Tranparent Detail

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by lorddarthvik, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. lorddarthvik
    lorddarthvik New Member
    Hi there

    I am currently modeling something that will need to be printed in the Transparent Detail material, and I have a few questions for those who already tried that material.

    First let me state that I have checked the material´s info sheet found here on shapeways, which was kinda useless, and also checked the photos in the materials section, but that doesn´t show much either.

    The first thing I´m curious about is, can a thin tubing made of transp detail used as guide for the light? I will have lighting in my model with LEDs but I can´t place the leds direclty to the spot where it should light, so can this material "transport" the light from the led to another spot? If some more specific info is available like IOR of the material it would also help a lot in designing this light-guide tube.

    How transparent is it in real with a thickness of about 1-1,5mm?
    I wish to print the whole model, which will be a H0 scale bus, from transparent mat so I can have windows showing through, and with working lights inside and outside.

    Also, does it handle the same way as white detail for postworking? Waxy feel, hard to paint etc?
  2. Fingers
    Fingers New Member
    As printed, it's more translucent than transparent because of the texture. I think if you polished the surface you could see very clearly through it in 1-2mm thickness, and it's only slightly colored when it's this thin. My miniature space shuttle has a 1mm thick floor and if you hold it against something with text on it you can easily read through it; but if you lift it off the surface, it gets blurry because of diffusion.

    It has a slightly rubbery feel, less "waxy" than the white detail. I haven't tried painting any of these.

    Complex interiors may be difficult with the transparent detail because it's printed with solid support material. They may not be able to remove the support material from inside a thin tube. If you mean to use a solid cylinder of it as a light pipe (like fiber optics), you'd have to polish it and make sure it's not very long. It gets pretty opaque after a few mm and you can see the color of the material.
  3. lorddarthvik
    lorddarthvik New Member
    Thank you Fingers, thats exactly the information I was looking for! :)

    I was thinking about a solid tube, like fiber optics, but it would have to be longer then 1,5cm so I will skip it and use smd leds and some clever wiring for the lighting issue.
    Thanks again!
  4. I used transparent detail as a light guide for 5mm and it worked just fine. As the surface of my small part was not very smooth, the whole part glowed, but this was fine for me. I am sure that, if it was important, you can find a work around for that, such as painting parts that shouldn't glow.