Case study: cleaning a 3D printed model

One of the popular 3D printing techniques is DLP (Digital Light Projection), in which a resin is being cured layer by layer using UV projections. This is a very accurate printing technology and results in detailed three-dimensional objects.
However, after printing it is required to remove the uncured resin. This can be a challenging task considering the fine details and openings of typical 3D models. Cleaning can therefore consume significant post-processing time, as we discussed before.

This example involves a Rapidshape S30L printer with MP300 resin. This is a semi-industrial 3D printer with a horizontal resolution of approx. 100 µm and a layer thickness of 25 µm.
The manufacturer recommends the following protocol for cleaning printed models:

  1. ~250 mL IPA in a glass or plastic beaker
  2. 3 minutes in an ultrasonic bath
  3. Blowing with e.g. instrument air
  4. Another 3 minutes in an ultrasonic bath with 250 mL of IPA in a beaker
  5. Drying
  6. Cleaning of the beakers for next time

Total time: about 8 minutes.

CCD; diameter: 1 cm.

CCD; diameter: 1 cm.


Using our Cleaning Challenge Device we tested whether our BuBble bags were also suitable for this purpose. The protocol that we used was:

  1. 50 mL IPA in a BuBble bag
  2. 1 minute in an ultrasonic bath
  3. Drying
  4. Dispose of the bag and IPA

Total time: 1 minute.


Using the BuBble bag resulted in the same cleaning result as with the original protocol, using 10x less IPA and in 8x less time.

Improvement Factor (IF):
IF = less liquid x less time
    = 10 x 8 = 80

The owners of this 3D printer now use the new protocol that includes the ultrasonic cleaning bags.

More information: go to our page about the BuBble bags, or contact us directly.