Materials Question

Of all the printing materials available to the Form 2: Which material resembles closest to cellulose acetate?

What are you looking for in this material exactly ? No single resin will be close to it, but if you can share what properties you are looking to emulate then it will be easier to answer… without more information I would say something in between Durable and Tough but probably more like Durable.

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I’m looking for a material both strong and flexible with the ability to elongate slightly and not break

How much elongation?

Of the non-rubbery resins… Durable is the most flexible and abrasion resistant. It does not break readily.

But its not super flexible…

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Agreed! Durable seems to be the closest in our current range, but I’m not quite sure it will have all the necessary attributes @crystaleyecare is looking for.

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Cellulose acetate is normally used in thin sheet thickness and is known for its clarity - is clarity needed in this application? If so then durable is no where near

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Thank you for responses. Clarity isn’t absolutely needed but preferred. Cellulose acetate is the industry standard for making a pair of plastic (Zylonite aka Zyl) glasses. I would like to start 3D printing some prototypes and one-offs to expand my practice’s portfolio. I’ve had the most experience with the clear acrylic, but it is simply too brittle, but I can polish it to an almost lens like quality

I can epoxy a color onto it, although translucent colors look pretty cool (translucent colors do need light to be transmitted through the printed medium). I need something that can withstand the pressure of a lens exerting force outward. Also, something that can withstand general wear and tear would be prioritized for me.

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Can’t you print a negative and then cast it?

I don’t know if acetate can be injection molded, but that would get into a whole other area that I’m not quite ready to enter.
Here’s an interesting video on how acetate is made. Their acetate is considered the best in the world.


As Fantasy2 suggested- I think you are better off printing a negative mold into which you can cast any number of different room temperature resins that might offer a variety of characteristics you can then evaluate for the best fit.

If optical surfaces are what you are after, you may want to try Water Clear urethanes- that can print a near optically clear surface and that are remarkably resilient.

You want to find one that takes a good 18- 20 hours to cure- and takes a post cure- they will have the lowest shrinkage and cast with the best possible surface quality.

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It looks like the durable is the closest. I will try this and let you know. As for the injection molded suggestion, I will consider it, but I’m simply not there yet. I know for that I would have to use the high temp resin for the mold.