General Troubleshooting

Crack In The Model

Cracking tends to occur because or one out of two reasons: the model is hollow or the model is solid.  

  • Hollow model – If your model is hollow and cracks appear then this is likely caused by an air circulation issue. To solve this issue, we would advise placing drain holes on the base of your model that is closest to the build plate. Placing these will allow the air to flow and the liquid resin to drain both during the print and post exposure processes.
  • Solid model – If your model is solid and cracking then this can be solved by hollowing out the model and adding the relevant drain holes to prevent cracking. 

Delamination

Delamination – delamination is essentially a sticking issue where the peeling force between vat film and screen protector is being interfered with. This can be caused by one out of two areas: liquid resin between the screen protector and vat film or a vat leak. Both can be solved by re-skinning the vat and fully cleaning down the screen protector to make sure there is no liquid resin remaining.

  • Interference – If there is liquid resin between the screen protector and vat film then this will increase the peeling forces making it harder to print successfully. To solve this, make sure the underside of your vat and the top of your screen protector are free and clean from liquid and solid resin. Also be sure to check if a vat leak has occurred, if this has then please follow the below step as well.
  • Vat leak – if a vat leak has occurred, you’ll likely have interference (as above) as well, this is essentially where you vat film has become pierced or damaged beyond use. We would advise re-skinning your vat and fully cleaning down both the screen protector and vat.

Important note – always remember to clean your vat thoroughly between every print. Any solid resin in the vat or on the vat film can adversely affect your next print.

Holes In Model

Holes in the model – holes caused by air pressure where the air needs to escape, if the models orientation or design does not allow this air to evenly flow then it can break. Alternatively, this could be caused by a hollow model not having drain holes.  

 

  • Orientation / Design – re-orientating your model to allow the air to flow better is advised, we recommend orientating your parts at a 45-degree angle, this reduces the peeling force of your models as well as improving air and resin circulation. 
  • Hollow model – If your model is hollow and cracks appear then this is likely caused by an air circulation issue. To solve this issue, we would advise placing drain holes on the base of your model that is closest to the build plate. Placing these will allow the air to flow and the liquid resin to drain both during the print and post exposure processes.  

Lines On Printed Model

Lines on the printed model – lines can be caused by a few factors: vat film tension, layer thickness or skipped layers.

 

  • Vat film tension – if your vat film is too loose then resin movement will lead to “wavy lines” to appear on your model, re-skinning your vat will solve this issue.
  • Layer thickness – if you are using a higher layer thickness (100µm or higher) then you will notice layer lines appearing on your models. To improve this lower the layer thickness to a more acceptable number.
  • Skipped layers – if you have a sharp cut or line appearing through your model then this is a skipped layer. Skipped layers occur when there is increased sticking and peeling forces between the vat film and the screen protector – these skipped layers can mainly be prevented by making sure that the vat film and screen protector are kept clean and free from residue liquid resin. Alternatively, if you are experimenting with the print parameters to gain faster print times then you may not have the correct delay times, we would advise increasing the delay time in Photocentric Studio.

Model Falling From The Platform

Model falling from the platform – if your model is falling from the build plate then this is likely because of one out of two areas: platform adhesion or homing.  

 

  • Platform Adhesion – two areas can cause adhesion problems, either your platform is not rough enough or the bottom exposure time is too short. To solve this please sand your platform and also ensure you are using the standard Photocentric Studio print parameters. If have changed the standard Photocentric Studio print parameters then please re-download Photocentric Studio from our website.  
  • Homing – if your platform is not properly homed then this will cause parts to not fully adhere across the platform. Clear signs that it is a homing issue is when you have parts adhering to one side of the platform but not both. If you have the base layers of all of your parts adhering to the platform then this is not a homing issue.  

Parts Not Fitting Together

Parts not fitting together – this is either caused by a overexposure during printing or shrinkage of the parts.

• Over-exposure – If your parts have tiny details that have over-exposed then they may not fit together, to solve this you may want to lower your exposure time down fractionally by 0.5 seconds to better highlight finer details.
• Shrinkage – if your parts are not joining together evenly this could be caused by shrinkage, to counteract this please check point 10 “Dimensional Inaccuracies”.

Only Supports Printed

Only supports printed – If your part has not printed successfully but the supports have then this can be due to one out of two reasons: 

 

  • Vat leak – if a vat leak has occurred, you’ll likely have interference (as above) as well, this is essentially where you vat film has become pierced or damaged beyond use. We would advise re-skinning your vat and fully cleaning down both the screen protector and vat. 
  • Support tips are too small – if the tips are too small for the model you are printing then they are not strong enough to hold the model together, to solve this To solve this issue just increase the thickness of your support tips and bodies and your part will evenly attach to your supports.   

Sticky/Tacky Model

Sticky / Tacky model – sticky models tend to be caused by not being post exposed for long enough or because you have remaining cleaner on your models. 

 

  • Post Exposing – if your models are still sticky or tacky then we would advise leaving them in the curebox / underwater under UV light for longer to post cure. As a guide we advise following the post exposure guidelines on each individual resins TDS, if you do not then you will encounter print failures. Certain industries will benefit from more specific post exposure guidelines that slightly differ from the TDS guidelines, please adjust accordingly. 
  • Remaining Cleaner – please be sure to sufficiently wash your printed parts with warm water once they have been washed with either IPA or Photocentric cleaner, if this remains on your model it will leave a tacky surface finish.

Vat Leak

Vat leak – this is essentially damage or interference of the vat film. 

 

  • Vat leak – if a vat leak has occurred, you’ll likely have interference as well, this is essentially where your vat film has become pierced or damaged leading to to affecting your prints success rates. We would advise re-skinning your vat and fully cleaning down both the screen protector and vat. 

Dimensional Inaccuracies

Dimensional inaccuracies – these can occur for one out of two reasons: warpage or shrinkage.

 

  • Warpage – if a part “warps” then this tends to mean it has distorted in some way either during the printing or post exposure processes. Ways to prevent this are threefold: printing with the correctly placed supports in the correct orientation, washing the parts thoroughly to prevent any cured resin remaining in the holes and finally post exposing your models correctly following the guidelines we recommend.
  • Shrinkage – if a part is physically looking correct but after scanning / measuring it comes back with dimensional inaccuracies then this suggests that shrinkage of the resin is causing these inaccuracies to occur. To solve this please scale your parts up in the X and Y axis by 0.5%, this will make your scaling factor 1.005 in these two directions.

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