3D Printing · Common · Tutorials, Guides & Hints

Tutorial: How to recycle IPA for reuse!

We all know this – Isopropanol (IPA) can be expensive. So we often go for other solutions like waterwashable resins, resin cleaners or anythingelse. But these resins don’t work well or aren’t that detailed.

What can we do else?
We can reuse our isopropanol several times until nothing is left.
How? Let me explain the process!

  • First of all you need a watertight closable box.
  • Fill the dirty IPA into it.
  • Put it in direct sunlight for several days

The liquid resin in our IPA will begin to harden and settle down to the ground of the box.

After a couple of days, the smudgy resin lays on the ground of the box.

Now you can remove the resin slime thing from the box and put it in a container, where it could full cure.

Filter the IPA through a very fine mesh several times until it become clear again.

Fill it into old bottles. We got brand new fresh IPA with little loss! Yay! – We can do this process until no IPA is left. I recycled about 3,5 l of IPA in this example and got 3,3 l IPA back. I lost 200ml. But Thats better then throw 3,5l away and buy new. 😀

Its not only very cost efficient it is also a little bit more eco-friendly. We have a hobby which is not very eco-friendly at all. But we can do everything to reduce the damage, we cause. Recycle IPA several times is one of these.

Some more hints for more eco-friendly printing:

  • Only print Models you really want to print
  • use small files to find out the right exposure times for your resin
  • try to add as less support structure as possible to avoid waste
  • use reusable towels to clean printer, vat and fep
  • use recycled paper towels to clean your prints
  • buy oversized one way gloves and reuse them several times

Yes, we could also use plant-based resins. But keep in mind they’re not that eco-friendly like they sounds. The liquid resin is toxic like all others. Hardend resin needs several years to decay, too. The only difference is: less micro plastics.

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