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Fully 3D Printed Resin Curing Chamber

Here's my fully FDM 3D printed resin curing station for curing SLA or MSLA 3D printed parts!

I'll cut to the chase. Here are the thingiverse files. If you want to know how I did it read below. If you want to support us here at SNR Tech Bytes thank you so very much, click on the donate tab above!

I designed this system in order to keep cost as low as possible, and utilizing as little extra hardware as possible. I wanted to create something which is highly functional and is capable of fitting 'Most' of the prints that might come off of my Elegoo Mars (The beautiful Phoenix by mz4250 is about as big as I could go but it pretty much maxed out my bed Elegoo Mars bed). Living in Arizona you might ask why I would want a resin curing station like this when I could just put my prints in the sun. My problem is that the UV is so intense here its extremely easy to over-cure prints. I therefore instead decided to use 405nm UV lights. Specifically, I really like these lights on amazon. They're very cheap and come with a power supply as well. I stuck three strips on the back wall and that seems to be more than enough for me. Note this did require a little soldering. If you're not great at soldering, there are these awesome LED clips on amazon in order to let you avoid soldering but your results may vary since they're not amazing. Its a relatively easy thing to solder so if you've never soldered before check out some how to's on YouTube and learn a new skill! As for power if you do use the LED strips I linked above it comes with a little DC plug pre soldered to the LED's. Theres a hole in the right back side of the enclosure which fits it perfectly with a little help form some super glue.

With that said, you can still over-cure prints with these lights, so I suggest this timer from amazon so that it automatically turns your lights off after a certain amount of time. Just wind it up to a couple hours and let it run. This is a US plug style BUT hope isn't lost just search countdown outlet timer and you should be able to find one for your plug style! I find that depending on the complexity of the print 30 minutes to an hour is perfect. If the print is still tacky, just set it for 5 minutes to add a little more! Now your probably wondering how these lights will cure the entire print if they're only on the back wall? Well my original idea was to cover all the walls in LED, but that can actually cause a number of shadows and some weird curing artifacts so its much easier to put the print on a turn table, but I didn't want to design one. I stumbled across these little watch display turn tables that jewlers use, and turns out they're crazy cheap! So I bought this one for only a few bucks, and then designed the enclosure around this. Fortunately its solar powered so when the LED's turn on this will start spinning! I've noticed that sometimes I have to manually spin it first before I turn the LED's on so you may have to 'jump start' the turn table before it will spin but for as cheap as these things are your results will likely vary.

Next comes the hinges. I spent probably way to much time on the hinges. The intention was to create a system which while closed blocked as much light as possible but still be easy to open. I also wanted to design it in such a way that the hinges could not only be 3D printed but also be 3D printed with without supports (wow that was fun to figure out). Anyway using a lot of trial and error (thank you Solidworks conflict simulation) I finally settled on a design. After printing it it turned out to work GREAT and I'm super happy. The doors don't necessarily stay closed so I added little slots for 20mmx5mmx2mm magnets to get a nice snap closure! Just super glue them in and mind the polarity of the magnets so your doors don't repel!

Finally comes that window. When I originally shared a prototype of this design I had a lot of people give me crap for using a clear window since UV light can be dangerous for your eyes. Conveniently, I'm an Optical Engineer, so I know a thing or two about light. With that said, I very carefully selected this acrylic window due to its very sharp cutoff at around 425nm. This acrylic window is actually made for museums. High energy light is very dangerous for many various museum artifacts, but the standard acrylic windows like the yellow tinted or orange tinted ones are obviously tinted! This isn't great for museums because it ruins the look of whatever they are trying to display. The amazing part about the window I've used here is it has great transmission in the visible wavelength with that sharp cutoff I mentioned earlier. I don't want to give an optics lesson here but basically this blocks enough of the UV that its *probably* no longer an eye hazard (If you do this you do it at your own risk I'm not responsible if you do dumb things. I don't have an optical power meter at home so I can't say for sure it works, but the math checks out). here's the window I used. It's kinda expensive which was a bummer because I wanted to keep this cheap, but then I found a little 'request sample' button which only cost 2 bucks! Just select OP-3 and then check the little 'request 4x4 sample' box. Turns out its 4" by 4" which was perfect for this system so I designed it for the 4x4 sample!

You'll see in the thingiverse record, but I've also included a windowless version in case you don't want to deal with the window. As for 3D printing, I printed this in 3 prints on my Prusa MK3S with PLA at 0.2mm layer height. This seemed to work great! I did test these files on a Prusa mini profile and they seem to fit there as well so it should work on smaller beds too!

Thank you very much for reading, if this project inspired you and you want to support us check out the donate tab above and remember, don't get lost in the noise!


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1 Comment

Dec 05, 2020

I'd caution you that plastic blocks UV depending on the wavelength. So that clear plastic riser, while clear to visible light, may not be clear to UV light. This may help explain why the new curing oven is faster than that old.

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