Looking for advice, first time print

I am new to sla printing and would like to know if I can print the matterhackers Phil without any supports? From what I read I should put a couple holes in his feet for draining but I didn’t know if I should use support. This will be my first print using sla I am accustomed to fdm printing, this is much different. Any help or pointers would be appreciated

Which printer do you have? SLA printing is quite a bit different than FDM printing. Keep in mind that I am pretty new to SLA printing myself, so I don’t have all the answers.

With FDM you would print Phil standing vertically on the build plate and could get away with no support. With SLA you need to consider the cross-section of the layers and avoid too much peel force caused by a lot of surface area and/or suction. This is because after each layer of resin is cured by the laser or UV lamp, the lower surface of the model needs to be peeled off of the vat (or resin tank). This is done with a rocking motion of the vat. If peeling fails, the resin will be stuck to the vat instead of to the build plate or not stuck at all.

Bottom line, to improve your chances of a successful print, you need to typically tilt your model about 15° off of vertical to reduce cross-section, hollow it out and add supports to the low points of the model when viewing the model upright. Keep in mind that the model will actually be printed upside down. You also need to add holes to the lowest points possible on the model. The holes are more for air venting to prevent suction than for draining.

On a Moai, the Asura software can be used to position the model, hollow it and add supports. On the Phenom, I believe you would use ChiTuBox software to do the same thing.

It takes some practice and you need to think about things differently than you might be used to, but you will get it.

I have the moai 130
I was planning on using Asura rather then trying to figure out configuring cura. I went with the moai because it’s code based and I’m a machinist.

Tell me if I’m wrong but I configured him both ways, right side up and upside down. I then clicked the add support, it seems right side up is the way to go judging by the fact that there is more support to be made upside down.

I have read that I should tilt the part ( which is very uneasy with me because of my fdm background) but I understand it gives a better resolution? And has a better chance of not failing?

Also if using support should I remove inside supports? On fdm I would because I can go pretty far off an angle before having an issue, but I don’t know if this will be the same.

Assuming you are using a Windows computer, Asura should work pretty well for you on your Moai. It has for me anyway.

When positioning the model in Asura, you are essentially looking at it upside down from how it will be printed. I would leave it right side up in the Asura view and rotate it so that it is tilted back 10-15°. This will keep any supports off of the visible front surfaces. Hollow the model using around a 1.5mm wall thickness and then add 2mm holes to the “bottom”, where they won’t be seen on the printed model. Add supports using the Generate button. This works pretty well, but as you gain experience you will want to edit supports manually. You will notice that when you run the print, the printer will spend a long time on the first layer. This is to make sure it is well cured and will stick to the build plate. Once the first layer is done, the rest of the layers go pretty quickly.

First thanks for your help.

When it comes to adding holes for draining, should I approach that like I would liquid from a cup?

Or is it more for when the print is done and I clean it with alcohol and meant to clean the invited resin out?

Just trying to figure out where I have to put drain holes.

And I know this is probably a stupid question but should I have holes where the model starts lifting out of the vat and at the end of it for better suction relief?

This explains things pretty well:

I’m told it’s best to add drain holes at the lowest point you can on the model (as viewed in Asura). Typically you want to put them in an inconspicuous place. Someone on this forum provided a link to a YouTube video showing how suction can be formed as the model is printed, and the vent holes–which will be at the top when the model is printed–allow the air to vent thereby preventing a suction cup effect. Unfortunately I can’t find that video right now. Edit: Found it: https://youtu.be/Me8I_wiKMyI

Also, don’t bother removing inside supports unless you are using clear resin and don’t want to see them.

That tutorial was very helpful. In fact the most help I’ve seen.

Is there a way to find out how long or how much resin this will take ?

I Haven’t been able to find that attribute

Asura will give you an approximate volume of resin needed to print but you should have mote than that in the vat.
It also lists time but that value is pretty worthless because it doesn’t take into account peel time.
Best bet is measure how long it takes each layer to peel and multiply that by the number of layers in the print (that is displayed on the printer after starting) and add the total to the Asura estimate.
Then add about an hour for the first layer.

Sounds good. Last question and then I’ll post after I have a successful print. Will .1mm be a good quality or should I use the .06 setting?

That depends on what you’re printing. For smaller prints (say 25mm tall) I’ve gone with 40um with great results. For typical things 100um should be good and won’t take as long. Maybe start with 100um until you get a successful print and then adjust from there.

I’ve only ever printed at 40 microns.

That usually looks great though it will take longer.

The resolution of SLA is one of the best reasons to use it so if you care about detail more than time I go for detail.

Should use approximately the same amount of resin either way too.

Can I expect an sla print to take about as long as an fdm print ?

Far longer, you’re working with what equates to a much smaller nozzle and far lower layer heights. Your advantage there is that the laser in the moai should move a lot faster than an fdm printers nozzle, though not enough to balance it out.

Does anyone know if I can convert all these unnecessary g1 everywhere to arcs in asura or cura?

I can do it in nc plot or editpro, but I was wondering if I can shorten the code with the slicer

Also I can’t seem to get asura to post resin amount needed. I’m told that should be an option?

Should be here in the bottom right

I must have downloaded an old version. Where’s the best place to get the newest?

Newest should be 2.2.4, should be found here:

Thanks I will get that one

I see other users has solved a lot of questions from you @Shaun
Remember that you can find 99% of the information in Moai wiki : http://wiki.peopoly.net/doku.php?id=moai:start&redirect=1

Thank you I am still waiting for the printer to be deliver so that information is probably in the package. I am just trying to get the software set up before it gets here so I have one less thin to do. Everyone has been very helpful!