IMG 0493First Print FAIL!Using UV sensitive resin for 3D printing has many process names.

DLP (Digital Light Processing) Is a 3D UV resin printing process using image projecting much like a slide or video projector. 

SLA (Sterolithography ) is a 3D UV resin printing system using a rapidly moving LASER “flying spot” (like a CRT screen) to trace thin lines and fill-in solid layer areas to cure the resin

What I am using is MSLA (Masked Sterolithography) process where a full layer image is created on a video screen mask and the complete resin layer is exposed all at one time like a contact photo negative.

All of these processes expose one very thin layer (0.01mm to 0.15mm thick) to the UV light and build a “stuck together” stack of these layers to create the complete 3D item.

I have just rekindled my interest in 3D high resolution resin MSLA printing with a new higher power printer than my previous MSLA machine. The printing area is the same, so it is not larger. The UV (Ultraviolet) Light source is stronger, and the digital video mask is much better quality. The Z axis far more rigid (a good thing) and the electronics are much better. Overall a far better print system.

This is the Anycubic Photon Mono SE 3D MSLA resin printer

It is Chinese made as almost all printers in the hobbyist price range. (Under $300). Commercial equipment USA made is typically $5K to $10K, far out of my range and desires.

My intent is to use special purpose castable resin to produce master models for “Lost Resin” type casting in silver and other metals. Exactly like “Lost Wax Casting.”  Not implying that this will be the only use for the MSLA resin printer. 

Shown here are a few Junque prints in standard green resin I printed as part of the “shakedown cruise” of this new printer. (Yeah, I am ex-Navy.) I have already made a solid brass casting of the gnome (pointy hat figure) from a PLA plastic 3D print.

I have generally become dissatisfied making what I call useless plastic Junque. I have consumed a lot of plastic in the last few years, making many plastic “display” items of very low value and usefulness. I desire to avoid this trend with resin prints. 

Making high quality master models for metal casting is a good 3D print application. So, a focus on designs that do not fall into my useless Junque category is my intent. There will be relapses, I am sure. Sometimes I just want to print Junque. It’s not a real crime.

Let’s see how well I do…