BRADLEY SYSTEMS NEWS

Yellow Magic 7 as an Alternative to IPA for Cleaning SLA 3D Printers

July 21, 2017

Our Yellow Magic 7 cleaner was formulated as a flexo UV ink and varnish cleaner for printing human and pet food packaging. For some time now, we’ve been hearing from customers who have found it works well for another application: cleaning parts on SLA 3D printers.

If you’ve cleaned an SLA printer, chances are you used Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA), also called isopropanol or dimethyl carbinol. Until now, IPA has been the go-to cleaner for this application because it gets the job done. The downside is that IPA is a flammable chemical compound with a strong odor. This means you’ve got to make sure you’re wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and storing it properly so you don’t accidentally blow yourself up. As for the smell… well there’s not much you can do there. 

Why use Yellow Magic 7 instead of IPA?

We first heard about people using Yellow Magic 7 instead of IPA for 3D printers on a Formlabs forum, and since we began offering 1 gallon jugs of YM7 on Amazon we've seen positive reviews from customers using it for this purpose. 

ALTERNATIVE TO IPA FOR CLEANING SLA 3D PRINTERS

We’re still collecting feedback on this, but based on what we’ve heard thus far, there are a few key benefits of using Yellow Magic 7 as an alternative to IPA for cleaning SLA 3D printers:

  • Unlike IPA, Yellow Magic 7 is non-toxic; it’s biodegradable, low VOC and low odor.
  • Because it’s water-based, it's not a fire hazard like 90+ IPA.
  • Yellow Magic 7 also performs well in an ultrasonic cleaner.
  • As opposed to IPA, it’s not a solvent. Instead it coagulates resin. According to z-vat industries, “Since it doesn't create a solution, a short exposure to sunlight will precipitate the majority of resin, allowing you to reclaim almost all of the Yellow Magic for reuse.”
  • Yellow Magic 7 is versatile enough to clean a variety of printer parts and accessories, such as rubber pads and rollers, and is effective on both the acrylic tank and the PDMS layer.

So, what we’re seeing so far is that you can still get the job done using Yellow Magic 7 without the stink or the potential of blowing up your co-workers or family. Which is nice.

***Update***

With the benefit of more feedback and testing, the following appears to be the most effective way to use Yellow Magic 7 for cleaning SLA parts:

  • Use Yellow Magic 7 at full strength
    • Immerse parts in Yellow Magic 7 for 15 minutes of a 50C heated ultrasonic cleaning cycle to remove resin
    • Follow up with a 10 minute wash using Form Wash cleaner, using 8-10 quarts of 91% IPA to remove tackiness
    • For re-use, expose used Yellow Magic 7 3D to UV light to filter out cured resin

Tell us what you think

If you’ve tried Yellow Magic 7 for SLA 3D print cleaning, we want to hear from you. What worked well? What could be better? Let us know with a review on Amazon or email sales@bradley-systems.com. If you haven’t tried it, we have one-gallon jugs available through Amazon. I hope you’ll give it a try and let us know how it worked.

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Chris Targosz