Beginner Questions

I’ve had my Moai 130 for a couple of weeks now and ever since I finished the calibrations I’ve been working on dialing in the parameters for the resin. Unfortunately I’ve had more frustration than success there but I hold out hope that if I just keep tinkering I’ll eventually find the magic numbers that unlock the printer’s potential. If not I’ll probably make a more detailed post with all the problems I’ve run into.

In the meantime there’s two problems I keep running into that I haven’t found described anywhere so far:

  • Whenever I use the heater my prints fail. Prints that might at least have a 50/50 chance of printing successfully otherwise have a 100% chance of failing whenever I have the heater on. Mostly I’ve been using the PM ring for testing but I’ve tried this with other files and had the same result (with laser powers from 54-62). I’ve noticed the resin I’m using (PolyJuice White) gets very runny with the heater but it still seems odd. I didn’t run into this particular issue when I was using Peopoly Grey so it might be a property of the PolyJuice resin but I’m not really sure if
    A) it’s fine to leave the heater off?
    B) if stable temperature is so important what else I could try?

  • I’ve gone through a PDMS vat and two sheets of FEP film in two weeks, not because they got cloudy but because they were damaged removing prints. In the case of the PDMS vat the print cured into the PDMS layer. That one may have been the resin I was using (it’s persistently overcuring). Everytime I’ve had a print fail I’ve had a skin of cured resin on the bed and a silhouette of cured resin on the vat. When I scrape them off the FEP film is occasionally damaged by the tool. Maybe that’s not normally a concern but with all the failed prints I’m having to scrape the bottom of the vats several times a day. Is there a safer way to do that than pushing a sharp metal object across the film?

I bought the heater but have never used it and after the horrible posts I’ve read about the heater on this forum I frankly wouldn’t trust it. I do keep my printer in my home though where it’s pretty consistently between 65-75 F.
You should have received a little yellow plastic scraper with your parts kit. That’s what you want to use to gently scrape your vat for debris.
I’ve only used peopoly model resin so the problem may lie with the non-standard resin you’re using. Be sure it’s for SLA printing and not DLP as those have different cure properties.

Thanks for the info!

I’ve tried using the plastic scraper but it has no edge so it’s like trying to flip a pancake with a brick after it’s seared to the pan. But elbow grease is certainly better than replacing or repairing a vat every other day.

I suspect the resin is the cause of at least some of the issues, though it’s hard to be sure. The vendor doesn’t specify if it’s SLA or DLP for this brand but most of their resins are DLP so it seems likely.

first, running on high laser power will radically decrease the lifetime of the vat, either PDMS or FEP
One thing to remember is that polyjuice is made for DLP printers, which require much less laser power (about 42-51).
Also, a lot of DLP resin types produce heat during printing, so that can explain why your prints keeps failing and feels runny when you turn on the heater