The Beginner’s Guide to 3D printing with AmeraLabs resins

Beginners guide to SLA 3D printing with AmeraLabs resin

Updated on February 12, 2018


Switching to a new resin might be a hassle. Therefore, we provide this guide to 3D printing with AmeraLabs resins that will aid you in taking those first steps and getting perfect prints right away.


Preparation

Shake the bottle well before printing to make sure material is well mixed.

If there are air bubbles in a resin gently mix it with soft silicon tool or wait a little bit for bubbles to dissolve.

Although pigment/dye will not settle for very long periods, good shake of the bottle is mandatory to be sure that material is well mixed and homogenous. If you see air bubbles in the resin after filling your VAT, just mix them gently with soft silicon tool or leave it for a while for bubbles to go away.

Initial LCD/LED 3D printer settings

LCD/LED exposure @ 25-100um layer height.

100-150 sec. 1st Layer.

5-10 sec. other layers.

Exposures can vary based on your light source and power of LED. This is UV resin, not daylight. If you have LCD/LED based printer, we would suggest starting conservatively with 5-10 sec. exposures (100-150 sec. for first/attachment layer). If you see good performance, you can gradually shorten exposures. We tried our fast resin with common LED/LCD printers and 4-8 sec. exposures worked well with 50-100um layer height. You may also need to increase exposures if your light source is too weak. Experiment a little bit and we are sure you will find that sweet spot. Material should not be used with PDMS based resin trays, because it is too reactive and can damage your PDMS silicon layer.

Initial DLP 3D printer settings

DLP exposure @ 25-75um XYZ res.

100-150 sec. 1st Layer.

3-5 sec. other layers.

Exposures can vary based on your light source. This is UV resin, not daylight. If you have DLP printer, we would suggest starting conservatively with 4-5 sec. exposures (100-150 sec. for first/attachment layer). If you see good performance, you can gradually shorten exposures. We tried our DLP resins with new Acer H6510BD (3000 lm) as well as Acer H6518BD projectors and 2-3 sec. exposures worked well at 37-50um XYZ resolution. You may also need to increase exposures if your light source is too weak or light wavelength is not within desired range. Experiment a little bit and we are sure you will find that sweet spot. Material should not be used with PDMS based resin trays, because it is too reactive and can damage your PDMS silicon layer.

Post-curing

Clean the printed part with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) very well.

Post-cure part in UV chamber or place it in front of the Sun for around 30 minutes.

Post-curing is very important. It is key factor to obtain strong and hard surface. Before post curing, you should clean the part with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) very well: swirl it around in the alcohol to rinse off extra resin and let it stay in the alcohol for 15-20 min, swirl it around at the end as well. Use soft brush if needed. Do not keep part in IPA for more than 20 min, because it will start absorbing alcohol and that will result in permanent damage to part and loss of properties. Let it dry. After cleaning, post-cure part in UV chamber or in front of the Sun immediately. Recommended post-curing duration is ~30 minutes. However, if you wish fully cured part with extremely hard surface, we recommend to post-cure for 1-2 hours.

Ready to start printing?

Now you know the basic steps for printing with AmeraLabs materials. Check out other articles to learn more about calibrating your 3D printer:

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