Failed print due to weird residue

Hi guys, I hope everyone here is well and has a good time! Can I ask for help concerning a weird printing problem I have encountered lately (hoping I am not totally wrong with this matter in this community …)?
Lately my prints show some white gooey residue on some areas. The residue turns up with both resins I use, Anycubic’s Eco/UV Resin and Water Washable Resin. My printer is an Anycubic M3 Plus.
The residue is gooey/slimy directly after the print comes out of the printer and turns into hard, crumbly flakes after curing. It obscures details and tends to settle in creases. It does not cover the whole print, only several areas, flat surfaces as well as textured ones. I have included images of a printed figure that show the situation after curing.
The residue can be partly scrubbed off with a soft toothbrush using alternately water and alcohol, but it can not be removed wholly or easily. In some parts of the prints it sticks to the surface no matter how you try to get rid of it.
My post printing process is as follows:

  1. Let the print drip off some excess resin while hanging from the printing platform for at least 1 hour.
  2. Wash with alcohol in the washing station for 5 minutes.
  3. Wash with 40° Celsius tap water.
  4. Wash with cold tap water.
  5. Dip in fresh 40° Celsius water and let it rest there for a minute to make removal of supports easier.
  6. Remove supports.
  7. Scrub print with soft toothbrush and alternately using water and alcohol.
  8. Blow print dry using the airstream of my airbrush.
  9. Cure for 2 minutes in the curing station.
    I have been following this process for quite a while without any problems. The only change that happened lately is that I had to move my printer into our barn. There I can not control the temperature, so that during the printing process the temperature can fluctuate between 24° Celsius and 19° Celsius. Can that be the problem? I have read that at least the Water Washable Resin should be easily able to cope with this temperature fluctuations …

Dear community, any help is very much appreciated. Have a nice sunday (what’s left of it) and a beautiful late summer (or late spring in the southern hemisphere).

Best wishes, Richard from RCStudio

Looking at the uploaded images, I realize that there is a strongly visible boundary between where the print is ok and where the residue starts. This seems concurrent with the elapsed printing time, as the figure was printed upside down in a roughly 45° angle. With printing time progressing the temperature in the barn was sinking, as the print went on into the evening hours when it gets a bit chilly here in Denmark. This seems to indicate that the problem lies indeed with the temperature fluctation.

Best wishes, Richard from RCStudio

Let your alcohol fully dry before rinsing

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Hej RogerRoger, thank you very much!! I didn’t think of that. I usually start to rinse as soon as the print comes out of the alcohol bath. I’ll follow your advice next time!

Thanks again and best wishes, Richard from RCStudio

Temperature can definitely be a factor in print failures but, I haven’t seen that. Resin manufacturers generally have a recommended range. I use a space heater if the room with my printer is much below the range to avoid print failures. I haven’t had trouble when the temp is above the range.

I do an initial bath with Simple Green, then a bath in 99% IPA, followed by a rinse with clean IPA. No water prior to curing. I am not using the “water wash” resins, though.

I agree with @RogerRoger , seems you should clean more with isopropyl and dry before cure also might be due to not enough curing, resin getting too hot or moisture. In my case when this happened was due to poor clean.

Hej Evermorian, thank you very much! May ask when in your described process do you remove the supports? I have learned that it helps to remove them without breaking small details or leaving too many pockmarks on the print’s surface when you put the print into hot tap water beforehand. Would you say this isn’t necessary?
Also, Simple Green isn’t easily available here in Denmark. Do you think another degreaser would do as well?
As for the Water Wash Resin, I think I will use up what I have in stock and then switch back to Eco/UV Resin only. I am not really convinced of the Water Wash Resin.

Many thanks again and best wishes, Richard from RCStudio

Hej Josepmy, thank you very much! I will change my post printing process as you and RogerRoger advise.

Thanks again and best wishes, Richard from RCStudio

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I mostly remove the supports before curing. Usually, I take them off immediately after removal from the plate. Sometimes, after washing.

I have my support settings tweaked so that light and medium supports pretty much come away cleanly. If I am remembering correctly, I started with what is outlined in this video:

For heavy supports and, if I am concerned they won’t come away cleanly, medium supports, I use flush cutters. I have a dedicated pair I use with uncured resin. I try to err on the side of leaving a bump on the model. It is easier to cut away more later or sand (after curing) than to fill, though you can use a putty (e.g., “green stuff”) to fill holes if required.

For heavily-supported models, I will cut away rafts and, cut the supports off in sections to avoid putting a lot of leverage on points where the supports contact the model. I try to be patient with that process.

I am not sure if it matters but, I am mainly using Siraya Tech resins, particularly the Blu variants. I don’t have much experience with any other resins.

The Simple Green is the only stuff I have tried but, I doubt it is particularly exceptional. I am not sure this is particularly scientific but, this person (“Uncle Jessy”) did some testing with different stuff:

You would likely be totally fine just using IPA.

You might get more or better advice from folks in a 3D printing forum. I consistently get good results but, I don’t really consider myself an expert at resin printing.

I had this community scoped out in case I need guidance, though I am not currently participating there:

Hej Evermorian,

many, many thanks for your help, your good advice and the links to the tutorials! You are really a wonderful person, putting so much time and effort into helping a fellow 3D artist. May all your prints always be perfect!

As for the supports, I apply rather the same process as you do, but up until now I haven’t tried to change the settings of the supports to make them more suitable for my printing needs. I will follow your good example and look at them more closely now. For filling the pockmarks that some supports leave I have tried to use droplets of resin that are cured afterwards, but this works only erratically. Model makers putty is also my last resort to fill in holes on the print.

I have printed the figure of the gnome anew and used a post printing process without water but with a version of Simple Green, a household kitchen degreaser. The residue that again coated many areas on my print came off with a toothbrush and alternately applying the degreaser and clean IPA, but it took an insane amount of brushing, and it was hard to reach some hidden areas of the figurine.

I need to find out what causes the residue in the first place, so I will do as you suggested and post my problem in the printers’ forum. I will also do a comparison print of the model on my second resin printer to see whether it is maybe a technical problem with the printer (hopefully not!).

Many thanks again for your really very much appreciated help! Have a good day!

Best wishes, Richard

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Hej guys, if anybody is interested in how this issue continued, here is the story. Maybe it helps other creators who encounter the same problem.

It seems the problem is a actually a mixture of temperature fluctuations and too much light (UV?) falling on the printer during the printing process (I know this sounds weird).

I have moved my printers now into a shed within the barn where I kept them before. There is nearly no natural light in the shed. The temperature in the shed fluctuates as well, but in much slower rhythm so that for example on a sunny day it takes some time to reach 22° in there (while in the barn itself it is already at 24°), but then it keeps that temperature long after it has dropped to 18° in the surrounding barn. I test printed the same model on both printers under these new circumstances, and they came out without the residue.

As soon as I find the time I will print some more test objects to see whether the result is the same. I’ll be back here to inform you about the outcome.

Have a good time, Richard from RCStudio



Thanks for the update. It’s good to know what causes stuff like this in case we run into anything similar.

Glad that you found the solution :smiley: