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Alternate Wash Solution


I tested cleaning FormLabs white resin with mr. Proper (or Mr. Clean) detergent in ultrasonic cleaner (frequency 40KHz @ 100W, , 48 deg. Celsius) and the result is dreadful - even if some part of the resin is cleaned what remained is very sticky (like tart) and it needs the IP and brushing.

It’s possible that for some other resins Mr. Proper (Mr. Clean) detergent works but not for FormLabs ones.


Im wondering if anyone has thought of / used Everclear to clean their prints in post… The everclear has a higher alc vol, and could possibly do an even better job. This is untested tho, but just an idea.


Everclear is ethanol, I don’t think it would work better than IP


Like luben11 said… different chemical.

… and you can (and should) but anhydrous IP (99.9%)


agreed on points, but has anyone tried it? My machines in repair… could the results be compared… we will find out… in time.

TPM - Alternative wash

it’s different chemistry… we’ll letyou waste the booze. It has many more important uses :wink:


Its also significantly more expensive than IPA due to the tax and duty on it.


Has anybody found a supplier for this in Canada? Would totally be interested in switching even if it’s more expensive if it smells less, isn’t flammable and can be used in an ultrasonic washer, and lasts longer!


During last week I put air extraction on my wash tank (supplied with the Form3 printer) and I can tell you that there are no smells of IP anymore - tomorrow I’ll post some images of the ventilation when I go in the office.

So I changed my mind - using IP with good air extraction is probably the best option for cleaning the parts from residual resin. There are no smells, IP is cheap enough, easy available and cleans well the details.


We have been using IPA with ultra sonic wash for 5 years.
We have 3 washing stations running 5 times a day.
That is about 2500 hours of IPA wash in ultra sonic bath.
Never had an issue with flash point.
Some of my technicians even used the heater function of the ultra sonic machine at some point. Which I catched after a couple of months and advised not to do. This did not set any of our bath on fire neither.


Henkel is releasing their own washing solution, probably similar to TPM. I would check with their distributors. RS Hughes, Hisco and ACT Group.


Oh interesting - I’ll keep my eyes peeled for this. Thanks!


I also checked with a company called PostProcess. They make some bold claims about their wash solution, but it’s only available if you buy their machine. They will not sell direct, so don’t waste your time.


Yeah I’ve heard about them. It looks like they basically sell rebranded ultrasonic washers and tumblers…


What took you so long ?
Was TPM just recently discovered ?


Every now and then I check to see if I can find an easy hobby source for this in the US. Is TPM the same as “Propylene Glycol”? i.e.

I’m guessing not.


Your is guess is good. Propylene glycol is another chemical.


It appears that it is more widely available, Loctite Cleaner C. It’s a little over $200 for 5 gallons. Pre-pandemic it would probably be 2x the price of what we were getting isopropyl for, but now it’s anyone’s guess. I haven’t even been able to buy our usual gallon containers of IPA.

I’ve been using it for over a month now and am happy with the results. It doesn’t evaporate, or if it does, very slowly. It also seems to be able to process at least 2x the parts before becoming overly saturated. Works just fine in the formwash. The only downside is that your parts absolutely need a post wash. Whether you post wash in IPA or use DI water is up to you, but you can’t leave this stuff on the part. We have a separate ultrasonic cleaner that I dip parts in with IPA.


I just switched over to TPM and am not impressed. I have two form washes going, one with fresh TPM and another with water and a little dish washing detergent (per Formlabs). My Tough 2000 prints are coming out very waxy as though are completely saturated with TPM. Supports are like soft spaghetti. I let the parts dry for 48 hours and they are still very tacky and waxy with a very soft surface.

The TPM itself is a rather oily and tacky chemical. It cannot be used for cleanup. One benefit of IPA was being able to dip the spatula into the IPA and wipe it off for example. Small drops of resin needed only a paper towel dipped in the tank to perform cleanup. This stuff is difficult to cleanup by itself and it doesn’t seem to evaporate at anywhere near the rate of IPA (which is good and bad).

Our previous process was to print Tough 2K and wash with IPA. Let air dry one day, wet sand supports off with 400 grit, rinse, let dry, and then bake in Form Cure or a Curebox. The parts, after washing in TPA, simply will not allow wet sanding. They are way to soft. It would be like sanding a warm candle. I am concerned about leaving fingerprints on the parts - it is that soft. It is coming out of TPM like it was washed in over-saturated IPA.

I will keep experimenting with TPM, but right now I wouldn’t recommend it unless you were like us and couldn’t find IPA in quantity anywhere. It cost us close to $400 for 5 gallons too (incl. shipping).


Something sounds wrong. I haven’t used tough (I use Grey Pro, Black, White, and Rigid), but my experience of TPM is totally different to yours. One of the advantages over IPA is you can leave parts in TPM forever and they don’t get soft. Are you sure you got the right stuff?