Take the guesswork out of your 3D printing practices with these seven informative tips and tricks. We consulted Chris Davis — our in-house CAM Operations Specialist — who shared his advice for seamless 3D printing success.

A quality rhodium plated finish should be standard procedure on all white gold mountings but this leads to another frequently asked question, how do I get a good rhodium plated finish? To answer that question let's begin with the basic principles. First and foremost the piece needs to be polished to a bright finish. And if the piece is not clean, it will not plate!



For normal DLP or LED printers, one has to remember that the image is being projected through a few layers of glass. From the lens of the projector to the resin material, there are more than a few opportunities for dust to accumulate and distort the image mask. Use lens cleaner spray and microfiber cloths to keep those glass surfaces free from dust and polymer.


At least once per week, strain the material from the vat into a separate bottle. Use disposable 190-micron paint strainers found in most big box hardware stores or online. Once the material is completely recovered and the vat is empty, take the opportunity to clean the printing surface with lint-free wipes.

Remove any particulates that may have been baked on. Dirty material and elements stuck to the print surface can cause immediate fails, parts with inconsistencies, and/or material leaks, which can invade the machine's chassis.v


Use 91% (or higher) isopropyl alcohol for cleaning. Anything lower than 91% is not aggressive enough and can leave material trapped in hard-to-get places. Partially cured resin will cause problematic casting or molding.


Take plenty of time to cure the parts. The number one cause of bad castings from printed jewelry parts is that they haven’t fully cured. For proper burnout, parts must polymerize completely into a state engineered to evacuate the mold cavity without leaving any ash.

All of the resin components need to chemically crosslink completely before entering the casting process. Use the appropriate UV curing chamber for the proper amount of time as indicated by the manufacturer. Cutting corners in this step costs more time and money than it saves.

CUREbox Plus UV Post-Curing Chamber 115V



DO NOT trust a regular wall outlet to supply a consistent stream of energy to your printer. Anything from surges, sags, circuit overloads, and improperly grounded outlets can cause imperfections and fails during a print. Check the wattage requirement for your machine and buy an appropriate Sine Wave UPS to deliver a seamless flow of energy. In the event of a blackout, it may allow a few minutes to properly shut down your machine. The surge protection offered by these is an insurance policy in itself.


Although this falls into a slightly more advanced category, knowing the appropriate light intensity for the material is crucial. Not all polymers are alike. Epoxy-based resin cures very fast whereas wax-infused resin is slow. If there is a situation where the light source is not projecting at the properly indicated intensity the parts may come out over or under cured.

This will lead to dimensional inaccuracies in all of the parts across the entire build. Print and cure a 10mm cube as per your normal process and measure it with a calibrated digital caliper. Make adjustments to the machine or software to offset the difference.


This resin can take up to 7 seconds per layer when printing. The sacrifice for a longer print time is to accommodate direct casting without having to create time-intensive, laborious silicon molds. It has a relatively high viscosity so it benefits from being warmed to about 80° – 90°F before printing.

The supports require larger diameters than normal due to the heavy wax component. Print Open Grow slowly and allow at least a 2mm separation between layers from the print surface to keep the material warm and properly agitated.



As always, if you need help with tools or questions about metals or soldering, contact Stuller’s Tools Tech Team. Give them a call at 1-800-877-7777 ext. 4300
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