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Old 12-28-2021, 10:31 PM   #21
Steve Jackson
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Re: What's your printer?

After rooting for Jean and Eric from the sidelines, I'm getting into the act myself with a Mars 3. It comes bundled with a Mercury X washing station, but that may be more than I need, in which case I'll swap with the one at the office where high production will be needed more often.

I will report on the learning curve.
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Old 01-21-2022, 06:34 PM   #22
tomc
 
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Location: Carrboro, NC
Default Re: What's your printer?

I got an Elegoo Mars 2 for Christmas, and I'm liking it. The my first print of the two test rooks came out perfectly, I've printed Octopuses and such, and in general it just works as long as you're careful with the resin and cleanup.

Some things I've learned:

1) Chitubox does a good job adding the supports, so I just use the automatic support function.

2) Don't let the rafts on your models touch each other. It's harder to remove them from the build plate when they're all connected at the bottom.

3) If you use a flexible spring steel build plate that magnetically attaches to the build plate, you can remove it, flex it, and easily pop the models off, rather than removing them with a scraper and risk splashing drops of uncured resin everywhere. (NOTE: If you add one, don't forget to re-calibrate the "Z=0" setting, since functionally the bottom of the build plate will be lower.)

4) The height of the tallest piece is the sole determiner of build time. So when making multiples of a multipart model, group the parts by height and print similar heights together. For the Octopus, print six bases in the first run, then the six 3-arm pieces in the second, and the six main bodies last. It probably takes less than half the time.

5) A washing curing station (Elegoo Mercury Plus) is a nice luxury. Swishing the models around a tupperware full of alcohol and curing with a UV flashlight works, but is messier and less precise.
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Last edited by tomc; 01-21-2022 at 07:50 PM. Reason: never ending quest for clarity
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Old 01-21-2022, 10:53 PM   #23
Worldwalker
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: What's your printer?

Some very good tips for printing.

And yeah, I love my flex plates. Before I got my first one, the problem wasn't so much splashing uncured resin -- it was scraping too hard on a print that wouldn't come off, until suddenly it did, and I was sending a whole uncured miniature flying across the room. That's why I recommended them in our suggested equipment list in the Kickstarter. Those things will save your sanity. Also your knuckles; the other problem I had with stuck prints suddenly coming loose was whamming my knuckles into the edge of the build plate.

I really recommend a wash/cure station. I have a Mercury Plus. I like being able to put the print in there for 5 minutes and let it wash by itself, then pop the prints off the flex plate and cure them. And I do not have a deficiency of UV lights ... I collect uranium glass. The wash/cure machine will set you back less than a copy of Gloomhaven, after all!

I've found that with the octopi, and the *mumble*, there are parts that can be shaded by the supports, or by their own bodies, so once I remove the supports, I give them another minute or so with the insufficiently-cured areas aimed toward the lights. And I've got my big LED flashlight (one of those 100-LED lights ... it will light up uranium glass from ten feet away, too, which is handy in crowded antique stores) which is handy for getting that one annoying bit underneath that just didn't cure right.

Chitubox auto-supports work fairly well for most of these minis, but we did have a pro do supports for a reason. The ones to really look out for are archers (arrowheads tend to be a problem), especially that skeleton archer with the arrows through his ribcage, and the little scorpion from the Scorpion Handler set. Until we got that one professionally supported, I broke at least one claw off every single one I printed. With the pre-supported one, all the claws have stayed attached. Also the Bloody Skulls standard bearer; those dangling strings of bones separate much more easily from the pro supports. Also the Longer Lankin -- for some reason, Chitubox doesn't support the claws on his right hand correctly; you'll need to add a couple of supports yourself.

If you find minis breaking when the supports come off, the odds are you're either curing them too long, or not long enough. If it's too long, they will be brittle. If not long enough, the support attachments are too flexible. Just like tomc said about sorting by print size, curing similar-sized minis at the same time will help get it right. Scorpions can become brittle while Longer Lankin is only partly cured.

Last edited by Worldwalker; 01-21-2022 at 10:58 PM. Reason: Just because Long Lankin probably hisses doesn't mean he has clawss
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Old 01-22-2022, 06:08 AM   #24
tomc
 
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Default Re: What's your printer?

Thanks for info and clarifications.

I haven't tried curing more than one at a time, glad to hear it works, I guess as long as it's not too crowded?

Yeah, I'd always use the supported version if provided. I was thinking about stl files from other sources.

Thanks again. It's a huge help hearing from someone with experience, who's using the same models on basically the same printer.
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Old 01-22-2022, 06:21 AM   #25
Worldwalker
 
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Default Re: What's your printer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomc View Post
Thanks for info and clarifications.

I haven't tried curing more than one at a time, glad to hear it works, I guess as long as it's not too crowded?
Yes. The critical thing is shadows, or lack thereof. If you're curing multiple figures, you need to make sure they don't interfere with each other. Most wash/cure stations have rotating platforms for this. I wish I had space for the Mercury X -- it's got lights under the disc, too!

I added a reflector to mine. It looks suspiciously like a piece of aluminum foil held on with masking tape, for good reason. :) One end is taped to the top center of the Mercury cover; the other has a couple of bits of tape to hold it to the bottom front (thereby making a slightly curved reflector) in use; during washing, I just fold it up near the top. This reflects the light from the upper LEDs that would otherwise be wasted, and really helps get light into some of the odd bits of the prints.
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Old 01-24-2022, 04:50 AM   #26
billybell
 
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Default Re: What's your printer?

I have the Photon Mono X. It`s awesome. The first 3d printer I bought for myself is a Voxelab Aquilla and I do love it too.
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Old 01-24-2022, 07:07 PM   #27
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Default Re: What's your printer?

Creality CR-6 SE, Cura, Mostly PLA+
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Old 02-23-2022, 10:33 AM   #28
dbresson
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Default Re: What's your printer?

Elegoo Mars 3 / Mercury X cure and wash stations
standard Grey Elegoo Resin
using Lychee slicer primarily (also have used Chitubox)
currently wash and cure for 5 minutes each

for getting rid of supports, after the wash - but before the cure - I am dipping the supported washed mini into some warm water for about a minute or so, taking it out after the minute, finding the supports sufficiently soft by this point, and then gently just pulling all the supports off. Way more convenient for me than using clippers after the cure.
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Old 02-23-2022, 01:15 PM   #29
Worldwalker
 
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Default Re: What's your printer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbresson View Post
Elegoo Mars 3 / Mercury X cure and wash stations
standard Grey Elegoo Resin
using Lychee slicer primarily (also have used Chitubox)
currently wash and cure for 5 minutes each

for getting rid of supports, after the wash - but before the cure - I am dipping the supported washed mini into some warm water for about a minute or so, taking it out after the minute, finding the supports sufficiently soft by this point, and then gently just pulling all the supports off. Way more convenient for me than using clippers after the cure.
So you're removing supports before curing?

How well does that work with things with more fragile parts? (skeletons, for instance) Those get brittle if over-cured, so I'm thinking I should try your way and see if it works better.
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