First SLA Prints!

I’d first started looking into this tech as I’d conquered FDM printing a few months back and needed a new time sink.  Yup, conquered and slayed.  These machines are not cheap though, anything under $3k USD gets sneered at.  An SLA printer for under $500?  You can’t be serious… Oh.  You are.

I jumped at the chance for the Wanhao D7, the first affordable SLA/DLP printer from a reputable company.  Wanhao has been a name in the industry for a while and they have a decent rep for good machines in the FDM world…  the D7 seems to have a spotty record from the other early adopters but I’m always skeptical to base an opinion on other people’s experiences.  Order placed and within a week UPS comes a knockin!

The box was covered top to bottom in ‘Customs’ tape which indicated they’d opened it up and molested it profusely.  Sure enough, the Z-Axis endstop was unplugged and the sample resin was not in the box nor was the extra vat film.  I plugged it all in and monkeyed my way into making things work but the main control software is buggy as hell to say the least!  Regardless, all kinds of user error later I have it projecting images of the slices in the vat.

The machine is one thing, the resin another.  I joined the D7 Facebook group to see how other people were managing and saw a link for Monocure resin from Australia.  Our Canadian dollar is pretty close and the other options were listed at ~$140 USD/L and up.  The Monocure stuff is ~$60/L.  Cheap resin in a cheap printer will just net bad results though won’t it?  You tell me.

I’d actually placed the order with Monocure a few days after the Wanhao order and it arrived 3 days before the machine.  All together not bad shipping times on either count.  The above pictures are not the first out of the machine.  I didn’t take pics of those as was tweaking the slicer settings and failing miserably.  I listed the relevant info below for anyone else looking into it but will continue to tweak and fine tune the whole process as I go.

Monocure Link
Wanhao D7 Link

Creation Workshop
0.1mm – 100s/17s – 3Base Layers
Model ‘Chibi Alice’ by Tanya Wiesner (

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