Waiting for tank to fill

So my Tough 01 cartridge is finally empty. But there’s still a nearly-to-the-fill-line load of resin in the tank. All I have now is Tough 02, and I don’t want to mix. But I do want to use up as much of the remaining resin as I can. I think the tank holds about 100ml when filled to the line, so I’ve kicked off a print than needs 50ml (my tank is a little below the line). Now, I’m waiting for the printer to realize there’s no more resin in the cartridge. The temperature is up to 32ºC while the printer continues to try to fill the resin tank.

It’d be nice if there was an option to abort the tank fill step so the print can be started without having to wait while the printer figures out there’s nothing left in the cartridge and finally asks you if you want to print even though the cartridge appears to be empty?


Just switch to the open mode and use the rest of the resin in the tank without any hassles.

But then I don’t get the heater and wiper actions, which I want.

I admit, when you’re going to be running a 6 hour print the extra 5 minutes you have to wait is more a psychological issue than an actual problem. But it would be nice to see a button displayed while the tank fill process is underway that allows the step to be skipped. Same as temperature does already. You can tell the printer to start printing before the resin has reached the target temperature, but once it hits 30ºC the “start now” option goes away (and if you hit “Start Now” before 30ºC is reached, the F2 just goes to the resin tank fill operation and you wait anyway).

“Start Now” shouldn’t go away. It should remain available right up until the point in time the printer starts printing!

It’s a matter of “human factors” in computer interface design… A convenience factor. I want to kick off a print and walk away, but because of the implementation of this part of the interface, if I know I don’t have enough resin to fill the tank, but I think I do have enough resin in the tank to squeeze out a couple more prints, I have to wait a good 5-10 minutes (I haven’t timed it, and a watched pot never boils as they say, so I’m not exactly sure of how long the printer will try to fill the tank before giving up) before I can get up and go do something else!

Yes, I agree, that would be nice… But for now it seems to be the only workaround if there is no resin left in the cartridge. As a matter of fact, I have a few models that print just fine in the open mode but always fail to print with the open mode turned off. I don’t really see a difference in the print quality between the open mode and the native Form2 mode…

Well, it looks like the timeout on tank filling is about 10 minutes. I waited until it asked me if I really wanted to continue, hit “continue” and walked away. Only realizing about an hour later that the printer checks the resin level again after the first couple of layers are printed. It had been sitting for almost an hour waiting for me to tell it a second time that yes, I wanted to proceed with the print even though the cartridge was empty.

Also, it appears to me that because of the wiper action, when the resin level is low, the resin tends to be deepest on the left side of the tank. The wiper pushes whatever’s still in the tank to that side after each layer and it doesn’t flow back quickly when it’s not very deep. I was worried that if I left the objects in the center of the platform, the print area might get wiped dry because of the way the resin “piles up” to the left. But I still had about 50ml after my last print, so I kicked off one more print to try and use up the last of the Tough 01 resin in my tank. But I moved the objects all the way over to the left side of the tank so each time the wiper wiped it’d be pushing the remaining resin in the direction of the printed area…

There will also be some resin on the bottom of the last layer so even if the resin doesn’t flow back as fast there’s a good chance that there’s enough resin already stuck to the print for the next layer.

That might be true initially, but as the print progresses and the remaining resin in the tank gets lower and lower, I could see the wiper was pretty much leaving some areas of the PDMS with little if any resin. The resin has some surface tension so it “beads up” like water on a waxed car (only really slowly), so as an area becomes thinner and thinner it gets to a point where there’s probably not much if any resin left.

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