What is the life span of the Moai Vat?
Like most resin printers, the Moai has a PDMS coating on the bottom of the tank. The printing happens right on top of this coating. Every time time the printer moves to a new layer, the print is peeled off of the PDMS and raised slightly to make room for the layer below.
Because of this, the PDMS coating will eventually wear out. At that point, you must either get a new tank or replace the coating on your old tank. Here are instructions on replacing the coating yourself.
The coating will typically last for 4 liters of resin, or about 20 decently sized prints. You will see the bottom of the tank getting foggy, and you will experience more issues printing since the laser will have more trouble passing through the PDMS.
Here are a couple of tips for extending the life of your tank
- Do not always print in the same place. If you always print in the center of the tank, then it will wear out that spot quickly. Move your prints around so that the wear is evenly distributed.
- Use the minimum laser power necessary. Overcured resin will stick more to the PDMS and can damage it. If testing a new resin, start with low laser power and work your way up.
- Print hollow models instead of solid ones. This way your prints will consume less resin, and you will be able to do more prints before the tank wears out. Your prints will also take less time.
- Use thicker layers. The print is peeled off the PDMS after each layer, so if there are more layers in your print it will put more wear on the coating.