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Very high detail printing... also in wax


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YES!!! PLEASE!! drools
#1 MV on 2010-07-21 07:38 (Reply)
for miniature,

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!

Hope my text makes a bit of sense!?
#2 Mitchell Jetten on 2010-07-21 08:11 (Reply)
Hi Mitchell,

Can you show the same model made with the Polyjet in comparison with a model printed on a envisiontec machine in high definition? I am very curious ;-)
#2.1 Dennis on 2010-07-21 17:59 (Reply)
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 !
#3 Reno (Homepage) on 2010-07-21 09:38 (Reply)
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 (

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, .....

Nice idea actually..... breakable jewelry.

Hope this answers some of your questions
#3.1 Peter Paul Cornelissen on 2010-07-21 17:10 (Reply)
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
#4 fx2 on 2010-07-21 09:43 (Reply)
Just in case: If you need a 1:87th scale model railroad STL file (bogie side frame, for instance) for your tests, just ask !
#4.1 fx2 on 2010-07-21 09:52 (Reply)
There are bigger machines from envisiontec which can print in the same resolution of the samples you have seen on this blog. Dimensions are 90x67x230mm XY resolution 39 micron.

Details on the back face are still possible. It depends on how the model is supported on the machine ;-)
#4.2 Dennis on 2010-07-21 18:46 (Reply)
The wax build could be very good for prototyping - model something in wax, and then use the model for cere perdu casting.
#5 Phil Culmer (Homepage) on 2010-07-21 10:35 (Reply)
Hi res wax would be awesome for jewelry , figurine designers etc..

Hi-res Plastic however, will enable direct sales on shapeways shops of a rigid, aesthetic, practical designs.. without the need for any post production process by the customer.

Rapid prototyping is one thing, but to really sell durable 3D products on shapeways shops a material such as this need to be available to designers with an affordable cost of course.

#6 Dizingof on 2010-07-21 12:19 (Reply)
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
#7 HaVoC373 on 2010-07-21 12:56 (Reply)
You mention in there that you saw what could and couldn't be printed. What are the limitations? Perhaps with some images of some failed prints?
#8 Michael Williams on 2010-07-21 12:57 (Reply)
I will take some pictures and post them to show what we have learned with regards to models shapes, support materials, printing directions etc....
#8.1 Peter Paul Cornelissen on 2010-07-21 16:19 (Reply)
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.
#8.2 Dennis on 2010-07-21 19:07 (Reply)
Hi Folks,

Here some results of metal plating of some of the Envisiontec RCP30 printed models.
#9 Dennis on 2010-07-21 13:04 (Reply)
NOW i'm drooling !!

Absolutely WOW ! - Hi Res terracotta plated with chrome.. gold.. metal - AMAZING !

I defiantly need this for my designs ! :-)
#9.1 Dizingof (Homepage) on 2010-07-21 13:34 (Reply)
i second that!!!
#9.1.1 dimenzija on 2010-07-22 14:04 (Reply)
That's inspiring. I'd love to see the metal-plated materials offered here.
#9.2 Charles Oines on 2010-07-21 14:16 (Reply)
Thanks for sharing this Dennis

Please feel free to reply to the learning questions below ;-)
#9.3 Peter Paul Cornelissen on 2010-07-21 16:21 (Reply)
With wax I think of mold/cast model - question is which materials I must mold if I could print it itself ...
#10 ambiguX on 2010-07-21 13:14 (Reply)
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
#10.1 Dennis on 2010-07-21 18:15 (Reply)
I've been looking for a really high detail material to 3D print in to serve as a positive mold for something I'm making. This would definitely work and would be easy to remove afterwards.
#11 Anonymous on 2010-07-21 13:36 (Reply)
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.
#12 Nicole on 2010-07-21 15:15 (Reply)
Hi Nicole,
We don't have a pricing system as we are orientating. Hope this phase will not take to long though. If you keep an eye on our blog I'll make sure I'll keep you updated.

So you cast your self?
#12.1 Peter Paul Cornelissen on 2010-07-21 17:13 (Reply)
Hi Peter,

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.

I'll keep up with your blog for more information!
#12.1.1 Nicole on 2010-07-21 21:13 (Reply)
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.
#12.2 Dennis on 2010-07-21 17:46 (Reply)
For glass kiln casting, it's perfect (and metal by gravity also)!
Check my link...
#13 Garenc Philippe (Homepage) on 2010-07-21 17:26 (Reply)
Hi got some more info on Glass kiln casting?
#13.1 Peter Paul Cornelissen on 2010-07-21 20:39 (Reply)
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 (, we've sticked waxes on a plastic coffee machine cup, that's all! We use a refractory investment, a plaster:
If you have some more questions, I will be happy to answer.
#13.1.1 Philippe Garenc (Homepage) on 2010-07-22 18:19 (Reply)
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!
#14 Stannum on 2010-07-21 17:38 (Reply)
Excited to see the terracotta and wax materials. The fact that I can make molds and create multiples to experiment with is a really really great prospect! Can't wait for more updates from you guys! :-)
#15 Anonymous on 2010-07-21 18:24 (Reply)
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.

Please get the Aureus. It would change my life.
#16 Matthew Borgatti (Homepage) on 2010-07-21 19:17 (Reply)
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.
#17 Antony middleton on 2010-07-21 20:23 (Reply)
Got some more info you can mail me Antony?

Would be great. Peter Paul
#17.1 Peter Paul Cornelissen on 2010-07-21 20:47 (Reply)
A sample of investment casting result of WIC100 models in sterling silver without any treatment after casting

Quite impressive.. ;-)
#18 Dennis on 2010-07-21 20:51 (Reply)
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.
#19 Hans van Oerle on 2010-07-21 21:41 (Reply)
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.
#20 Grimjier on 2010-07-22 18:34 (Reply)
It would be nice to get some of my ship designs in super detail, i am having issues with on in particular trying to resize the 1 mm parts L
#21 Ferlin Pomfrett on 2010-07-22 18:44 (Reply)
Both of these options have so much potential. I am really excited!
#22 Lincoln Kamm (Homepage) on 2010-07-26 22:41 (Reply)
I also would be very interested in high detailed wax print and also white detail with more details at a premium price.

Reading various forums, lack of high detailed printing seems to be the only thing competitors of shapeway seem to score point .
#23 a.p on 2010-07-27 19:11 (Reply)
It will likely get Shapeways a lot more jewelery types as customers, I'm sure everyone on here would also love to be able to easily cast their pieces in silver or gold.
#24 Christina Westbrook (Homepage) on 2010-07-28 07:21 (Reply)
Excellent. Been waiting for this quite a while. Hopefully the price will be decent enough if you do decide to offer it.

#25 Glenn Slingsby (Homepage) on 2010-07-28 10:40 (Reply)
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!
#26 David Drummond on 2010-07-29 02:16 (Reply)
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.
#27 Mark Kendrick on 2010-07-30 00:09 (Reply)
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 ;-)
#27.1 Dennis on 2010-07-30 07:30 (Reply)

I really hope you add these materials...exactly what I'm looking for to use on a series of rings I'm currently designing...

Did plan to use a solidscape printer but would prefer to use Shapeways!

#28 Odd Nydren on 2010-08-01 12:10 (Reply)

What's the weight/rigidity/hardness/durability of the RCP30 (Terracotta) ?

Curious to know if its light & strong enough to make an eyewear frame...

#29 Odd Nydren on 2010-08-01 12:36 (Reply)
These are the properties of RC31 and quite the same for the RCP30 "terracotta"

Tensile Strength 46 MPa
Elongation at Break 2.5 %
Flexural Strength 102 MPa
Flexural Modulus 3,860 MPa
Izod Impact-Notched 0.016 kJ/m²
Maximum Compressive Strength 127 MPa
Compressive Modulus 4,490 MPa
Hardness (Shore D) 93.1 Shore
Water Absorption 0.25 %

Cleaning, drying, and post curing is to be carried out as described in envisionTEC´s postprocessing instructions for this material.

Thermal properties:
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
#30 Dennis on 2010-08-01 13:06 (Reply)
Thanks Dennis!!

I looked at envisiontec but couldnt find the specs :-)

Interesting numbers...harder than strong white it seems! (PA2200 75 shore d)

Would be cool to know weight and how biocompatible it is...
(although if this can be plated that shouldnt be a problem)

If Shapeways decide to do this I hope they get the larger build machine...I would need 135mm minimum for eyewear ;-) - fingers crossed! Exciting times...

cheers //O.
#30.1 Odd Nydren on 2010-08-01 13:22 (Reply)
Just adding our voice here to say we'd definitely be highly enthusiastic regarding this type of printing and these materials. Seriously empowering tech here for digital sculptors.
#31 Matthew and Crystal Kidd on 2010-08-03 04:06 (Reply)
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.
#32 Tim Locke on 2010-08-04 01:41 (Reply)
Please oh PLEASE put this into production! The custom minature possibilities open up tremendously with this! Please let us break down the 0.2 mm detail barrier.

Honestly I would probably consider it a defacto standard for when I order if you offer this as many the pieces I want to print have small high detail sections to them.

Put me down for 10 VOTES!
#33 David Parks on 2010-08-08 15:33 (Reply)
this would be very useful for small science labs too (like where I am)
#34 sciguy on 2010-08-17 11:55 (Reply)
A bit late to the party, but here goes...

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.
#35 Fredrik Bräutigam on 2010-08-19 11:12 (Reply)
Waiting in anticipation!!!!
I would be using this service a dozen times a week!
Bring it on!
#36 Nic Terry on 2010-08-30 07:55 (Reply)
Any news on this one? I have a heap of parts that I would print 'today' if the very high detail was available.
#37 Mark Kendrick on 2010-09-06 23:35 (Reply)
I really hope you add these materials...exactly what I'm looking for to use on a series of rings I'm currently designing..
#38 Addy Mo (Homepage) on 2010-09-11 04:40 (Reply)
Can you bring some samples to the Dutch design week booth?
#39 MIng-Hua Kao on 2010-09-17 23:46 (Reply)
Any word on this or any other hi-rez material?
#40 Maethius on 2010-12-03 20:06 (Reply)
Wow. Please do follow through on this Shapeways. The technology would be perfect for custom action figures etc. I wait in anticipation!
#41 cottontail on 2011-07-05 01:03 (Reply)
Any new updates on wax being available for material selection?
#42 JMSiefer on 2013-01-03 16:29 (Reply)
We are still being held back by 3D printed wax being too fragile to ship.
#42.1 Duann on 2013-01-04 15:53 (Reply)
Is there a way for you to encase the print in a dissolvable support ? Something like a PVA that you could let soak after you receive the object?

Keep up the great work Shapeways!
#42.1.1 Anonymous on 2013-01-04 22:40 (Reply)
Any plans to use this for doing printing in sterling silver?
#43 Trevor on 2013-02-19 17:20 (Reply)

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