Do It Yourself Monochrome LCD Hack Doesn’t Go as Planned
March 2, 2020 No Comments Tech Hacks Jimmy Jones

Manufacturers of low-cost 3D printers that use the masked stereolithography (MSLA) procedure have the ability to construct their makers so inexpensively due to the fact that they’re using repurposed smartphone or tablet LCD panels to mask off the UV backlight. Considering the quality you get out of even the entry-level MSLA resin printers, we definitely aren’t complaining about this little bit of thrift. However as [Jan Mrázek] discusses ina recent article, there’s certainly room for enhancement.

The issue is that those repurposed LCD panels are, as you ‘d expect, color display screens. After all, even the bottom of the barrel mobile phones moved away from monochrome displays decades earlier. But in this case, that’s not what you really desire. Because the printer operates on a single wavelength of light, the color filters inside the LCD are actually taking in light that could otherwise be treating the resin. So an MSLA printer with a monochrome screen would utilize less energy and print faster. There’s just one problem: it’s not really simple to discover high-resolution black and white screens in the year 2020.

So [Jan] chosen to see if he could take a replacement screen planned for his Elegoo Mars MSLA printer and transform it from color to black and white by dismantling it and by hand getting rid of the color filters. If this sounds a bit crazy, that’s since it is. Ends up taking apart an LCD, customizing its internal design, and putting all of it back together in working order is just as difficult as you ‘d think.

But it was still worth a shot. [Jan] pulls the display screen apart, gets rid of the liquid crystals, scrapes off the color filters, and after that puts everything back together once again. His first effort got him a monochrome display screen that in fact worked, however with particles trapped inside the screen, the image was too bad to be useful. He tried again, this time trying harder to keep foreign material out of the crystals. But when he got it back together a 2nd time, he discovered it no longer worked. He thinks it’s possible that his effort to clean up the inside of the screen was too aggressive, however really there are many things that might go wrong here it’s tough to determine simply one.

Long story short, by hand creating monochrome displays for low-priced MSLA printers might not be a feasible alternative. Till a much better option comes along, you may be thinking about seeing some slightly less invasive ways of improving your resin print quality.

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