A few ideas for a new Form Wash


#1

I’ll start with the one that’s the least obvious, but likely most helpful…

#1

Heater. I realize there’s some pretty big design issues involved in making this feasible, but having the ability to heat up the IPA, or whatever’s in the Wash bin, makes a HUGE impact on migrating the resin off the nooks and crannies that are hard to reach by simple dissolving action.

In fact, i sometimes end up preheating the print and platform with a hairdryer before the Wash, because even 18-19 degrees C is enough to make the resin viscous enough to cause problems and require unnecessarily long wash times. Heating it up to 25-30 degrees makes a very noticable difference.

Obviously, this would require a way better sealed system (see #4), and some way of ensuring the (electrical) safety of the heating element (hot air blower wouldn’t do much for the huge thermal capacity of the IPA/whatever in the tank).

#2 & #3

Cycling and platform rotation. For smaller parts with complex topologies and lots of holes i often end up using a 5-7 minute wash cycle, then let the part dry out a little still on the platform, then rotate the platform 90 degrees, then do another 5-7 cycle, then another rotation, then final 5-7 cycle. This ensures that the flow of IPA hits all surfaces about equally, and i’ve noticed the results are much better than a single 15-20 minute cycle, and with less risk of bloating/deformation.

Again, this is mostly true only for tiny, complex parts, although it can also be beneficial to parts that have a large footprint, but are mostly hollow (e.g. enclosures), in which case some of the walls often end up in a “dead spot” of the vortex.

Cycles like this (wash, wait, wash, wait) are purely a software feature, so there’s no potential issues there, but rotating the platform automatically would introduce additional complexity, cost, and increase the size.

#4

Sealing. This horse is obvious, and has been beaten ad nauseam.

#5

Presets. This goes for cure too, and since it’s a software feature, that shouldn’t bee too difficult to implement (apart from UI design), i wonder why it’s still not there.

#6

Splash guards. Parts with drain holes that are slightly angled can sometimes cause a huge mess, as the IPA draining from the parts ends up arcing or splashing over the edge of Wash and all over the table, after the platform lifts. It’s a fairly rare occurrance (in my case at least), but when it happens, it’s annoying as hell.


#2

It just hit me that you could actually avoid all that by quite literally replicating my hairdrying “procedure” - have a hot air blower that blows air on the print and platform before it gets submerged. This would make the upper portion of the device larger, and it could not be open anymore - the upper section would have to be something similar to Cure’s lid in that case, i guess.

So basically, two chambers, one chamber for preheating / postdrying, and another washing chamber below.

Added bonus - you can quick-dry the parts after a wash cycle, making time to curing even shorter. Overkill for home use, but in a Cell, for large scale projects, could shave off quite a bit of time (and make the process more repeatable).