Dear Uniz team,

I am Thomas Roussel, a 3D artist, digital sculptor and also the Marketing Director of Pixologic, makers of the digital sculpting application ZBrush. I have been in contact with Nicolas Poussin, one of your french reseller, from 3D Expert about your Slash+ printer. I have been working with your printer for now several months, for the purpose of doing a review for my audience. You can see an example of my review for the Form2 from Formlabs (sorry, it's all in French).

Here is a video with some of my comments, about some of the issues I have, including a major one, preventing me to publish the review. Please keep in mind that I don't mention all the benefits of your printer!

Some extra feedback and misc comments/suggestions. Some of the files mentioned are available in this ZIP file.

Uniz+ Software Issues:

  • Detects sometime errors on models which don't have errors (checked in Netfabb and other software). See  half_sphere_decimated.stl
  • Slicer has issues with some models. Again, Uniz+ detects an issue which Netfabb doesn’t detect. For the following model, Netfabb originally detected a single error with a small hole to close, which has been fixed of course. The load the Uniz file, slice and check the slice. You will find a lot of errors (280, 322, 382, 467, 503, 526, etc…) - https://www.dropbox.com/s/2xrahamcro6maqc/Groute_uniz.zip?dl=1

To fix the model, I had to rebuild it with a new topology and optimize it again, making me redoing almost all the support job and losing a lot of time.

With the same model from above, when reloading, some extra pillars have been added. They weren’t here when I saved the file and closed Uniz+. See extra_pillars.jpg

  • If a model is detected with an issue and the auto repaired is applied, the original model (STL file) is locked and can't be opened with other software until Uniz+ is running, even if it seems to use the "repaired" model. >> Try to load the half_sphere_slice_topo_issues.stl, then Uniz+ will asked for repair and validate. Error again. Now try to open the original model in another software like Netfabb: error.
  • With all the files in error with Uniz+ on loading, never it has been able to fix the error (without knowing what is the error).
  • The software is not retina/ high-resolution screen compatible with Windows while it is on Mac. It's difficult to use on high-resolution screens on Windows.
  • When the software crashes or after having the computer going into sleep mode (i'm not 100% sure for this last one...), I wasn't able to cancel the print from the software. The printer button seems to do only "Pause".
  • The software crashes on regular basis, mainly when editing the supports, which I do for all the models.
  • The software has a real lack of preset settings for the slicer. Depending on the resin and resolution, the exposure time and other settings need to be changed (increased), always making the default settings useless.
  • The hollowing system is buggy: it creates sometimes some non hollowed areas for few layers. And without an escape hole which makes the use of such function useless as well. See a_guy_hollowed.uniz and in the shown slice, several extra layers are not followed. Note: On Form2, hollowed models are a source of printing failure because of suction cups areas. I'm concerned about that with your system too.
  • Scaling with values doesn’t work (for non-uniform scaling): the model is compressed along one axis. Then undo doesn’t work after entering the value, to revert to the previous state of the model.
  • Sometimes, the supports in Uniz+ goes above the grid. It’s minor as it doesn’t affect the slicing. See support_above.jpg and support_above.uniz
  • After a cancel or failure of the current print, the software may display that the model had an exception. Whatever you chose (cancel or analyze), the software crashes.

Improvements requests:

  • Adding a real mesh slicer to see the model being sliced at xxth layer, like in Preform. It is a must-have when editing models support, especially if the model are hallowed. Current outline slicing system is nice and fast, but it is impossible to use it when a part is hidden by another one or if you need to edit inside the model. See realtime_slicing.jpg. Check this model in error mentioned above: how do you edit the internal supports?: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2xrahamcro6maqc/Groute_uniz.zip?dl=1
  • A raft type base is really needed for the prints. The current system forces the user to break the supports with the spatula to remove the model and a lot of supports break on the model itself, creating a small impact on the shape, harder to fix as you need to apply some putty to fill the little hole. Also, using a Raft base with a small bevel on the side like in Preform make the removal process very easy to do. Currently I'm adding manually a 2mm thick raft below my model as a separate mesh. Not convenient and not easy to understand for beginners in 3D.
  • Supports manipulation should be improved, especially when deleting them. Most of the time, you need to delete all the parts separately and it can be easy to forget a small part somewhere.
  • I would like to be able to use hotkeys (page up/down) to be able to view the slicing in the support edition tool.
  • Supports structure itself create sometimes some of its parts which are printed without being connected to anything for a single layer. It may be problematic for parts which can be on top. See uniz+_slicer.jpg. On the same screenshots, you can see hollowed supports which shouldn't happen.
  • Having a way to display in Uniz+ the layer number currently printed would be great to monitor the progress of the printing process.

Printer and Resin

  • The resin dispenser and detector level support is just a pain to use or to plug back on its support when not used or changing the resin in the tank. It should be done differently.
  • The printer, compared to the Form2 can't be used in a tiny office. It's very noisy, but it is understandable because of the cooling system. But it is not compatible with an 'artist office'
  • Resin smell is -very strong- and probably because of the cooling system and its fan, the smell is spread in the room, making it impossible to be in the same room as the printer while working. I tried printing Formlabs resins with the Slash+, almost no smell issue, then it's related to the resin itself first.
  • The screw for the printer feet, to do the leveling is not long enough and not wide enough. It's difficult to do the level and once, because I was on an unstable location, I totally unscrew one of the feet, while I didn't think I was that far in my unscrew process. Also, the feet are tiny, then it's not convenient to level. These are minor details which can be an easily fix.
  • The level tool is totally useless as it's totally inaccurate. it's too small. Then the user needs to use a level utility on its own and it's difficult to do the level as the top of the printer is not flat and it's difficult to put such utility on top of the resin tank when inserted.
  • The cooling systems lines are too much visible on the model with the uniz resin (Grey one) and it kills models with details like I'm doing. It's for me the major flaw of the printer.
  • It's related to the DLP/Projected image system of all these types of 3D printers, but the need to increase the exposure because some parts are tiny like supports kills the "speed" advantage of the printer. I understand it may be not easy, but the software and printer should be able to do a partial exposure for each later, by not displaying only a static image, but an animation where tiny parts are exposed more longer than large parts. It would avoid some overexposed parts and only adding this extra exposure when needed.
    As an important note, speed is important, but the quality is a lot more important for some usages like high-resolution models like my contacts, our customers of our software or myself are doing.
  • Wifi not working. I didn't try the patch found online yet. It's problematic as the instructions provided in the printer when unboxing makes the user think that they need to go through it to register.
  • The printer seems to have a camera? How to use it?
  • The Build platform opening between the plastic part and metallic part is a big problem when manipulating it as you have liquid resin inside. It becomes so easy to spill resin everywhere. It should be totally sealed.

Misc:

  • Huge lack of official documentation. Community documentation is better, but users need to be aware it exists and need to speak English to use it.
  • This lack of documentation is a real problem when unboxing the printer for the first one. Important parts are missing like as an example, removing the protection sheet on the screen. It may be not obvious to everyone.

A post-process cleaning series of tools and instruction are missing. The Formlabs Finishing kit is very well done and keep your working area very clean (https://formlabs.com/store/us/form-2/accessories/finish-kit/). Also we don’t know how to post cure Uniz resins: how long in the IPA (or something else than IPA, post-curing with UVs or not, etc.

Thomas Roussel - 2008 - 2018

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