To keep you guys updated on what we at Shapeways have done and were we are here is a short update.
We have been looking at very high detail and wax printing for quite some time now and talking to many
suppliers. Some weeks ago I visited a company that has the Envisiontec
Aureus. The materials used are RCP30 (Terracotta) and WIC100 (Green =
The XY resolution is 43 micron and the Z voxel height is 25
micron. Overall building volume is 60x45x100mm.
So much for the
tech spec's..... let check out the results....
The potential is very high with this machine knowing and seeing what can be done with these details in both plastic and wax.
BTW, the Terracotta material is possible to plate.... this give a bit a strange difference with regards to looks and feel, but who knows how this can be useful.
They have been printing some of our models to show what is possible. I was very happy to see the end results and also to learn what and what isn't possible with this technique.
have a look at the Polyjet from Objet,, has very good details, good for miniature on the high resolution runs
also the Envisiontec Ultra for about the same quality as this envisiontec printer, but the Ultra has the biggest building plate, and so can produce more!
for small stuff the Envisiontec Mini Multi lens is very good! (the best Envisiontec imo)
Note,, that Envisiontec is not really good for shapeways, this because it doesn't have support material, so all supports have to be cut away by hand,, also the automate process giving the object his support beams,, is also not really good, thus you have to add supports by hand.
this model is made with Envisiontec:
(copy link )
but that company had to slice the model in 2 parts,, so the innerspace wont be full with supports,, afterwards they glued it, but it won't like as nice as you see!
RHA ! Informations about high detail material ! I was checking this blog every morning, eagerly waiting for THIS.
Jewelry, for sure, but please let me pray for my church and say it looks like the ultimate material for miniatures, figurines, models. I can't wait to see one of my model printed with this.
I was already really pleased by the high detail material you offered 2 weeks ago, but this one seems to have just perfect and neat surface details.
Do you already have made your choice about this ? Have you already planned a release date for this service ?
I was planning some big print in one week or two but knowing this, maybe i should wait for this new materail to be introduced ?
How strong is this material ? Is it really like real wax ? Soft and very subject to heat distortion ? Would it be suitable to produce a useable object ?
Sorry for all the questions, but this is a really exciting news !
Hi. We are LOOKING at this so we are not yet ready to offer this or any other extreme High detail material apart from our current Detailed materials ( http://www.shapeways.com/materials/white_detail).
I am very happy to see how enthusiastic the response is. This always helps to keep the speed high.
The material is not very fragile but not really strong. It depends what kind of force you apply to it. The wax, compared to some other wax I have seen is very strong. Easy to handle with out breaking. I will ask some one to use a sample as a usable object to find out how long a ring will fit nicely, break, .....
Any idea about a price range per ccm , given the little machine build volume ? I guess this is great for very little parts (with no details on backface), like railroad scale model bogie side frame, etc
WoW this is definetly very interesting. i was thinking of making some figurines of a few characters i designed. this would be perfect for that. very nice.
i cant wait for this to become part of the shapeways lineup
Regarding limitations, it depends on what you want to do with your prints
If you want to use it for direct casting the models need some body. If you make some thin wires (0,1-0,6mm) design and want to cast this, you should not try this. It is printable but not castable. (Machines of envisiontec can even print in XY 16 micron and and a voxel depth of 15 microns, how about that )
Also hollow parts were liquid resin can be entrapped inside (without any holes in the design), you should not want to try this. This because it can explode during casting.
Because this technique is very detailed your STL model need to be in one shell and good quallity. Otherwise this techique is too "expensive" with a bad STL and you will end up disappointed.
The green wax based polymer (WIC100) you can cast your model in any metal suitable for cire perdu (lost wax casting). Best way to do this is at a specialised investment casting service bureau.
The terracotta polymer (RCP30) is an Aluminium Oxide filled polymer for very high detail prints and suitable for making rubber silicone molds. The nice part of this material is that you can sand, drill, polish ect. this stuff
Well as a product manager for a jewelry line, this would be enormously helpful. We already mill things out of that green wax to mold and cast, but the drawback to milling is that it can't mill round objects. I would love to see pricing on something like this.
Thanks for the response. We don't do our own casting, but we work with a very talented gentleman in town that does our models, mills them, molds them, and then pops out a "master" cast piece. Which, if rounded, requires hours of work from our bench jeweler to finish.
The nice part of the WIC100 (green stuff) is that you can cast it directly.
The photo on the blog with the Wire Parabole Ring is a part which is difficult to mill and I have seen the casting result of that part and it looks perfect.
The terracotta material is suitable for making rubber silicone molds if you want to make large series of one item.
Glass kiln casting is our job. (Check my link to see National Center for Innovation in Glass website, France). We've called Joris to present our profile and he helps us on printing in glass my 'On the Rock's' model. I've also an interesting exchange with Glen Gardner. I will send you another model next week, after your offer in last night Ustream... I'd like to test enameled glass)
For kiln casting, there's no secret: we use a lost-wax process. Important: We add a spruing cup at least 10 times bigger than the model, to put by gravity, pressure in the thinnest parts of the model. Thickness doesn't go under 2 mm, because at 900°C (temperature we're melting) glass is a lazy boy and prefers to still round. For the 2 houses models made with lead-glass (http://www.shapeways.com/shops/phg), we've sticked waxes on a plastic coffee machine cup, that's all! We use a refractory investment, a plaster: http://www.saintgobainformula.com/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-62/171_read-73/
If you have some more questions, I will be happy to answer.
People in the miniature field will have a great surprise with the following
"Matériel RCP 30 résistant à 250 deg C pour réaliser directement ses moules en caoutchouc, froids ou vulcanisés." (source: Altair Consulting). Digital greens! Maybe long lasting, and even if destroyed, more can be printed anyway!
I'd use this for jewelry, certainly, but I'd also like to try this technique out on small functioning parts for microbots. I think the wax printing/casting option gives me some tremendous flexibility to design parts that I can cast in just about any metal or glass. The high resolution of this printing style is just awesome. I'm picturing all the things I'd like printed this detailed and precise.
I work at an investment casting plant and we would be very interested to trail this material. Currently we use wax models from thermojet machines. While they burnout fine, the surface finish and dimension accuracy is fairly poor. The only other alternative we have had success with is the Voxeljet pmma models. They burnout pretty well and the voxeljet machine has a massive build volume, something like 800mm x 400x 400. Might be worth looking at that as another option.
Yes count me in again when you deliver this service!
I make models that will be cast in polyurethane , my last models I have printed at PrintaPart because I needed a higher resolution but wit this material I will go back to Shapeways.
YES! Must have material, bringing in this at a reasonable price (and maybe see if there are some partner companies for doing investment casting??) is a major step forward. Cuddos for continuing to investigate more options for us.
Yes, please! I'm interested in high-detail biological forms -- think insects, trees, cutaway cells, protein molecules, trees -- and resolution is my main enemy so far. To be able to offer my customers small high-detail objects cast in metal would be a real breakthrough. I envision a whole set of items that would be touched rarely, if at all, in the same way a mounted insect is rarely touched but often admired. Please, bring us high-resolution printing, and definitely bring us metal plating at this resolution!
These materials would mean I can use parrts straight away instead of having to sand, paint, sand and paint again for a good finish, as I do with current detail materials. The hi-res run you did was good but not consistant.
When the model is printed in "terracotta" RCP30 the model is very smooth without any stairstepping when printed in XY=43microns Z=25microns. You can polish it gently to get a bit of a shiny surface.
If you have a large high detailed model made in several builds and added some notches for fitting you can glue the parts together very easy. The stitch you can sand and polish if you want. Also very nice is when you glassbead the models
The green wax you can cast. The model in the green wax are even as smooth as the gypsum of the investment.
Of course you can paint (airbrush) your models Be carefull you do'nt hide the high res details you have made your design in
Cleaning, drying, and post curing is to be carried out as described in envisionTEC´s postprocessing instructions for this material.
Glass Transmission Temperature 42 °C (70 °C)
HDT @ 0.455 MPa 67 °C (223 °C)
HDT @ 1.82 MPa 53.6 °C (102 °C)
Heat resistance after treatment in special oven with special thermal curves
HDT = Defl ection Temperature
All data provided is preliminary data and must be verified by the individual user.
This is info from the material data sheet of envisiontec
Please, Please, Please offer high detail wax at an affordable price!!!! It is exactly what I need for my models. I am looking to get them investment cast in bronze, although their complexity makes it difficult to create a mold for wax patterns. Having the ability to create the wax copies in this method, at a reasonable price, would be tremendous.
I love the prospect of getting higher detail prints, but since I'm doing N scale train models, the max length of 100mm is too small for many of the models I want to do. A regular modern passenger coach comes in at 165 mm so that's what I'd like to see.