taulman3D Hacks Their Clear t-glase 3D Printing Material to Achieve a More Glass-Like Appearance
taulman3D, with their background in developing large scale optics, wanted to create a material which was capable of creating FFF parts with a glassy, transparent look.
As they worked on the idea, it was decided that their t-glase product would function as the base polymer. When the developers made the decision to ramp up the clarity of t-glase, they found they were required to go with a “very slight trade off in the Tg in the final chemical formulation.”
That decision initially allowed designers to create jewelry components with a thicker layer construction during the printing process to give the parts a more “glass-like” appearance.
taulman’s t-glase is a high-strength PET polymer. It prints using standard settings for PLA, but with the exception that it requires a print temp of about 235 C. All the cooling profiles and techniques used for PLA apply to t-glase as well.
But the company says that large industrial users — such as AOSmith and hundreds of machine shops — use t-glase for its ‘non-delaminating’ features when it’s employed to print large parts. To attain the increased transparency needed of a final part, the researchers found that layer sizes needed to be increased — and that meant slowing the printer down to handle material flow requirements.
“We knew that a clear cylindrical thread laid down by most 3D Printers would result in zero depth-of-field, but this would eventually be an advantage,” says taulman’s website. “If we could find a clear, two-part epoxy that could be painted or brushed onto the part to negate the shape of the thread, we could convert the optical path to an ‘optical flat’ – a fancy way of saying ‘glass.'”
After testing a number of clear epoxies to solve the problem, the researchers found that most had one of two issues: the requirement of a vacuum build envelope to eliminate bubbles, or a lack of ‘self-settling’ or filling of gaps in the printed threads.
Taulman then turned to a company which makes artistic and industrial epoxies, Smooth-On. The team found that one of the company’s products, XTC-3D, a material used for coating 3D printed parts, was ideal for taking on the issue and arriving at a “clear glass” look.
Taulman now says they suggest the product to users in need of parts with an additional clarity. XTC-3D dries to a hard and durable enamel-type surface, requires only two coatings, and when used with a spinner to ensure an even coat, is essentially self-leveling, all leading the taulman team to recommend this product’s use with theirs.
And the results speak for themselves. You can see the detailed instructions on how to use t-glase and XTC-3D on the taulman site here.
Let us know what you think about how taulman3D’s hack will change how you might use clear printing filaments on the taulman3D t-glase Hack thread on 3DPB.com.
You May Also Like
Car Windshields to Be Ground Up for 3D Printing Materials? Polish Researchers Say Possibly
Researchers from Poland’s Silesian University of Technology are getting in on the recycling action via 3D printing, and the title of their recently published paper certainly grabs the attention, whether you...
Somos PerFORM HW: Royal DSM Develops New Material for Origin 3D Printing System
While 3D printing users may often enjoy squirreling themselves away in their workshops or labs, spending hours tinkering just to see what they can come up with next, the industry...
Innofil3D Releases Two New Ultrafuse 3D Printing Filaments: Ultrafuse Z PCTG & Ultrafuse TPU 80A LF
Netherlands filament maker Innofil3D has just announced the launch of two new filaments: Ultrafuse Z PCTG – as the first electrostatic discharge (ESD) safe filament produced by BASF, this all-purpose...
Improving 3D Printing Materials with PLA/Graphene/Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Composites
Researchers from all over the world have come together to further the study of materials science in 3D printing, with their findings recently published in ‘PLA/Graphene/MWCNT Composites with Improved Electrical...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.