10 Tips for Solving 3D Resin Printing Problems That Went Wrong

In recent years, 3D printers have finally become widely available to the masses. They are no longer just tools for professionals and businesses. You can even find great 3D printers for under $500, including SLA printers. So getting a 3D resin printer is not difficult, but making a professional looking print can still be a challenge.

Resin Printers like the AnyCubic Photon Mono X 6K are ideal if you are a beginner who wants to get started with 3D printing quickly or an artist who wants to create detailed works of art. That said, 3D SLA printing can go wrong just like FDM printing, so let’s take a look at the most common problems and fix them through some simple 3D printing troubleshooting.

1. Use clean resin

You can avoid many 3D printing problems and print failures by making sure you use a high-quality, clean resin with no residue contaminating it. Always check your resin before starting a new project.

You may find cured resin particles in the bottle, especially if you buy large quantities. Solid residues can cause the printer to malfunction and your printout can go wrong halfway through the process. You can also accidentally contaminate the resin with alcohol or other liquids if you leave the bottle open. Inspect the resin and maintain a well-organized work environment.

2. Check the ambient temperature

You may be able to ignore the ambient temperature in your home, garage or workshop simply because you are used to it. However, it can affect how well the resin hardens. This is especially a problem if you live in a colder environment, as most resins require an ambient temperature between 22℃ and 25℃ and preferably even higher. Check the manufacturer’s recommendation and heat your workspace or move the printer to a warmer part of your home.

Before you start, you should also let the resin come to room temperature. If you just received a new batch of resin, it is likely colder or warmer than the temperature in your workspace. Let it sit for a few hours. You want a stable temperature during the printing and curing process.

3. Keep the LCD screen clean

One of the most common reasons for 3D printing failures is a dirty LCD screen. Any kind of residue on the screen can cause your printer to malfunction or cause print distortions. Your printer’s UV light must pass through the screen without anything blocking its path or you’ll end up with holes in your model and other defects.

The most common residue you will face is cured resin, as things rarely go perfectly with 3D printing. Use a plastic scraper to clean it. You can also use a sharp razor, but use it gently and carefully or you will damage the screen. Most of the residue should come off easily. If the screen is still slightly dirty, wipe it with a microfiber cloth and isopropyl alcohol.

4. Don’t print so fast

A common cause of ruined 3D resin printing is a high printing speed. 3D resin printing usually involves using a UV light hitting the resin to cure it. The resin must be hit by the right amount of light or you will not get any results. Printing too fast means that your print is underexposed, ie the resin is not getting enough UV light. As a result, your printer won’t print anything and if it does, you’ll have a fragile model that breaks easily.

Go to the slicer software and adjust the print settings, especially the print speed. Slow down printing in small increments and try again. Also don’t forget to check the resin and temperature first.

5. Print diagonally at 45 degrees

The unwritten rule of 3D resin printing is to print your model oriented 45 degrees. Why? Printing at an angle results in less scrap and better print quality, especially when many support structures are required due to a large print model.

When you print vertically, the weight of the model presses harder on the supports because the weight is not distributed properly. Everything flows vertically. By printing diagonally, the weight is distributed more evenly, reducing the risk of support problems. As an added bonus, you’ll also have an easier time removing the printed model from the build plate.

6. Do not overload the print bed

Printing can take a lot of time, so you’ve probably decided at some point to fill the build plate with as many models as possible. After all, why not save time and money by printing everything at once? Well, you could end up with nothing but a printing error and wasting a lot of resin.

If you are a beginner and make a mistake, all models on the print bed can go wrong. Depending on the model, your 3D resin printer may not even work properly with an overloaded build plate. So stick to printing one 3D model at a time, or a few at most, and remember to hold them at a 45-degree angle to increase your chances of success and print quality.

7. Check and replace the FEP film

The FEP film is a special foil used to create an optimal path for the UV light source to cure the resin. It is an essential part of the printing process. If your prints suddenly fail, check the film. It is often overlooked, especially by beginners.

After a certain amount of printing, the FEP film will warp or be damaged in some way. When you see such signs of wear, it’s time to replace it. Minor scratches will not affect the quality of your print, and if you see smudges, ignore them or wipe them down with paper towels and isopropyl alcohol.

8. Recalibrate the build plate

If your print comes out poorly on the first layer, the bottom layers, or fails completely halfway through, the build plate may be slightly skewed. As part of your printer’s maintenance routine, you should level it and repeat this operation as needed. Whether you are using a resin 3D printer or an FDM printer, calibration is the key to avoiding most 3D printing problems.

Depending on the quality of your printer, it may need to be recalibrated more often than others. That said, all 3D printers need some calibration every now and then. Refer to your 3D resin printer manual to learn how to level and return the print surface to its optimum position.

9. Dealing with Delamination

Filament prints aren’t the only ones that can look misshapen. For example, the resin layers needed to build models may not bond properly and they shift in various ways as if pulling apart. This layer separation is known as delamination and it will definitely ruin the look of your print as it is too obvious not to notice. Fortunately, you have 2 solutions.

Generate more support structures

Many things can go wrong with a resin impression if it is not properly supported. So make sure you have enough supports to hold the parts of your model that are at a drastic angle. Also remember to orient your model diagonally at 45 degrees to increase the resilience of your supports and the quality of the print.

Look for obstacles

Layer separation also occurs when something blocks the path of the UV laser. First you need to make sure that the resin itself is clean, without blocking any dirt or interfering with the light. You can use a filter to remove solidified resin if you’ve noticed it. After that, look at the FEP film and LCD screen for any marks, imperfections, or dirt. Clean all contaminants and replace the film if damaged.

10. Dealing with fraying

Ragging is another 3D print distortion problem that turns your model into an ugly mess full of blobs. Seeping boards that look like flimsy flaps will emerge horizontally from your print. These thin structures are often partially cured and break away in the resin vessel, blocking the UV laser and irreparably damaging the print. Here’s how to fix this issue.

Check the resin

Has the resin expired? Are you using resin that is too cheap to be true from shady sources? Depending on the resin, it has a limited life that can vary from 1 to 2 years. Expired resin is not reliable and reacts differently to the UV laser, ambient temperature and other variables. Improper storage can also damage the resin.

In either case, print distortion, such as fraying, is a common result of poor resin, so be sure to inspect it.

Look for obstacles

As with delamination, a blocked laser could be the cause of the ragging problem. Check the resin container for dirt. Clean the print bed thoroughly with a plastic scraper. Remove the resin from the tank and filter it in case it contains cured resin. Also inspect the FEP film and clean all optical surfaces.

Reduce the number of supports

Too many props can be a bad thing and ruin your print. Ragging is a symptom of high support density, so check the settings in the slicer software to reduce the number of supports. Make your supports more effective by also reorienting your model. As mentioned, a 45 degree angle will reduce the number of props you need.

What problem do you have with your resin 3D printer? Did any of our troubleshooting tips help them? If not, let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help you find a solution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.