Introduction: UV LED Oven for Curing DLP Resin 3D Prints

Picture of UV LED Oven for Curing DLP Resin 3D Prints

SLA / Resin 3D printers usually need some form of post curing with additional UV light to strengthen the model and to cure excess resin that is not washed away. A strip of UV LED lights inside a paint can provide the right spectrum and intensity of UV light that cures parts quickly and evenly.

After building a DIY SLA / resin 3D printer, we tried several methods to post-cure the parts after printing. Some methods such as those described on the Madesolid blog worked, but were not perfect solutions.

This little project was quick, easy to execute and only cost about $40-$50.

Other common post-cure methods include:

  • Submerging a part in water and using the Sun: Drawbacks I experienced were uneven cure, too fast cure that caused cracking and was hard to control.

Regardless of light curing method, a 3-4 minute Isopropyl Alcohol wash or similar part cleaning procedure is needed before UV post-cure.

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To make a cheap and effective UV curing oven You'll need:

*Some Ultraviolet LED strips come with power supplies and don't require additional wiring.*

Assembly:
1) Wire the power supply to the LED strip, by cutting and stripping the 2 positive (red) and negative (black) ends of the small round connector.

2) Solder the corresponding positive and negative wires to the LED terminal.


3) Plug-in and test your LEDs with a few drops of UV resin. It may take several minutes for only a few LEDs to cure the resin. The more closely they are clustered together, the more intense the light and faster the cure times will be.

4) Make the inside of your container reflective with some foil tape to increase light intensity. A metal paint can works great because the even, round shape and it's ability to dissipate heat through the can from the LEDs.

5) Use double sided scotch tape to mount the LEDs to the inside of the container as close as possible. Space rows less than a centimeter apart. A 5 meter LED strip will just about perfectly fill up the walls of a paint can. Typically, LED strips can also be cut or added to.

*Optional* Make a small tray by wrapping foil tape to a round piece of cardboard. SLA / resin 3D prints can be sticky before post-cure. UV resin irritates the eyes and skin. Always use gloves!

Best Practices:
We found that (1) 5 meter LED strip (wavelength:395-405nm) coiled inside a paint can was sufficient to cure parts in about 10-20 minutes. Rotating parts at least once or twice to expose the bottom every 10 minutes was also helpful.


*The UV oven should not be closed while in use. Be sure your part does not have excessive Isopropyl Alcohol on it. This could be a fire hazzard.*

*Parts cured this type of UV oven had less powerdering, more even color and seemed to last longer.*

*We have an unconfirmed hypothesis that extra heat inside the chamber may help with curing.*


Comment, fav, vote and enjoy!

Have fun making stuff :)
Marshall P.
Protobuilds.com

Comments

jacobsdr made it! (author)2017-09-30

I made it and after just a few days of use the LEDs colors have started changing color and dimming. :( The first time I used it it got super hot with the lid on the paint can so maybe I damage the LEDS.

AbhishekK252 (author)2017-03-06

I am working on DLP printer and for post curing method i have decided to use UV lamp.I would like to know the temperature and time for which the printed part should be subjected to UV light for better mechanical properties?Is UV oven better than UV lamp?

P.S.I am using fun to do resins-)

JJBears13 (author)2016-08-05

Has anyone else found that their LEDs turn yellow after around a full week's use?

scottC181 made it! (author)2016-06-23

I have found that placing the parts to be cured in beaker of water helps speed things along.

rjkorn (author)2016-05-11

Best use of a paint can ever!

ricky.secoy made it! (author)2016-01-29

I would like to add I did the same thing in an old styrofoam cooler and used a solar powered jewelry display to keep the prints moving.

ricky.secoy (author)ricky.secoy2016-01-29

I have found heat to not help, so I keep the lic propped open while the LEDs are on. I am considering using a paint can to intensify the UV to my parts because this oven hasn't worked as well as I would like, or people say it would.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Make all the things!
More by marshallpeck:Tap straight holes in Aluminum Extrusion with a 3D printed Tap Jig (20mm / Openbuilds V-slot, Misumi, Makerslide / Universal)Enable Auto Leveling for your 3D Printer with an inductive sensor (Marlin Firmware)UV LED Oven for curing DLP Resin 3D prints
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