SUCCESS! UV Curing Prints with Sterilizing Cabinet

Shapeways is using the Formlabs to 3D print as part of our  3D printing education outreach at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC .

We are in a fairly dark space with no natural light so some of our prints can stay a little sticky so we just purchased the Professional Tabletop Ultraviolet UV Sterilizer Cabinet off of Amazon and it is AMAZING!  Within 10 minutes sticky prints are perfectly cured!.

We purchased ours for $75 and it is making all of our prints perfect.


Great find! Just ordered one. I wanted to get those nail cure boxes, but heard those are too small.

And here I was going to make my own… thanks for the heads up!

Everything about it seems great but I noticed in the description it said “10,000-hour rated, 8-watt, 254nm UV bulb kills most microorganisms” The resin cures @ 405nm.

Got one from ebay.

I tried it and works fine but took me more 30 min to remove the tacky feeling on the print.

Got one from ebay.

I tried it and works fine but took me more 30 min to remove the tacky feeling on the print.

We have been using a reptile desert UV bulb which is 8-Watt with a clamp lamp placed right over the model, also cures very fast and is dirt cheap off amazon

Jeff Jasper : do you have a link?

I need to buy an UV lamp. Does all black light lamps are working? Their is tons of references and not always the wavelength value…

Something like that?

or like that?

thanks :slight_smile:

We got the Exo-Terra one, I guess it is 26-watt and not 8. Works great though. I also picked up the Sterilizer Cabinet which looks nice too.

I tried just a simple blacklight CFL bulb from Lowe’s. It is 18 watts and uses just a standard light socket. I haven’t tried it on a gooey part fresh from the alcohol bath, but I did put it up against a part I’ve had sitting on my desk. I think I overdid it as it turned the clear resin a burnt yellow color. :-/

One thing’s for certain, the black light really lights up the whole part a nice bright blue!!

the dark colour means it worked, and should work fine in curing a fresh part.  The resin will get darker and darker the more it is exposed to UV. It ma also become more brittle. It is best to paint parts you wish to keep for an extended period.

Thank you, I’ll go with the bulb :slight_smile:

The cabinet sterilizer is too expensive here in France…

It’s a pity the clear material tans and turns yellow over time because the blacklight reacting with the resin gives a really nice, bright blue glow that’s quite beautiful.  I would think it would be cool to create a 3D printed light bulb “cover” in some nifty 3D shape or to hide the bulb in a case or something with a translucent extremity (like the Make Robot they did a blog post about previously)

Pic attached

Perhaps an anti UV coating could solve the problem of resin turning to yellow?

We have both the sterilizer cabinet and the Reptile bulb. Cabinet is great because of the metal inside so the part gets hit pretty evenly from all sides. Reptile bulb seems to cure faster, building a little mirrored box would get it to work like the cabinet.

We’re working on some solutions to prevent that yellowing over time – our white resin has been specifically-designed to combat that issue (common in UV-cured resins). We haven’t conducted formal tests yet, but the performance is much improved.

Hey Sam. Is the pigment that you use for the new white resin Titanium Dioxide by any chance? I was thinking of mixing some of that into the clear resin. It is a white pigment with some unique UV blocking capabilities. Should nicely increase resolution and stop the yellowing of the printed part. Haven’t had time to test yet.

So I snagged one of these, and threw a print in it earlier today, it’s been in there for a number of hours and I’ve still got a tacky feeling on the print I put in.  It does beg the obvious question of if the bulb they have sent is in the 254nm range, and the resin cures at 405nm, then this probably won’t work too well.  It came with a second bulb, so I’m going to give that a shot.

I was hoping this would work out as I live where there isn’t much sun most of the year round.  Does anyone know where you can get a 405nm black florescent tube that might fit in one of these, or have a suggestion on another cabinet like this with the right wave length?

I took delivery of one of those sterilizer units via ebay and it does work, but I have found it can take several hours for the resin to completely cure - need to find a UK supplier of a 405nm bulb.

I have been using a small nail dryer which cures the resin really fast. Maybe 5-20min and it starts to go from yellow to brown and looks almost like it’s been burnt. I is pretty small and open and not nearly as nice looking as the bigger sterilizers. So I picked up a Sterilizer and though it seems like it might be working it does take WAY longer than the nail dryer. I think I had some parts in from 2+ hours and they seemed more cured but the nail dryer would do the same in minutes. I also ran a test with a little bit of resin on a paper towel in both the sterilizer and the nail dryer for 1 hour. The nail dryer turned it hard yellow and burnt looking while the bit in the sterilizer had hardly set.

I found a what looks like the right size uv bulbs on amazon after a lot of looking and ordered a few to see if they improve the curing. If not I may send it back and build my own.

Right now the little nail dryer is still my go to for quick curing of small parts.