Looking to get into SLA  

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gnat
 gnat
(@gnat)
Prominent Member

I bought my first FDM printer 1.5 years ago and it was a MK3. I ordered a MMU2 at the same time, but it took 6 months to get it. I've gone from ordering a pre-built machine to make sure I started with a good base, to being confident that I understand what my printer is telling me and how to make it happy.

As good as the MK3S is, however, I'm now starting to flirt with prints where even a 0.25mm nozzle with a 0.05mm layer height just doesn't come out well. So I'm considering the jump to SLA.

I have one recommendation for the Form 2 (the guy loved his 2, but hates his 3), but the price point is beyond what I want to spend to start off. Being forced to use their (expensive) resin is also a turn off even though my friend swears by it (in his old 2 anyway).

I have another recommendation for the Elegoo Mars Pro by someone just getting into SLA printing. He can't compare it or give long term feedback, but he reports that it was really easy to get started. I like it's price point as I can get it, a curing station, and setup a wash station for under $500. I also like that it is not limited as to what resin you can use (and their resin is decently priced). I downloaded the slicing software it uses, however, and realized how spoiled I am with PrusaSlicer.

I of course have the SL1 in my list as well. I bought my MK3 based on what I saw of their reputation and I haven't been let down which is a big factor for me. The price is a big negative though. The other big negative is the lack of information (e.g. how quiet it is here) out there.

Looking at the specs, the SL1 doesn't look any different than the Elegoo Mars Pro which is less than 1/4 of the price. So beyond Prusa's rep and being able to use PS for slicing (which are not insignificant for me), what makes the SL1 worth the massive price difference?

I'm mostly interested in printing with the water washable resins which seem to be getting good reviews. I'm also eyeing eSun's new "bio" resins which are supposed to be less toxic (they claim it's similar to PLA). Are there any issues using random resins with the SL1 (this is one of those lack of info issues)?

In short, is the SL1 a good (if expensive) option as an entry to SLA?

MMU tips and troubleshooting...
Posted : 20/07/2020 4:58 am
Lichtjaeger
(@lichtjaeger)
Prominent Member

The SL1 has features that the Elegoo printers (afaik) don't have: Octoprint like monitor server (PrusaConnect), resin sensor, automated stirring, tilt platform...

It doesn't matter if the resin is water washable. In fact: you can wash all resins with soapy water. Also, all solutions (including water) that come in contact with liquid resin will become hazardous waste. You may only dispose of it according to your regional regulations. (The kitchen sink is not allowed)

You can use all 405nm resins with the SL1. There is even a calibration program in the template files that allows you to set up the exposure times of the resin of your choice.

Posted : 20/07/2020 7:22 am
Lichtjaeger
(@lichtjaeger)
Prominent Member

Looks like you can use PrusaSlicer to prepare the model even if you need to use another software for slicing:

Posted : 20/07/2020 9:50 am
Karl Herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Famed Member
Posted by: @gnat

I bought my first FDM printer 1.5 years ago and it was a MK3. I ordered a MMU2 at the same time, but it took 6 months to get it. I've gone from ordering a pre-built machine to make sure I started with a good base, to being confident that I understand what my printer is telling me and how to make it happy.

As good as the MK3S is, however, I'm now starting to flirt with prints where even a 0.25mm nozzle with a 0.05mm layer height just doesn't come out well. So I'm considering the jump to SLA.

I have one recommendation for the Form 2 (the guy loved his 2, but hates his 3), but the price point is beyond what I want to spend to start off. Being forced to use their (expensive) resin is also a turn off even though my friend swears by it (in his old 2 anyway).

I have another recommendation for the Elegoo Mars Pro by someone just getting into SLA printing. He can't compare it or give long term feedback, but he reports that it was really easy to get started. I like it's price point as I can get it, a curing station, and setup a wash station for under $500. I also like that it is not limited as to what resin you can use (and their resin is decently priced). I downloaded the slicing software it uses, however, and realized how spoiled I am with PrusaSlicer.

I of course have the SL1 in my list as well. I bought my MK3 based on what I saw of their reputation and I haven't been let down which is a big factor for me. The price is a big negative though. The other big negative is the lack of information (e.g. how quiet it is here) out there.

Looking at the specs, the SL1 doesn't look any different than the Elegoo Mars Pro which is less than 1/4 of the price. So beyond Prusa's rep and being able to use PS for slicing (which are not insignificant for me), what makes the SL1 worth the massive price difference?

I'm mostly interested in printing with the water washable resins which seem to be getting good reviews. I'm also eyeing eSun's new "bio" resins which are supposed to be less toxic (they claim it's similar to PLA). Are there any issues using random resins with the SL1 (this is one of those lack of info issues)?

In short, is the SL1 a good (if expensive) option as an entry to SLA?

In the long run you will be more satisfied with an open source project of an SLA printer with good support. There are many cheap offers and a lot of advertising on the net, but most of them disappear quite quickly or cannot keep their promises. If you have already decided to use the SLA technology, i would choose a Prusa SL1.

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 20/07/2020 10:05 am
gnat
 gnat
(@gnat)
Prominent Member
Posted by: @lichtjaeger

It doesn't matter if the resin is water washable. In fact: you can wash all resins with soapy water. Also, all solutions (including water) that come in contact with liquid resin will become hazardous waste. You may only dispose of it according to your regional regulations. (The kitchen sink is not allowed)

Yeap I am aware that it's not "down the drain" washable. The idea of saving the expense of the IPA as well as removing some hazardous material from the process is appealing though.

You can use all 405nm resins with the SL1. There is even a calibration program in the template files that allows you to set up the exposure times of the resin of your choice.

Thanks for the info.

MMU tips and troubleshooting...
Posted : 20/07/2020 4:38 pm
gnat
 gnat
(@gnat)
Prominent Member
Posted by: @lichtjaeger

Looks like you can use PrusaSlicer to prepare the model even if you need to use another software for slicing:

Yeah I found talk about that. It's definitely a solution, but the one stop shop I'm used to with PS and my MK3S makes that look really ugly 😉 

I also played with it a bit yesterday and CB choked on the STLs I generated from PS for half the models I tried. Loaded and sliced fine, but the export crashed the program...

This post was modified 2 months ago by gnat
MMU tips and troubleshooting...
Posted : 20/07/2020 4:51 pm
sw3De
(@sw3de)
Trusted Member

Just want to follow the discussion. I’m curious about SLA too, have been for a while but always found that the resin bit seems a bit messy, but maybe it’s worth it?  

Posted : 21/07/2020 4:24 am
gnat
 gnat
(@gnat)
Prominent Member
Posted by: @sw3de

Just want to follow the discussion. I’m curious about SLA too, have been for a while but always found that the resin bit seems a bit messy, but maybe it’s worth it?  

The mess and that the material isn't remotely environmentally friendly are what have kept me away so far. At least I can tell myself PLA isn't that bad (even though I have 1.5 years of scraps I don't know what to do with...).

I just spent 2 months printing tabletop terrain for my BIL, however, and that got me itching to get back into gaming. My son also seems to be taking an interest too, which isn't helping. While the MK3S did great for the terrain with the 0.4 nozzle and a 0.1 layer, even with my 0.25 nozzle I'm just not getting a quality for detailed minis that I'm satisfied with.

MMU tips and troubleshooting...
Posted : 21/07/2020 4:35 am
Karl Herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Famed Member

@gnat

With a well leveled, clean print bed, a good quality nozzle and the correct slicer settings, the MK3/S can achieve very good results with a 0.25 nozzle. The smaller the nozzle, the more sensitive it is to variations such as extrusion quantity, temperature, speed, mechanical inaccuracies, etc. The MMU2 does not make things easier...

I use the 0.25 and smaller nozzles only for very filigree details and small fonts.

Here an example, printed with a 0.1mm nozzle:

The extrusion is not quite perfect yet!

https://blog.prusaprinters.org/everything-about-nozzles-with-a-different-diameter_8344/

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by Karl Herbert
Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 21/07/2020 4:24 pm
gnat
 gnat
(@gnat)
Prominent Member
Posted by: @karl-herbert

With a well leveled, clean print bed, a good quality nozzle and the correct slicer settings, the MK3/S can achieve very good results with a 0.25 nozzle. The smaller the nozzle, the more sensitive it is to variations such as extrusion quantity, temperature, speed, mechanical inaccuracies, etc. The MMU2 does not make things easier...

Oh don't misunderstand me, it can do amazing stuff with smaller nozzles. SLA can do much better though.

As far as the MMU, beyond it it being in the filament path I haven't even delved into multi-filament prints with smaller nozzles yet.

MMU tips and troubleshooting...
Posted : 21/07/2020 4:55 pm
nikolai.r
(@nikolai-r)
Noble Member

I think the decision is same like for MK3s. Do you want something for long term or short term?

There are tons of inexpensive printers which allows you pretty easy entry into SLA. I'm pretty sure you will be able to print very nice DND figures with Elegoo Mars or similar for just a fraction of the Prusa Printer package (printer+cure/washer). Organic shape and small figure will not benefit much from tilting platform. You can cure in the sun and wash it in a bucket.

The difference is as usual in the long run. Getting spare parts, replacements, support is proven good @PR. Tilting platform makes a big difference if you're printing bigger layers. The whole convenience package (printer+cure/washer) will safe you a lot of time if you do it on regular base.

At the end Ender 3 is also printing fine for $250. Still I don't want to miss my MK2/3 because they're work horses and tools very easy to keep functional on daily base.

 

Often linked posts:
Going small with MMU2
Real Multi Material
My prints on Instagram...
Posted : 21/07/2020 6:07 pm
Lichtjaeger
(@lichtjaeger)
Prominent Member

I can definitely recommend wash and cure machines. It makes working with SLA prints way easier. If not the CW1, then something like the Anycubic Wash & Cure or an ultrasonic cleaner (without flammable solutions) + self-made UV chamber.

Posted : 21/07/2020 6:25 pm
gnat
 gnat
(@gnat)
Prominent Member

I've seen some references to the masking LCD being a consumable with a rather short lifespan (like just a few weeks of near constant use).

Is this true in general? For the SL1?

How many hours of operation are people getting from their SL1 without significant (e.g. cleaning up resin and replacing the FEP) maintenance?

MMU tips and troubleshooting...
Posted : 24/07/2020 1:21 am
gnat
 gnat
(@gnat)
Prominent Member

Bit the bullet and ordered a SL1. The deciding factor came down to reviews that talked about and showed the quality difference in parts and how well Prusa seems to have thought out such things. Between that and my view of the company, it seems the better option even if I do feel like it's over priced.

MMU tips and troubleshooting...
Posted : 26/07/2020 2:26 am
Karl Herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Famed Member

@gnat

I think you made the right decision, even if the price is a bit higher. The Prusasupport is known to be good and will compensate for this.

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 26/07/2020 3:53 am
gnat
 gnat
(@gnat)
Prominent Member
Posted by: @karl-herbert

@gnat

I think you made the right decision, even if the price is a bit higher. The Prusasupport is known to be good and will compensate for this.

Well I'm hoping that the SL1 will follow the trend of my MK3S and MMU2S and won't really need much from support (dented sheet came with the printer and a missing cable with the MMU were my only interactions) 😉 

MMU tips and troubleshooting...
Posted : 26/07/2020 4:52 am
gnat
 gnat
(@gnat)
Prominent Member

Well it finally showed up yesterday and I started putting it together (first and second sections are complete) and I am much more comfortable with the cost. I don't want to disparage printers that I've never seen in person, but the SL1 is going to be one solid unit. Prusa clearly put a lot of thought into how this machine is put together and then designed the parts to fit well together with very fine tolerances. I'm not saying the others aren't well built (because I have no idea), just that I do believe there is value for the cost and it's not just a $1200 "Prusa tax" for the name.

So far the assembly has gone well with only one minor issue. I plan to finish the build today and hopefully do my first print (resin calibration) tomorrow.

MMU tips and troubleshooting...
Posted : 21/08/2020 4:06 pm
hamza.b
(@hamza-b)
Estimable Member

I dont have SL1, but its without any doubts well built and reliable. However, i think still its overpriced, and is not "best bang for your buck" (as its case with flagship MK3S), since you have EPAX X1 (or brand new monochrome X1K), which is in my opinion best investment nowadays. Its VERY ROBUST, its FACTORY LEVELED, QC-ed in US plus they have customer support for only 450-650$ price tag (depending on version)...

Posted : 30/08/2020 1:01 am
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