3D printers have their own vocabulary and words for describing their various parts and functions. If you are doing maintenance or about to seek help online, it is necessary to have the right words to describe your issue or problem. We have put together a list of words with explanation, covering most parts on the printer.
Knob - Large black knob at the top of the cantilever is designed for an easy mounting/dismounting of the print platform.
Tank - The container for liquid resin. It has a transparent bottom that allows UV light to pass through. The bottom of the tank is an FEP film, a consumable that will degrade after some time. The FEP film is replaceable (see Printer Maintenance). Use only warm water and dishwashing soap to clean the FEP.
Tilt - The general name for the whole bed with the motorized tilt function. The tilting tank is one of the biggest advantages of this machine. Thanks to this solution, smaller forces are required to pull the object from the bottom of the tank, which results in better-looking models and more reliable printing.
Tower / Z-Axis - The mechanism that raises and lowers the cantilever with the print platform. The cantilever is secured with a ball screw.
Acrylic Lid /Lid - The orange-colored lid is made of acrylic and its layers protect the liquid resin from UV light (such as sunlight), which would otherwise cure it. Still, it’s not a 100% shield and the printer should not be placed in direct sunlight. It must be closed during printing.
Liquid resin - Liquid materials used for printing in SLA 3D printers. It requires special care during handling (see Resins).
Curing / solidifying - Curing is the process of solidifying liquid resin using UV light. Even sunlight contains UV light and it can cause the liquid resin to solidify. The recommended curing time per single layer is usually between 5-12 seconds depending on the resin used - there may be exceptions. Layer height, object size, and exposure (curing) time are the three factors that have a major impact on the length of the printing process and quality of the printed object.
Touchscreen - The main control interface of the SL1. The capacitive touchscreen is used to navigate through the menus, start prints, adjust settings, or calibrate the printer.
Power Button - Turns the printer on or off. This button on the front of the printer won’t disconnect the power supply. To cut off power completely, always disconnect the power cord from the back of the printer.
Print display / 2K display - This display is part of the tilt assembly. It shows a mask (shape) of a single layer at a time, allowing UV light to pass through and solidify a single layer. The fixed resolution of the display means that the X/Y resolution of the printed object is also fixed.
UV LEDs / UV panel - The UV LED panel emits UV light through the mask shown on the print display and solidifies (cures) the resin in the tank, creating the desired object layer by layer.
Ethernet port - Can be used to connect the printer to the local network. It is located on the back of the device.
USB port - Used for reading SL1 print files from a USB drive
SL1 file (.sl1) - File containing printing instructions compatible with the SL1. SL1 files are created by slicing a 3D object using PrusaSlicer
If you have a question about something that isn't covered here, check out our additional resources.
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