Resin may be known for its high-resolution prints and exceptional detailing, but the price we pay for these benefits is the frustrating and often awkward practice of post-processing.
It’s nice to think you can just wait for the print to be done and that’s that, but the work isn’t over even when your 3D printer’s job is done.
This is where wash and cure machines come in. If you’re using a water-washable resin, then you can wash resins with water by hand, but for both these and other resin types, washing and curing machines take the hard work off your hands and act as post-processors to get your models in good, paintable condition.
Do You Need a Wash and Cure Machine?
While you don’t particularly need a wash and cure machine, they’re an absolute must for streamlining post-processing and taking a lot of the work off your hands.
Think of it this way, you don’t need a rice cooker to cook rice, but it makes it a whole lot easier. Wash and cure machines are the same, and once you have one you’ll end up wondering how you ever got by without.
Post-processing resin prints is important for removing unsightly anomalies and unset resins that will become sticky and ugly over time. This post-processing often requires some special chemicals and equipment.
It may be tempting to just stick your resin prints under the tap and rub them clean, but unfortunately most resins are not water washable and this will do nothing at best, and damage your print at worst. Normally, you’ll need some isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to handle cleaning, which can be awkward and even dangerous to deal with.
The upswing to this is Anycubic’s Water-Wash Resin+ for easy curing and washing to streamline your post-processing and washing time, making it more simple and far less chemical-heavy. While these resins are washable under a standard faucet, the best results will come from one of Anycubic’s Wash and Cure machines.
There are two of these on the market right now, the Wash & Cure 2.0 and the Wash & Cure Plus. Each one has its own strengths, and we’re going to take an in-depth look at the two, comparing them so you’ll know which one to go for if you’re sick of dealing with IPA and TPM by hand.
Anycubic Wash and Cure 2.0
- Price: $129 — Available at Anycubic here
- Size: 225 x 235 x 365 mm
- Weight: 3.7kg
- Light Wavelength: 405nm
- Curing Size: 140 x 165 mm
- Wattage: 25W
- Curing Time: 1 – 60min
The Anycubic Wash and Cure 2.0 is an upgraded version of their original Wash and Cure. You know that this is one heck of an upgrade because its release made them take the original off the market.
By simply letting the Wash and Cure 2.0 do its thing, you’ll get fantastic results even without further sanding or treatment. The detailing on a washed model looks just like an expertly treated print without all the effort of doing it yourself.
The Wash and Cure 2.0 has a rotating bottom panel for 360° curing, meaning it will only take one run-through with the machine to get a fully completed print.
The upgrades of the 2.0 from the previous model are numerous. The 2.0 has better UV protection than its predecessor with a slightly larger cure volume. The original model was cheaper, but only by around $30, leading so few people to consider the upgrade to not be worth it that Anycubic took the original off their online store.
That being said, the 2.0 has been known to be lighter and less structurally sound than the 1.0, though not to any significant degree.
Anycubic Wash and Cure Plus
- Price: $219 — Available at Anycubic here
- Size: 290 x 270 x 479mm
- Weight: 6.5kg
- Light Wavelength: 405nm
- Curing Size: 190 x 245mm
- Wattage: 40W
- Curing Time: 1 – 60min
The Anycubic Wash and Cure Plus is a further upgrade to the 2.0, with some noticeable differences that you may find worth the larger price tag.
The most obvious difference between the two Wash and Cure machines is the size. Naturally, if you’ve got a particularly large resin 3D printer, you’ll want a washing and curing machine in which your bigger projects can fit.
The Wash and Cure Plus has a much larger curing volume, and can handle some of the bigger prints you may have in mind.
The Plus’ power has also been upgraded, reducing the time needed for curing while still protecting your prints. This is why the maximum time setting is still one hour despite it being able to wash and cure larger projects.
The strip light is now an L-shape, meaning it can be bent down to help faster curing of the top of the model as well as the sides, making for a more thorough curing process that covers all angles.
Despite the wavelength between the two models being the same, the UV lamp beads have been upgraded too, leading to faster and stronger curing. This further reduces wait times and provides more reliable results for particularly detailed models.
The Wash and Cure Plus has an added safety feature too. Unlike the Wash and Cure 2.0, the Plus has an automatic pause function that will stop curing if it detects that the protective cover has been removed.
This is to prevent you from accidentally exposing yourself to strong UV light, which is harmful to the skin if it comes in direct contact.
This is great news for those of you who are concerned for your safety, and also if you have young ones at home or are otherwise concerned that the protective casing may not be properly attached.
Wash and Cure 2.0 vs. Wash and Cure Plus: Which Should You Get?
So now that you’ve got a good idea of the two Wash and Cure machines Anycubic offers, the only thing left is to decide which one is right for you.
Here we’ll look at which model you should choose depending on your uses.
When to Buy the Wash and Cure 2.0
The Wash and Cure 2.0 is ideal for those of you on a budget who don’t mind a smaller machine. If your 3D printer isn’t very large or you mostly just print miniatures, then you’ll find the additional cost of the Wash and Cure Plus to be a waste of money.
The 2.0 is a reliable machine that does a lot of the post-processing work for you. It offers 360° cleaning and curing and produces fantastic, highly detailed prints at a fraction of the effort.
When to Buy the Wash and Cure Plus
The Wash and Cure Plus is an all-around upgrade to the 2.0. It has a much larger curing area, which makes it ideal for those of you who like to print larger models.
The Plus is also more powerful in both washing and curing, making it the better option for those of you who want precise, detailed post-processing without too much of a wait.
If you don’t mind the extra price, and print larger projects more often, then the Plus is the machine for you. Its added power, size, and safety are not to be overlooked if comparing cost alone, making it a worthy choice for any resin 3D printing enthusiast.