Form Wash station - ideas on how to reduce 'the angel's share' evaporation?


#1

Hi there,
I purchased a used Form 2 setup including the Form Wash. I’m not sure if FormLabs ever iterated on the design at all, but I was curious about other people’s experiences with the Wash. I’ve noticed that there’s a lingering alcohol smell near the station, so that leads me to think that even when the station hasn’t been opened recently, that there’s not quite enough sealing keeping things closed from evaporation. Since I have to mail order the IPA, that ‘angel’s share’ isn’t really awesome.

Has anyone had any luck with fitting a thin gasket of some kind to the lid to better seal the tank lid against evaporation when not in use/closed? I’m also contemplating if there’s a large silicone wrap of some kind I might be able to use to help reduce evaporation when the station isn’t in frequent use.

I’m also interested in hearing where people source their IPA from, since I’m not creating in industrial quantities. I ended up purchasing 2 gallons from an eBay seller, but, I can’t help but think there’s got to be better pricing out there.


#2

Hi,

Great question on the Wash evaporation, I experience the same thing and actually this weekend plan to try a few things to help limit this. I will let ya know if I find anything functional.

As for other options, lately I have just been covering my Wash with a 8 gallon office trash bag when have longer stretches (1+ week) where I won’t be using it. The Wash is right next to my desk in my studio, and it definitely helps with the smell of IPA in the room. Seems to help with evaporation too but I’ve never really tracked a difference with it on/off so I can’t speak to it specifically.

As for the alcohol source, I have been REALLY happy with the Florida Laboratories 99% 4 gallon pack.

I probably get about 75-80 prints worth of washing before I do a full IPA swap (based on the hydrometer readings for saturation). I order mine on Amazon since I am a prime member and shipping is a cool free-99. It’s not 2 day shipping with it being a chemical but I have never waited more than a week for delivery so as long as you order a bit ahead of when you need it you should be good. Seems you can also go to their website and purchase but not sure on shipping costs.

Note: it has increased in price over the past bit, I was ordering it last year for $74.70 per 4 gallons. @ it’s current price of $92.70 I’m sure there may be other cheaper options out there, but since I am happy with their product and shipping is easy I don’t mind paying the higher price for the 3 or so times a year I order IPA.

Hope this info helps!


#3

It does help, a great deal! I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one experiencing this, and that others are actively brainstorming ideas. The plastic trashbag cover isn’t a bad idea as a stopgap solution. I’m probably going to try that myself in the short term. I can’t help but feel that a gasket of some kind on that super-flappy lid might go a long way towards sealing in the evaporation. (Hopefully the plastic of the lid itself isn’t porous.)

I bought my iPA on eBay. RJ Chemicals is selling two gallons shipped at about $36 right now, but unfortunately, that’s in 1 quart bottles, not the better gallon size. If you jump to 4 gallons, that’s $64 shipped - at that point they do ship in gallon jugs – so it might be worth trying them out. https://www.ebay.com/str/RJ-Chemical-Mfg?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

-L


#4

Dave,
One more quick question about your setup. Are you ever concerned about the flammability of the vapor in your workspace? The reason I ask is that I do sometimes manually cast 2-part epoxy/resin in the same area that I have the Form2 setup. The most effective way to easily remove resin bubbles from some casting is … a tiny blowtorch.

I doubt that the density of fumes is any worse than having an uncapped bottle of alcohol in the room, but, just curious about your thoughts on it.


#5

I’m not at my shop now but I think I remember seeing what I assumed to be a gasket channel in the lid- has anyone else noticed that? I always thought mine was missing it, but then I got another form 2 and it doesn’t have one either.


#6

I’ll be darned, my Form Wash does appear to have a spot where a gasket might be able to live. I’m wondering now if adding a gasket might help with the evaporation issue without having to resort to custom cover solutions.

Having never had to buy a gasket for something like this, I guess I’m off to Google how to figure out what might fit. :slight_smile: