I am pretty excited as my long awaited Form 1+ printer has arrived lately – special thanks to Maxim Lobovsky and his team – and I had the chance to test drive it a little bit.
I took the Formlabs black resin and printed a new SWAT helmet to see how the printer would handle the task.
On the first print I wanted to be smarter that the Formlabs software for automatic orientation and optimum support structure and did everything manually. I underdimensioned the support structure, the helmet broke of and the laser hardened a pretty big blob of resin on the bottom of the resin tank. What a mess. I needed to clean the tank and start all over again.
This time with full automatic mode and no manual interventions. For the new print I decided to print 2 sample helmets at the 0,1mm resolution again. I hit the print button and after 1 hour and 18 minutes I received the below pictured and amazing result. The helmet are still covered with excess resin that needed to be washed of. In fact it is black resin but due to the flash light it turned grey.
After the build was finished I had to clean the helmets in IPA (Isopropanol Alcohol) and shook them for 10min in the IPA container. Only to discover afterwards when taking them out of the bath that I should have better avoided to shake them like ice cubes in a cocktail as the surface was now spotty, damaged and not nice to look at. Additionally I realize that the products needed some UV post-treatment – so I needed to buy a UV curing lamp for artificial nails (that earned me interesting looks and smiles from my girls at home…)
As the helmet outer shell is a bit too thick I will need to rework it and will post pictures of a new build next time when the “production” process allows for an attractive look.
Thanks for all your positive comments regarding the project, the health of my family and the suggestions for additional products!!!
Keep you posted.