Many people who come into contact with SLA resin 3D printers for the first time should say that the works printed by others look gorgeous and magnificent, but the models printed by themselves are not so ideal. Considering the materials used in SLA printers, we need to know more about properties of resin, and how that affects the model. So is there any way to improve the resin model printed by SLA printer? Does resin printing require post processing? In fact, there are many problems that need to be solved in the post processing of resin printed models. SLA post curing is also a process to ensure high precision and high quality of resin prints.
Model printed by Anycubic Photon M3
What is Post Processing and Post Curing for SLA Printing?
Post processing is a way to further processing the model after the printer has completed the printing process, which can improve the rendering of the surface of the model, or improve the strength and performance of the model.
Usually, the model printed by FDM 3D printer can be taken out directly from the print bed and we can touch them directly. Post processing is not so necessary in this case. If the print itself is very accurate, or if you don’t mind the original surface of the model, then there is no need to use complex chemicals to post-treat the prints. The reason for post-processing is to make the surface of the FDM print look better and smoother and to hide layer lines or defective areas. If you want to learn more, we have a full complete guide to help you figure out how to smooth your FDM prints.
For SLA printing which we will discuss in detail in this guide, it has a different situation. After the SLA printing is completed, we cannot directly touch the printed model with our hands. Because there will be residual resin on the surface of the model, direct contact will hurt our skin. Because uncured resin is toxic. So we need to wear gloves to remove the model from the build platform. Post-processing of SLA printing is more important and necessary than FDM printing. But it’s not that difficult to deal with. The most necessary step is to wash the printed model with ethanol to clean the resin from the surface. We can choose to post-cure in the sun, or use a professional machine to cure the model. Light curing is not necessary, but it will improve the condition of the model.
How to Post Process Resin Prints For SLA Printing
Removal: When making models after the production of general parts, please try to wear protective gloves to operate. When removing with the metal spatula, you can clean it once with alcohol. After the model is printed, please remove the platform and remove the recess to ensure that the resin of the build platform will not leak on the screen of printer.
Cleaning: After removing the parts, it is recommended to clean them with tripropylene glycol methyl ether(TPM) or anhydrous industrial alcohol. Do not use medical alcohol and edible alcohol with high water content. The soaking time in alcohol and other organic detergents should not exceed 3 minute. Otherwise, the prints will become soft and easily deformed. For thick parts, try not to soak for more than 5 minutes. Pay more attention to soak the supports part of the prints, and it will be easier to remove the model supports.
Grinding: Try to keep the prints as dry as possible before grinding, blow dry with compressed air after cleaning, and wipe the parts that are not too dry with paper cloth. When fetching water for grinding, try not to over-immerse in water as soon as possible. Because the water will soften the prints (raw pear) just out of the oven to extent. Before grinding, if the prints is relatively soft, it should be dehydrate and ground first, and then dehydrated. Relatively softer parts mean dehydrating twice.
Stop Dehydration: The internal reaction of the newly formed prints continues, and it is easy to absorb water and alcohol, so the parts will swell, soften and deform, and dehydration will further evaporate alcohol and water. Therefore, it is best to dry the trimmed part with compressed air again, place it between constant temperature and humidity equipment, and blow it with strong wind for 30 minutes on both sides.
UV Post Curing: UV post-curing is required for prints after cleaning and grinding. It is best to place the UV curing oven in a constant temperature and humidity equipment space for at least 30 minutes. The distribution of the light source in the UV curing oven has a great influentce on the curing effect, so try to ensure that the print is radiated evenly in all directions.
Wash&Cure Machine: Professional for Post Processing of SLA Printing
The use of alcohol needs to be very careful. Curing in the sunlight can only meet the basic curing needs. If we have higher requirements and want to perform detailed post-curing on the model, then a professional curing machine is a good choice. Anycubic Wash&Cure 2.0 is a machine that can help you solve the post-processing problems after SLA printing.
Anycubic Wash&Cure Machine has two features. Cleaning resin prints in a closed space can prevent the cleaning agent from splashing, making it safer and more protected. Cleaning with the help of machine is more efficient than soaking in a solution, and it not only cleans the surface, but also cleans the crevices. The second is the function of curing. Post-curing of SLA prints can greatly improve the effect and quality of resin models. The easiest way is to use sunlight, but it takes a long time, and not every type of resin is suitable. This machine is equipped with a rotating curing platform. The platform can be rotated 360° to ensure and complete the light post-curing. According to feedback from 3D printing enthusiasts, Anycubic Wash&Cure Machine 2.0 is perfect to finish the SLA 3D projects. It saves you time and is super easy to use. So we also highly recommend it to anyone interested in resin 3D printing.