Starting with the FEP vat

I’m new to the Moai and was able to get some good prints on the PDMS vat before it tore. Based on some readings here, I decided to get the heater and FEP vat as my next step. Unfortunately, the FEP vat came with no setup instructions - it oddly included a paper about leveling my new build plate even though I didn’t order one. Here are my questions that I haven’t found answers to yet on the forum.

  1. If I was printing fine before, is it as simple as updating the Z reset and moving forward?
  2. I only have the original build plate and the posts I’ve read make it sound like there is a risk of the FEP vat overflowing with the original build plate. Is it enough to just cautiously start with only a little resin or do I really need to get the easy level build plate? If I add resin by weight, how much can be added?
  3. Some of the posts also suggest that the as-delivered FEP film is junk and should be replaced. Mine doesn’t look particularly clear at first but I could try cleaning it better. Is it really best to replace the film (I do have some replacement film)? That option is frustrating since one would think the pre-assembled vat would be ready to use as-delivered.

Thanks in advance.

  • the wiki was info on fep, ideadly you just need to change the z reset and print the pillars to check your level
    https://wiki.peopoly.net/doku.php?id=moai:fep
  • before doing that, update your printer settings.
    http://wiki.peopoly.net/doku.php?id=moai:firmware
  • original build plate will only hold a small amount of resin ( around 200ml max )
    test this for yourself by using water and putting the plate into the vat, see how much liquid you can get, remember the plate tilts, so you need buffer.
  • nothing wrong with the fep that comes with it, most people damage it because they dont do the fep switch properly and have failed prints rip the fep.
  • I only use Peo fep.

I have the same configuration.

I printed out the calibration pegs and found I had to recalibrate the actual screws, but I’m not sure if that was the new vat or because I had moved my machine from one room to another.

The vat will overflow pretty easy with the original build plate. There is a line around the metal part of the vat where it goes from being straight up and down (at the base) to sloping outwards. I found you need to keep the resin level slightly below that line.

re-leveling is necessary, remember that on FEP there would be a range of 1816-1820 or more depending on the user

just put a small amount of resin first, enough for a few first layer, and then pour in the rest when the build plate is fully down

you would know instantly the quality after printing the pre-sliced gcodes =)) But the FEP film which already there is good, unless you can spot something

P/s do try to test for leaks with water first, before putting any resin in

I had some horrible print failures with the FEP that shipped with the vat, and the FEP had a weird rainbow sheen to it; the prints wouldn’t release from the FEP at all. The FEP didn’t tear on me thankfully. Replacing the FEP with another Peopoly FEP from the refill packs helped tremendously, but I never was able to get consistently successful prints with the Moai 130 at all.

I don’t recommend the original build plate with the FEP vat because the resin volume is TINY and along with the vat tilting you’re taking a big risk overflowing. It’s certainly doable with caution, but it’s tedious.

Thanks for the feedback here. After a few life delays I was able to get back to this and was semi-successful at printing the calibration pegs on my second attempt. While my third attempt is underway, I thought I’d post about the standard build plate in the FEP vat.

The recommendation to keep the resin below the transition line is a good one. I weighed in 100g of resin and was a little underneath this. Even though it’s a bit alarming to watch the resin level rise, I did notice that during printing the spill risk during vat tilting is compensated by the fact that the build plate is separating and creating volume for the resin there while tilted. My prints tend to be small (so far) so this is plenty of resin to do those. In fact the calibration pegs only used 3g according to my before and after measurements.

I should also admit that I’m using Anycubic resin at the moment and learned from another forum thread that I can blame that for taking out my PDMS vat.