Cleaning 3D resin prints is an essential part of the post-processing work that comes with resin 3D printing. While resin printers can produce prints with incredible details and smooth surfaces, they require more post-processing work than FDM printers. Cleaning resin prints involves removing excess resin from the print, washing the print to remove uncured resin, and finally curing the print to make it hard and durable.
The cleaning and curing process can be a bit tricky, but with the right tools and techniques, anyone can do it. One of the essential tools you need is isopropyl alcohol, which is used to remove excess resin from the print. Higher percentages and concentrations of alcohol work better than weak alcohol, so it’s best to use a higher concentration of isopropyl alcohol. You’ll also need paper towels to help you wipe off excess resin from the print. It’s better to have more paper towels than not enough, so it’s recommended to have a couple of rolls at your disposal for the wash and cure process.
When working with resin 3D prints, it is important to take the necessary safety precautions to avoid potential hazards. Liquid resin and processing chemicals can be toxic and may cause skin and eye irritation. Here are some safety precautions to follow when cleaning and curing your resin 3D prints.
When handling liquid resin or processing chemicals, it is important to wear gloves to protect your hands. Nitrile gloves are recommended as they are resistant to chemicals and provide a good grip. Avoid using latex gloves as they may break down when exposed to chemicals.
Use Protective Eyewear
Wearing protective eyewear is also essential when working with resin 3D prints. Liquid resin can splash and cause eye irritation or injury. Safety glasses or goggles with side shields are recommended to protect your eyes.
Other Safety Tips
Here are some additional safety tips to keep in mind when handling resin 3D prints:
- Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.
- Use a respirator or face mask if necessary.
- Avoid eating, drinking, or smoking while working with resin.
- Keep resin and processing chemicals out of reach of children and pets.
- Dispose of used resin and processing chemicals properly according to local regulations.
By following these safety precautions, you can protect yourself and others from potential hazards when cleaning and curing your resin 3D prints.
To clean your 3D resin prints, you’ll need a few supplies to make the process easier. Here are the two essential cleaning supplies you’ll need:
Isopropyl Alcohol, also known as IPA, is the primary cleaning agent for 3D resin prints. IPA is a solvent that dissolves uncured resin, making it a crucial component in the cleaning process. You’ll need a high concentration of IPA, preferably 91% or higher, to ensure that it cleans thoroughly.
To use IPA, pour a sufficient amount into a plastic container or tub and place your 3D resin print into the solution. Gently agitate the container to ensure the IPA reaches all areas of the print. Leave the print in the IPA solution for at least five minutes, then remove it and rinse it with water.
A soft-bristled brush is another essential cleaning tool for 3D resin prints. The brush helps to remove any remaining resin stuck to the print’s surface, ensuring that it is fully cleaned. You can use a toothbrush or a specialized 3D print brush to clean your print.
To use the brush, dip it into the IPA solution and gently scrub the print’s surface. Be careful not to damage the print’s delicate details. Rinse the print with water after brushing.
In summary, IPA and a soft-bristled brush are the two essential cleaning supplies for 3D resin prints. With these tools, you can effectively remove any uncured resin from your prints, ensuring that they are clean and ready for use.
Cleaning 3D resin prints can be a bit of a challenge, but with the right process, it can be done effectively. Here are the steps to follow:
The first step in cleaning your 3D resin print is to remove any supports that were used in the printing process. You can use a pair of pliers or a support removal tool to gently remove the supports from the model. Be careful not to damage the model while removing the supports.
Rinsing with Water
After removing the supports, rinse the model with water to remove any excess resin. Use a gentle stream of water to avoid damaging the model. You can also use a soft-bristled brush to help remove any stubborn resin.
Soaking in Isopropyl Alcohol
Once the model has been rinsed, it’s time to soak it in isopropyl alcohol (IPA). Place the model in a container filled with IPA and let it soak for about 5-10 minutes. This will help to remove any remaining resin and clean the model.
Brushing the Model
After soaking in IPA, remove the model and use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub it. This will help to remove any remaining resin and ensure that the model is clean. Be sure to use a brush that is soft enough to avoid damaging the model.
Repeat the soaking and brushing process until the model is completely clean. Once the model is clean, it can be cured using a UV light or placed in a curing chamber.
By following these steps, you can effectively clean your 3D resin prints and ensure that they are ready for use.
Drying the Model
After washing the resin 3D prints, it is important to dry them properly to prevent any water spots or damage. There are two main methods for drying resin prints: air-drying and using a dehydrator.
Air-drying is the most common method for drying resin prints. To air-dry the model, gently shake off any excess water and then leave it in a well-ventilated area to dry naturally. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day depending on the size and complexity of the model.
To speed up the drying process, you can use a high-pressure air gun to blow air into the model’s crevices and hard-to-reach areas. This will help to remove any remaining water droplets and ensure that the model is completely dry.
Using a Dehydrator
Using a dehydrator is a faster and more efficient way to dry resin prints. A dehydrator is a small appliance that circulates warm, dry air around the model to remove any moisture. This method is especially useful for larger or more complex models that may take a long time to air-dry.
To use a dehydrator, place the model on a tray and set the dehydrator to a low temperature (around 40-50°C) for a few hours. Be sure to check the model regularly to prevent over-drying or warping.
It is important to note that not all resin prints can be dried using a dehydrator. Some models may be too delicate or have thin walls that can warp or melt under high temperatures. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended drying methods.
In conclusion, drying resin 3D prints is an important step in the post-processing phase. Whether you choose to air-dry or use a dehydrator, make sure to take your time and ensure that the model is completely dry before handling or storing it.
After cleaning your resin 3D prints, it is important to conduct a post-cleaning inspection to ensure that the prints are ready for use. Here are some steps you can take to perform a thorough post-cleaning inspection:
Inspect the Surface: Check the surface of the print for any remaining resin or debris. Use a magnifying glass or microscope to inspect the surface for any imperfections or defects.
Check the Dimensions: Measure the dimensions of the print to ensure that it matches the design specifications. Use a caliper or ruler to measure the length, width, and height of the print.
Check the Weight: Weigh the print to ensure that it has the correct weight. Use a digital scale to measure the weight of the print.
Check for Cracks or Breaks: Inspect the print for any cracks or breaks. Use a flashlight to inspect the interior of the print for any defects.
Check the Functionality: Test the functionality of the print to ensure that it works as intended. If the print is a mechanical part, test its movement and fit.
By conducting a post-cleaning inspection, you can ensure that your resin 3D prints are of high quality and ready for use. If you find any issues during the inspection, you may need to repeat the cleaning process or make adjustments to your printing settings.
Cleaning and curing resin 3D prints is an essential step to ensure that they look great and last longer. By following the right steps and using the right tools, you can achieve excellent results and make your 3D prints stand out.
When it comes to cleaning resin 3D prints, there are several methods that you can use. The most popular method is to use isopropyl alcohol to wash the print and remove any excess resin. You can also use other solvents such as acetone or ethanol, but these are not as effective as isopropyl alcohol.
After cleaning the print, you need to cure it to make it strong and durable. There are several ways to cure resin prints, including using a UV lightbox or sunlight. Whichever method you choose, make sure that the print is exposed to the light for the recommended time to ensure that it is fully cured.
It’s also important to wear protective gear such as gloves and glasses when handling resin and solvents. This will help to protect your skin and eyes from any harmful chemicals.
In conclusion, cleaning and curing resin 3D prints is a crucial step in the 3D printing process. By following the right steps and using the right tools, you can achieve excellent results and make your 3D prints stand out.