FEP Film Vat For UV- Resin 3D Printers
When making a FEP film vat, it’s important that you use only PET laminating pouches as these are harder than PETG pouches. PETG laminating pouches do not fit, and they are also soft which means they scratch easily.
What is a laminating film?
It is a sheet of laminating film that is composed of various layers of plastic. The harder layer (PET) is on the outside and the softer layer (EVA) is on the inside. The harder outer layer is usually made from PET plastic (Polyethylene Terephthalate) and the softer inner layer is made out of EVA plastic (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate.
What is the material?
PET…This is as much as 200 times stronger than glass. It is virtually unbreakable and also has very high impact strength. It is also chemical resistant and super transparent which is perfect for a FEP film vat!
How do we get started?
First, grab your laminate pouch and split it into 2. All you need to do next is dissolve the EVA side in the oven (The heat from the oven makes this transparent) Ensure that the PET side is placed down on some baking parchmanet paper before placing in the oven. Place in the oven at 200-210 deg C (392F) and for approx 4-5 seconds. That is all! You may find that it is tacky to the touch afterwards, but this is normal.
The next step
So once you have heated the laminate pouch, it should now be transparent. Grab your resin vat, and stick this on top of the laminate, but make sure that the EVA side is now facing down as the resin needs to be in contact with the PET side. You should now have your FEP film vat for your UV-Resin 3D printer!
The UV Post Curing Temperature is 60-65 deg C using 405nm UV Light. PET melts at 260 deg C.
You can check out Medelis’s video below for a more in depth explanation.
Settings used for the Micromake L2 / Flsun S & Monocure 3D Rapid Resin
- First Layer Time 50000
- Num Bottom Layers 3
- Layer Height 0.05
- Layer Time 15000
What is Resin 3D printing?
Typical 3D printers use what’s called fused deposition modeling (FDM), in which a heated nozzle extrudes plastic filament causing it to melt, meticulously tracing out every detail of the object it’s making. Resin printing (SLA) turns the process upside down. Instead of starting with a solid raw material, it starts with a liquid and turns it solid.
The process uses a liquid, called “Photosensitive resin”, that hardens into solid Polyester, vinyl ester epoxy or urethane when exposed to light. Some resins react to visible light and have to be stored in black containers. Others react to ultraviolet light. If you keep them out of the sun, you won’t have any issues.
To make the change, a Digital Light Processing (DLP) projector shines an image into a vat of resin for each layer of the object to be made. Once the first layer hardens onto a platform, the platform moves a tiny bit deeper into the vat of resin — and the projector shines a new image to harden the next layer.
The big benefit of resin printing is the ability to make objects very small, very detailed or both. The resolution of the print job on an FDM printer is limited by the thickness of the plastic coming through the nozzle. Good home printers get down to 100 microns (one-tenth of a millimetre, or 0.0039 of an inch).
That may sound good, but the individual layers in a print job might still be visible, and surfaces won’t be totally smooth. With a resolution of 10 microns or better (depending on the resolution of the projector), resin printers produce much finer detail, and items come out smoother.
That makes SLA printers a good tool for jewellery makers, for example, who can design a detailed piece and use the resin print to make a mould.
Check out this WarLayer Kickstarter 3D Printable TTG Terrain.