Besides many test devices, Martin now has his fourth own 3D printer running and prints as a hobby for friends, family and himself. He is happy to share his experience with each new article.
Creality is best known in the 3D printing community for filament 3D printers. But also in resin 3D printing Creality has many popular 3D printers and resins on the market. Meanwhile also a water-washable resin.
The water washable 3D printer resin from Creality does not require isopropyl alcohol for cleaning. Normal water is sufficient. It preserves all the details of the 3D print and has sufficient mechanical strength for standard and decorative objects.
In this article, you will find out how this resin performs in a practical test.
- Can be washed off with normal water
- Standard 405 nm UV light required for curing
- High accuracy – even 0.01 mm layer thicknesses with 22 µm XY resolution are no problem
- There are more stable resins than this, but for standard objects and decorative objects more than sufficient
Who Should Buy Creality Water Washable Resin?
Creality’s water washable resin is suitable for anyone who is afraid of the complicated post-processing of resin 3D prints. With this water washable resin, you save the handling and cost of isopropyl alcohol.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Water washable – no isopropyl alcohol (IPA) required
Easy handling and post processing
Strong odor and toxic (as with every synthetic resin)
- Density: 1.08-1.15 g/cm³
- Viscosity: 150-250 cps
- Hardness: 78-79 D
- Elongation at break: 10-14
- Flexural strength: 69-76 Mpa
- Tensile strength: 40-46 Mpa
- Shelf life: 6 months (3 months after opening)
- Wavelength: 405 nm (UV light)
*This table shows settings for Creality water washable resin for various printers (source: creality3dofficial.com)
Scope of Delivery
Included with the water-washable 3D printer resin is only the (well-packaged) resin and an instruction manual.
The resin is well protected from transport damage in its air-cushioned packaging. The instruction manual contains useful data on exposure with various 3D printers (see also the table above). It also briefly explains how to handle the resin and post-processing.
In addition to a suitable 3D printer and the resin, you will also need the following things for the preparation, handling and post-processing of your resin 3D print:
- Disposable gloves
- FFP-2 masks
- A couple of disposable resin filters* or a reusable resin filter
- Paper towels
- UV lamp
When it comes to handling, Creality’s water-washable resin doesn’t differ much from other resins. Even though it is water washable, it does not mean that it is not toxic. Just like other resins for 3D printers, it is also harmful to your health and the environment. Therefore, it is important to wear appropriate personal protective equipment such as disposable gloves and an FFP-2 mask when handling it.
Before you pour it into the resin container in your 3D printer, you need to shake the bottle properly so that the resin becomes homogeneous.
The only real advantage over other resins in handling is that you can wipe away Creality’s water washable resin with water. With other resins, you need isopropyl alcohol for this. So if something goes wrong, a wet paper towel is enough to wipe away the drops and clean the surfaces.
Since I usually use other resins for 3D printing, I always have some isopropyl alcohol on hand. With this, you can also remove the last residue and the streaks. This would also work with a damp cloth, but it takes longer in my experience.
To find the correct exposure time, a table for common exposure times of different printers is listed in the manual. Since the 3D printer I used for the test, the Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K, was not included in this list, I assumed a default value and then used the resin test matrix to calibrate the correct settings.
With this test matrix, you can see immediately if the exposure time is too short or too long. I was lucky and the settings were immediately almost perfect. I then reduced the exposure time by 0.05 seconds.
The advantage of the test matrix is that it is only a few layers thick and therefore does not require much printing time even with a very small layer thickness. In my case, I printed with 0.01 mm layer thickness and came to a printing time of 40 minutes. Another advantage is that the print never fails because the matrix is virtually its own raft and has a very good print bed adhesion. This means that after removing the object and cleaning the print bed, you can continue printing directly without filtering and refilling the resin in the 3D printer. This saves a lot of time.
The post-processing of resin 3D printing is by far the biggest effort. The remaining resin must be filtered back into the container, the container, the print bed and the print object must be cleaned and the print object must be cured.
In the case of water washable resin, isopropyl alcohol is not used. Instead, water is used to wash off the last liquid resin residues from the print bed, the print object and the resin vat.
In my test, this all worked wonderfully, except that the resin vat did not clean well with water alone. I used paper towels and water to remove as much of the resin as I could, and then soaked it overnight with water to clean it completely the next day. The next time I had used isopropyl alcohol after the rough wash down with water to remove the last of the residue. This was much faster, but then isopropyl alcohol was used again, which is what you actually want to avoid when buying the water washable resin.
So my conclusion on post-processing Creality’s water washable resin is that it definitely works, is less of a health and financial burden than using isopropyl alcohol, but is a bit more elaborate and takes longer.
Print Quality – Practical Test
The quality of a resin 3D print depends on many factors. Not only the 3D printer and the set layer thickness are relevant, but also the properties of the resin used. Inferior resins can crack after curing, show inhomogeneities or become extremely brittle.
As already mentioned, I used the Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K for the test. This 3D printer is extremely accurate with layer thicknesses of 0.01 mm and an XY resolution of 22 µm (click here for the detailed review and practical test of the Sonic Mini 8K). The UV light source is also very strong, requiring only very short exposure times. After calibrating the UV light as described above, I printed this druid with extremely high detail.
Except for a horizontal stripe on the chest, it turned out perfectly. I’m used to the high detail density from the Sonic Mini 8K, but it was nice to see that Creality’s water washable resin also supports this detail.
The horizontal stripe will be due to a temperature change in the resin printer room. The printing took a total of 36 hours and the heating in the room is switched off at night. However, the stripe is only visual and can’t be felt with a fingernail almost at all. Finished painting, you will not see the stripe.
In addition to personal protective equipment and resin filters, there are other useful accessories that can make post-processing easier. There are 2-in-1 devices with which you can wash and cure the object.
Creality also has a wash and cure machine for resin models on the market with the UW-02*. It is relatively large and can wash and cure objects of up to 2.5 kg. The washing volume is 240 x 160 x 200 mm and the curing volume is 200 mm in diameter and x 300 mm in height.
Besides the Creality device, the Anycubic Wash & Cure Station* and the Mercury Plus 2-in-1 Wash & Cure Station* are also very popular. In this article, I have compared these two devices: Elegoo Mercury Plus vs. Anycubic Wash & Cure 2.0.
Is the Water Washable Resin from Creality Worth It?
When looking for the right resin for your 3D printer, you need to decide between many resin types. Most of these resins require isopropyl alcohol to wash them off and remove excess liquid resin from the print object.
If you find isopropyl alcohol too dangerous or uncomfortable to use, you can also use Creality’s water washable resins. Then this resin is worth it because you save the cost of the isopropyl alcohol and simplify the post-processing of your objects and the cleaning of your 3D printer and the tools.