The 3D printer vats we have available at this point in time all need around 5L of resin to fill but we only received about 250ml of the ceramic resin. Inspired by his childhood hero MacGuyver, Kobus set out to find another way to test the small amount of resin.
He took a 90 degree angle bracket that we use to build the wooden boxes for the printers and attached it to an old build plate leg with cable ties. The build plate leg was cut off one of our old design build plates.
He then used a sealable plastic container and filled the small side with all the resin we had available.
The back projector of the super speed Gizmo 3D Printer was moved backwards to display over the tiny vat. We sliced a single ring in our Gizmetor software and imported it into our GiziPrint software for printing. There the ring ring was moved to the correct position in the 3D view so that it would be printed in the vat. This setup meant the projection area was around 200mm x 113mm - not the best resolution for ring printing, but it was perfect just to test the resin.
After trying different print settings (starting at 3 seconds display time per layer), the print settings ended up being around 22 seconds display time per layer. Remember, this projection area is very big for ring printing. Normally the projection area would be 70mm x 39mm when printing jewellery and at that size the projector will have much more power available. The display time will then probably be in the region of 3 to 4 seconds.
The ring that we printed didn't come out as a completed ring, because the vat wasn't deep enough. It isn't really an issue though as the aim of the test was not to see if we could print a ring, but rather if the resin works with our printers. The test results show that printing overhangs on a Gizmo printer is possible with this resin which means the resin works. The part is also extremely smooth. When we tested other resins, some couldn't print overhangs. That meant they couldn't work with top-down 3D printers. So printing a ring is now our method for testing new resins. If it prints, the resin works.
Comments about the resin: It is very thick. You really do need a heater. Ofcourse we couldn't install the heater in the tiny vat. The resin manufacturer recommends heating the resin up to 30 degrees C. This resin cures very slow. It prints very smooth. We will order more resin and print something bigger. Objects that are printed with Porcelite ceramic resin needs to be fired in ovens as ceramic creations usually do. We've found a company in Brisbane that can fire it for us. More photos to follow when we've completed the firing process. You can read all about the resin and the recommended post printing processes here.
It's safe to say, we can now add this resin to our expanding list of materials that are compatible with our printers!