I haven’t used the foam pads much, and the tweezers are rarely used. I’ve modified the wash tank a little, but I’ve since removed the mod.
I have two stations: a part removal and drying station, and a wash station. The part removal and drying station consists of the finish kit platform, a couple of plastic containers (one for washed and dried parts and another for unwashed failures), a razor scraper, the spatula, a box of nitrile gloves, a box of tissue, and a small electric fan. It’s situated near the printer where the build platform can be easily transferred to the finish kit platform. The wash station consists of the finish kit wash container, a larger plastic box modded with an aquarium power head, a kitchen timer, a chip brush, small foam makeup pads, a pair of chopsticks, and a straining ladle. This is situated in a corner of my bathroom (the photo was when I had it in my kitchen).
The two stations are separated because the printer’s in a room with carpet, and I’m prone to spilling large containers of fluid.
The procedure I follow now to wash and dry the parts are as follows:
1: With a glove on one hand, remove parts from build platform using razor scraper and spatula, with the build platform sitting squarely on the finish kit tray.
2: Transfer parts to Formlabs-supplied wash container filled with alcohol.
3: Agitate the parts under the alcohol with the gloved hand, rubbing the part to remove excess resin. This takes about 2 minutes.
4: Rinse the parts with alcohol from the squeeze bottle over the first wash container.
5: Transfer parts to the power head-modded larger container filled with cleaner alcohol (91% isopropyl or higher purity).
6: Plug the power head into the outlet and let the parts swim in the tank for about 8 to 10 minutes.
7: Rinse parts with alcohol from the squeeze bottle over the second wash container.
8: Set the parts on the finish kit tray and dry them with the fan.
If the part is sticky after drying, it goes back to the second wash tank and I rub it under the alcohol with the chip brush and foam makeup pad. I might try the presoaked rubbing alcohol wipes next time, that sounds handy.
With the alcohol, I’ve tried using the paper towel filter method, but it only seems to catch the hardened particles. It doesn’t seem to catch the diluted uncured resin. Instead, I usually keep the larger second tank filled with the cleaner alcohol and transfer that to the first tank when it gets too saturated with resin to clean parts well. I take the alcohol from the first tank (which usually has a high resin content) and set it out in the sun in a container. As the alcohol evaporates, the sun hardens the resin, resulting in a crazy-looking gelatinous mass that gets thrown out with the trash (wish I had a photo of it). If the alcohol isn’t saturated enough to solidify, sometimes I’ll just filter the particulates out with a coffee filter and keep it for the first wash tank. I also tried filtering the alcohol through charcoal filters (aquarium type), but that didn’t work well, either. Distilling… maybe one day, but I don’t want to break any laws lol.
With the wash tanks, I tried initially modding the Formlabs-supplied one with an aquarium air stone and air pump, but the bubbles don’t create enough turbulence to make much of a difference. Agitating by hand is much more efficient than the bubbles are. An aquarium filter didn’t move the alcohol enough, either. Eventually, I built the second tank, a 7 quart container with the aquarium power head and a circular container in it to create a whirlpool. I was worried that the pump could start a fire, but the pump is sealed and the impeller is driven by magnets. I had to fabricate a metal mount to for the pump since the suction cup it came with didn’t stick well to the container, and the alcohol would cause silicone sealant and hot glue to lose their stickiness. The pump moves the alcohol very quickly, and they sell more powerful ones, but the one I used feels sufficient. I keep it filled with about 5 quarts of alcohol.
All the second wash tank parts (except for the metal for the bracket) were purchased at Walmart for about $35 or so. Below are links to the parts if you’re interested. I bought the latch box as a single in-store. I may add some kind of silicone seal to the inner lid to keep the alcohol from evaporating.
The finish kit tray is a huge mess right now lol. The Press ‘n’ Seal plastic wrap is what I’ve been using to temporarily seal my resin tanks. Since it’s slightly tacky on one side, it creates a decent seal without having to wrap the whole thing.