Extend the life of your tank with RainX


I just got my Form 1+ at work last week. A little back ground I have been in the SLA game for the last decade and currently have three 3D Systems machines in my work lab. The Form 1+ is fantastic. I have a lot of colleagues who are old school SLA guys but they picked up a Form 1+. One of which also has years of EnvisionTec experience and for years has used RainX on the bottom of his Profactory tanks. He tried it on a Form 1+ tank and has had no issues for months. He claims it has extended tank life dramatically. I have yet to try this myself, but plan on doing so.
Thought I would share. No clue if anyone has picked up on this yet.




That’s a good idea. I shared a tip of using a silicone mold release that was basically aerosolized Vaseline, but I had not thought of RainX.

Does RainX have a UV blocker in it?

Nope that would be your windshield and paint clear coats job. It is a surfactant. Nothing more. Plus isn’t the Formlab laser near UV in wavelength? More blue than violet?

Yep, 405nm is blue light. I believed it was UV at first too though. But if it looks clear to us, it does to the laser too.

Not quite correct. 405 nm is deep violet region.
Definitely not blue, and closer to UV than you might think (UV “officially” starts at 400 nm).

That said, colors are not discrete quantities, but rather continuous ones. Ultraviolet “begins” at 400 nm by convention only, and there is some overlap between “nominal” violet and ultraviolet. There is nothing magical that happens those extra 5 nm deeper into the UV part of the spectrum - it’s the energy of the photons emitted that’s important, and that rises linearly with frequency (or falls with wavelength).

Also, bear in mind that a lot of what you see from 405 nm light is actually fluorescence the laser is exciting in objects it hits.

But yeah, “blue” it most definitely ain’t. And you’re seeing very little of its true intensity (owing mostly to the fact corneas are very opaque to UV).

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Like you said, It can’t be perfectly clear at violet and block near violet. So if it looks clear to us, it does to the laser too.

It sounds very interesting.

What is exactly the product RainX, I visited the web and has a lot of them.
And what would be the way to apply the product in the Form1 tank?

Thank you for tip

I haven’t tried it yet but my friend swears by it. Just plain old RainX in a yellow plastic bottle. I am assuming you apply it the same way you would a windshield. dribble it on, with a soft non abrasive cloth rub it in until it is distributed across the surface and buffed clear. I have used it on my windshield for years. Works great on water.

This one.

Ok Thank you.

I find here in Spain the “Rain repelent”. Its the same of Glass Tratment?

No clue. I know RainX is pretty exclusive and really has no competitors making a similar product…

I’ll keep that stuff in mind, so far my first tank is running really well but I have changed a couple of things from the stock tank usage. First I polished the edge of my scraper so it won’t scratch the pdms no matter what direction I drag it. Second I don’t leave the resin in the tank at all. Soon as I am done printing I drain and strain the resin and clear the pdms off. I don’t scrape it dry but one good clean pass to take the resin off the surface.
I think leaving the resin in the tank has some issues inherent with it. First what does long term exposure to the resin do to the surface since the pdms is somewhat absorbant and fragile? Also I noticed the pigments settling to the bottom of the tank would be difficult to clear off if it sat too long. I think this is one of the problems people run into where the settled pigment could possibly cook into the surface causing the clouding they all complain about.

I have a bigger concern over the construction of the tank itself. Mine was shipped with a chip in one corner and now has cracks along the sides. I feel that the pdms will well outlast the sides of the tank itself!

Personally I would rather see a tank that had abs or pvc sides with the acrylic bottom window. Seems like it is injection molded in 2 parts now, A simple change up on the 2nd molding to a more forgiving material would be my first option.

@KenCitron Can i clean the tank inside with IPA? ( above pdms ) or PDMS layer will be damaged

I have cleaned my interior of my tanks with IPA and no problems.

haha Rain X. Brilliant! Used it for a while on my cars before switching over to a Gtechniq product called G1. Might actually try this on a tank and see if it works out. The G1 lasted for around a year on the windscreen where as Rain X generally lasted a week.

Worst case I just have to replace the PDMS layer on the tank.

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@JasonSpiller Thanks a lot illl try it… :wink:

I never use IPA on the plastics ever!
Dry paper towel to take off any resin on the outside, Supplied scraper to clean the inside.

IPA can also cause the PDMS layer to pull out of the tank because it easily wicks into the seams between the PDMS and the acrylic (this is the same trick that makes IPA great at removing hardened hot melt glue).

Yes. IPA will attack the acrylic of the tank, at a minimum “crazing” the plastic and at worse causing it to crack through… You don’t want to clean the tank with IPA. However, soap and water gets the resin off my hands and tools very effectively, so I suspect provided the scrubbing you do is non-abrasive, you can wash the tanks with S&W too…