Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been working with the Elegoo Mercury X Bundle Washing and Curing Machine(s) for 3D printing. This set of devices is made for post-print cleaning for 3D printed products made with light sensitive resin (MSLA, LCD resin printers). These devices are not absolutely necessary for beginner, but once you’ve used them, you’ll never go back to your old ways with post-processing.
The two machines are delivered at once, if you purchase the bundle from Elegoo. There’s a washing machine and a curing machine that both use the same power cord. The one plug splits off into two, allowing both machines to operate at the same time. The only downside of this is the possibility that said cord gets damaged – you’ll need a new cord for both.
The Elegoo Mercury X Wash has a 7000mL+ tub with a latched cover that’ll hold all your washing liquid. We used the recommended isopropyl alcohol for this process (not included with the machine). The top latching tight with a rubbery gasket is very important here, as this part of the process can be very smelly (basically just the alcohol, it is PUNGENT.)
The machine’s greatness lies in the fact that the spinning mechanism is fully enclosed in the tank. You can lift the tank up and away from the base – the powered spinning is enabled by magnetic elements that work once the tank is fully in-place. That’s just smart.
The only issue I’ve had with this part of the machine duo is the inevitable learning process. If you’re using this machine, you have to make sure your 3D prints, especially your TINY prints, are secure and not flying around the tank. If you just drop an action figure arm-sized 3D print in here and start it up, it can get caught in the spinner.
Controls for this tank include a button/dial/display up front. This is a sleek and simple solution that works. A very similar control process can be found on the Elegoo Mercury X Cure.
The most important bit of knowledge someone should have before using the Mercury X Cure is that more time is not always better. If you leave a print in this machine for too long, it’ll start to be affected by the EXTREME light. If you place prints in the machine for the time recommended by Elegoo, you’ll be fine.
The Elegoo Mercury X Cure consists of a transparent plastic rotating platform, a light underneath, and two towers of lights. The lights can be HARSH, which could/would be dangerous for your eyes if it weren’t for the 99.9% UV light-blocking yellow “shade” for the top. The lights will not turn on unless the top is secured.
The maximum supported size for this machine is around 9-inches (tall) and 7×7-inches (length, width). The cleaning machine is rectangular, but has effectively the same amount of space for print size. I wouldn’t dare put anything larger in the cleaner than what’s possible in the curing machine.
These machines are great for most 3D printing light-cured resins. The only real exceptions are in special Water Washable Resin prints and especially sensitive colors. If you’re working with a semitransparent blue, for example, and you leave it in the Cure machine for a long, long time, it’ll get a little green. If you leave said print in the Cure machine for less than 2 minutes (as recommended), you’ll have no issue.
If you’re using Water Washable Resin, Elegoo recommends against using the Washing Machine at all. Even if it’s just water. Instead, the standard running water from a faucet remains the best way to clean said prints. Water Washable Resin can still benefit from using the Cure machine.
If you’ve been 3D printing objects with MSLA printers for a while and you’re looking for a more elegant post-print process, these machines do the trick quite well. They’re simple machines that are well made and function as Elegoo suggests they function – they’re worth the cash at around $150 USD.
The only recommendation I might make for those that cannot find the bundle is the possibility that the Elegoo Mercury Plus 2 in 1 Washing and Curing Station V2.0 might work. It’s $20 cheaper than the bundle, but slightly smaller, too – worth a peek!