Oh ho ho! Things are getting easier for those of us that use resin 3D printers. If you’re brand new to resin printing, the short story is:
Once you print the model, you need to wash it to clear off the excess resin, and then cure it with UV light. Ideally you want to limit your exposure to uncured resin.
It was not so long ago that I got my EPAX X1 3D printer, and everything I used to wash and cure the prints was do-it-yourself stuff I pieced together.
I used a Pickle Basket for washing the prints in alcohol. Honestly, I still use that for an initial dunk before putting it in my wash station.
For curing, it was either the sun or a crappy UV light. I’d have to flip the print over to cure it on all angles.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can get by with those items. You can even make a cool curing station yourself I’m sure.
If, however, you want things to run smoothly and be MUCH easier, safer, and cleaner, get yourself a wash and cure station.
I prefer the All-In-One type of machine, specifically the Elegoo Mercury. Realistically though, they are all similar.
The wash station gets prints much cleaner than my pickle basket does. The cure station has a fancy turntable, and the prints cure quickly and evenly.
Having this thing now I would never go back to manually washing and curing. To me it’s paid for itself in time saved and quality of the prints.
Prints just look and feel better running them through the station! (P.S. I’m lazy and this is way easier.)
Okay, so on to your options and my thoughts:
- Best All-in-One Wash and Cure Stations
- 3D Resin Cure Stations
- 3D Resin Wash Station
- Related Questions:
- Wrapping It Up
Best All-in-One Wash and Cure Stations
The easiest way to finish your 3D resin prints is to use an all-in-one wash and cure station.
These devices wash your print in a cleaning solution and then cure the mold using UV light.
The Elegoo Mercury Plus 2-in-1 Wash and Cure Station allows you to finish your 3D prints using one machine.
This option will be compatible with most SLA/DLP/LCD 3D printers, including Elegoo, Mars, or Photon.
However, be aware that if using washable water resin, you’d do better using running water to wash your model rather than use this self-cleaner.
This station makes it easy to clean your models, whether separately or together, using the included build plate, which prevents contact with uncured resin.
You can adjust the bracket height to accommodate the amount of liquid in the bucket.
Curing happens due to UV curing lamp beads (eight pieces 385 nanometers and eight pieces 405 nanometers) and a 360° rotating turntable, allowing even curing.
You can keep track of the curing time due to the 0.96-inch TFT LCD screen.
Adjust the timer from 0-30 minutes or set the machine to wash or cure using the easy push buttons on the front panel.
If you lift the lid during operation, the machine automatically cuts off and provides a shrill beep.
When closed, the cover blocks 99.95% of the UV rays for maximum protection of your vision.
This combo station has a maximum wash capacity of 125 x 85 x 160 millimeters and a max cure limit of 140 x 165 millimeters.
- Wash/cure combo allows you to use one machine.
- 360° rotating turntable ensures even curing.
- 0.96-inch LCD screen makes it easy to track time remaining.
- UV protection via the lid.
- Multiple UV lamp beads make curing quick and easy.
- Not ideal for washing 3D models that use water washable resins.
- Limited to 30 minutes of washing or curing.
The Anycubic wash and cure station features a curing turntable that rotates 360° with built-in UV lights (405 nanometers), a bottom reflector, and no dead ends, allowing thorough curing.
At the bottom of the station, a propeller causes the solution to form a tornado funnel that changes direction halfway through the wash cycle so that your print gets thoroughly cleaned.
Cleaning can occur by placing the model directly into the basket or suspending it by hanging the model on the cleaning stand or basket.
You can set the timer from one to 60 minutes using the turn knob, allowing you to customize washing and curing times for individual projects.
Although the cover is transparent, it blocks up to 99.95% of UV rays, allowing for safe operation and a high resin-solidification rate.
Compatible with most SLA/DLP/LCD 3D printers, including NOVA, Mars, QIDI Shadow, and other resin printers, the Anycubic helps streamline the process of completing your 3D models while saving space.
This station has a maximum wash size of 120 x 74 x 165 millimeters and a max curing limit of 140 x 165 millimeters.
- Anti-UV hood blocks most UV rays.
- Works with most 3D printers.
- Propeller wash allows for better cleaning.
- The timer goes up to 60 minutes for longer wash and cure times.
- A strong wash cycle may be damaging to small parts.
The Creality All-in-One Washing and Curing Station uses dual rows of 18 dual-band 385-nanometer and 405-nanometer lamp beads plus nine-piece LED lights to cure 3D prints.
The rotating platform with 360° mirror-reflective coating increases curing time with a higher irradiated area.
Safety features include an automatic stop if the lid opens while curing, a secure lid that allows you to reuse the cleaning solution, and a purifying fan that reduces odors.
With this machine, you get a larger wash container, 190 x 154 x 200 millimeters, capable of cleaning larger builds.
You can use the washing basket to keep models separate or wash everything together using the build plate. The platform is adjustable.
Another considerable advantage is the ability to adjust the timer from two to 90 minutes to wash and cure.
A large LED touch screen allows you to set the controls for your wash or cure mode, speed, and time.
For speed, you can choose between fast, normal, or slow. Slow prevents a strong force from damaging delicate items.
- Three speeds.
- Custom wash/cure times up to 90 minutes.
- Adjustable platform.
- The largest container allows for bigger projects.
- Noisy operation.
3D Resin Cure Stations
Some people prefer to use DIY or separate wash stations and cure stations. For resin models to cure correctly, there needs to be a source of UV light.
Cure stations have built-in LED lights that allow models to cure faster than setting out in the sun.
They also block UV rays from leaking out of the inside. Some have reflective interiors to maximize curing time.
The Elegoo Mercury Curing Machine features a turntable that’s operated by absorbing UV light rather than batteries and an LED screen to track the remaining curing time.
Inside the machine, a reflective sheet focuses the light from two 405 nanometer LED strips (14 LEDs total) for stronger and faster curing.
You can set the time from 0 seconds up to 9 1/2 minutes.
A see-through window allows you to view the curing progress while blocking UV rays, allowing for safe operation.
The total size of this canister is 5.90 inches (150 millimeters) long x 8.66 inches (30 millimeters) tall with a max curing limit of 142 inches (150 millimeters).
A 3.9-inch long 1.81-inch tall handle makes transporting easy.
- The turntable spins without batteries.
- 14 total LED lights allows faster curing.
- Customizable curing time.
- Limited to 9 1/2 minutes curing time.
This UV Resin Curing Box by Sunlu is compatible with standard 405-nanometer resin DLP, LCD, or SLA 3D printers.
This curing box has six 405-nanometer UV lights in one strip that operate the 360° rotating turntable roughly 10 spins a minute.
You can set the timer from one second up to six minutes. An optical filter keeps UV rays from escaping the box.
The box is 9-inches tall and 9.2-inches long on the exterior and 6.1 inches tall, 6.6 inches long, and 8 inches deep. The turntable is 4.72 inches in diameter.
- Cure time adjusts from zero to 6 minutes.
- The optical filter blocks 90% of UV rays.
- Fast curing.
- The single row of LED lights might not cure evenly.
3D Resin Wash Station
3D resin prints require cleaning after being printed to remove debris, dust, and excess pieces.
Dedicated wash stations make it easier to clean your prints without having to mess with dangerous chemicals.
Wash stations also make it possible to reuse your cleaning solution on future dates for additional projects.
Sovol produces a dedicated wash station compatible with the Sovol (or other brands) curing machines to create a perfectly finished print.
A cleaning basket holds your molds while they are being washed. There is no current option for brackets to suspend the molds to reduce resin exposure.
The 7.2-watt motor produces a funnel that gently cleans your mold without causing damage to sensitive or small prints.
This cleaner has a size limit of 150 x 110 x 180 millimeters.
Operation is as simple as pushing the button, choosing five, 10, or 15 minutes but it doesn’t let you customize exact minutes or seconds.
- The funnel wash gently cleans prints.
- The basket adjusts to hold mold during cleaning.
- Holds large projects.
- Can’t customize exact washing time in seconds or minutes.
If buying a dedicated washing station isn’t in your plans, you can make a DIY washer using this Pickle Canister by Lock & Lock.
You’ll also need isopropyl alcohol (IPA) – 90% at minimum.
This is a cheap DIY solution that can be used to wash the prints in isopropyl alcohol.
Fill the container with the IPA, add your model, and let it soak for three minutes.
- Simple DIY solution.
- Requires handling alcohol.
What Is Used to Wash and Clean 3D Resin Prints?
There are multiple ways to wash and clean 3D resin prints. When you purchase a 2-in-1 station, you can wash and cure your prints in the same machine.
You can also buy a dedicated wash station. Soaking your prints in an alcohol bath using 90% IPA for three minutes repeated twice works very well as a DIY option.
How Long Do I Let My 3D Print Cure?
The size of your 3D print will determine how long it will take to cure. Small models can cure as quickly as one minute.
Average-sized pieces will need two to five minutes under a UV lamp or in a chamber. If cured in the sunlight, it could take up to ten minutes or longer.
Wrapping It Up
You really can’t go wrong with the Elegoo Mercury Plus.
Superior safety. Easy to operate. Wash and cure in the same machine. Rotating turntable for even cure. Fully adjustable. Great value for the price.
So much easier and better results than cleaning items by hand.
Everything you’re looking for in a wash-and-cure station and the models come out looking perfect! What more could you want?