I got some Elegoo water washable resin to test and check how well it prints, considering you can post-process the models using just water.
Unfortunately, my experience was not as good I was expecting and it proved to be troublesome in my case.
Elegoo Water Washable Resin – Shipping and Packaging
The Elegoo water washable resin comes in a 500ml bottle. This is sealed into a transparent bag and has extra protection with bubble wrap.
It’s packed in a cardboard box which has a lot of information printed on the sides, which includes the water washable resin specs and recommendations on how to print it. It also comes with a free brush to help clean the finished prints. Nice addition and really helpful.
Elegoo Water Washable Resin Specs
Water washable resin sounds like a great idea. In theory, it allows you to post-process your models easier and clean them with just regular tap water. These are the specs listed by Elegoo:
- Hardness: 84 D;
- Viscosity (25°C): 150-200 mPa·s
- Liquid Density: 1.100/cm³
- Solid Density: 1.195 g/cm³
- Volumetric shrinkage: 3.72-4.24 %
- Flexure Strength: 59-70 Mpa
- Extension Strength: 36-53 Mpa
- Shelf Life: 1 year
The Elegoo water washable resin is marketed as having great stability and worry-free printing experience. Unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky enough to have this awesome experience.
It’s also mentioned that the smell is lower, but in my opinion, it has worse smell compared to my other resins.
Printing Experience with Elegoo Water Washable Resin
The first print I did in Elegoo’s water washable resin is the Chainbreaker from Dopaminis. I merged all the parts in 3D Builder, added supports with Prusa Slicer and then sliced with Chitubox.
The model was printed on the Sonic Mini with the following settings:
- Layer Height: 0.05 mm
- Bottom Layer Count: 6
- Exposure Time: 2.2 s
- Bottom Exposure Time: 2.2s
- Light-ff Delay: 7s
- Bottom Light-off Delay: 7s
- Wall thickness: 1.5 mm
As you can see, the end results look great. After the print was finished, I first washed the model in a big mason jar filled with water where I removed most of the resin.
After the initial cleanup, I washed the remaining resin with hot water over the sink to easily remove the supports.
The curing was handled by the Phrozen Cure V2. I cured it for 4 minutes and everything looked great. Another successful print, right?
Well, nope. After just a few hours, the model base started swelling up. The next day, I noticed the base was cracked badly.
I never had such issues with regular resin but tried my luck again.
Next print was the Old Mage from Titan Forge Miniatures available on MyMiniFactory. I used the exact same slicer settings, and you can see the print results below.
This time, I have some small Z banding on the model, but overall, the model looks good.
Unfortunately, after less than an hour, the same cracks occurred on the print. This time, the cracks were not as bad, but still not something you would want.
Crack on top of the hat and a second crack on the side of the cape.
Ok, 3rd time’s the charm, right? This time, I printed the Dwarf Pirate from Titan Forge Miniatures from Thingiverse. I increased the exposure time to 2.4 seconds, and also hollowed the model with a 2 mm wall thickness. These are the results:
This print did not crack as the others, but I encountered other issues during printing.
While the sabre pommel was probably not supported well enough, I can’t justify the layer shifts that occurred on the top.
I can only blame this on the resin. Becasue right after this one, I cleaned my printed and had impeccable results with the regular Anycubic Grey resin I regularly use.
Help from support
All these issues got me thinking, and I contacted Elegoo support. These are the recommendations I got from them:
1. We recommend that you set the thickness of the model wall thicker when you make holes in the model, which can be set to 4mm.
2. After the model is printed, the resin liquid in the hole should also be cleaned. It is best to use ultrasonic cleaning or inject water into the hole to clean it.After cleaning, air-dry the model and perform secondary curing. The curing time can be About 3-5min. The strength of the model will be higher and the model will not crack easily.
Printing with a 4 mm wall thickness means that when printing miniatures you will probably need to print them without hollowing them. This increases costs and weight of the models.
The second recommendation did not bring any new information. I always clean the inside of the prints using a syringe where I inject water (or IPA) inside the model. This is done multiple times to ensure good cleaning.
Before I got the Phrozen Cure V2, I was curing the models in the sun. Now, with the Cure V2 this is much better and I can be sure that the model is cured evenly.
Experience with water washing
Even though the results are not as expected, I can confirm that the Elegoo water washable resin is easy to clean with just regular tap water.
You can fully clean a model in just a few minutes, and avoid other chemicals.
Reminder for post processing
Because using water washable resin seems like a great idea (not needing to mess with IPA or other alcohol), this doesn’t mean that it’s good for the environment.
ALWAYS clean your models in insulated containers. This ensures that you are not poisoning the environment. Below, you can see how nasty the water used for cleaning the models looks like.
I recommend you leave the water in direct sunlight for a few days, then filter it using coffee filters before pouring it down the drain. You can also leave the water in direct sunlight until it evaporates, but this takes longer.
It goes without saying to always take the necessary precautions when handling resin, and use gloves when touching uncured resin. Commodity is NOT an excuse to just wash the models directly in the sink, even though the resin is marketed as water washable.
Please act in a responsible way, even if it takes a bit more work.
Elegoo Water Washable Resin Conclusions
After testing the Elegoo water washable resin with a few prints, I am not convinced. The cracking issues plagued my prints and I was not able to have a 100% successful print like with other resins like the Anycubic Grey.
Sure, it’s easier to clean but that doesn’t help if the prints have issues. And I can’t be expected to print models without hollowing them. This adds unnecessary expense and limits the applications of this resin.
Besides that, I also found another user on the Phrozen 3D Printer group where he reported even worse cracking issues with the Elegoo water washable resin.
To be fair, he left the models outside, probably in direct sunlight but he compares them with other prints done in regular resin.
A you can see the others were fine while the Elegoo resin cracked.
Where to buy the Elegoo Water Washable Resin?
If you still want to buy the Elegoo water washable resin and experiment, you can buy it from the following websites: