Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Sculpteo Shows Us How To Polish Translucent VeroClear 3D Prints

ST Medical Devices

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sculpteo polishing translucent resinMatthew Sausse is a material engineer at Sculpteo, and he has provided tips aimed at helping users improve the appearance of their 3D prints. Sausse’s tips focus on techniques that the company doesn’t offer among their processes but which can be done with simple tools at home, and he provides a tutorial for polishing translucent resin 3D prints created with PolyJet technology and the VeroClear resin.VeroClear_LG_1024x1024

VeroClear Fullcure 810 is a transparent, photopolymer material designed to mimic clear thermoplastics such as PMMA, and it features proven dimensional stability and high detail resolution, but at the 14 microns resolution used by Sculpteo, the transparent resin does result in layering which can be observed on the surface of small objects. The resin can be used with the Objet Eden260V, Objet Eden350V, Objet Eden500V, Objet260 Connex, Objet350 Connex, Objet500 Connex, Objet500 Connex3 systems, and Sausse says a bit of simple post-processing can greatly improve the appearance of those pieces.

PolyJet 3D printing is a bit like inkjet printing except that, rather jetting drops of ink onto a paper surface, PolyJet 3D printers jet layers of curable liquid photopolymer onto a build tray which are then instantly UV-cured. Fine layers accumulate on the build tray, and in that way, precise 3D models or parts can be created which feature a smooth, detailed surface finish.

polishing translucent resin before and after

Polishing translucent resin before and after

The technique from Sausse is old school, indeed. It involves wet and dry sand paper in grits from 400 through 2000 and a whole bunch of elbow grease.

He says to start with the 400 wet grit until the layers have disappeared which may make the part appear white initially. Once the layers caused by production have disappeared, Sausse says to change to an 800 wet grit paper until the abrasion marks created with the 400 wet grit paper begin to disappear completely. You then repeat the process with progressively finer grades of paper until you reach the finest grade you plan to use.

According to Sausse, as the sanding process is done it will be necessary to rinse and then dry the part to make certain any dust on the part is completely removed before taking on the final step.

When you reach the stage where the part fully dry and entirely clean, Sausse recommends that you apply anywhere from one to three light coats of gloss clearcoat paint directly on the surface. He says the gloss effect will change depending on the number of coats.

To get the “after” effect on the skull shown here, Sausse says it took some hours of work, “but the result is definitely worth it.”14139518205447314ce9351If you want to get in touch with Sausse, you can leave a comment on his article here.

There are other methods which are less hand-labor intensive for polishing smaller items printed with VeroClear such as this one.

Have you ever used this method, or one like it, to polish items 3D printed in VeroClear materials? Let us know in the Polishing Translucent 3D Printed Parts forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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Matthew Sausse, a material engineer at Sculpteo, maintains a blog category aimed at helping improve the appearance of 3D printed parts. The first of the tutorials is a method for polishing translucent resin 3D prints created with PolyJet technology and the VeroClear resin. The technique from Sausse is somewhat labor intensive, and it involves wet and dry sand papering in grits from 400 through 2000 and a whole bunch of elbow grease. You can read the whole story here: https://3dprint.com/90679/polishing-veroclear-3d-prints/

Below is a before and after look at a skull printed using VeroClear:
https://3dprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/polishing-translucent-resin-before-and-after.jpg

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