Resin 3D printer

WARNING: This machine uses toxic substances; please follow the handling procedure below for your safety and others.

Resin 3D printing uses a tank (shallow dish) of liquid resin. The build platform starts suspended in the resin, an LCD screen below the tank shades each layer to be printed from a UB light below that. The object is built upside down, with the build plate rising for each successive layer. Once printed, the object is not yet finished, it is still delicate and dripping with uncured resin. After printing the object needs careful removable from the build plate, and to be washed and cured.

Resin handling #

Gloves! When handling objects that contain or are covered in uncured resin, wear a pair of nitrile gloves (provided in small, medium and large). If you have low dexterity or think you are likely to splash, also wear saftey glasses and/or an apron (not provided).

Items that are likely to have uncured resin on them:

  • The resin tank
  • The metal scraper (only use the one marked “resin”!)
  • The plastic scraper (ditto)
  • The build platform
  • Unwashed prints
  • Inside the cleaning containers
  • The (smaller) decanting tray

Please do NOT get resin on the following items:

  • The orange printer cover (you can remove this with dry gloves however)
  • Any part of the printer that is not the tank, or the build platform
  • The resin bottle
  • The outsides of the cleaning containers
  • The large tray (though this exists to catch accidents)
  • The sonic cleaner controls
  • The cutter handles (for snipping supports off the model)
  • Any other part of the room!
  • Yourself or other people!

Spills or skin/eye contact #

  • Link material data sheet here!
  • Wash eyes with plenty of water.
  • Wash skin with plenty of soap and water.
  • Soak up spills with alcohol wipes or paper towel and IPA, apply UV light to area, report to Telegram.

Delicate machine parts #

  • This machine contains an LCD screen under the resin tank, this is a consumable part (it will eventually fail) please avoid breaking it before that.
  • The base of the resin tank is a plastic layer (FEP), this is also a consumable part (we have spares), this should get replaced when it is too gunked up to use, please only use the plastic scraper on it.

Unattended printing #

It is allowed to use this machine in an unattended way, that is you may leave the space while it is running. However:

  1. Do not overfill the tank, if you need more than the “max” fill you’ll have to return and add more.
  2. Please wait and verify that the first few layers / milimeters of the print have started before you leave.
  3. Leave a note saying who is running the printer and your contact details.
  4. Return near the end of the print time (or by ~8am if over night) to extract your print and clean up.

General printing procedure #

This is a low-detailed procedure description for future reference, longer descriptions of each step follow.

  1. Slice: Prepare your model for printing, slicing can be done using either Lychee or ChituBox slicers, the output must be a .ctb file.
  2. USB Stick: Transfer the .ctb file onto a/the (should be one available) USB stick and insert it into the front of the printer.
  3. Cover: Remove the printer cover
  4. Plan for spills: Ready a cloth or paper towels for wiping up spillage
  5. Gloves: Put on gloves for handling the platform and tank
  6. Build platform: Check build platform is clean (metal scraper), raised way above tank and secured.
  7. Tank: Inspect visually or use the plastic scraper to carefully scrape the bottom of the tank, if it catches on old resin, clean the whole thing.
  8. Resin: Remove one glove for picking up the bottle, pour resin into the tank, do not overfill.
  9. Wipe: Clean the edge of the bottle if necessary, replace it in the big tray.
  10. Gloves: Remove, discard or turn inside out for later if still dry.
  11. Cover: Replace the machine cover.
  12. Print: Start the print.
  13. Prepare: Ensure the build platform box has water and is open, open both of the cleaning containers. Ensure you have the metal scraper in reach and the decanting tray is clear. Open the sonic cleaner and put water in it. Check the curing platform is clean.
  14. Gloves: Put on gloves for handling build platform and uncured print.
  15. Cover: Remove cover with dry gloves.
  16. Wait: Allow the print to finish dripping still inside the machine.
  17. Platform: Undock the platform, hold it over the resin tank for further dripping at various angles.
  18. Tray: Use the metal scraper to remove the printed object onto the decanting tray.
  19. Build platform: Place the platform in its cleaning box.
  20. Wash: Dunk/swish the printed object in the 1st cleaning container.
  21. Wash: Put the object into the 2nd cleaning container.
  22. Gloves: Remove one glove.
  23. Sonic: Close the container, insert into the sonic cleaner and turn it on, rotate/rerun as necessary.
  24. Supports: Use the clippers to remove supports (careful, part still soft!).
  25. Cure: Put the part into the curing station and turn it on.
  26. Resin tank: Prepare filter over resin bottle, pour resin from tank back into bottle. FIXME: check this!
  27. Resin tank: (If last to print today): Wash whole tank with water, use plastic scraper to clean, return tank to printer.
  28. Build platform: Swish around in its cleaning box, remove remaining print/supports, dry with paper towels, return to printer.
  29. Gloves: Can now remove both gloves.

Detailed parts of procedure #

Slicing #

You will need to obtain or export an STL (or .OBJ, .3MF) model of the part you wish to print. A slicer software can turn the model into a series of instructions for the printer to use. For the Mars 2 printer, the sliced file needs to be a .CTB file. To produce one of these, use either the official software ChituBox or the Lychee Slicer. Both of these require an online account.

Lychee has a “Magic” button (bottom left) which will rotate your part and insert appropriate supports, this is the current best suggested solution for slicing.

Unlike FDM printing, you should NOT try and get the largest flattest area on the bed, instead a smaller area would be better, with supports. The bits attached to the bed should have angled edges to allow easier leverage, items stick to the bed really well!

Also unlike FDM printing, the slicer does not hollow out solid parts and insert infill. Either pre-prepare your model with hollow insides, and drainage holes, or ensure the slicer used can hollow a part (Lychee requires the paid version).

Note also that each layer takes the same amount of time to print, no matter how big it is, so laying the part on / just above the build plate, will be the quickest print.

Printing #

Transfer your .CTB file onto a usb stick (slot is in the front of the printer).

Remove the printer cover by lifting it off.

Using gloves #

Ensure the resin tank does not have any leftover resin on the inside (if this is a follow on print, use the plastic scraper). To remove it if necessary, loosen the two small thumb screws at either end, and pull it forward, lifting slightly.

Check the build platform too, this can be loosened using the large dial at the top. Use the metal scraper to remove any left over resin or supports.

Replace and screw down the build platform and tank. Add some resin to the tank – do not overfill, underfill is fine as more can be added later if necessary. Wipe the bottle and replace the cap

You may remove the gloves after the bottle is recapped

Replace the printer cover.

Turn on the printer using the switch at the back.

Navigate on the touchscreen UI to “print” which will display recognised .CTB files and folders from the usb stick. Navigate to the file to print, select it, press the “>” button (possibly twice). The print should start. The display will switch to a progress bar and display the remaining print time.

Keep an eye on the print until finished – this machine is unlikely to set itself on fire, but may run out of resin! If needed, pause the print using the screen, put on gloves, remove the cover, and carefully add more resin.

Post processing and tidying up #

Ensure wearing gloves for handling the build plate, uncured print, and tools.

We have several tubs for washing the build plate and prints which should contain (possibly cloudy) water. Do not empty this down the sink, it contains uncured resin and must be filtered before discarding.

Open the large tub (big enough for the build plate), and also the two smaller tubs for cleaning (if your part will fit in them, else ready a zip lock bag with water). Move the larger tub close to the printer. Ensure the sonic cleaner is plugged in and open, and contains some water.

Loosen the dial that holds in the build platform and remove the platform holding it by the top. Tilt it over the resin tank for extra dripping, there is a holder to convert the platform holder into a 45 degree one if you want to wait longer for it to finish dripping.

Move the platform over the large tub, and use the metal scraper to carefully lever off the parts into the tub, watch out for splashes! Pick them out and transfer to one of the smaller tubs, leave the platform in the large tub. Swish the parts around in the smaller tub, then transfer the tub into the sonic cleaner. Use multiple tubs and multiple sonic cleanings if your parts don’t fit in one.

Turn on the sonic cleaner for several minutes (preferably without resiny gloves).

If this is your last print, open the resin bottle, use the stand, silicone funnel and metal filter, to pour the remaining resin back into the bottle. Leave it to drip for a bit.

Clean and replace the build platform, using the metal scraper on any remaining supports, the small brush and wipes to remove remaining uncured resin.

Wipe out and replace the resin tank too, only use the plastic scraper on this.

Ensure the curing station is open, the entire top lifts off, leaving a clear plastic base on a stand.

Once the sonic cleaner has finished, either carefully squish/pull off the supports (if its a chunky part) or remove using clippers (if its delicate). Move the parts and supports if in large enough pieces, onto the curing station platform. Turn on the curing station for at least 5 minutes. Larger /solid objects may take up to 20 minutes to cure.

A fully cured resin 3D print has a satin to matt surface. If the object is not yet completely cured, the surface looks glossy or even wet. If the object has been exposed to UV light for too long, it will become extremely dull, brittle and porous. 3dprintingbee

Tidy up #

Ensure all used gloves, paper towel, wipes etc have been uv treated and thrown out. Ensure the resin bottle is closed and clean. Replace lids on all of the tubs.

Filter and replace water in the tubs if necessary (how/when TBD!)

Useful links: #

This documentation was initially copied from

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