Powder Appearing On Fud After Storage

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

  1. MitchellJetten
    MitchellJetten Shapeways Employee CS Team
    To be honest I'm rather confused now.

    Because the bumpy white material (which used to be more transparent but is now more white due to the post process) is just the support material and has always been there and is, unfortunately, part of the printing process.

    Red being the model, gellow the support material (and thus after printing,, the bottom side of the model will have the rough surface)

    I think this is something different than Model Monkey was talking about
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
    Model_Monkey likes this.
  2. 00dwkr
    00dwkr Member
    Hi Mitchell, thanks for your reply.

    Well, I see my problem as the same as what we have seen in the posts from Model Monkey and fbea458, and others. The illustrations in post #28 and post #55 are what I see on my purchases, but only on the 'undersurfaces'.

    So, help me understand.

    Maybe I'm misreading what you have said - but if I purchased an FUD sphere or globe, and that globe was 'printed' like in your excellent illustration, and the product is both the red and yellow, then half the globe (the upper) would be smooth, and half (the under) would be pebbled?

    But if I wanted a smooth upper and a smooth under, then, it would have to be printed as two half-pieces, that I could then glue together?

    So, if I purchased a little model airplane, made up of many different surfaces (upper and under, cylinders, etc), and it is 'printed' in one piece, then the FUD model will leave the factory with part of the outer surface FUD material (the uppers) and part wax with FUD below (the unders)?

    Sorry I am going on about this - but I have purchased some models from other suppliers, not Shapeways, that print in what looks like FUD, and the uppers and unders on those one-piece models are both smooth.

    Thanks for reading. Take care: Dan
  3. MitchellJetten
    MitchellJetten Shapeways Employee CS Team
    Yup, that's correct!

    The bottom side of the red sphere that is yellow is covered in wax support, after printing the wax is removed and you'll end up with a rough bottom.
    The top will be smooth (any part that isn't touched by support material).
    So to get both sides smooth you'll have to print them separately and glue them together.

    This is just the side effect of the Projet 35/3600 polyjet technique.

    Another example, tho with the colors switched around:

    Everything red is support material which, when removed will get you a rough surface as it requires to support the yellow parts above it
  4. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    But why would crystal appear after painting? That is what some have shown and what is really troubling.
    Model_Monkey and 00dwkr like this.
  5. 00dwkr
    00dwkr Member
    Hi Mitchell: Thanks again for the illustrations. Now, I am sad.

    Because what I hear from reading what Mitchell wrote is that the train car sides are 'normal' FUD. Part of the sides are rough because they were supported, part are smooth because they were not supported. Mitchell, Correct? Thanks
  6. sapguy
    sapguy Member
    Yes, this is precisely what I was trying to point out earlier. Surfaces that were in shadow are going to have that textured surface, surfaces that were on the "up" side of the print bed will not. The parts, I've seen as examples were on the underside of (or next to) support material and thus the texture. If you have a spherical object and you want it smooth on all sides, cut it in two and rotate the underside to "up".
    00dwkr likes this.
  7. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    Just another friendly reminder that this thread is about the phenomenon of "crystal growth" appearing on some initially smooth FUD/FXD parts after several days or weeks, not the roughness (of areas that were in contact with support wax) that is immediately apparent after cleaning and drying...
    00dwkr, Model_Monkey and sozzap23 like this.
  8. Model_Monkey
    Model_Monkey Well-Known Member
    Apparently the problem is not yet understood. Despite a good effort by SW customer service to determine the cause, the best that was offered to the customer who initially reported the problem was (paraphrased), "scrape off the crystallized surface and oil the part, then see what designers have to say about it on our forums".

    That recommendation just doesn't work on three levels.

    1. An oiled part can't be effectively painted.

    2. The solution treats the symptom but not the disease. It's like being told to scrape off the offending cancerous lesion and put some cream on it but no treatment for the cancer itself. No cause or solution has yet been offered regarding the cause and thus the prevention of detail-consuming crystallization growth on a part that develops some time after it has been received by the customer.

    3. Although not yet certain, the problem may be related to a material, chemical or printing issue, as was suggested by P2P 3D Printing (they claim this is a known problem caused by infrequent or insufficient printer cleaning). Designers are unlikely to be able to offer meaningful solutions to material, chemical or production issues, nor can designers examine production processes for possible causes.

    SW, please continue to investigate port-production crystallization growth.
    00dwkr and Vladi_K like this.
  9. sozzap23
    sozzap23 Active Member
    Agree Steve, the issue here isn't the slightly rough surface from where support material has been in contact with the part but the actual breakdown of the material itself. There seems to be some muddying of the waters on here about the real "crystallization' issue here.

    We've all had and seen enough parts to know how good the parts can be and that the support material isn't really the issue here. Of course it leaves a slightly different texture but nothing anywhere near the actual breakdown of material.

    I'm sure that by Mitchell's post he didn't mean actual breakdown of surfaces other wise the only surface we could print would be a flat oblong! (of course with a rough/crystallized underside). And if this was the case then Shapeways would of course be liable for mis selling of products as I don't recall seeing anything on the product description for FXD and FUD "this product will soon start to break down where ever there has been the waxy like support material, not ideal for printing your interesting (to you anyway, not really anyone else) character figures". Sorry, strayed into sarcastic waters there...

    Quoting the Shapeways product description: "Both materials utilize a waxy support material that is dissolved after printing is completed. Because the support material slightly changes the texture of the product, and isn’t applied to the entire product, you will see slight variability in texture over the surface of the model."

    Note: A slight variation in texture... not actual material breakdown.

    Also thought I'd post this too...


    Looks gorgeous doesn't it? I can't see any breakdown or extreme roughness on this picture can you?
    Maybe it's a bit like ordering a Big Mac from McDonalds... looks great on the pictures but then the actual sodden lump of stodgy, limp bread with a bland anemic pattie arrives and leaves you feeling depressed and angry at the world.

    I'm sure Shapeways aren't trying to do the same here... are they?

    Solve the problem, don't cut corners and give the customer the product they think they're getting. Happy days for everyone. If not then a lot of Shapeways employees could be seeing a lot more of those Big Macs...

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but I'm a Brit so it's genetic and we don't like being taken for a ride.

    Micro Master.
    Model_Monkey, 00dwkr and Vladi_K like this.
  10. 00dwkr
    00dwkr Member
    Apologies if I wandered with my terminology.

    What I am seeing on my items is what is shown in Posts #7 and #22, after painting. My experience is that it only happened once (out of 12+ paintings) and not as 'bad' as the examples, only a few crystals.

    For unpainted, I have seen what was shown in Post #28. Crystallization.

    I just looked at some items I cleaned 2 to 4 weeks ago. All unpainted. The crystallization has advanced - I would estimate now covering 20 to 30% of the items, if it is averaged out.

    But, it is not really consistent - some items more, some items less. Two of the items are not bad (10%),
    but Steve's(Model Monkey) Los Angeles bridge is about 35% now.

  11. Model_Monkey
    Model_Monkey Well-Known Member
    I'm very concerned. SW, any ideas yet?
    sozzap23 and 00dwkr like this.
  12. Model_Monkey
    Model_Monkey Well-Known Member

    Any thoughts?
    00dwkr likes this.
  13. 00dwkr
    00dwkr Member
    Hi Steve, thanks for keeping this one alive.

    Regarding the items I 'cleaned' in post #70.

    There were 7 items. On 3 of the 7, crystallization has advanced, 'a little', like maybe 10%. On 2 others, they are almost 100% crystallized. On the remaining 2, almost totally clean, almost no crystallization.

    The 7 items came from 4 different Shapeways shops/designers.

    I was frustrated before. I am even more frustrated now........
    Model_Monkey likes this.
  14. 00dwkr
    00dwkr Member

    Hi: I found the below in another topic, an interesting message.

    While not specifically about crystallization, it's about printing orientation, it does give a strong message about quality.

    " There must be a reasonable compromise.

    The real question is "why?". Why shouldn't we shop owners expect proper orientation? Why should the shop owners, who are earning Shapeways their money, have to suffer their reputations for bad print quality because Shapeways wants to save a buck? This would never fly in any other manufacturing industry. After all, Shapeways is the shop owners' manufacturer, our supplier. No company likes to sacrifice their brand or image from bad or inconsistent quality. Why should we? Because they say "we won't"? I might even be willing to pay a premium for better orientation, and since when is wax expensive? Call me naive, but bad quality reflects badly on all parties, and frankly customers don't care about the process, they just want quality product without returns, refunds and excuses.

    Quality. First time through.

    Eventually we all know that customers will write this experiment off and stop buying product for unmet expectations.

    Keystone Details "

    In my opinion, I think 'Keystone Details' sums it up well. In advance, sorry about going off-topic, but I am frustrated.

    What Keystone Details says about 'orientation' I feel I could say about 'crystallization'.

    Thanks. Dan
  15. sozzap23
    sozzap23 Active Member
    I've had a few thoughts on this matter.

    Firstly as the above email mentions that the Shop owners start doing their own orientation to minimize the amount of support material in contact with the part. After looking at several of my own parts I've received I noticed the striping from the printing is not how you'd expect to be if you were looking at quality and to minimize the contact area with the support material. I guess time in any business is money so obviously parts are positioned to maximise each print at the cost of potential loss of quality and the rough support material issue. From now on I'll be setting my own orientation and we'll see how that goes :)

    My second thought is regarding the Crystal issue. For those of you that have watched the show Breaking Bad I wonder if there's a shady Gus Fring type character at Shapeways who's actually using FXD and FUD as delivery vehicles for a 3D printable Crystal Meth... imagine that... a global network delivering Meth to your door! that might explain the Crystal issue!" ;-) of course if Shapeways do decide to take my idea and run with it I want 10% of all profits. 3D printed Ice... cool. Guess that would make me Walter White...

    Sorry for my sense of humour again, I'm not being serious... or am I? ;-)
    00dwkr likes this.
  16. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    Good luck with that - user-defined orientation is not available for FUD/FXD precisely because of the (alleged) support material cost issue. And if everybody keeps bringing up the unrelated problem of immediate surface roughness due to support material contact we will never get any further on the thread topic.
  17. sozzap23
    sozzap23 Active Member
    Thank you mkroeker for your eloquent reply to the issue, as with so many of your previous forum posts about a wide range of issues. As an actual Shop Owner (nearly 400 products, sales of 150 parts per month) and not just a hobbyist then the issue of the crystallization is of importance to me and other Shop Owners. We just don't seem to be getting anything back back from Shapeways on the matter.

    As for the orientation matter after reading the material description then there is nothing in there about not being able to orientate the parts yourself. I've included some screen grabs of the model edit interface window allowing me to change the orientation and successfully saving it. If this isn't saving it for FXD or FUD then there must be an unwritten rule I've not seen. If you could point me in the direction of this information if it's hidden away somewhere.
    Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 3.19.30 PM.png Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 3.19.46 PM.png Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 3.19.57 PM.png
    00dwkr likes this.
  18. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  19. sozzap23
    sozzap23 Active Member
    Cheers for that Stannum. Looks like I've arrived late to the party. No more mention from me on here about the orientation issue as stupid as it seems.
  20. 00dwkr
    00dwkr Member
    OK. On topic.

    In my humble opinion, this is a good summary of the problem, and the state of response to date.

    To save the reader time, the 'quote' part and above is very specifically about crystallization. The below part might be considered off-topic, so don't read if you don't have time. Below is my 'rant' about FUD quality.

    I am 'just' a customer. I do not know or understand the details of the designing and production of items from Shapeways stores.

    I believe what I am getting from Shapeways, as FUD product, is variable in quality.

    There may be many reasons for this, but, in my very humble opinion, the worst variation of quality is crystallization. Which, from my observation of products I have purchased, only happens after the product has been 'cleaned' (de-oiled) in preparation for painting. My experience, with actual FUD product, is that the crystallization occurs after the oil is removed. Often. Right now, of products I have cleaned, about 20% have not crystalized, 80% have a variable level of crystallization.

    I used to be sad about this. Then, I became frustrated. I bought from Shapeways because the selection is great, but what I am seeing with FUD cleaned product is not UD enough for even me.