Surface Artifacts Form 3

What would be causing these on surface artifacts. Is it something to do with cleaning. I see them occasionally on some parts I printed. I use IPA and Formlabs manual cleaning set. Or is it something that happens during the printing process…?

That looks like a cleaning issue, you need to rinse the part in clean IPA after the main rinse to make sure that any particles that were in the dirty IPA are rinsed off.

If you’re already doing that, then it could be that some areas in the print are leaving whisps of semi-cured material in the resin tank and it’s attaching itself to part of the print.

This can also happen if you smudge or handle the parts roughly when it’s still wet with IPA. You should let it dry before touching it too much or removing supports.

Thanks guys. Very helpful. You gave me something to think about.
It might be that when I clean it in IPA I agitate it too vigorously making part bumping around the tray. Also, after cleaning and rinsing in IPA I would than rinse it again under running water. I wonder if this might contribute to some degree. Will have to run few experiments and see what happens. Investing in a decent ultrasonic cleaner is a must, eventually.

The main thing is to be careful when you’re rinsing it and that you do a final rinse in cleaner IPA.

And when running it under water make sure the lights are turned down/off, the water will make the outside start to cure more easily if you have light in the room. Oxygen prevents the resin from curing to some degree so putting it under water will block the oxygen and allow it to cure more easily.

I’ve noticed those artifacts with V4 Gray resin on my Form 2.

Thanks Zachary,

yes I do rinse in clean IPA. As for the water I stopped doing it. Rinsing gray resin with water leaves darker and lighter spots on the surface after water evaporated. I find it visually unpleasant. Cleaning only with IPA makes prints look pristine and that’s what I want…

As for the artifacts, I made sure I’m gentle with shaking the tray and since I start doing it have no more artifacts. Pretty sure it was physical damage due to parts bumping around the tray.

If you still want to clean with water, what you can do is rinse it in water with the lights down, then submerge it in a container of water and cure it in that water for a short time (5 minutes max) which will get the outer part cured nicely. Then take the part out of the water and dry it as best you can and then finish with your normal curing method. Make sure whatever way you cure is evenly lit, otherwise you need to rotate the part every 5-10 minutes to avoid over-curing one direction more than another.

Interesting. I made a note in case I’m out of IPA and need to clean something quick.
Is there any advantage in using water rather then IPA…?


It’s not a rather than thing, it’s an addition to. You always need to soak and rinse in IPA to dissolve any liquid resin that’s on the print, water can’t do that. Using water just helps get the outside clean after that and gets the outside surface cured and avoids sticky prints.

Got it. Thanks.