Exploring Water Washable Resin: How It Works and Why It's Popular

Water washable resin, which is usually known for its convenience and environmental protection, is becoming a popular resin material. Water washable resin is widely discussed by 3D printing enthusiasts in many forums, lots of people are using it, or want to try it. What does water washable resin do? This kind of resin does not require the use of harsh solvents or chemicals, and can be cleaned simply with water. For LCD/DLP printing, water washable resin is a worthwhile material option. In this article, we will briefly explain its characteristics, advantages and disadvantages compared with normal resin, and recommend the best washable reins, so that 3D printer users can know more about resin materials and make suitable choices.


What is Water Washable Resin

During the 3D printing process, the water washable resin, like normal resin, is exposed to ultraviolet light to undergo a transformation from liquid to solid, curing into a 3D model of a specific shape. The difference from normal resins is that water washable resin contain water-soluble components, such as polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) or polycarboxylic acid, which can be washed off with water. For dealing with liquid resin remaining on the surface of printed parts, there is no need to use isopropyl alcohol, it can be removed by soaking in water. Not only that, but water-washable resin has certain advantages in many aspects, such as environmental protection, printing quality and operation safety.


Characteristics of Water Washable Resin

Water washable resin has extraordinary significance for resin 3D printing, it is also a technological innovation and progress. It allows us to produce high quality prints without the hassle of cleaning the prints with chemical solvents. Compare with normal resins, water washable resin has some different characteristics in terms of water solubility, UV stability and resolution, which will affect printing quality, surface smoothness, printing speed, etc. Let’s take a closer look at the 3 main characteristics of washable resin.


Water Solubility:

The water washable resin contains water soluble components, such as PVA, which gives it the ability to dissolve or disperse in water. The water wash resin can dissolve into water when it comes in contact with water, so after printing, it is easy to decompose the residual resin on the surface of the cured model, the necessary cleaning steps become time-saving and labor-saving. Another benefit of washable resin is that the support of the print can also be easily removed, leaving a smoother surface than normal resins.

The water-soluble characteristics also have a negative impact. Even after the resin has been cured into a model, water-washable resin models are more water-absorbent than normal resin. So the humid environment is easy to make the printed part absorb water and cause the 3D print to crack. In wet or water-repellent applications, washable resin is obviously not suitable, or additional treatment is required.

Low Viscosity:

Water washable resin has a lower consistency, better fluidity, and lower viscosity than normal resin. During the printing process, water washable resin usually provide a smooth and uniform print, effectively improving the surface finish of models and showing intricate details. Secondly, the low viscosity and good fluidity allow water-washed resins to use shorter exposure times, which also means increased printing speed.

UV Stability:

Water washable resin is often formulated with stabilizers to make the washable resin UV stable. While UV cures the resin during the printing process, ultraviolet light stability can ensure that the resin is cured more evenly, which is beneficial for improving the printing quality and forming a smooth surface of the printed product. After printing is complete, this stability acts as a barrier to protect the 3D model from the negative effects of UV light on it. Even if it is exposed to ultraviolet light for a long time, the 3D print can maintain the stability of structure and quality. The water washable resin is undoubtedly more durable in this regard.

The Pros and Cons of Using Water Washable Resin

From the characteristics of water washable resin, it is easy to clean, enables faster printing, and the surface of the prints is smooth, there are many advantages to using washable resin. Inevitably, it also has some disadvantages, which we need to consider before choosing. Here, let’s explore the pros and cons of water washable resin for 3D printing.


Pros of Water Washable Resin

  • Easy to handle: Water replaces alcohol to clean prints, no exposure to dangerous chemical solvents. Supports are also easier to remove after printing. NOTE: Protective measures are still required for using and handling the resin.
  • Easy to print: Water washable resin allows for faster print speeds and better print quality. The printing resolution is high, and the surface is uniform and smooth.
  • Environmentally friendly choice: Water replaces the need for chemicals and is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option.
  • Safe choice: Water washable resin have a lower status than normal resins. Using water for post-processing reduces the difficulty and danger of operation.

Cons of Water Washable Resin

  • Price: Water washable resin has good performance, but the price is higher than normal resins.
  • Application:The printed parts of water washable resin are more absorbent, it is easy to cause the 3D print to crack in a humid environment.
  • Water consumption:Water washing resin requires more water consumption to clean the prints.
  • Disposal:The water used to clean the washed resin model requires further treatment and cannot be discharged directly.

Best Resin Recommendation: Anycubic Water Washable Resin

Anycubic water washable resin has been very popular since its launch, it stands out for its high-quality printing results. Water washable resin has the advantages of being easy to use, and Anycubic’s upgraded formula, water wash resin+ brings more surprises: low, odor, high precision, and not easy to crack. The prints can achieve higher accuracy and better details. Washable resins usually face the problem of easy cracking. Anycubic Water Wash Resin+ has been tested and approved. The printed 3D model has stable performance and can be placed for a long time without cracking. Compatible with wide waveband, Anycubic water washable resin is compatible with all 3D LCD/DLP printers on the market. It is recommended to match with Anycubic resin series 3D printers and Anycubic Wash & Cure machines to get perfect results.


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