I didn’t realize this before ordering the grey resin, so now I will wait to try the grey resin until my spare tank arrives
But what I can’t figure out, is what to do with the tank for the clear resin when I swap to the grey resin tank? If I want to switch back and forth (as I also bought a spare build platform), it seems like it would be great not to have to clean it thoroughly, but just to store it out of the light somewhere.
Do people have suggestions on how to store the spare tank out of the light? Perhaps light-blocking containers? I am thinking that a cardboard box is not a robust enough solution
Well, unfortunately my spare build platform that I ordered does not fit :-/. I’ve emailed FormLabs about it but am waiting for a reply… I would like to get it replaced ASAP so I can start printing in the grey material without using the same build platform with different resins!
I came up with a good sealed plastic container with blackout cloth on top of it for a storage solution, I will post a pic later. Hoping to hear back from FormLabs ASAP about replacing the spare build platform which does not fit…
You are correct that you should keep your used resin tanks out of the light. We’re actively working on official resin tank storage suggestions, but I’ll offer some suggestions here.
I’ve actually used a small cardboard box as a light shield before and it worked fine for 2 months, but your sealed plastic container with blackout cloth is a much better idea. Keeping dust and particulate matter out of the resin is also important. If the tank has been sitting with resin for a while, you should skim the resin for particles and check for partial polymerization (like a pudding skin or gel caused by incomplete light blocking) before starting a print.
Having a second build platform is also a good idea, because it would require thorough cleaning to keep clear resin clear when switching from Grey. Additionally, having two build platforms with one tank speeds up workflow because you can start a second print while cleaning the first platform. You don’t need to thoroughly clean the build surface if the build platform is going back into the machine under the cover, but if you are storing your build platform outside of the Form 1, you should clean the aluminum surface thoroughly with IPA while it is still wet. If a thin resin film cures on the aluminum build surface it can be difficult to remove (although cured resin on the black plastic peels off easily). I would also _not _recommend storing your build platform in the tank, as the suction can make the build platform very difficult to remove.
If you submitted a support ticket about your build platform, our customer support team will be responding shortly (if they haven’t already). I don’t know the specifics of your issue, but we tighten the build platforms at the factory to be relatively stiff for the first few times. This ensures that you’re still getting a strong clamping force even after thousands of prints.
Jason, that was an extremely helpful message! After reading it, I went and watched this video. At about the 1:10 minute mark, the person in the video tries to lower the lever. They do not do so far enough that it would avoid hitting the lid when the build platform resets (at least in my machine) BUT it showed me that there was indeed a lot of resistance to closing the lever:
However, I think it’s important to note that this is not at all the case with my original build platform- the lever closes very easily. But this gave me the confidence to close the new lever, so it is now on the machine and printing in grey!
I do have to ask, though- is it OK for the platform to be moved slightly- ie, the screw is turned a bit by pushing down? I immediately reset the machine, but some screws have such a fine thread that they get damaged by being pushed manually. I will try not to do so in the future… but that build platform lever takes a LOT of force to close!
Your tip about cleaning the other build platform that I am storing was also appreciated, so I went ahead and did so. Sure enough, there was a small portion of cured resin on one edge, but I was able to scrape it off.
Finally, attached is the picture of my storage method which I then cover in a blackout cloth to block all light.
And success! I am now printing in grey and clear resin attached is a part I’ve printed in both (it’s my first print in the grey). I think I’m in love with the grey but my wife prefers the clear… luckily, with this system I can switch back and forth easily!
I’d love to hear from others who have tried both resins on how they’re storing their spare tank, and if they’re seeing comparable results with both resins, as this first print seems to be very similar in both resins.
It’s great to see your awesome prints, and thanks for linking to the tank cleaning article. I was going to follow on Jason’s comment that it’s a good idea to clean your tank before every build - we’ve been using the comb trick mentioned in the article around here for a while and it really makes cleaning the tank a snap.
Also, great selection of tupperware. It looks like you found the perfect size.