There’s a lot to like about resin 3D printing. The detail, the smooth surface finish, the mechanical simplicity of the printer itself compared to an FDM printer. But there are downsides, too, not least of which is the toxic waste that resin printing generates. What’s one to do with all that resin-tainted alcohol left over from curing prints?
How about sending it through this homebrew filtering apparatus to make it ready for reuse? [Involute] likens this process to dialysis, and while we see the similarities, what’s going on here is a lot simpler than the process used to filter wastes from the blood in patients with failing kidneys — there are no semipermeable membranes used here. Not that the idea suffers from its simplicity, mind you; it just removes unpolymerized resin from the isopropyl alcohol rinse using the same photopolymerization process used during printing. Continue reading “Clean Up Your Resin-Printing Rinse With Dialysis”
Fused-deposition modeling (FDM) printers have the lion’s share of the 3D-printing market, with cheap, easy-to-use printers slurping up thousands of kilos of filament every year. So where’s the challenge with 3D-printing anymore? Is there any room left to tinker? [Physics Anonymous] thinks so, and has started working on what might be the next big challenge in additive manufacturing for the hobbyist: hacking cheap stereolithography (SLA) printers. To wit, this teardown of and improvements to an Anycubic Photon printer.
The Photon, available for as little as $450, has a lot going for it in the simplicity department. There’s no need to worry about filament and extruder issues, since the print is built up a layer at a time by photopolymerization of a liquid resin. And with but a single moving part – the build platform that rises up gradually from the resin tank on a stepper-driven lead screw – SLA printers don’t suffer from the accumulated errors of three separate axes. But, Anycubic made some design compromises in the motion control area to meet their price point for the Photon, leaving a perfect target for upgrades. [Physics Anonymous] added quality linear bearings to each side of the OEM vertical column and machined a carrier for the build platform. The result is better vertical positioning accuracy and decreased slop. It’s a simple fix that greatly improves print quality, with almost invisible layers.
Sadly, the Photon suffered a major, unrelated injury to its LCD screen, but it looks like [PA] will be able to recover from that. We hope so, because we find SLA printing very intriguing and would like to dive right in. But maybe we should start small first.
Continue reading “Entry-Level SLA Printer Gets Upgrades, Prints Better”