Testing results for Conjure Rigid Resin by Chitu System
SLA Printer Full Guide

Testing Results

So is the “Conjure Rigid” by Chitu System any good or not? Well, we’re going to take a closer look at it today. I was sent this product free of charge, but no money has exchanged hands, and they have no say in what goes into this review.

So although I did receive this almost a month and a half ago, I wanted to take my time to do a proper review of this product and really test out their claims. So I tested it for miniatures and functional parts and discovered some things you’ll want to keep in mind if you pick this up. While unboxing this product, I did have some concerns about the design of the bottle. Inside the cap there is an additional seal to prevent leaks, however resin gets easily caught in the edge of the rim when pouring. If this isn’t cleaned properly before being stored, it can start leaking or dripping along the edges of the bottle. Now, so long as the bottle isn’t exposed to UV light this isn’t a huge issue, but it can become permanently sealed if it cures. It is for this reason that storage will be very important when dealing with this product.

The overall viscosity is thicker when compared to most standard resins, however I find this to be consistent with most of the industrial resins that I’ve used in the past. Similarly, the black version is much thicker than any other colour, so ensuring that you use it in an area that’s above the recommended 25°C will help you achieve better results. This product smells extremely strong in comparison to other products and although this isn’t a measure of the level of toxicity, I would recommend using proper ventilation practices as referred to in my safety video.

Chitu Systems did a great job about making the print settings available on their website, and for the most part it was pretty much plug and play with the settings that were provided. The one issue that I did have, was that, due to the flexibility of the material. I did have to modify my support settings to account for this, especially when printing small, detailed prints. So how did I end up changing these to work with this resin? We’ll First off, I added much thicker supports on the main regions of the model which would properly anchor it to the build plate. I then increased my lighter supports middle diameter and top lower diameter, so they would stay more rigid. I unfortunately found that I couldn’t rely on the automated support when it came to smaller models due to them flexing during their printing. While this was more time-consuming, it did mean that I could ensure the supports were far enough not to get stuck onto the model. I also increased the bottom exposure of the first layer, which helped keep the model attached to the build plate. Once again most of these issues were more prominent with the black resin, and although I’m unsure as to the reason it’s something to be mindful.

This resin does come with explicit instructions to use preferably 95% isopropyl alcohol when cleaning. While I can’t confirm this to be the case, since I changed cleaning solution at the same time. I can say that I had more difficulty cleaning the black resin, which is most likely due to the higher viscosity or thickness of the material. It should also be noted that I clean all of my prints with a two container approach, since I’ve found this to work much better overall.

Now, although this material does remain flexible after it has just cured, I found it still sanded and cut quite well. So cleaning up the models prior to painting was fairly easy once cured. While the parts can still break just like any resin, I did find that the shape of the part made the biggest difference in this regard. All the weapons that I printed for my models stood up well to being bent after having just cured, while the tips of the tails keep breaking off. Now, to be honest, this is more about the shape of the design than anything else. Essentially, whenever you have a shape this, you tend to create an area where tension and stress can build up at the pinching point. This in turn makes them more likely to break. So when removing support material, those will be the areas that need to pay attention.

One property of UV curable resins is their tendency to become more brittle over time, and this is important to be aware of when using this material. One of my favourite resins by another company has this same issue, and after about 2 weeks I generally find that the resin has stabilized more, at which point I can better test the fragility of the material for the application. This resin is no exception in this regard, and became much more brittle after the two-week period. While I don’t have the proper methods for measuring shrinkage of a material, I am assuming that there is some additional shrinkage that may be occurring as the resin becomes more brittle. So depending on the application, this is something that should be tested prior to beginning production.

Important Notes

  • Needs to be printed in temperature above 25°C
  • Becomes more brittle over time
  • Is flexible
  • Has a strong odour (use proper ventilation as described in this Article)
  • High Viscosity (very thick)

© Yarkspiri Fantasy Art

It can sometimes be difficult to tell which resin printer might be better for your needs, so today’s we’ll be going over both the Anycubic Mono X and Elegoo saturn.  While both being very similar, they have quite a few important differences in their overall design and function.  What you’ll read in this article, represents my own opinions and no money has exchanged hands.

Both have similar specifications and build style, but their implementations are quite different. While the Saturn has a build volume of 192 x 120 x 200, the Mono X has a slightly larger one at 192 x 120 x 245.  As is common with newer machines, each uses a mono screen to mask out the UV light for the curing process.  Both work with the Chitubox slicer, although they will need to have the firmware updated if using the latest version.  Unlike most FDM printer’s today, neither company has currently released a wiring diagram to make repairs easier, so I’ve released my own that you can find here DOWNLOAD PAGE.  One great feature is the inclusion of the raised feet for the vats of both machines.  This is great news for most user’s since it prevent accidentally damaging to the FEP sheet when it’s placed on a surface. It also has the added benefit of locking the vat into the correct position for printing.

The Elegoo Saturn when it was first released was quite innovative in its offerings.  It was the first to use a mono screen and implement raised feet to lock the vat into place.  During the initial release, it was an extremely affordable machine, but was limited in its availability.  Currently, at the time of making this video, the price is no longer as competitive, but it’s still quite affordable for the features which are included.  The build plate design uses a ball joint mechanism, which makes it easy to un-level during the print removal process.  It’s well worth considering a flex build plate to prevent this issue for arising. On my particular machine, I did in fact notice some Z wobble, but I haven’t seen anyone else complain about it, therefore perhaps only a few machines have been affected. The Saturn and the Mono x both require a firmware update prior to using the most recent Chitubox release.  The Saturn does use a Chitubox board, which does limit which slicers can be used with the new firmware. Chitubox does provide a free version at this time, but this is not guaranteed to be the case in the future.  While inspecting the wiring, I did discover that it had tinned connections, which I recommend replacing with ferrule one’s instead.  I do have a video walking through that process that you can check out here. 

When the Mono X was first released, it was several hundreds of dollars more than the Saturn, however at the time of recording this video it is no longer the case.  In fact, if you keep an eye out for the sales, you can get it at a much cheaper price point. The Mono X uses its own proprietary motherboard, which does allow Anycubic more flexibility in how it’s implemented.  For instance, some great features include the ability to change the UV light strength for the machine overall, rather than relying on the slicer to do so with exposure settings. Additionally, this machine isn’t locked within the Chitubox ecosystem, and they’ve readily made it available for other slicing software.  This more open approach makes it more flexible in the long term, but it also means, you will need to purchase any replacement components through their company, which is good so long as they are still available for purchase.  Unlike the Saturn, this machine does have proper wire connections and is the only company that I’ve found doing this so far.  Both their curing station and their Mono X use proper connectors, which is a great sign.  Along with these proper connections, we also have the integration of Wi-Fi, which thankfully is an optional implementation.  This coupled with the sturdy build plate and linear rails system has made this by far my most used resin printer.  But there’s also one huge problem with this machine.  The knobs have a nasty tendency to melt when exposed to isopropyl alcohol and to this day, machines are still being shipped with the defect.  You can see the MELTING Knob Fix at this link.

So with all this information, what is my final verdict?  Well, it’s going to depend on what you’re planning to do with your machine.  I found that the Mono X was very reliable and consistent, however the knobs were a pain to deal with until I printed new one’s.  The Saturn was much more capable at printing detailed pieces once properly calibrated, especially once I added a flex build plate.  With the release of new versions coming to market, their prices have become a great value for what they offer.  I was very tempted to pick some up for my production runs but since you guys want to see more videos I’ve pre-ordered some newer machines instead.

When choosing a new resin printer, it’s always a good idea to know where any issues or benefits may lie.  In this article, we’ll go over some of the great features and what should know before making your purchase.

This machine is similar to the Elegoo Saturn in that it’s an SLA printer with a medium-sized build area of 192x120x245mm.  Like most resin printers at the time of writing this article, it comes with a 4K monochrome screen, which allows for faster printing and more detailed prints.  This machine came out after the Elegoo Saturn and although it is similar, there are some key differences that make it stand out. 

First, this machine uses a proprietary motherboard by Anycubic making it independent of the Chitusystems ecosystem, which can have its pros and cons.  This makes it easier to use any slicer which supports the board without being locked into the Chitubox software.  Getting replacement parts however could prove difficult if Anycubic discontinued any of these in the future, and seeing as how they’ve significantly reduced the price of this machine it could mean that they’re planning to do so in the next year.  If I’m being honest though, I’ve rarely needed to replace my screen since 9/10 times I’ve just had to reseed the screen connector instead.  So for most people, this shouldn’t be an issue.  Also, in most cases, the price of the replacement screen will often make it more cost-effective to simply purchase a more up-to-date machine. 

When unboxing this machine, I always recommend checking for any particles or debris which may be on the FEP sheet or the LCD screen itself.  Before any printing can be done, we first  need to level the print bed, and for this we’re going to use the sheet of paper that came with the machine.  You’re going to loosen the bolts on top of the print bed and place the paper underneath.  You’ll then go to “Tools + “Move Z” + “Home”, which will home the print bed.  Furthermore, you’ll then apply even pressure on the build plate and re-tighten the screws.  Your bed is properly levelled when you can gently tug the paper out with even pressure on both sides.  As a side note, if your print isn’t sticking, 90% percent of the time it’s that the build plate that isn’t levelled correctly.  You can find issues in the first couple of layers at two key points by listening for the suction sound that’s made when the plate makes contact or lifts away.  

I did open this machine to check to make sure that it had proper wire connection instead of the tinned ones.  In all the machines I’ve tested so far, only this one and the corresponding washing station had proper terminal connections.    This is a great sign, I home to see this from other companies in the future.

One big issue that I have with this machine is the lack of a basic wiring diagram.  Although the company does sell a replacement motherboard, I simply couldn’t locate any information on what each of the connection did for this machine.  To their credit, they have labelled the wires so if you’re patient, you can follow the lines to their connections.  In today’s age, this is potentially a big problem, since it makes doing repairs or troubleshooting more difficult with this machine. I did create a reference page for the different boards and that will be available on my website as a PDF guide.

Although this machine does come with Wi-Fi capabilities, I personally don’t find these to be very secure, so I generally opt out of using them.  In this case, if you want to have this capability, you can install the antenna that comes with the machine and sync it up with your other devices.  For a production setting, this is generally the preferred workflow, however I still do recommend having proper security protocols in place when doing so.  

The UV light that’s used on this machine has some interesting properties to it.  Unlike most machines, this one is designed with a built-in option so the user to change its brightness level.  When playing around with this setting, I discovered that I could tweak this depending on the level of detail that I wanted.  On my machine, I needed it to be set to 50% because it caused light to bleed into the surrounding pixels, which washed out some detail work.  Although, this can be a problem on smaller prints, it’s great when doing larger scale production work where speed is a factor.  Also, important to note, is that that increasing the UV brightness could cause the Light and LCD to fail faster if it’s set too high, so I would avoid doing this if you need accuracy or if you’re trying to extend the life of your machine.

Now I’m not quite sure how this got past quality control, however the plastic that’s being used for knobs that tighten both the vat and the build plate are sensitive to isopropyl alcohol.  Essentially, they become a liquid mess of melted tar like substance when they’re in contact with that product.  Considering that isopropyl alcohol is normally used in the cleaning process, this can be a serious issue.  Because the material I print with is predominantly white, It often leaves a black residue on the prints unless I scrub them down.   Now, There are two methods of dealing with this issue.  Prior to using your machine, you can spray a sealant over the plastic after having masked out the threads. Since mine had already been compromised, I designed some replacements and hacked off the original plastic. As always, I’ll have the STL’s available on my website along with the GUIDE for this mod.

The build plate is attached using 4 screws and is what I’ve found to be more stable when dealing with these types of machines.  The build plate on mine was flat, however this isn’t always the case, and it should be something that you check.  If it isn’t, you can sand it down with some 250 grit sandpaper, making sure to keep the build plate flat when you do so.  To make things easier, you can tape down your sandpaper sheet with a strong adhesive to keep it from moving around.  To prevent the FEP sheet from getting damaged when it’s sitting on a surface, they’ve added some small alignment feet on the bottom of the vat and is a welcome addition.

I’m not fond of the lid design for this machine, since it requires a much higher storage space in order to properly lift the cover off.  I would prefer a two part design where the front can come out and give you quick and easy access to the inside components.  A great option would be a lid upgrade for this machine, where you can replace it with something a little more functional.  A nice edition would also be to have a carbon filter integrated within the machine itself since even with the lid on, some fumes do escape.

During my testing, I had far less layer shifts in comparison to my other machines, especially when doing larger prints.  Although the linear rail system is very similar to that of the Saturn, it seems that they may have done a better job in the alignment, since I can’t seem to pinpoint the reason for this difference.  So far, this machine has been my go to for larger prints, while my Saturn has been delegated to the more detailed one’s.

So with all of this in mind, what is my final verdict? Well it’s a great machine but has one flaw that’s pretty big.  Those handles are made from an incorrect material choice and should have been replaced with a new material, however the company to this day ships it with that defect.  It’s for this reason that it’s an 7.5/10.  The upgraded connections and improved print quality are what make this machine rated higher, since it introduces some well needed improvements to the design.  The innovation that we see with the UV light gives the user greater control over their print quality and is something that other companies should look at for their machines as well.  I’m currently working on some additional mods for this machine, and I will be posting them here if you’re interested in seeing more.

Have you ever wondered whether you were better off buying the Ender S1 or the modifying the already affordable Ender 3 V2?  Well, in this article we’ll explore the pros and cons of each and see which might be a better choice depending on your use case.  What you see here is my own opinion.  Undertake these upgrades at your own risk.

Now, for the purposes of this video, I will be comparing some specific upgrades which make the Ender 3 V2 more similar to the Ender 3 S1.  One of the biggest differences is the hot end assembly, which on the S1 uses a Sprite extruder, while the V2 uses your standard Bowden tube setup.  Now both methods have their own pros and cons, but for this comparison will be upgrading it to also have a Sprite extruder.  I did the math on this and unless you’re buying a knockoff hot end, it’s a lot easier to simply get the Sprite extruder upgrade kit which comes with the replacement cables. Just make sure to buy the High temperature version when you do so.  The S1 strangely has a heat break which isn’t all metal, so I’d recommend looking into replacing that if you want to print with higher temperatures.  Just be aware, that replacing this can be a little finicky, and I did do some damage to mine when doing that upgrade. The sprite extruder comes with a CRTouch for auto levelling, and there is already a firmware upgrade for the V2 if you install this on your machine. Depending on where you purchase this kit, you’ll be looking around $100 USD at the time of writing.

Generally speaking, I do recommend that you have a dual Z axis setup, when you have a direct extruder, so for this reason we’ll be adding another Z axis to the machine for additional stability.  The good news is that there are plenty of these kits available, but you’re going to want to make sure that they come with the wiring and if possible two lead screw bearing brackets since they can help stabilize the lead screws.  Most of these kits have a splitter cable which helps divide the signal from the stepper motor drivers and makes it a lot easier to install.  I’ve already created a playlist for Upgrading the V2 so make sure to check that out if you’re planning on doing the same changes to your machine.  This will roughly add $25 USD to our total for the upgrade.

Another big difference between these two machines, is the build plate. For some reason, you currently can’t purchase the exact same build plate that comes on the S1 unless you’re a registered vendor.  This is problematic for print farms, which normally want to have a couple of extras, so they can easily swap them out.  The one that is currently available is the older version, which just doesn’t work as well and isn’t really worth the money.  I added one of these to my machines and honestly, I’m thinking about either simply removing it or using 250 grit sandpaper to rough up the metal side since that seems to work great for PETG material.  This will roughly add $26 USD to our total.

Now, the nice thing about both of these machines is that the source code is available for both.  So if you decided to make additional changes, you still can.  This makes the longevity of the machines more likely, since this opens up the possibility of additional suppliers for certain components.  In a time when there’s supply chain issues, this level of flexibility is quite necessary for any purchasing decisions.

So which options do I recommend and for whom.  If you already own a V2 and don’t plan on picking up another machine, then simply upgrading your existing one is a good idea.  Doing this will reduce waste and help prolong the longevity of your machine, but I wouldn’t consider the upgrades a necessary step until you want to print with higher temperature materials.  If you’re planing on getting a new machine, or need to replace the one you currently have, then the S1 is a feasible option, however keep in mind that certain replacement parts aren’t available to the public as of the writing of this article.  Since quite a few components are proprietary, this could pose a serious issue if you need to replace a component.  Therefore, if you’re looking for a reliable machine, then a stock V2 may actually be a better option because of it’s level of flexibility, and it’s lower price point.

If you’re always looking around for the information that you need on these printers’ and other’s I have the PDF guides which include the wiring diagrams, tips and tricks, maintenance, printer calibration, realignment, parts, firmware and much more.  For the machines that require it I’ve also included the STL which helps restore functionality.