Formlabs resin should be handled with care, like any household chemical. Proper handling will ensure safe printing and efficient use.
Store resin in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. The operating temperature for Formlabs printers is 64–82 °F (18–28 °C). For optimal printing, do not exceed this range in storage. Keep containers closed. Avoid ignition sources. To reduce the risk of pigment settling, resin containers should be gently shaken once a month. Before starting a print, agitate or stir resin in the tank.
Use gloves when handling liquid resin. The liquid form can cause mild skin irritation for some people. If you get any on your skin, make sure to wash thoroughly with soap and water before moving on to other activities. See the safety data sheet (SDS) for more detailed chemical information.
Formlabs resin is not approved for use with food, drink, or medical application on the human body. Do not attempt to use printed parts for these purposes. Never ingest resin.
Like all chemicals, Formlabs resin has a finite lifetime. For best printing results, resin should be used or disposed within one year (12 months) of production. The optimal life of resin can be ensured by proper storage and use; ensure that resin is never returned to the original container and resin containers are periodically shaken to agitate the mixture. Resin that has expired may cause your prints to fail.
Each bottle or cartridge of resin includes a lot number, sometimes indicating the year of production followed by the month and date. For bottles, the lot number and/or best use date are located on the label; for cartridges, the lot number is on the underside, near the dispensing valve. If the bottle or cartridge lot number is formatted YYYYMMDD-##, add one year to the lot number for the best use date. If the bottle's lot number is formatted YYYY/#######, please contact Support and include the lot number to verify the resin's expiration date.
The lot number is 8-10 digits and is different from the formulation code. The formulation code begins with FL, immediately followed by four letters and two numbers. For example, a cartridge of Tough Resin may have formulation code FLTLTO02 and lot number 20160302. This resin is best used before March 2017.
The remaining liquid resin in the tank can be used for your next print, but should not be returned to the original bottle or cartridge to avoid potential contamination. Keep unused resin in the resin tank. The orange acrylic of the tank and printer cover will protect your unused resin from ambient light. Use the resin tank lid when storing resin outside the printer. Make sure to check your resin tank before starting a new print.
Mixing resins could result in failed prints and machine damage. Use only Formlabs approved resins and only use one type of resin with each resin tank.
Transferring Resin with Form Funnel
The last 50 mL of resin can be difficult to get out of the bottle. The Form Funnel holds one bottle inverted over a second, to allow the resin in a nearly-empty bottle to trickle into a fuller one. It's designed to fit closely over both bottle tops, eliminate UV exposure, and permit users to get every last drop of resin into their Form 1+.
With the Form 2, resin cartridges are designed to optimize resin flow and dispense efficiently. They do not require additional draining.
To Use the Funnel:
- Wait until you have a bottle that no longer easily pours, but still contains a bit of resin.
- Place the Form Funnel on a fresh bottle of resin with the arrows pointing down.
- Quickly turn the nearly empty bottle over and nest it in the Form Funnel.
- After approximately 20 minutes, the remaining resin will have drained into the fresh bottle.
Using Multiple Resins
It can be challenging to fully clean a resin tank without smudging the optical path, so we recommend that you use a different resin tank with each type of Formlabs resin. Extra tanks are available through the Formlabs Store. With a separate tank for each resin type, switching print materials between prints is as easy as cleaning the build platform and switching the tanks. For Standard resins, cleaning the resin tank is possible, but may lead to contamination between formula (Grey mixing with Clear, for example). Functional resins should have their own designated tank due to chemical differences.
To dispose of resin or empty resin containers, follow the instructions described in section 13 of the resin's safety data sheet (SDS). Expose empty containers to light, then dispose of in accordance with governmental regulations.
Cleaned parts and cured (hardened) resin cannot be recycled, but can be discarded as trash. Liquid resin (whether pure or dissolved in alcohol) must be disposed of with care:
- Place the liquid in a container and label and dispose of it according to your local regulatory guidelines.
- Cure pure resin (i.e., resin that is not dissolved in the alcohol from washing) in sunlight or under a UV lamp. Then dispose as normal waste. A simple trick is to put the liquid in a clear plastic bag and leave it in the sun until cured (1–10 days).
Spills can damage your Formlabs printer or workspace so be careful to only fill your tank to the maximum line.
If you happen to spill resin outside of the resin tank, clean it up immediately with IPA before the material hardens. If resin spills on the printer’s mirror, refer to Formlabs’ mirror cleaning instructions.