Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Vat Coatings and People

So far I've tried Sylgard and PTFE film...now I've come across FEP. Some of the benefits you initially see are that it's cheaper and there are various methods for applying it with heat. You can grab some from CS Hyde if you want to experiment too.

I've come across this material thanks to some suggestions from Bobby from Elite Imageworks, creators of the Deep Imager 5 DLP 3D printer. It was a nice surprise to find out that they are somewhat local, looking forward to visiting when they have the time.

I haven't been printing as much due to a dead projector bulb(and a new bulb is more than the projector), but that leaves more time for research! I started to look into a new projector and having seen the Deep Imager 5 and its tiny pico projector on an X/Y system, I wanted to see what was available. Low and behold I came across Steve Hernandez's work. The name might be familiar if you are building/operating a DLP 3D printer, he is the creator of CreationWorkshop tool for slicing and controlling DLP 3D printers (donate if you use it, it's really awesome!)! Oh and guess what...he's a local as well! I've reached out to him in hopes that we can meetup, we'll see if that ever comes to fruition. Steve is also looking into using a pico projector for a DLP printer, really anxious to see what he ends up doing.

So the main thing to take away here is that if you want to do anything with SLA/DLP 3D printing, you should be in the state of Maryland :P.

Before the machine died, it was on display at the Smithsonian's X3D event, unfortunately I was quickly approached about the smell of resin in the air and didn't actually print.

Open3DLP at the Smithsonian X3D Tech Gallery

...this was it's last print before its untimely demise.

RIP Dell 2400MP Projector


  1. Good write up! I'd like to meet up some time as well. I got the idea for the pico-projector from Bobby at Elite Image Works when I met him at the Silver Spring Maker Faire. I'm almost ready to post my part2 to the pico-projector modification blog. I've finally found a suitable columnator for the UV Led. I'm using self-adhesive FEP film as well, and I've got not complaints other than a few bubbles.

  2. Sweet! What's your availability next week? I was at the MakerFaire in Silver Spring as well, did we already speak to each other by chance? I was manning the table with the FlashForge Creator and the MendelMax.

    Are you getting your FEP from CS Hyde? I'd like to look into other methods of adhering the FEP to various surfaces, such as the vacuum former I have at work.

    Looking forward to reading your post for part 2.

  3. Hey guys, great work - love reading about your progress.

    A few months ago i bought a 800x600 RGB LED pico projector from ebay to test 2 methods i had in mind. One is the usual 385nm UV led (bought few 3W leds from China) and the other method is 100mw 405nm UV Laser (yup a laser - will explain in a sec.)

    With the 3W UV led i found out that lots of the UV is lost somewhere inside the DLP unit, so curing time was 5 times more..
    I was told by Texas Instrument tweeter account that regular commercial DLP chips have a UV Filter glass protecting the micro hinges that tilt the micro mirrors.
    I was given a link to a special DLP module that can work with full UV range but the cost is $7k.. /:

    I tried using one of dichroic mirrors to add another 3W UV led beam to the total power but not much help there.. I guess i could order a 10W or 20W led to see if that helps or.. kill the DLP chip..

    The other method i've tested is using a diffracted UV Laser beam (from a Dot to a Square beam the size of the DLP chip) - The main advantage is, laser doesn't need focusing optics/lens..
    I'm thinking i need tare off the lens module/casing to allow maximum UV to reach the resin (could serve great for top or bottom curing methods).

    This diffracted UV laser method was a success on a test i made in January using LCD as masking:

    And this is the DLP Pico, projecting a UV silhouette of an Elephant back in March:

    Haven't done much testing since then.. i hope to continue and share with you.


    1. I initially used a 200mW UV laser as well when I was testing my pico-projector modifications. It passed through the optics fairly well, but wasn't bright enough to cure resin. I actually just posted the 'part 2' of my pico projector experiments. I'm using a 10w UV LED. you can read about it here - http://probjectblogs.blogspot.com/2013/12/uv-dlp-pico-projector-experiments-part-2.html . Anderson - We def have to hang out sometime soon and trade notes or something...

  4. I'll check whether that ever works out as expected. Steve is likewise researching utilizing a pico projector for a DLP printer, truly restless to see what he winds up doing.

    in can tinting

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