I’m losing detail in the most complex areas of my prints.
As long as shapes are simple, prints are good quality.
If I stick to features that are long in one dimension, that don’t require a lot of supports, my prints are good.
However, when I add small 3 dimensional complexities, with lots of supports, the details of my print and the areas close to the supports fail to print accurately.
Is this happening because I’m not using good resin hygiene?
I’ve been filtering to 190 micron before each print and I still get missing regions. The prints are close to perfect, but, there is nearly always some highly detailed areas with small voids.
Is it because 190 micron is not small enough?
Or, are particles accumulating in the resin as the print progresses?
Will pausing the print, to filter the resin, result in higher quality?
Can I use some better filter media?
Maybe the resin tank has seen too many prints or too many prints in those highly detailed areas you mentioned?
Details on the bottom won’t come out, but stuff on the sides or the top should be fine. The Form1+ has issues with dust that can cause bad results so if you haven’t cleaned the mirrors in a while then you probably need to.
Thanks for the reminder, 831August,
I’ve been meaning to replace the tank before doing a critical print.
In the short term, I’ll try moving the print to a relatively unused region.
And Thanks for the reminder, Zachary,
I’ve never cleaned my mirrors since I got the printer over a year and a half ago.
I’ll do this next, as well as cleaning the bottom of the tank again(I inadvertently touch the tank when filtering the resin)
Can I use Novus Plastic Clean & Shine on the mirrors?
Cleaned the mirror…It had about 20 dust particles on it. About 5 of the particles were tiny fibers roughly a millimeter across.
Wow! had I known these were there I would have done it long ago.
I’ll let you know how my next print comes out…will probably do one tomorrow.
I don’t think that’s necessary at all. I only filter if a print has failed or if I transfer from one vat to another.
Defects due to the tank being cloudy are very specific, I believe if you post a photo someone from Formlabs will be able to assess if the problems you have are related to your resin or your vat.
I always do things 1 step at a time, so it’s obvious where the problem lies.
I’m currently pursuing the possibility that the mirror was dirty. I found a significant amount of dust on it, something like 20 specs, a few of them as large as a millimeter. It’s my fault for using a paper towel to cleaning the top rim of the vat…I’ll use PEC PADs for this purpose from now on, even this may lead to dust on the mirror, it’s less likely.
Cleaning the mirror was easy enough. Since I had no smudges I just wiped it gently with a PEC PAD as they show in the mirror cleaning video.
My next print may prove whether the mirror was the source of the problem.
If the next print improves, I’ll clean the smaller mirrors also.
If you think about the curing process, it’s hard to imagine that small particulate can cause a problem. It’s already cured, it just embeds in the new resin that’s being cured. Maybe you get a surface blemish. If you have a really fine detail, maybe it gets filled in. But it shouldn’t cause a print to fail. It’s only the big chunks that matter. I have had a few print failures but I’ve rarely actually filtered the resin. I just scavenge the bottom of the tank and fish out the obvious big pieces with the putty knife. Hasn’t seemed to have required anything more.
For an F1+ (I have one of these and a F2), in my experience, poor print quality is always due to dirty optics. It’s the printer’s Achilles Heel. I’ve had to clean my mirrors twice, and the printer needs a third cleaning now. That’s averaging maybe 1/year.
I can relate to dust causing a poor print. I’m getting the impression this is the greatest contributor.
I am, however, willing to do anything and everything that improves my prints.
I have parts that snap together so tightly, they almost form a water tight seal. For these parts, accuracy is not a luxury, it’s a requirement. So, I’m not looking for only 1 cause, or just the worst cause; I’m looking for all the causes.
As far as the Form1+ dust issue, I think pumping HEPA filtered air into the unit will go a long way toward curing it.
Pushing filtered air through the printer may reduce the amount of dust that settles on the optics, but it could actually have the opposite effect from what you want because of hazing. Dust is (at least in my experience) rarely the cause of a problem (exception = galvo mirrors). But the mirrors haze over time because the ambient environment is full of vapors that love to condense on smooth surfaces like the printer’s mirrors. If you start circulating more air through the printer than what it “respires” naturally you’ll be increasing the volume of air moving past the mirrors exposing them to more of the VOCs that cause hazing.
You plan to blow air into the printer, IMO a HEPA plus Charcoal filter would be a better choice than HEPA alone.
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