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  1. #1
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014

    Decided to get a resin setup.

    Total budget £150

    So that's for:
    The printerWash and cure box with light powered turntable.
    Some resin.

    At the moment I'm looking at a few machines on AliExpress, there's three or four that come in just under £100.
    And a couple just over.

    A big old 495nm spotlight with a UV powered turntable, comes in at around £25.
    Shove that in a foil lined box, sit a mason jar with isopropyl on the turntable and jobs a good 'un :-)

    And some tough resin from AliExpress at about £15 for 500g
    I also fancy some transparent resin as well.
    I've seen some printed lenses, looks like fun :-)

    Not a clue where I'm going to put it. Space will be made, somewhere.

    I've got a few ultra fine detail designs that fdm simply won't pull off.
    Plus the price points for machine and resins has finally become sensible for someone with very little money :-)

    The new cheap tough resin, cures up like moulded abs, but stays flexible for easy support removal until final curing.
    Which sounds like it'll do most jobs.

    Machine wise, it's surprising how varied the sub £100 machines are.
    The worst seems to be the creality one, minimum layer 0.078 layer height.
    A slightly cheaper one had a 0.025 minimum layer height.
    Which should do the job.

    Then you've got print speeds from 20mm an hour max speed on up to 60mm an hour.

    So a bit more research is in order.

    But I reckon £150 should do it.

    Watch this space :-)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Currently more or less decided on an anycubic photon mono.
    £200 on Amazon
    £107 on AliExpress.
    Both ship from the UK.

    Still got a couple to look at, but the photon mono seems to tick all the boxes.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    now here's the thing.
    aliexpress pops up adverts for '£77' priece.
    That becomes £109 as soon as you add it to your basket.
    Okay, I still managed to add curing and resin for £150.
    You then get to the checkout - and even though you're buying from a uk warehouse, it then adds another 20% to the bill.
    Bringing my £150 up to over £180.

    So bugger that.

    Current;y looking for a used bargain on ebay :-)

    Plus before christmas there were some very small form factor resin machines that were genuinely going for under £100.
    Not sure if they all sold out or what.
    But can't find any now.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    £120 delivered from UK distributor so no extras and considerably cheaper than any 2k mono on AliExpress
    So just need a 405nm illuminator for about £10 and some cheap resin and I should be able to hit the budget.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Oh yeah and my idea for lining a box with aluminium foil to reflect the UV light and ensure s complete all ovevtan for the model
    Turns out to be 100% correct.

    Guess what material reflects UV light better than anything else ?
    Yep, aluminium.
    80% deflection rate.
    So no turntables needed, just line box with foil. Angle illuminator slightly and let the light bounce around the box bathing every part of the model in ultraviolet light :-)

    Still looking for an actual 405nm light source, most seem to be between 365 and 400.
    400 would probably do, but I'd like to get 405, for maximum curing speed and efficiency

  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Damn me and my procrastination.
    The vixelab proxima has now gone up by 20 quid !

    People spending Christmas money and that damn YouTube algorithm that's currently pushing proxima review videos

    Oh well, only got myself to blame.
    £139 it is.

    No way of getting under the £150 mark now.
    But if I go with water washable resin, I don't immediately have to buy in any isopropyl alcohol.
    So £175 should be doable.

    Right, now to order one before the price goes even higher !

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Found some water washable resin on alixpress that works out at £13 for 500gdelivered.
    So that's pm it's way, the £16 water washable clear is already here.
    Came with gloves and a face mask - which I wasn't expecting.

    Still looking for uv light.

    Done a lot of reading, and there is a lot of information/misinformation out there.

    Curind the part while it's immersed in water seems to be the best option.

    Oxygen impairs the curing process, so having the model in water serves two purposes.
    1) it greatly reduces oxygen levels, which speeds up curing.
    2) you can use warm water. Moderate heat also speeds the curing process up. Plus my workshop is cold this time of year.

    Light wise it looks like some of the usb powered led striplights might be the best option. Not only can you just plug them into a usb port, but you can use a power bank for free standing curing.

    And as I have no idea where the printer is going to live yet, that's probably a good idea :-)
    on the other hand, the uv spotlights are also the right wavelength and - apparently - more important, have more power than is also important.
    So I'll start with a uv spotlight and go from there.

    Another reason for using washable resin - it makes it a lot easier to clean the vat up and remove any uncured resin.

    There's a lot more to switching from fdm to resin that you at first think.

    Particularly when it comes to model design.
    You can't simply print a hollow shape. well you can, but it must have drainage holes.
    Also things seem to generally be printed upside down.

    I had thought you could build out sideways at rightangles without worrying about bridging or supports.
    But the pressure of peeling the new layer, apparently, can distort them.
    So it's a delicate baance between exposure time and peeling speed.

    The water washable resins are 'runnier' less viscous, than the alcohol washable resins, so should flex less on the lift movement.

    Likewise, the curing time per layer will effect how stiff the printing model is. So hoping the slicer will let you change exposure settings depending on the model configuration.

    Unfortunately the 32 bit voxel print download is corrupted. And it's cold in my workshop and I'm currently in the dining room where its a lot warmer :-)

    Oh and apparently the voxelab proxima is made by flashforge !
    Well that's what it says in the quickstart guide, and I've seen it mentioned a few times online as well.
    Apparently it's a flashforge photo 6 - which retails at £60 more :-)

    And that means I can use the flashforge slicer - and I do like flashforge slicers. Thinking about it, the voxelab slicer is only going to be a rebaged flashprint anyway.

    So it's coming together.

    Just need to throw some junk away and find a space for it to live !

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Just ordered that.
    Works out cheaper than aliexpress or ebay, and has the easy to return amazon deal and next day delivery.

    Now going to print a box the same print volume as the foto 6 build volume and work out how big my curing box needs to be.

    if you're keeping count I'm currently on approx £195

    If I'd bought th printer 4 days earlier tht would be £175.

    All the really small, basic printers I was looking at before christmas have now vanished entirely from aliexpress and other sites.
    My initial £150 was based around one of those.

    So for another £50 I've ended up with approx double the build volume and a much higher resolution monochrone led panel and better uv illumination, a linear rail for the z-axis and probably a few other upgrades.

    So while the machine is bigger than I wanted, it's not so large that I'm going to be wasting a lot of resin.

    Plus as this is really just so I can learn about the technology and overall resin process, a few more bells and whistles is better in the long run.

    So. Unless you can find a used deal, you aren't going to get yourself a resin setup + resin for under £150.

    But you can do it for under £200.
    And I did buy two sets of resin, which wasn't essential!.

    So if we just take the cheapest resin into account. we're down to about: £180

    Bear in mind I haven't needed to buy any isopropyl alcohol.
    5l comes in at around £21
    1l at £11 - so yeah, you were always going to buy 5 :-)

    As far as I can see the water washable resins are no more expensive and all the reviews I've read suggest the prints are actually better, the resin is less viscous and the print durability is just as good.

    I don't think any of the reviews I read were from people printing anything but figurines. So research and experimentation is definitely needed as far as functional prints are concered.
    I can't see myself printing many models.
    Functional prints with intricate details and captured moving parts - absoutely.

    The resin costs are coming down all the time and different resin types are increasing as well.

    At last years tct show the biggest growth sector was large volume resin printing.
    So costs should continue to go down and different material types will definitely start coming thick and fast now the industrial sector is fully committed to the technology.

    At least that's my theory :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 01-09-2022 at 09:50 AM.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    I am ready for the machine !

    curing box is made and while i don;t yet have the machine, I have cured some resin :-)

    I've got two types. One that claims its magenta, but looks like pink to me, and one that's clear/transparent.

    poured a little of each into a small glass jar and tested the curing chamber with it.

    The pink is fair;y brittle, but still really hard and the clear is just rock hard and doesn't appear to have the same brittleness.

    After making a framework the same size as the proxima's build volume - I discovered that you could make a coffee cup with it - just !
    So the search for food approved resin begins :-)
    Always had a hankering to print my own coffee mugs, but fdm just doesn't reallly lend itself to it until you hit the industrial filaments.

    Turns out the tuirntable is not needed after all.
    So I've just cut and popped a piece of 4mm acryic into the bottom of the cure box.
    With the aluminium lining and 6 10watt 405nm uv leds, it doesn't need to be turned or moved during curing.

    I removed the metal surround from the spotlight and bolted it to a lid I printed for the box.
    Job done :-)

    Last edited by curious aardvark; 01-11-2022 at 02:28 PM.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    okay, so you can't use aresin printer to make a coffee mug - YET !

    Given how many large scale industrial resin machines are going to be sold in 2022 - it's just a matter of time before someone works out how to make food safe resin :-)

    Theoretically, fully cured resin is pretty inert. But the base chemicals are really really nasty. I reckon with clear resin and my blast curing chamber the fully cured part is covered.
    It's just the long term effect of hot coffee on resin that's not been researched, apparently by anyone, ever.
    Kinda weird i don't know any scientist who doesn't run on coffee :-)

    So for now, I'll go back to thinking about making a coffee mug out of petg.

    The sink drain cover I made about 9 months ago from petg, is currently still in minty fresh condition, and that gets boiling water poured over it many times a week.
    Also the coffee that comes out of mymachine is nowhere near boiling.
    I can print watertight models as thin as 1.5mm, so as long as I print totally solid at with the right settings, that aspect is also not an issue.

    Would just be nice to get the detail level of resin on a mug. A really nice relief of my dog - for example.

    Might try that on petg one, could work :-)

    Oh yeah, I've left the curing chamber lamp on for a couple of hours. The metal housing gets slightly warm to the touch, the resin and box interior don't get noticeably hot.
    So that's all good :-)

    With any luck, I'll be printing something this time tomorrow.

    I do have a couple ideas of how to use the machine for saleable items, things that just don't look that great in fdm and don't work properly in laser cut acrylic.
    Plus the added resolution should dramaticlly increase what i can put on them logo-wise :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 01-11-2022 at 03:14 PM.

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