I am thinking of purchasing a resin tray swiper. I have never used one before. What are the advantages of using it? The webpage mentions it is convenient for 3rd party resin prints. Would it be helpful when printing the more viscous Formlabs resin?
Just bought one myself and I am waiting for it to arrive. Since I am experimenting with Formlabs at the moment, I’ll keep you posted.
I know a few of the users here have them and the only issue I have heard about is setup and tray removal takes longer.
Alright, thank you! I tried printing yesterday a mixture of Formlabs’ clear and flexible (the flexible one only seems too weak for what I am making) but unfortunately the parts fell from the build platform into the resin tray at some point around halfway. I was hoping the swiper would maybe help me solve that issue.
If model detaches from the platform the swiper won’t help you.
It will help you with not damaging your tray when a print fails. Cured on PDMS get exposed again and again and cause it to swell and distort. It will also help with getting a better part if supports are inadequate.
It might also help by displacing resin, hence reduce deflection.
One disadvantage is that it displaces resin so you might want to allow a bit longer wait times for re-flow to occur. viscous resins should be more susceptible to that. On the other hand, there is a lot of resin dripping from top so it might not be an issue.
Thanks Yianni! I would also add that if your model detaches from the platform, the resin is probably not getting enough light, so you should increase your exposure time, increase your LED current, or use a new tray. (This is assuming you’re not printing a geometry that would detach due to mechanical forces, such as a long, thin rod or extremely thin walls, etc.)
I tried with the settings below and… success!! I printed a mix of 50% Formlabs clear and 50% flexible. The flexible one is one of the most viscous resins out there so this should be helpful in a wide range of resins. Something that I did notice is that the Ember prints come out to be fairly stiffer than the ones I print in the Form 2 with the same material.
Wait (before exposure) = 30.0 s; Burn in Wait = 30s; ModelWaitTime = 30 s, Increased model exposure time from 2.5 to 4.0 seconds. Reduced model separation velocity from 10 rpm to 4.0 rpm. Increased projector LED current from 150 to 200
Printing with Form Labs Tough Resin
Awesome! Thanks for letting us know what worked.
I used the same settings for a purely flexible Formlabs resin print and the results were good as well. I actually like these results more than what I got using the Form2. The Form2 prints seemed to break too easily, and with the Ember and these settings they seem to bear a certain amount of stretching. Also, keep in mind that my prints were thin (~1.5 mm), so the settings may need to be changed accordingly for thicker prints.
Question - what was your main objective that drove you to mix the resins? Were you looking for something less brittle, similar to FormLabs Tough, but not ‘blue-green’?
Right. I am making seals and o-rings for hydraulic components. I tried using purely flexible with the Form 2 at first but pieces worn out and broke during assembly/disassembly operations. Therefore I added some clear resin. I guess I could also try mixing with the Tough resin, but I haven’t had the time. I am yet to test this but it seems like flexible resin only printed with the Ember may be good enough!
I seem to remember this being discussed elsewhere, and the consensus was that you didn’t have to wait for the resin to refill under the build head…
As the parts get dragged away through resin, they tend to have plenty on them when the build head returns and presses it against the PDMS, the extra resin flowing back in shouldn’t be needed.
Can’t harm to wait, but obviously slows the printing down considerably, so if you’re not building something overnight, you might want to try without the reduced wait first.
Agreed on there being little need to ‘refill’ the resin after the ‘swiper’ clears the PDMS, but with the really viscous materials, there is a very real need to wait for the resin to ‘squish’ out from under the head before exposing. If you don’t, two things occur: 1- the pressure pushes the build tray away from the head and you loose Z accuracy. 2-if the resin is still moving / flowing it won’t cure and the print will fail.