I’m looking to see if anyone has any tips for 3D printing clear resin… The pictures that formlabs shows is not comparable to my clear part I 3D printed.
Obviously I built directly on the build plate so that effected my surface finish on the long “back” portion of the part but there is no translucency here.
I washed, air dried, baked at 60C for 20 minutes…
Just looking for tips as I plan on 3D printing a mold for educational purposes but if it isnt glass clear I have no interest in printing with clear.
Thank you all!
Hello @TJAR_Ryan ,
While one can definitely achieve a very translucent and optically clear part from our Clear resin, there is a good amount of post-processing work that would be required to get it to that point; namely, a good deal of sanding and polishing.
We have a helpful guide on how to perform these post-processing steps in order to get more optically clear parts, and you can determine if this amount of processing is worth the aesthetics or function, depending on your use-case. In the article, you can see the steps taken for one of our applications engineers printed a lens for a 3D printed camera! Please let us know if you have any further questions, and best of luck!
Thank you for the quick reply! The article you shared explains that polishing will give the desired clarity. Thankfully we are mold makers and polishing to high shine is in our DNA lol…
Hey @TJAR_Ryan ,
Well I am glad that you guys are no stranger to polishing, haha. Please feel free to share your results after following those post-processing steps, I always love to see some cool prints! Take care, and have a great weekend!
Do you know if buffing compound would mess with the integrity of the plastic?
Hey @TJAR_Ryan ,
That’s a great question, but I actually don’t know the answer to that. If you have a specific type of buffing compound in mind, I can ask our Materials team to see if this is something they have experimented with. I don’t believe that it would negatively affect the printed parts, but I would like clarification from our experts before committing to that answer.
Here is a link to various diamond compound we use for polishing molds.
I have had great success with resin dipping/coating in making parts glass clear, just as explained in the article. For the parts we had printed, their geometry made polishing very difficult, but resin coating worked great. I was blown away by the clarity achieved with just one coat on each side.
@cdpelaez Do you have any photos you can share? That would be greatly appreciated.
How large was the parts you dipped?
Unfortunately, I cannot share photos of the parts I was working on due to them being for work, but I can share photos of a Formlabs sample part I was testing this process on. On these parts I coated the right side and left the left side untreated to compare. The parts I did this process on were hollowed cylinders that were around 3" tall by 1" diameter. I did have to coat both sides to obtain glass clarity. I’m sure this same process will work for larger parts, as I have done it to larger scrap parts as well. I coated the parts with the resin then blew it around with compressed air to help spread it to hard to reach areas.