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Vacuum Cyclic Nucleation
Published: June 13, 2022

Q: I just read your article on complex geometry 3d prints and it suggests using Luminox in conjunction with the VCN process.  Should I be using Luminox over current detergents we purchase from you?

A: Thanks so much for your email and interest in work we do in 3D printing.  The experimental and testing work done that is discussed in 3D Printing: Cleaning Residues on Complex Geometries was indeed using Luminox® Low-Foaming Neutral pH Liquid Detergent.  The application particulars were such that we were looking for a low foaming liquid that was not a high pH product – a combination of the VCN settings they intended and operator manual handling made those two attributes appealing. The oily residues, in conjunction with the VCN process, worked well with the Luminox detergent.  We also have experience using other detergents and processes for 3D printing cleaning, including VCN, ultrasonic, washers, etc.

A first rule of thumb when looking to optimize a process is to ask, does the current process work?  Your current Alconox Inc. detergents, whether foaming or non foaming, would certainly be the first candidates to evaluate for VCN to clean your 3D prints.

There are certainly occasions where the vacuum pulse parameters of the VCN would work more effectively with a low foaming detergent – thereby avoiding over-foam situations. Recall that most low foaming detergents tend to be further away from neutral pH than foaming detergents to compensate for the less-effective-at-emulsifying low foaming surfactants. The application in question happened to need both neutral and low/no foam.

We would be happy to discuss your 3D Printing critical cleaning application any time. You can also review our Life Science and Industrial 3D Printing TechBriefs.

To request any Alconox Inc. detergents for free, please complete the questionnaire at Get Sample. For more information about any one of our Alconox Inc. detergents, consult the technical bulletin for each product. Or click here to access each of our detergent’s Safety Data Sheets.

Do you have a critical cleaning question for the experts at Alconox Inc.?  Search TechNotes to see if it’s been answered before or Ask Alconox.

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