After first bottle of resin I have some points about failed prints for you. So how can your print fail and how to solve the problem.
1, I have found first couple layers stuck on the bottom of a vat - this is the most often problem that happened to me. It appears usually after failed print. Your calibration is off a bit and your first layer is not aligned correctly and it peels off. Your calibration can become disaligned usually then buildplate is not thightened enough and you are removing item from it, or maybe there is a piece of cured resin on the bottom of your vat from previous fail, that you did not scoop out. Recalibrate and try again. Also clean your vat and recalibrate after each failed print.
2, unfinished part of print is stuck on the bottom of vat - this is pretty similar to first case, but cause is completly different. In DLP printing your print is holding on the top of buildplate by suction force. This force is usually enough to hold your print up. But if total area of layer printed is bigger than area of first layer, it can happen, that this suction on the bottom vat is stronger and your print will get torn off. From now last layer wil be cured again an again. best method to fix this problem is rotate your print and print in angle. If you have long straight smooth surfaces and you do not want lines on them, print them perpendicular to buildplate. use supports and raft, that is bigger than your model if necessary. In this case supports should be sturdy enough to hold your print.
3, raft is stuck on buildplate, part of model is stuck on vat - this happens when your upport are not strong enough to overcome suction force from previous example. Add more suppports, use some heavy supports if there is space where they can be easily removed.
4, model is warped and shifted - your buildplate is not thightened enough and if got moved while printing. recalibrate and thighten it thoroughy
5, part of model is squashed and flat or missing - you have unsuported overhang. This should result in part being not printed at all and its projection stuck on bottom of vat, but sometimes printer manage to glue part back to model and separate it. Always support overhangs, especially "islands"
This is it, 5 mos usual non-technical printing fails with enycubic photon.
Finally have the ability to post on the forums!!
Sorry if some of this is redundant, but I want to share some of the fails/successes I've had.
Accessories - get some tools to help (AMAZON EVERYTHING)
- a squeezable wash bottle (like hospitals and tattooists use) to squirt alcohol on models to clean narrow bits
- a metal plaster spatula/scraper, be sure to be careful with sharp edges and not gouge the plate. only use on the plate, use a soft spatula to clean out the vat
- a UV curing box (typically for manicurists curing epoxy fingernails) I got one with a removable bottom so I can stack it up over taller models to cure after printing
- Big glass bowl - NOT FROM THE KITCHEN YOUR WIFE WILL KILL YOU - to rinse the parts and models with alcohol. It will leave residue, so the bowl should be for this purpose only!
- Tackle box - I got a plastic cheap toolbox, but something to store all the bits and tools and resin bottles etc. There are a lot more things that go into the process than you'd imagine. Gloves, paper towels, etc. notwithstanding.
- Cover - I kept the Styrofoam top half of the packaging. My "build" room is a room attached to a guest bathroom, with exhaust fans (MUST HAVE) but windows. I'm not entirely sure I NEED to, but between builds during the day, with a vat full of resin, I block out additional light by slipping the snug foam back over the top. Just in case. Never had resin go bad yet.
Make some support models - I downloaded a Swiss army toothpick and a rectangle that I use to manually create support in models where the support portion of the slicing program falls short. You can move and scale them as needed, but sometimes the slicer thinks there's not enough room to generate a support. Put your own in. YOU CAN"T HAVE TOO MANY SUPPORTS (in my opinion). Easy to exacto out, keep the model from melting.
Level the Build plate - if off by a little bit, you will have models in the center of the plate turn out mostly ok, models on the "short" side loose the depth of the first few layers, and the models on the "high" side never stick to the build plate in the beginning. Fails all over.
Calibration - the instructions don't give a lot of explanation on how tight to set the zero of the build plate. TIGHT. The manual uses the term "feel the resistance" when pulling out your test paper. You should feel the paper being held down by the plate, evenly on all sides, and it should be tight enough you would have to pinch and pull it to remove it. It should be too tight to slide back in easily. Dozens of fails until I recalibrated. SHOULD HELP THINGS STICK TO THE PLATE INSTEAD OF THE VAT.
Tighten everything (obv) - the set screw at the top of the build plate loosens almost everytime I pop something difficult off the plate. Usually its only allowed to turn, not tilt, so a little tightening each time helps. (TRY NOT TO AGGRESSIVELY TIGHTEN WHILE ON SPINDLE IN MACHINE - can twist the gears). Tighten those vat screws so the vat doesn't shift.
SIZE - I often tried to estimate the size of some of my miniatures, thinking the grid in the slicer meant something. I can't see that it does. I've made a mm scale device, so hopefully most of my prints (tabletop miniatures) come out in the right size range.
- Don't be afraid to replace the FEP film - I did this, after my first few weeks of experimenting with my new printer (and ruining it). It took some time, lots of screws, but the parts go together very well and its not difficult to get a nice tight lens. Try to install the screws in a pattern like tightening lugs on a car wheel. Dont tighten them all the way down at once, try not to tighten one side first, dont go in an even circle. Pick a few at random spots across from one another, tighten 75%, then fill in the rest of the screws and tighten to 100% all over. Keeps the film from stretching unevenly.
Hope at least some of my rambling is helpful. Please feel free to comment or message me with questions. I've basically tried every terribly idea to get a build to NOT work, and have learned a good bit.
I mostly use my Photon for printing minis at this stage and I had a difficult time getting the support to not interfere with the model or print on the base plates.
Turns out the solution is to change the following parameters:
- Increase the Length(mm). (Until it doesn't interfere. 10mm in the example below)
- Increase the Support angle to 90° (Makes it stand it more from the model. Also easy to remove)
You might need to change the Support Density% if your model is complex and always do a quick check to ensure the slicer is not missing any obvious overhangs.
I regularly run into a specific issue which I can't resolve, probably you have some thoughts.
At some point a model starts to shift horizontally. Everything up to this point and after that is printed fine, the area of effect is about 3-5mm high. Please see the images with description and examples. Any ideas?