Author Topic: SLA 3D Printer yet?  (Read 2348 times)

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Offline Mr.B

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SLA 3D Printer yet?
« on: November 01, 2020, 01:25:49 am »
I am starting this separate thread so as not to pollute the existing, very good thread, on FDM printing.

I have been using FDM 3d printers for about 3 years now. I have two printers at home for hobby projects and I am very pleased with the results I can obtain for medium and large objects.
Most of the stuff I print is things like custom enclosures for hobby electronics projects, plastic couplers for my cyclonic extractor modification to my workshop vac, etc.

Small and fine detail stuff is simply a fail with FDM - quite understandable.

So I want to move into SLA for the smaller objects and for stuff that needs more strength than FDM is able to offer. FDM will still have its place in my workshop.
I am looking at purchasing the ANYCUBIC Photon Mono X 3D Printer 4K 8.9 Inch LCD UV Resin Printer 192*120*250mm from the manufacturers shop on AliExpress. I will also purchase one of their washing and final curing machines if I go down this route.
Key reasons for this model are: Good service and support from Anycubic with my FDM printers, fairly large build volume and high resolution.

Most of the videos I have watched portray the process as very successful, albeit potentially a bit messy.

I am well aware of the safety requirements of working with this type of resin, so I will not dwell on those here.
Key questions to the experienced of you out there:
1. How do you know or measure when the Isopropanol used for rinsing the objects and equipment is saturated with uncured resin? How do you know when to replace it?
2. The MSDS for the Anycubic brand of standard resin is easy to find on the internet, however a spec sheet containing other information such as dielectric strength and cured temperature stability eludes me. (Other data such as Hardness, Shrinkage, Tensile Strength, etc are readily available.) Does anyone have this data?
3. Obviously the resin is cured using UV light, but how stable is it outdoors in natural UV light for extended periods after you have finished the process?
4. If one was to print toothed gears and worm drives, etc, what lubricant would you use on the resin parts? Would a common silicone grease be suitable?
5. Some videos recommend not returning resin from the print vat to the original bottles of unused resin. Some videos do return it to the bottle. It seems both expensive and wasteful to not reuse the non-cured resin. What is the advice of experienced users?
6. What sort of things have you printed using SLA and possibly why you chose that method over FDM?

Many thanks in advance for sharing any tips and tricks, recommendations and avoidances.
Time is the overseer of all things.
 
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Offline Brumby

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2020, 02:39:20 am »
I, too, am interested in the answers to these questions.  Some of them I had already had in the back of my mind, but you have a couple more that I had not considered - but upon reading, I would also like to know.
 

Offline Mr.B

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2020, 07:18:51 pm »
Ok, so I have pulled the trigger...

Anycubic Photon Mono X 3D Printer 4K 8.9 Inch LCD UV Resin Printers 192*120*250mm
Anycubic 3d Printer Wash and Cure Machine 2-in-1 UV Resin curing
10 * 1 litre bottles of Anycubic 405nm UV Resin - assorted colours

Over the next couple of weeks I will build the fume cupboard to contain the printer and washer machines.
Actually it is just an extension to the existing fume cupboard around my FDM printers.
PLA is almost odorless, but when you start printing with ABS you most certainly need a fume cupboard.

I will continue to attempt to research my above questions. If I find sensible answers I will copy here.

I will keep this thread up to date with my journey down the SLA path.
Time is the overseer of all things.
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2020, 09:32:29 am »
I was looking into getting the Anycubic Photon Mono X but they've increased the price so -- NOPE!  Even before the price increase it wasn't cheap, compared to the Elegoo Saturn for example, though compared to some of the older players in the game it's price was not bad.  Still, they increased the price by about $140USD so I guess I'll wait to see if Elegoo can get there delivery act together.  At current prices the Saturn is more than $200USB cheaper.  Both, it should be said, use 4K monochrome LCD's with pretty much the same build volume.


Brian
 

Offline tom66

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2020, 10:56:20 am »
One thing to consider with all LCD-based SLA printers is the LCD panels are prone to failure from continued exposure to UV light.  Some estimates are around 200~400 hours of printing before 'dead' pixels and "leaky" areas of the panel (light no longer being adequately blocked by the panel) begin to disrupt printing.

This can be a fair expense - for instance - Prusa sell a replacement panel for their SLA printer for about $100 USD.  That's not too bad if it lasts as long as estimated but it's a cost to consider above resin.  The consideration has to be here, how easy is the panel to service and are spare parts (in assembled form) regularly available? 
 
At a former workplace we had a Form 2 (laser-based SLA printer) and nothing but problems with that printer, really quite disappointing.  I think the issue was the laser was beginning to wear too much so it could not expose the resin as well.  The prints would regularly fail - at least a 40-50% failure rate - by failing to adhere to the bed.  This was despite adding additional support on top of the recommendations from the Form software.  I am led to believe that this is actually uncommon with the Form 2 - it may have affected earlier units - but we were out of warranty by the time we realised the problem and Form would charge well over £1000 to service the laser unit on our printer.
 

Offline Mr.B

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2020, 08:46:54 pm »
Agree the Photon Mono X is a bit on the pricey side.
I am hopeful the build standard justifies the cost. I have no complaints about the two FDM printers I have purchased from Anycubic – they are both solid well made machines. (i3 Mega and Chiron models)

Regarding LCD lifetime, Anycubic claim 2000 hours for this model. Even if it only lasts 1000 hours I will be fairly happy with that.
Unfortunately they do not currently have replacement LCDs for this model listed yet. They do have a replacement for the smaller, lower resolution, Photon-S at USD60 ea. If a replacement for the Photon Mono X costs twice that I will live with it.

The SLA process is all a learning experience for me and as with any hobby, sometimes you have to spend a bit of money making some mistakes. I am pretty sure it will not be an expensive mistake.

Thanks for your input.
Time is the overseer of all things.
 

Online pipe2null

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2020, 06:34:35 am »
I'm curious if anyone knows anyone who's played with a Saturn yet?  I missed the pre-order window, and have since also lost my previous plausible justification/rationalization to expand my printing beyond filament and into resin...  But it's only a matter of time before I take the resin plunge, curious how the Saturn turned out.
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2020, 01:56:47 am »
One thing to consider with all LCD-based SLA printers is the LCD panels are prone to failure from continued exposure to UV light.  Some estimates are around 200~400 hours of printing before 'dead' pixels and "leaky" areas of the panel (light no longer being adequately blocked by the panel) begin to disrupt printing.

This can be a fair expense - for instance - Prusa sell a replacement panel for their SLA printer for about $100 USD.  That's not too bad if it lasts as long as estimated but it's a cost to consider above resin.  The consideration has to be here, how easy is the panel to service and are spare parts (in assembled form) regularly available? 
 
At a former workplace we had a Form 2 (laser-based SLA printer) and nothing but problems with that printer, really quite disappointing.  I think the issue was the laser was beginning to wear too much so it could not expose the resin as well.  The prints would regularly fail - at least a 40-50% failure rate - by failing to adhere to the bed.  This was despite adding additional support on top of the recommendations from the Form software.  I am led to believe that this is actually uncommon with the Form 2 - it may have affected earlier units - but we were out of warranty by the time we realised the problem and Form would charge well over £1000 to service the laser unit on our printer.


One of the main selling points of newer Mask-SLA  printers like the Mono X and Saturn is that they use "Mono" LCD displays that not only reduce the layer time because they permit higher UV transmission but they also last upwards of 2000 hours or more --  a huge improvement over the standard RGB LCD displays.  That 2000 hour figure is perhaps in question until it can be verified, but Elegoo and Anycubic and others are making similar claims on the lifespan.

One thing that bugs me though is that many are claiming layer times of 1.5 seconds or there abouts, but that only includes the layer exposure time and does not include the separation translation in the z-axis -- when the full layer time is calculated it's still more on the order of 7 seconds, give-or-take.

What I'd LOVE to see is the development of a UV laser panel with millions of small UV lasers in a 4K or even higher resolution format to make 25um or better possible as well as further reducing the full cycle time.  Additionally, there needs to be work to reduce the separation dance -- perhaps replacing the FEP plastic film with hard glass of some variety might reduce the z-axis movement enough to cut that time in half.  Imagine being able to build 25um models in the same time or faster than 100um models of the pre-mono LCD printers.


Brian
 

Offline Mr.B

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2020, 03:01:24 am »
Even with glass instead of FEP plastic film I suspect there may not be a lot of difference.
The Z axis still needs to lift up high enough for the resin to completely flow under the model before the model is lowered back into the resin.
I guess it depends on the viscosity of the resin as well...
Time is the overseer of all things.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2020, 03:13:14 am »
the rinse thing is stupid, get yourself a bottle and a brush and spray it down while scrubbing. You can also do simple green in a ultrasonic cleaner. I would not bother making a alcohol soak tray for those prints, its pointless. You will likely use less and get better results from doing it like an 'archeologist'. Then you will have only a small amount of alcohol left over, so you can evaporate it on a dish and throw away cured resin if you leave it outside in the sun light. The only thing a gallon of heavily contaminated alcohol is going to do is give you a problem, since its flammable and now somewhat toxic. You don't want to combine smelly, flammable and toxic in large amounts. The rinse you make really sucks IMO.

I also recommend fuse pulling plastic pliers for removing cylindrical prints off the print bed, a plastic car scraper kit and a bunch of tupperwares so you can do a whole bunch of prints before needing to clean it up.

I stopped doing anything with a tank to clean most parts, only stuff that is very complicated goes into the tank, just because the rinse is ridiculous to deal with compared to evaporating something like 50mL of cheap denatured alcohol (the clear one works fine). Gather up your small parts and rinse them in a stainless strainer first to do a general clean, then work with gloves and a brush.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2020, 03:22:48 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2020, 07:20:29 am »
Even with glass instead of FEP plastic film I suspect there may not be a lot of difference.
The Z axis still needs to lift up high enough for the resin to completely flow under the model before the model is lowered back into the resin.
I guess it depends on the viscosity of the resin as well...


Yeah, I can see how it's necessary to lift high enough to permit the resin to flow under, but it looks to me that many of these printers lift more like 7-10mm -- seems way more than necessary to permit even a viscous fluid to flow back.  If it is largely driven by the need to let the resin flow back then the distance the build plate lifts is more a function of the time needed than the physical separation needed.  If we're looking at time as the most important factor then perhaps some greater smarts on the geometry of the layer just exposed might permit a variable lift distance/time  -- a layer that extends 20mm by 20mm would take less time than a layer that extends 100mm by 80mm.  Being able to account for layer geometry could then reduce total time be a fair amount.


Brian


 

Offline Mr.B

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2020, 07:13:20 pm »
Agreed.
Some improved smarts in the slicer for that purpose may speed things up considerably.
Time is the overseer of all things.
 

Offline Mr.B

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2021, 02:45:57 am »
So much for a couple of weeks to build my fume cupboard as I stated above.
Life got in the way.

Fume cupboard complete. I can now print with the SLA resin printer and also experiment with ABS and PETG on the FDM printers.

Let the printing begin...




Time is the overseer of all things.
 
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Offline Brumby

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2021, 12:38:13 pm »
That's a big step - but it sure makes a lot of sense (especially if you have the room).
 

Offline Mr.B

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2021, 02:00:01 am »
I have just about run out of room to expand.
There is enough room behind me, from where I took the photos, to put another similar sized workbench if I ever needed to.
I would have to sacrifice some storage shelves to do that though.
Our house is late 70s era – back in the day when they built rock solid oversized homes in NZ.
The wall at the back of that cupboard is 200mm thick reinforced poured concrete… and it is an internal wall.
Unlike today when they put a poky wee place made out of balsa wood and cardboard on a handkerchief sized section.  >:D
Time is the overseer of all things.
 

Offline Mr.B

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2021, 11:24:22 pm »
First test print – Anycubic Photon Mono X
Default settings straight out of the box.
Layer Thickness: 0.05mm
Layer Exposure: 2s
UV Led Intensity: 50%
Z Lift Distance: 8mm
Z Lift Speed: 2mm/s
Z return Speed: 3mm/s
Overall Model Height: 55mm
Print Duration: 3h 21m
Bear in mind that the build volume would allow me to print 12 of these at once and it would take exactly the same time as only printing one.
Now it is a matter of tweaking the above settings to attempt to decrease the total print time and not have any build disasters…

Time is the overseer of all things.
 
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Offline Mr.B

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2021, 03:34:17 am »
How do I move this thread to *Off Topic Hobbies » 3D printing*
Or does this have to be done by a Moderator?
Time is the overseer of all things.
 

Offline beanflying

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2021, 03:53:34 am »
How do I move this thread to *Off Topic Hobbies » 3D printing*
Or does this have to be done by a Moderator?

Down the bottom Left. You can leave a notification in this section with a hyperlink to the new one too (good idea)

Now must not buy a Resin Printer to keep my FDM fleet company ....  :-DD
Coffee, Food, R/C and electronics nerd in no particular order. Also CNC wannabe, 3D printer and Laser Cutter Junkie and just don't mention my TEA addiction....
 

Offline Mr.B

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2021, 04:38:02 am »
Thanks Bean.
Time is the overseer of all things.
 

Offline ricard2k

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Re: SLA 3D Printer yet?
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2021, 05:27:33 pm »
I have a XYZ printing Nobel 1.0 for two and a half years now, and I´m pretty impressed with the results.
I used it for Model Railways.


 
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Offline beanflying

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