Feedback on TPM usage


#1

Hey everyone,

Just thought I would follow up and see whether those who have been using TPM have found that it’s a significant improvement over IPA.

I personally am considering it for the longevity, and also the ability to use it in an ultrasonic cleaner which I expect would make cleaning/washing parts way faster and better than currently with the Form Wash (the Form Wash has poor agitation and I find with large batches of parts I keep having to shuffle parts around).

According to the Formlabs website the process is a little different…the parts come out waxy after wash and you have to rinse it in water to get the TPM off. Has any of this been unexpectedly negative?

Thanks!


#2

On topic maybe you saw this post, surely it can help others w/ tpm, it states that it may require a longer wash time & other tips.

https://support.formlabs.com/s/article/Washing-prints-with-TPM?language=en_US


#3

Thanks for the link, I’ve definitely read that before. I was hoping to get some more anecdotal comments from others in this forum who have perhaps been using TPM for a while.


#4

We have just started using TPM, We will continue to use IPA on our validated cleaning process for our precision medical prototypes. Only because we know our process works well.

Just to give context, our latest std process is 99% IPA in sealed Stainless , capped beakers.The capping is to reduce the risk of aerosolisation. No heating so ambient is 20 to 22 deg C.
1st wash 3mins degas setting plus 3 mins HIGH U/S
2nd wash 3 mins degas plus 3 mins HIGH U/S
3rd wash 3 mins degas plus 3 mins LOW U/S

The degas is to clear any trapped bubbles that prevent IPA doing its job.
We also cycle our IPA:
1st wash will use 2nd wash IPA from previous cycle
2nd wash uses 3rd wash IPA from previous cycle
3rd wash uses fresh IPA
Used 1st wash goes into recycling still

Dry thoroughly at 30 degC min for 45 mins before UV cure.

Now we have started using TPM and TOUGH 1500 together so we have no point of reference.

Our first attempt did not go too well. Cleaning was poor. A quick look on the forum and @Dxxxx suggested heating to 30 deg C. This made a difference as the viscosity of TPM seemed to have dropped so our process for TOUGH1500 is:

First wash TPM (30 deg C) Degas 3 mins, High U/S 3 mins
Second wash TPM (30 deg C) Degas 3 mins LOW U/S 3 mins
Third wash Water (30 deg C) plus washing up liquid degas 3mins High U/S 3 mins

Dry at 60 deg C for 45 mins (Still feels a little tacky)

We have added a final rinse in IPA to draw off moisture then dry at 30 deg C for 45 mins before UV curing.

Might seem a phaff but rather spend a few mins cleaning rather than having to reprint.

We are not recycling our TPM but will push it till it fails. We cannot distill like IPA so have to be more cautious about waste disposal of dirty TPM.

We have only been using it for 2 wks. We always forget to put the heater on the TPM US bath so it adds time. We need to follow our own procedure!!! Our rinse water we will let the water evaporate and mop up the residue with a wipe for controlled disposal.

In conclusion, it is different but it does work well. I am sure that we do not have the most efficient process yet.

Hope that helps.