While older models had a glass protective layer above the LCD, new modern day machines have opted to no longer include this for the most part. So in today’s article, we’ll be going over how to add a screen protector to help protect the LCD from any damage which may occur. As always, undertake this at your own risk.
If your FEP sheet is punctured, you could potentially damage the LCD screen with either a resin leak or solidified resin shard and since the replacement LCD screen is well over a $100 it does make this initial investment something worth looking at. Now there are multiple companies which produce a product similar to this one, but for this article I will be focusing on using the one I purchased.
There are some pretty important things to know about this installation. The main one is that many use static electricity to hold it into place, which is very effective and makes it easy to remove. There is one thing which comes as a result of this ease of use. This protective film will attract dust extremely easily, and I haven’t yet found a way to clean it as yet. The good news, however, is that small bubbles along the surface shouldn’t affect the print quality.
This package comes with a squeegee and micron cloth, which you’ll need for this application. Although the instructions are brief they are functional, but I have found some additional techniques which should be considered.
Assuming that you’ve already removed the vat, you’re going to clean the screen’s surface with a micron cloth, getting it as clean as possible prior to the installation. The protective film has two protective sheets on either side, each of which is labelled according to their use. Take the applicator and wrap the micron cloth around it and have it at the ready. You’re going to peel only part of the protective layer, which is labelled “Peel off this BEFORE application”. You’re going to peel just enough so that you can slowly remove the protective layer as you begin to apply it. Doing this helps keep additional dust from being attracted to the surface, while you attempt to keep out as many bubbles as possible. This is the side which faces downwards onto the screen, so make sure to line it up with the screw holes of the machine. DO NOT attempt to remove any of these particles with tweezers or your finger’s. Doing this, will leave fingerprints along the surface or even worse, damage the surface with indentations. As you slowly peel back the protective layer, you’re going to use the applicator to gently push it down into the screen and push out potential bubbles as you go. Although you’ll probably still have a couple which remain after the application process is complete, these shouldn’t cause any issues with your prints.
Remove the final protective layer for the screen protector, and you’re ready to begin printing once you’ve re-levelled the print bed. While installing this protector, I found that the majority of the bubbles were caused by dust which had made its way in during the application process. So turning fans off and allowing the dust to settle in the room prior to its application may help when you do this yourself. I also used a lens air blower to blow off any remaining particles to keep from touching the surface further.
If you have this machine, you’re probably going to want to address the issue with the build plate and vat knobs, so make sure to check out this ARTICLE on how to upgrade these yourself. Thank you for watching, and I hope to see you guys again. Thank you and take care.
One of the common tasks when owning a resin printer is the replacement of the FEP sheet. While this something which all users will have to do at some point or another, many new to 3d printing find this task daunting at first. Today we’ll be covering the process for the Mono X, but this process is similar with all resin printers. As always, I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur.
In resin printers, the FEP sheet is a consumable that requires periodic replacement over time. Generally speaking, as long as you take proper care of your FEP sheet, you shouldn’t have to do this maintenance as often, but due to either print failures or the FEP becoming cloudy over time, it does require replacement at some point. Most machines, use a very similar structure as this one does, so the information that you’ll see here should still apply to your machine. On this particular machine, the LCD screen isn’t covered by glass or a protector out of the box, and therefore you should consider adding a Screen Protector as well. If you don’t plan on doing so, then regular FEP sheet inspections should be a requirement for your machine.
To begin, we’ll first need to get a replacement FEP sheet and I personally prefer to order the ones which are recommended by the manufacturer of the machine, however it is also important to note that new developments in the technology are ongoing and new releases may become available in the future. In this case, I’m using the official replacement that’s provided by Anycubic.
Remove your vat and drain out any excess resin, making sure to properly clean the vat prior to continuing to the following step. Place a paper towel from which you can place your vat onto. You’re going to need a bottle cap to use as a spacer, so make sure to have this handy for the future steps. I find that the bottle caps of a standard soda bottle are the perfect size.
There are two types of hex screwdrivers for this replacement. A size 2 and 2.5 will be needed for this particular machine, with the 2.5 being used to remove the first set of screws. With these removed, you can then use the screwdriver to lift the FEP sheet frame out of the vat’s base. From here, you’re going turn this over and remove the second set of screws. At this point, we can give both the vat and the frame another cleanup to remove any remaining resin residue. In the footage that you see here, I’ve already done this process several times to remove all resin from the surface of the vat and frame, but if you’ve just done a quick cleanup you’re going to want to keep wearing gloves while doing the remaining steps.
Place the bottle cap in the centre of the FEP frame after having lined up the FEP sheet and frames. While holding the frame down, you are going to use a pair of tweezers to create a small puncture in the FEP sheet where you are going to place your first screw. I always recommend doing the four corner’s first before doing the remaining. You can use your finger’s as a support to help better control the amount of pressure while puncturing the FEP sheet. The aim is to simply start the hole and not to go all the way down. After doing the four corners, you can then work your way around the frame and attach the remaining screws. Once completed, you want to turn the FEP frame over and place it into the vat base. Once again, you’re going to create a small puncture for the screws, making sure to start at each corner. Only screw the screws in enough to hold them in place, and work diagonally from each other until all of them are in position. Slowly moving diagonally, you incrementally tighten these slowly down to ensure that you have even pressured. Doing this will prevent buckling from occurring in one section of the FEP sheet. Do this until you reach the bottom, but once again don’t over tighten.
The FEP sheet is attached, but we now have some extra material sticking out around the edges. To remove this, we’re going to follow the out edges of the Vat frame with a cutting blade. To keep from leaving smudges on the surface, we’re going to place a piece of paper towel under our hand while carefully following this edge. You shouldn’t have to pull it off if you’ve cut all the way through the material, so take your time when doing this step. Remove any leftover material that has the potential to damage the screen and carefully inspect it prior to re-installing the vat.
If you’re looking to add a Screen Protector, you’re going to want to see the following video since it’s a great upgrade that will help protect your screen, especially since this machine doesn’t have a protective layer above the LCD.
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.