Polyjet Materials (plastics)
Example: prototype with material combination
The Polyjet technology is one of the most advanced 3D printing methods. It is currently the most capable technology, in terms of material choice and properties. The available materials range from rigid to rubber-like. The technology offers very high resolution (16 – 20 µm layer height) and the possibility to combine two different materials, e.g. a rubbery and a rigid one, in the same object. Those characteristics have made Polyjet technology one of the most popular rapid prototyping technologies in the past few years. Furthermore, base materials can be mixed during the print process to create hybrid materials with new characteristics (‘digital materials’). For example, this makes it possible to dynamically vary the bending properties of a part from one section of a part to another – independent of geometry.
All in all, this technology creates completely new opportunities in rapid prototyping, as well as in small batch manufacturing.
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There are numerous Polyjet materials including special materials such as biocompatible plastics, which can be used in medical technology. Furthermore, materials can be mixed together, to obtain new properties. If you have a particular request in terms of materials, please contact us.
Our standard materials are:
- AR-M2: AR-M2 is a rigid, transparent-yellowish material. The material is printed with a layer height of 20 microns on a Keyence Agilista. All other materials are printed on a Stratasys Objet Connex 350, with a layer height of 16 microns.
- Vero: Vero is a rigid plastic with a smooth surface. Vero is available in the colors white, gray, black and transparent. Transparent Vero (VeroClear) can be very clear after polishing for most part geometries.
- Tango: Tango is a soft, rubbery Polyjet material. The “rubberiness” of the printed material can be tuned from very soft at Shore hardness A 20 up to very hard at A 90. We offer 3D printing with Tango in transparent, gray and black.
- Durus: This material simulates polypropylene and achieves comparable resilience and elongation at break. You can print your part in this material in the color white.
- Digital ABS: Simulated ABS with comparable properties as the original, such as high tensile strength. Available in green.
Handle printed in digital ABS
A similar component, printed in a combination of unpolished VeroClear and rubbery Tango to improve the surface grip.
Tango is a rubber-like material with excellent flexibility properties.
VeroClear can become very transparent with polishing.
Polyjet is a variant of stereolithography and so also produces the highest detail resolution. The resolution in the Z-direction can be as low as 15 microns. Thus the Polyjet method is incredibly accurate and is quite close to the level of detailed possible with injection molding. Details as small as 200 microns can be visible.
Surface finish from Polyjet are the best of all 3D printing technologies, especially for geometries not requiring a support structure. This is achieved by the minuscule layer heights of only 16-20 microns (15 and 32 microns are also possible by request).
Polyjet parts are suitable for prototypes and functional models. The wide range of materials allow rigid, as well as soft models.
|Digital ABS||Durus||Tango Gray||VeroGray, -WhitePlus, -Black||AR-M2|
|Tensile strength, MPa||55-60||30-40||3-5||50-65||40 – 55|
|Elongation at break, %|
|Modulus of elasticity, MPa|
|Flexural Strength, MPa||65-75||40-50||n.v.||75-110||60-80|
|Flexural Modulus, MPa||1700-2200||1300-1700||n.v.||2200-3200||1900-2400|
Polyjet resins are photo-polymers. Such materials start as a liquid and solidify under UV exposure. As the print head sweeps across the build space it applies the liquid material on the desired locations and then cures the resin almost immediately with a UV lamp.
The material range is broad. Most materials contain a range of different poly- and oligomers.
In general, Polyjet 3D printed parts should be kept away from children. The components should not be exposed to temperatures above 50 °C (with the exception of heat-resistant materials). The material is not food save and cannot be recycled.
Cleaning: Clean the models with a soft brush or cloth.
In Polyjet 3D printing a print head is suspended above a build platform. The print head contains several nozzles as well as a UV lamp. During printing the print head will sweep over the ejecting tiny drops of a light-curing polymer on to the printing platform then almost immediately curing it with UV light. The platform then lowers between 15-32 microns (depending on the machine and setting) and the next layer of polymer is applied to the already hardened previous layer. This process continues until the object is completely 3D-printed. Overhanging sections are stabilized during the print by support structures, which need to be removed after the print is completed.
Painted Polyjet components (right/left, middle un-painted)
Polyjet parts can be finished using standard methods. Wherever needed, components are touched up with fine-grit sandpaper as a standard part of our service (i.e. areas where support structures were required). Further finishing options are available on request (e.g. priming, painting, polishing, coating). VeroClear can be polished on request.
Photopolymers are produced in much smaller quantities than conventional plastics. Therefore, the material cost of Polyjet materials are relatively high. In complex geometries, support material volume can exceed the volume of the actual part significantly and therefore increase the production cost.
The bounding box represents the physical space your part occupies in the printer. The larger the bounding box, the fewer parts can be printed in one print cycle. The bounding box is also an indicator of printing time. With large components printing time can take a day or more. Both factors are important cost drivers in the Polyjet process.
Standard surface finishing is normally limited to polishing areas where support material was necessary. Additional processes, such as painting, will cost extra.
Wall thickness: The minimum recommended wall thickness for supported walls is 0.5 mm. Freestanding walls should be at least 0.7 mm thick. The larger the wall, the thicker should it be.
Cavities: Cavities can be printed. However, a support structures might be required depending on the geometry. Internal support structures can be difficult to remove so one or more escape holes of at least 5 mm diameter is recommended. Spherical cavities or those with a draft angle > 45° may not require a support structure and thus would not require an escape hole.
Clearance Gap: If your file contains two or more close but separate sections, please design at least a 0.2 mm gap in between, to prevent them from fusing together.
Detail Resolution: Details as small as 0.2 mm can be printed.
Interlocking Parts: Interlocking parts, such as moveable parts, can be printed pre-assembled using Polyjet. However, please allow a distance of at least 0.2 mm between the parts.
Size: The Stratasys Objet Connex 350 offers a maximum build space of 342 × 342 × 200 mm. The Keyence Agilista offers a maximum build space of 297 x 210 x 200 mm.
With a high level of detail and smooth surfaces Polyjet can create prototypes with a premium high-quality look and feel. Furthermore, the ability to simultaneously print a combination of different materials allows for the efficient creation of complex assemblies e.g. rigid cases with functional seals.
Polyjet uniquely makes it possible to combine many different material properties in a single print, e.g. a rigid handle with a non-slip rubber surface or colored structures within a transparent shell.
With smooth surfaces, high accuracy and detail resolution, Polyjet is a great technology for casting prototypes, e.g. for vacuum casting. In industries like jewelry or dental technology, Polyjet is increasingly used in the creation of original molds for individualized products or prototypes.
Miniatures can be printed in very fine detail. This characteristic makes Polyjet popular among artists and designers. Model makers often use Polyjet for small scale objects in landscape models, architecture models, or even model railways.
For Polyjet materials please select manual quote, we will answer your request within latest one business day.
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