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Elasto Plastic Material Information

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Beautiful Pictures of 3D Printed Elasto Plastic

Elasto Plastic Elasto Plastic

This is a Maker Material - Only available to the model owner. Keep in mind that we may adjust the guidelines and pricing as we learn more about this material.

Ships in 16 business days

Design Guidelines for Elasto Plastic

The rules to follow in order to create successful products in Elasto Plastic. Read more on model checks
Max bounding box 300 × 300 × 150 mm
Min bounding box X + Y + Z ≥ 10 mm
with no dimension under 0.8 mm
Min supported wall thickness 0.8 mm
Will expand to 0.9 - 1.2 mm
Min unsupported wall thickness 0.8 mm
Will expand to 0.9 - 1.2 mm

Wall is a structure in your design that supports other parts of the design. An unsupported wall is one connected to other walls on less than two sides.

To ensure the successful creation of your product, make sure the unsupported walls in your product are thicker than the minimum requirement. If they are not, try making them thicker, adding supports, or considering a material with a thinner minimum unsupported wall requirement.

Min supported wires 0.9 mm

A wire is a feature whose length is greater than two times its width. A supported wire is connected to walls on both sides.

Min unsupported wires 0.9 mm
Min embossed detail 1.0 mm high & wide
Recommended 2.0 mm or more
Min engraved detail 2.0 mm high & wide
Recommended 4.0 mm or more
Min escape holes 5 mm .
Models bigger than 50 × 50 × 50 mm require multiple escape holes.

Escape holes allow unbuilt material inside hollow products to be removed.

When products contain hollow cavities, they are often filled with powder even after they are removed from the build tray. If escape holes are not large enough, or the geometry of the product makes it difficult to shake or blast the powder out, we cannot successfully clean it. This is especially important for our water-based dyeing process – models cannot be successfully dyed if they cannot be successfully cleaned inside and out. To ensure a successful, cleanable product, make sure to include sufficiently large escape holes for each hollow cavity in your product. Multiple escape holes are recommended for large hollow parts. A single escape hole at the end of a cavity will not allow material in the corners near the escape hole to fully escape; so, multiple escape holes at both ends of the cavity are recommended. If your escape holes are insufficient, try enlarging them, adding more, or filling in the hollow space.

A single escape hole at the end of a cavity will not allow material in the corners near the escape hole to fully escape. So we recommend multiple escape holes at both ends of the cavity.

Clearance 5.0 mm clearance
Interlocking and enclosed parts? Yes.
Multiple parts per model file? Yes.
Accuracy Up to ±30% on small models, ±10% on large models

More On Designing for Elasto Plastic

Material Traits
Maker material

For the time being, Elasto Plastic is offered only as a “Maker Material” - meaning, anyone can order models they have uploaded themselves, but it will not be sold in Shapeways Shops.

Since this is a Maker Material, we’ll produce all models that follow the design rules, even if we have quality concerns. Be aware that the current design rules are dynamic and subject to change as we learn more about this amazing material and how to design for it.

Thicker models are more difficult to bend

Flexibility depends on the structure and design of the model. The thicker you make something, the less flexible your product will be.

Final model dimensions may be slightly thicker than original design

Elasto Plastic tends to print slightly thicker than indicated by the design file. Models can be up to .4mm thicker in the Z direction and up to .2mm thicker in the X and Y directions. If you have a .8mm thick wall, it may come out to be 1-1.2mm. Our production planners will do their best to align your model to minimize the impact of this extra thickness.

Print lines or "Stepping"

Depending on the geometry of your model and orientation in the print tray, you might see print lines, or “stepping” phenomena on your model, which is a natural artifact of 3D printing using the SLS process. SLS printing works by printing layer by layer, and while our layers are around 0.15mm thin, there is a "step" between each layer, much like a staircase. Certain areas of your model may show this effect more than others, particularly on curved areas. This is also more obvious in smaller items such as model trains or items with gentle curves such as spheres. We make every effort to minimize the print lines in your model, but they are part of the process and cannot be completely eliminated.

Please be aware that excess powder may remain on models, especially inside small engravings. Small details may not come out crisply. And remember that thicker components will be stronger, but not as flexible as thin ones!

Material Info

Look and feel

Elasto Plastic is an off-white elastomer that is very flexible. It has a rough, grainy finish, and is quite strong when printed with thick features (greater than 5mm). Elasto Plastic is an experimental material, and although we’re very excited about its capabilities, the quality is not ready for broader use.

Handling and care
This material
  • not watertight
  • not foodsafe
  • not recyclable
  • not dishwasher safe

Elasto plastic is heatproof to 90ºC / 194ºF degrees. Higher temperatures may significantly change material properties.

How it's 3D printed

To print in this material, we start with a bed of Nylon powder and sinter the powder with a laser layer by layer, solidifying the powder as we go. Because of this layer by layer process, some products may see a staircase effect. How much you see this effect depends on how your model is oriented in the print tray. Our production planners are working hard to orient models optimally to ensure efficient and good lookin' trays.

Technical documents

What Others Are Creating With Elasto Plastic

  • Prototypes
  • Mechanical Parts
  • Gadgets
  • Accessories
Please note that the 3D printed products are intended for decorative purposes. They are not suited to be used as toys or to be given to underage children. The products should not come into contact with electricity and be kept away from heat. Our materials, except for Porcelain, are not food safe.


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