Printing out 3D models with success isn't easy. You have to make sure your print settings are correct, calibrate your Z-axis before printing, and not to mention, there are a series of other steps involved too. It may take you several tries before your models are printed out successfully. We then move onto the post-processing process.
Feel free to refer to our previous blog post in which we take you through the printing process step by step.
Why it's important to post-process your models
Once you are finally done printing out your models from your Phrozen LCD 3D printer, your prints need to be cleaned and post-processed thoroughly. In this example, we'll be demonstrating how to clean a model printed with Phrozen's Water-Washable Resin.
But why is post-processing so important? Post-processing is crucial as it prevents your models from cracking after they have been printed.
After printing, remove your model from the build plate. Make sure the inner parts of the model are completely dry before exposing your print to UV light or direct sunlight.
This is extremely important as your models may crack if they aren’t completely dry before being exposed to UV light or direct sunlight.
What do I need to prepare to clean my 3D models?
Depending on the type of resin you’re using, you need to either prepare two basins filled with water or sanitizing alcohol.
- If you are using Phrozen Water-Washable resin , you can use water to clean your models.
- If you are using other resins from our resin collection, you will need to use 95% sanitizing alcohol(IPA) to rinse off your models.
- You can also use detergent such as Phrozen Wash: Resin Cleaner to wash your prints. This solution is able to dissolve any uncured resin present on your build plate or models.
How do I thoroughly wash my 3D prints?
You will need to wash your models twice, for roughly 1 to 3 minutes each time. This largely depends on the viscosity of the resin you’ve used. Continue to clean the model until its surface isn't reflective anymore.
Remember the escape holes that were created using slicing software before formatting your STL file for the 3D printer? Here’s why that’s important. While rinsing your models in water or sanitizing alcohol, liquid flows to the inner parts of the hollowed model making sure that the insides are clean as well.
Please note that water, sanitizing alcohol, or detergent used to clean the models CANNOT be disposed of improperly. We recommend you expose it to sunlight before removing any cured resin present in the liquid before disposal.
Once that’s been taken care of, use Phrozen Ultrasonic Cleaner and soak your model in either water, sanitizing alcohol, or detergent for at least 30 seconds.
Use an air gun to dry your 3D prints
To ensure that your models are completely dry, use a high-pressure air gun to dry off your models. This will take you approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Make sure to spray the inner parts of your model as well. If you don’t have an air gun, you can set aside your model for roughly an hour or more, depending on the size of your 3D prints.
How do I cure my prints after they are dry?
After the models are completely dry, you can place the models directly into a Phrozen Curing Unit or use natural sunlight to cure your prints.
For your models to be cured evenly, your 3D prints need to receive an equivalent amount of light exposure while being cured — either from sunlight or UV light from a curing lamp.
We currently have three UV curing lamps
Each UV curing lamp is meant for models of different sizes, while each has a voltage power of 100-240V, 50-60Hz.
What’s the difference between curing with sunlight and UV curing light?
If you choose to use sunlight for curing, you need to turn your models around every few hours so that every part of the model is exposed to sunlight.
Though, keep in mind that sunlight may not provide equal exposure of light to every part of your model as the direction of the sun keeps on changing throughout the day. This may cause your models to cure unevenly which could result in discoloration. Curing 3D prints under sunlight could also take up to a few hours of your valuable time.
In comparison, Phrozen UV curing lamps use a 360° rotating platform to make sure that every part of your model is evenly exposed to UV light at all times. The UV curing units use UV-led lights that have an intensity up to 405nm, which is adjustable according to your needs.
We recommend you use a light intensity of 405nm for best results. While using a UV curing chamber, your models are guaranteed to cure evenly. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your model.
So there you go! Once your models are cured, you’re free to display them or show them off to your near and dear ones.
For a video tutorial on how to wash models after using Water-Washable resin, click here.