I recently got the Moai working and ran the four pillars test. This completed successfully, although the pillars did not measure within the recommended bounds and were angled to the side instead of being perfectly vertical:
Despite this, I ran the ring test, which also completed successfully (these pictures were taken after I sprayed the ring with primer, but the detail turned out well and it doesn’t seem warped):
With the ring printing successfully, I thought perhaps the pillar heights were close enough and also that the angling of the pillars may have been caused by distortion at the edge of the print bed. I wanted to try something more complicated, just to see if it would work. However, before I did so, I emptied the vat to make sure there were no solids floating in the resin. I also re-leveled the plate as recommended if the pillars were not similar heights. After doing this, the build plate stuck to the bottom of the empty vat during the beginning of the printer startup cycle - this proceeded until the vat tilted, at which point the build plate and vat separated as intended and the build plate to the reset position. However, before the tilt, the z-motor made a grinding noise as it attempted to pull the plate and vat apart. I think this is because, while my vat was clean of resin, there was a little resin remaining on the build plate, which acted as a glue.
In retrospect, it would have been wise to run another test print at this point, but I neglected to do so. I instead tried the complicated print, which you can see here with supports added in Asura:
There are 12 separate pieces, though I arranged them close to one another so they could share the same base and hopefully some crosslinked supports. I also tilted them sideways to hopefully get more supports under each part.
The print did not turn out well. The base seems to have printed OK, but it was about the only thing stuck to the build plate when the print had finished. More importantly, most of the supports appear to have broken loose from the base before the printer even got to the actual print. Below are pictures I took after cleaning with ethanol and water and curing in water with the Peopoly UV lamp for 20-30 minutes:
This was the only piece that came close to printing correctly, and it has several steps indicating something shifted sideways during print:
Several pieces also have a strong tendency to curl up. Here is one forced to lie flat that curls when released:
You can also see in the above that the laser seems to be tracing the shapes more or less accurately, since the silhouette of the pieces can be seen.
I am looking forward to running another test of the pillars and ring to see if the issue is only the file or if there is now something out of calibration with the printer itself. However, my heater has simultaneously broken and it is too cold here for me to try printing until I get a replacement.
Can you recommend any fixes? Might there now be a mechanical problem with the printer caused by the vat and bed sticking together with the z-motor pulling against them?
Here are parameters of this print:
Room temperature: ~16-18 degrees C in surrounding room; unknown inside printer, but Peopoly heater installed and running throughout print
What type of resin: Peopoly Moai Model Resin - Black
Build plate type: easy to level
Vat: Silicon vat
What type Vat: Peopoly Original PDMS vat
Leveling measurement: A 10.43mm, B 10.39mm, C 10.57mm, D 10.72mm (though I re-leveled after this, as described above)
Firmware version: SLA-125 V1.18
System Setting is default per Peopoly recommendation? Yes
Laser Power: 58
Z-reset position: 1878
PM Motor Speed: 15
Z Follows: 2
Sliced & support added using Asura v2.2.1, profile Peopoly Moai 60um 35, calibration moai_calib-v2
Infill %: 100