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Resin 3D Printing with Transparent (clear) Resins

If you’ve tried printing with translucent (clear) resins with your consumer 3D resin printer, you know that it can sometimes be a bit tricky.

Two of the most common issues are​:

  • Print is cloudy.
  • Print has turned yellow or brown.

A cloudy print surface can usually be resolved by addressing one or both of the following:

  • Print has not been cleaned well enough before post-cure.
  • Print does not have a completely smooth surface.

For cleaning, always use a fresh batch of cleaning solution (IPA or acetone). Dirty solvent will leave a dirty residue on your prints. Even clean IPA (alcohol) can leave a white residue after it dries, so make sure to do a complete rinse with water after cleaning with IPA. I like to use acetone, followed by a water rinse.

A smooth surface can get rid of clouding. This can be achieved with sanding and polishing, but the easiest way to clear up a print is to spray it with an acrylic clear coat spray. This can be purchased in the spray paint section of your local hardware store.

Browning or yellowing is usually caused by over-exposing the print to UV light. So, first and foremost, make sure that your print exposure times are set correctly. Properly regulating the temperature of your print during post-curing can also help. I like to post-cure in cold water. There are also other benefits to water curing. Watch my YouTube video to find out more about water curing. I’ve gotten great results with Elegoo’s standard clear resins.

Browning or yellowing can also happen several days after printing. If your print is exposed to any kind of UV light, discoloration will most likely occur. Spraying with a clear coat spray can also help reduce your post-print UV exposure, as some clear coat sprays are resistant to UV.

For more information on printing with translucent resins, check out this post on the Formlabs blog.