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Resin Printing for the uninitiated

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  • Resin Printing for the uninitiated

    To save answering the same questions it became obvious that a helpful post about resin printing would be appreciated.

    Slicers: I've tried Chitu, Lychee, Prusa and the one that came with the printer Photon workshop...I prefer Chitubox...backup your modified print profiles because they can disappear after an update or a software crash...it's happened!

    I always use auto supports and always use heavies at 20% support density then add extras under the tops of wheel arches and the tops of the window especially in the centre of the front & rear.

    I've done the faffing around you see 'experts' do with no apparent improvement...in fact the more 'expert' advice you watch the less you trust the software designers ability to let the software do a job well enough to get prints completed and you end up changing stuff, spending AGES doing a better job than the software (well that's what you'll want to believe) all to end up with failed prints...ask me how I know

    1. Put a screen protector film over the LCD, you'll thank me after your first FEP fail.
    2. It's obvious but make sure the bed is 'level' (that doesn't mean you need a spirit level...there are clueless folk out there). Once level it should stay level unless you've forced something.
    3. Do validation prints to find the best settings for your resin and printer - I prefer the XP2 test, it's quick and good enough for my needs and you'll learn more in an hour than a week of watching youtube videos.
    4. If you use Chitu use auto supports, heavies, 20-25% density, add extra heavies at high spots.
    5. I used IPA to clean up until now and have recently bought twelve 1L bottles of Ethanol, it's cheaper and doesn't small as bad.
    6. I use an ultrasonic cleaner filled with IPA (or Ethanol) and 4 minutes is long enough. I put prints in a pre-wash bottle with IPA/Ethanol and to get rid of 90% of the resin before using the ultrasonic cleaner (this will cut down on the number of times it'll need cleaning out).
    7. Let the washed print dry in a warm place for a few hours, if it's still 'wet' in places that could be unwashed resin that may need returning to the cleaner, you can use a soft brush here.
    8. I remove supports with a pair of wire snips then cure the print in the sun (spring/summer) or a curing station for 5 minutes...cure inside and out. I don't listen to those who say you can over cure, to me it's either cured or it isn't, resin that's not fully cured will split in a few months time (again ask me how I know).
    9. Once the print is cured I leave it for a day or so, it seems to dry out. If it's a bodyshell I sit it on it's sills on a flat surface so it doesn't warp when it's drying.
    10. Resin bodyshells don't like high temps, they will warp so store them on a flat surface. A warped bodyshell is easily straightened dipping in a cup of really hot water for 5 seconds then sitting on a flat surface while it cools, you can even twist it slightly whilst it's hot and run it under the cold tap to 'set' it in it's new shape.
    11. When you're happy with your new print you can flat it with fine wet & dry in water (I'm happy enough with the print as it is, you can't see layer lines at racing speeds).
    12. I spray the prints with grey Upol etch primer and leave it for 24 hours then paint as you wish.
    13. Windows... is the biggest pain but there's tons of useful waste clear plastic you can use, I cut thin strips and stick them in place with a tiny drop of superglue on the end of a piece of piano wire.

    I'd love to see other resin 'makers' tips here
    Kevan - Isle of Man
    Life is like a box of Slot cars...πŸš“πŸš—πŸššπŸšœ

  • #2
    Kevan, great help. Thanks! It's what these fora are for!
    Stan S.
    Newberg, OR
    Autodromo Rossa Colline (Red Hills Raceway)
    Member NASTE (Northwest Association of Slot Track Enthusiasts)

    Comment


    • #3
      Pretty good summary Kevan. I still use Photon workshop, as it just works for me and hasn’t driven me away to something else, I concur with your comment on the Youtube experts. Most of my failures have been after taking advice to shorten exposure time or some other , β€œtip”

      I reset my printer to the default settings it came with and it just prints.

      I manually add supports as sometimes it seems the auto feature in workshop will miss a few key points. Basically I go around the perimeter using heavy supports making sure I have tacked every corner. Then I will do the interior with medium supports, and finally tag mirrors with light supports.

      I use an auto primer and filler out of a rattle can. A couple of coats of this with a light sanding in between will yield a body with zero layer lines,

      Cheers

      Dan
      Cheers

      Dan
      G.P Alberta

      Comment


      • #4
        I find auto supports in Photon Workshop are like tree trunks compared to Chitu heavies.
        Kevan - Isle of Man
        Life is like a box of Slot cars...πŸš“πŸš—πŸššπŸšœ

        Comment


        • #5
          So I am a resin newbie. Got the first successful body today, Alfa T33/2 Daytona.

          Kevan So you are washing the entire print including supports? I tried pulling supports before washing. It's slippery and messy work. I was not impressed.

          Cura has a support setting (Z distance) that minimizes contact with the model. Chitubox supports seem to leave divots or pockmarks (which I don't care about inside the body). Is that Contact Depth in Chitubox?
          Come Race at The Trace!
          Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN
          https://cults3d.com/en/users/chappyman662/creations

          Comment


          • Kevan
            Kevan commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, I pop the print off the plate with a metal scraper with minimal force - it took a while to realise this, seeing other people talking about sharp chisels and hammers and other skin cutting implements by people who know nowt about hand tools and how to use them...then straight into a bottle of Ethanol to pre-wash, then into an ultrasonic bath full of IPA (until it needs replacing with Ethanol) then let it dry, then remove supports, then cure.

            ...yes, contact depth, mine is set at 0.5mm

          • Kevan
            Kevan commented
            Editing a comment
            I wear rubber gloves and minimise the contact with uncured resin as it's messy as you say. There's no way round this unless you put the whole printer plate in a wash station...I don't have time for this as I usually have another body to print as soon as it's available.

          • Barc 1
            Barc 1 commented
            Editing a comment
            I submerse the whole build plate with the print still attached. Scrub and then I remove the print. Prints come off easy when you have your adhesion layers dialled in.

            You can adjust the contact shape and depth of the supports in photon workbench and I haven’t been having any issue

        • #6
          I don't use it much, but when I do, I LOVE having two build plates and Wham-Bam magnetic flex plates on both of them. I can print with one plate, then while it's going through the washing and curing cycles, I'm already printing with another plate. The whole plate goes in the washer, the flex plate pops off anything with no tools, and a quick wipe of the magnet and both sides of the flex plate with a single IPA dampened paper towel, and it's ready for the printer again.

          I use Prusa Slicer for setting up models as far as orientation and supports, because it's what I'm used to. Then I simply export the place as an STL, open that in Chitubox, and slice it for printing.

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          • #7
            Chitubox recommends angling at about 30Β°, to "minimize angular distortion" or some such. Do you folks with successful prints angle the model?
            Stan S.
            Newberg, OR
            Autodromo Rossa Colline (Red Hills Raceway)
            Member NASTE (Northwest Association of Slot Track Enthusiasts)

            Comment


            • Kevan
              Kevan commented
              Editing a comment
              2Β° on the X & Y axis. A 1/32 bodyshell will then take about 3 to 4 hours, at 30Β° inclination that goes up to 5 to 6 hours and an increase in waste resin. If you look close enough you'd notice the difference but I hate throwing expensive resin in the bin. The reason I got the Photon Mono X was the build plate is big enough for a 1/32 bodyshell to sit flat on it.

            • MrFlippant
              MrFlippant commented
              Editing a comment
              Depends on the model as to how much I angle it, but yes. Any large, "flat" surface should be printed at an angle to reduce the appearance of layer lines as well as the peeling force required to win the tug of war between the model and the FEP.

          • #8
            Thanks. My Qidi Tech Shadow has a big enough plate as well. Plus, printing the model virtually flat means all the support is mostly underneath, so not much cleanup to do on the surface.
            Stan S.
            Newberg, OR
            Autodromo Rossa Colline (Red Hills Raceway)
            Member NASTE (Northwest Association of Slot Track Enthusiasts)

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by stumbley View Post
              Thanks. My Qidi Tech Shadow has a big enough plate as well. Plus, printing the model virtually flat means all the support is mostly underneath, so not much cleanup to do on the surface.
              Correct
              Kevan - Isle of Man
              Life is like a box of Slot cars...πŸš“πŸš—πŸššπŸšœ

              Comment

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