solvents for additive manufacturing

What Are The Best Solvents For Additive Manufacturing?

Solvents for additive manufacturing or 3D printing are required to properly clean and maintain your printing equipment after use to prevent damage and keep the machinery running in top shape. The most effective way to clean your additive manufacturing equipment is with a chemical solvent that has strong degreasing properties that can easily breakdown and remove any leftover resin from the surface of your printer. One of the most popular chemical solvents for additive manufacturing is isopropyl alcohol (IPA). There are also many low VOC IPA alternatives that can be used to remove resin, however a final rinse with IPA is still recommended to finish cleaning. Some of the most popular IPA alternative solvents for additive manufacturing are dimethyl ester based solvents like dimethyl adipate. When deciding on a cleaning solvent for your additive manufacturing business you should understand the differences between IPA and low VOC dimethyl ester based solvents.

IPA vs Dimethyl Ester

  • IPA – IPA is one of the most popular cleaning agents for 3D printing devices for several reasons. IPA has low water content and a high evaporation rate. This protects the machinery from being damaged by any left behind moisture that can occur with more water based cleaning agents. IPA also acts as a strong degreaser that can completely dissolve and remove leftover solvents. IPA is not considered to be a low VOC solvent but requires minimal safety gear for handling.
  • Dimethyl Ester – These low VOC solvents are generally considered to be safer and less flammable than more volatile chemicals like IPA. Dimethyl ester solvents have a lower evaporation rate than IPA, but this does allow for excess solvent to be recycled and reused, which helps to save money. Dimethyl ester solvents will effectively clean the surface of your equipment, but it is recommended to do final rinse with IPA after cleaning with these low VOC solvents to remove any leftover resin particles.

Shopping for Solvents for Additive Manufacturing?

If you are in need of solvents for additive manufacturing, we are here to help! Ecolink is an environmentally conscious provider of chemical solvents that has the knowledge and ability to help you find the best product for your needs. Ecolink can also provide bulk quantities. To learn more about Ecolink and solvents for additive manufacturing, contact us today.


What Is Additive Manufacturing?

If you work in industrial production or manufacturing you may be wondering, what is additive manufacturing? Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing and a huge digital advancement in production in which digital designs are realized and turned into physical objects with CAD software and a 3D printing device. This style of production allows parts and items to be made faster, stronger, and lighter. In additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, the printer uses a heated nozzle and a polymer or resin to build the object layer by layer. These layers of resin then cool and harden creating a usable part or product. Additive manufacturing has become very popular in the world of industrial production, and when using this style of 3D printing, it is very important that you perform regular cleaning and maintenance to keep your machinery free of damaging, resin build up or spills. 

How to Keep Additive Manufacturing Equipment Clean?

In order to avoid damage and keep your 3D printing device running at its most efficient level it is important to clean the printer after use to remove any hardened resin from the surface. Resins and polymers are thick and harden quickly, so you will need to find a chemical solvent that can easily dissolve leftover resin, without harming the printer. The best solution to use for resin removal is IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol). IPA is ideal for resin removal due to its strong degreasing properties. IPA will break down and remove resin, leaving behind a clean surface for the next project. IPA is also safe to use on printing equipment. IPA has a high evaporation rate and low water content which will ensure no damage is caused from moisture exposure or pooling.

Need to Buy IPA?

If you are in need of IPA to clean your additive manufacturing equipment, Ecolink can help! Ecolink is a trusted provider of chemicals and solvents who will supply you with a high quality product for an affordable cost. Ecolink will work with you to ensure that you find the best solvent for your needs, and can even provide bulk quantities. Contact us today to learn more.