1. Initial set-up
Prepare your workbench/table for setting up the printer. We recommend an area of at least 50x50 cm for the device and an additional working area for handling of resin and the build platform. The printer requires a power socket as well as a network connection (optional).
Tip: Since the printer processes light-curing resins, a UV light-protected environment is highly recommended.
Open the packaging, remove the accessories box and lift the printer with the help of the bag out of the cardboard box.
Unpack the printer from the bag and place the device at its prepared position.
Open the accessories box and remove the power cable and the handle for the hood of the device.
Open the hood of the printer and attach the handle with the provided hexagon key.
Connect the printer with the power cable to the power supply and with the network cable to your network (optional).
Make sure that all 4 feet of the device are in contact with the installation surface. They can be easily screwed in and out without any tool to compensate uneven surfaces.
Tip: This step should be repeated whenever the device is moved in any way to ensure that all feet are in contact with the surface at the place of installation.
Switch on the device at the rear. The platform will now move to its uppermost position.
Remove the foam block from the vat and also remove the vat for set-up of the device.
Select the function "Z-AXIS" in the display of the device and calibrate the build platform with the centre button in the bottom left corner. The device will guide you through this process and all steps must be carried out precisely in oder to prevent any damage to the printer.
Tip: This step should be repeated whenever the device is moved in any way to ensure that the build platform is calibrated correctly.
After the platform has moved back to its uppermost position at the end of the calibration process, the vat can be reinserted into the device. The printer is now ready for operation.
2. The first steps in the software
The installation file of the slicing software can be found on the provided USB stick from Dreve. Connect it to the computer and run the file.
When the software is started for the first time, you will be asked to enter a licence. It can also be found on the provided USB stick and can be read directly from the file. The software is now unlocked with the licence.
Tip: The license allows the software to be activated on two computers.
As soon as the licence has been entered, a printer must be selected in the software. Select the "Sonic XL 4K Dreve Edition" and make sure that the "Download optional data" option is selected. This feature ensures that the latest profiles from Dreve are available each time the software is launched.
The software is now ready for operation. To load a model into the software, click on "Open file" and open the desired file. Additional models can be added by clicking on "Import file".
Tip: Sample STL files for test prints can be found on the provided USB stick.
Use the right and middle mouse buttons to move/rotate the view in the software.
The left mouse button is used to select and move placed components.
a) Clicking on the arrowheads moves components along individual axes.
b) Clicking on the two-coloured squares moves the components within the respective plane.
c) Clicking on the arc-shaped lines rotates the components around the axes.
Tip: Make sure that all components are sufficiently in contact with the build surface to prevent print errors and tears. If the components do not have a flat surface that can be placed directly on the build platform, use the "Support generation" function to secure the components using support structures.
Once all components are positioned and aligned, the slicing process can be started by clicking on "start slicing". Make sure that the correct device and the desired print profile are selected in the upper part of the opening window. The designation and the storage location can be entered in the middle of the window.
Tip: For some materials, there are several print profiles available for selection. Please check under "Profile" on the website to find the right profile for your planned print job.
After clicking on "OK, start slicing", the file readable by the printer is created by the software. Afterwards, a window is displayed in which the designation of the file on the printer as well as the IP address of the printer for direct upload of the file can be entered. If the file is to be transferred to the printer via USB stick or the upload function in the web interface, the window can be closed. The file is located at the location specified in point 7.
The work in the software is now completed and the software can be closed.
3. The web interface
The web interface is accessed by entering the IP address in your web browser.
Tip: The IP address of the printer can be found in the upper left corner of the printer display. This function is only available if the printer is connected to a network and your computer is in the same network.
In the top right of the web interface, the "Plates" button can be found. Here, all build jobs stored on the printer are displayed and can be started by clicking on "Start". The printer will start the build process directly, so make sure that the printer is ready for operation.
During printing, the progress of the current print job is displayed in the web interface. This includes the number of layers that have already been printed and the time until completion of the print job.
Tip: This view can be closed at any time during printing. Closing it does not have any impact on the progress of the print job.
4. The first print
Prepare the printer and familiarise yourself with the software as explained in the first two parts of this quickstart guide.
Fill the vat with the resin corresponding to the desired component.
Tip: The software displays how much resin is required for the respective print. To achieve a faultless print result, we recommend filling a bit more resin into the vat.
The print job can now be started at the display of the printer or via the web interface.
During printing, the current status is displayed in real time at the printer and in the web interface.
As soon as the printer has finished printing, the build platform moves to its uppermost position and can be removed afterwards.
Tip: We recommend waiting a few minutes after the end of the print job before removing the build platform to allow as much resin as possible to drip into the vat.
Then the components can be detached from the build platform with the provided spatula or a knife.
Tip: Make sure that there is no cured resin on the build platform anymore and reinsert it into the printer. If the same resin shall be used for the next print job, further cleaning of the build platform is not necessary.
The components should now be cleaned and post-cured according to the instructions for the material used.
You have completed your first print job.
Build job/print job
The build job is the designation of a single print process carried out by the printer.
The build platform is the component on which the components to be printed are build. It can be taken out of the printer.
Calibration is the adjustment of the build platform. For faultless print results, the platform must be precisely aligned in parallel to the vat bottom.
Cleaning and post-curing
Printed components must be further processed after printing. In the first step, they need to be cleaned to remove any excess resin. The following step is post-curing for ensuring the final material properties like hardness or biocompatibility.
The IP address is the unique designation of a device within a network. The address consists of four blocks of digits separated by dots. The IP address of the Sonic XL 4K is displayed in the upper left corner of the display.
Contamination of the resin by foreign particles or faulty processes can lead to misprints. Single areas or components may not be printed correctly or even tear off during the print process.
Phrozen 3D is the slicing software for the Sonic XL 4K Qualified by Dreve.
A print profile includes all necessary parameters for the processing of resin on a specific type of printer. These parameters include values like exposure times or dimensional stability factors. Dreve carefully developed and precisely set the print profiles for Sonic XL 4K Qualified by Dreve.
The slicer or slicing software is the tool required to create a file readable for the printer out of an STL file.
Support structures or supports are additional structures added in the slicer to connect components with the build platform.
The function of the vat is to collect dripping resin and it also serves as material reservoir during the print process.
DIY: Having decided for 3D printing is an innovative step for your workflow. However, sometimes especially the implementation and getting started can be challenging, not only for beginners. Our experts for dental additive manufacturing and 3D print are glad to support you on your way. They guide you through the process so that you will succeed and get your parts printed.
Sonic XL 4K 2022