Introduction: Tools to Remove Support Structures and Rinse 3D Object in Resin (SLA/DLP/LCD) 3D Printing


After finishing the 3D printing process, we have to shovel the print or the failure (only raft and supports) away from build plate. Sometimes, some parts may stick to the bottom of resin vat which are also in need of removal. Due to the nettlesome support structures in Resin (SLA/DLP/LCD) 3D Printing, a lot of post-processing work has been left. There are a few tools that will make life easier when working with a resin 3D printer. So let’s highlight tools to remove support structures and rinse 3D object in resin (SLA/DLP/LCD) 3D printing.

Step 1: Nitril Gloves

It's better to avoid contacting uncured resin with skin. Though it's not that toxic, there's nothing wrong to wear gloves when working with uncured resin. If resin gets on your skin, immediately wash it off with soap and warm water. As for allergies, everyone is different. Some people are allergic and some are not.

Step 2: Disposable Mask (Optional)

Most uv-cured resins are methyl methacrylates which generally have a smell of exotic fragrance. Besides keep good ventilation, you can wear disposable mask to guard against the smell.

Step 3: Metal Scraper/Spatula

A putty knife or similar instrument can help remove prints or the failure (only raft and supports) from the build plate when they stick a little too well. Be patient to find the point to insert the metal scraper/spatula so as to avoid breaking the prints. As long as there is a little gap between the print and build plate, you’ll find it’s so easy to shovel it away from build plate.

Step 4: Plastic Scraper

A plastic scraper (or replaced by an expired credit card), is used in the event that a print fails and sticks to the FEP at the bottom of the resin vat. We recommend plastic scraper instead of metal scraper because the latter may scrape the FEP.

Step 5: Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is used for rinsing the finished print and any tools that have come in contact with resin. Just get rid of the excess resin and then drop prints into a spare container with isopropyl alcohol by volume of less than 90% vol.

Step 6: Spare Containers

Spare containers are always useful with liquid resin. They can be used to store used resin, which you will recycle, to wash your finished print (be sure that the container can be used with isopropyl alcohol), or to hold tools after they have come in contact with the resin.

Step 7: Banister Brush

A banister brush will be super helpful when rinsing prints in isopropyl alcohol. Many times, resin on the surface of prints can’t be washed off by soaking. So you can wipe the surface lightly with a banister brush.

Step 8: Spray Bottle (Optional)

Some parts may not be wiped by the banister brush. A spray bottle with isopropyl alcohol inside will come into play to wash the hidden part.

Step 9: Injector (Optional)

If the model is hollow and has drain holes, allow the resin to discharge. Then you can use a injector to inject alcohol to partially fill the model, cover the drain holes, and then gently shake the model to rinse the inside.

Step 10: Magnetic Stirrer (Optional)

If you’re looking for a more advanced rinse solution, you deserve a magnetic stirrer. This tool uses a rotating magnetic field to cause magnetic capsules immersed in the isopropyl alcohol to stir the alcohol while rinsing the part.

Step 11: Non-dust Cloth/Paper Towels

After taking the print out of isopropyl alcohol, you may find the print surface is coated by scraps of paper if drying it by paper towels. Paper towels can be used to clean the workstation and prevent dripping on your workstation. But non-dust cloth is prefered to dry the print.

Step 12: Diagonal Cutting Pliers

The plane of diagonal cutting pliers defined by the cutting edges of the jaws intersects the joint rivet at an angle or "on a diagonal", hence the name. It is advised to cut off the support very close to the actual print. This will make sanding the part much easier.

Step 13: Fine Grit Sandpaper

After removing the support structures, your model’s surface may be uneven. It is time to wet sand the model by using fine grit sandpaper. This process will not remove much material, but will do the most to polish its surface.