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Meet Form Wash and Form Cure: Professional Post-Processing for Cleaner, Stronger Parts


@Dudemeister Plainly put, it sounds like you are in the same boat as I am. Not a serious enough user to buy the wash and cure, when the cheaper 2 buckets + nail salon system works just fine.

I’m sure they work very well. At least no one is forcing us to buy them.


True enough. But I’m curious how clean (not sticky) the models will come out after the the IPA has been used for about 10-15 washes. As far as I know there’s no filtration system in the Form Wash.

What does FormLabs recommend for replacing the used IPA, after how long?


They have a gauge that essentially measures density of the fluid. As the density gets too high (because of added resin) you change the IPA.

It is a much larger volume and has macro agitation so I imagine it will clean parts more quickly and more completely than the two bucket system until the system reaches a concentration slightly higher than the “clean bucket” at which point I don’t know what the cleanliness will be.

I assume the concentration of dissolved resin in the FormWash is going to have a lower threshold than most of us use for the “dirty bucket”. It should be more similar to the “clean bucket” since it is our final rinse station. If that is the case, then yes you will waste more IPA with the FormWash. Having a dirty bucket (with a really high acceptable concentration of resin) and a clean bucket (with a low limit) does seem like it is the most efficient use of IPA.


Couple of questions:

  • How is the agitation done, ultrasonically or physical shaking?
  • Matt Keeter mentioned that in his view, the most important feature is the ability to lift the model out of the bath. Does that work with either the basket or the build plate?


The IPA agitation is done physically, through a spinning impeller at the bottom of the bucket.

The entire Z stage lifts out of the bath when it’s done washing, so this works with both the bucket and the build platform.


So all the partially dissolved resin particles that come off the model during clean up, are swirled back into the IPA so they can find their way back on the model. Not a very efficient system.

How come no one though of a simple filtration system that basically suck the IPA through a filter that traps the resin particles, and pushes clean IPA back into the tank?


We await your blueprints. :slight_smile:


If you really want me to design a system for you personally, I’ll send you contract and NDA, and we can talk about the design costs…

… but far be it from me to presume I should design a filtration system for Formlabs, besides, I don’t work for them, but you’d think someone there should be able to do it. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

It really ain’t that complicated… if one needed inspiration for something like that, they’d only need to look as far as a fish tank filtration system.


I am fine with the system as it is, you’re the one who thinks this is a need. If you think it is worth the investment and that it is simple, then by all means do some fundraising, design it, and put it on kickstarter.

I am just having a bit of fun here, don’t take it too personally. I am sure your feedback regarding why you aren’t purchasing this washer is important to FL and they will take it into consideration for future products. Saying things like “you’d think someone there should be able to do it” is quite demeaning and doesn’t help move anything forward though.


I’m sorry, but I don’t think that was meant to be demeaning in any way, it was a simple statement of fact, that it’s not that hard to figure it out how to improve on it, and someone (or more than one person) at FormLabs should be able to do it.

A demeaning/sarcastic statement would have been something on the lines of “That’s so simple it’s child’s play, but I guess that’s too much to ask…”

Now that’s demeaning!

And I already have a good job so I don’t need a new career.


Doh. Filtration ain’t going to work. The resin is dissolved in IPA, you can’t filter it out anymore than you can filter sugar out of coffee.


Yes!! great addition!


It’s rather presumptuous of you to even assume that it needs improvement, particularly when you haven’t even used it! So your “facts” are not facts.

As soon as our supplier gets stock we’ll be ordering one. If there are issues or places they can improve you can be assured that myself or someone else here will speak up about it.

Regarding filtering, I do run a basic paper towel filter on the primary solution maybe once or twice before changing it out. Visually it clears up the solution, but any observations regarding it’s effectiveness would be premature and anecdotal at best. And honestly, the only reason I do it at all is because I feel slightly bad about wasting 99% IPA when it costs us $30/gallon. I’m assuming once we receive the form wash I’ll stop filtering completely.


I agree with Dudemeister: For small / medium quantity output the Form Wash is not ideal:
Try to wash a printed part in the “dirty bucket”, then put a bit of IPA in a plastic cup and put that cup in an ultrasonic cleaner. The IPA will turn black/blue/ whatever after seconds. No reason why it should be any different with form wash.
For most applications that residual resin is not a problem (probably way less then +0,1mm in part dimensions after curing). The bigger issue imho is the usage of different resins: If you wash a white part in a bucket that was used for black you will find black sparkles all over the part. When using Castable you do not want to have a “residue coating” from other resins since it will reduce the surface quality / surface roughness of the casted part.

I am very curious to hear first-hand experience from people using form wash with different resins.

We should remember that Form Wash was probably designed for high output users who can afford to buy several units and/or to dump 20€ worth of IPA in shorter intervals. I understand that for printing services or in a high volume production (Form Cell) it is much cheaper to keep the production streamlined then having an employee constantly handling IPA buckets.

On another subjects: Is Form Cure beeing shipped already? Any experience?


I’m quite aware that the IPA is already contaminated and contains dissolved resin, but that’s not what I’m talking about,

I’m talking about all the undissolved, resin particles that end up at the bottom of the tank like sediment. You put an impeller at the bottom of the tank, and you promptly swirled all that sediment back into the liquid, leaving it free to deposit itself all over you “newly cleaned” part.

I can’t speak for anyone here, but I know that in my case, I can fill a bucket with fresh IPA, and within 8-10 prints there’s enough crud at the bottom of the bucket that I need to filter it out. I know that filtering it doesn’t actually remove the dissolved resin from the IPA, but it cleans out the solid particles. That’s why I have the “clean bucket” to remove the film of contaminated IPA.


I received my wash system yesterday. I will get a chance to unbox it tonight.
The manual suggest to make the IPA last longer that you can give the part a quick pre-rinse.

Maybe 2 wash stations (dirty/clean) is the way to go :grinning:


you just need the one! All this endless speculation about a device you don’t have or have not yet operated.

When your print lifts up from the 20min wash it is not sticky at all and really doesn’t appear to need curing.


I have never got any prints this clean by shaking them in the two-stage bucket rinse.
That was a PRIMITIVE solution at best.

Once more, 3D resin printing is not cheap; this is an expensive process.
If you want cheap go get a $100 2D layered spool printer!!


I don’t know what that is, but the cheap guy inside of me is very intrigued and wants one!


I think he is referring to a basic FDM printer.