Dyeing White, Strong & Flexible
NOTE: colors shown do not always represent the available colors, which tends to change from season to season.
This option allows you to give your White, Strong & Flexible models color by having us dye them for you.
White, Strong & Flexible is also known as nylon 12 or polyamide 12 and comes from an EOS 3D printer using the selective laser sintering(SLS) process. EOS calls the material PA 2200. We can at this time only dye this material and can add only one color to each model.
One of the most suprising things about 3D printing to people unfamiliar with the process is just how much manual labor goes into things such as cleaning and post-processing models. The dyeing process is an extreme example of just how artisanal post production techniques in 3D printing are at times.
It consists of five steps:
1. The model has to first be washed by hand. This is to ensure that no contaminants mess up the dyeing and that the dye can penetrate the model. The models are left to soak in water for 30 minutes.
2. The pigments are mixed in the right ratios. This requires some math and thinking, luckily we have two physicists on the payroll and one of those is Luuk (our Supply Chain Manager) who was tasked with working it all out. In principle we can create any color but since each batch is a manual process it would be very expensive to do so for just one model. This is why we initially chose 3 colors in order to make it as cheap as possible for anyone.
3. The pigments are then put in warm water, at this point some aditional materials are added in order to help the dye penetrate the material of your model.
4. The mixture is then heated to 90 degrees Celcius and the models are added. The models remain in the mixture for a minimum of 20 minutes and have to constantly be reoriented while the dye is mixed. This makes for an even dyeing process. If this is not done properly the dye will be distributed unevenly and lines will form on the model.
5. The models can then be individually taken out and washed, and presto White, Strong & Flexible has become ......., Strong & Flexible.
So how much does it cost?
For dyed models the price is $4 start-up costs and $ 1.99 per cubic centimeter of material you use for your model. More