Hardware of the printer (e.g. linear stage, vats, projector mount, etc..) , including information about the initial build, tuning, and modifications.

Concepts

XY Resolution

The XY resolution of the printer is determined by the physical area that the projector's available pixels are distributed over. The projector always projects 1920 x 1080 pixels. If this is spread over a 192mm X 108mm area, then each pixel illuminates a 0.1mm x 0.1mm area, which is 100 microns x 100 microns. Since the proportions of the projection are fixed (always 16:9), we simplify this and say that we are at 100 micron resolution.

We control the physical area of projection by moving the projector closer or further from the vat, and then adjust the zoom and focus for fine-tuning.

jensa on the Kudo3D forums made a calibration grid that, when printed (preferably on a laser printer, which is quite exact dimensions) can be used to adjust the resolution to a precise setting.

Kudo3D hosts this file on their downloads page.

YouTube video of Jens demonstrating the use of his calibration grid:

Z movement

Parts

Build Plate

Vat

Types of Vats

There are currently 3 types of vat in circulation:
Original v1 Vat
Good for non-3DM resins, do not use for 3DM resins. Identified by having thin film side walls and a hard silicone floor under the film
3DM v1 Vat
Good for 3DM and non-3DM resins. Identified by having thicker and stiffer film side walls and a hard silicone floor under the film
v2 Vat
Improved film adhesion and release qualities, good for 3DM and non-3DM resins. Identified by having thicker and stiffer film side walls (same as 3DM v1 vat) and a soft/sticky silicone floor under the film

Cleanup

The v2 vat "first look" video has a good overview of how to drain and clean a v2 vat after a print:

The key things to note are:

  • Use of a flat-edged silicone bowl scraper, like the red scraper in the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Bowl Scraper Set (http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-2-Piece-Scraper/dp/B00BSDP7FG/).
  • Scrape the majority of resin back into the container using the scraper alone
  • Wash only with Dawn dish soap using only the scraper to gather up any remaining resin, allow it to bead up in the soapy water, then pour it out
    • Remember that resin doesn't emulsify in soap like grease does. Rather, the soap helps the resin release from the surface, bead up, and float in the water. You take this opportunity to then pour it out.
    • This step may even be unnecessary if you're going to store your vats in non-curing conditions (darkness, UV-free environment) and subsequent prints will use the same or darker resin. A good scraping may be all you need.
  • For 3DM resins, pay close attention to the sidewalls and corners to prevent chemical wear from residual resin - I use my fingers to rub those gently with soap water
    • This detail is not necessary for non-3DM resins
  • Since resin is liquid and subsequent resin while printing will generally incorporate any previous resin remnants, the level cleanliness that you're seeking in general is:
    • Clean enough so that you don't get large hardened bits if you are storing your vats in an area with a lot of UV, not that much of an issue if you're storing vats in non-hardening conditions
    • Clean enough so if you subsequently print with different (lighter) pigmentation, you don't get the previous pigment mixed in beyond your tolerance - for instance, when I'm printing clear, I don't worry too much about getting the vats really clean, but when printing black, I need to be a bit more careful if I intend to print clear later
    • This often means, not very clean is sufficient
  • If you did use soap and water, use a final rinse with distilled water to prevent water spots from any minerals in your tap water

Film Replacement

The film may become dislodged from the silicone due to wear or damage from failed prints, manifesting itself as:

  • Ripples seen in the surface of the film
  • A bubble seen in the center or edge of the film
  • Other deformations in the film's surface
  • Any gaps seen between the film and the silicone

In these cases, you should immediately discontinue use of the vat to prevent potential permanent damage to the film. For v2 vats, you can most likely repair the issue relatively simply:

Vat Film Replacement Procedure

Projector Mount

The projector mount is a bracket that is attached to the side T-slot rails. The RAMPS board and the projector are screwed onto the bracket. The XY resolution of the printer is coarsely controlled by the height of the projector mount. The higher it is (closer to the vat), the finer the XY resolution. The lower it is (further from the vat), the coarser the XY resolution.

Projector

RAMPS board