How To Dispose Of 3D Printer Resin: Safety, Disposal + Cleaning

    3D PrintersHow To Dispose Of 3D Printer Resin: Safety, Disposal + Cleaning

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    • One Reddit 3D printer recommends to leave the used resin somewhere safe, such as a garage. It should be kept out of reach of children and animals.
    • After the water has evaporated, you can cure the remaining plastic and it will be safe (no more dangerous than any other plastic) for you to dispose of.
    • You can also find a site that accepts toxic waste, but this will cost a fair about of money.
    • Another Redditor recommends to cure the water so the resin hardens.
    • Then let it sit so the water can evaporate and at that point there shouldn’t be much of anything left but a bit of resin dust and a little layer on the bottom of the container.
    • Watch the video below for step by step instructions for more detailed disposal instructions

    How To Dispose Of 3D Printer Resin

    The process of using, handling, and ways of disposing of 3D printer resin are totally different from 3D plastics like PLA, PETG, nylons, or ABS. Resin is hazardous to both environment and human life and can cause damage to the surface in contact with it.

    That’s because it contains toxins and is not inert and thus, you need to be careful and deliberate when handling, using and disposing of resin.

    Of course, while being careful and deliberate, make sure you abide by the standard environmental regulations to avoid attracting unnecessary lawsuits. Well, continue reading this article as we have provided the full insight on how to handle, use and dispose of 3D printer resin.

    Safety Considerations

    Before you even open the resin bottle, your safety is your responsibility and should come first. Since resin is toxic and not inert, in the case it spills or splashes it can cause irritation or allergic reaction to your skin and even produce toxic fumes resulting in respiratory health complications.

    Therefore, make sure you have personal protective gears/equipment {PPE} to protect yourself when handling resin before and after you have finished with your project{s}.

    It is advisable to wear gloves, protective glasses, and a mask to protect your hands, eyes, and against toxic fumes.

    Safety

    However, the mentioned protective gears should be resistant and effective to chemical elements and healthy-friendly.

    For instance, we strongly advise you to opt for Nitrile gloves rather than latex because they are chemical resistant.

    If the resin accidentally spills in your hands or eyes the best you can do is to wash your skin and eyes with soapy water and thoroughly rinse with clean water. If you sustain serious injuries, it is advisable to seek medical attention or consult your doctor immediately. You must wear gloves, mask, and goggles when;

    • Opening the resin bottle/container.
    • Filling or pouring resin into the Vat.
    • Handling the build plate before and after printing.
    • Disposing unused resin.
    • Cleaning up printed parts, printing parts, and cleaning resins that might have dripped onto your printer or table.
    • Wiping excess resin.
    • Wiping resin that spills or runs down the bottle/container.
    • Pulling the build platform out of the printer.

    Cleaning Resin

    Cleaning Resin

    During the printing process of using and adding more resin to the vat, the resin can spill onto the 3D printer, your hands, equipment, and working surface. It is advisable to clean resin spills on the equipment, printing parts, and on your skin immediately before it cures and lessens its toxicity.

    Provided you wear PPE you can easily clean up resin spills without the risks of their toxic and non-inert properties.

    When cleaning resin spills on the working surface and parts of a 3D printer, we recommend you use IPA {Isopropyl Alcohol}. That’s because it is effective and can properly remove resin spills.

    When the printing process is over, first make sure you have spread the paper towel on the surface to prevent resin from spilling on the working surface.

    printing plate

    Then remove the printing plate, wipe off the resin that still adheres to the printing plate/bed with a paper towel, and completely remove it with a paper towel soaked in IPA. You may reinstall the building plate immediately after you have finished cleaning up.

    Remove the print plate and pour the remaining resin into the bottle/container through a fine filter to be reused in future projects. Do not pour the remaining resin directly into the bottle without filtering because it may contain slimy residues as a result of a partial cure.

    Nonetheless, using resin that has partially cured can cause printing errors in future printing projects {s}. Afterward, you can gently wipe clean the vat and the filter funnel using paper towels soaked in isopropyl alcohol.

    Curing

    Curing is the solidification or hardening of liquid or paste. Resin comes in an incurred liquid state for easy 3D printing designation work. With resin, curing is enhanced by either heating up or exposing the resin to Ultraviolet light {UV-rays/light}.

    Cured or hardened resin is much safer to handle than in its liquid state. Since resin hardens when exposed to sunlight/UV light, it is advisable and important to store it in a dark and lightproof bottle/container, dark place/cabinet, and out of the sun. in other words, anything that comes in contact with uncured resin during the printing process should be exposed to UV light before disposing or reusing them.

    Therefore, after you have finished printing, you can cure the resin either by UV lamp or sunlight. After curing you can take off your PPE because the cured resin is safe with bare hands.

    Then, expose the gloves, resin leftovers, and paper towels that you initially used for wipe cleaning the 3D printing parts and working surface under the sunlight to facilitate curing before disposing of them.

    Let the waste and 3D print resin cure depending on the resin type and curing period recommended by the manufacturer’s instruction. But it would be important if the resin hardens completely.

    Disposal

    Disposal

    Cured resin is completely safe and does not have any harmful effect on humans and thus you can touch cured resin without gloves. When cured, you dispose of resin waste and failed prints with the regular trash.

    If there is any empty resin bottle you want to dispose of, please swish isopropyl alcohol in the bottle to clean the walls of the bottle. Then pour the content into a transparent vessel like plastic, glass, or plastic bag and expose it to sunlight to evaporate the alcohol and facilitate curing and disposal of the bottle.

    Do not dispose of liquid/uncured resin into drains like sink and toilet. Because it can cause damage to the pipes and hazards to the environment. If you think disposing of cured resin in the normal trash can is not enough, it is advisable to call in a professional, your local waste or recycling center to safely do it for you.

    Summary

    • Always wear PPE before handling resin, during the printing process, and cleaning the printing parts and equipment.
    • Filter unused resin to get rid of partially cured resin if you intend to reuse it in future projects.
    • Never throw away uncured resin or pour it down the drain.
    • When filling resin to the vat does not exceed the maximum filling line to prevent the resin from spilling.
    • While printing with resin make sure the room has full ventilation. That is open all the windows, doors, turn on the air purifier, fan, and nearby extractor.
    • Before, removing the printing plate for cleaning, make sure you have unplug the printer’s power cable.