Jump to content

Print routines....


Recommended Posts

Just a quick post to share a few things that I've learned from experience since starting 3d printing about 2.5 years ago (and still learning...!) which may prove of help to others. 


1. Removing prints from base plate. Having gone through everything from the spatula-type tools supplied with printers to plastic razor blades & etc., the simplest and easiest tool I've found is still the humble single-sided razor blade:


These are fare more responsive to fingertip control than big scraper tools and do not damage your build plate if kept parallel to the plate surface: a slight twist of the blade is often enough to break adhesion and free even larger parts where you can't always get the blade far enough under.


2. Running print cycles over several prints/days. I used to slavishly clean out the print tank at the end of the day and refill it all over again the next day, due primarily to being paranoid about the resin requiring mixing/bringing up to temperature &etc. for use at the start of the next session. As long as your print setup is well away from direct/bright light (throw a dark cloth over it if not) you can happily leave the resin in the tank overnight and simultaneously stir/heat it with a hair dryer at the start of your next print the following morning:


Have the dryer on full and simply allow the hot air to warm and stir the resin by gently palying the nozzle back and forth until the resin is at the required temp. Job done. I like to hum the Hawaii Five-O theme during this process but obviously substitute this with a surf-related tune of your own.


3. On the subject of temp; the ambient air in my studio is frequently too cold for printing outside of the summer months, whilst heating an entire room for a single device is neither ecologically or financially good. Since switching over to placing the printer in a cupboard salvaged from a skip and adding a heating mat, this enclosure can print all year:


Initially I bought a cheap 7W model which was next to useless so now use a 30W one like this:


IMO it is worth springing a little extra for a model with built-in thermostat so that you can tweak the warmth of the enclosure in response to the ambient air temp.


4. Temperature again:.... to heat a bottle of cold resin from scratch I simply place it in a bowl of freshly-boiled water. If doing this, PLEASE make sure to loosen the lid of the bottle fully so that the contents can expand. Do not be like me a find out what happen when you don't do this.


5. Resin life:* I've frankly become very skeptical about the expiry date printed on bottles of resin. You buy a bottle of resin, don't use all of it within the period printed on the bottle and then have to throw it away. World's in a bad enough shape without adding unecessary pollution. Please think about running a test print to see if your resin still works after the expiry date. I'm curently using a bottle 12 months past its date and notice no difference whatsoever in print quality/standard.


*Caveat: these is based on Elegoo standard grey so may not be applicable to other brands/types.


6. Isopropyl alcohol in volume: using the Elegoo grey I also use their Mercury Wash and Cure station, which means having a large container of about 2.5L of IPA on the go. Over time this obviously becomes clouded with resin but like leaving paint to settle out of white spirit when decorating, the same principle applies here. Allowing the residues to settle, decanting the clean stuff through a filter, then cleaning out the container and refilling it prolongs usability indefinitely (depending on volume of printing you do of course). Clean out the gunge from the tank with kitchen roll and  let this cure in the sun before disposing of it as a solid.


7. Printing resin is not a hair styling gel. Don't ask....


Hopefully a bit of the above will help others setting out on this journey: when I started out it was frequently difficult to find the exact kind of information that would help streamline the process as much as possible whilst minimizing the waste products - many printing-related forums and groups online seemed for example to contain a great deal of 'noise' in the form of individuals dogmatically repeating received wisdom in the absence of experience, so it is great to see such a thoughtful body of knowledge growing here on Britmodeller that relates directly to our hobby.


Kind regards,




















  • Like 8
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I have left resin in the tank for over a week with no issues. I just stir it slowly with a plastic spatula to remix it properly.

My printer is only about 4 feet from a floor to ceiling glass window which is in full sunlight all afternoon, in UAE!


I do need to get some finer material to use as a filter for the IPA though. The paper ones I bought are not fine enough. Maybe some muslin or similar fine cloth would work?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Brandy said:

I do need to get some finer material to use as a filter for the IPA though. The paper ones I bought are not fine enough. Maybe some muslin or similar fine cloth would work?

If you find a decent filter for the job let me know Ian!


I use a slightly drastic method when the IPA gets very cloudy/has bits in it of of leaving my tank of of it in full sunlight on the window sill for brief periods until any resin deposits begin to thicken into what I suppose might technically be termed a 'gloop'. When poured through a filter in this state it's a bit like an asteroid accreting whereby these gloops bind together into larger clumps (as well as picking up any stray particles) Any gunge left in the tank can then be wiped out with kitchen roll, followed by a rinse out with warm soapy water.


I've yet to investigate if there's some kind of nano-sieve material available from laboratory suppliers....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I've left resin in my printer's tank for over 6 months, it just needed a thorough stir & then printed without any problems. If your printer is sealed well there isn't much difference between the resin being in the a bottle or the printers tank IMO.



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...