doubt once im used the machines and the individual traits 3D printers generally get ill begin to tinker. Ill feed back some images and results of the tough resin print…IF… it doesnt fail again.

@Erik_Sandvik That’s interesting! Ive only tried printing small objects so far, nothing over 20% of the bed size so i might try a larger print after these tests with seagull. I had another print which stuck but then appears to have de-laminated so potentially it could be an issue with some under compression of the build platform. Ill keep you all informed if i get any breakthroughs.

I also am having a lot of trouble with this tough resin. I can use any other resin and my parts print perfectly, but with the tough resin I can’t get smaller parts to stick to the build platform. My build platform is flat, no “bowing” as described earlier. I am using new resin trays. I initially had one large part that came out great, but everything since has failed. Over the past two days I’ve tried everything as far as thickening the base or moving the build head starting point up and down…with no success. Later I’ll try printing the same large part that I had success with before, but for now it’s back to the black resin as I need to get some work done. The one large part that was successful is really nice. I sure hope that we can get to the bottom of this soon. I am also thinking that for smaller parts it might be good to try to print multiple parts at once and group them together onto the build platform to increase the base size.

If you need a semi-flexible part that’s reasonably tough, give MadeSolid’s Vorex Black a try.

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Please refer to “Has anyone used the tough resin yet?” if you have additional questions about adherence with Tough Resin.