As far as I know resin trays have a Teflon coat that allows prints to stick to the build plate easier than the resin tray but this Teflon coat wears over time.

I am new to the SLA scene and am currently troubleshooting a Draken Facture and trying to hone in my setting but my print keep sticking to the bottom of the resin vat.

How often should these trays be swapped out to allow for smooth printing?

  • What specific printer/vat? – Tom van der Zanden Jun 30 '17 at 8:13
  • @TomvanderZanden the printer is a Facture Draken – tjb1 Jun 30 '17 at 11:07
  • Yes that is exactly correct. That's probably a good answer all in itself since it is going to be dependent on the manufacturer. I was hoping to get some insight from people with various makes and models to know how they compare, and what to expect. – DMrFrost Jun 30 '17 at 19:56
up vote 4 down vote accepted

It depends on tray and resin type you are using.

PDMS

If you are using PDMS (eg. sylgard 184) coating for your tray. (B9 and similar printers using this type of tray).

Life of tray PDMS coating depends mainly on:

  • How long you print without breathing floor.
  • How reactive is your resin.

You could get 2 3 prints up to 15 20 prints.

It is suitable for printing delicate pieces.

FEP

Large number of manufacturers using FEP.

Life of tray largely depends on.

  • Thickness of FEP
  • Piece sizes and movement speed during early layers.

Usually you could use same tray for couple of hundreds of prints. Optical quality is not comparable to other alternatives but without human error factor you could get almost unlimited prints. Delicate pieces require tough resin.

Teflon

It is halfway between PDMS and FEP.

There are other tray alternatives:

  • Envision uses special glass you could print on average 50 prints.
  • Carbon 3D uses super expensive oxygen-permeable window.

I did some research and the life of the resin and resin tray appears to be dependent on how you use it. For example, regarding the resin, 3dfacture states "We see almost unlimited shelf life of the resin as long as it is kept out of light".

I know you asked about the tray and not the resin; but, the two are inter-coupled to the same fundamental issue. Their lifespan is highly operational dependent. If your printer operates in an environment that have very low ambient UV, the tray will have to be cleaned less because of less resin buildup and replacement and thus less wear. Other factors come into play as well regarding cleaning procedures, usage amount, etc.

I think if you want a number you are going to have to run your own experiment in your own environment.

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