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Unruly's 3D Printing Follies
Unruly posted a topic in Tips and Advice: 3-D printingSo I figured that I would start a thread that semi-details my adventures in learning to 3D print in resin. The printer I'm using is the Elegoo Mars Pro, which is largely the same as the base Elegoo Mars. The primary functional differences are that the build plate has a different texture, and the LCD has something called a UV matrix added to it that makes it just barely faster than the base Mars when it comes to exposure times. I don't know what a UV matrix is, I'm not exactly knowledgeable in that area, but the Mars and Mars Pro use the exact same screen for replacements so it must be something that's not part of the LCD screen itself. Other differences are that they moved the USB port to the front for easier access than the back of the base Mars, and a largely useless air filter/gasket combo that does almost nothing to actually cut down on the resin smell. Practically speaking they're so close to identical that the things I learn here should be equally applicable between both the Mars and the Mars Pro. I've had a single successful print, 1 total failure, and 1 partial failure so far. My first print was a single miniature and, as pretty much expected, it was the total failure. I bought an STL off of HeroForge, loaded it into ChituBox, gave it a slight tilt, hit the auto-support button using light supports(it's a small model, that's all it needs right?), and immediately tried to print it. The end result was that my supports failed, leaving me with a bunch of little sticks stuck to my build plate and a vaguely human shaped blob stuck on the bottom of the resin tank. It was after that failure that I went and watched a couple youtube videos about how to properly support a mini. I learned that the auto-support option absolutely sucks a donkey's nether regions because of all the things it will miss, and that the only real way to ensure a good print is to do the supports yourself, checking every little thing along the way. So after my crash course I went and did my own supports, using what I'd learned, and about 45 minutes later I went to print again. I almost immediately regretted it, as I decided to continue watching more videos about support placement once the print had actually started. What resulted from my regretful printing was a solid print, and my only completely successful print so far.. Everything is there where it should be, and yet I still wasn't happy with it. See, I still screwed up. I didn't screw up the supports by not placing enough, in fact I probably overdid it by a ton. I screwed them up by way of where I placed them. I had a couple supports going right into some of the most detailed areas on him, and supports being built off of the mini itself rather than being built from the plate up. And where I'm pretty sure that I overdid the supports I gave him a lot of little pock marks and nubs that will require a good bit of cleanup. And since a bunch of those marks are on areas that are plainly visible at all times or detailed, like the hat and his shirt, it gives the mini a bad look. Oh well. It's a learning experience. And it isn't like I'm wasting a ton of resin since it's a single, small figure. No, all I was wasting was time because with an SLA printer the print time remains the same regardless of how packed your X and Y on the build plate are. All that matters for print time is the Z. Which is why people tend to load up their build plate with as much as they can before they go printing. Each one of those little Lemmys cost me two and a half hours and about 30 cents worth of resin. I probably wasted more resin cleaning the tank after that first failed print than the first print actually used. So let's fix that, shall we? Let's load up a build plate so that when I fail again I'm blowing both time and money, though with how relatively inexpensive resin is it still isn't much money. And to change things up I went and grabbed a different model. I don't need 6 Lemmy the Dwarfs, although I have plans to pretty much print just that in a couple days. No, this time I grabbed a larger multi-part model. Since I'm currently playing the crap out of Destiny 2 I got myself a free 75mm Cayde-6(RIP, Robot Nathan Fillion) from Thingverse. It's a good sculpt, it's designed to be printed in 6 pieces total including the base, and it will let me test out some of my newly acquired knowledge of placing supports. And that's what I did. I spent probably 2 hours the other night placing supports, moving supports, double checking supports, scanning through the slices to make sure I'd gotten everything, trying to get the pieces as good as I could. It was slightly nerve wracking. But then before I headed to work today(or rather yesterday since it's past midnight here) I decided I'd let it print while I was at work. Kill two birds with one stone. I had to be gone for 12 hours, the printer had to print for 4 and a half hours, so I hit print just before I walked out the door. Sounds like a perfect deal. Boy was I wrong. It's a good thing I didn't have to actually do anything at work because I was anxious about my print. I wanted to know how it was going, and I had no way to check on it. I just had to wait until I got home. And when I got home I found this. That's a perfectly printed Cayde-6 torso and head, with horribly failed arms, legs, and cape. Apparently they just didn't stick to the build plate at all, because as you can see from their misshapen blobs, they have the thin outer edges where the bottom layer extends past the actual outline of the part to give it a bit of a raft, and then everything else is that dark area. And outside of that differentiation they're all perfectly flat. That tells me that there was just no adhesion at all. So after cleaning the tank I leveled my plate again, refilled my tank, and am currently in the process of reprinting everything. I'm writing this up just before I go to sleep, and when I wake up I'll find out how it went. Or, since it's actually been about an hour since I started it(Really? It took me that long to write this crap?) I may just go check on it now... Well, crud... That's the torso and the legs, but no arms or cape. I'm going to let it finish, though. It'll give me the chance to check out how the supports on the legs went. And if I know those supports are good, then I can turn around and make a new file of just the arms and cape. It could be that I damaged the FEP film a bit much when I pried the failed prints off. They didn't want to come off at all, and I may have accidentally put a small divot or two, and maybe a scratch, into it while trying to pry them off. But I just got paid and official replacement FEP is available for $27 on Amazon, so I'm ready to live and learn through destruction if I need to... Edit: If you guys want to see my supports just let me know and I can post screenshots. But seeing as how this is probably going to be a thread dedicated entirely to my learning process and failures, I dont know if you'll want to use them as a reference.