Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Clean Your 3D Printed Form1+ Parts in the Loafinator

ST Medical Devices

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Christopher Barry is the founder, CEO and chief designer of Earborg, what he calls “a new way to listen and interact with the world in a compact, modular and extensible, secure and open, wearable audio platform designed to put the user fully in control.”

As part of his work, he uses state-of-the-art rapid prototyping tools like the Form1+ SLA 3D printer and the NextEngine UltraHD 3D Scanner to develop his product, and he was a bit too impatient to wait for his parts to clean using the standard method recommended by formlabs.

“I built this a while back from a couple of loaf pans, a Makita palm sander and some 2-part expanding urethane foam, separating the foam chunks with saran wrap when casting,” Barry writes. “I drive it with a router speed control. Totally kicks ass and cleans the part completely in a couple minutes.”

loafinatorBarry says his homemade device comes into play after a quick rinse of the parts in the static IPA container. He then drops the part in what he calls the ‘Loafinator,’ and voila! Clean parts in just a couple of minutes. Barry then dries the parts off with his air compressor and tosses them in the UV box for final finishing.

loafinator in actionBarry’s probably not the only one to find the Form 1+ 3D printer post-print cleaning step more than a touch dull. It involves placing parts in a alcohol bath for some 20 minutes. But have no fear. The Loafinator cuts bath time from 20 minutes down to around two.

He made his device with a palm sander, urethane expanding foam and a pair of bread loaf pans.

Others have suggested that a fine stream of bubbles generated by “air stones” used in reef skimmers might speed up the process as well.

99d12399ee_666x500Of course, some others pointed out that using MadeSolid resin cuts the bath time down to just a couple minutes, so there’s that…  This device might also work well to remove soluble support material, and in fact, Stratasys and 3D Systems already use a similar ultrasonic method.

Can you see yourself building your own version of  the Loafinator? Let us know in the Loafinator forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

 

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