Having already had a huge impact in CAD-based industries, the potential of 3D printing has quickly spread. But in spite of these printers’ technological brilliance, they’re not perfect machines.
Once your resin print is complete, the supporting material is still in place and can be a nightmare to clean off.
As this uncured resin is designed to brace the most delicate parts of your design while it’s printed, cleaning it off without breaking your print can in some cases be impossible.
That’s why an ultrasonic cleaner is an amazing investment. They can clean up your design safely in minutes.
So, in the spirit of keeping your designs squeaky clean and highly functional, we’ve amassed 6 of the very best ultrasonic cleaners for 3D printed resin models.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Featuring a 600ml capacity, 42kHz frequencies, and 5 wash presets, unless you’re printing extremely large objects, this Magnasonic ultrasonic cleaner is all most will require to keep their creations squeaky clean.
Cleaning cycles run from 90 to 480 seconds, so no matter how intricate your print is, it can be ready for use in a maximum of 8 minutes. certainly beats hours doing it by hand, huh?
Designed to give precious jewelry back its sparkle, you can trust that it has the delicate touch required to rinse out all the residue from your creations safely.
As it cleans without the use of alcohol or harsh chemicals, you won’t have to worry about it having a negative impact on the structural integrity of the model.
It’s also incredibly user-friendly. With an ‘on’ button, an ‘off’ button, and a cycle set button, there’s no pouring over the user manual for days before use.
It’s very much a plug-in and play device, so to speak. You can put your resin print directly in, or for more gentle transitions, you can use the included basket to ferry your print into and out of the cleaner.
- 42,000Hz - It’s small but it’s one of the more powerful ultrasonic cleaners.
- 5 Cleaning Cycles - Customizable wash lengths allow you to maximize productivity.
- Intuitive Design - You won’t need the user manual for this cleaner.
- Price - It’s such a good deal!
- Dimensions - Won’t fit especially large resin models.
If the functionality of our top pick sounded great, but you’re after a slightly larger capacity so you’re not squeezing your models in, the IC-2755 is ideal for you.
It has the same 42kHz ultrasonic power designed for quaking years of disrepair from delicates, so it’s guaranteed to polish your models to perfection.
You get 5 cleaning cycles to choose from ranging from 1.5 to 10 minutes, allowing you to dial in the more suitable session for your models.
It’s a little more expensive than our top choice, but that’s because of the 800ml capacity and the fact it houses two wafer transducers for an even dispersion of ultrasonic energy.
The controls are very similar to our top cleaner, but there’s one on/off button rather than a dedicated button for each.
You can set this machine to go and walk away, but thanks to the translucent lid, you’ll want to stay and witness the bubbly magic.
- 42kHz - Has a little extra juice than most ultrasonic cleaners on the market.
- 800ml Capacity - There’s more wiggle room for larger prints.
- Price - Still an awesome price for the cleaning power.
- Dual Transducers - two transducers even out sonic strength around the basin.
- Basin - The basin is non-removable which can make maintenance somewhat tricky.
We’ve gone even bigger with our third pick. This 6.5 liter ultrasonic cleaner has the capacity to bathe your largest creations, allowing you creativity to run wild...no limitations! The 42kHz sonic power will shake all the debris from your design in a matter of minutes.
Aesthetically speaking, it’s not as home-friendly as some of our other products. The stainless steel enclosure has an industrial vibe, more suited to a shed than a CAD hub, but if looks aren’t important to you, this is a wonderful machine.
This cleaner is pricier still, but the articulation it gives you over cycles is worth every penny. Choose between 1-30 minute cycles and temperatures up to 60°C.
Three transducers ensure your models come out pristine every time, and it’s surprisingly quiet too, hurray!
- Capacity - You get 6.5 liters to play with here.
- Three Transducers - This ensures there are no cleaning blind spots in the basin.
- Controls - Controls are well labeled and easy to use - 3 for temperature, 3 for cycle length.
- Price - The extra controls and capacity come at a cost.
- Aesthetics - More of an industrial-looking product.
Our fourth pick is as simple as they come. It has a 600ml basin capacity and a two-button interface, one for turning it on and off, and another to choose one of the five 90-480 second cycles.
A favorite of master jewelers, if the MUCO2 can be trusted with expensive antiquities, it’s more than capable of giving your prints a good once over.
What stood out to us is just how quiet this thing is. Even with that 42kHz sonic power, it runs at an almost whisper volume, which is a definite boon in our book, especially for a professional environment with lots of coworkers trying to concentrate.
It’s also a very practical design. The basin is removable which makes cleanup a breeze, and the translucent lid lets you watch the mesmeric process of the bubbles stripping the residue away.
- 42kHz - Despite the MUCO2’s diminutive dimensions, it packs a punch!
- Removable Basin - This makes cleanup so much easier.
- Quiet Running Volume - Great for busy environments.
- 5 Cycles - Dial in the appropriate cycle and go about your business.
- Dimensions - Not large enough for your big printouts.
Here’s another one that would be more in keeping with a laboratory or industrial backdrop due to the stainless steel tub design.
With a 40kHz transducer, it’s not quite as capable as our other picks but still produces fine enough bubbles for washing delicates. Besides, what it lacks in high frequencies, it makes up for in capacity.
The CO-Z ultrasonic cleaner brings 2 liters of cleaning space to the table, so if our other picks were either too big or too small for your applications, this is a happy medium.
It has room enough for cleaning multiple resin models simultaneously, yet doesn’t take up too much counter space in what may be an already congested environment.
It’s an impressively articulate machine as well, giving you the choice between 1-30 minute cycles, and if heat is required, between 60-80°C.
The CO-Z cleaner is known to last much longer than standard designs as well, which is nice to know.
- Articulate Controls - Intuitive controls give you control over cycle and temperature.
- 2 Liter Capacity - Plenty of room for larger models or multiple smaller models.
- Durability - The rugged design won’t let you down any time soon.
- Power - Not quite as powerful as our top picks.
- Aesthetics - It’s a little on the industrial side.
This H&B Luxuries ultrasonic cleaner combines a large 2.5 liter capacity with the home-kind aesthetics of our smaller picks, so even if you engage in some large-scale printing, you don’t have to settle for an eyesore.
Commonly used for gun maintenance due to the length of the basin, it’s equally as effective for cleaning awkwardly shaped 3D prints.
You can choose cycle lengths between 90 and 480 degrees, allowing you to fine-tune your process. It also features temperature adjustment up to 65°C if you ever need to really give something a thorough sonic blitzing.
Build quality is on point. It features a circuit protector to increase service life and a radiator fan that enables it to run for long periods of time, but unfortunately, with a 35kHz transducer, the wash isn’t quite as delicate as our other picks.
- Large Capacity - 2.5 liters will fit most 3D printed objects.
- Build Quality - Electronics are well protected, increasing service life.
- Temperature Controls - You can heat things up a bit when necessary.
- Lower Power - 35kHz is still capable of cleaning your prints, but it may be worth doing it in shorter bursts.
Best Ultrasonic Cleaners for Your Resin 3D Prints Buying Guide
All these ultrasonic cleaners are great, but how do you choose between them?
Well, here’s a few key considerations that should narrow your choices a little.
Types of Ultrasonic Cleaner
Let’s take a brief look at the different categories of ultrasonic cleaners.
These cleaners are small capacity worktop models like the 600ml Magnasonic in our number one spot.
They’re commonly used for cleaning delicates such as jewelry or glasses. They’re suitable for short well-spaced cleaning sessions.
Featuring sturdier all-metal builds and powerful transducers, these cleaners are most prominently used for cleaning lab glass such as test tubes and beakers.
They have slightly more powerful transducers and are designed to be used semi-frequently.
These cleaners are large and powerful with a separate generator to power the transducers.
They’re used in commercial processes where near-constant use is essential to maximize productivity.
Frequency is measured in Hz and kHz and refers to the size of the sonic wave that passes through the solution to form the cleaning bubbles.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the higher the frequency, the more intense the cleaning process will be, but it’s actually the opposite.
Due to higher frequencies exhibiting a shorter wavelength, the bubbles formed are smaller, perfect for cleaning delicates. Lower frequencies produce larger, more volatile bubbles due to their wide wavelength and are best utilized for cleaning robust items.
40kHz is generally seen as the sweet spot, but 42kHz will be even better for 3D-printed resin models. Bear in mind, though, that going too high with the frequency will damage delicates. Some cleaners can emit frequencies as high as 400kHz.
Most ultrasonic cleaners will pull around 50-100 watts per gallon, so if you want to keep your bills nice and tame, you should look for one that’s as small as possible while still being suitable for the intended application.
Capacity and Shape
The capacity of an ultrasonic cleaner refers to the size of the basin. Generally speaking, the larger they are the larger the price tag. You’ll need a big enough basin to completely submerge your resin printouts.
You should also consider the shape of the basin. It needs to be able to fit your models in comfortably. Placing them in there in an awkward way just so they’ll fit increases the chances they’ll break during the cleaning process.
The transducers are the instrument that emits the frequency that does the cleaning. Ultrasonic cleaners can have a single transducer or many.
If you opt for a large-capacity machine, multiple transducers are preferable as they ensure power is spread evenly throughout the whole basin.
Controls and Modes
Other than capacity, the next factor that drives up cleaner costs is the depth of the controls.
Most cleaners give you at least five cleaning cycle presets from 90 to 480 seconds, but more advanced designs will let you fine-tune the cycle to the minute upward of half an hour.
Expensive ultrasonic cleaners will also give you loads of control over temperature, allowing you to clean a greater variety of objects.
Can I Use IPA in an Ultrasonic Cleaner?
Some people do use isopropyl alcohol (IPA), but you really shouldn’t unless you have an extraction system.
The problem is that IPA can be very unstable and in some cases may even ignite due to its low flashpoint.
Do Ultrasonic Cleaners Really Work?
Yes, they do and they’re amazing! They work by forming cavitation bubbles that collapse against the debris, gently tearing it away.
How Do You Maintain an Ultrasonic Cleaner?
Once you know a few key things, ultrasonic cleaners are easy to keep in working order.
- Keep the solution topped up. Operating it when underfilled can affect the transducer(s).
- Neutral solutions are best. Avoid any that are highly acidic or alkaline.
- Use them on a flat surface.
- Don’t rest them on wet materials.
- Follow the user manual for advanced maintenance instructions.
What is the Best Cleaner to Use in an Ultrasonic Cleaner?
One of the best solutions is deionized water as it’s safe to use with any material. Failing that, any neutral cleaning solution will be great for removing uncured resin from 3D prints.
3D printing is amazing; it’s a mind-boggling creative process that utilizes state-of-the-art computer technology to bring our imagination to life, imbuing dreams with tangibility.
Now that you know the potential of ultrasonic cleaners, you can truly streamline your printing process and create more than ever!