Liqcreate Strong-X is one of the strongest photopolymer resins available in the market. Its flexural strength of 135MPa is comparable to industry’s leading dual-cure cyanate ester resins. Liqcreate Strong-X is easy to use on open SLA, MSLA and DLP 3D-printers in the range of 385 – 405nm and only requires UV post-curing. This material has excellent features like high strength, high stiffness and high temperature resistance which makes it ideal for injection molding and heavy duty applications. In this article you can find tips and tricks to work with Liqcreate Strong-X 3D-printing resin. If you have any questions, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and our technical team will assist.
The following topics are covered in this article:
- Shake before use.
- 3D-printing parameters.
- Support settings.
- Cleaning, washing and post-curing your part.
- Discoloration of parts after curing or extended UV aging
- How to clean/filter the resin?
- Patterns in resin during/after printing.
- Minimum wall thickness.
- Part orientation and over-hang.
- Part surface finish or sticky surface.
- Shrinkage compensation.
- Resin temperature.
- Solving print failures.
- Storage conditions.
- Additional information.
1) Shake before use.
For most resin, shaking for a couple minutes is advised, especially after longer storage to get a homogeneous mixture before printing. Same goes for Liqcreate Strong-X. Shake for a couple minutes and let the resin rest for a couple minutes before using. During shaking the resin is homogenized, but some air bubbles will be present. If you start a print job right after shaking, air bubbles might be present in the first layers of the part.
2) 3D-printing parameters.
Liqcreate Strong-X 3D-printing resin is designed for open compatibility on 405nm and 385nm DLP, MSLA, LCD and laser-based resin 3D-printers. It is important that the 3D-printer is open for 3rd party resins and parameters can be changed. A lot of parameters are already prepared and listed here. Click on your actual printer to see if Liqcreate Strong-X parameters are available. If that is not the case, send an e-mail to our technical team at email@example.com and they will try to help.
3) Support settings.
Support settings are depending on the type of resin in combination with the type of printer, release mechanism, material on the bottom of the resin tank and also the secondary settings like print speed. With the extreme growth of available resin 3D-printers in the past years, it is impossible to give validated support settings for each printer. In this section you can find settings for some generic printers, design and print speed. We tested a standard design with different settings. If your part is more bulky / large cross-section for each layer, then the support tip thickness or intersection might need to be increased.
Image: Test parts to optimize support settings.
Support settings on the Anycubic Photon M3 were successfully validated for this part and can be found below. In chapter 7 we explain how to orient and to minimize large bottom surfaces. We tested a standard design with different settings. If your part is more bulky / large cross-section for each layer, then the support tip thickness or intersection might need to be increased.
Image: support settings of Strong-X with our generic test parts, tested on the Anycubic Photon M3 resin 3D-printer.
4) Cleaning, washing and post-curing your part.
Washing is similar to other Liqcreate resins. wash in either IPA, Ethanol or Liqcreate resin cleaner. For resin cleaner the cleaning instructions on that webpage can be used. For IPA and Ethanol they can be used in an ultrasonic cleaner or cleaner with agitation (like the new low costs Anycubic / Elegoo washing unit). Preferably 2 times 2 minutes washing and the second time in fresh IPA / ethanol. If there are small cavities that are not cleaned by this method, then use a soft brush to clean them out and wash in fresh solvent again for 1 minute. Then let the part dry. Before post-curing, inspect that the part is dry and completely free from solvent (no shiny resin spots on the surface). Otherwise wash again in fresh solvent for 1 minute. Do not wash for longer than necessary as parts can deform when exposed to IPA / Ethanol for >60 minutes when not fully cured. Also be careful if your parts are thin (<2mm) and the IPA in the ultrasonic cleaner is warm (>30°C), parts can warp. If you notice this, either make the parts thicker or wait until the temperature of the IPA is below 30°C.
When small holes and tight corners are difficult to clean, then brushing with a soft brush is advised to clean these specific areas. After brushing, rinse in fresh IPA / ethanol to get all resin leftovers cleaned.
For Strong-X, two different curing methods are advised. In a heated curing unit, cure for 30 minutes at 60°C to achieve optimal properties for non high –temp applications. For applications that require a bit more temperature resistance, increase the curing cycle to 120 minutes at 60°C (parts can yellow slightly). Extended post-curing information and settings for different curing units can be found in this link.
5) Discoloration of parts after curing or extended UV-aging
When parts printed with Strong-X are exposed to UV and temperature, they can slightly discolor. Images below show what kind of color can be expected.
Image: Printed Strong-X parts, fresh (left), after 30 minutes UV-curing at 60°C (middle) and after 120 minutes UV-curing at 60°C (right).
6) How to clean / filter the resin?
When a part failed during printing, it is always advised to clean your resin tank. This is usually done by filtering the resin to make sure all rigid plastic pieces are gone. If cured resin parts are present when you start a new print, they can damage your FEP film of even your LCD screen. A standard resin filter will work sufficiently to filter Strong-X resin.
7) Patterns in resin during / after printing.
Liqcreate Strong-X resin is stabilized. However, after a long print job or in very warm areas, there can be some de-mixing of the pigments in the resin. This effect is stronger over a longer period of time or when the temperature is higher. In some LCD based printers, the printer itself generates a lot of temperature during printing, accelerating this effect. The image below is how this can look.
As the resin is stabilized this should not have an effect on your printed part. It is advised to mix the resin with a plastic spatula before running a new print. Alternatively, try to keep the resin at or below 25°C if possible. External heating is not required and can lead to unwanted acceleration of de-mixing.
8) Minimum wall thickness.
The advised average minimal wall thickness for Liqcreate Strong-X is 2mm. it is possible to print finer details in local areas. Also larger thin walls can be printed but will require extra support structures for successful printing.
9) Part orientation and over-hang.
It is not advised to print large and relatively flat parts on supports. if possible, always print at an angle to prevent large bottom surfaces as the quality when printing in an angle is much better. In this test we printed a part from Thingiverse and also made a modification on it to see at which angle the parts can be printed. The thingiverse file was rather solid, while our own modification had a wall thickness of 2.0 mm.
Image: Testing printing angle with the Thingiverse (Thing 40382) file and a small modification of it with thinner walls (2.0 mm).
Image: test to print at different angle without supports with Liqcreate Strong-X resin.
It is possible to print 2mm thick walls in Strong-X at an angle of 70 degree. However, the bottom surface will be better when supporting parts with an angle above 45 degree.
10) Part surface finish or sticky surface.
Printed parts from Liqcreate Strong-X are opaque and shiny during printing. A matte / dull surface will appear after washing and drying as in the picture below. Parts can be polished or coated to get a glossy surface finish.
11) Shrinkage compensation.
Tested on the Elegoo Mars 3, the shrinkage compensation in Chitubox to get better accuracy can be found in the picture below. If you need super accurate parts, it is worth to read this article. As that article explains that the accuracy for thick and thin parts may deviate.
Image: Shrinkage / tolerance compensation for Strong-X in Chitubox tested on the Anycubic Photon M3.
With these settings three test blocks of 40,00 – 30,00 and 20,00 mm were printed and optimized. We found that the best results were without any compensation as the resin shows low shrinkage in this range. Measured values of these blocks were respectively 39,97 mm, 30,07 mm and 20,09 mm. With the limited options Chitubox offers for compensation, these work well in the range of 30-40mm thickness. As you can see the thinner parts are too thick and within Chitubox it is difficult compensate for both thick and thin parts.
12) Resin temperature.
It is advised to print with Liqcreate Strong-X resin at at 20°C / 68°F and maximum at 25°C / 77°F. printing at lower temperature causes random failure in the material. Excessive heating can lead to faster de-mixing of the resin and is not advised.
13) Solving print failures with Liqcreate Strong-X resin.
There are a lot of common resin 3D-printing issues. In this article you can find 10 common resin 3D-printing fails and how to solve them. If you have need support, send is an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and our technical team will try to assist.
14) Storage conditions.
Store the product in its original bottle, plug and cap at minimal 5°C / 41°F and maximum 30°C / 86°F. Avoid sources of heat, radiation, static electricity, sunlight and contact with food.
15) Additional information.
If you have any questions when working with Liqcreate Strong-X resin, send us an e-mail at email@example.com.
About Liqcreate Strong-X
Liqcreate Strong-X is one of the strongest materials available in the market. Its flexural strength of 135MPa is comparable to industry’s leading dual-cure cyanate ester resins. Liqcreate Strong-X is easy to use on open SLA and DLP 3D-printers in the range of 385 – 405nm and only requires UV post-curing. This material has excellent features like high strength, high stiffness and high temperature resistance which makes it ideal for injection molding and heavy duty applications.
|· High strength
|· Epax3D Series
|· High temperature resistance
|· Formlabs Form2
|· Low odor
|· Asiga & Anycubic series
|· Low shrinkage
|· And many more