Printing 50 micron X/Y resolution


#1

I’m having a hard time getting good resolution when printing a negative feature 50 microns X 50 microns (x by y). I am printing 10 micron in the Z and have tried altering the exposure time. Anyone have any tips/know of what exposure time works well with 50 micron features?


#2

A big part of this depends on how tall the print is in the Z. 1 or 2 layers thick might be possible if use grayscale compensation, but it will be very difficult. My experience leads me to believe we would need a special resin to accomplish this. The resin would need UV blockers (or whatever the technical term is) to prevent light bleed into the negative spaces.

Another challenge - cleaning out the excess resin from these really small features.

The smallest negative feature I have successfully resolved has been about 150um.


#3

@scott_chabineau thank you! Do you have any experience using the Ember with other resins?


#4

Are you using pattern mode ? (see http://www.instructables.com/id/Ember-Printer-Using-Pattern-Mode-for-Finer-Details/)
You will generally not be able to resolve features that small in video mode.


#5

@greener1 Yes, I use pattern mode. Even in pattern mode it I found it to be impossible to make a 50um NEGATIVE feature (hole, slot,etc…) with any sort of real Z thickness.
@alinargt I have tried Vorex Black, Fun to Do Snow White, Maker Juice G+ black, CPS SM472, FormLabs Tough, and Molecule Pt.

My experience so far puts the FTD Snow white at the top of the list for fine features - BUT, you can’t use it with the Ember since it reacts with the PDMS so quickly that it clouds the window after a single print. :frowning:

The next best resin I found for fine features is the CPS PR57K (Normal Autodesk black resin).

Based on my current experiences, if we had a resin with the same cure properties as the FTD but was compatible with the PDMS, we would be able to get to the 50um negative feature.


#6

@greener1 I will look into using pattern mode. I watched the Ember videos on the youtube channel but I never configured my printer to pattern mode. Thank you :slight_smile:


#7

@scott_chabineau Thank you for your insight! I will explore the PR57K more!

When you post cure Ember parts, do you use just a UV lamp?


#8

Your welcome.
For post cure I’ve done both UV lamp and solar. I usually leave the parts
in water to reduce surface oxygen and speed up the cure.

Best Regards,

Scott Chabineau-Lovgren
Design Engineer, Semiconductor
Everett Charles Technologies
Phone: +1.909.445.0509 Mobile: +1.909.455.2966
skype: schabineau-ect

www.Xcerra.com

Everett Charles Technologies
14570 Meyer Canyon Dr. Fontana, CA 92336
www.ectinfo.com


#9

Hey @scott_chabineau, quick question. Have you had any experience printing 10 micron layers with the PR57K resin? I know the PR48 is able to print with 10 micron layers, but not sure if 25 microns is the minimum. Thank you for your time!


#10

Yes - 10um isn’t a problem under normal printing conditions. I have played with 5um, but find I dont have the patience it :slight_smile:

If you are trying to get a very accurate Z height and printing the part directly to the build head, you will run into trouble as the first layers are inevitably too thick. If you are printing with supports, then this isn’t an issue.

Depending on your needs, it might be worth your while to investigate using a ‘layersettings.csv’ file. See here.


#11

For the 10 micron layers, did you play around with exposure time, or did you leave it set at the 1.2 sec? I am printing without supports but have a base built into my CAD file.


#12

Here is my print settings file. I can’t vouch for it not being changed since I used it last.
printsettings (2.0 KB)


#13

Have you found the PR57K to work better than PR48? For some reason I though PR48 was the one that provided most accurate prints. I have a bottle of PR57K but I have never used it before.


#14

I’ve not performed any side-by-side analysis, but print mainly from PR57K. Most people here like the look of the black resin as it provide contrast for our product. I would encourage you to give it a try.


#15

PR57K also takes MUCH longer to degrade the tray than PR48.