Mastering the resin printing parameters is crucial to achieve high-quality prints, which can not only improve the success rate of printing, but also maximize the functions of resin printers. Layer thickness, exposure time, bottom layer exposure time, lifting speed and distance, these are some commonly used and important printing parameters. For beginners, understanding and mastering the common parameters of resin printer can help solve problems encountered in printing, enhance the printing experience, and is also a key to improving the ability to handle printing projects.
Common Parameters of Resin Printer
Layer thickness refers to the thickness of each printed layer, is the vertical height of each layer in the printed object. Layer thickness mainly affects the fineness and detail of the prints. Reducing layer thickness can improve Z-axis accuracy and allow shorter exposure times, but may increase printing difficulty and time consuming. Conversely, increasing the layer thickness requires a longer exposure time, and for LCD screens, it will accelerate the aging of the LCD screen to a certain extent.
Layer thickness parameters can be adjusted within the range of 0.01-0.15 mm. If you are using an Anycubic Photon series printer, generally the default layer thickness is 0.05 mm, balancing print resolution and efficiency, which is best suited to achieving successful printing. When adjusting the parameters, it is recommended to adjust on the basis of understanding the performance of the printer, but this process will increase the consumption of resin.
Exposure time refers to the time each layer is exposed to UV light to cure the resin. Setting the proper exposure time ensures that each layer is fully cured, resulting in a crisp print. If the exposure time is too short, the model will not be fully cured, resulting in poor detail, broken models, and obvious layer lines. If the exposure time is too long, printing accuracy will be affected, and the prints may be too brittle. The 3D print will also swell more than expected, this is because the resin is not completely transparent and UV light will diffuse into the surrounding area of the printed object.
Exposure time is mainly affected by resin material properties, model, temperature and layer thickness. If you use the resin provided by Anycubic, the exposure time is generally set at 2-3 seconds. For variations in light transmission caused by different coloured resins, Anycubic has adjusted the formula ratio of the resin, so that the exposure time of different colors of the same type of resin is close to the same. Since the optimal exposure time may be different for different resins, when using third-party resins, it is recommended to consult further resin information.
Optimal exposure time test: For users of Anycubic series resin printers, you can print the test file "R_E_R_F" in the USB flash drive attached to the machine to test the best exposure time. Guide for Testing Optimal Exposure Time
Note: The optimal operating temperature for the resin is around 24°C, which may vary slightly depending on the resin type. If the temperature is too low, the resin’s activity decreases, and the exposure time needs to be increased. If the temperature is below 10°C, the resin will not cure properly. Therefore, if you need to print in low-temperature conditions, you can try soaking the resin bottle in hot water for a period of time before printing.
Bottom Exposure Time
The bottom layer refers to the layer that is initially printed, and the bottom layer exposure time is specific to the initial layer of the print. Bottom exposure time and the number of bottom layers together determine the adhesion of the model to the printing platform. The longer the bottom exposure time, the stronger the adhesion between the bottom layer and the platform. In order to ensure better adhesion of the bottom layer to the printing platform and prevent the print from warping or falling off the FEP film, the exposure time of the bottom layer needs to be increased.
Bottom exposure time with different types of build platforms: If the printer uses a drawing platform, it is recommended to set the bottom exposure time to about 40s. If you use a laser engraving platform, it is recommended to set the bottom exposure time to about 25s. Excessive bottom exposure times will cause the bottom of the model to swell slightly. For higher precision requirements, it is recommended to print with inclined overhangs.
Note: This parameter is also affected by the model size, weight, bottom contact area and resin properties. For example, the parameter values will be different for models of different sizes.
Bottom exposure time with different types of resins: Darker resins will block more light, nd the exposure needs to be increased appropriately to ensure the penetration effect in the Z direction.
The bottom layers is the number of layers that have been set with a bottom exposure time. Because the bottom exposure time is longer than the normal exposure time, it may result in the bottom layer of the model being larger than the other layers.
The bottom layers and the bottom exposure time jointly determine the adhesion of the model to the printing platform, with a higher layer count resulting in stronger adhesion. It is recommended to use around 6 layers.
Note: This parameter is also affected by factors such as the size, weight, bottom contact area of the model, and resin. If there is a significant difference in the size of the printed model, the layer count needs to be dynamically adjusted. For example, the taller the model, the more layers are required.
Off time refers to the interval between the platform stopping its descent and the beginning of the next exposure after turning off the light. It is recommended to use around 1-3s.
Increasing the off time can provide sufficient time for materials with poor fluidity to flow back. It mainly serves to allow the resin to flow back to the center of the vat and stabilize the liquid level. When the resin viscosity is high, the temperature is low, or the printing area of each layer is relatively large, the off time should be appropriately increased.