What to do with my MOAI 200

My sister in law who knows nothing about 3D printers showed up at my house with a used MOAI 200. I have never used a resin printer so I would need to learn a lot to get good with this machine. My question is if this is worth my time. I would like to make functional parts with it such as upgrade parts for my DFM printers. I see a lot of discussion on limitations of this printer. It clearly seems like a good printer for some applications but may not be the technology I should invest too much in given my application.

Is this a good printer for this? Should I sell it and instead go to an MSLA printer?

Any insight would be great.

Really depends on what materials you can get your hands on and whether it’s in working condition and/or you want to get it working well. With tough resins you should be able to make some durable parts, and with the build size you’ve got some options as far as making big things which you would have to shell out a fair bit of cash to get with an MSLA printer.

If it’s working, I’d say weigh up how much it’ll cost you to get an MSLA printer and resin vs buying resin.

If it’s not working, I’d lean towards buying something else unless you have the time and interest to sort out it’s issue and get it going, as it could be simple, could be a massive pain. Also consider whether you’d want to sell on the 200 in this case else it’s an expensive metal frame with some cool parts.

Thanks for the reply.

I already ran it and it is working. I printed a cowgirl figurine that came out nice. The ring sample did not have the holes open so I’m assuming more tuning in needed. The functional part I tried was sitting on the plate and the bottom did not come out flat and seemed to have warped. I probably have to print it at an angle. I think the glass plate is not completely clear so I’m assuming it may need to be replaced. I see all this talk about FEP and other materials but don’t understand this yet. I would need to learn about all these to try and see if I can get it to print with a greater variety of resins and not just the Peopoly products.

For an MSLA I would just go with something smaller since I mostly want to print some smaller parts for my FDM printers like a cooling fan setup or stepper motor bracket using heat resistant resin. I find that complex parts are hard to print perfectly on FDM printers and heat resistance requires an enclosure which I don’t have. I don’t know if I could sell my MOAI 200 but even at a fraction of the original price it might cover the price of a smaller MSLA and I would probably have to spend some significant money on this MOAI anyways and it would still be a very slow printer compared to MSLA.

It’s a classic problem with the Moai 130 and 200. I have been working on getting them more mechanically accurate and just dialed my 130 in to about a quarter mm of accuracy.
This series of printer uses a Galvo to move a laser spot to different parts of the vat. I’m sure you realize this already, but this is one of its faults as the area can warp slightly from the center spot to the outer edges. Long of the short, you get dimensional variations in those areas. We’re still talking fractions of 1mm, but for some that is a huge variation.
With that put on the side, everything else is just like most other printers. If you have experience with FDM printing, just adopt this with the same mentality. Laser speed and laser power are the same as the print speed and nozzle temperature. No bed heating, but there is a heater for resin heating to make it more viscous. Other than that, line by line and layer by layer it has the exact same principle as FDM printing.
With that in mind, you can use Cura. The default settings are great and work very well. Most often all you would have to do is just adjust laser power so that it doesn’t over cure the resin. Just do the ring test after you lower the laser power by one point until the print has a pancake on the build plate, and one in the vat. This means that the laser is too low, and increase it by one point and that’s your sweet spot.
I made this file in Meshmixer (wasn’t hard to do) but you can use it to calibrate the X/Y dimensionality of the printer overall.

There is an attached video done by me as I awkwardly try to explain how it works.
For the Moai 130, and mostly the 200 too, there are two settings in the menu X Size and Y Size that can be adjusted to refine the dimensional accuracy of the X/Y galvos.
With all that said, and once you learn how to do supports, the machine works great. Lasts a long time, and can print some of the best resins I have ever used. I want to breathe life into it as it works so well and want others to enjoy it as much as I do. I’m also looking to buy a used 200 for these purposes as well and need one to print things that the 130 is just too small for.