First Prints with Form 1+ 3D Printer

First Prints with Form 1+ 3D Printer

We finally got our new Form 1 3D printer in the lab. We have a few Makerbots in the room, but most of the printing that I do is at a high resolution, so I was pretty excited to try it out. It’s a desktop SLA (stereolithography) printer that uses a laser to cure layers of resin. The set up was pretty easy. The only downside is that the rinse baskets, which are used to clean the prints,  were not shipped with the other finishing materials. So, I’ll need to request those next week. Other than that, it seems to be working great.

I completed 2 prints. One was the default logo model that is preinstalled with the software, and the other was a smaller version of one of my Poly-faces portrait sculptures. In the images, you can see the model directly after it was removed from the printer. After that, I immersed it in an alcohol bath. That is the part that usually uses the rinse basket. I had to make due without it, so I just shook the container to try to clean it off. There were a few spots of resin left on the model which I could not wash off easily. I left them, because I did not want to mar the surfaces. Then, I removed the support material, which came of pretty easily.

Over all the print quality is great! Even without any sanding or additional finishing work, the surfaces were smooth and the build lines are very subtle. There were a few areas on the hair in the back of the head that did not print well, but I’m not sure if that has to do with thin areas or other issues from the original sculpt. I made this model several years ago and have better strategies for creating the hollow shell and preparing it for print than I did then. So, I’ll have to test it on a few other models. But for now, I’m impressed with the results. I’m looking forward to creating the next prints and getting the students up and running with it.

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