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Post-Curing Prints

postcuring Formlabs 3D prints

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, 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 UV 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' UV curing comparison study, using 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.

Post-Cure Hardware

For small prints, consider a low-cost UV nail salon or a homemade option like some users:
Easy UV Cure Box for under $30, via Jory
A DIY UV post-cure Lightbox you too can make, via ChristopherBarr
DIY : UV curing system, via SungWooChoi
Budget UV Cure Box (Jar?), via Randy_Cohen

Tip

For DIY solutions, build an enclosure around a powerful 405nm lamp for an easy and effective solution.

Required Energy

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.

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.

Tip

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*
Functional Resins Castable 45°
120 minutes Castable Burnout Process
Flexible 45°
60 minutes Flexible Datasheet
Tough 45°
30 minutes Tough Datasheet

*Mechanical properties for Clear are comparable to all General Purpose Resins: Grey, White, and Black.

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