One of the big challenges with 3D printers is the clean up process. Unlike 2D printers, where you can use the output immediately, most 3D printers produce objects that require various types of post-processing, and this is especially true for support media. While some printers simply use the same print material for support sections that must be manually carved off, more advanced printers print the supports using a different material. Why? Because a different material can dissolve away, thus making the support removal process really easy.
However, it’s typically been a rather chemically exotic affair to do so. But no longer – Stratasys now introduces WaveWash, a special environmentally friendly way to dissolve the support material.
Basically, it’s a small dishwasher-like device into which you drop your freshly printed support-adorned object. Add a packet of the special “Ecoworks” cleaning agent and press “start”. Soaking, agitation and chemical reactions take place, removing all support material from your object inside the WaveWash.
The WaveWash takes 20 minutes to set up and has various cycle lengths. After completion, the waste water has a pH level within tolerances to dump it down municipal drains.
It’s a great idea, but we have visions of hackers taking over kitchen dishwashers with experimental concoctions to replicate this functionality for the hobbyist market. Do your dishes and polish up your objects at the same time!