Post-curing achieves optimal printed part properties. Follow these recommendations to set up a post-cure station for Formlabs resins.
Post-curing enables parts to reach the highest possible strength and become more stable. Post-curing is particularly important for Formlabs’ range of functional resins: Castable, Dental SG, High Temp, Flexible and Tough. For example, post-curing is required for a successful burnout with Castable prints, and Flexible Resin doubles its strength with post-curing. Add a post-cure chamber to the printing process to finalize the polymerization process and stabilize the mechanical properties.
After printing, optimizing the strength of parts depends on light and heat. From the results of Formlabs' curing comparison study, using heat with a 405 nm light source during post-cure was superior to an equivalent level of lower wavelength light, such as 365 nm. Post-curing at higher temperatures results in a shorter time to full cure. Additionally, higher temperatures lead to higher mechanical properties.
Formlabs’ post-curing solution, Form Cure, uses both temperature and 405 nm light for a fast and highly effective post-cure. Form Cure is available now for pre-order. Shipping begins in September 2017.
Prior to the availability of Form Cure, some post-cure recommendations were developed based on widely-available hardware. Various studies have proven that, alongside heat, 405 nm light is superior to 365 nm light. Form Cure uses a combination of active heating and 405 nm light - the same wavelength as the Form 2 laser - for the best results.
For DIY solutions, build an enclosure around a powerful 405 nm lamp for an easy and effective solution. Keep in mind that heat plays a significant role in effective curing.
Cure time depends on the equipment you are using and the geometry of your part. The table below recommends post-cure temperature and the minimum time required to cure in a 405 nm wavelength light sources for each Formlabs’ Resin.
Post-cure settings are updated periodically, as hardware and materials are introduced and improved. Full setting recommendations for Form Cure will be available before shipping, and additional settings will be published as new materials are announced.
When post-curing, ensure that the target temperature is reached before beginning the timer. In general, over-curing is better than under-curing, so don’t worry about post-curing parts for extra time. Thick, bulky parts will require more time than the recommendations listed in this table, because they are slower to heat to the proper temperature.
Rotate or flip parts midway to ensure an even cure if using point light sources. In larger cure chambers consider taking advantage of a solar powered turntable to rotate your print as it cures.
|Formlabs Resin||Recommended Post-cure Temperature (°C)||Minimum Recommended Time under a 405 nm Light||Technical Datasheets|
|General Purpose Resins||Clear||60°||60 minutes||Clear Datasheet|
|Grey||60°||60 minutes||Clear Datasheet*|
|White||60°||60 minutes||Clear Datasheet*|
|Black||60°||60 minutes||Clear Datasheet*|
|Engineering Resins||Castable||45°||120 minutes||Castable Burnout Process|
|Flexible||45°||60 minutes||Flexible Datasheet|
TOTL01 & TOTL02
TOTL03 & TOTL04
|High Temp||60°||60 minutes||High Temp Datasheet|
|Durable||60°||120 minutes, flip halfway||Durable Datasheet|
|Dental SG||See Using Dental SG Resin for complete post-processing instructions|
|Dental Model||60°||60 minutes||Dental Model Datasheet|
*Mechanical properties for Clear are comparable to all General Purpose Resins: Grey, White, and Black.