ISJUTO3D


UK DISTRIBUTORS OF EPAX 3D PRINTERS AND ANCILLARIES


This document is a work in progress with several more sections to be added in the near future. The information is aimed at the new user to give an overview of the printers, printing processes, slicing software and related information. Last updated 03/01/2020 11:52 GMT


Why buy the Epax X1?


EPAX X1 build quality and design is superior in almost every aspect of the printer, starting at the top:


Lid Mechanism and Access - The lid is designed to fold back on top of the printer giving increased access to the sides of the Vat and allowing the printer to be flat against the wall. As with the rest of the printer the lid is sturdy and well built.


Z Axis - The Z axis features a steel rod on each side with 2 rollers per side resulting in an exceptionally stable Z axis, the threaded rod that raises and lowers the platform has anti backlash fitted and gives a smooth and accurate movement every time. There is no "Z wobble" with the EPAX X1.


Build Plate - The build plate levelling system features 2 bolts at each side that retain the build plate position. This is superior to the grub screw and ball arrangement which relies on grubscrew contact to the ball to prevent the plate moving during printing and can suffer a loss of grip if resin gets into that ball socket. The EPAX X1 build plate will not lose its level or loosen during printing.


Ready to go out of the box - The EPAX X1 comes ready levelled and ready to go, just add resin and print. Every machine is calibrated at the factory to ensure a perfect level.


Vat design - The Epax X1 Vat is slightly larger than those used on similar 5.5" LCD machines and will not fit them. The FEP is held in the vat with a simple plate and a gasket, this Vat will not leak past the gasket. Changing the FEP is quicker and easier than on other Vats.


Non-FEP - The FEP itself is “non-FEP’. This FEP is air permeable helping to reduce suction effects as the build plate rises and reducing the number of failed prints. This “non-FEP” can be used with the competitors Vats.


LCD Screen - The LCD Masking Screen is a high quality ultra sharp 2k screen. As with all LCD Masking printers the screen is a consumable, it will eventually lose pixels and need replacing. Access to the innards of the printer is very good by design and changing the screen is both simple and quick.


UV Light Source - The EPAX UV light source has a cone to diffuse the light evenly across the build plate resulting in cleaner, sharper prints with less variation across the build plate. An upgraded light source featuring small lenses over each LED is available and is simple to fit. This upgrade is primarily aimed at the Dental and Jewellery markets but is popular in the Miniatures market too. The EPAX lightsource enables faster printing than much of the competition with shorter layer times required.


Touchscreen - The responsive Touchscreen is larger, brighter and clearer making it easy to see which file is selected.


USB Memory Stick - Every machine is supplied with a quality branded USB memory stick.


Firmware - EPAX Firmware is regularly used in place of the firmware supplied by other manufacturers that use the same CBD motherboard. EPAX firmware has been used to enable anti-aliasing and Network on competitors devices. EPAX simply leads the pack in LCD masking technology and printing.


The EPAX X1 is better by design and build quality is second to none, prints and performance are reliable and consistent.


Some reviews below:


Maker's Muse:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUafsNmf68g


Rob Silvers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxYpitlZ6bM


I have just bought my first resin printer what else do I need?


This is probably the most commonly asked question of all by new owners.


Resin


Top of the list is Resin. You can't print without it. There are a bewildering array of resins all with different qualities. Some have superb detail but may be brittle, some have a reputation for pungent odours. Some are intended for different technologies. The EPAX machines require a resin suited to LCD masking with a UV curing frequency of around 405nm. We are looking to stock resin in the future.


Some companies have recently released Water Washable Resins. These prints can be cleaned in water without requiring chemicals like IPA to dissolve uncured resin. However this does not make them safe to clean under a running tap, care must be taken to ensure that resin does not enter the water supply.


Resin contains chemicals which can be toxic. When exposed to a UV light source or sunlight the resin hardens and the polymerisation reaction can be very hot. Avoid skin contact. Read the Material Safety Data Sheets for your resin, if none were supplied they should be on the manufacturer's website. Some people may suffer dermatological reactions to resin and some people find the odour unpleasant.


Resin Disposal


Post cure all waste resin and resin covered paper towels under UV light before disposal in the bin.
Never put any resin or IPA down the sink, in the drains or back into the water supply.


Safety


Eye protection – Eye protection is ever so cheap and available from Screwfix and other hardware stores. It is not unheard of for people to rub an itchy eye with a resin covered glove, it can be a very painful experience.


Nitrile or Neoprene Gloves – Nitrile are the usual choice. These are more resistant to resin than PVC. Do NOT use Latex gloves, they do not offer protection against resin. There is a time limit to the protection given which depends on the thickness of the glove.


Paper Towels – There is always something to dry or mop up.


Post Processing


IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) – The most commonly used fluid to remove excess resin from a finished print. Highly flammable. Alternatives to IPA are available.


Old jam jars with lids - Good containers to put the printed part into, fill with IPA and shake vigorously (as long as the lid is on) to remove uncured surface resin and to reveal the detail.


Paper Towels – There is always something to dry or mop up.


UV Source – Even though the print has completed there will still be some polymerisation left to happen. Most resins want a 405nm light source. LEDs tend to have a fairly narrow bandwidth so a 365nm LED won’t work as well as a 405nm LED. More traditional UV lightbulbs have a wider bandwidth. Sunlight is perfect, if you can find any in a UK winter. Nail varnish curing stations are very commonly used to cure small prints, others lay out 405nm LEDS into a shiny bucket or box.


Take Away Containers – Handy receptacles for resin covered prints prior to the IPA wash and for IPA and resin soaked paper towels.


Clean Up


Paper Towels – There is always something to dry or mop up.


Paint Filters – These are automotive paint strainers, effectively paper cones with a very fine nylon mesh. Pour the resin from the vat through one of these back into the bottle. Small bits of cured resin in the vat can result in punctured FEP (the clear film in the bottom of the vat) and that results in resin in the machine and sometimes the LCD screen. The small pieces of cured resin can also point load the LCD masking screen and cause premature screen failures.


Funnel – The paint filters are paper and rather floppy. They are much easier to use when they are put into the funnel to get the resin back in the bottle.


Take Away Containers – Handy receptacles for putting the resin bottle into when returning resin from the Vat incase of spillage. There is always something to dry or mop up.


I have just bought my first resin printer what else would be nice to have?


An Ultrasonic Cleaner – Why clean things by hand when a machine can do it for you? These can be very noisy, some come with inbuilt heating which can aid in cleaning. Never fill with IPA, flammable fumes and electricity are to be avoided. Fill a jamjar or ziplock bag with IPA and put the print inside. Fill the Ultrasonic Cleaner with water to just below the fill line and put the jamjar or ziplock bag in the water. Can also be used for cleaning watches and jewellery. We would recommend only buying a metal encased Ultrasonic cleaner (IPA tends to melt plastic) and that it has a capacity of at least 2L.


Heat Source – The polymerisation reaction is more effective when the resin is warm. Cold resin can have the consistency of treacle and can print badly. Cold resin will take longer to post cure as well. If (like many of us) you are printing in a garage or shed in the UK winter I recommend a simple enclosure and heat tube with temperature controller. An alternative is a heater situated in the printer. We are looking at stocking both heated enclosures and printer heaters in the near future. Or sneak the printer back into the house…


A Vat Draining Stand – It can be handy to have a stand to hold the vat to drain the resin into the paint filter and back into the bottle. You can end up holding the Vat for quite a while, especially if it is cold. Alternatively a little rubber squeegee to push the resin into the paint filter – but that requires more than 2 hands. There are a few Vat holder designs on Thingiverse that get good reviews for FDM printing. I have yet to print one.


Paper Towels – Because you tried to hold the vat and squeegee the resin out of it whilst supporting the paint filter without a funnel and you didn’t put the bottle in the take away container.


Another Printer – Or three.



Coming Soon:


What is a slicer?


Slicer Settings Explained


Orientation of the model in the slicer


Hollowing a model in the slicer or other software


Adding Vent holes to hollowed models (and why they are vents not drains)


What is suction and how to avoid it


Adding supports in the slicer


Removing supports from the model


Cleaning the model


Post curing the model


Over-curing?


There is nothing on my buildplate :(


Only the base is on the build plate :(


Cleaning the Vat - do not use paper towels!


How often should I empty the Vat?


How long can you leave resin in the Vat?


How long can something be left on the build plate?


Who are the best British Patreon Modellers (Liontower Miniatures, Duncan Louca, Tytantroll) These chaps are awesome. No-one has specifically asked this question but I thought I would answer it now just in case.






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