There have been many times when I’ve been 3D printing and my resin prints start sticking to the FEP or resin tank rather than the build plate. It can be frustrating, especially since you have to do the whole wash and cure process.
This led me to do some research and testing to figure out how to fix resin prints sticking to your FEP film, and make sure it sticks to the build plate.
To stop your resin 3D prints sticking to the FEP, you should make sure you have enough bottom layers and bottom layer curing time, so it has enough time to harden. Use PTFE spray on your FEP film, let it dry, and this should create a lubricant to stop the resin from sticking to the resin tank.
This article should help you overcome this issue, and provide even more tips to assist you in your resin printing journey, keep reading for more in-depth details on how to fix this problem.
Why Did My Resin Print Fail & Not Stick to the Build Plate?
Issues with your build plate and the first layer are the most common reasons behind the failure of a resin print. If the first layer has bad adhesion to your build plate, or the build plate isn’t flat, the chances of a printing failure is increased, especially with larger prints.
Bad supports is another key reason that your resin print may fail on you. This usually comes down to the rafts, or the flat surfaces below the supports not being printed properly due to bad settings or design.
Since the supports are the foundation of each resin print, it needs to be strong enough to hold up through the whole printing process, or you’ll be likely to get a printing failure.
One of the major issues behind resin print failures is the distance between the build plate and the actual screen. A large distance means that the print has a hard time sticking to the build plate properly, ending up with a failed resin print.
The first layer is the most important part in any 3D print.
If the first layers are too thin, not cured enough, or you have printed the model at a fast speed, then the first layer may not get enough time to stick to the build plate properly.
It may even cause an issue while peeling off the 3D print form the FEP film.
No doubt 3D printing is an amazing activity and resin 3D printing has added charm to this.
Before you start your journey of 3D printing, it is extremely important to make sure that your 3D printer and its settings are calibrated according to the requirements of your model. This way, you can get the best results and can prevent the print from failure.
You should always take the time to try and get to know your 3D printer before setting off on your full journey of creating 3D prints.
How to Remove a Failed Print From Your FEP Film
To remove a failed print from my FEP film, I’ll go through a few steps to make sure things are done properly.
The first thing I make sure of is that my build plate doesn’t have uncured resin dropping off down into the resin vat.
You should unscrew your build plate and turn it at a downwards angle so that all the uncured resin drops off the build plate and back into the resin vat.
Once you have most of it off, you can give it a quick wipe with a paper towel, so you know it won’t drip on the LCD screen.
Now it’s time to remove your resin vat by unscrewing the thumb screws that hold it into place. It’s a good idea to filter the uncured resin back into the bottle first before removing the print.
You can do it without, but since we are dealing with resin which is liquid, the risk of it spilling increases as we are handling it.
Once most of the resin is filtered back into the bottle, you want to use your fingers through your gloves, to lightly push the bottom of the FEP where your print is.
Pressing around the edges of where the print is sticking down is the best practice. You should start to see the print slowly detaching from the FEP film, meaning you should be able to now get it off with your fingers or your plastic scraper
You definitely don’t want to be digging into your FEP film trying to get underneath the stuck print because it can scratch or even dent your film.
Now that the failed print has been removed from the FEP, you should check if there is any residue of cured prints in the vat, because these can disrupt future prints if left in there.
If you decide to clean out the resin vat fully, some people advise to not use isopropyl alcohol or acetone since they can have negative effects on the resin vat, FEP film, and the 3D printer as well. Usually just gently wiping the FEP film with paper towels is enough.
How to Fix Resin Print Sticking to FEP & Not Build Plate
Make sure that all the 3D printer’s components are perfectly skewed and balanced. Set the best suitable settings for the printing princess according to the resin type and model, and you will be able to fix this problem. Below are some of the best suggestions that can help you out in this regard.
As previously mentioned, we want to try and prevent this happening in the future, and it can be done with the help of PTFE lubricant spray.
I’d recommend spray this outside since it is quite smelly stuff. You don’t have to go overboard with how much you are spraying. Just a few sprays to cover the FEP film, so it can dry and work as a lubricant to stop resin sticking there.
A good PTFE spray you can get to prevent resin prints sticking to the FEP film is the CRC Dry PTFE Lubricating Spray from Amazon.
Once it dries up, you can take a paper towel and give it a final light wipe to get any excess that might be left over.
Now let’s look into some other tips that work for fixing your resin prints sticking to the resin vat.
- Use a good number of bottom layers, 4-8 should work pretty well for most situations
- Make sure your bottom layer curing time is high enough to harden the resin to the build plate
- Ensure that the build plate is level and is actually flat – some build plates have come bent from manufacturers
- Properly tighten the build plate and bed screws, so they aren’t wobbling or moving around
- Take notice of the temperature of the room and the resin, because cold resin can lead to printing issues – you can heat your resin beforehand using a heater of some kind (some even put it on their radiator)
- Shake your resin or mix the resin within the resin vat with a plastic spatula gently