Why clean the platform?

This guide says to clean the platform after printing flexible parts, but it doesn’t say why. Does anyone know?

The platform should always be cleaned after every build, regardless of material. That’s the standard advice because the machine needs a smooth, flat surface to start building.

But flexible material is especially prone to tearing and leaving little pieces. So the guide tells you to “use extra care when cleaning the platform” because those little bits of hardened debris could be clinging to the platform but hidden within the viscous leftover resin.

Scrape any leftover resin back into the resin tank, then scrape once more across the bare surface to make sure there aren’t any bits of debris still clinging to it.

So I’ve had some time now, I’ve run almost a dozen prints, not a lot, but if cleaning the platform between each print was of very high importance, I think I would have noticed some evidence for it by now. And I haven’t. I’ve filtered my resin through 190µm paint filters, and I’ve never positively identified a piece of debris. I’ve cleaned the platform only 2 times, the first time thoroughly, the second time just with a scraper, inspecting for debris, and again, not finding any. The parts I’m printing are small and should certainly be susceptible to breaking apart in areas with insufficient support and too much incline. I’ve also been experimenting with support size, I’ve been reducing it down to improve my surface aesthetics, and right now I’m at 1.3mm. I did increase the density to make this feasible, currently I’m using 1.12, and this is working quite well.

I’m not sure why my results seem to be so different from what you’re saying, but from my very limited experience, it sounds like I would have to be using very poorly designed support structures to see results like you’re describing. I think that “The platform should always be cleaned after every build, regardless of material”, is a little strong. I don’t know if you’re talking about a Form 1+ or a Form 2, I’m talking about a Form 2. So far, I would describe this machine as virtually maintenance-free.

Hold on, hold on. I think you’ve conflated the simple task of “cleaning the platform” with the complicated chore of cleaning after a failed build. FormLabs’ documentation in Form2 Basic Finishing Steps doesn’t call for filtering resin nor washing the platform all that thoroughly. It just says “After each print, clean excess resin from the build platform and return it to the Form 2.”

That’s how simple it is to clean the platform. It’s quick and easy.

The page about flexible resin does say to use “extra care” when cleaning the platform, but it doesn’t call for anything more elaborate than cleaning the platform the way you norbmally would…just with a little extra care . Don’t worry, they are not telling you to perform all those elaborate cleaning steps in Cleaning After a Failed Print.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.