One of the annoying problem with resin-based 3D printers is the wear and tear on the resin tank, which must frequently be replaced. That may not be the case anymore.
A small 3D print company in Hennef, Germany (near Bonn) by the name of DruckWege now offers a repair service, in addition to the more commonly available services of 3D printing, 3D scanning and design.
The problem with tanks results from the tendency for fused resin to adhere to the bottom of the transparent tank where the fusing laser passes through. The resin solidifies, but it also sticks to the bottom of the tank, requiring the printer to slowly “peel” the layer off the tank bottom. This slows the printing process down considerably, but also gradually deteriorates the tank.
Over time the tank becomes not only uneven due to erosion, but also less transparent. This slight opaqueness disturbs the laser (or DLP) ultraviolet light making prints slightly less accurate. That’s very important for resin 3D printers, which are renowned for their very high accuracy and resolution. Normally you have to replace the tank with a new one periodically – and sometimes very frequently, depending on usage.
Now DruckWege offers a repair service, where you can send in an old tank and they’ll refresh it. They say:
We offer services on repairing resin tanks of your SLA printer with damaged or degraded silicone layers to refurbish the tanks.
They also offer a trade in program, where they’ll quickly swap your damaged printer for a refurbished one that they previously repaired.
No word on specific pricing, as they say, “get a quotation today”. This makes sense as tanks vary in size and composition between vendors. Obviously, the service will have to be quite a bit less than the purchase price of a new tank, so this could be an interesting option for those with eroding resin tanks.
[UPDATE] We’ve just learned that the company has a Kickstarter campaign to market the ReCoat kit so you can also repair your SLA tank yourself. Check it out here.