FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

What is rapid prototyping?

Rapid prototyping (RP) is the process of building a part from a 3D Cad model saved as an .STL file. When the printing event takes place in the 3D printer system, it is constructed layer by layer using VisiJet materials.

What is 3D Printing?

A type of rapid prototyping, typically defined by faster, more affordable, and easier-to-use technologies.

How does 3D Printing fit into the design process?

For a growing segment of designers using 3D CAD drawing, the ProJet MJP 5500X is quickly becoming an essential extension of overall CAD systems and a critical part of the entire design process by:

  • Accelerating Time to Market - through shortening design and development cycles and ultimately getting products to market more quickly enabling users to easily fine tune design and explore multiple design configurations.
  • Generating Savings - by helping companies significantly lower production costs and reducing expensive revisions late in the development cycle.
  • Enhancing Communication and Collaboration - through bringing ideas off flat screens and producing functional 3D prints that can be easily shared, critiqued, and improved upon.
  • Creating Better Designs - designers are no longer limited to the number of models they can produce and test, resulting in more creative designs and better final products.
  • Ensuring Confidentiality - eliminating the need to exchange confidential design files with service providers, allowing companies to maintain product confidentiality and control.

How does the 3D printing process work?

The 3D printer system builds functional 3D prints from the bottom up, one layer at a time. STL files are imported into the 3D printer system where the files are sliced and any necessary support structures are created. The materials are fed into the 3D printer system from material bottles and accurately deposited in layers upon the print platform. After completion of the build, support structures are removed during post-processing.

How durable are the build material?

VisiJet materials create accurate, detailed, and durable prints from your 3-D CAD designs. Popular applications include concept models, casting forms, prototype parts, and specialty tools. All the specific physical and process characteristics of VisiJet materials are detailed in VisiJet material GHS documentation.

Is post-processing required?

Yes, upon removing the part from the ProJet MJP 5500X printer you will need to remove the support material from VisiJet parts. The parts finisher makes removing bulk support material from VisiJet parts efficient and easy. Forced airflow and precision temperature control deliver faster, shorter, and more predictable VisiJet part finishing times.  See the ProJet MJP 5500X Part Post Processing Webinar and Part Post Processing Slides on 3DS Central.

Are there any special facility requirements or operating systems necessary to install and operate the 3D printer system?

Refer to the ProJet MJP 5500X Facility Requirements Guide on 3DS Central.

Can more than one user process files and build parts?

Multiple users can send files to the 3D printer system build queue, move, delete, and set build priorities in the build queue. Depending on the size of the print, multiple files can be added onto the print platform in one build application.

Can prints be sanded, painted, dyed, and glued?

The parts can be sanded to remove imperfections or layer lines from the surface. You may use any automotive grade primer to prime the part.  After priming, the parts can be painted using any oil- or water-based paint that is compatible with the primer, or you can dye VisiJet parts with candle-craft dyes. You can also use super glue to join parts  together.

What is Computer-aided design (CAD)?

Computer-aided design (CAD) is use of a wide range of computer based tools that assist engineers, architects and other design professionals in their design activities. It is the main geometry authoring tool within the Product Lifecycle Management process and involves both software and sometimes special-purpose hardware.

What is an .STL file?

An .stl file is a format used by Stereolithography software to generate information needed to produce 3D prints on stereolithography machines or other 3D printing systems. It is a triangular representation of a three dimensional object. The surface of the object is broken into a logical series of triangles. These triangles represent the surface of the object.

How do I export an STL file from my 3D CAD program?

Most CAD software offers .STL file conversion add-ins under the “Save As” or export functions.

Are the print platforms reusable?

Yes the print platforms are reusable.

If material runs out of both material bottles in an MDM before the print has completed the build process, does the build abort?

Yes the build will be aborted. Ensure that there is sufficient amount of materials in the MDMs to complete the build.

When submitting a build, will the 3D printing client software inform me if the amount of material is sufficient for completing a build?

The client software will tell you how many bottles of material are required to complete the build.

How do I order parts for the 3D printer system?

To order replacement parts you will need to contact 3D Systems’ Customer Support.