Replacing Isopropyl Alcohol with Yellow Magic

Several of us ( @KenCitron, @Donal_O_Donohoe, etc.) have been looking for a replacement for Isopropyl Alcohol. One product that seems to show promise in our early testing is called Yellow Magic by Bradley Systems.

If you’d like to test it yourself and post the results, we’ve arranged for free samples to be provided to FormLabs Support Forum users.

Christopher Targosz

Three Quick Points

  1. Yellow Magic is a water-based cleaner used in the print industry specifically for UV-cured ink. It also performs well in an ultrasonic cleaner. It’s non-toxic, biodegradable, and has low VOCs. Being water-based, it’s not a fire hazard like 90+ IPA.

  2. Also unlike IPA, it doesn’t act as a solvent; instead it coagulates resin. Since it doesn’t create a solution, a short exposure to sunlight will precipitate the majority of resin, allowing you to reclaim almost all of the Yellow Magic for reuse.

  3. Yellow Magic seems to do a good job cleaning both the acrylic tank and the PDMS layer. (Anyone who has inadvertently left a resin tank full of uncured resin around knows how tough the build-up can be to remove.)

Please feel free to contact Christopher for a sample and then post your results.

-JD Davison
[Full Disclosure: I have no interests financial or otherwise in Bradley Systems. I’m just searching for new tools to use with the Form-1.]

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Here’s a quick run down of the process. As more of us experiment, I expect the IPA quick bath might be eliminated.


Soak/Ultrasonic 5-10 mins.

Rinse in Water

Blow Dry

IPA Quick Bath 1-2 mins.

Blow Dry

-JD Davison


I have been using YM for a while now. So far I do not have part shrinkage, warping or brittleness I previously had using a 2 IPA bath routine.

I do use IPA to remove the tackiness from the part as JD points out 1-2 minutes. I use a chip brush and quickly work over the surface and blow with an airbrush compress (Rocket duster would also work).

I believe the tacky is the partially exposed resin left behind that can be caused from a variety of things such as dirty mirrors, dirty galvos, fogging of pdms and/or laser flair. I noticed that the tacky is more extreme as the tank wears out.

Curious if the tacky will go away with a uv cure box? Maybe eliminate the 2nd IPA step?

As an alternate to Yellow Magic I recently tested 2 other products from Bradley Systems. Clean & Safe and RTX9 Turbo.
The Clean & Safe worked pretty much the same as Yellow Magic on parts. The RTX9 Turbo is much more aggressive in cleaning and showed no deterioration to the printed parts. I diluted the RTX 1:2 with water but think their suggested 1:4 might work just as well. So basically 1 gallon of RTX makes 5 gallons of solution.
The tacky film left behind seems to be the same as the others.

Measured the tacky and best I could come up with though too fine for my micrometers was .00008" but I got variations as I measured across different areas. This was one measurement after RTX bath then one measurement on same spots after quick IPA wash.

I really think this thin layer could be post cured just with a uv box.

Do they have a distributor / reseller in EU?

EU could be the best market for them, as IPA is getting harder and harder to come by over here, due to waste disposal regulations. I used to buy IPA in 5l canisters half a year ago. A few weeks ago i’ve spent a week trying to find anything bigger than a 100ml bottle for a price that wasn’t absurd.

When i’ve inquired around to find out what is going on, i found out IPA has been listed as “hazardous waste” and required any business buying or using it to obtain a hazardous waste handling licence to buy it in quantities greater than 1l.

Good question, Ante.

I’m not sure, but feel free to send their Marketing Manager Christopher Targosz and email. I know he’s responsible for U.S. sales, but he’s been very attentive to inquiries from FormLabs Support Forum members. I’m sure he’ll get right back in touch with you.

-JD Davison
The Lab Partners

Hey @KenCitron.

I plan to try a test with the RTX bath followed by a UV cure this weekend with some Castable resin pieces that are printing right now.

Since the Castable resin requires an extensive UV post-cure anyway, it should make a pretty good comparative test versus and IPA bath.

-JD Davison
The Lab Partners

I diluted the RTX to 1:3 water and it works just as well.
I did try a UV post cure but the part still had some tacky to it but I don’t have a descent UV light source for it. The tacky does seem to go away a little bit but I’m not sure on the surface quality if no IPA will leave the surface rougher or not.

Thanks, will do!

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