Introduction: 3D Printed Resin Curing Station
I love 3D printing with my FDM printers, but recently I turned my attention to explore the world of resin printing. After reading a number of positive reviews and watching a few demo videos on YouTube, I decided to purchase an Elegoo Mars LCD resin printer.
After printing my first model, I sprayed it with rubbing alcohol to clean it and placed it outside to cure in the natural UV light. The washing and curing process was messy, took too long, and winter was quickly approaching so leaving my models outside to cure was no longer going to be an option.
I turned to the internet and found plans to convert an old toaster oven into a curing station. The video and directions were great and soon I had a custom curing station (I made mine out of a breadbox instead of a toaster oven). Unfortunately, the strip LEDs I used did not have the correct frequency and my prints did not cure.
I found a UV light on Amazon that had the correct frequency for the Elegoo resin I was using (405 nm). Installing the light in my curing station was going to be very difficult, so I decided to design and print the project using Tinkercad.
This curing station effectively cures my prints and has inspired me to continue to explore the world of resin printing. I hope this project inspires you to step out of your comfort zone and try this (now affordable) technology.
Step 1: Tinkercad Your Design
Once my 405nm UV light arrived, I was able to double-check all of the measurements and include them in my Tinkercad design. I designed the curing station in four pieces: two side pieces, a back frame, and a lid. I decided to make the body in two pieces so I could print them separately. Instead of a single thirty-hour print, each side was printed in sixteen hours or less. The lid took an additional seven hours to print and the back frame another three and a half hours.
Please note: Check the maximum height of your resin printer before printing the curing station pieces. I did not accurately account for the height of the solar powered turntable, and some of my largest prints do not fit with the lid on the curing station. I fix this by propping up the lid using a couple of skewers for the rare tall print.
I am a strong believer that if you are going to design and 3D print a custom part, have fun and truly make it custom. I added my name to the front and top of the curing station. If you decide to recreate this project, I recommend you do the same.
Step 2: Line the Inside of the Curing Station
Before my pieces were ready to assemble, I decided to line the inside with reflective vinyl. I took this idea from other curing stations I've seen built from toaster ovens. The reflective metal interior of those designs were cited as ideal for surrounding prints in UV light.
I plan to use a solar powered turntable inside the curing station, so I only lined the one side and lid with the reflective vinyl. This has proven to be very effective.
Step 3: Curing Station Pieces....Assemble!
Prior to printing the final Tinkercad designed curing station pieces, I printed a few test parts. I printed hinges and bolt holes to check their fit (see green test-print picture). This saved me a lot of time and headaches. The pieces fit together perfectly.
I used the six washers on the bolts on the back frame. The fit of the bolts on the side hinges was such that I did not feel washers were necessary.
The only change I would suggest would be the use of 25 mm bolts instead of 30 mm bolts to attach the back frame that holds on the light. I did not have this size bolt when I made this and the ends of the 30 mm bolts stick out inside the curing chamber. However, this has not caused any problems thus far. I just think the aesthetic would be improved with this change.
Step 4: Take Your Curing Station for a Test Drive
Once the pieces of your curing station are assembled and you place the solar-powered turntable inside, you are ready to start curing your resin prints.
My favorite print to date is the Tardis pictured above. This is not my original design and unfortunately, it appears the Thingiverse design I downloaded is no longer available. If you are the designer, or know where I can find this exact file, please post a comment to this project and I will update this Instructable. I want to give credit where credit is due, and this is a truly amazing model. There are MANY similar models available in Thingiverse, but I feel this designer paid special attention to all the details.
Step 5: BONUS STEP: Create an Inexpensive Wash Station
As I mentioned in the introduction, spraying my resin prints with alcohol and scrubbing them by hand was messy and took a very long time.
Inspiration hit me as I was looking around in my refrigerator. I decided to repurpose a container designed for storing pickles, into a resin wash station.
This thing works like a charm. It does not require gallons of isopropyl alcohol each time it needs to be changed. All of my prints have fit into this container so far, and the handle/perforated bottom makes it easy to retrieve my washed prints and agitate the alcohol. I highly recommend trying this out.
Second Prize in the