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Unruly

Unruly's 3D Printing Follies

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So 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.

 

20201229_014414.thumb.jpg.9103c51770eeef6af290b9b9934eecc0.jpg

 

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.

20201229_025859.thumb.jpg.08761744263f8dbf3e6a83193aa4dcdc.jpg

 

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.

20201231_024327.thumb.jpg.7b74cb22f949aec45a43dd86a2cc620e.jpg

 

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...

 

20201231_040007.thumb.jpg.4b3dda85df15c950a66a7d1901edf63a.jpg

 

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.

Edited by Unruly
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You'll get there!

I never use rafts by the way.

Always skates,

Place heavy supports on the first thing that will be built.

Sometimes you can add a helper.

 

That means a heavy support where needed and maybe a medium or a few lighter ones a little higher up.

 

I have a Mars.

Here are my settings, they work for me.

 

Also for heavy big stuff like a bust, learn about hollowing.

 

QUESTION, who makes that Lemmy?

I'm a big Motorhead fan and it does look like him.

I want it!

 

image.png.34ad837acf1e4dbb1d18918cd4bd7166.png

On 7/27/2020 at 7:30 PM, Glitterwolf said:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjF54SFaMAQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIFRpG5V5vQ

 

Settings to remind myself should I accidently reset stuff.

Light, Medium, Heavy ( I never use rafts)

 

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image.png

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@Glitterwolf Lemmy is a dwarf I designed over at HeroForge. All things considered it was fairly easy to find the stuff to make him. As for hollowing, I know about it. I also know that you want to put a couple drain holes in, and that ChituBox is good for that because it gives you the option of saving the plug and printing it alongside the mini. Once I get a few more completely successful prints under my belt I've got a mini-bust of Superman that I want to print out that I'm going to definitely have to hollow, otherwise it'd eat up a ton of resin.

 

 

As expected of my print that I started before going to bed, only the legs and torso printed. I mean, it was obvious based on the picture I took last night when I checked on it, but there's the validation that the picture didn't lie. The legs, however, printed beautifully. So there's just something that's wrong with my plate adhesion and I need to figure out what. I'm going to make a new print file later today that has just the arms and cape, and I'm going to put them where the legs and torso are on the current file to see if it's just a problem with the center area of the plate. I don't know why it would be, since Lemmy printed fine in the center that second time around and even the first had good plate adhesion, as evidenced by the supports that printed sticking to it the whole time.

 

I've already ordered a replacement 5-pack of official Elegoo FEP just to be on the safe side.

 

One other thing I learned is that when printing multipart models that are keyed, it's not exactly a good idea to pack the keyholes with multiple supports. When I went to place the Cayde torso on the Cayde legs, I had to do a lot of work to clean out the torso's keyhole because the supports had fused to the sides. In the process I broke the hilt off of his knife. But he looks good. Needs more cleanup, but that's because I didn't do any cleanup.

20201231_161107.jpg

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I'd start with re-leveling and zeroing your build plate.  Just being off a tiny bit can cause failures, especially if they are always in the same part of the plate.

Do you clean your build plate with IPA (or equivalent) after every print?

When you clean out your vat, do you lubricate it with anything before refilling? I always wipe mine with a little silicone lubricant sprayed on a cloth or kleenex (I just use the WD-40 silicone spray....which is NOT regular WD -40, for clarification.....).

Just running through what I do when my Mars has adhesion problems.....

 

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1 hour ago, Humansquish said:

Since you think you might have a lack of adhesion on the build plate, have you tried sanding it?

 

I have not. My friend with a Mars said to, but I haven't done it yet because the Mars Pro and the Mars have different build plates. I'm just trying to avoid any potentially destructive modifications for now. And as minor as it may be, sanding is still destruction.

 

49 minutes ago, Jasper_the_2nd said:

I'd start with re-leveling and zeroing your build plate.  Just being off a tiny bit can cause failures, especially if they are always in the same part of the plate.

Do you clean your build plate with IPA (or equivalent) after every print?

When you clean out your vat, do you lubricate it with anything before refilling? I always wipe mine with a little silicone lubricant sprayed on a cloth or kleenex (I just use the WD-40 silicone spray....which is NOT regular WD -40, for clarification.....).

Just running through what I do when my Mars has adhesion problems.....

 

 

I've been wiping down the vat with 3-in-1 PTFE lubricant. The first attempt at printing Cayde was after an IPA cleaning. I also re-leveled and zeroed the plate between the first and second Cayde prints, though I can't remember if I gave the build plate a wipe down with IPA that time.

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6 hours ago, Unruly said:

 

I have not. My friend with a Mars said to, but I haven't done it yet because the Mars Pro and the Mars have different build plates. I'm just trying to avoid any potentially destructive modifications for now. And as minor as it may be, sanding is still destruction.

 

 

I've been wiping down the vat with 3-in-1 PTFE lubricant. The first attempt at printing Cayde was after an IPA cleaning. I also re-leveled and zeroed the plate between the first and second Cayde prints, though I can't remember if I gave the build plate a wipe down with IPA that time.

 

Every time you take a print off the build plate, wipe that build plate clean with a little IPA/Denatured Alcohol.

It takes little time and it will help!

 

 

 

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Well, I tried printing the arms and cape again. This time I made an entirely new file that had just those 3 parts, rearranged them so they'd be on different parts of the FEP, and made sure to give the printer the best scrubdown that I could before printing.

 

Same results. 3 flat blobs of cured resin stuck to the FEP and forcing me to really work at prying them off because they just will not budge. And I even caught it early. It had maybe gotten 1/4 of the way through the print before I checked on it and found that it wasn't printing.

 

So I took a break from trying to print Cayde, and I printed up 3 other figures(different sizes of the same Ent) that I had just to see if they would print. And they printed with no issues at all. So now I'm starting to think that there's something wrong with those particular pieces that keep failing on me. Gonna try some more troubleshooting tomorrow.

 

 

20210102_031816.jpg

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@Unruly it's possible you got a bad file.

 

Especially if you get stuff for free from thingieverse / cults etc which aren't tested.

You can try to autorepair it in chitubox or in 3D builder.

Maybe it will help.

 

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9 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

@Unruly it's possible you got a bad file.

 

Especially if you get stuff for free from thingieverse / cults etc which aren't tested.

You can try to autorepair it in chitubox or in 3D builder.

Maybe it will help.

 

 

I did an autorepair on my supported project file, sliced it, and just spent the last 20 minutes starting and physically checking a print of those pieces every few layers. I put on a glove and physically touched the build plate to find the edges of the pieces at layers 3, 6, and 15 since that's generally too small to see when you pause the print and the plate is covered in wet resin. They were there on the plate, though at the last check it felt like one corner of the cape was starting to possibly peel. But a visual inspection at around layers 30 and 50 showed that it was still there and the supports were building out from it, so I have hope that it will stick. At the very least it's made it farther than any other attempt has so far. The other two pieces seem to be doing just fine as well. So now I'm just going to let it print for a while and check back in like 45 minutes. If it's survived to then, I'm confident that it will survive the last hour-ish.

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And the piece that I thought was peeling and was most likely to fail this time did exactly what I thought it would do. It peeled off the plate and failed. The other two pieces, however, are doing just fine. So now I'll have to print up the cape by itself. I might try reorienting it and redoing the supports for the next printing, to try and cut down on the suction. Or I'll just redo the supports so that there's a much larger base to it.

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Well, my Cayde has arms now. Still no cape, though.

 

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20210102_183633.thumb.jpg.6bf27b92e927d41af945fc3172922b08.jpg

 

And because I wanted to try it just to see how it does, I just started a big old treant, the full size version of the 3 I printed before, with a .02mm layer size. It's going to take over 20 hours to print. Oh, and because I was dumb and did the previous printings' supports on a scaled down version rather than doing them on the full size and then scaling it all down, I had to do all new supports.

 

Wish me luck!

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The 21 hour print went well, despite me technically screwing it up. I forgot about the whole "thinner slices means slightly less exposure time" thing and so I was exposing the 0.02mm slices for the same time as the default 0.05mm slices. But we're learning as we go.

 

Also got the cape for Cayde-6 to finally print out. But it's off scale slightly or else the person that made the model didn't cut the pieces correctly for multipart printing. It looks fine from the front though, so it's not that big of a deal. But between that and the gaps at the waist and shoulders it makes me wonder just how big of a pain it would be to print the single piece version. Hopefully the single piece version still has the base detached, because the base has to be angled sharply in order to fit and still takes up almost the entire build plate.

 

20210103_175709.thumb.jpg.8f23f984f04c665e5117ae95f2d571d3.jpg

 

Looks kinda like Star Lord and Groot.

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Well, I wasn't entirely happy with the way that the multipart version of Cayde came out, so I took a look at the full figure model. The base was attached, which worried me, but it all fit on the build plate pretty much perfectly so my fears were unfounded. It took about 11 hours to print, and it came out great.

 

I think I went a little overboard on the supports, though. The gap between his cape and his back looked like it would be a problem, since I had him laying horizontal to fit, so I put a bunch of supports in there running from the cape to his back. But after it was printed I was looking at them and I think I could have gotten away with half as many supports as I placed. Most of what I placed were to give a little more strength during printing rather than being actually necessary to prevent bits from printing while unattached to anything else, and I just don't know that they were needed. And I definitely could have done most of them as freestanding supports coming in from the side rather than coming up from his cape to his back. But that was me just being lazy and trying to knock out the supports quickly.

 

And while I printed the multipart one at a lower quality level, so it's a little fuzzier on the detail, I think the single piece one is much, much better just by virtue of the gaps being gone and not relying on my horrible gap filling abilities. Also, the cape is actually scaled right. I just need to do a lot more cleanup on the cape for the single piece because I had to put a lot of supports on the back of it for proper printing.

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I present to you my latest failure. Meet Xantaras, tyrant eye, most beautiful of his kind, and emperor of all things!

 

20210110_165942.thumb.jpg.38be01e6ed9f0f8c8b2d4b7128de2c1c.jpg

 

This little guy here was my first attempt at hollowing out a model for printing. I made sure he had drain holes(8 in total, all hidden in places where other parts would have attached), I put supports inside him because when I viewed the inside I found islands, and I thought I had him good and done.

 

I thought wrong, I guess. He's my most interesting failure to date because he's failed twice in a single printing. Something obviously went horribly wrong at the start, because his lower jaw just failed to print outside of a couple horns. And then when it got to starting to print his upper jaw it somehow managed to pull the failed part of the lower jaw off of the FEP using the single part of the lower jaw that printed correctly, and it printed the bulk of his upper half before the supports failed entirely and he detached from them. I'm honestly really surprised at that. I figured once a print started to fail by getting stuck to the FEP it was done and over for everything that used that same part of the screen because no more light would come through there. I never would have expected it to manage to pull the failed part back up and resume printing properly halfway through.

 

I'm currently working on the assumption that I did something wrong with the hollowed model, and am attempting a print of a solid version. If the solid version fails, then I know it's back to the drawing board entirely.

Edited by Unruly
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