New Printer Joy

 

This arrived on my doorstep yesterday, thrown there by the courier-douche.

"Whatever can it be? " I thought to myself, "It's a box of MYSTERY!"

Maybe not all that mysterious. And fortunately, it was well packed and thus suffered not at all from the brutality of an uncaring courier.


Inside the box was this, an Elegoo Mars Pro DLP resin printer.

The build quality of this printer is superb, all heavy-duty aluminium castings and stuff. It uses a 2k LED screen for exposure, so it's not as fine a resolution as the current crop of 4k models, but on the other hand it was a lot cheaper, and I very much doubt that the lower pixel resolution will matter much for my purposes. The default vertical resolution is 0.05mm, and it will go down to 0.01mm, though apparently there's little visual benefit in going below 0.03mm.

Setup was very easy, following the instructions in the illustrated user manual. It took me a lot longer to clear a space for it in my ridiculously overcrowded workroom.

It doesn't come with any sample resin, which is not that surprising considering the customs implications of mailing chemical liquids about the place, but I had thought ahead and bought 500ml of eSun water-washable resin to be going along with.


Anyway. On to the printing.

The very first print out of it was this pair of chess rooks, a standard printing test file supplied on the USB drive with the printer.

They took about 3½ hours to print, and I have no idea what printing parameters were used because they came pre-sliced. They printed without a hitch, as should be expected, and immediately impressed me with the smoothness of their surfaces and the crispness of their surface detail.

So, on to printing some toys for Fitz!


I put one of my 1:100 scale models through ChituBox (the slicer used with this printer) and started to learn my way around that program. There is much to learn; it is quite different in many ways from Cura, though the principles are basically the same.

"But why, O Fitz," I hear you ask, "why did you print only the hull of the tank, and not also its turret?"

Well, I did try. Twice so far, and I'm on to attempt number three even as I write.


While the hull printed beautifully, the turret components were under-supported and fell off the build-plate.

I tried rebuilding the turret and peg as a single object and rearranging it (tilting it at an angle, like the hull) but the support connections were too weak, and once again it was pulled away from them by suction against the FEP in the resin bath.

Now I'm trying again, with more and beefier supports. We shall see how that goes, but I can foresee that the intricacies of supports are likely to be the thing that will cause me the most grief.

Incidentally, the colour of this resin is called "Skin", but frankly it looks little like any healthy skin I've ever seen on a normal human being. I think perhaps "Jaundice" would be a better name.

Third Time Lucky


Succes at last!

I think, in the end, I may have over-supported the turret this time, but it gave me a successful print so I won't complain.

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations!
    Happy printing!

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  2. Very exciting! Resin printers are so cheap now, and the resins are getting better in terms of toxicology, that for a miniaturist, there are fewer use cases for an older printer like the Ender 3 (aside from say Terrain).

    ReplyDelete