So… I still see people having issues with this resin, so i decided to share my experiences with it so far and show you guys how i have been printing with it.
I’ve had my fair amount of “issues” with it, most of them was just lack of experience with SLA in general, others was the models i was using, others was just how this resin works, its a bit different from the Regular Peopoly Resin.
So, the setup i am using is as follows.
Stiring the Resin:
You need to make sure you stir the resin before each printing job, EVERYTIME! When you are stiring the resin, make sure that the bottom of the Vat is clear, not cloudy, CLEAR, i’m not talking about the cloudiness you get from the wear the laser does to the Vat, sometimes if you dont print frequently the bottom of the Vat becomes clouded as the resin starts to settle, you are still able to print, but dont expect crisp and optimal results.
So, if it’s clouded you should not only stir the resin but also scrape the bottom of the Vat, GENTLY (this is important), i use an old credit card i had laying around to do this, i scrape the bottom until all that cloudiness is gone, after that i stir the resin really well.
Preheating the Resin
Heating the resin is a must if you want consistent results, Regular resin seems to print fine at 25ºC and you can get good results with it at that temperature. After testing this alot with Hitemp, i can tell you that in order to get the best results Hitemp Resin needs to be at 30ºC, anything lower that that and the resin is too viscous and you will have problems with resin flow.
Correct laser power is essential to achieve the best quality possible, the problem i faced here is that the ring stl provided to test the laser power doesnt work so well as it does for regular peopoly resin. You may find that you wont be able to get the holes open as much as you can in regular peopoly resin while also maintaining good supports and base. I would say that as long as they are open and all supports are there, you are good to go, i settled for 51 laser power, but i tried 49, 50, 51 and 52.
Honestly i’ve tried all orientations possible and this is going to be different for every model you print, some of them will print better straight, others tilted, etc etc.
My advice is, try to print it in a way you use less supports while also trying to reduce the area that is in contact with the PDMS at every layer change.
Supports are the foundation of our prints, we need enough to hold the part in the buildplate, without that the part will detach from the buildplate and end up a big blob of cured resin in the Vat.
First, make sure your printer is correctly calibrated for the type of Vat you are using (FEP or PDMS), if the printer is correctly calibrated you will increase your chance of sucess, a well calibrated machine will have a good first layer which will ensure that the part will better hold onto the buildplate (not needing extra support to hold it down).
The best practice for supports is to use as low density as possible, its better to use 1 or 2 thick supports than 3 or 5 skinny ones. The idea behind this is that if you use alot of supports you will heavily restrict resin flow, this wont make the print fail (most likely) but it will ruin the details of the model around the support area, so try to use less thicker supports. The machine is able to print overhangs almost at 90º angle, you just need to make sure the part is properly supported… no point in adding supports on overhangs of 40-50º just because you think it wont be able to print that overhang.
Hollowing the models
I bet everyone does this already, but you should always hollow out your models. Really large models i use 2.5mm walls, the smaller ones i use 2mm or even 1,5mm. If its so tiny that a 1,5mm wall is impossible, print it solid.
I use Peopoly Stock settings, all my prints have been printed with the 1.16 and 1.18 FW, lateste settings can be found here: http://wiki.peopoly.net/doku.php?id=moai:firmware
I always use the latest Cura and Profiles available, the only change i make is to use the “Pause Script” created by @matt3o, you can find it here: Adding a pause between layers
You can read all about it in the topic above!!
I mainly use the 40, 60 and 100 microns profiles, going under 40 doesnt seem to be really advantageous with Hitemp.
The cleaning process
Properly cleaning the parts after they are removed is essential… if you cure the parts with even a very fine layer of liquid resin still in the part you will lose details. I hear alot of people saying parts are still tacky after curing, i can tell you that after i clean my prints (before curing them), they barely feel tacky… if at all!!
After removing the buildplate from the machine i spray the parts with 96% Ethanol from every angle possible, the dripping Ethanol will be tainted with the resin and you can clearly see it, i only stop spraying when the Ethanol that is dripping is clean, after that the parts go to the 1st Ethanol bath, they stay there for 40-60 seconds, during that time i let the resin go inside the model (if the model is hollow) and i shake the model inside the Ethanol, after that time i grab a paint brush, soak it with ethanol and brush the parts in every crevice, with that done in it goes to a 2nd (Clean, this is important) Ethanol bath for 10-20 seconds, i shake it inside one last time and its done. I get clean and non-tacky models this way.
ADVICE - If you see that the parts always feel abnormally tacky even after cleaning and curing, maybe you are undercuring the resin while printing, try adjusting the laser power in the printer or reducing the printing speed in Cura (this will make the laser more slow, giving it more time to cure the resin).
The Curing Process
My advice is to cure the parts with the peopoly light, it takes 10 min max to get the parts cured if they are inside water.
Well… i think that is it… if i remember something else i will add it to the topic. I would like to thank everyone who helped me so far (specially @matt3o, he is really helpful and a experienced user) with my problems and feel free to share your experiences aswell, im sure others have different methods that work as well.
I will leave a few pics of some of my prints.
All these models (at the front, the ones in the back are from FDM) are printed at 100 microns with Cura 3.5 BETA (Photos bellow)
This one is 50 microns (with the old profiles and cura) (Photo Bellow)
The T-Rex head is 50 microns (with the old profiles and cura) (Photos Bellow)
This ring was printed at 40 microns profile using Cura 3.4.1
And this Hulk Model was printed at 40 microns, legs, feet, arms, upper body and head were all separated. It was primed with Chaos Black Paint from Citadel Paints and i’m still working on painting it.
Happy printing for all!!