One of the really cool features in NanoDLP which is sometimes overlooked is its ability to generate a calibration test plate which can help you zero in on your resin and 3d printer’s optimal cure times.
This is important as having too short cure times will not allow your resin 3d printer to cure your parts properly while having too long cure times may lead to overcuring parts which then stick to your resin vat and reduce the life-span of the FEP film. Not to mention take up more time than is required.
Compounding the issue are the facts that there will normally be some variances from printer to printer and resin to resin. So it’s best to try to figure out early on what works best for you.
Using the NanoDLP Plate Generator
You’ll find NanoDLP’s Plate Generator under the “Plates” section right at the bottom – “Calibration Plate”. Upon clicking through into it, you will see something similar to the screenshot below.
Using the generator is easy – you just plug in a list of the cure times you would like to test in the box under “Comma Separated Cure Times”. That is to say, if you would like to have pieces which test from 2 seconds up to 10 seconds (in 0.5 seconds increments), you would have something as we did above – 2,2.5,3,3.5,4,4.5,5,5.5,6,6.5,7,7.5,8,8.5,9,9.5.
Once done just click “Generate” and NanoDLP will take care of the rest for you. And finally, you’ll just need to print out that generated plate from under the “Plates” section once again by clicking “Print Calibration Plate”
Interpreting the Results of the Calibration Test
Once done, your test plates should look something like ours here:
From here, it would just be a simple matter of counting to the perhaps 2nd or 3rd most firmly and accurately printed piece. The corresponding exposure time which you had setup earlier while generating the plate can then be ascertained as the optimal layer exposure time for your resin/3d printer combination.
There are a few more good insights and tips on this calibration process on the NanoDLP forums here too – https://www.nanodlp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=692
And yup, that’s all there is to it. A simple calibration process made easier by the brilliant software which NanoDLP is. We still kick ourselves for not having done this right from the get go!
As always, have tons of fun 3d printing in resin, folks! =)