Additive Manufacturing Strategies

New 3D Printable Multicolor Gloss Sandstone Material Offered by i.materialise

ST Medical Devices

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imat-2When it comes to major 3D printing services, there are several companies competing for your 3D printed job. This competition is seemingly benefiting consumers as companies begin to lower their rates, shorten their delivery times, and expand on the materials they have to offer.

Earlier this month Shapeways announced a new multicolored plastic material which is similar to their sandstone option in terms of color distribution, but allows their clients to print items which are not as fragile as an object printed in sandstone would be. Although the material is only being tested by a select group of pilot designers, it does seem promising.

This week, i.materialise announced a new material, or should we say, new finishing method for a material, providing consumers with yet another multicolor option. The new offering is based on their multicolor sandstone product, but builds upon it to offer something quite unique to the industry, a glossed sandstone material.

The new sandstone material, which basically adds a thicker UV coating to the their traditional matte finish sandstone, will have a shiny, bright finish to it, which according to the company will intensify vibrant and darker colors while reducing the appearance of print lines. The material also photographs well, similar to that of cold-cast polymer resin.

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“This new Gloss finish can enhance colors, which is especially evident with dark hues,” stated the company on their blog. “Black looks blacker, midnight blue looks bluer, and reds are as vibrant as ever! And browns? We feel they’re more organic and “woodsy” in this finish.”

Although there is some shine to this material, objects will appear smooth, and more like a lightly polished stone, rather than shiny like a cheap plastic toy. Additional benefits to using this material for your product are that it’s odorless, resistant to chipping, and will not warp if tightly squeezed.imat-3

The company recommends using mulicolor gloss for objects such as figurines, models of cartoon characters, architectural models, and other indoor display items. Although designers can digitally paint it prior to its fabrication, once printed the material is perfectly suited for additional painting. It should not be used for objects which will be outside, or in areas with extreme humidity.

The pricing for multicolor gloss will be the same as you would pay for the matte finish sandstone, 0.55 euro/cm³ in addition to the startup cost. Let us know if you have had anything printed with this new material type in the i.materialise multicolor gloss forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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