DIY UV Curing Station for SLA Printing

Resin printers, mostly masked SLA, have been absolutely crashing in price lately. I’ve been on the fence about getting a $500 Anycubic Photon for a while, but couldn’t QUITE justify it because I didn’t have an immediate need and it doesn’t support antialiasing, which I was kind of holding out for.

Enter the $250 Amazon sale of the Elegoo Mars, the not-quite-as-pretty, every-bit-as-functional mSLA printer. While entertaining the idea of making the jump, I read in their Facebook group that it JUST got support for AA! So of course, I dropped the cash.

Amazon product photo of the Elegoo Mars
Yep, take my $250

Anyway, all of this to say I suddenly needed some extra bits. Namely, when the print comes off the printer, it’s still covered in resin and not quite fully cured either. First you’ve got to wash the excess off, then you’ve got to hit it with a little more UV to finish off the curing. So I needed a way to post-cure the print.

There are a zillion ways to do this, but 5m of UV LED strip goes for $16 on Amazon, and double that for only $10 more, so that’s where I landed.

I thought of a few ways to build a curing box, but ultimately it seemed like a 3D-printed cylinder lined with the LED strip was easiest. Here’s the Thingiverse link.

My UV curing station, inside view with LED strip wrapped around the inner wall and hot glued in place at the ends.

Originally I 3D printed my cylinder (.8mm wide, two lines) with a top expecting to line that with LEDs as well, but in the end it seemed more trouble than it was worth so I just cut a window in it instead. The adhesive on the back of these LED strips doesn’t stick super tight to most things long-term, so I hot-glued the ends down to the PETG print to keep them from unraveling.

Photo of two rooks curing upside down.
The test rooks (upside-down)
same, with the lights off
Even moodier.
Photo of my resin printer setup in the garage.
In position on the workbench!

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