Frequency of 3D printer upgrades

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SirThankzALot, May 24, 2012.

  1. SirThankzALot
    SirThankzALot New Member
    I was wondering how often Shapeways plans to invest in new 3D printing technology.

    Can we expect to see new materails (I suppose we just did), and higher accuracy printers with better details and thinner walls as time goes on?

    Just curious.
  2. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Often and yes. Just lately we've had, polished materials, new color strong and flexible, ceramic, adding the colored ceramic, and elasto. This all in probably the last 6 months? The rate of new materials is drastically higher that it was even just a year or so ago.
  3. opresco
    opresco New Member
    How about a material similar to polypropylene that will allow us to introduce models with Living Hinges ???
    I'll bet you, this will increase your business dramatically, and bring you lots of kudos from the designing community, myself included !!! :)

    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  4. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    From what I've heard, WSF can be used in this manner. It would be more effective below the WSF wall limit, but that would compromise the integrity.
  5. opresco
    opresco New Member
    You can hear it from me, here, again: WSF can be used in this manner, especially if you know how to score it with a blade after the model gets printed.

    But, how about a material similar to polypropylene that will allow us to design real Living Hinges into our models??? :mad:

    I'll bet you, this will increase your business dramatically, and bring you lots of kudos from the designing community, myself included !!!

  6. crsdfr
    crsdfr New Member
    Other than the Nylon used in SLS, there's a scarce few materials that allow this sort of functionaly in 3DP.

    Accura 25 SLA from 3DSystems - very flexible, but not so much at fine wall sections as those required by a PP living hinge like design.

    Objet Durus White - billed as a PP simulant, and also very flexible, but also very very sensitive to the elements (30C and it will warp like mad). Alternatively, seek out a bureau running a Connex and supply the hinge as a separate part - they can print the hinge in an A27 elastomer and everything else in a rigid opaque material.

    As far as finer walls and details - Shapeways is running fairly close to the limit on that with their ProJet 3000's (FUD, etc). Short of highly tuned Viper SLA systems (expensive and extremely specialised), you won't find sharper details than what the 3000's can do.

  7. VeryWetPaint
    VeryWetPaint New Member
    That comment intrigues me because I started a thread on the subject two years ago (here) and haven't seen much interest from other users. Honestly, I don't think there's a huge demand for living hinges among creators right now.

    That's not an anti-hinge philosophy. I use living hinges extensively in my own 3D printing work, but I just haven't observed enthusiasm or interest from other creators. Here are two of my current works-in-progress:

    Foldable Twirligig sheet-model with no less than 39 living hinges that move in unison, depicted in this video. Yes that's really a 3D-printed model!

    Foldable Yoshimoto Cube (pictured below) with living hinges in all 3 axes (X, Y, and Z) as shown in a YouTube video here alongside a WSF model with built-in mechanical hinges.

    Despite my personal interest in living hinges, I don't think there's a practical way for Shapeways to offer such a service as yet. The printer I used to build these models (a Solido SD300 Pro) is designed for a small office, not a mass production environment. WSF would have too high a failure rate at the required wall thicknesses. Accura 25 and DSM Somos 9120 are SLA materials, and Shapeways just doesn't do SLA.
  8. Tamert
    Tamert New Member
    For living hinges, the best material is carbon fiber reinforced nylon 12. Shapeways doesn't offer it but it's commonly available for SLS printers (shapeways only offers their WSF which is neat nylon 12).

    There are actually dozens of alternative SLS materials out there with many different properties. The problem is that changing out materials in SLS printers is incredibly time consuming so it's best just to have one printer dedicated per material but printers are expensive so it's limiting.
  9. fly2future
    fly2future New Member
    I found this old thread in my research for a Polypropylene type of SLS material. Well it appears this week at 2013 Euromold such a material is now available, it's called Sinterplast PP. Now if Shapeways would only get it, this material could be extremely popular I think and actually cost less than the Polyamide Nylon 12 which makes the current WSF.
  10. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    A little bird told me that full-color, high-resolution acrylic is coming.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  11. PeregrineStudios
    PeregrineStudios Well-Known Member
    I find it kind of fascinating that Makerbots - the craptacular, terribad wonders - can print something like that functioning wrench model everyone always prints first, whereas these (VERY expensive!) machines are unable to hand that kind of resolution.

    Not trying to downplay Shapeways' services, just a fascinating paradox.
  12. aeron203
    aeron203 New Member
    Why do you say that? SLS systems have great resolution and print functional mechanicals parts very well. In fact I'd say they're better since they don't need support material. We are not MakerBot haters here, so the sarcasm is not needed. Many of us proto on them, in fact.

    That old wrench is an easy one anyway, not as impressive as it was in the 90's. I'm not sure there is any FDM or SLS printer today incapable of making useless plastic wrenches [edit: not including <$1000 kits].

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013