I decided to try my own rendition of a curing cabinet. I built it out of 1/4" foam board with adhesive on one side. I applied a sheet of aluminum prism heavy paper to that adhesive on the foam board. That is the inside surface of the cabinet. I cut the foam board to make a 8x8x12 inch box with a hinged front door. Then purchased a 16 foot roll of UV LEDs with a self-adhesive backing that was suppose to stick to any surface. After assembling the box with hot melt glue I wrapped the LED strip around the inside. I had made black lines 1" apart on the top, sides and bottom panels to follow. The lead to the LED strip sticks out the back and has a socket to take the 12v end from a power supply that came with the LEDs.
I printed four sets of a simple hinge downloaded from Thingivers and these were the very first items cured in the cabinet. I leaned the door against the front during this cure. I timed it for one hour which was too long, a half hour would have sufficed. Only issue is the LEDs get too hot. I cut a few vent holes in the top and back but might need to add a small 12v fan. This is when I found the self-adhesive LEDs don’t stick to all surfaces. I may have to go back and add some strong transfer tape to keep things neat.
Here are photos
Door on the Cabinet with the Form 1+ printed hinges held in place with hot glue
Inside the cabinet with the LEDs turned off. I added a line switch to the power supply. Wish I had added a timer instead.
Shelf inside cabinet to hold items off LEDS on Bottom. Made from clear Plexiglas with styrene tubing as legs.
LEDs turned on. That’s the PLA dirty tank getting a cure treatment. Took 20 minutes for the resin particles to settle to the bottom.
Put a few holes in the back at the bottom, and in the top. Convection will move enough air you shouldn’t require a fan. You probably want to do this anyway. I’ve found that when I put my models in my “jar” to cure, I shouldn’t put the lid on right away. The IPA evaporates off the model but is denser than air so it settles in the container and the model goes from being wet with Alcohol to being in a high vapor concentration of Alcohol which is nearly the same thing. The plastic takes much longer to lose its tackiness if I don’t leave the lid off and after about 10 minutes, blow some air in to “purge” the vapor before putting the lid on.
Also, I thought about putting LEDs on the bottom but decided it was pointless. You put the model in sitting on the base, and the base is already fully cured (if you watch the laser when the base is being printed, you’ll see the printer makes about 4 passes over the entire object before moving to the next layer. When actually printing the object, though, it only makes 1 pass). The resin absorbs UV, so little if any useful illumination is going to get through the base to the object above. The LEDs on the bottom aren’t doing you much good because the base of the print “shadows” the rest of the print.
Well, my prints are much, much smaller than what most are doing. You might say I’m doing miniature printing. So this cabinet works perfectly fine for me.
- The prints are elevated off the bottom of the cabinet 1" on a clear plastic shelf.
- I run with a 25% thinner base that the standard 2.00 base.
- The Grey resin is almost transparent so the UV light goes through it for the most part.
- The shinny prismatic surface on the inside of the cabinet reflects the light in all directions. All walls plus top and bottom.
- I couldn’t wrap the LEDs around the sides, back and door, so over the top and bottom made it easier to open the door.
Something must be working as it only takes about 15 minutes to cure most items.
Thanks for your input.