Depending on the chosen 3D printer technology, its design, configuration, light wavelength, power, its distribution across the vat and the cumulative operating time, the real light power available across the vat for printing may vary and decay significantly, affecting the printing settings.
Any light emitting source, either laser, LED, or lamp suffer a natural decay of light power over time. Similarly, LCD panels used in LCD printers despite not emitting light, suffer a decay of light transmittance over time. LED arrays are often used as backlight to illuminate the LCD panels which function is transmit or block the backlight in certain areas to define the 3D shape of prints, normally layer by layer, during the printing process. Unfortunately, specially multicolor LCD are very sensitive to degradation caused by UV light and heat.
The following graph shows the typical light output decay vs cumulative operating time of multicolor LCD panels, monochrome LCD panels, digital lamp projectors and LED projectors, all typically used in SLA, DLP & LCD 3D printers.
LED projectors have lifetimes over 15000 hours and despite suffering a gradual light power decay last longer than bulb lamps projectors, which have similar lifetimes to monochrome LCD panels of around 2000 hours. Multicolor LCD panels have much shorter lifetimes of around 400 hours and need to be replaced regularly.
Lack of power control, monitorization and prevention of its decay are some of the main reasons for frustration, printing problems and quality variability.
Specific printing settings and exposure times provided for generic printer types are too generic since exposure times depend on the available light power for curing the 3D resins across the vat: the lower the power the longer the exposure time needed for curing the resin in the printer.
Unfortunately light power varies from printer to printer of the same type and technology. Even different units of the same model, new as supplied, often have 10-20% power differences, which affect the printing settings.
Additionally, as shown on the graph above, light power decays versus the cumulative operating time of the printer. This means that sooner or later printers will need longer exposure times for curing the same 3D resin.
Variability in specifications for the different printers and lack of light power control over time can be overcome with our support.
3Dresyns basic instructions will help you to get in just simple steps the best printing settings of our 3D resins for the existing "state" of your 3D printer but cannot resolve any variability or power decay related to your printer. We sell 3D resins, not printers!
Our online consulting and training services can help you to select the "right for your needs" 3D printer and avoid these basic power decay problems.
If you are struggling with your existing printer in a "black box" approach and feel that you need more control and understanding of the fundamental 3D printing variables for ensuring maximum performance (printability and resolution) and consistency (reliability and constancy), or if you do not have a printer yet. or need a new one, then consider contracting our consulting services for designing the right 3D Printing System for your specific needs and goals, which will include recommendations of all the required instrumentation, tools, instructions, material recommendations, consulting and training for professional 3D printing.
Professional printing requires "constant", non variable printing conditions, so consider saving time and money by contracting our services to prevent any frustration and waste of time!!
Biocompatible and food contact applications specially require maximum control of printing and post curing settings to ensure maximum safety for final users.
3Dresyns can help you to get the best 3D printer setup/configuration for your budget with all the basic tools and materials for printing professionally straight away with maximum quality.
3Dresyns consulting services include recommendations of the best 3D printing systems for your needs and protocols for preventing the natural light power decay, which is normally responsible for print failure and frustration.
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