Post-processing is a big part of 3D printing in resin, and additional equipment, like wash and UV cure stations, is needed. In recent years, these two separate units started coming as two-in-one stations. Similar to 3D printers, washing and curing stations saw a few improvements with time, which made them more efficient with a better user experience.
Table of Contents:
- Pickle Jar and Direct Sun
- Two-in-One Solutions
- Other Solutions
Reminder: resin 3D printing can be a messy process, and special care is required when dealing with chemicals.
Pickle Container and Direct Sun
Before affordable two-in-one options became available on the markets, professional washing and curing equipment was seen as either too expensive or too bulky to accompany desktop resin 3D printers. If the rinsing process in a pickle jar is straightforward and some old-school makers still use it for particular prints, then leaving fresh prints outdoors to UV cure in direct sunlight is tricky, and we would not recommend trying it without proper research.
Daylight UV curing. The process is hard to control, takes much longer, with the risk of over-curing the resin parts. With this process, a model would need to be turned around manually.
The Best Two-in-One Washing and Curing Stations
Space-wise such stations can be a good solution but it also means a slight rearrangement every time you switch from washing to curing. Namely, setting up and removing the turntable part so that the tank with the cleaning solution can be fit on the base.
Such stations are equipped with turntables – please bear in mind that these turntables are impossible to use for photography or 3D scanning. For safety reasons, the turntable works only when the UV-blocking enclosure is on the machine.
Anycubic Wash and Cure Plus
Wash Volume: 192mm(L)*120mm(W)*290mm(H)
Cure Volume: 190mm(D)*245mm(H)
Anycubic listened to the Mono X users and released a Plus-sized station. The station is slightly pricier than smaller counterparts but is absolutely worth it if you operate larger build volume printers such as Photon Mono X (review) or Elegoo Saturn.
Note: It is tricky to find the Wash & Cure Plus station on Amazon, because the machine is added as the second option on the earlier Wash & Cure 2.0 product.
Design. A special note about the design – the wash and cure machine enclosure is made from the same material and color as Mono X, and it compliments it very nicely.
Elegoo Mercury Plus 2.0
Wash Volume: 125mm*85mm*160mm
Cure Volume: φ140*165mm
One of the first 2-in-1 washing and curing machines available on the market. If you are still in doubt if a washing and curing station is needed for your projects, we would recommend reading an article by Andrew Sink:
If you’ve used a DLP, MSLA, or SLA resin 3D printer before, you’ll immediately understand the appeal of the Elegoo Mercury Plus, a standalone machine which combines wash and UV cure stages into a single unit… Read more: Elegoo Mercury Plus Review
Original Prusa CW1S
This machine is designed to accompany Prusa SL1 Speed and to post-process all prints coming from it. This printer’s build volume size is 127×80×150 mm.
Prusa CW1S is a compact machine with extra features. The Drying option will dry the prints before curing in order to minimize the risk of having the leftover resin residue on the prints. Another function to mention is Resin Pre-heat, which pre-hits resin to the optimal temperature for resin printing.
Other Combinations & Bundles
If 2-in-1 solutions are well suited for casual printing frequency, then bundles that include separate wash and cure stations are more for frequent printing. The price for such bundles may vary greatly depending on a brand.
Elegoo Mercury X Bundle
Wash Volume: 201mm*124mm*255mm
Cure Volume: φ200mm*260mm
If Elegoo Mercury Plus accompanies well resin printers the size of the Mars and could be enough for most of casual users, then Mercury X Bundle is designed to support more than that. The size is big enough to post-process prints from the Saturn printer or two Mars printers at once.
Having two separate units means that washing and curing can be done simultaneously. If you are working with several printers, this could be handy. Also, no reassembling of the turntable base is involved. Casual users with a limited 3D printing workshop space should consider that extra space will be taken by an additional device.
Mercury X cure system has the UV lights installed underneath the turntable producing continuous and even UV exposure to the whole model.
Ultrasonic Cleaner Professional Washing Equipment
The first thing to mention is that the professional washing equipment is relatively inexpensive to obtain and it has special functions like managed temperature, for example.
IPA (Isopropyl alcohol), a cost-effective and widely used industrial and household chemical, cannot be used on professional equipment as static electricity may spark and start the fire.
An extensive range of Ultrasonic Cleaners with different capacity is available on Amazon. Inexpensive VEVOR Ultrasonic Cleaner, for example, comes in 4 different sizes, from 2 to 30 liters. Equipment that was initially designed to clean such metals as silver can also be used to wash resin 3D prints. The cleaning solution should be picked according to safety rules as all of these are the highly flammable solutions with a risk of catching fire.
Regulated temperature. Some resins are required to be washed only at a specific temperature.
SUNLU UV Curing Box
Internal Curing Area – 170mm x 205mm x 155mm
A simple, yet effective, solution. Inexpensive and can be used for large-size prints. Some reviewers on Amazon mentioned the weakness of UV lights for such prints as molds, but overall, with a rating of 4.4 stars, this product is doing well. And we can see why. The combination of an Ultrasonic Cleaner and a Curing Box may be a to-go-for option if there are no issues with a 3D printing workshop space.
UV Flashlight 395-405 nm
And the last item we wanted to mention in this guide is a UV light torch. Sometimes resin 3D models are so complex that particularly deep hidden angles or curves might need additional curing. That is where such a basic item as a UV light torch may come to help.
We can’t celebrate enough the existence of all these useful accessories for resin 3D printers and hope our guide gave you an idea or two on how to set up your 3D printing workshop.
Read More: The Best Resin 3D Printers
Here you will find the best resin 3D printers. This type of machines is widely used by professionals and hobbyists. Let’s briefly look at the differences between SLA, DLP, and LCD processes, the latest innovations, and see where such machines are used. As the technology evolves and more machines come out onto the market this guide is constantly edited.