vacuum compatible plastic

Discussion in 'Design and Modeling' started by 09004103, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. 09004103
    09004103 New Member
    is it possible to print a non porous hard durable plastic that would work in a vacuum i.e. be vacuum compatible and not cause any leaks? I,m looking for to print a plastic ring to work in a transmission electron microscope. are printed metals also porous aswell or could they be use in the vacuum aswell for other component.

    thanks, john
  2. EdChamberlain
    EdChamberlain New Member
    I'm not sure of the function of the ring you are after but 3D printing is highly inaccurate and therefore may not be suited to use in such a precise piece of equipment.

    The plastics come with a rough surface, I can't say from experience weather they would be airtight though. I dont see any reason they wouldn't but it would defiantly need testing.

    The metals come with rough surfaces too but you can have them plated in other metals and polished to give a smooth finish. A good example is Steel plated with polished Nickel. If this suits your application better this may be the best approach 3D printing can offer.

    I would however suggest, if you're looking at creating a simple ring, that a turning or milling process may be much more accurate and effective (not to mention quicker). These processes can mill both plastics and metals to a much higher accuracy than 3D printing. A simple google search should bring up companies in your area.

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  3. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Definitely wouldn't say 3D printing is highly inaccurate?

    Our WSF and dyed variants, are very porous.
    Detail plastic could work
    FUD or FD could work better, plus highly accurate

    Our stainless could be porous, even the coated and polished versions.

    Our cast metals are solid. So you could order in brass or bronze, make you model a little big. If you order in raw, you can polish it to spec. Or if you order in polished, you still want it a little big, as our polishing will make it slightly smaller than drawn.

    All that said, we state our products are for decorative purposes only! So I can not guarantee or suggest using an item outside of decorative purposes
  4. EdChamberlain
    EdChamberlain New Member
    In my experience 3D printing has always been inaccurate especially when compared to a microscope using a fine beam of electrons to image objects that are 30 nanometers in size.

    What resolution do the shapeways printers print at? I believed it to be somewhere in the 20 - 80 micron range, which to me is rather inaccurate compared to a milling machine that can achieve accuracy of better than 0.3 microns.

    I guess it depends on the application of the part that the op is after.