Setting up the SparkMaker was pretty Easy, you literally plug it in, pour some resin in it, stick a SD card into it and hit print, not much else to do. However with any 3D Printer its never that easy is it. The SparkMaker had two different software listed, on one link i came across gave me ChiTuBox and another link gave me SparkStudio.
If you want to check out the unboxing and my first impressions of the printer then go here.
While SparkStudio seemed a lot more stable, to run, it had some draws to it that had me leaning to use ChiTuBox more, it had some advanced functions like being able to hollow objects and add holes for drainage which was pretty useful. More importantly i can slice the object and see the print time, and resin usage on the fly where sparkstudio didn’t offer that.
My First Print
My first print with the SparkMaker i wanted something detailed to show off the detail and resolution of the printer, so i searched around and found baby groot, the entire groot didnt fit into the printer so i opted for his head only.
I threw it in the slicer and saved the .wow file to my SD card, labeled it something that i could remember like groot1.wow and took the SD to my printer. i hit the button and saw some red flashes of the button, and nothing…. i saved it to a different SD card and nothing, i tried reformatting the card, FAT, FAT32, etc.. nothing, i went back to the user manual and they specify that the file to be printed must always be labeled print.wow, i guess thats the downside of having a headless, screenless, offline interface with no output to a computer. so i renamed the file and a couple hours later….. i got nothing on the platform and a blob on the FEP film as seen above. After some consulting of friends who print in resin i was recomended to slow everything down by half, i lowered my layer time to about 15-20 seconds and my initial layer to 70-80 seconds, this seemed to do the trick as my next print worked.
After that successful print i hit another string of failures with prints i was putting supports on. i noticed the supports stuck very well to the platform but the supports to the print not very well, switching to medium or thick supports helped this in later prints that needed supports.
Thicker Supports and when possible, printing directly on the platform helped alot in making sure i was getting success in later prints
Cleanup and Post Processing
Cleanup and post processing is a bit of a pain in the butt, i don’t really have any photos of this process because my hands are so messy i don’t want to touch my phone. Generally i pop off the prints from the build platform, hopefully by hand, a few times with the help of a knife, then immediately put them into a small bucket with alcohol and swish them around in the bucket, then i pull the part above the bucket and spray it with a spray bottle of alcohol and let it dry on a paper towel. After it has dried for maybe 30 second i immediately take it outside to sit in the sun for a while on a piece of scrap plastic, im not sure the process here but i have been setting it out and rotating it every 15 minutes for an hour or so.
Even after this cycle i still feel like the parts have a tacky feel to them so im not exactly sure if im doing that whole process correct or not, or maybe im not washing it off enough during the wash off stage, that will be a part i will have to learn.
The SparkMaker Printer has been turning out to be a very usefull printer in my arsenal of printers, it offers high resolution prints with overhangs that i cant get out of my FDM printers. The process, albiet very messy, is pretty straight forward, design a part, send it to the SD card, press the button, several hours later i get a part that is rather identical to what i designed minus any shrinkage that happens, i think ive been getting maybe 2% shrinkage on certain parts.
Where to buy
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