IPA - Short supply

Lol. yeah… it’s off-color… and also happens to be poisonous. Consider risks of inhaling methanol vapors if you do so.

The situation in the US, East Coast, is similar. I can’t find reasonably priced isopropyl anywhere. sometimes 70% can be found, but I hardly want to go through the trouble and hazard of distilling it. Ugh.

I hope FormLabs will make a suggestion for an alternative.

Fortunately, not here in New Zealand.

Since mid-2007 “Meths” (as it’s known locally, not to be confused with “Meth”) is just ethanol, purple, and whatever chemical they chose to make it unpleasant to drink, methanol was banned outright.


So unless someone finds a pre-2008 bottle in their garden shed, it should be perfectly safe.

That’s nice! I wish denatured alcohol in the US was safer =(

Yup, i’m now looking at selling the 15L I’ve got sat here and switching out to DPM for the time being. £33 for 5L compared to £25 a litre give or take as far as I can see in the UK.

Sadly the DPM price seems to have crept up a little, I guess the suppliers are reacting to the shortage of IPA for the print industry, it now seems to be around £40 for 5L.

Our own feelings are that its the best alternative to IPA, but might need a slight tweak in your workflow to get the best out of it.

Our workflow is 5min in ultrasound bath at 30c, then into Formwash for 3 minutes for a quick rinse that is using 10ml washing up liquid to each litre of water, (yes thats right, we use the Formwash to quickly remove any residual DPM, as the water left after the Formwash dries much quicker than DPM)

As a result we have at least halved our clean up time of prints compared to simply using IPA, the surface finish is better and the DPM lasts several times longer than IPA.

In our experience DPM is more easily available than TPM, its also cheaper. Using the ultrasound is very efficient and the water detergent mix in the Formwash will not attack the Formwash powder coating (DPM is a very efficient solvent and eventually removes powder coating - TPM does not)

This is the ultrasound that we use on a day to day basis (We also have a larger one (10L) that is used for the largest prints)

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US West coast.
Amazon is totally out of stock for bulk purchase and it looks like most stores are out as well. Hopefully this doesn’t last for too long as my Wash is starting to run dry.

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Hi Dxxxx,

Yes, I too had a shock over price of IPA today because of short supply. Even my expensive emergency supply from RS components is on back order till 28 April.! Noticed that you use DPM/TPM. would you have a name of a uk supplier that you are willing to share?

I followed the alternative forum to IPA for cleaning a while back but decided not to change. Looks like I have no choice now!

We presently clean using sealed containers of IPA in U/S in short 3 mins bursts with a thermo couple to monitor temp.


I posted a couple of UK suppliers for DPM and TPM here.

Hello Dxxx

You mentioned 10 ml washing up liquid with every liter. Are you just using dish soap at this point.

Great idea using the DPM with the ultrasonic cleaner.

Thanks mrwakefield will check them out on Monday

Also came across British Chemical Products online.

Will feedback when I know more.


We are buying our DPM from Resinous 3D, they have it instock and from talking to them they use it themselves for 3d printing

To buy it online: www.resinous3d.com/dpm.html

With regards the washing up liquid - its the liquid used to clean your dishes!! It needs very little for the removal of any trace of the DPM after cleanup (DPM evaporates VERY slowly - much slower than IPA)

Thanks @greymatter I’ll add British Chemical Products to my favourites :smiley:

Thanks Dxxxx,

Brilliant. Will add to my list to check out on Monday

Cheap blue Windshield wiper fluid

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That’s why I distill my IPA. Only cost $100 for the still and it saves a lot of $$$ over time.


Also have begun distilling IPA in a $100 3-gallon still from Amazon. Works amazingly well and the IPA is as pure and fresh as new as far as I have been able to determine (Dammit Jim, I’m an engineer not a chemist).

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Here is the equipment I use to distill my dirty IPA. It can be bought off eBay.
I run the hotplate, Rosewell, at 1000 watts and that give a good flow at about a gallon an hour.
The water pump is the right flow so that the cooling tank doesn’t overflow.
I have a 5 gallon pail under the table that recirculates through the pump. Only issue here is keeping the water cool. If you have a faucet and drain handy it might work without the pump or tank.


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Suppliers are out of IPA in North Carolina, where I am.

Amazon just announced its ““Fulfillment by Amazon” (FBA) program, through which it provides warehousing and shipment services for products from third-party sellers, as well as its larger vendor shipment services are being partially suspended through April 5 due to the global coronavirus outbreak.”

Not sure if this affects IPA or DPM (or everclear).

See: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/amazon-limiting-shipments-certain-types-141958352.html

Good to know that IPA can be distilled. Any safety precautions recommended?

The resin sludge left behind, what is the best method to clean that from the still?

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I run my still either out in the garage or on the screen porch. I’ve been doing this for 4 years with no issues. One good thing about the Rosewell hot plate is it will shut down if the temp on the plate gets too hot. That’s an excellent safety feature.

I also found that it’s best to start at 700 watts until the dirty IPA gets warm. Then increase to 1000 watts for a bit and finally to 1200 watts until it reaches proper temperature which is just UNDER 60C or around 160F then set it to 1000 watts. It will run well at that setting.

Too hot, 1200 watts will cause leaks around the lid seal. This can drip on the hot plate and just might catch fire. I add those black spring bindery clips between the clamps of the still. Fact is I’d like to get some more so I could put two between each still clamp. ALSO, be sure to clean the seal on the top edge of the still pot so you get a good seal.

Last, don’t distill down so the sludge burns to the pot bottom as you’ll have a real fun time chiseling it out., I know from experience. Oven bags do NOT work but will burn to the bottom inside the pot.

Big thing is keeping the water cool. It will get hot and even steam. If it is steaming that TOO HOT and you should shut down the still and change out the water in the pail. It’s best if you have a faucet and drain handy as then there is no issue of hot water. I don’t have that so I have to be creative. On the screen porch I have a 10 gallon tub for the water.

Hope this helps.