I’ve only had the new tank for a couple of weeks so I can’t speak to how long it will last yet.
What I have seen is that the parts don’t tend to adhere to the new surface like they did with the PDMS. So far there isn’t any of the thumping during peel with large parts. This alone should reduce the risk of prints deforming during peel should reduce print failures.
I’m planning on burning up my old tanks with the standard resins and then switching to LT tanks for everything.
Is the light transmission the same as the standard tank? Does the laser beam spread any differently as it passes through the 2 laminated materials? Better, Worse, Same?
Transmission through the new substrate is marginally better then standard tank, but unlike standard tank, it stays that way through the lifetime of the tank. Spread of the laser is the same as on standard tanks.
Are there some materials (like Clear) that degrade the tank less, and wouldn’t benefit from the new LT Tank (except for longer intervals between changes)?
All Formlabs resins degrade standard tanks. Tank slightly improves dimensional accuracy and negative features for all resins. Mostly due to lack of degradation in the transmission. The main benefit of tank LT is long lifetime and compatibility with new materials.
So, how do we know when to replace LT tank?
I usually replace mine if I see decrease in print quality (round 15-20L) .This number will vary depending on what you print and what resin you are using. In theory, LT tank should last indefinitely. In practice however, print failures put some wear on the tank, and over time, cumulative wear can cause print artifacts. That is why we say conservatively that the tank will last around 20-30k layers. If you don’t usually get print failures your tank will last much longer than that. If you print stuff that is on the edge of what is possible on the Form 2 (very massive parts, not enough supports) , and you get failed prints very often, your tank will not last as long.
Amazing information which I don’t remember having read before, thank you for this ! This is very interesting since no/very limited degradation leads to better reliability which leads to less failures which leads to less degradation…
I can’t say for certain because I have yet to see one wear out. Here is a picture of the heat map for my current LT tank with Clear resin. This would normally be a bad looking PDMS but there isn’t even a remote sign of wear so far. I don’t know how many prints or liters it has gone through yet but it definitely lasts a lot longer than a normal tank.
With a standard resin tank, when the heat map gets dark grey like this one that usually means you can also see white marks on the PDMS layer and you are prone to get bad prints. However, with the new tank I can’t see any marks on the tank itself. I don’t think Formlabs adjusted the shading for the new tank though so on the heat map it looks dark grey but that doesnt mean the tank is wearing out. I have had the LT tank since January and use it very frequently.