I’m doing a lot of printing recently with Tough V1* resin where I need good dimensional accuracy. The big challenge is that things are warping when I wash them in IPA. Looking at the Technical Data Sheet I see that tough resin has poor resistance to IPA and it’s definitely showing in my prints. Even just a couple minutes of agitation causes thin sections to distort.
I’d like to find something that:
works well with both tough and standard resins
easy to work with safely
*I have a bit to finish up before I reorder and switch to V4.
Making the cleaning process as easy as possible for users is a top priority for us so we’ve done a fair bit of testing to identify different solvents that remove excess resin. IPA does seem to be the most effective and there are a few things you can do to mitigate warping while your parts are being washed.
Leaving supports on during the wash and post-curing steps can help to cut down on warping for especially thin geometries. Making sure to use the recommended soak times is also important as leaving parts in for too long will cause them to soften and warp.
Tough Resin V4 is quite a bit stiffer than previous versions and much less prone to warping but here’s to hoping we’re able to get V1 working for you as well! It’s also worth considering that Tough Resin V1 may be expired which might be contributing to the issue. Resin can be stored for up to a year but part quality may begin to deteriorate afterwards.
I use it with the clear resin, you may want to heat it up to get better results. I find that it is easier to take the supports off the part while it is fresh and warm. I don’t seem to be getting the chipping that can be a pain finishing.
You can get it on Amazon, I’m not sure if there are restrictions on overseas shipping.
You can also contact Chris over at Bradley Systems and see if they have a distributor over there. firstname.lastname@example.org
Other alcohols like ethanol will work similarly but may interact more aggressively with the resin and can decrease part strength. That coupled with the greater safety concerns associated with ethanol makes it a bit less attractive for part washing.
I use the scrap platforms for testing of various solvents and paints, and I found denatured alcohol to be too aggressive on the resin. Since all alcohols are flammable, the only downside I can see to ethanol is that some fool would drink it.
I’m not sure what value ethanol would bring over IPA. Is there reason to believe it would be more gentle on parts than IPA?
Ethanol is more energy dense (so bigger fire risk). The price looks about the same. It’s initially better from a toxicity perspective, but once you dissolve a bunch of resin into it, it’s going to be pretty nasty regardless.
It seems alcohol preferences are somewhat geographical. Here in Romania, the only place to find isopropanol is at electronics hobbyist shops where it’s a bit pricey. Everywhere else, including all medical and pharmaceutical venues, sells ethanol, tinted blue and with a tasty wintergreen tinge. A widespread favorite among the impoverished alcoholics on the outskirts of town, but I digress.
Something to try with Tough prints that have been distorted: hit them with a heat gun or hot blow dryer. I’ve had Tough prints distort under their own weight in the UV curing box, and heating them up again afterwards lets them spring back to their original shape.
It has been pretty difficult to get rid of the last tackiness for me.
I tried yellow magic in an ultrasonic cleaner with an 8-minute cycle and elevated temp. It never really got rid of the all the tackiness.
The only thing that has worked for me has been to soak in IPA for several minutes and then use a sonicare toothbrush in the IPA to go over the part. For me nothing else has really worked as well. I am thinking of trying the ultrasonic toothbrush in the yellow magic after the ultrasonic cleaning but haven’t gotten around to it yet.
You will not get rid of the tackiness without post curing the part. Many including myself post cure with the part submerged in water to keep the resin from oxidizing which inhibits the curing.
Unlike IPA, Yellow Magic will remove uncured resin from the surface of the model (topical) and not penetrate the model. IPA will penetrate the model especially when the part is soaked for long periods of time which is the cause of the parts degradation.
In many cases IPA system is fine but when you have thin walls, flat parts and tiny features IPA can have negative effects with warping and brittleness.