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t-Glass Taulman3d 3D Printing Filament

taulman3D” releases “t-glass” A low temp (212C) industrial 3D Printing Material

Order Online at MakerGeeks.com - tGlass on sale today!! 
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The main features of t-glase

 Strength - Specifications on the strength of t-glase will be posted as soon as the data is returned from the test labs.  We have started using a local test lab along with the lab's at a few universities to accumulate data.  The process involves printing several "test bars"  These are bars printed at 5" x .5" x .25".  The setup for printing these is 1 perimeter and 100% solid layers.

Temperature -  Optimum temperature is about 212c to 224C, but will print down to 207C and up to about 235C. 
NOTE: A feature of t-glase was to select a polymer that easily sticks to heated acrylic and glass print tables for the smoothest bottom surface possible.  While t-glase meets this requirement, it results in a low glass transition temperature.  The effects of a low TG is that parts printed in t-glase, should not be exposed to high temperature use or applications.  The measured TG of t-glase is 78C.


FDA approved – t-glase is specifically made of FDA approved polymers for direct food contact/containers.  This includes cups and other liquid storage parts as well as utensils.  We are working with the chemical company to provide you with FDA related documentation so you may sell your printed parts that meet FDA requirements.  These documents will be posted below when available.

Environmental - While t-glase is not biodegradable like PLA, it is a material that’s considered 100% reclaimable.  Thus the new “struders” that convert failed prints back to usable line work perfectly with t-glase.  If you have a “struder”, you can actually mix in 12% of the total weight in discarded clear water bottles.  Please keep in mind, that the polymer used in most water bottles, has a slightly higher melt temp and that adding them to the mix, may increase print temp a few degrees.

Clarity – t-glase is considered colorless per industrial classifications.  t-glase is considered "water clear" as it will not degrade to a color in multiple layters of applied thickness.   t-glase’s clarity supports industry’s requirements for non-destructive evaluation of 3D Printed parts.


Shrinkage -  Very low shrinkage makes printing large flat surfaces a breeze.  And it easily prints to acrylic, glass, Kapton and other platforms.

Bridging -  Those of us that have printed with acrylics and poly carbonates are always envious of their bridging capabilities due to glass temperature.  And the new t-glase is very impressive at bridging.

Fumes - Unlike some lines, there are no odors or fumes when 3D Printing with t-glase.
    We will begin to offer t-glass in colors around the end of the year.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with RichRap, i.e. Richard Horne as one of the reprap communities leaders in color.  Richard released an excellent piece on color dying the taulman nylons and with the release of t-glase, Richard has signed on to be our color expert.  He will provide direction on an initial color set and applicable pigments.  In that t-glass is so clear, we expect Richard will continue to impress us all with his color touch.
   

                                                       Overview of the Optics and Light-Pipe features
                                                        
of taulman3D's new t-glase 3D Printing material
                    The following information is to provide 3D Printer operators a general scope of the optical and
                                                                         esthetic capabilities of t-glase.


 

    First, t-glase is made from the highest optical quality PETT material and is currently only available from two chemical plants.  Unlike other polymers, some PETT, including t-glase are not considered “transparent”.  Instead, it belongs to a group of polymers that are considered “colorless” and or “colorless with a percentage of reflectivity”.  t-glase is also considered “water-clear” and “optically correct”.  The term “optically correct” simply means that if you have a lens based die and injection mold precision reflective PETT into the die, the resulting lens will be relatively close to the same lens made from glass.  While there is no formal definition of “water-clear”, in optical engineering, it’s a reference to how high quality plate glass seems to disappear when placed in water.  When a clean piece of high quality glass is placed in water, the water negates the flat surfaces as a reflective surface, thus making the major surface invisible.  However, the edges of the plate glass will still redirect or reflect light in a different direction, thus making them viewable even in water.  This water-clear property is why some of products we buy are displayed in “Blister-Pack” packaging.  The material is based on PETT with processing that bring out it’s reflective properties and enhances the visual presentation of the product.  Over and above the problems associated with removing said product from the packaging! 

So, if t-glase is water-clear, why isn’t my printed part water-clear?  The answer is, that they actually are water clear; however, because the part is made up of many layers of oval shaped threads, the end result is something that tends not to be transparent and white-ish.   This holds true for pure optics as well.  While a single plano lens may look water-clear, a box filled with 5000 plano lens looks, just like your part printed in t-glase.  Not, transparent, and white-ish.  This is due to the edges, or any part of the surface that modifies the optical properties.

So, how can I 3D Print truly clear parts on my reprap?  The answer is quite simply, you can’t with a reparap style 3D Printer.  Why?  Because there are no optical flats within the print….or very few.  You can, however print light-pipes as t-glase was specifically formulated to allow for light pipe transmissions.  Light-pipes are discussed below, but only work along the thread axis, not against. 

 But I’ve seen parts that sort of look transparent, how is that done?  While they look somewhat transparent, what you’re seeing is a percentage of the light rays that are not reflected at angles outside of your line of sight.  All polymers have a percentage of transmission and reflection.  While ABS and some PLA’s have a higher degree of transmission, PETT has a higher degree of reflection.  This is why a part printed in t-glase seems to have 1000’s of tiny mirrors at the transitions from x to y movement.

Ok, then......how do I get clear looking parts..?  This is rather easy, but you’ll need to make a few changes to settings in your slicer.  While this sounds simple, a lot of users are hesitant to do this once they’ve got their unit up and running.  However, there are only three changes needed to bring out t-glase’s optical properties. 

Specifically, you simply need to increase your layer thickness to a minimum of 70% but preferably 80% of your nozzle setting.  This significantly widens the optical path thus allowing less internal reflections within each thread.   However, note, I wrote “nozzle setting” rather than actual nozzle.  Your nozzle size actually determines the smallest thread you should extrude.  Not the largest.  Even if you have a .5mm nozzle, you can change the nozzle value in your slicer to .7, and it will calculate a greater amount of material to output that equates to a .7mm nozzle and increase thread spacing to accommodate this increase. 

Here are the changes:
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1.       Nozzle Size - If you don’t have a larger nozzle, on the order of .7mm or larger, you can still change the nozzle setting in your slicer.  The slicer will allow more material out, thus equating to a larger nozzle.  There are limits, but testers of t-glase found they could increase their .5mm nozzle up to .7mm. 
NOTE: Nozzles smaller than .5mm will create a rather large amount of pressure on the extruding gears and components, and the line may begin to slip.
2.       Layer thickness – As most of us are used to printing at .2mm to .25mm layers, the bonding from thread to thread with t-glase is such that if your part does not require vertical high resolution transitions, you can easily increase your layer thicness/height/size to 70% - 90% of the nozzle setting.
3.       Print speed – Due to the 2 points above, you will be allowing more material to pass through the heater block, than you would with standard settings.  Because it takes time to heat up a quantity of material, you MUST slow down the printer to allow for this difference.  A good place to start is 25% - 30% of your usual speed.  The assumptions here is that you are printing hollow items like vases and such that shouldn’t take a long time due to very little infill. NOTE: Do not try printing at current speeds.  We want you to be successful and reducing print speed is just as important as a larger nozzle.

 

Figure 1 shows the path of light rays as a function of thread shape.
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While t-glase was developed to allow reprap users the ability to print industrial strength parts, we also know that this optical feature is just as important to the artist, and jewelry designer.  If you want to get the best esthetics of t-glase and the majority of your designs are artistic or jewelry oriented, then we strongly urge you to get a larger nozzle.

***The optical and reflectivity of t-glase increases exponentially with nozzle size.***  

If your printer vendor does not offer any larger nozzles, then here is what we do in our lab.   We mostly use our own hotend and nozzles designs for our main industrial unit.  However, we have a few smaller units that come with widely known nozzles and hotends.

1.       SeeMECNC – We use these on some of our units as well as those we set up for some industrial customers.  We purchase three or more .7mm nozzles.  We then simply drill the .7mm out to .82mm and 1mm.  Some of the items in the photos on our site are printed at .7mm and .82mm.

2.       J-head – Again, we purchase three or more with .5mm nozzles.  We then simply drill the .5mm out to .82mm and 1mm.

3.       Ubis - Again, we purchase three or more .5mm nozzles.  We then simply drill the .5mm out to .82mm and 1mm.

Drill bits – Harbor Frieght sells a low cost ($8.00) 20 pc set of carbide bits.  Just use your micrometer to measure and select a size you wish to use.  (The reason these are grab-bag is they are incorrectly marked as to size, so make sure to measure….twice)

 http://www.harborfreight.com/20-piece-solid-carbide-micro-bit-grab-bag-44924.html

Printed optical flats – The closest you can print to something truly optically clear is to print a flat rectangular surface of one layer. 

As a note.   A large flat rectangular single layer surface is now being used by one of our customers to make lenticulated overlays.  These are the images you see where you hold a photo one way and when you tilt the photo, you see a different image.  There are actually two images interleaved and printed at 60 – 150 DPI on a standard B&W inkjet printer.  When the single layer of 1mm printed t-glase is pressed on the paper, the effect is seen.

                                                                                Jewelry with t-glase

                taulman3D has been working closely with two new on-line jewelry artists to develop the best nozzle sizes and printing speeds for directly 3D Printing jewelry using low cost 3D Printers.  The main advantages of direct 3D Printing of these jewelry pieces, is personalization, FDA approved materials, Cost and a glass like glint that transitions along the piece as it's observed at different angles .  Or as referred to in jewelry circles, t-glase "catches the eye".   A designer can personalize a customers ideas or requests without restriction.  In addition, we have provided guidance to these designers so they can sketch their design ideas on paper, photograph the design, import into a raster-to-vector application, and export to a vector CAD outline.  From there, the outline can be cleaned up, extruded as a solid and an .stl file prepared for printing.  This sequence has proven to be much faster to actually perform, than to explain.  Thus allowing hundreds of ideas and designs to be evaluated before or after actual printing.

                These artists have their printers setup for 80% to 90% of nozzle layers.  More intricate parts require a smaller nozzle, while most pieces are printed at 0.7mm, 0.82mm or 0.9mm nozzles.  And a few are printed with 1mm nozzles.  To add more of a 3D effect, the artist have learned to add three dimensional transitions in the extruded solids.   An added benefit of using t-glase for these jewelry artists is the industrial strength of t-glase.  Items printed are small, glass clear and intricate, however, they are not subject to breaking as glass itself would be.  And in the case of earrings, the fact that t-glase is an FDA approved polymer with zero leaching is reassuring to the customer.

                Of course anyone with a 3D printer should be able to duplicate this process or even add to it with additional esthetic features.   The only requirement is a slightly larger or modified nozzle along with the notes posted above.  The obvious advantage, is that each user can create a totally unique piece of jewelry with little effort.  And the pieces speak for themselves as noted in the photos below.
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Bracelets by KAADEE

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Bracelets by KAADEE

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Pendent by KAADEE

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Bracelets by KAADEE

                                                              Using t-glase for Light-Pipes

Problem = You need to print light-pipes to have the LED on your PCB but have the light come out on the front panel of your new widget box/enclosure.  How is that done?

When we developed the specific chemical processing used in t-glase we specified a % of reflectivity.  Chemically, this is a function of controlling the crystalline nature of the polymer.  This proprietary specification supports the optical properties and actually enhances the strength properties.  This process gives t-glase the capability to transition light along a path.

This path, is defined as individual threads.  Or along the "length" of a thread.  You can think of it as light flowing through the length of a thread.  Once this light hits any aberration, i.e. bend, bubble, etc…  A portion of the total light refracts and reflects outward in all directions. 

Example:

                If you design a solid cylinder 60mm dia. and 4mm height.  Yet 3d print it at zero solids and zero fill for 4 perimeters.  You get a thick hollow band.

If you take a sharp blade, and cut the band, and then shine a light into one end, the band will act as a light-pipe and the other end will emit a bright light beam as if it was the light source.  You have just created a light-pipe.  Remember….You must cut a clean sharp and flat surface at the light input end.

                Great, so what are the variables..?   The main variable is how smooth the external thread surface is and how sharp you make the bends during your design.  Remember, any sharp transition will disperse some of the total light.  So, the smoother the external thread surface, the better.  The more you use soft bends (larger radius) in your design, the better.

                So how do I make a ornament that lights along it’s path? 

                The best approach is to design it as a solid and print with 1-2 perimeters and zero fill.  Also, you only need a total height of 3-6mm’s.  Layer height should be 80%-90% of the nozzle setting.   This will give you a resulting outline where the threads are melted into each other.  For a long path like a child’s name, you want as soft a path as possible.  i.e. use a font with rounded edges.  For a short path, like a simple symbol, you can add a few sharp transitions to highlight an edge.  Some play a bit with temperature as once you start to exceed t-glase’s specified print temperature, bubbles will be visible in the printed thread and these will disperse light in all directions.

Example:
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  The efficiency of the light pipe is a function of the polymer and it's specified reflective crystalline nature.  While some materials can sort of perform in a similar fashion, they can not approach the efficiency of t-glase.  In addition, other polymers will filter some wavelengths resulting in an undesired color.

Comments

  1. Great Content, I have appreciate with getting lot of good and reliable information with your post .3D printing is creating its mark because it reshapes development and producing and turns people, tiny businesses and company departments into “makers.” CSC’s new report, 3D Printing and therefore the way forward for producing, explores the opportunities of 3D printing services and provides ten queries firms ought to be asking as they prepare to hitch this trend. Click here Best 3D printer manufacturer company in China.

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  2. Some strategies use melting or softening material to provide the layers. Selective optical device sintering (SLS) and fused deposition modeling (FDM) are the foremost common technologies exploitation this fashion of printing. Another technique of printing is to get liquid materials that are cured with totally different technologies. The foremost common technology exploitation this technique is named stereo-lithography (SLA). Thanks for sharing such kind of nice and wonderful collection. Click here Best 3D printer manufacturer company in China.


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