FEP Film Replacement

14 Jun 2021
It's inevitable. You've gotten your printer dialed in, you're printing like a pro, and your prints are coming out sharp and perfect every time. Then, out of the blue, prints start failing. You start getting noticeable layer lines or surface imperfections in your prints. Your once perfect prints are now not printing like they should. Maybe you notice that your FEP film has dimples or creases in the surface. Or, even worse, you begin noticing resin leaking onto your screen.
If you notice any of the above, its likely time to replace your FEP film.
The FEP film is the layer of clear plastic stetched across the bottom of your resin vat. It's purpose is to allow UV light through and provide a surface for each layer of your print to cure. The FEP film is held in place under tension and it is this tension that allows the film to maintain a smooth surface but also have some give to it to allow the print to peel away from the film when the build plate lifts up after each layer.
 
Resin 3D printers require periodic maintenance to continue producing top quality prints. And for many, replacing the FEP film will be the first printer repair they will have to do. The consequences of ignoring a FEP that needs to be replaced can be dire. In addition to poor print quality, a damaged or worn FEP can rupture causing resin to leak all over your printer and workspace. Not only is this a big mess, but it can also end up damaging or destroying your printer.
Since FEP film damage can happen at any time, I make a habit of buying multi-packs and keeping it on had. By buying replacement FEP film before you need it, you will be prepared when the need does arise. Members of Scale Speed Garage get notified when printers, resin and other useful tools are on sale as well as acess to how-to videos on topics like printer maintenance! Click here to learn about membership.
Ready to pick up some replacement FEP film? Here are a couple I like:
The FEP Store 4-pack:
This inexpensive option contains 4 sheets of thick, durable FEP film that works just as well as the stock film that your printer came with. It is sized for printers with screens up to 6" diagonal.

 

Order now:

For 8.9" Printers (Saturn, Mono X, etc.):
Elegoo brand FEP film is OEM quality and will offer good durability and print quality for your medium-format printer.

 

Order now:

nFEP (PFA) - the wave of the future:
With greater puncture resistance and easier release, nFEP is quickly becoming the go to for serious printers. Not only is it more durable, but the surface is also smoother and more permeable than standard FEP film - meaning you will have fewer failed prints as parts are less likely to stick to the film. It is more expensive than standard FEP film, but more durability and less wasted resin means it probably pays for itself.

 

Order now:

Printers up to 6.08" diagonal:
8.9" - 10.1" Printers:
Please note: links to products in this article may be affiliate links. This means that when you purchase an item from an affiliate link, you pay the same price you normally would but I earn a small commission. My goal is to bring you accurate and helpful content, therefore I only recommend products that I myself have used and stand by. If I mention a product that I do not have experience with, I will clearly state that.
 
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Author: Chris Bell
Chris Bell is a passionate model car builder, resin 3D printing expert and owner of Scale Speed Garage and Bolide Plastic Motorworks.

(He's the one on the left in this picture.)

Want to check out the accurate, detailed model car and truck parts that Bolide Plastic Motorworks creates? Check it out at: www.bolidemodels.com