Author Topic: New material coming to Shapeways  (Read 1140 times)

Offline Flugzeugwerke

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4230
New material coming to Shapeways
« on: April 14, 2016, 11:56:19 PM »
Shapeways is offering a new material to designers called  "High Definition Acrylic" or HDA. It is a DLP /SLA type process, meaning that product is printed by exposing the top layer of a resin bath to light of some kind, and then progressively lowering the tray, exposing the next layer, and so on.

Compared to FUD, it offers much nicer surface quality, at the expense of some loss of resolution and dimensional fidelity.

Here is my first test piece in the new material. It is the magneto/oil pump combo for the Mercedes D.III :



Compare this to a cleaned FUD example:



You can see that the surface quality is much nicer, none of the "fuzzy" crap left over from the support wax as on the FUD example.

However, there are a lot of catches, at least for now:

1) Because HDA models need generated supports, many types of models (like my Fokker fuselage frameworks ) appear to be unprintable.
2) for the same reason, "sprued" parts, a least in the traditional sense, tend to get rejected
3) and yet, they are charging a base price per part, not per file, so models with many parts will be very expensive unless the no sprue rule can be worked around.
4) minimum wall thicknesses are greater than with FUD. For me that means many items will need to be redesigned to take advantage, and some won't work at all.
5) finally, this material is not yet available for sale thru designers' shops (like mine) although we can work around that thru "back channels" if there is interest ;)

I put 4 of my models thru for testing, and three were rejected, so there is a lot of retooling to do take advantage of this. FUD/FXD will continue to have a place, but this does hold promise for certain types of models...