The Ember team is excited to share that our newly redesigned trays with mechanically sealed windows are now shipping. After extensive production and testing, the trays are available for purchase in our online store.
In an Ember printer, the tray (also called the vat) holds the liquid resin that the machine turns into 3D parts. It has a clear window made of glass coated with PDMS (a member of the silicone family), through which 405nm ultraviolet light shines and cures each layer of the print.
In the original tray, chemicals in many third-party resins could cause the adhesive gasket to swell and leak resin through the tray into the printer. Ember was designed with openness as a priority, so we wanted to give customers the ability to use all types of resins, not just those made by Autodesk. We figured that since PDMS is a type of silicone, and since silicone is a great sealant material, why not use it to seal itself? We added an additional layer of PDMS around the window and held it in place with screws and a plastic frame, thus making the seal immune to interactions with resins or other solvents.
For added robustness, new trays are made of polypropylene, which is highly chemical-resistant, even to plastic-eating solvents such as acetone.
We also increased the length of the tray to better accommodate the swiper kit, which allows the use of some resins that would otherwise adhere to the PDMS window.
Lastly, we added a lid. We still don’t recommend leaving resin in the tray for more than a few hours when you’re not printing, as the UV absorbers in many resins will slowly reduce the amount of light that passes through the PDMS window, but the lid does help prevent spills and accidental exposure to sunlight if you need to transport your tray from one location to another.
Features of the new design:
- Mechanical window seal - prevents resin leaks
- Polypropylene construction - increased chemical resistance
- Increased length - allows better use of the swiper kit
- Lid - prevents spills and accidental exposure to sunlight during transport
We hope you enjoy the new trays! Feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions or issues.