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How to clean up Frosted Ultra Detail prints

How to clean up Frosted Ultra Detail prints

Postby dsp&p_fan » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:02 pm

There has been a fair bit of discussion on the Shapeways forum regarding methods of cleaning up the ultra useful Frosted Ultra Detail plastic. The issue is the support wax, which obscures detail and may mess up paint if models are left in the heat. I haven't seen any good solutions to this, so I developed my own method...and it works.

Background info for my solution:
The support wax, Visijet S100/300, is insoluble in water. Its solubility in solvents such as acetone at room temperature is negligible, plus acetone has the added property of being able to dissolve the acrylic material! Goo-gone, and such products, are not safe with acrylic. What does dissolve wax but not acrylic? Oil. Cooking oil (canola, olive, etc).

Visijet S100/300 has a melting point of 65 degrees centigrade and a freezing point of 55 degrees centigrade. The cured Acrylic softens at 80 degrees centigrade.

Method:
Heat canola oil in microwave to something less than 170 degrees F (approximately 77 degrees C). Place parts in oil and stir. CAUTION: do not touch the oil, human skin burns at 150 degrees F. Let it sit for a while...stirring periodically. Once the temperature drops to around 135 degrees F, remove the parts and wash them in soapy water and rinse with water. It takes time to melt the wax (heat transfer limitations) and it takes time to for the oil to dissolve the wax (mass transfer limitations).

The result is perfectly clean parts without difficult scrubbing, using temperatures which can damage the parts, or chemicals which will attack the parts.

Michael
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