Our university just bought a Method X and it advertises that it can print 20um layers. I cannot seem to find anywhere in the documentation about how to achieve 50um or better resolution. Does anyone have mods and/or settings to make this printer do this? Any help is greatly appreciated! I have contacted support for the same but have not heard back from them yet. Also, is there a certain material that is better than the others that I may have to purchase to print in such resolutions?
While METHOD X has the fidelity and precision to make 20 um layers, in practice this is quite difficult to achieve. In fact, this resolution is difficult for most any FDM/FFF printer. The difficulties are primarily tied to flow control, at such small layer heights the amount of melted material passing through the extruder is quite small, so small that fine control of the melt can be dwarfed by expansion effects due to filament melting. At these flow rates it's difficult to keep any pressure in the hot end.
One way to keep the melt pressurized and extruding consistently--and this may seem counterintuitive--is to raise the speed of the extrusions. This will demand more flow and hopefully improve flow consistency. There still may be quality issues when going around corners because the extruder has to slow down to take those turns, but it may help during normal extrusion moves.
I don't know if there is one particular materials that would be more amenable to fine layer printing over another.I would see if it were possible with ABS-R first; this material has low viscosity and prints pretty well.
I'd be curious to see what your prints look like, too, please send prints, good or bad, of any attempts you might have at this resolution.