What Are The Best Industrial Solvents for Additive Manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing, requires machinery to be cleaned with chemical solvents after use, but what are the best industrial solvents for additive manufacturing?  There several different industrial solvents that can be used to clean both the nozzle and print bed to remove leftover resin to prevent build up and damage. While there are many options you want to be sure you find a solvent that can effectively remove cured resin, ensuring your equipment is free of buildup, and runs properly. Some of the most effective industrial solvents for additive manufacturing are IPA (isopropyl alcohol), acetone, and dimethyl adipate.Before deciding on which solvent is the best option for your business, it is important to understand the differences and best uses for each of these solvents.

Industrial Solvent Characteristics and Uses

  • IPA – IPA is great for cleaning the print bed of your 3D printer to wipe away any resin that has gathered. IPA has a high evaporation rate, which will prevent pooling or moisture damage, and is strong enough to easily break up hardened resin. While IPA is not considered low VOC, it only requires minimal gear for safe handling.
  • Acetone – Acetone is a potent stripping and degreasing agent that is best used to clean your printer’s nozzle. Soaking the nozzle in acetone after use and cleaning with a wire tool will remove any clogging that prevents proper use. Acetone also has a high evaporation rate, making it a great solvent to clean intricate pieces as the acetone will quickly clean and evaporate on its own without leaving behind any pooling.
  • Dimethyl Adipate – This is a great low VOC alternative that is less volatile and safer to handle than harsher chemical solvents used to clean 3D printing devices. Dimethyl Adipate will clean and remove the majority buildup without damaging your equipment, but it is recommended to follow up with a quick IPA rinse to ensure all resin particles are removed. 

Looking to Purchase Industrial Solvents for Additive Manufacturing?

Ecolink is a trusted provider of chemicals and industrial solvents in both standard and bulk quantities. Ecolink’s customer care team has the experience and knowledge to help you find the best solvent for your needs. Contact us today to learn more about Ecolink and solvents for additive manufacturing.  

3D Printing: Why Is It Called Additive Manufacturing?

3D printing is a very popular form of manufacturing, used to create objects from digital designs, by layering resin to build a 3D component. As 3D printing has grown in popularity in recent years, you may be wondering, why is it called additive manufacturing? The term additive manufacturing comes from the process of how objects are created in 3D printing. As we mentioned, 3D printers build the object, layer by layer, by continuously adding resin. This is unlike other traditional forms of creating or forging products, in which material is cut away or removed from a larger subject to achieve the final product. To simply answer the question “Why is it called additive manufacturing?”, it is because the build process adds instead of subtracts raw material.

How to Care for Additive Manufacturing Equipment?

Since 3D printers use resin to build objects it is important to know how to properly clean and maintain this equipment after use to prevent resin build up in the nozzle and print bed that could result in damage or malfunction. After printing you must use solvents like acetone and IPA to clean the machinery and remove any leftover resin particles.

  • IPA – After printing, you should wipe down the print bed with IPA (isopropyl alcohol) which will break up and remove leftover resin, and leave behind a clean surface for your next print. Shop IPA Here
  • Acetone – If resin begins to harden and build up in the nozzle of your 3D printer, it is recommended that you soak the nozzle in acetone, which will break up the hardened resin, and use a thin wire tool to scrape out the opening. Shop Acetone Here

Looking to Clean your 3D Printer?

If you work with 3D printing and additive manufacturing equipment it is important that you find a reliable chemical supplier to provide you with the right solvents to keep your machinery clean and functioning properly. Ecolink is a trusted provider of high purity chemicals who has the knowledge and experience to help you find the right solvent for your needs. To learn more about Ecolink and additive manufacturing solvents contact us today!

Asphalt Extraction/Removal