Non-adherence describes a print failure in which prints are either partially attached to or completely non-existent on the build platform. Non-adherence occurs when a print or parts of a print fail to adhere to the build platform beginning with the first layer.
For prints created on Formlabs printers, non-adherence results in one or more of the following visual symptoms:
- Full non-adherence: the print is completely missing from the build platform and there is an area of cured resin on the bottom of the resin tank.
- Partial non-adherence: the print’s base appears to separate from the build platform.
- The print has fallen completely into the tank, leaving nothing on the build platform.
If the layers of the print are separating from each other within the part, and there is a base attached to the build platform, see delamination.
Any of the following factors, or a combination of them, can cause non-adherence in prints:
- Printing without supports
- The first layer of the part on the build platform is too small to withstand peel forces
- Debris/clouding/damage in resin tank
- Contaminated optical surfaces
- Build platform height requires adjustment
Successful troubleshooting first requires identifying the root cause. Follow the troubleshooting steps below to isolate and resolve the print failure. The steps check for possible causes, moving from the most likely cause to the least likely cause of the print failure.
Step 1: Print with a base and supports
Printing with a base and supports can help parts adhere to the build platform.
- Use the Generate Supports tool in PreForm to generate a base and supports before printing parts.
Step 2: Check the print's surface area
Pay attention to the surface area of the print’s first layers when printing directly on the build platform.
- If the surface area of the first layers are too small, the forces from the peel process can detach the layers from the build platform. Re-orient the part to leverage a larger base or generate a base and supports using the Support tool in PreForm.
Step 3: Check the resin tank
Any debris, clouding, and/or damage in the resin tank can cause the laser light to diffuse, limiting the printer’s ability to fully cure the resin.
- Inspect the resin inside the resin tank for debris using a Form Finish Kit scraper and a fine-toothed comb. Remove any debris and cured resin in the tank using the scraper and the fine-toothed comb, or filter the resin.
- Inspect the PDMS (silicone) layer of the resin tank for clouding. Excessive clouding means the resin tank needs to be replaced with a new tank.
- Inspect the acrylic tank window on the underside of the resin tank for dirt, dust, and/or fingerprints. The clear tank window must be perfectly transparent for the best print results. To clean the tank window, only use Formlabs recommended steps and supplies.
TIP:Keep resin tanks clean and well-maintained between prints for reliable and successful printing.
Step 4: Check optical surfaces
Any contamination, dust, or debris on the printer’s optical surfaces can cause the laser light to diffuse or weaken, resulting in a print failure. Contamination is most likely to occur on an exposed optical surface in the printer.
On the Form 2, the primary exposed optical surface is the glass optical window, which sits below the resin tank and protects the mirrors from external contamination. Visit the interactive 3D Form 2 Glossary to learn more about the optical window and its location in the printer. On the Form 1+, the primary exposed optical surface is the large mirror, which sits below the resin tank.
- In the case of contamination, clean the contaminated surfaces using Formlabs instructions. Whether cleaning a Form 2 or a Form 1+, be sure to follow the instructions carefully because cleaning optical surfaces is a delicate process.
WARNING:Follow the optical surface cleaning guides exactly. Failure to follow instructions could result in returning the printer to Formlabs for repair.
Step 5: Check build platform height
If there is insufficient or excess space between the build platform and the PDMS layer of the resin tank, the printer cannot compress the initial layers adequately to ensure good adhesion between the cured layers and the build platform.
- Use the Z Fine Tuning settings on the the Form 2 or the Form 1+. Z Fine Tuning adjusts build platform height to correct consistent, small-scale errors in part adherence or dimensional accuracy.
|Lower the build platform height:||Raise the build platform height:|
Contacting Formlabs Support
If attempting the troubleshooting steps above does not resolve the print failure, feel free to contact Formlabs Support! Please provide as much of the following information as possible when submitting a support request:
- Describe the troubleshooting steps attempted so far. (Example: “I re-oriented the model in PreForm. I also inspected the resin tank and did not notice any damage, clouding, or debris.”)
- Resin type used and resin lot number. To find the lot number, look inside the skirt of the resin cartridge or on a sticker on the resin bottle. (e.g. Resin Type: White v2, Grey v3, etc.; Lot Number: This will be either in YYYYMMDD-## or YYYY/####### format.)
- Layer Thickness of the print. (Example: 0.100 mm, 0.05 mm, or 0.025 mm.)
- Relevant .form files of the model. If available, attach .form files of the model to the support request.
- Number of previous attempts printing the part and any instances of successful prints. (Example: “I printed the file part2.form three times previously. The first and second were successful. The third one failed.”)
- Send diagnostic logs.