If you've done any research into resin 3D printing, by now you've no doubt seen people talk about Wash and Cure Stations. Like 3D printers themselves, these Wash and Cure machines used to be giant, industrial units with a price tag in the many thousands of dollars. Now, as consumer-grade, desktop 3D printers become more and more commonplace, so do similarly inexpensive Wash and Cure Stations.
How do they work? While every machine is different, they all basically work the same. When your print is finished, you remove the build plate with your prints attached and then you secure the build plate to the mount on the Wash and Cure unit. Just like your printer, the unit lowers the build plate until it is inside a vat of cleaner. Then, a mechanism (usually a magnetic stirrer) agitates or swirls the cleaner inside the jug, cleaning excess resin from your prints.
Then, once the print is clean, you remove the build plate from the unit, and remove the print from your build plate. Once the print is dry, you remove the cleaner vat from the Wash and Cure machine and place your print on a turntable in the unit and press a button to turn on UV LEDs. Your print spins on the turntable to cure on all sides.
By now, many printer manufacturers have jumped into this market - Elegoo, Anycubic, Creality, Sovol, and others all now have at least one entry in the field. And why not? If someone is spending several hundred dollars on their printer, it seems natural to try and upsell them on adding a matching Wash and Cure Station, right?
So is a Wash and Cure Station necessary? Absolutely not!
Do they make life easier? Perhaps.
My suspicion is that the people who swear by them use less effective cleansers for their parts which require a longer time being swished around in that cleanser. Using denatured alcohol instead cleans your prints so quickly that a quick swirl is all you need.
Additionally, I have little interest in the curing function of these machines as I have found that curing your prints under water is more efficient and creates a better cure. This is due in part to the chemistry (resin cures better in a more oxygen rich environment, water contains oxygen), and in part because the water refracts the UV light for a more even cure.
Finally, I simply believe that the money I would spend on one of these units could also be spent on many other aspects of my printing (like more model kits!).
If you just would prefer an out-of-the-box solution, Anycubic's Wash and Cure Plus works with prints from any brand printer and has a large capacity for cleaning and curing even very large parts. Order the Anycubic Wash and Cure Plus here: