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TCO of the SL1  

Eminent Member
TCO of the SL1


It always was unclear to me how the total cost of a DLP/SLA would be.

It was already discussed how long the resin tank will keep up and how much resins cost, but I'm interested mostly how the IPA consumption will be.

Do I have to swap out the IPA after cleaning each print? If not, how often can it be reused?

Posted : 06/07/2019 9:48 am
RE: TCO of the SL1

IPA wash contamination  is entirely due to the amount of resin left on the components being washed.
If you put the build plate and model, into the curwa wash station, then any surplus resin on the top surfaces of the build plate will become polluting waste in the IPA wash bath

I am an honorary  Yorkshire lass, and hate wasting money... 
so I tend to :

1, leave the model to drip after the print completes (rather than process immediately)

2, (DO This at your own risk!!! ) Tilt the printer and put a 15 to 20mm wedge, under the Back Right of the Printer case, to cause the surplus resin, on the top of the build plate to collect at one end  (Make sure you don't tip the printer far enough for the resin to drip outside the bath or cause a tidal wave in the bath...   spills can be very messy!)
3, using a scraper with a blade approximately 20mm wide, scrape the surplus resin to the edge of the build plate  so it can drip back into the main tank

4, let the printer sit for a while, then again scrape the spare resin over the edge of the build plate

5, scrape around the edges of the build plate and then look under the buildplate for any remaining blobs of resin hanging on there, scrape back into the bath.
6, using gloved hands,  remove the build plate from the printer and using toilet tissue paper or kitchen roll, wipe off as much surplus resin as possible before either suspending the build plate in the Curwa wash station by clipping it on to the lid, or scrape the models off the buildplate into the Curwa Basket to wash them....

NOTE the Eiffel tower is a tall model, if you suspend it from the build plate in the curwa, you may damage the top of the tower (lowest point in the Curwa bath), by touching the wire basket...    why not simply, remove the basket, because the model is attached to the build plate, it will not fall onto the impeller/stirrer in the Curwa Bath 

I have been using my SL1 for some time and have not yet changed the IPA Bath.    perhaps it's due. 

I Have a full bath of IPA for opaque colours and a part bath for my translucent red. 

When not in use I store the IPA in a translucent container with a lid on it

I have noticed that the opaque colours seem to have some sediment in the IPA. which I try to settle out and decant the main IPA/resin liquor off the top periodically.

Some people have said that you can leave the IPA in a translucent container, in the sun, to set the resin and salvage the remaining IPA,   others have said that they merely ended up with a semi solid gel....        
I have not tried this yet.

I now give models a second wash in fresh IPA to remove the last of the waste resin. and as this second wash gets contaminated, I add it to the main wash, which naturally diminishes in volume due to evaporation, spillage and clinging to models as they are extracted from the IPA bath.

I still have a little of my first 5 litres of IPA, left (In the first days of excitement I didn't have enough IPA to fill the Curwa, so I used Ethanol camp stove fuel (which is what I wash my translucent red pieces in... ) I haven't blown myself up yet! Remember! You are responsible for your own safety!)

You should not pour used resin back into the fresh resin container... I used aluminium drink containers

I also use FunToDo pigments to change the resin colours

currently I have opaque orange, white, black and grey, trans red and transparent rigid resins and transparent elastic resin.  I have used the pigments to make the orange a deeper colour for the finished model,  or a darker colour to make it easier to paint over

Note, the standard prusa resins are hard and brittle...   for small figurines or models with thin limbs, you may want to add flexible resin, to reduce the brittleness

USB Memory pens are easily damaged   Historically I used to just use the 'Eject' feature in Windows File Manager or the tool tray. and pull the memory pen out of the computer...   but with recent memory pens and windows 10 I have found that this did not make the pens safe to dismount.

the red circle above, shows my memory pen in this computer, I have to use the 'Remove device' option, to safely dismount the memory pen

I find the supplied gloves and similar gloves hard to use as they cling to your hands and get turned inside out when you remove them so I use this type of glove

I can reuse these many times, rather than struggling with the disposable gloves

I find that toilet roll is more cost effective than kitchen roll as you have to throw away any paper with waste on it, and kitchen roll has a lot of spare unused surface area, when you wipe up a spill.. and I hate waste...!

I hope these items help you get a handle on cost of ownership of the SL1

I try to make safe suggestions,You should understand the context and ensure you are happy that they are safe before attempting to apply my suggestions, what you do, is YOUR responsibility. Location Halifax UK...
Posted : 06/07/2019 11:35 am
Wilko and leland.p liked
Eminent Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: TCO of the SL1


Thank you for your excellent and comprehensive answer.

Posted : 06/07/2019 12:40 pm
Trusted Member
RE: TCO of the SL1

Just because I'm reading through a bunch of posts tonight:

I should do like Joan does with the IPA and storing it in separate containers. As it is, I just keep it in the food service container in the CW1. I've found two issues with this:

1. The container rusts in the part that is in contact with the rubber lid. Either that, or it's somehow breaking down the rubber. Either way, after a couple days, there's an entire rim of something that looks identical to rust that I have to wipe off. I don't see any actual corrosion, however.

2. The magnetic impeller gets coated in sediment. I'm still on my first container of IPA here, and my first prints I didn't bother cleaning at all -- I just put the whole print plate in, so it had a lot of resin in there. After a few times doing that, I started doing more like what Joan does: I tilt the print plate (but not the whole printer) and use the plastic scraper to get as much of the resin back into the tank as possible. This is especially important with thicker resins like the Siraya stuff, that tends to cling to the back-side of the print plate.

I don't use a USB flash drive with my SL1 : I have it on my network. That also allows me to open a browser page and see the current status without getting off my lazy behind. I can send print files directly to it, as well and then print them from SL1 memory.

But, FWIW, with Windows 10 starting in v 1809 (fall 2018), you don't need to eject or otherwise do anything special to remove a USB flash drive. As long as you don't remove it while it's actively in the middle of writing, you're good. There's a slight performance hit as a result of that change (and not aggressively caching writes) but it makes it safe to remove vs prior versions of the OS.


Posted : 29/08/2019 7:06 am
Active Member
RE: TCO of the SL1

1. It's the rubber breaking down. I gave some feedback to Prusa support for this already.

Posted : 29/08/2019 11:36 am
Trusted Member
RE: TCO of the SL1
Posted by: magnus.t

1. It's the rubber breaking down. I gave some feedback to Prusa support for this already.

I took a closer look at it this morning, and I think it may be the adhesive. I noticed that the rubber has pulled away from around the screws in the lid, and there was some brown gunk in there.


Posted : 29/08/2019 7:08 pm