Answered By: Kerry Harmer
Last Updated: Oct 01, 2020     Views: 59

Form 2 3D Printer (SLA)

Stereolithography (SLA) is a layer based form of 3D printing which uses a process called photopolymerization to cure resin with light.


Materials: Standard photopolymer resin (black, white, clear and grey)

Software: Preform

File types: .STL, .OBJ

Machine details: Maximum Build Area 5.7 × 5.7 × 6.9 inches (145 × 145 × 175 mm)

Production time: dependent on the project scale, 10 minutes - several days.


  1. Create or download your 3D model.
  2. Save it as an .STL file and upload it through the Maker Studio page on the Library website.
  3. Verify the following before submission:
    • The file has the correct dimensions that you require.
    • The dimensions fit within the above dimensions of the 3D printer build area.
    • The file is a solid and does not have holes or open surfaces.
    • You have chosen the appropriate material and colour for your print.
  4. Adhere to all health and safety procedures:
    • The Form 2 uses an acrylic resin. This is toxic to consume, touch, and inhale. Use appropriate PPE as directed by the Maker Studio Staff (gloves).
    • Processing the prints in the IPA causes fumes and should be avoided and only used in a well ventilated space.
    • Wash off any resin that spills on your skin immediately.

Advanced - by appointment

How to Print

  1. Start the PreForm software.
  2. Make sure the computer is connected to the Form 2 printer.
  3. Make sure PreForm is displaying the correct resin.
  4. Upload your .stl file by either dragging it into PreForm or by selecting File>Open.
  5. Once your file is uploaded make sure that the size is accurate. You can adjust the size by selecting the Size button.
  6. Once you have the correct size you can use the “one click print” button which will choose the orientation, supports and layout for you. 

    If PreForm is unable to calibrate the correct settings you will have to do this manually by selecting the following buttons as needed:
    • Orientation 
    • Supports 
    • Layout 
  7. After generating the supports more may be needed depending on your model. If so click on the supports button and choose Edit. Then you can add more supports as necessary.
  8. Remember when choosing the orientation for your model that it is possible for large sections of cured resin to suction to the tank which may result in the build plate sticking to the tank or the prints detaching from the plate and falling into the resin. The best way to prevent this is to have any large areas of your model at an angle.
  9. You can be sure that your model is ready to be printed when there is a check mark beside printability. If not you must continue to adjust the settings. 
  10. When your model is ready to be printed select the “Start a Print” button.
  11. PreForm will now send your print to the Form 2 printer. Once you have confirmed that your model has been sent select “print” on the Form 2. Make sure the build plate is attached and the cartridge vent is open.
  12. Once your print is done you will need to put on gloves, open the orange printer cover and remove the build plate by lifting the lever. Besure to close the cover as UV rays will cure the resin.
  13. Turn the build plate over and attach it to the provided stand. Then use a spatula to gently remove the models from the build plate. Once the models are removed you can drop your print in the Form Wash to be cleaned with IPA to get all the resin off. When the wash cycle is finished, remove your print from the Form Wash and set it on the black tray to dry.
  14. Once your print is fully dried place it in the Form Cure and set the appropriate time for the type of resin you are using.
  15. Once cured, use the provided tools to remove supports from your print. You can sand support marks and polish your model for a clean finish.

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