Two prints in a row breaking off supports & caked tray

Hi there,

I was a little busy for the past few months and took a break from printing. I thought I would print some simple models as a test, after installing the recent firmware upgrades.

I had two failed prints in a row. In both cases, when inspecting the failed print I found the raft+supports on the build platform, and a little bit of resin caked-on the tray.

I had the density down to about 0.8, not certain if that might be part of the problem. I have not experienced print issues like this before, except when having too few supports.

So I’ve upped the support density to 1.0. Hopefully this will solve the problem.

Is this a familiar issue to any of you?

On a side-note, I’ve been having an awful time with my Form 3 hanging. It freezes after almost every print job, as of late. It often freezes shortly after a print job starts. It just froze now, on Layer 1. Currently attempting to upload diagnostic info, but the progress indicator isn’t showing anything. How long should it take?

When I load up Preform it says the printer is disconnected, which usually means the printer has frozen. Hmm, yes, it froze during the diagnostic upload. I’ll reboot and try again…

Can I equivalently download the logs using Preform, and e-mail them to Formlabs, or is that not the same information as the diagnostic upload? I have been able to download the logs using PreForm. I haven’t had any luck uploading the diagnostic information directly from the printer.

I put in a support request. Seems like something isn’t working properly.

Here is a small update:

My diagnostic upload problems appear to be a network issue. I had my Form 3 in my work office, but given the networking problems I moved it back to my house today. The diagnostic upload is now working.

On the failed print front, I opened-up a support ticket. So far they’ve suggested two things to check: the resin tray, and the optics.

I cleaned-out the resin tray and there was some partially-cured resin in it. Unfortunately on the trip home the tray tipped-over just enough to spill resin out, and get mixed all over the tray. I salvaged as much resin as I could, and I have some new V2 tanks on order.

I’ll check the optics later this week. Given that the trays will take some time to arrive, there’s no rush.

It looks like there are a lot of little dots on the optics. Does not appear to all be dust, as it does not blow off. My guess is one of my trays must have had a micro-leak of resin, leaving little resin dots on the optics.

That said, after wiping the crud off with IPA + PEC*PAD, there appears to be a little bit of dust on the other side of the lens. I imagine I’ll have to take the lens off to clean the back side but I have not heard back from customer support.

The printer appears to be working well again.

In summary, here are my lessons learned.

(1) I had left my gray resin in the print tray, and print tray in my Form 3, unattended for over a month in an office that receives some indirect sunlight (north facing window in Canada… so very little sunlight). That, and I had a few failed prints with that grey resin tray. In the future I will store my tray outside the printer if I’m going to leave it alone for more than a day. Also, after (messy) failed prints, other than cleaning the tray it appears I should filter the resin. I’ve ordered the gear to make that less of a hassle.

(2) The top of the LPU had both dust and a thin layer of resin on it. I am not certain how this happened as my office isn’t dusty: we don’t have forced air and it’s not a particularly active place. It appears that one of my resin trays must have sprung a tiny leak and slightly contaminated the top of the LPU. So I’ll make it a point to put the printer into LPU replacement mode once and a while, to inspect the top of the LPU and clean if necessary. In my case, there is also some dust on the back side of the glass surface in the LPU. Formlabs does not recommend taking the “roller holder” off the LPU to clean and re-use, so they will be sending me a replacement roller holder and I’ll switch it out. I’ll be a little more vigilant about dust around the printer, going forward.

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