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.