Replacing the FEP sheet – Photon Mono X + Other’s
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.
Yasmeen completed both the 2D and 3D animation course at Algonquin College and worked in the animation industry as a freelancer for a number of years before being hired to manage the 3D printing services at ItsYeBoi. While using the Alias of "Jenny" during her services, she was responsible for the testing, maintenance and upgrading of the machine while also filming and developing 3D printable assets for various projects.