Cleaning and Drying your Print
After the printer finishes your 3D print, the print still requires some preparation before it is ready for painting, presentation, or using in a machine. The first part of this process is actually removing the print from the build platform. After that, clean and dry the print so that no liquid resin remains when you do further print curing.
What you need
- Ultrasonic cleaner
- Air blower
- Plastic container
- Tissues or paper towels
- Protective gloves
- Cleaning alcohol
- Get the listed materials together in a well-lit room with a clean work table.
- Plug in the ultrasonic cleaner and air blower, or have an outlet ready as needed.
- Ensure that your plastic container is large enough to fully immerse the print.
- Put on the protective gloves and wear them during every step of this process.
Do not touch the build platform directly with your hands. The oil from human hands sticks to the platform and can prevent prints from sticking to the surface.
1. Remove the Build Platform
Twist the thumb screw above the build platform counterclockwise to loosen it. Pull the build platform off of the printer. Place the platform on tissues so that the print is face up.
When removing the build platform, make sure the vat is still attached to the machine. If the vat is not attached, resin may drip off the platform during removal, potentially damaging the optical components under the vat.
2. Scrape the Print Off the Build Platform
Pick up the build platform and hold it so that is angled at some tissues on the table. Using your scraper, try to detach the print from the build platform. If the print detaches easily, slide the print off of the platform.
If the does not detach easily, cut off the supports at the base using the ultrasonic cutter. For more information about using the ultrasonic cutter, see Finishing your Print.
3. Clean Off the Build Platform
Remove all solid debris from the platform with a pair of tweezers, and then you may reuse the remaining resin to save material.
Pick up the build platform and hold it angled above the partially full resin vat. Scrape the resin off of the platform into the vat with long strokes of the scraper.
After cleaning most of the resin off, clean that build platform using a tissue dipped in IPA solution. After all of the residue is removed, reattach the build platform to the Ackuray printer.
4. Submerge the Print in IPA
Fill a plastic container with enough IPA to completely immerse the print. Pick up the print and place it into the container. Allow the print to soak for 10 minutes.
At this point, the print is not completely solid and is too fragile for direct handling. Touching the component directly can smudge or deform it. Handle the print only from the support structures or from the base.
If your part has small crevices or holes, to ensure that enough cleaning is done in those locations, you may want to use a pipette to spray IPA into those locations.
5. Clean the Print with the Ultrasonic Cleaner
Fill the ultrasonic cleaner with IPA. Pick up the print from the plastic container, and place it into the ultrasonic cleaner vat. Close the lid of the ultrasonic cleaner, and press the buttons on the console as necessary:
|1.||Temperature controls||Set the temperature to a value between 25 and 32° C. The temperature 28° is generally suitable for all prints.|
|2.||Bath types||These buttons start the cleaning process.
After you have set the temperature and the timer, press one of these buttons to start the selected bath type.
|3.||Timer controls||Adjust the timer in increments of 10 seconds using the controls.
The default timer of 3:00 is adequate for Ackuray prints.
After cleaning is complete, remove the print from the ultrasonic cleaner and place it on a tissue or paper towel.
6. Dry the Print with the Air Blower
Hold the print tight with a tweezers over an easily cleanable surface. Gently blow remaining liquid resin and IPA off of the print using the air blower. Turn the print as necessary while blowing, and make sure you focus on small holes and places where the IPA can get trapped.
After cleaning and drying the print, it is ready for finishing. See Finishing your Print for the next steps.