3D FDM Printed UV Curing Station


#1

Like most of you, I have been trying various DIY curing enclosures for my SLA printing. I could not get myself to spend the money for the Form Cure (but I did buy the Form Wash!) Since designing is what I like to do (almost 70 US patents!) I designed my own. My design inputs were:

  • Table top design
  • Looks similar to the Form Cure
  • Uses readily available components
  • Timer (Standard AC wall timer. I paid $10 on eBay. They are normally twice that)
  • Temperature Readout ($5 on eBay)
  • “ON” / “OFF” Light indicator
  • Top opening must allow the Build Platform to fit inside

What you see below is the finished product. I had to design it around the maximum printing dimension of my FlashForge Creator Pro FDM printer. It is made from eight interlocking FDM printed sections. A couple of the corners did not stay flat while printing, but I used them anyway because the prints averaged 11 hours each!

The first photo is the completely assembled Cure Station. No glue was used to hold the station together. The flexible mirror had a poor adhesive backing so it slightly bucked. It looks much worse than it actually is.
Temperature display was $5.00 on eBay. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-LCD-Display-Temperature-Meter-Thermometer-Temp-Sensor-w-Probe-Black-US/191890063642?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

The next photo is the bottom four pieces locked together with the electrical timer and temperature readout. The sensor from the readout is place into the top portion. The bottom portion also holds the power supply for the UV LEDs.

Below is the top half put together.

I purchased two sheets of flexible mirror. One sheet was enough to line the sides of the top and bottom portion (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Flexible-Mirror-Sheets-11-9-X-17-9-Inch-Soft-Non-Glass-Cut-To-Size-Craft-2-pk/173615651610?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649). The second sheet as shown below was enough to cover the floor and ceiling of the station.

Here is the bottom portion with the flexible mirrors and 5 meters of 5050 UV LED lighting strips. I only placed the LEDs on the bottom half because with all the mirrored surfaces the light, traveling at 186,000 miles per second, and bouncing off the mirror surfaces filled the chamber completely. You also DO NOT need a rotating table, cool but totally unneeded

Here are the two halves before I set the top on the bottom. The temperature sensor can be seen in the top.

Finally a montage of the LEDs on, a closeup of the ON/OFF Indicator light (which is actually a piece of 1/4" diameter acrylic rod that enters the curing chamber), the cure station with a build plate inserted and finally the cure station next to the Form Wash, Form 2 and my FDM printer. Yes, there is an exhaust fan in the wall. It was not put there for the nasty fumes from the SLA resin, but this use to be my photography darkroom!

Even though this cures the “rigid” resin rock hard after two hours; my next revision to the design will be adding a “mini” heater to it. All the electrical will be controlled by the timer. I am in the search for a small heating unit that I can vary the temperature for 60C and 80C.


#2

Are you going to sell these?


#3

I did not plan on it. Once I get it tweaked with the heater I may, but the cost could be $150-$200 after a full week of printing and using 1.5 kilos of filament!


#4

Very nice! I like how it holds the build plate so you can cure the parts before removing. Useful for high precision parts where you need them cured in plate on the supports to prevent/reduce distortion.

I have come up with my own solution. It’s almost entirely off the shelf.
-a food dehydrator from Amazon (heats to 60C)
-a metal bucket from the hardware store
-UV LED light strips from amazon
-a turntable (prob not necessary)


#5

Very cool! You could cut the bottom of the bucket to accept the build plate. I know curing with the parts attached to the supports and build plate do reduce distortion. I had to reprint many times before I learned that!


#6

Nice! Thank you for sharing!


#7

200 is still quite oke if you ask me


#8

Thanks for your interest. I am still waiting for that small heater. It is coming from China.


#9

I received the small heater and I know it will at least get me up to 60C. I revised the upper-right section to accept the heater. For now it will not be controlled by the timer. I just want to see if it works well enough. The print in my FDM printer takes 23 hours!


#10

That little heater got too hot! it melted the plastic mirror and I am waiting for some stainless steel mirror. I will then redesign the heater port to accept outside air that mixes with the heated air. I will also make a slide to control the mix so I can adjust the temperature in the cure.


#11

Well- if you can, print the parts in Ultem or PEEK to handle the heat.


#12

I have some PETG and will give that a try if I need to. The plastic mirror melted quite quickly. The stainless steel mirror arrives in a couple of days.