In the past, we used a plastic or metal scraper to empty the unused resin from our 3D printing vats. But thanks to a customer suggestion, we now have another way of cleaning the interior surface of the vat. Who wants to spend time cleaning a scraper when a deck of playing cards offers a simple solution! The coated playing cards are sturdy enough to gently clean the bottom and sides of the vat yet flexible enough to avoid scrapes and damage to the delicate PDMS layer. And there are 52 cards in a deck so you can use a clean one each time, avoiding possible contamination from previous use.
When emptying and cleaning the vat, remember to hold the vat by the edges and avoid touching the printing surface on the bottom (both interior and exterior) as oil and fingerprints can interfere with a successful print. After pouring the majority of the liquid resin into a UV/light proof storage bottle, we find holding the playing card at a 45 to 60 degree angle to remove the remaining liquid resin from the bottom and sides works well. This liquid can then be added to the storage bottle. Remember never to use alcohol or a cloth to clean the inside of the vat and store the empty vat either in the printer or in a light proof container to avoid curing any remaining resin.