Liquid Crystal Pro Support

Unboxing

The Liquid Crystal Pro comes in its own made to measure crate designed to protect your Liquid Crystal Pro. Follow the steps below properly to unpack your printer, or watch the informative unboxing video below:

1) Unscrew the screws on the top and front panels of the crate and place them to one side.
2) Remove the polystyrene from around the printer.
3) Remove the 5kg bottle of resin from the crate.
4) Unscrew the platform, remove and put it to one side. Lift the ancillary box out of the printer (To unscrew the bolts lift them up to disengage the lock and turn the bolt to loosen it. Repeat this step until the bolts are fully loose so the platform can be removed.)
5) Place the platform back into the printer and tighten the bolts. 
6) With two people lift the printer out of the crate holding the printer at the bottom and top corner on both sides.
7) Place the printer on a flat and sturdy worktop ready for set-up.

Note: Please do not remove the protective film covering the printer screen

Ancillary Box Contents

1. Paper Filters
2. Vat Gasket
3. Photocentric Studio License
4. Scraper
5. Ratchet Socket Wrench
6. Vat Nut Socket
7. Allen Key
8. Funnel
9. Print Sample
10. Spray Bottle
11. USB Cable
12. Power Cable
13. Display Port
14. Nitrile Gloves
15. Vat Film

Recommended Items:

Extra gloves
Paper towels
Access to a sink with hot water to clean the objects
Photocentric Resin Cleaner (Purchase separately)
Soft brush or sponge to clean the object
Ultrasonic Cleaner (Optional)

Setting Up Hardware

Connect the Display Port and USB cable which are provided to the back of the printer and to your PC. Plug in the power cable and turn the printer on using the rocker switch at the back. Refer to the video below.

 

Note: If you do not have a display port connection you can use a display port to HDMI adaptor. VGA connections are not supported.

LC Pro Rail Alignment

If the linear rails on your LC PRO come out of alignment causing the platform not to be straight then you will need to re-align these rails -this can be easily done by following the below instructional video.

LC Pro Rehoming

Every so often you’ll need to re-home your LC PRO printer, please watch the re-homing video below on how to do this successfully.

1) Attach the PRO platform
2) Tighten the linear rail securing bolts
3) Loosen the side bolts on both the left and right L brackets on the platform until the platform can freely move forwards and backwards
4) On the Photocentric Studio print controller press the home button
5) Once fully homed apply downward pressure to the platform whilst tightening both side bolts.

Your printer is now homed

Setting Up Software

Setting Display Settings

Go to your computer desktop, right click and open “Display Settings”. Set your screens to “Multiple Displays” and “Extend this display mode”, keeping your computer monitor as the main screen. Make sure that the printer’s screen is set to a resolution of 3840 x 2160.

Windows 10:

On Windows 10 go to windows display settings, choose printer screen, change scale and layout from 200% to 100%. 

Windows 8:

On Windows 8, right click on software shortcut, Properties then Click on ‘Disable fullscreen optimization’. Refer figure 2 below.

 

Configuring Power Settings

Configure your computer so that the screen-saver does not come on and ensure that it does not have the power-saving mode enabled. If you forget to do this your computer may shut down mid process and the printer will switch off.

Installing the software

1. Extract the Photocentric Studio zip folder and run the .msi application 

Note: If Windows Defender prevents the installation from starting simply click ‘More Info’ then ‘Run Anyway’ to begin the installation process.

2.The set up wizard will then load on your screen. To proceed with the installation simply click Next.

3. Now select the location for your installation to be saved to. If you wish to change the location simply click Browse and select a new location of your choice. Once the location has been selected click Next.

4. Once you have selected the location of the installation click Next to begin the installation of the software.

5. Installation has now completed, click Close and you can now open the software. When opening the software you will see a section to enter your license number which can be found on the USB in the envelope of the ancillary box, click on this section and enter your license number provided into the field as shown.

Note: The software comes with a 30 day trial. If you wish to use the trial before activating your license simply click ‘Continue Evaluation’.

Download the latest version of Photocentric Studio below

For further support on Photocentric Studio please visit the dedicated support page below

Minimum Computer Requirements

– Operating System Windows 7, 8 or 10
-Minimum 2.0 Ghz processor speed 2 cores. Recommended 4 cores
– GPU capable of opening opengl version 3.0 or higher
– .net framework version 4.0
– 64bit system: minimum 2GB of RAM, recommended 4GB
– 32bit system: minimum 1GB of RAM, recommended 2GB

Setting Up A Print

1. Open the print controller by clicking on the far right icon of the top menu.

2. Press ‘Home Button’

3. Press Up arrow 10mm

4. Wear protective gloves and measure out the resin. Be careful not to expose it to bright light for more than a few seconds. Excessive resin will make emptying the vat more difficult, insufficient resin will prevent the print from completing successfully. The maximum recommended volume of resin in the standard LC Pro vat is 5000 cm3 (5 litres).

5. Carefully add the resin to the vat. Pour in the centre of the print plate and it will drain through the holes. Close the door and drive the print plate down 10mm. Wait a few seconds for the resin to settle. 

6. Press the downward arrow 10mm.

7. Press Play button.

Post Processing

1. Turn off your printer using the rocker switch on the back. Use your print controller to drive the print plate up until the print is clear of the vat. Allow the print to drain for a few minutes to reduce the chance of drips.

2. Make preparations for cleaning the print. You will ideally need a large sink with a good supply of hot water. The ambient light level should be low. Have a spray bottle with a hot, very dilute solution of washing up liquid is also useful. Wear protective gloves at all times you come into contact with liquids. You can also clean with Photocentric Resin Cleaner which can be purchased from our store.

3. Loosen the bolts that secure the print plate to the drive carriages. Grip the print plate L brackets firmly and take the weight of the print. Carefully slide the print plate towards you and out of the machine. Close the printer door take care not to drip resin.

4. When your print is finished remove the platform from the printer and lay it with the object facing upwards in a large plastic tray. Spay the part thoroughly to remove all the unreacted surface polymer. When you have covered the entire surface, finish by spraying with warm water. You can use a sponge or soft brush to clean detailed parts. Alternatively use a large utrasonic cleaner.

5. Using a scraper detach the supports at the base to remove the part from the platform. Handle it gently as it won’t achieve full strength until after full post exposure. Note that for large models, we recommend post curing the model on the build plate in order to minimize any possible warping. If your part is strongly adhered to the build platform you can aide removal by heating the metal to expand it by applying hot water or a hot air gun to it.

6. Fill the tray with clean water and place the part in it so that it is fully covered. Expose to strong visible or UV light for 30 mins to dry the surface and achieve full hardness. In the case of larger prints you will have to turn it over so the underside receives light as well. For larger models, we recommend placing the whole platform in water under UV light.

7. Clean the print plate thoroughly. Make sure all cured resin is removed from the underside of the plate as this may cause damage to the vat or screen. Hot soapy water and/or methylated spirits can be used to clean off uncured resin.Make sure the print plate is completely dry before returning it to the printer.

8. Once the printed part(s) have been fully post-exposed they should be removed from the water and dried thoroughly. Any support material can be removed using clippers. The part can be sanded if necessary.

Emptying The Vat

1. Before starting a new print on the Liquid Crystal Pro, the vat should be emptied and cleaned. Wear protective gloves. Ensure that the ambient light level is not too high, don’t work in direct sunlight and use low lighting where practical.

2. Prepare an area for cleaning the vat. You should have a smooth, flat, clean surface with plenty of space. Lay down two layers of paper towel to protect the vat film from scratches and soak up any spilled resin. Have a supply of paper towels, a bottle of methylated spirits, and a bin nearby. Do not work on a surface that could be stained or damaged by contact with resin.

3. Position a 5 litre resin bottle near the printer on a flat, stable surface and at a convenient height. Be sure that there is enough space in the bottle for all of the resin from the vat. Remove the lid of the bottle and insert the funnel (supplied in the accessory box) into the top. Place a clean filter (supplied in the accessory box) inside the funnel.

4. Remove the two vat bolts and set them aside.Grip the vat firmly by the handles and lift it carefully out of the printer. The vat will be heavy, especially if there is a large volume of resin remaining. Pour the resin gently into the funnel from one corner of the vat. Pour at a steady rate and be careful not to over-fill the funnel. Resin will flow over the flange of the vat; this is not a problem. Use a plastic card to push resin down the vat film towards the funnel.

5. When most of the resin has drained from the vat, place it on the paper towels ready for cleaning.When the funnel has drained, remove it from the resin bottle and replace the lid.

 

Cleaning the Vat

1. Use paper towels to clean up the resin on the flange of the vat. Be particularly careful to clean the resin out of the holes. If resin is allowed to cure in the holes it can obstruct the nuts and make it difficult to re-skin the vat. Methylated spirits can be used to help clean the vat body.

2. Use paper towels to clean up any further resin inside the vat. At this point it is important to remove any pieces of cured resin that remain in the vat. Anything left inside the vat could cause damage to the vat or screen when the printer is homed. It could also could prevent successful printing. It is best not to apply methylated spirits directly to the vat film.

3. Once the vat is clean, inspect the film for any signs of damage or excessive wear. If there is a puncture, or obvious damage, replace the vat film. You can cover tiny holes in the vat film with clear tape (eg. sellotape). If the vat is in good condition, return it to the printer. Replace the 2 vat bolts (do not tighten).

Replacing Vat Film

You will need:

Complete Vat
New piece of vat film
New vat bottom gasket
New vat top gasket
Ratchet socket wrench (or socket driver)
Paper Towels
Photocentric Resin Cleaner or IPA
Scraper or palette knife

 

1. Disassemble the vat, dispose of the film and gaskets, and clean all other parts thoroughly. Check that any cured resin is removed. The vat parts will not be damaged by cleaning solvents.

2. Place the vat bottom film frame.

3. Lay the new piece of film over the vat bottom film frame. Position it centrally. Grip the film tightly on either side of one of the long bolts. Press the film down firmly to puncture it.

4. Move to an adjacent long bolt and press the film down to puncture it again. Make sure that the film is under tension as you create the new hole so that there are no creases.

5. You can use the socket supplied in the accessory box as a tool for puncturing the film.The square hole in the top of the socket works best as it is a close fit over the bolts.

6. Carry out the same procedure for the short bolts, using the socket to puncture the film.

 7. Use scissors to cut away a triangular piece of film outside each of the bolts. Carefully make two cuts from the edge of the film to the punched hole.

8. Widen each of the remaining holes by gripping the edge of the film near each long bolt and stretching outwards slightly.

9. Lay the vat bottom gasket (with small holes) down over all the bolts.

10. Lay the vat top gasket (with small and large holes) down over all the bolts.

11. Do not tighten the short bolts. Place the vat body onto the bolts. The handles should be on the top.

12. Take 18 vat nuts and thread them about one turn onto the long bolts. You may find that you need to lift the vat bottom film frame slightly to allow the thread to engage.

13. Once all 18 vat nuts are in place, you can start to tighten them using a ratchet socket wrench or a socket driver. Work around the vat giving each nut two or three turns. It should take three or four passes to fully tighten all the nuts.

14. The film should be pulled taut as the nuts are tightened. If any creases remain once the film is taught, the vat body will have to be removed and the holes in the film stretched to correct the creases.

15. Lift the completed vat and carefully turn it on to one edge. Rest it on the table and check that the vat body and the vat bottom film frame are parallel. The gaskets should be under uniform compression. If there are any gaps, the nuts have not been fully tightened evenly or something is obstructing the thread. If the vat body has been significantly distorted by the compression around each nut, they are too tight.

16. Also inspect the vat film where it is stretched over the wall of the vat. There should be no holes, creases or other visible damage. If any pieces of cured resin or other contamination is trapped between the vat wall and the film, this
could cause a leak during use. In the corners, there may be some creasing in the film. This is acceptable as long as the creases do not extend onto the base of the vat.

17. Turn the vat around and inspect each side as described above. You can check for leakage by filling with water and leaving for 1 hour.

18. The vat is complete and ready to use in your Liquid Crystal Pro. Following this procedure applies less tension to the vat film than in the standard configuration. This can assist with release of the print from the vat and improve reliability.

Technical Inquiry

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