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What to consider when working with Alumide? [message #23906] Wed, 16 February 2011 08:23 UTC Go to next message
avatar Noshaper  is currently offline Noshaper
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My consideration of Alumide is based on the assumption that Alumide will give me - almost - the same features of WSF but will have a much smoother surface. (though I would love to have the finer detail of WSF).

As Newbie I am still reading thru the huge knowledge base in this Forum. What I have not yet found is the following:

- Is there a level of shrinkage when printing Alumide?
- How to colour Alumide objects?
- How strong is Alumide really?
- does it need to be preserved in any way?

Would love to hear feedback from the people who have already used this material - and how it compares to other materials like WSF!
Re: What to consider when working with Alumide? [message #23910 is a reply to message #23906 ] Wed, 16 February 2011 12:48 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar bitstoatoms  is currently offline bitstoatoms
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Hi and welcome.

I am a big fan of alumide as the smoothness allows for crisper edges and greater definition, also making it easier to photograph..

- Is there a level of shrinkage when printing Alumide?
No more than WSF, possibly less

- How to colour Alumide objects?
Sorry have not tried

- How strong is Alumide really?
qualities are similar to WSF but, it is more rigid and more fragile with greater heat resistance.

- does it need to be preserved in any way?
Are you worried about discoloration or oxidization? I have not experienced either..

Best of luck


Duann Scott

Re: What to consider when working with Alumide? [message #23915 is a reply to message #23910 ] Wed, 16 February 2011 14:53 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Noshaper  is currently offline Noshaper
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Hi and thanks for your response!

As for shrinkage, I read that WSF shrinks but that this can/should be ajusted by the printer operator. Not sure what that means for the drawings. Should I just keep it to 100% and hope it will be correct?

As for preservation: I read that WSF needs to be treated otherwise it will change colour. As Alumide consists mostly of WSF.....
Re: What to consider when working with Alumide? [message #23917 is a reply to message #23915 ] Wed, 16 February 2011 16:42 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar clsn  is currently offline clsn
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Take a look at http://www.shapeways.com/forum/index.php?t=msg&th=3693&a mp;start=0&#msg_num_13 for my single attempt so far at dyeing alumide. It was successful, I think; I just haven't needed/wanted to do it again.

I don't know if alumide is "much" smoother than WSF; I guess it depends on what "much" means. It *looks* cooler and more detailed, certainly. It is more brittle and less strong than WSF.
Re: What to consider when working with Alumide? [message #23932 is a reply to message #23917 ] Wed, 16 February 2011 20:42 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Noshaper  is currently offline Noshaper
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the dyed objects look great!

now for smoothness, my take of WSF was that the surface was very grainy and I thought that wouldn't be the case with Alumide.

Probably the best thing for me to do is to get a sample package of all the available material before picking the right material
Re: What to consider when working with Alumide? [message #23937 is a reply to message #23932 ] Wed, 16 February 2011 22:11 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stop4stuff  is currently offline stop4stuff
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From my sample kit, by running my thumbnail across both , I'd say Alumide and WSF are about the same for surface texture, however Alumide looks smoother due to the 'sparkly bits'
Re: What to consider when working with Alumide? [message #23942 is a reply to message #23937 ] Thu, 17 February 2011 00:10 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar gibell  is currently offline gibell
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I agree that the surface texture is similar for WSF vs Alumide. My understanding is that Alumide is just WSF with metal powder thrown in with the nylon powder.

Flat surfaces seem smoother than curved surfaces for both materials. Especially planes parallel to the print surface can be quite smooth. Something like a sphere always seems to have the most texture.

I don't use Alumide any more because it is significantly weaker than WSF. Where WSF bends, Alumide breaks. Depends on what you intend to use it for, I suppose.
Re: What to consider when working with Alumide? [message #23957 is a reply to message #23942 ] Thu, 17 February 2011 08:38 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Noshaper  is currently offline Noshaper
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Thank you all very much for your feedback, that's very helpfull.

I think I'll try WSF first. Now I only have to fix the shrinkage problem, as my models should be "exactly" to scale.
Re: What to consider when working with Alumide? [message #23973 is a reply to message #23957 ] Thu, 17 February 2011 14:24 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar gibell  is currently offline gibell
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Noshaper wrote on Thu, 17 February 2011 08:38

Thank you all very much for your feedback, that's very helpfull.

I think I'll try WSF first. Now I only have to fix the shrinkage problem, as my models should be "exactly" to scale.


My models are very sensitive to size variations, and I haven't noticed any shrinkage problems with WSF. If I print a part out at 12mm, I can measure with calipers and it will be 12mm to within 0.1mm.
icon5.gif  Re: What to consider when working with Alumide? [message #44486 is a reply to message #23973 ] Sun, 26 February 2012 00:59 UTC Go to previous message
avatar torweis  is currently offline torweis
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Ops, Sorry, I can't confirm this. I have just received a job where the Alumide shrunk a lot! Same file was printed with WSF and this material was exact size whereas Alumide shrunk. ~ 2% !! (It was a hollow Container with dimension about 40 x 10 x 10mm)

Could someone from Shapeways answer if the material Alumide is supposed to shrink please?

I could not find anything about shrinkage on the material sheet.

Thx.


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