Frequently Asked Questions - M-PRINT 3D Printer & Liquids
3D Printer & Accessories
What is the principle behind the M-PRINT 3D printers?
The M-PRINT 3D printers work according to the principle of Digital Light Processing (DLP), whereby liquid photopolymers are exposed from below using a UV light projector in a translucent tray and cured layer by layer.
How big are the print volumes of the M-PRINT 3D printer?
M-PRINT 163+: 80 x 50 x 120 mm (1 build platform)
M-PRINT 363+: 80 x 150 x 130 mm (3 build platforms)
What is the Vat Deflection Feedback System (VDFS)?
The Vat Deflection Feedback System (VDFS) consists of a tray sensor that controls and optimises the construction process. This improves the printing results and reduces printing times.
How long is the lifespan of the LED light source?
According to the manufacturer, the LED light source has a service life of at least 30,000 operating hours.
Do you I need a PC to control the M-PRINT 3D printer?
In principle, the M-PRINT 3D printer works independently. All that is needed to start a printing process is a job file (= print file) that can be sent to the printer via a USB stick or a network interface. The job file is created in a program (such as Pyramis).
How often does the M-PRINT 3D printer have to be initialised?
The M-PRINT 3D printer must be initialised before each printing process and each time it is switched on.
How do I clean the M-PRINT 3D printer?
The M-PRINT 3D printer can be cleaned with isopropanol and a (paper) tissue.
What types of trays are there for the M-PRINT 3D printer?
There are two types of trays that are suitable for the M-PRINT 3D printer - a flexible silicone tray (FlexVat) and a rigid tray (PowerVat).
The FlexVat is already included in the delivery of the printer and is designed for 3D printing of filigree structures with the highest precision. It is optimised for easy material changes and the highest printing speed (VDFS-compatible).
The PowerVat with an automatic locking mechanism is suitable for the series production of demanding parts and, thanks to the high material capacity, the printing of large-area parts with highly viscous materials.
How do I store the material tray?
FlexVat: The tray should be stored in vertical position or in the original packaging.
PowerVat: The tray can be stored in any position.
How do I remove remaining material from the FlexVat?
If there is still material in the tray of the FlexVat after a print job, we advise against emptying it back into the original bottle. Instead, use a separate, opaque container which is suitable for storing the material.
To transfer the material from the FlexVat into a container, bend the material tray so that a small beak is created and the material can be emptied from the tray. Use a silicone spatula to wipe the last residue off the bottom of the FlexVat.
How many material trays do I need?
To prevent coloured material from contaminating clear material, it is recommended that a separate tray is used for each material.
Can the FlexVat handle set be reused?
Yes, the handle set can be used for multiple trays.
Which software can I use to create print files?
We recommend Pyramis and Netfabb as CAM software for creating the job files (= print files).
What are the system requirements when using the Pyramis software?
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 7 32/64 Bit |
Microsoft Windows 10 64 Bit
Note: older Windows platforms as well as Linux and Apple operating systems are not supported.
|CPU-Type||Intel or AMD (recommended: Intel I7)|
|RAM||8 GB RAM|
|Graphics card||Nvidia GeForce GT/GTX graphics card (recommended: GTX 2GB)|
|Monitor||21“ / 24“|
What is the best way to place objects on the build platform?
If you do not use the whole area of the build platform, it is advisable to place objects close to the edges of the platform, since the pull-off forces are lower in these areas than they are in the middle of the platform.
In the case of objects that are not very large that they have to be printed over several building areas, please mind the seaming line (= transition from one building area to the next). Printing within one build area saves printing times due to higher building speeds.
How should support structures be set up?
When creating the support structures, the following points should be observed:
- It is important to ensure that the areas of the objects that are printed first have a connection to the build platform.
- The support structures must be set in the right place. All overhanging structures with an angle greater than 45° to the build platform should generally be provided with support structures.
- There should be enough support structures in place to withstand the pull-off forces. The larger the cross-sectional area of the parts, the more support structures are required.
- To avoid dimensional errors in the z-axis, it is recommended to use support structures for the object to be placed on a base plate with a hole pattern, such as a hexagonal grid.
- The connection of the support structures to the objects should be stable enough to withstand the pull-off forces.
- The use of predetermined breaking points / tapering of the supports for objects is recommended, as this reduces the risk of breakouts from the surface when removing the supports.
- In case of doubt, it is advisable to generate the support structures more stable and in larger numbers and to reduce them the next time you print, if it is known that there were too many support structures.
How do I get the right print parameters?
The parameter sets of the M-PRINT 3D printing liquids are already pre-installed in the M-PRINT 3D printers.
When using other printers, make sure that the corresponding printer data records are available in the CAM and that material parameters are available for the printer. Further released parameter sets can be downloaded here.
Always use the parameter set that corresponds to the material and ensure that it matches the version number of the liquid on the batch label!
How long does a print job take?
The duration of a print job depends on the type and size of the object being printed.
How do I know how long a print job will take before printing?
The estimated printing time is displayed on the M-PRINT printer. The calculation is based on the printing speed. Since the first 25-50 layers take longer, longer printing times are often indicated in the first 10 minutes of printing. The actual time appears afterwards.
Can I refill material during the printing process?
Yes, it is possible to refill material with the M-PRINT 3D printers during the printing process. To do this, you need to pause the pressure, open the plastic cap and fill the material into the tray using a funnel.
How do I remove the finished printed parts from the build platform?
After the printing process has been completed, the objects are lifted from the build platform using a pointed object such as tweezers or a spatula.
Please note that the parts must be handled carefully to avoid damage.
What are the reasons for problems during the printing process?
There are usually two reasons why print jobs cannot be built:
- The printer has not been initialised
- The preparation of the model in Pyramis / Netfabb was not carried out properly and either the first layers are missing or the grid is located above the build platform. It is therefore recommended to look at the first image of the job file in Netfabb and to ensure that there is a connection between the build platform and the grid or object to be printed.
Why do construction parts keep coming loose from the build platform?
A wider meshed grid can be used to avoid detachment. It also helps to put a frame around the grid so that the grid as a whole can be detached from the build platform more easily.
The placement of the construction parts should be chosen in a way that the largest construction parts are always placed in the corners. The printed parts should also be placed closed to the edges of the building platform and – if possible – not across the seaming line (= border of one build area).
Another reason why an object might delaminate from the building platform could be a big cross-sectional area. A way to reduce the cross-sectional area, move the parts to a more vertical position.
What kind of material do I need to print on the M-PRINT 3D printers?
Photopolymers (liquid synthetic resins) are used for 3D printing using digital light processing.
Please note that the material is suitable for processing at a wavelength of 385 nm. Merz Dental M-PRINT 3D printing liquids meet all these requirements.
Which material is recommended?
We recommend Merz Dental M-PRINT 3D printing liquids. These have been optimised for use on the M-PRINT 3D printers.
What do I have to consider before using the materials?
Before using any material, please read the instructions on the bottle and on the data sheet carefully and follow the instructions given.
It is not necessary to shake up the M-PRINT 3D printing materials before use. The special recipe prevents deposits during the entire production period.
Do I have to stir the material between two printing processes?
It is not necessary to stir the M-PRINT 3D printing materials. The special recipe prevents deposits during the entire production period.
How should the materials / liquids be stored?
The M-PRINT 3D printing liquids should be stored dry and at room temperature (15 °C to 25 °C). Avoid direct sunlight.
Keep containers closed and close carefully after use.
Do not return residual quantities from the material tray to the original container. Long-term storage of the liquid in the material tray can shorten its service life. For short-term storage, such as when changing materials, it is advisable to store the material-filled tray in the original packaging, as this protects against dirt and light at the same time.
For detailed storage instructions, please refer to the instructions for use for each material!
How many objects can I build with 1,000 g of material?
Around 10% of 1,000 g of material is used for support structures and the remaining 90%, i.e. 900 g, can be used for printing objects.
However, the support structures are individual and can vary depending on the object. In addition, the material consumption also depends on the type of material and its viscosity.
The exact build volume of an object is specified in the Pyramis software, for example. Based on this, the exact material consumption can be calculated before the printing process.
How much material should I put into the tray?
There is a mark on the sides of the tubs that indicates the maximum filling level.
The minimum filling of the tray depends on the material consumption for the object that is to be printed. It is recommended to use twice as much.
Does the remaining material have to be removed from the tray after the printing process?
Yes, the material should be removed from the tray after printing and stored in a sealed container. Do not return residual quantities from the material tray to the original container.
If the material is processed a short time later, it can be temporarily stored in the tray. It is advisable to store the material-filled tray in the original packaging, as this protects against dirt and light at the same time. Long-term storage of the liquid in the material tray can shorten its service life.
Due to the reactivity of the liquid, it is recommended that parts used with it, such as tweezers and build platform, should be cleaned immediately after use, as the polymerised material is difficult to remove.
How do the printed objects have to be post-processed?
The post-processing of the objects printed with M-PRINT 3D printing liquids should be carried out immediately after the end of the printing process in order to minimise the risk of contamination and unwanted polymerisation of material that is still on the surface.
- Remove the construction from the build platform and carefully separate the supports.
- Clean the construction in a closed vessel with cleaning fluid such as M-PRINT Wash for 5 minutes in an ultrasonic bath.
- If necessary, blow off the printed object with compressed air and let it dry. Recommendation: drying the construction in an oven at 40 °C.
- Post-curing of the construction in the light curing device - turn the construction in between.
- Manual post-processing, e.g. finishing the supports and polishing with commercially available rotating instruments for acrylic processing.
During the post-processing, please ensure that you wear appropriate work clothing. This includes wearing a work coat, protective eye wear and disposable gloves.
How are the objects cleaned?
Objects printed with M-PRINT 3D printing liquids should be cleaned as follows:
- Clean the construction in a closed vessel with cleaning fluid such as M-PRINT Wash for 5 minutes in an ultrasonic bath.
- Note: Do not heat the construction in the cleaning liquid and do not leave it in the solution any longer.
- Remove the print object from the cleaning liquid with tweezers, blow off with compressed air if necessary, and let it dry.
- Recommendation: drying the construction in an oven at 40 °C.
- Note: Residues of the alcoholic cleaning liquid on the surface lead to a softer and sometimes scratch-sensitive surface after post-curing.
- If the cleaning liquid becomes significantly cloudy, the cleaning capacity has been reached and it should be replaced with fresh one. If there are still moist, sticky areas on the construction after the drying process, this is also an indication of a saturated cleaning fluid and the construction should be cleaned again with fresh cleaning fluid.
How are the support structures removed?
The support structures are carefully removed with scissors. The cut ends can then be polished to produce a smooth surface finish.
How is the post-curing of the printed objects carried out?
We recommend post-curing for objects printed with M-PRINT 3D printing liquids in the light curing device Otoflash G171. Turn the construction over in between.
Recommendation: Use the nitrogen function (protective gas), as this minimises the oxygen inhibition and thus leads to improved surface and material properties. Observe the manufacturer's instructions for the device.
Can the printed objects be steam sterilised at 134 °C ?
Objects that are made from the 3D printing material M-PRINT Surgical guide HT can be steam-sterilised up to 134 °C. This is particularly suitable for sterilizable drilling and positioning templates.
How long does it take to cure in the flash-curing device (Otoflash G171)?
The post-curing time varies depending on the material and is between 3 and 10 minutes. The post-curing times can be found in the respective instructions for use of the material.
Which kind of gas can be used for the flash-curing device (Otoflash G171)?
The Otoflash G171 flash-curing device is typically flooded with nitrogen.
Is it possible to replace broken flash bulbs?
Yes, there are replacement bulb modules available for the flash-curing device Otoflash G171.
Can other materials be cured with the flash-curing device (Otoflash G171)?
In principle, other materials can also be cured with the flash-curing device. Using a device other than that specified by the material manufacturer may result in discoloration or impaired biocompatibility.
How can material residues be disposed of?
- The completely polymerised components are disposed of as residual waste.
- Disposal of unpolymerised product residues in accordance with official regulations. Do not allow residues to enter sewers or waterways.