Ember has an impressive ability to structure material with far more precision than many other 3D printers. Depending on the resin used, it can print layers between 10 and 100 microns thick with XY resolution of 50 microns. While low layer heights are often useful for printing certain structures, in everyday use, I like printing at higher layer heights for the following reasons:
- It's much faster than lower layer heights
- There are fewer exposures and statistically, less chance of an exposure-related print failure
- Fewer exposures also means less wear on the PDMS window, likely increasing its service life
- The human eye cannot reliably distinguish 10um from 25um from 50um layer heights
To demonstrate the relationships between layer height, print time, and print quality, I chose two very different geometries: a lattice of my own design and a scapula from Thingiverse (both attached). The lattice is composed of delicate 500um struts while the scapula is a complex organic shape. I scaled both to a height of 42.54mm (40mm + 2.54mm of supports for the scapula) and then printed each files at 25um, 50um, and 100um layer heights in Autodesk's standard clear prototyping resin.
As can be seen in the photos, both geometries printed at all three layer heights and for many applications, higher layer heights don't diminish print quality.