In this tutorial we will be setting up our first print with the Wanhao Duplicator 7 3D Printer! Wanhao has a whole line of reputable 3D printers including the duplicator 9 which we had a previous article about.
Setting Up Slicing for the Duplicator 7 Plus
Slicing for a resin printer is slightly different than what you might be used to. Our recommended slicing software for the Duplicator 7 Plus is a software called Creation Workshop. You can download this free piece of software from the Wanhao website. This software will come preconfigured for Wanhao Duplicator printers.
Once you had the software downloaded, you can go ahead and open it up, and we can begin! Once inside, navigate to the Configure Tab on the top, and then click the Configure Slicing Profile tab. Inside this tab you’ll be presented with all sorts of settings to look through.
For the Duplicator 7 Plus, we’ll want to go through and check the Export to CWS box, this is the correct format which allows us to save to a USB. From there, click the Configure Machine tab and ensure that the Wanhao Duplicator 7 Plus is selected as our machine.
Going back to the Configure tab, we can adjust all sorts of settings such as Exposure Time, Slice Thickness, among other things. For this tutorial, we will be fine with leaving everything else at their default settings.
From here, we can navigate back to the 3D View tab, and you’ll be presented with a visual representation of the stage of your 3D printer. On the right side you’ll have all the Scene Info, Object Info, and a few more options related to Scaling and other edits.
Navigate to the top right corner, and click the Load Button, to load up your file. A file browser will open up, and you can select your file model. Now that we have our model loaded onto our stage we can begin to edit the model.
We can use the Move Button to move the model along the stage, or the Rotate Button to rotate it around the printing stage. If you need Support Structures, then you can click the + in the top left corner, and you can create and edit the size and shape of the supports on the bottom layer of your print.
Below we actually Slice our Print, we need to save our changes. Navigate to the Save Button in the top of your screen, and save your model to your computer. Once saved, click the Slice icon, which is the Pie shaped button on the top of your screen.
For Slicing Profile, 50 Microns is sufficient for our needs. The more complex the models, the longer the slicing will take, but it shouldn’t be too long. Note: If you are creating a large model, you might want to consider adding a drainage hole, or creating hollow models to help save resin.
Printing Our Model with the Duplicator 7 Plus
Note: Resin printers can be toxic. Make sure you wear gloves and have eyewear while dealing with resin printers.
Now that we have all the slicing done for our model, we’ll need to copy our updated model file that we just created with Creation Workshop, to a USB that we can stick into our Duplicator 7 Plus.
Go ahead and take the Lid off of the Duplicator 7 Plus. Our first steps before we begin printing, we need to ensure that all printing surfaces are clean. To do this, take off the Cover of the Resin Vat, by unscrewing the support screws on the top, and gentle take the top off.
On the underside you’ll find the film. If you have done previous prints, you’ll want to gently wipe down the film with IPA rubbing alcohol. Once cleaned, go ahead and reattach the vat, and screw the thumb screws back in.
You should also clean the aluminum on the actual build surface with the IPA rubbing alcohol and a paper towel, and reattach once it’s been cleaned.
Leveling the Build Platform:
From here, you can boot up the printer. Once the printer has been booted up, you will need to ensure that the build platform is level with the vat below it. So you will need to use a screw driver to loosen the 4 support screws, as you are loosening the Z Stage will lower.
Once it’s been loosened enough so that you can wiggle the Z Stage, go in to the Utilities on the LED screen, and navigate to the Level function. Click Next, and the Z Stage will begin to lower into the Vat.
Once the stage has reached the vat, you can hold onto the stage to hold it in place, and then begin to tighten the screws back in place. I usually like to work from the back, and then alternate screws to ensure that it stays level.
Beginning the Print:
From there, you can go back into the LED, and configure the Z height, I recommend raising it up slightly, so you can add the resin to the print. Once you have done this, you can go ahead and get your USB with the model file on it, and plug it into the Duplicator 7 Plus. From there, ensure that the build platform looks good, and everything looks nice and clean.
Now we will need to pour in the resin, ensure that you have gloves and eye protection on while pouring the resin. We are going to fill the vat about a quarter of the way full. For most projects you won’t need to fill the vat to the top. Carefully, pour the resin into the vat, if you spill any resin, you will need to a paper towel and IPA rubbing alcohol to wipe it up.
Click the large Home button on the LED screen, which will lower the stage back down into the resin vat. Now that the Z stage is homed, navigate to the Main Menu on the LED Screen, and select the Print Menu, and click the + icon and you should see our previously created Model File.
Before you select the file, you should put the Lid back onto the Duplicator 7 Plus, if it isn’t already. Select our previously created Model File, select the + button, and press the Play Button to begin the print. The printer is going to go through, and begin printing, this can take up to an hour or so.
Inspecting the Finished Print
Now that the print has been finished, it’s time to inspect our finished print! You can go ahead and remove the lid once the print has finished. Ensure that you have gloves and eyewear on for this next step because there will be resin involved.
Remove the knob to remove the Build Plate, and carefully tip the plate so that any extra resin is poured back into the Resin Vat, you might need to use the included Scraper. From there, you can use your scraper to gently remove our model from the Build Plate.
You will want to scrape the model into our container filled with IPA Rubbing Alcohol to help remove any extra resin from the model. Once the Model is in the Container filled with IPA Rubbing Alcohol, you can give it a gentle swish around to help clean off the Model.
After this, you can remove the Model from the Container, and dry it off with paper towel. The final step is to Cure the Resin. We will need to leave our model in the sun to soak up some UV light to finally cure the Model.