Form Wash with anything other than IPA?

Hi kdude,
I tried Mr.Proper (similar to Simple Green and MeanGrean) with FormLabs resins and the results are dreadful - after washing in 50deg good quality ultrasonic bath for 10 minutes the surface became covered with sticky / tacky layer. Any attempts to remove this tacky layer without IPA were in vain. If you don’t remove it - after curing the surface looks terrible. Personally for me Simple Green and MeanGrean are no-go ways. Not on last place - the smells of Simple Green and MeanGrean (the deodorants inside these cleaners) are actually stronger than IPA.

What are people in California using now the IPA has been banned from sale there?

How has your experience with TPM been?

TPM works well. We use it in the form wash. Let it drip dry after the wash. We wash in a dish soap & water ultrasonic bath afterwards and let it dry before the UV cure.

This is a great topic! Thanks to everyone posting so far. I’m a new Form 3 owner and with the scarcity of isopropyl alcohol (and it being banned in CA apparently) TPM sounds like a good alternative.

@karambu what kind of ultrasonic cleaner do you use? Thanks in advance!

DPM attacks some plastics, ABS? so you need to use an all metal ultrasonic.

Not for water + dish soap :wink:

It will make the form wash look ugly as DPM only attacks the powder coating.
Other than that, our wash is working like a champ for 6 months with DPM in it.

I use a 30L ultrasonic I got from Amazon, they have some $200-300 models which work fine. Just make sure the dimensions are big enough to fit your largest parts.

@karambu Thank you!

Are people using the ultrasonic for the DPM/TPM bath or the post DPM water bath?

And which work-flow work best?

This is our workflow:

Hopefully their cars…to drive as far away from that state as possible.

Seriously though we have 2 Form Wash machines and currently have one with TPM and one with IPA. We have three employees who run the Form printers in our department. I think I am the only one who uses the TPM. I don’t care for the results, even after a water rinse, I shake the excess water off and run them through the IPA machine. So though the TPM results are not satisfactory IMO, it prolongs the life of the IPA bath since much of the resin is gone prior to using the IPA machine. The bad thing is that I am the only one who uses that 2 step process so the other users are fighting against my efforts to prolong the life of our IPA bath.

When this drum of TPM is used up, I doubt that we I will order more. Our cleaners are in a shop and not an office so employees who use the shop are usually not in there very long. No one complains about and IPA odor or other hazards that come along with it. We do store our used and unused IPA in a fire proof cabinet. That is one nice thing about the TPM…no need for such precautions.

@TJFejka : We agree with you about the results of TPM - DPM is significantly better, it has much better solvency of uncured resin, I guess thats a reason why it removes the powder coating of the Formwash. (TPM does not))

The Formwash here is now used to simply clean the part of any residual DPM after it comes out of the ultrasound bath (using water with a spot of washing up liquid in it…

We are totally sold on DPM as a very good alternative to IPA and even without the current shortage of IPA we would be very reluctant to go back to using it other than in a spray bottle to keep the work bench clean of any spots of resin.

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Does anyone know where you can buy DPM in the United States? Since IPA is sold out everywhere due to the COVID-19 I’m in great need of an alternative solvent. Yellow Magic Seven works but it doesn’t seem to get all the resin off easily like IPA does. The surface finish seems compromised. I would like to find DPM but I can’t fine a supplier. Does anyone know if the items shown from McMaster-Carr in the image below are correct?

Hi if you are looking for DPM, the CAS number is 34590-94-8 , the glyvols in your picture are very different to what you want.

Thanks for that information. Can you verify that either of these links is the correct solvent?

The first one is definitely DPM, the second is another solvent (that may work) - 2-Butoxyethanol (CAS 111-76-2) BUT its a lot more toxic than DPM

From an SDS on it:


If you want to be safe then stick with the first one

Perfect, thanks for verifying that for me!

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Try Sta-Sol TPM from ST Laboratories