3D print Curing Boxes –
Buying Guide & Amazon Reviews :
3D print curing boxes are the perfect way to quickly cure your 3D prints without having to wait for ages. In this article, we go over some of the best models currently on the market and all their different features – including things like price, reliability, customer reviews, and so on. Whether you’re new to 3D printing or an old pro, there’ll be a wash and cure station here that will suit you!
Be sure to check out the buying guide if you need a bit more general information about 3D printer curing boxes – why we use them, the different types available, and things you need to consider when buying.
Table of Contents
Comparing the Best 3D Print Curing Boxes 2022
|Model||Modes||Maximum Curing Size||UV Wavelength||LED Lights||Station Size||Curing Time|
|Elegoo Mercury||Curing||142 x 150mm||405nm||14||150 x 251.5mm||0-9.5 minutes|
|Elegoo Mercury Plus||Washing and Curing||125 x 85 x 160mm||385nm and 405nm||16||200 x 200 x 352mm||0-30 minutes|
|ANYCUBIC Wash and Cure Station 2.0||Washing and Curing||140 x 165mm||405nm||14||225 x 235 x365mm||1-60 minutes|
|Creality 3D UW-01||Washing and Curing||165 x 200mm||385nm and 405nm||18||225 x 235 x 365mm||2-90 minutes|
|SUNLU UV Resin Curing Light Box||Curing||203 x 203 x 216mm||405nm||6||268 x 263 x 110mm||3-10 minutes|
Top 3D Curing Boxes Reviews
1: ELEGOO Mercury Curing Machine
The Elegoo Mercury combines intelligent time control, two 405 nm LED strips and a light-driven turntable in a package that costs around $60. This is one of the best-rated 3D print curing boxes on Amazon at the moment. And while it’s a one-mode station, it has a lot going for it, particularly if you’re looking for something affordable but functional.
This is a cylindrical-shaped curing station with a diameter of 5.90 by 8.6 inches and weighing around 3 lbs. The shell is light yet sturdy aluminum alloy and has a sandblasted exterior that creates a minimalist look.
The Elegoo Mercury boasts a maximum curing size of 142*150 mm. This usable surface area means that it can accommodate almost anything that you print on the Elegoo Mars and other similarly sized printers.
This curing station’s fourteen 405 nm LED lights coupled with a reflective sheet interior and a 360-degree rotating turntable ensure that the UV light hits all parts of your models. These features let you focus on other tasks instead of worrying about rotating the model for even curing. Interestingly, the turntable is UV light-powered, so you don’t have to worry about changing batteries.
The Elegoo Mercury curing machine’s control panel (at the top of the unit) is as straightforward as it is neat. This is a touch-sensitive UI comprising a sizable LED display and 3 buttons. The first button turns the machine ON/OFF while the other two offer a way to adjust the curing time from 0 seconds to 9.5 minutes.
Concerning its compatibility, the Elegoo Mercury curing box will work with all resin-based printers. So long as the resin requires the 405 nm UV wavelength to cure effectively and the model fits in the curing chamber, you should be fine.
- Straightforward to use
- Versatile compatibility
- Relatively inexpensive
- UV light-powered 360-degree rotating turntable
- Designed for small prints
- Some creators find it overpriced for its quality
With the Mercury Plus, Elegoo offers you an opportunity to add a resin washing machine and a curing box into your 3D printing arsenal without going for two separate devices. This is an upgrade of the original Elegoo Mercury curing station above. While it comes at twice the price tag, creators who have used it affirm that the Elegoo Mercury Plus does not disappoint.
The Elegoo Mercury Plus brings a stunning modern design with a sturdy base with black accents and a removable cover. Its size- 200 (l) x 200 (w) x 352 (h) mm- makes it a machine you can comfortably place alongside your 3D printer.
The cover is transparent, so it allows you to watch over your models as they clean and cure from anywhere around your printing room. Elegoo claims that the hood can block up to 99.95% of the UV rays. In addition to ensuring the users’ safety, this design makes sure that the rays are concentrated inside for a speedy curing process.
Speaking of safety, the Elegoo Mercury Plus has an automatic pause function. When it’s on curing mode, lifting the hood pauses operation automatically and emits a beeping sound to alert you to the danger.
The Elegoo Mercury Plus is fitted with 16 UV light curing lamp beads: eight 405 nm and eight 385 nm beads. The two strips work together with the 360-degree rotating turntable to cure your models quickly and effectively. The platform can handle print sizes of up to 125 x 85 x 160 mm.
The washing mode offers you two methods of cleaning your items. You can wash them in the provided basket or suspend them. Either way, the cleaning mode makes post-processing a notch safer by minimizing your contact with the untreated resin. There’s no need to worry about spillages because the machine has been engineered with sealed cleaning technology to prevent the cleaning agent from splashing.
Controlling the machine is via a set of buttons on the base of the unit. Use the mode button to select between cleaning and curing and the Time +/- buttons to adjust operation time from 0 to 30 minutes.
Like its predecessor, this cleaning and curing box will accommodate models from Elegoo Mars printers and a wide range of other printer brands, including Photon, NOVA, QIDI, Anycubic, and Creality.
- Multiple UV light beads and wavelengths make curing quick and fast.
- Dual functions mean you don’t need two separate devices.
- Has automatic pause function to safeguard users from UV light
- Has a 360-degree turntable for even curing
- Usable with different 3D printer brands
- Timer limited to 30 minutes.
- Washing mode won’t work for resins that require cleaning with water.
3: Anycubic Wash and Cure Station 2.0
With the Anycubic 2.0, Anycubic- a Shenzhen-based company- found a way to design a high-quality station that makes post-processing easy while keeping the price competitive.
This is one of the top-rated 3D print wash and cure stations to buy. While it’s seemingly designed for the Anycubic Photon series, it’s widely compatible with various regular resin 3D printers with a similar build volume.
The Anycubic Wash and Cure Station 2.0 is a dual-function machine that lets you move from washing your prints to curing them all in one unit. This unit is slightly larger than the Elegoo Mercury Plus above at 225mm(L) x 235mm(W) x 365mm(H), so you may want to create more space at your work table. The upside of this size is that the machine can accommodate a slightly bigger wash container.
Like other multipurpose units in these 3D print wash and cure boxes reviews, the Anycubic 2.0 offers you two methods of cleaning your items. The first option involves placing your model on the washing rack without removing it from the 3D printer’s platform. This method is ideal for items not bigger than 4.5 inches. For bigger items, you’ll need to lift them from the platform and place them directly on the washing rack.
A unique feature of this wash and cure station is that the washing process is done in a sealed container. No messes. No fumes. No harsh odors! Additionally, the wash container has a magnet-powered agitator to give your items a serious scrubbing.
The curing process comprises:
- Fourteen lamp beads that emit UV light with a wavelength of 405 nm.
- An anti UV light transparent hood is said to block 99.95% of UV light for an effective solidification rate and protect you from prolonged UV light exposure.
- A shiny reflector at the bottom. This ensures no dead ends during the curing process, and most of the UV light is concentrated on the model.
- A 360-degree slow rotating curing table. This is crucial for ensuring that the light reaches all sides of the model evenly.
The other advantage of the Anycubic Wash and Cure Station 2.0 is its 1-60-minute timer. This wide range allows you more flexibility when it comes to adapting the machine to different types of resins and layers.
- Dual function design saves more time
- Plug and play operations
- 1-60-minute time range accommodates all types of resin
- Rotating platform promotes even curing
- Sealed cleaning container ensures no splashes, messes, and fumes
- Rotating platform has notable vibrations
- Spare parts may not be easily available
4: Creality 3D UW-01 Washing and Curing Machine
The Creality 3D UW-01 is another popular unit that always pops up in discussions of the best machines for curing resin prints. And for a price of around $113 (down from $160 early this year), it’s clear that this Creality wash and cure station is a hitter in terms of value for money.
The UW-01 is Creality’s version of a 2-in-1 curing machine. After printing your models, you start by cleaning them in the removable 4-liter jacuzzi included in the package filled with the suitable cleaning agent for your prints (alcohol or water).
This washing container measures 190x154x200 mm allowing to wash most larger-sized models comfortably.
On this note, Creality LD-002R and LD-002H owners will enjoy the convenience of placing their freshly printed models directly on this station’s mounts. The ability to adjust the build plate holder’s height is a huge bonus in that it keeps your prints fully submerged without having to fill the cleaning solution to the brim. There’s a separate wire basket to accommodate models from third-party resin printers.
The wash process is aided by a magnetic turbine in the alcohol tank. Don’t worry, there’s a safety guard on the turbine so that it won’t ruin your prints. Also, the washing container has a sealing lid that technically converts it into a storage container. This airtight lid also prevents the stench of IPA from filling your printing room. This does not eliminate the need for cleaning your prints in a properly ventilated area, though.
As a curing station, the Creality 3D UW-01 boasts 18 pieces of 385 nm and 405 nm LED lights arranged in two tall stripes at the back of the machine. The LEDs direct the UV light towards a rotating table with a reflective base to ensure that your models absorb the curing light from all sides. The table has a maximum curing volume of 165 x 200 mm.
The UW-01’s user interface seems slightly more advanced than the rest in these reviews. But it can’t be easier to use. All the buttons are touch-sensitive and will let you switch between operation modes to adjust the rotational speed from slow, normal, to quick. The time button lets you set the desired washing or curing time from 2 minutes to 90 minutes, and there’s a button to pause the process when necessary. The lid also has an automatic function that switches off the LEDs if lifted to avoid exposure to the UV rays.
- Large washing tank (4L capacity)
- Turntable has three rotational speeds
- 18 LEDs of 385 nm and 405 nm wavelengths
- Rotating turntable with a reflective base for even curing
- Curing time of 2-90 minutes
- Good value for money
- Makes some noise
5: SUNLU UV Resin Curing Box
If you’re just getting started with resin 3D printing, you probably don’t want the fanciest curing box in the market. In that case, a cheap resin curing box might fit the bill for you.
The Sunlu is one of the best 3D print curing boxes below $50 on Amazon. Its high star rating by previous buyers ranks it highly among other dependable curing solutions for creators on budget.
The Sunlu is a single-function resin curing station, meaning that you’ll need to wash your prints before putting them in the box. Otherwise, the extra resin coating will be cured over the model hiding the finer details you want for your projects.
This curing box is powered by a 60W LED strip of six heavy-duty 405 nm lamps. It also comes complete with a 360-degree rotating turntable. This turntable has a maximum curing volume of 203 x 203 x 216 mm. It makes around 10 revolutions per minute, eliminating all worries of uneven curing.
Its 3-button control panel is a breeze to use from the get-go. The buttons allow quick actions when adjusting the curing time from 3 minutes to 10 minutes.
To add to its ease of use and affordability, the Sunlu resin curing station comes with a 1-year guarantee of after-sales service. That’s an assurance that help will be within reach whenever you get stuck.
- User-friendly design
- Comparably inexpensive
- 360-degree rotating turntable
- Uses six high-powered 405 nm LEDs
- Comes with a -year guarantee
- Has no washing mode
What are 3D Print Curing Boxes?
If you’re new to 3D printing and are just starting to build your station, you’re probably wondering, “what is a cure box?” Another question that most new creators ask is whether a 3D print curing box is essential.
Let’s start right from the top. What is curing in 3D printing?
As explained in our list of 3D Printing Terms You Want to Know, curing is the process of hardening SLA printed items. This process involves subjecting the printed parts to solar/ultraviolet radiation, heat, or a pool of chemical additives.
Why is Curing in SLA Necessary?
All 3D printing technologies- SLA, SLS, and FDM- have one thing in common: there’s always some post-processing to do after you’ve printed your items. With FDM, the most common post-process is removing the support structure. This can be done either manually or by submerging the printed item in water, d-limonene, or isopropyl alcohol, depending on the type of support material used.
Not all FDM 3D prints require support structures, though. Such items are ready to rumble as soon as you have lifted them off the build platform. But that’s not the case with SLA 3D printed items.
The polymerization process in most SLA printed items is not yet complete immediately after printing. This means that while the parts may have completed printing, they are still soft and tacky because they have not yet attained the final material properties necessary for them to function optimally. This may be an issue, especially if the item is expected to withstand high-impact forces and mechanical pressure.
For this reason, some resin types require to be exposed to heat and light to allow the polymerization reaction to complete. This is necessary for the printed item to achieve the desired material property.
Also, curing or post-curing is necessary to give the resin prints a smooth look. Healthwise, this is a crucial process that ensures that no further reaction happens once you start using the printed model. Remember that resins are toxic in their liquid form and can cause irritation of the skin and respiratory system.
How Curing is Done in SLA Prints
You have multiple options when it comes to curing SLA 3D prints. But it comes down to the type of resin that you’re using.
There are different types of resins, but the most common are UV resin (also commonly known as 1-part resin) and 2-part resin.
As the name implies, a 2-part resin comprises the resin itself and a hardener. The hardener is an agent added to a resin in a 1:1 ratio to facilitate the curing process. That suggests that 2-part resin prints don’t require being exposed to UV rays to cure effectively.
After printing, the hardener starts reacting with the resin causing it to harden. The process may take up to 3 hours for smaller prints. But in the end, you get models with the appropriate strength and stability.
UV (1-Part) Resin
On the other hand, UV resins are 1-part in nature, meaning that they are not mixed with a hardening agent. After printing, these prints are tacky and malleable and, therefore, have to be exposed to UV light for hardening.
Sun Vs Professional Resin Curing Station
There are 2 ways of curing UV resins. The cheapest method is exposure to ambient light from the sun. The ultraviolet rays in sunlight are enough to cure 1-part resins. Curing your resin prints this way won’t cost you a dime.
But keep in mind that this option might take considerably longer, so you’ll need to practice some patience. Depending on the size of your 3D resin models, curing under sunlight may take 2-8 hours or even more.
Also, you’ll realize that the sun may not be so intentional in curing your 3D prints evenly. Thus, you must keep rotating the prints to ensure that they cure evenly.
On top of this, it’s practically impossible to control the amount of heat reaching your printed models without blocking out the UV rays. Too much heat from the sun can cause your prints to warp, ruining an otherwise great print.
If that sounds way too much for your projects, you may want to invest in a resin curing station. This is a handy and relatively inexpensive device that combines temperature and UV light to make this post-production process seamless and fast. Depending on the size of your prints, most of these stations will cure it in 2-10 minutes.
In addition to speedy operations, the other advantage of professional curing stations is their 360-degree rotating platform. This turning table ensures that your parts come out cured evenly without the need for rotating them manually.
Different Types of Curing Machines Available
Washing and Curing Stations
There’s no arguing that post-processing is the messiest stage of resin 3D printing. Post-processing in resin 3D printing often begins with washing the part in isopropyl alcohol (IPA) or tripropylene glycol monomethyl ether (TPM).
Washing resin 3D prints isn’t always so fun. In addition to being stinky, the washing solution is hazardous. This requires you to wear gloves and line your workspace with plastic sheets to avoid causing a mess. Most creators find this process very discouraging.
But that’s where washing and curing stations come in. These are 2-in-1 devices that will wash your prints and then cure them in a few minutes. As you can imagine, these machines are all about making the post-production process a lot quicker and mess-free.
These stations don’t cure your 3D prints. Instead, they are designed to save you the hassle of getting your hands dirty as you swirl your prints in a pool of isopropyl alcohol (IPA).
A washing station will be your choice if you already have a dedicated curing station or are a huge fan of the traditional method of curing prints using sunlight. You may also be in the market for a wash-only station if your current wash and cure device isn’t big enough to handle bigger prints.
Lastly, if you already own a washing station or don’t mind washing your prints manually, a curing station is what you need. Such a machine may be your go-to option if your budget doesn’t allow you to splurge on a washing and curing station.
Considerations When Buying a Curing Station
There are several considerations to make when choosing the perfect 3D resin curing station for your printing projects.
Type of Resin
Different types of UV resin require a different wavelength to cure effectively and achieve its optimum mechanical properties. Generally speaking, most resins cure at a wavelength range between 200 nm and 400 nm. There are a few exceptions, though. For instance, most resins engineered purposely for Formlabs printers cure at 405 nm. If you use these resins, you’ll want to buy a curing station that can achieve this UV wavelength range.
Closely related to the previous point is the need to get a curing unit that you can fine-tune to suit your applications. If you’re printing models or parts that need tight accuracy, for instance, dental and surgical prototypes, you’ll need a curing station that offers the necessary tolerances. But if your applications don’t require precision, then a typical curing station will still fit the bill.
How Fast Do You Want it to Be?
Resin curing stations are superbly fast, especially compared to the good old-fashioned sunlight. However, while small figurines cure in a few minutes, keep in mind that large objects may take slightly longer (up to 20 minutes).
Another important consideration is that transparent resins cure faster because the UV light can penetrate deeper.
That being said, if your applications involve large and colored models, you may want to get a slightly more advanced curing station that cures using both heat and UV light.
Final Verdict: Are 3D Print Curing Boxes Worth it?
Post-curing stations are generally inexpensive. But the price between different units will vary a lot depending on what each station brings to the table.
Generally, you should expect versatile stations that wash and cure to cost slightly more than single-function units. Additionally, large and complex resin stations that can be fine-tuned for optimal dimensional accuracy will have a notably higher price tag than generic solutions.
The units in our best 3D print curing boxes reviews range from $50 to $150, depending on features. Whether you’re looking for a no-frills cheap resin curing station or have the budget to get the best unit in the market, a resin washing and curing station is a worthy addition to the game. A 3D print wash and cure station completes the enjoyable resin 3D printing picture by taking the mess out of resin post-processing while leaving you with cleaner and smoother models.