How to change resin without changing resin tank

Don’t want to have separate tanks for each resin. How to clean the tank thoroughly before changing another resin. It will be great to have some suggestions.

@joe4 When I want to get a tank as clean as possible before refilling it*, like when I’m filtering resin from a failed print, I like to use a 5" or 6" (125-150mm) silicone squeegee to wipe as much of the resin as possible towards the ramp where the resin is dispensed into the tank by the printer. This works pretty well for both standard and LT Form 2 tanks, and should also work fine on Form 1/1+ tanks. The silicone squeeguees I’ve been able to find for sale have been fairly firm, but still soft enough to avoid scratching the tank surface, but they have enough of an edge that sometimes they’re all I need to get under layers that are stuck to the tank surface and remove them.

When I’m at the point of dimishing returns with the squeeguee, I usually just refill the tank, but if I wanted to get it cleaner at that point I might carefully blot remaining bits of resin up with a paper towel.

Using the same tank for multiple resins is really not advised, but for a lot of resins, you probably don’t have to get a tank perfectly dry of all previous resin before filling it with a different resin to still have it print OK. Of course, this might not hold for all possible combinations of Formlabs and 3rd-party resins, but you’re on your own there.

*(with the same resin, in my case)

Truly thank you. Is only using paper towel enough to clean the tank thoroughly?

I’m not exactly sure what you mean by:

Is only using paper towel enough to clean the tank thoroughly?

…but in any case I can’t give you a very strong answer.

If you mean that you’d like to only use paper towels to clean the tank after pouring out as much resin as you can, with no squeegees, then maybe that can work well enough. Because of surface tension and other factors, if you just use paper towels, you might end up having to soak up a significant amount of resin that you have to throw away.

If you mean “Can paper towels really get the tank clean enough after using a squeegee?” then the answer is still maybe, and it depends on what resins you’re using and what your goal is. For example, if you were trying to go from Formlabs Black resin to Formlabs Clear resin, you could probably get the tank clean enough that you wouldn’t notice the residual black resin in your clear prints, but it depends on how much time and effort you want to put into really cleaning the tank.

If you mean “Should I be using a solvent too?” The answer is generally no. To the best of my knowledge Formlabs doesn’t recommend cleaning tanks using any solvents. IPA is especially bad for standard tanks, and I don’t think that Formlabs has evaluated whether it’s advisable to clean standard tanks with other solvents, or to clean LT tanks with any solvents.

I hope that clears things up a little, but more questions are fine too :slight_smile:

Helped a lot. Truly thank you.