Adventures in Resin Printing: One users experience

Thanks for having a look. This is a series of my own experiences mostly laid out by community lead myth’s and topic. I will try to keep the edits to this OP. So if you ask questions, they might just pop up here so every one can see them.

My printer is better than yours:
Maybe, Probably. Not sure I care. Some one always has something better, I am not in the game to play keeping up with the Jones. I ordered a promotional for an AnyCubic Photon with 2x 1ltr bottles of their green resin. Some how the order was switched to the Photon Zero. They insisted I made the choice, but it wasn’t even an option since the Zero promo included grey Resin. A few week later the Mono X came out… Now that was a better printer. Who has the best I don’t really know. I looked for a moment and I at the time, I would have said Mono X. But that was like 2 years ago. For now, it’s done what I need and I have been mostly satisfied with the results. I thinks that’s about all that’s really important.

Old Resin cannot be Reused:
A complaint I have seen over and over is that the resin left to sit in a reservoir will harden or break down. But I have never seen that myself. I mean I work with several kinds or 2 part resin epoxy compounds and the clear stuff always hardens, some over several months, some in a matter of days just for having been opened! My reservoir I have left sit full or at 1/4, and for weeks to months, without touching it. Then pop the cover, check the head, submerge, check for bubbles and start print. I keep mine at work. The temp in here might be in the 40s-60s, it might be in the 70s-90s. The trick might be the way the Zero is laid out. The hood is solid, no vents, and sits a about an 1.5in bellow the edge of the reservoir. This trick might well be helping to keep the stuff. Lid is also always on tight to the base, there is no special seal but it does sit completely and there is very little spec for air flow other than to out gas. I have done this over winters and summers, with green and black resins. No, sorry I have not kept a detailed log, so this is strictly personal experience, no science.

What Resins do you use?
The Resins I have in my printer are the Anycubic basic green translucent, Weisteck ABS LIKE Black, and SIRAYA Tech Fast Smoky Black. I often mix the two blacks. The smoky is cloudy dark blue, similar to the green in terms of durability and printer settings. The ABS like black is kinda soft and flexy, never really gets fully hard, and the settings need to be tweaked. Mixing the two produces decent results, though I am not going to tell you to repeat any of this, only that this is what I do.

It’s only good for making models:
I am not a resin expert but I chose the resins for their advertised durability. I have made tools, they were then reworked and tooled to be exactly what was needed. One was even used for tooling custom filament throats for a FDM printer. So more than durable enough.

If Resin leaks into the printer, its all over:
Yes I would agree, for most of us. You must take care of your FEP. If it leaks, it can get into the LCD. If you don’t know that has happened and you test start the machine you now harden that resin and its over. I dissembled mine and over a few days fully cleaned it out. Found all the drips, then reassembled. I did need a new PolyCarbonate lens and a new LCD. But that was about it. The polycarbonate I sourced and cut to spec by hand. The LCD, I ordered from any cubic along with new Dust seals and FEP inserts for the Photon Zero.

Dust seals repel resin:
False. Dust seals seem to be made from some kind of electrical tape cut with a Cricut. If they get resin on them, they break down and wrinkle up. The resin will then drip inside your printer. The seal is really only there to protect against dust.

You should clean FEP often:
False. I would recommend if possible, NEVER EVER touch your FEP. If you are made of cash, change the FEP with often. Otherwise, don’t touch it unless necessary. Just cleaning it, with solvent will damage it. The longer you can keep resin in that tray and keep getting good prints the better the results will be. Once you clean it, you get fine scratches in the sheet and they will effect fine details. If you manage to break the FEP or puncture it. Just hope, you don’t.

Resin printers have strong fumes:
I have never noticed. A coworker says yes. The machine when new made a stink but as I broke it in, the smell diminished. The resin has a mild odor, but nothing serious. Now my wash bins, they have a potent smell, and that’s with exposure filtering.

IPA can’t be reused:
I don’t waste it. I have two washes, a pre exposure and a post exposure. There is always some little droplet or sheen to be washed off. I will expose the tubs, then filter. I also expose the filters and any towels used to clean up. That way nothing being thrown out is toxic, it is always hardened. The cleaned IPA some times holds dyes, but is otherwise clear and ready to use again.

You have to use the AnyCubic software or it wont work:
I use software from Mango 3D, called Lychee. I do pay a yearly fee for the premium features, no ads, cloud backup, supports, etc. Though I don’t use the software that often, it has evolved quickly and become a very powerful tool. Not sure what else is out there now. But at the time, the alternatives were too frustrating to sit and wait for them to work.
Average export time is about 15-90 seconds.

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