My Halot Mage 8k Experience

I asked ChatGPT to define 3D Printing with resin, and this is what it said. 3D printing with resin, also known as stereolithography (SLA) or digital light processing (DLP), is an additive manufacturing process that uses liquid resin to create three-dimensional objects layer by layer. In this technique, a light source, such as a laser or projector, selectively cures the liquid resin, solidifying it to form each layer of the object. Resin 3D printing offers high precision and intricate detailing, making it suitable for producing complex and finely detailed prototypes, dental models, jewelry, and other small-scale objects. The process enables the creation of objects with smoother surfaces and finer details compared to traditional filament-based 3D printing methods. However, it's essential to consider the post-processing steps, such as washing and curing, to achieve the desired final properties of the printed objects.

Wow, that’s a brain full of information. I learned those things in more detail as I started to research about 3D printers. With almost an infinite number of ideas, such as action figures, robots and parts, high detailed paintable figurines; it was no wonder I had to get one. It took about 2 months before I got an email blast from Creality. Creality is one of the leading 3D printer companies and one I researched plenty. It was a good sale on one of the newest models with improved resolution, the Mage 8k. In May 2023, I took my bite.

It was a quick purchase. I went through the website directly and had some issues. I could buy the printer and washing station but then the website wouldn’t accept my login credentials again. It worked once and only once. I needed to get the tracking number and receipt after the purchase to no avail. I didn’t think it was an issue because my Capital One account showed it just fine. Both were shipped quickly so it wasn’t much of an issue. Once I got the printer and washing station, I was excited. They came in perfect condition, and setup was easy. They Arrived I set them both up in the office and installed the Halot Box IDE (slicer program) so I could start. This is when the issues started. I didn’t know it at the time, but this particular printer wasn’t supposed to be released until a couple months later. The Halot Box IDE, and I’ll just say it, the printers overall support had not been created yet. I was new to the industry and didn’t know the signs of a simple problem, such as an unsupported device. The Halot Mage 8k takes a specific type of printer file, cxdlpv4. All the provided IDE’s wouldn’t output that file type, so the printer couldn’t view or use the files. I emailed support to get help.

I just tried to get a refund at first, I was disheartened by the whole website issues, and now this. It was sold as a simple plugin and start printing system, and it wasn’t. Freakishly, support wouldn’t even recognize the request. They treated the refund request like it wasn’t part of the email thread. They did try offering support like checking the USB, instructing me to send videos of it failing and document it; so I did. I sent them pictures, video and everything they requested, minus the receipt which I still had not gotten. I sent in my CC statement to verify I had purchased it, because they couldn’t pull up my account either, the same one I couldn’t log into. No one could figure out why, the website or my printer. I talked to a guy that thought it might be the motherboard, so he sent one and I swapped it out, and still nothing. After about a week of going back and forth, I started looking around and seeing if anyone else was having issues.

That’s when I learned about the early release of the Halot Mage 8k printers. I filed with my credit card company because I was sold something that didn’t work as advertised and they refused to refund me as per their company policy of 15 days. They declined the claim, I have all the email threads and proof, and just an outright nope. I sat with a printer, washing unit, resin and supplies that added to close to $700 that I couldn’t use with no foreseeable change or real help in the future. I was outraged, and read this true, I still would be had not the story arch changed. (lol)

Determined not to be taken for a ride by either company, I doubled down my efforts to find a solution. I searched for conversion tools and found nothing, support wasn’t much of any help at this point, they were still trying to get me to use a new USB drive. I think they knew the latest edition of Creality IDE didn’t support the Creality Mage 8k printer, but not once did they hint to that fact. I took to YouTube; there had to be something, someone out there had my answer. I think it was on the Print Houses page, but it was about the unboxing of a Halot-Mage printer and tips, and I went to the comments and found the diamond in the ruff. Lychee.

Lychee is an IDE made by Mango 3D out of EU. It is a smooth and intuitive design as IDE’s go and wouldn’t you know it, it could output cxdlpv4 files. I poked around the settings, I noticed if I changed the file type output in the drop-down, it revered back to the v2 format, and wouldn’t output a v4 format until a fresh install. Other than that, it works great. I could set resin profiles, learn supports and rafts, and the ever important, orientation. There’s also a pro edition that offers hollowing and many more advanced features.

Once I had Lychee, printing was fun and blew my mind. I explored various resin colors, types and conditions. I moved the setup down to the garage because it smells to high heaven for house smells, but not horrible for garage smells. It wasn’t until many editions later the Halot Box IDE supported the Halot Mage 8k, roughly 6 months after I bought it. It has cool features that Lychee doesn’t like using embedding or embossing text. I still use Lychee in conjunction with Blender. I think I will get the pro version eventually when my prints call for it. For now, I can use the basic version of either one and get what I need. I took a Blender course from Udemy to get a better understanding of 3D Modeling, which I highly recommend.

The community support really came through for me. Reddit, YouTube and the conversations in the comments, Facebook Groups, all very helpful, and deserve thanks. I’ve stuck around helping people just like myself to show appreciation and hopefully help them get printing success.

All in all, 3D Printing is fun and awesome. I think every Maker should have one, or four. SLA printing has amazing details, it will blow your mind how detailed it is. It takes a process, cleaning, curing, dealing with the fumes, mess, and filament is more just print and go. The details aren’t there, but the industry is making improvements. I’m glad I learned with the resin printer, I know what the most difficult looks like and not deterred by it. I have PPE, I have processes in place, and now I have good quality prints. I have 3D printing with resin. Success.

3D Prints
Related Links
#halotmage #creality #lychee #3dprinting #SLA #Udemy