Fast or Flawless? That choice is what an understanding of Layer Heights whenever Resin 3D printing is going to provide you. To be clear, Layer Height is the thickness of each layer of cured material (Z-Axis). This setting can be altered in all good resin slicing software. Any Traditional Resin 3D Printer worth its salt will let you print with Layer Heightsbetween 10 Micron to 100 Microns. Keep in mind a fine human hair is 17 microns (μm) thick!
So Which Layer Height is Best to use? It is model and time dependent. Using A Larger Layer Height means a Faster 3D Print. Using A Lower Layer Height means a Better Representation of the 3D Design. The 100 Micron Layer Height is the usual upper limit for these 3D printers. Light can only travel through resin so far without either inaccurately dispersing or just physically being unable to penetrate through the liquid resin material far enough. On the other side, a 10 Micron Layer Height is currently the thinnest you can print at. This limitation is imposed due to the viscosity of the resin liquid. With the knowledge in this guide under your belt, your 3D printers will work better, faster, and more accurately than ever before.
For absolute optimal printing, wouldn’t it be a good idea to set a layer height that converts into an integer number of steps for the Z motor? Otherwise you’ll get some layers that are N steps tall, and others that are N+1 as the height is rounded to the nearest number of steps.
Now we’re talking. Nailing that would be a true mastery of Resin 3D printing . A factor to keep on top of is in regards to whether the Stepper motor is doing full steps or micro/half-steps. Also how significant the improvement would be I wouldn’t know. My gut feeling is it would be a subtle difference (although I’d love to be proven wrong). I wouldn’t have the knowledge of what the Z Steps/mm are for a Halot but all the information is out there. You can also run tests of calibration cubes to lock in accurate Z-height representation of printed designs.
Hey, Tim. I am writing here because I have not quite figured out the interface of the site, English is not my main language. So I apologize for any mistakes in my English, especially since it is not mine, but the translator’s.
I must say that I really like your guides on 3D printing with photopolymer resins, they are quite detailed and clear. I was fascinated by the idea of printing with resins and almost without thinking I spent on a printer. Trying to understand the various intricacies of this business I came across your manuals.
Of course I, as an interested student, am saddened by the small number of topics you cover. So I ask if there will be more guides published?
For example, right now I am interested in the topic of support placement when printing parts. Maybe I am naive, but I am deeply convinced that industry is always more advanced than individual enthusiasts and therefore I want to test all the software I can get my hands on, especially those used by industry, for automatic support placement. I am also convinced that I am not the smartest and therefore I ask you if you have ever tested different software to find out the difference in the algorithms and which software you liked the most?
I 100% agree with Michael. Although I mainly work with FDM printers (the printers that use spools of plastic filament as opposed to hardening resin), Cura is hands-down the most reliable slicer, especially when it comes to generating supports.
Cura uses a custom developed algorithm which is a bit like a geometric breadth-first search with greedy merging. You can find a full write-up of how the algorithm works in Thomas Rahm’s fork (I highly recommend checking it out if you would like to understand how tree supports are generated).
It is also worth noting that Cura’s algorithm is the basis of Prusa’s Organic Supports, meaning that the tree support algorithms between PrusaSlicer and Cura differ subtly.