Ethylene Glycol Solvent Recycling Printed Parts


#1

After reading an article online about Vitrimer Epoxy being broken down after curing and being reused, I am interested in knowing if anyone has had success recycling print parts back in to printable resin.

It must be possible to turn fully cured formlabs printed resin back into its printable state.

I understand formlabs wouldn’t be very vocal about this as it means people wouldnt buy the resin from them, equating in loss of revenue, but there must be a way!


#2

I use Glycol (resinAway) for cleaning my parts. There were pieces of parts in the formwash for weeks and these pieces didn’t dissolve at all… In fact, they were in better shape than in IPA.


#3

Which Glycol. Several types?? the Resin Away seems pretty expensive. Can it be recycled?


#4

Looked up the contents:
propylene glycol
dipropylene glycol dimethyl ether
alcohols C12-14 ethoxylated propoxylated

Doesn’t seem to contain the ethylene glycol. oops, remembered wrong. :slight_smile:

Yes, it is more expensive but it lasts much, much longer. Part finish is much better and if you leave it for a few days, all the resin is in the bottom so it’s easy to recycle as well.

There is a cheaper alternative called TEK1960 and TEK1969, haven’t used it yet.


#5

I looked at the price of TEK1960, which is available in the UK, but it only seems available in 1 lt bottles at 10 times the price I’m paying for IPA. Is it really 10 times as good?


#6

Better part surface finish(IPA surface for clear resin can feel rough, it’s much smoother and clearer with resinaway), very low evaporation(evaporation of IPA in the form wash is really annoying), they claim it’s less dangerous to use than IPA and recycling is really easy cause it does not dissolve the resin like IPA does but separates it from the surface… Yeah, for me it’s definitely worth the higher costs.

We’re printing roughly 2 liter a month and I bought the stuff in November. So that’s 6 liter worth of parts processed. So far it’s still working with the same speed and result.


#7

Hey Fantasy2, I just bought DPM (Dipropyleneglycolmethylether) to replace IPA for fire safety reasons. It should be a really similar chemical to what you’re using. I was just about to experiment a bit with the wash times but was wondering if you have, or you heard of someone that has, already logged some wash times for different resins that you could share? Any and all info and tips about washing with DPM/ResinAway would be super appreciated!

Thank you!


#8

I love the stuff! Since we filled the formwash we hardly needed top top off the bath instead of having to do it weekly with IPA… And we just suck resin off the bottom after the weekend and the DPM is almost clean again(Try that with IPA…).

However, don’t be shocked when the paint from the slider that is inside the bucket of the formwash starts to peel off after a few weeks. No worries, the machine will be fine.

We don’t use the instructions as shared on several video’s. Too much of a hassle.

Our wash cycle is roughly 10 minutes, independent of the type of resin. If we have complicated parts, wash is done for 15 minutes. You can do much longer, it doesn’t really seem to affect the parts at all…

After the formwash, we put the parts under hot running water(DPM likes to bond with water). This is way faster and cleaner than using shop air to blow it off. 90% of the time parts come out tack free. While the parts are hot, you can easily remove supports as well.