Powder Appearing On Fud After Storage

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by Model_Monkey, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    As I recall the recently dropped acrylic plastics at one time (circa 2011ish) were called detail plastics. Transparent detail, white detail, black detail. I think they changed the names when they introduced FD, FUD, FXD, SFDT, SMESTFDT or whatever it's called now. It's probably less of a hiding issue than a poor naming process.
  2. The_Old_Factory
    The_Old_Factory Well-Known Member
    Now you see it is worth being persistent and to not drop the ball before the finish line ;)

    This is the First actual How To guideline that they have posted in a visible way about how to clean and paint this material. That plus the fact that they are finally admitting very candidly the material is not uv stable. I hugely appreciate that demonstration of honesty toward their clients. I already suspected the material (MJM and probably Polyjet too) was not going to age well or be uv-stable because I have read some mentions of this in a technical paper, but I kept silent as I knew some might have passed through the roof. However I also believe based on another tech document I have read that it maybe possible (probably easily) to make an MJM plastic that would be uv-stable (at the factory that is : at the stage when they engineer the material), Jjschaible would know a lot more about this than me so I will probably dig up the info and post a link so he may give us more info about what I saw as it is quite technical and he'll probably be able to tell us if it's possible or not after he reads it.

    However I would like to know from Shapeways if their How To guideline was obtained from data provided by 3DSystems ? Their guideline is also dated November 2016, which is before the crystallization crisis came out in the open last December 2016...

    I don't know where they had 1st published it if it is dated November 2016 because I had never seen it before. But if it's indeed dated 2016 it means the problem of getting an accurate guideline may still not be solved, because several people here said they got bad results from using acetone on FED & FUD. So obviously it's not up to date. Furthermore they mention enamel, a type of paint that contain solvents. So it's as if they had not read this thread, or else if they found the culprit that causes crystallization and they think it's no problem to use acetone & solvents (?) (I doubt so) then they have not told us what it is, nor if the material is fixed. The name change of the material and the old date for the painting guide sound rather suspicious, or rushed in, as they either didn't take the time to really find out what are the incompatible solvents and paint, or else they didn't ask 3DSystems.
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  3. The_Old_Factory
    The_Old_Factory Well-Known Member
    I think the reason SW keep silent is because they're stuck in a corner & probably had no intention to go to the bottom of this quality issue since the start & now faced by mounting pressure find it hard to answer our justified questions about what have they accomplished (they & 3DSystems) since 1 year & how close are they to fixing this ? The alluded to recent change of personel will tell us if this is still true or not. I'm sure chemical engineers at 3DS or at their resin manufacturer already know the answer or could already have designed a better material by now. These people have huge resources & are smart. I believe it's the will which isn't there: like in: not wanting to make a tiny dent in their profits (3DS, SW, SW investors, whichever or maybe all). Short term gains ? Issues with management ? Or investors who put pressure on them & want them to do things this way because they probably don't care about SW's future too much, probably only care about recuperating their investment with a big margin as quickly as possible & satisfaction of SW's clients don't seem to be their priority (small production team, few customer agents...). What I've seen in the past 2 years seems to point in that direction, so we better not put our hopes too high. We'll see soon. But i just found this & it explains what I already suspected is going on at SW :


    It's not the only report I've seen, other websites mention similar things (though the link above & previous reviews were about the previous CEO. The near future will tell us if the new CEO will have the vision to fix the material, which could be done very easily by going outsourcing the design of a better, more stable plastic outside of 3DSystems. There are plenty of manufacturers who could design a better replacement uv-curable if 3DS doesn't (?) want to).

    Did you notice how they suddenly abandoned their high detail resin printed with DLP printers ? Doesn't seem to make sense given the quality issue they have with FED/FUD, the only other very high resolution plastic they still had to satisfy the needs of scale modelers who want to avoid risks of crystallization, & now it's gone. So i'm guessing people got smarter & started buying desktop resin printers, especially that the prices have become so affordable for these & the cost of resin can be as low as 30 cents/cm cube. I don't see any other reason why they would phase it out right now. So it looks like their marketing strategies are backfiring, & if their investors are emphasizing their profits at the expense of quality (hypothetical, but given 1 year plus & still no fix, it begs the question), then it means investors are sinking themselves. The only thing that will save the scale modelers segment of their market is if they fix FED/FUD or if 3DS or an independant supplier design a better plastic for the 3500HD Max. If they don't, the investors will lose more. I hope they're smart enough to realize that better material equal satisfied customers & better profits instead of SW's store owners buying their own small resin printers, otherwise their market will dwindle down, & just changing the name of the product & hoping the whole problem will magically disappear is badly advised. What I also fear is that there isn't a single scale modeler working at SW (I can tell from many things I've experienced or seen) which makes it clear they don't understand the market & that's dangerous for them & for us because it mean they can't take the proper actions to satisfy it & thus are progressively pushing modelers away by their actions or lack of, & their profits along with it.

    Their recent how-to ads show they still don't get it: you can't just 'scale up' a scale model to make wall thickness fit their minimum, because 1/72nd, 1/144th, etc, are already fixed scales by definition.

    So that mean: keep applying pressure. That's the method which so far have given one first bit of result after 1 year of efforts: them openly admitting to clients that the material have low uv resistance. A first small step.

    Now the big step: fixing the material.
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  4. crashtestdummy
    crashtestdummy Well-Known Member
    Ive had the chance this week to "peek behind the curtain" at SW. Much what I learned is confidential so sorry about being elusive. I'll try to reply in order:

    The issues with the resin seems to be one from the manufacture. It seems to be a batch issue and SW seems to be as much in the dark as to the details as the rest of us.

    There is no profit, some products have been problematic and they are being stopped until they can be fixed. Right now those investors you just insulted have been on average been subsidizing your parts. In the past management has just randomly thrown money at problems and hoped for the best, the new management is being more scientific and trying to find root case rather than just reprint and hope for the best. Getting it right the first time every time should help drive down their cost and in turn move towards lowering our cost too, driving more volume which should lower cost per part further.

    Other vendors are under consideration

    The DLP printers and process was giving issues of too. Sounded like the issue was more to do with the high volume SW needed in order to keep the cost reasonable was causing post production problems. This process will probably be back once they get the problems worked out if its possible.

    There are several modelers at SW and the CEO has been reaching out to other people across the SW platform to provide feedback.
  5. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    In this regard I'm a total outsider (I do NOT have any info on SW finances), but if those machines were leased/rented instead of owned, then a certain volume of orders is required just to cover the "rent'. I do know that a few years ago, they were having material shortages on WSF... with Crude Oil over $80 per BBL, their material costs have got to be rising.
  6. crashtestdummy
    crashtestdummy Well-Known Member
    I believe some of those machines were "not for sale" they were required to be leased only. I could see SW getting squeezed by vendors looking to raise there profitability by raising the lease, maintenance contracts and supplies.
  7. southernnscale
    southernnscale Well-Known Member
    I think! there prices are already on the rise!! changing material and prices! Rent? maintenance? supplies? I think a better QA would also help in providing a better product! with the up keep with supply in printing and not getting backed up and pushing item thru. Cleaning is also another process that needs better control finding a easy way to clean with out causing material to have problems and people handling to much! I seem to see that the shipping has been getting a lot better! haven't had as many items broken! Also I have most of my items done in FUD or smooth fine detailed plastic and after a few months it looks as if the frost hit them. It can be easily removed but this is happening even after cleaning and priming and painting it still remains on the surface of models!
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  8. BraselC5048
    BraselC5048 Member
    I've got more I can add to this. First Simple Green apparently does interact with FUD. I purchased by first set of shapeways stuff in October through December of 2014. They were in Frosted Detail, not Frosted Ultra Detail. There was no UV hardening done, as I didn't know any better. To clean them, I soaked them in full strength Simple Green right out of that bottle. (Which I had been using for stripping paint...) After about 3? days, the last? batch had entirely changed colors to solid frosted white, only very slightly translucent. I think that counts as "reacting-" this stuff will strip enamel paint, after all. Multiples from another order earlier were given the same treatment for at least "overnight," although I think much shorter, and either there wasn't any color change, or there was less and I don't remember it. They were removed from their package immediately upon the shipment arriving, and set exposed for a day or more both before and after cleaning.

    I sprayed them with Model Master flat black enamel from one of their spray cans; no idea what else might have been in the can, then brush painted with Vallejo acrylics.They were stored in a clear plastic container, certainly -not- airtight, likely exposed to indirect UV light. As of sometime within the last year, plenty of "sparkly stuff" right through the paint. Said stuff is sticky - SW, take note of that. The ones put through the Simple Green and left unpainted appeared to be less affected, with very little noticed. The undersides of all of them were left unpainted, and -appeared- to be quite sparkly, but it's possible that it's showing through the plastic.

    Another data point - I received a rather large FUD model in January, and it's been sitting out with nothing done to it at all since then. Possible direct UV exposure (though a window). As of a few weeks ago at most, and possibly a few days ago (or even this morning), it looked exactly the same.
    This afternoon the exterminator sprayed in the room (estimate closest was windowsill, same height as model ~6 feet away), and all of a sudden complete areas in the (exposed to the outside) interior were solid white - but only exactly vertical surfaces. Speculating there might be a connection...
    00dwkr likes this.
  9. BraselC5048
    BraselC5048 Member
    A question though - how does UV hardening/UV unstable interact? And should I clean them before, after or both UV curing?
    00dwkr likes this.
  10. BraselC5048
    BraselC5048 Member
    Also - is the paper they're being UV hardened on having something oily soaking it around the models after hardening normal? And is the plastic turning white but otherwise fine during that a problem, or something to just paint over?
    00dwkr likes this.
  11. 00dwkr
    00dwkr Member
    Hi, I think that is a great question.

    I am not a chemist, so I do not follow all the statements/discussion about that part of the picture. I just wish to know what to do. At one point Bestine for cleaning was an answer - now I believe Bestine is out. UV hardening is now part of the process for preparation, but will that go by the wayside, too?

    As a hobbyist, I am discouraged by the results to date. Someone said it before, maybe Shapeways, at this time, is good for products like jewelry, but not for detailed miniatures like scale aircraft and ships and railways.

    What this has meant, for me, is that my purchases from Shapeways have decreased. A lot. I was spending 200USD to 300USD, a month, on new stuff for my 1/700 scale miniatures collection - pretty much all FUD because that was the minimum quality level I could accept. Now, every month it is lower, maybe 50USD in May, nothing in June.

    I'm voting with my dollars.

  12. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    I believe at this point UV hardening/ UV damage are competing theories, and to a point they are just relevant for different points in the life cycle of the part. There have been a few reports of parts being received sticky and with a "chemical" smell suggestive of uncured resin. As the material is UV-cured,
    exposure to UV (as present in unfiltered sunlight, that is not behind glass windows) takes care of that, and it is one possibility that the crystalline detritus appearing on models long after painting may be previously uncured resin (and/or its reaction products with the paint or primer). On the other hand, UV transfers sufficient energy to the molecules to facilitate bond breaking or rearrangement over time.

    Oily stuff soaking into the surrounding during or shortly after sunbathing a fresh models sounds like
    residual support wax melting off. This may leave behind (or rather, expose) rough surfaces on the model, that appear white now due to light refraction at the multiple air-acrylic boundaries. Note this is an entirely different topic, not related to the delayed "crystallization".
    Bestine (heptane) cleaning is a good method to get rid of the wax quickly, but if you leave the model soaking in it for too long it will attack the surface and create a multitude of tiny cracks, which again make it appear white from light refraction. Some swear by it as it makes painting easier for them, but the long-term effects are unknown.

    In summary the key issue still seems to be that nobody (perhaps not even shapeways) knows how common the "delayed crystallization" actually is, nor the chemical nature of the "dust". Unfortunately,
    the very limited communications from shapeways do not instill any confidence that they are treating the matter seriously (or that they have any staff competent in materials beyond "this stuff gets put in that tank here on the machine and never spill it on your hands")
    Model_Monkey and 00dwkr like this.
  13. BraselC5048
    BraselC5048 Member
    Umm… I've got a model heavy in crystals, and I'd be happy to donate it for chemical testing. If anybody's interested. (basecoated with enamel.) For the Bestine, likely plan is to try it on a redundant model, leave it sitting out for a year or two and see what happens. Maybe there's such a thing as too much UV curing? I gave mine a blast of noon-3PM lower midwest sunlight in June three times, and that's a -lot- of sunlight. (As in "better wear sunscreen or get bad sunburn" sunlight.) I also soaked a couple in full strength Simple Green for two days, but never painted them. 4 years later, I can check to see if crystals formed without paint or any real UV exposure due to simple green alone.
    00dwkr likes this.