Shapeways should consider Objet Eden500v Printer

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jzichek, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. jzichek
    jzichek New Member
    I continue to research high detail 3D printing options and I came across another Objet printer that Shapeways may want to consider adding to their production capability, the Objet Eden500V:

    It has 16 micron resolution in the z axis and - crucially - can use a gel instead of a wax as the support material, eliminating the surface roughness and artifacts we currently see with FUD. I would love to have access to this print capability, assuming it could be offered at a reasonable price. Worth considering when it comes time for Shapeways to upgrade their machines.

    P.S. - I am in no way affiliated with Objet, just a modeler looking for the best bang for the buck when it comes to high detail 3D printing.
  2. aeron203
    aeron203 New Member
    The Detail materials (White, Black and Transparent) are currently produced on an Objet machine. They aren't being printed in the finest resolution mode because it increases the production time, and therefore the price. They did offer the high-res mode output as a test awhile back to measure the results, but they introduced FUD instead of giving the resolution option. Objet models are not very stable at very small wall thicknesses and can deform easily, so encouraging smaller features would result in more print failures. I assume FUD is better at that (more brittle and less flexible), but I have never compared delicate models in the two materials side-by-side.

  3. jzichek
    jzichek New Member
    My understanding is that FUD is printed with the ProJet HD 3000, which uses wax as the support material and can result in the surface anomalies that have been the achilles' heel of FUD since its introduction. The Objet Eden500v uses a gel as the support material and doesn't have these problems, at least from the examples I've seen printed by another 3D printing company. I'm not sure about the wall thickness limitations of this printer, though I think they are comparable to FUD.
  4. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    FUD also deforms and even breaks if thin, the forums got some posts. In both machine types, the systems can load other materials that haven't been tested, publicly at least.

    Maybe material pages should provide the machine family and material, that way even new comers would know what they are getting upfront, instead of depending of sources like posts. Not that the sources are unreliable, sometimes we just remember other posts or blog entries, we spend some time checking the MSDS, and others we just compare based in hints (not a big variety of machines out there), just that it will be faster.
  5. jzichek
    jzichek New Member
    I wonder if Shapeways could substitute the gel support material used with the Objet Eden500V for the wax support material currently used with their ProJet HD 3000? Perhaps it's worth trying, if it doesn't ruin the machine. I'd love to see the issues with FUD resolved.

    I did a little more searching and apparently the Objet Eden500V was first introduced in 2005 at a cost of $170K! So it is relatively old and was very expensive; hope it has come down in price somewhat, as it looks like an excellent machine with high resolution and a large build volume.

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  6. crsdfr
    crsdfr New Member

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  7. Layton
    Layton New Member
    I too would like Shapeways to get this printer and offer high-resolution prints for models with millions of polygons. Compete with the other service bureaus that cater to experienced artists looking for the best surface quality. With Shapeways' size and credibility, they could own the market if they got the Eden500v.

    Frankly, I'm not too impressed with the quality of the printing here for my digital sculpts. I have no choice but to go with other companies because Shapeways simply does not meet my needs as an artist.
  8. jzichek
    jzichek New Member
    I second your suggestion, Layton. However, I recently chatted with another person knowledgeable about these printers and he noted that Objet charges substantially more for its materials than other companies; this may be a reason that Shapeways has not adopted the Eden500v (or the equivalent).

    A while back there was a post on Boing Boing about the expiration of several key 3D printing patents in the near future; this should hopefully bring down the cost of high detail printing. I'm impatient and don't want to wait till 2016 for this to occur, but there may be no choice in the matter thanks to the intellectual property system that we live with.
  9. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
  10. jzichek
    jzichek New Member
    So it does! Shame they don't employ it at the highest resolution setting then; I'd certainly be willing to pay extra for it (even more than FUD) assuming they could produce a superior result and maintain quality control. Certainly other companies are able to do so - uniformly smooth, high detail prints that require very little post production work.

    To me, this is like owning a Stradivarius but using it only to play vulgar bar room music.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012