Using a brush to clean dust from Mirrors?

I was thinking, for small bits of dust that don’t blow off what do you guys think of using one of these fine brushes gently on the mirror to get rid of bits of dust from time to time?

How delicate are the mirrors if touched by one of these brushes?

I would not recommend any brushing of the mirrors FormLabs recommends IPA soaked PEC PADS

Hi Edward,

We have not tested these brushes so I cannot say for sure. I would first recommend using compressed air to remove large particles of dust. If there are any single stubborn particles, my intuition is that this type of brush should be ok if used gently and sparingly, but I cannot recommend using a brush like this without testing it.

If you have lots of dust that does not seem to move with compressed air, I recommend following our mirror cleaning guide.

I hope this helps.


Thanks Adam. From what I’ve learnt compressed canister air isn’t recommended on the mirrors as it leaves residue liquid on the surface. I did try an airbrush compressor, though it is too weak for some dust.

I think the IPA pec pads cleaning guide may be too extreme for just a bit of dust as that’s usualy the case for dirty mirrors that have resin or some other surface contamination.

I think these mirrors are fairly robust no? They are first surface but not like weak foil or anything. Would be great to find if this brush works as it would be a very quick fuss free solution. Though not sure I want to be the guinea pig :smiley:

I would not recommend the soft brushes for lenses. I have used a much softer brush made for cleaning DSLR sensors. It only takes very slight pressure to get the dust off.

Keep the brush in a clean bag inside another container.

The mirrors are not fairly robust. They are in fact fairly fragile.

Cool! Will track down one of those brushes :slight_smile: I’ve not had much experience with the mirrors, though the reason why I thought they could take a brush is when cleaning with the pec pads they say you can firmly press down when wiping them. What would you compare the mirror to in terms of delicacy?

On the contrary… you have to lightly wipe the mirrors with the pec pads.

It is even recommended that between each pass you use a different part of the pad or change it, so you don’t carry around any dust around.

if you press hard, you have high risk of scratching the mirror with any dust or particles that might be there.

Scratching with dust?? Oh wow that is pretty delicate! :smiley: The tech guy for form 1 said wipe up for 15 secs but be fairly firm with it. Though I guess the firmness depends on if the mirror has resin on it. I imagine just dust like you said a light amount of pressure is good.

For just dust do you use the pec pad bare or do you apply IPA to it?

@Edward_Peretti, you apply IPA to the pec pad. Go to this section,

Ok so it is basically a dry wipe with the pads for dust only. A wet wipe is for any smudges or resin etc.

Assuming the effect will be the same for the mirror as my camera sensors wet cleaning with IPA is going to leave streaks that you’ll need to wipe off. It’s probably less of an issue with these larger mirrors but with the sensors it’s a pain just to get to the sensor to wipe it off on a camera.

If it’s dust dry cleaning is by far going to be the best bet. A pec pad will remove dust without pushing your fingers all the way to the mirror. A high quality sensor brush is good for this but it’ll set you back about $20-25

For anything wet (resin or oil) you’ll need to wet clean with a pec pad per the formlabs instructions. Use good clean IPA and you’ll have to work a little to get rid of any streaks.

One word of caution with the sensor brush. If you run it through a spot of resin the brush is ruined.

The way I understood it was 15 seconds per pass of each line… meaning you have to do it very slow to avoid any scratches.

I guess they can be scratched with dust…it might not be so visible to the naked eye but maybe could distort the laser.

Anyway… what I take is… be extra careful because a replacement mirror is very expensive :wink:


Looking at the mirrors there is a fair amount of dust, so will air blast it and use the dry pec pad. Though I also noticed dust on the small mirror at the back. Any suggestions for that? Just swipe a pec pad once over or open up the machine?

Pec Pad and a Rocket duster is all I use. Those brushes might work on coated glass such as camera lenses but I wouldn’t risk it on a laser mirror since the coating is extremely fragile and on top of the glass. I would be certain that the brush would scratch that for sure.

Ok so from what I gather brushes are a no no. Pec Pad and duster it is :smile:

When you clean the dust off the mirror with the pec pad does your finger pressure touch the mirror? Or you just press the pecpad on it without any finger preasure?

I would never use the brushes made for camera lenses. Your results may vary but rubbing a pec pad around on the mirror is a pretty aggressive way to clean it

I ordered some 10 x 10 cm pec pads. After blowing off with the air blaster, I think two of these folded in half and without finger pressure bottom to top for about 15 seconds.

As for the small mirror in the back I’ll have to cut a pec pad to size and tape it to a coffee stirer or something, then do the same from bottom to top wipe for around 7 seconds. This sound ok?

On that it might be worth checking the other mirrors for dust. Though would this mean having to open up the machine?

I won’t be checking/cleaning the other mirrors until there is a problem.

When we use a compressed air blast inside the machine, where does the dust go?
Wouldn’t it just bounce around and collect on the next surface with a static charge, specifically another mirror or glass surface?
I would hope a antistatic brush would pick up the dust and remove it from inside the machine.

When I received my machine recently, the first thing I did after unpacking it was to go over all the Plastic with Novus 1
From the Novus site:
Gently cleans all plastics without scratching. Leaves a lustrous shine that resists fogging, repels dust, and eliminates static.