When I came home last night, I was happy to find a box from Shapeways on my doorstep. I was excited to see how well, another USA based 3D Printing service had done, so I quickly opened the box. I was very happy with the detail and the price was much cheaper than the previous two “high detail” prints I have received.
The 3 prints I have received have all used a resin that is cured by UV Light. So perhaps it should not be surprising at all that they are remarkably similar in quality. I do have some prints incoming made of different (and cheaper) materials and when they arrive, I will give you a comparison between them. I would like to do a post just on the 3d Printing technologies with links to videos for each type. Today I’ll just link you to this one which is the type used to make the Sculpteo, Ponoko and Shapeways pylons.
The resin casting has been a limited success. It took 5 casts for me to get one of high enough quality that I’m happy with it. The Alumilite High Strength II mold is holding up well, and is quite flexible compared to the standard silicone mold that comes with the kit. There are a few flaws in the mold, but it captured the detail quite well.
I opted for a single mold, but am thinking about trying a two piece mold to reduce the strain on the details, especially the panel indentations, as I remove the casts. I've found that Isopropyl Alcohol helps as a lubricant and evaporates quickly once the cast has been removed. The small volume of the pylon makes it more difficult to get the exact ratio, and the fourth cast broke on removal because it was quite brittle.
Thanks again for dropping by and reading this far. I welcome your comments and if you have questions, feel free to ask away.