Read our Anycubic Wash and Cure review to find out how this accessory can make resin printing easier.
The biggest problem with SLA or printing is handling the resin and treating the finished prints. Resins fumes can be poisonous and handling the models with your hands immediately after printing can be dangerous. So, how can you ensure your resin models cure properly?
The answer is by using a curing station, such as the Anycubic Wash & Cure machine.
We recently got the accessory in our lab and put it to the test. Here is what we found out.
Anycubic Wash and Cure Review
Anycubic Wash & Cure Specs
|UV lamp power||40W|
|UV lamp wavelength||405 nm / 365 nm|
|Voltage||AC110 / 220V 50 / 60Hz|
|Time for cleaning and curing||2/4/6 minutes|
|Maximum print size for cleaning||115 x 65 x 165 mm|
|Maximum print size for curing||140 x 165 mm|
|Dimensions||225 x 220 x 378 mm|
Resin Printing Post Processing
If you have used an SLA (-LCD) printer, you know the common challenges faced. For example, when working with the liquid resin, you have to wear gloves and a face mask. This is a minor annoyance.
Moreover, after the print is finished, the model is not yet ready. In fact, it should not even be touched with bare hands. Instead, the remaining resin must first be removed in a bath of cleaning fluid, such as isopropanol (IPA) alcohol.
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The print then has to cure under UV light.
In theory, you can put the model in the sun to cure. However, when you do this, the resin will not harden evenly. Moreover, the process takes a few hours. Finally, if you are printing your resin model at night or during bad weather, then you will not be able to cure it.
Rather than curing your model in the sun, you can use a UV lamp. However, even with a UV lamp, you have to realign the object yourself after a while. Alternatively, you’ll need a self-rotating platform that you place in front of the UV lamp.
3D Printing Resin
The resin used for 3D printing is a synthetic resin that is highly toxic in its liquid state. You should avoid contact with the resin through your skin and especially eyes. Make sure you wear gloves all the time you are doing resin 3D printing.
If the resin comes into contact with your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water.
Brief contact of the resin to the skin usually has no consequences. However, since our skins reacts differently to the resin, the consequences can range from only slight irritation to severe chemical burns.
Finally, touching the resin model after it has been cured is not dangerous.
Resin Print Post Processing
Post processing resin 3D printed models is easier with a curing station like the Anycubic Washing & Curing Machine. The station efficiently cleans and cures the prints.
Onn the outside, the machine is similar to Anycubic SLA printers. The unit has a transparent cover that shields the UV light. The print is placed in the center of the column and the machine is operated using buttons on the front.
There is an extra container for cleaning, which has a small rotor in the bottom that creates an even vortex to wash away the liquid resin. Cleaning only takes a few minutes. You can set two, four or six minutes for curing.
The machine’s tank, which holds about 3.5 liters, can also be closed so that the IPA can continue to be used. In the open air, the alcohol evaporates in a very short time.
The washed-off resin can be left in the container for now and the alcohol can still be used. If the liquid becomes cloudy, i.e. more resin collects in it over time, it can be replaced.
In the Anycubic Wash & Cure machine manual, there are instructions on how to skim off the resin to continue using the alcohol.
If you use one of the Anycubic printers (such as the Anycubic Photon S ) for printing, you can hang the printing platform directly in the container with a suitable holder.
Other printers (I am currently printing with the Longer Orange 30 ) are not compatible with the bracket. With other printers, you will first need remove the print and place it in the enclosed screen, which you can then hang in the container.
UV Light Curing
Once the print has been cleaned, it can be detached from the plate and the IPA container removed. When you remove the container, you will see a small turntable on which the pressure can be turned off. However, you should let the object dry beforehand. Again, you can set the desired time and let the resin model cure from all sides using the UV lamps in the Z-pillar.
Remember to start the process again and tilt the model on its side, because the bottom of the object is not directly irradiated and may not cure as well as the rest of the print.
The main advantage of using Anycubic Wash & Cure machine over curing in the sun is that the model is cured faster.
So, does the device clean and cure as well as expected. And if so, is it worth the price?
Curing stations have been around for some time and there are even cheaper alternatives. For example, you can get UV lamps from $15, motorized turntables from $25, and cleaning with isopropanol does not require any accessories other than a container.
But with the Anycubic Wash & Cure station, you have everything in one device. Moreover, the washing and curing happens mostly automatically.
On the other hand, if you prefer everything prefabricated and as uncomplicated as possible, the Anycubic Wash & Cure station would be a good buy.