Post Processing Using Wax Cure

Wax cure is the safest and most economical way of finishing color models. Paraffin wax is melted in a vat large enough for the part, then the part is lowered in and wax is allowed to fully infiltrate the part. After infiltration the part can be placed in an oven for several minutes to quickly melt off residual surface wax. Parts are safe and cool enough to handle in less than five minutes, depending on size and geometry. This results in a part with medium strength, enhanced colors, and a smooth slightly glossy surface finish.

 

Important: Melted wax can present a burn hazard. Do not reach directly into the wax melting unit. Wear gloves. Melted wax may damage clothing.

Items Needed:

  • Wax paper
  • Paraffin wax
  • Wax melting unit with dipping basket, set to 77°C (176°F)
  • Lab oven, set to 50°C (122°F) (Optional)
  • Paper towels (Optional)

Procedure:

  1. Fill the wax melting unit with paraffin wax pellets and begin heating. Do not use any other kind of wax for post processing printed parts. Refer to the wax unit’s user manual for setup and fill level instructions. Do not overfill. Melting generally takes at least one hour and generally longer, so have the wax unit ready beforehand.
  2. Ensure the part to be waxed has been fully depowdered and is fully dry. Powder still on the part will stick when wax is applied and cause deformities.
  3. Once the wax is fully melted, waxing may begin. Line the wax melting unit basket with parts to be waxed and carefully lower the basket into the chamber. Do not stack parts. Delicate parts should be placed in the basket alone and infiltrated one at a time. Always use the basket when waxing parts. Never lower parts into the chamber by hand.
  4. Air bubbles can be seen exiting the parts. Keep parts fully submerged until the flow of bubbles completely stops. Failure to do so may cause bubbles to harden on parts.
  5. After the flow of air bubbles has completely stopped, carefully raise the basket out of the waxing chamber and allow excess wax to drain off of the parts. Parts may be gently lifted and rotated to allow wax to uniformly coat them. Place parts on wax paper to allow the wax to harden for several minutes. Parts are generally cool enough to comfortably handle within 15 minutes.
  6. (Optional) If excess wax is built up or a less glossy surface is desired, the part may be re-heated in an oven to allow wax to run out. Do not perform this step in a conventional oven. Exposed heating coils present a fire hazard. Allow the lab oven to heat.
  7. (Optional) Place the part in the oven on wax paper covered with paper towels. Allow the part to heat in 60 second intervals, checking the part’s surface finish at the end of each interval. Allowing the part to heat for too long will allow the majority of the wax melt out of the part, so be sure to continue to check the melting process until the desired surface finish is desired.

Note: Parts which have been wax cured should not be left in direct sunlight or an environment over 95°F (35°C).