Ultrasonic cleaners are a fantastic tool for removing uncured resin from miniatures, complex geometry, and fragile prints.
Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) can be safely used in an ultrasonic cleaner if it is placed in a bag or container with the print. The tank of the ultrasonic cleaner should be filled with water. Placing IPA straight into the tank has the potential for starting a fire like in the video below.
For future proofing, a 10 liter ultrasonic cleaner is recommended for both small and medium sized resin printers.
What Size Ultrasonic Cleaner to Get?
In order to determine the size of ultrasonic cleaner, you need to anticipate the largest print that you will make. For example, the Elegoo Mars 4 Max has a print volume of 196 x 122 x 150 mm, and the 10 liter ultrasonic cleaner has a tank volume of 325 x 265 x 150 mm.
Picking a 10 liter ultrasonic cleaner lets you clean most prints off of small and medium sized resin printers.
- Small resin printers like the Anycubic Photon Mono, Elegoo Mars 3, Phrozen Mini 8K should get a 2-6 liter ultrasonic cleaner.
- Medium resin printers like the Anycubic Mono X, Elegoo Saturn, or Phrozen Mighty 8K should get a 6-10 liter ultrasonic cleaner.
- Large resin printers like the Anycubic M3 Max, Elegoo Jupiter, or Phrozen Mega 8K should get a 10-30 liter ultrasonic cleaner.
What is the Cleaning Process like?
- Remove the prints from the build plate and remove supports.
- Preclean the print using a manual wash of IPA or a degreaser.
- Place the print is a bag or container filled with IPA.
- Slowly lower the bag in the water to pull a vacuum, then seal the bag.
- Run the ultrasonic cleaner for a few minutes and dry off after.
- Clear coat or paint your prints and you are all done!
Is it Safe to Use IPA in an Ultrasonic Cleaner?
It is safe to use IPA in an ultrasonic cleaner if the IPA is in a bag or container and the tank is filled with water. This process was documented by NASA in a technical brief over 50 years ago.
To minimize fire risk, operate the ultrasonic cleaner away from walls and flammable materials. Fire extinguishers should also be on hand in case of an emergency.
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