Rapid Prototyping Overview

 Rapid Prototyping Overview Drilling/Tapping/Machining

Best Practice

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- Able to drill, tap & machine similar to traditional thermoplastics like acrylic.
- Plastic cutting bits are recommended, but regular twist drills can be used with slow to medium speeds.
- Always print or drill a pilot hole if possible.
- Use cutting fluid and jog the bit to remove chips.
- Be especially careful as the bit enters and exits.
- Standard taps can be use with cutting fluid.

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Metal Inserts

- Metal inserts can be easily pressed with heat and/or pressure.
- A hammer or arbor press can be used.
- Self-tapping and helical inserts improve pullout resistance.
- Heat gun or soldering iron on low setting can soften the material during insertion.
- Consider making injection bosses thicker during prototyping phase to reduce hoop stress

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Injection Molded Screw Bosses

- Thread forming or thread cutting plastic screws are recommended, but standard machine screws can also be used.
- Size the hole to allow for a strong pullout force, but without causing excessive hoop stress and cracking.
- VisiJet M2G-CL Armor can withstand the most elongation for reduced cracking but may strip out more easily.
- Consider modifying the design for strength during prototype phase if necessary.
- Consider using printed threads with standard machine screws for fixtures or during prototype phase

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Snap Fits

Snap fits save time and money in production by reducing material and part cost.
- There are different types for different situations: cantilever, annular, torsion, u-shaped, etc..
- Beam equations with geometric simplifications are used during initial design, followed by iterative prototyping.
- The goal is to create a tight locking force, without surpassing the yield strength of the material during assembly.
- The Rigid clear, white and gray materials can be used to prototype snap fits. However, VisiJet M2G-CL (Armor) has the best stiffness and elongation sometimes needed in complex snap fit designs.
- Avoid bending the snap fit along the z-axis where the layer lines can reduce the performance

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Dyeing and Tinting

MJP materials accepts dyes (synthetic work best)
- M2R-CL, M2G-CL (Armor), M2G-DUR (ProFlex) and M2S-HT90 are four clear materials that are easily dyed.
- Thick parts with dark colors appear opaque.
- Thinner parts or lighter colors appear translucent.
- Red, amber and clear tints are easily created for automotive lenses applications.
- M2R-WT is easily dyed to yield opaque colors and shades.
- Smooth surface quality allows for good aesthetics.
- Dyeing is better than painting for complex shapes.
- The 3D Systems EasyClean post processing unit can be used to dye parts

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Opaque and Translucent Painting

All MJP materials (except elastomers) can be painted.
- MJP’s smooth surface quality allows for good aesthetics without sanding effort.
- Use Mineral oil during post process and make sure the part is rinsed of oil and soap prior to painting.
- Wipe the part surface with IPA if possible prior to painting.
- Hundreds of paints are available including gloss, semigloss and matte, florescent, metal, hammered, stone, etc..
- Dyeing is better than painting for complex shapes.
- Both dyeing and translucent paints can create translucent parts like automotive lenses.

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Optical Clarity with Clear Coating

- M2R-CL, M2G-CL (Armor), M2G-DUR (ProFlex) and M2S-HT90 are clear materials that are easily clear coated to create optical clear parts.
- All other MJP materials (except elastomers) can be clear coated.
- MJP’s smooth surface quality allows for good aesthetics without sanding effort.
- Use Mineral oil during post process and make sure the part is rinsed of oil and soap prior to painting.
- Sanding, bead blasting or water honing the surface provides the best surface for optical clarity.
- A uniform coat of paint is required on the entire surface to create a glass-like clarity. This can be difficult to achieve without dripping/running, but is possible in most cases.

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Simulated Chrome and Polished Metal

- Many different types of glossy metallic spray paints are available.
- Not all paints provide the same aesthetic quality. Refer to best practices for tips and tricks.
- A uniform coat of paint is required on the entire surface to create the gloss metal quality. This can be difficult to achieve without dripping/running, but is possible in most cases.
- MJP materials are excellent for actual metal plating. Refer to 3D Systems applications engineering. Can be used for aesthetics, EMI, or strength

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High Contrast Visualization

- M2R-GRY (Rigid Gray) and M2R-TN (Rigid Tan) materials provide a high visual contrast
- This is sometimes needed for visualization aesthetics for concept models
- This can also aid in painting, like for painted specification models in toy manufacturing.

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Living Hinges

Excellent performance with both Engineering materials, M2G-CL (Armor) and M2G-DUR (ProFlex)
- Capable of 10-15x 90deg reverse bends as printed and up to 50x 90deg reverse bends with advanced post processing
- Capable of 5-10x 180deg reverse bends as printed and up to 25x 180deg reverse bends with advanced post processing
- Touch and feel of injection molded plastics

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Prototyping Optical Lenses

Works for Rigid M2R-CL and Engineering materials M2G-CL (Armor) and M2G-DUR (ProFlex)
- Index of refraction similar to traditional optical plastic
- MJP technology allows for required geometric accuracy and surface finish
- No internal bubbles, defects or layer lines
- Wet sanding and polishing required – supplies can be found on-line or at standard auto shop or hardware store

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Microfluidics

- Entrapped wax support removal allows the most geometrically flexible 3D passageways of any 3D technology
- Hands free support removal - even from long thin internal channels
- Create features not possible with SLA/DLP technology
- No support-related surface defects on internal or external surfaces
- High as-printed optical clarity, world-class clarity with standard sanding/blasting and clear coating

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3D Sprint Engraved Support Aesthetics

The MJP technology allows the support to be entrapped within an internal cavity to create marking
- This is easily done in CAD as part of the design
- A tool is also provided in the 3D Sprint slider.
- Crete both text and graphics
- Use patterning of features to create gray scale
- Serial numbers, company logos, numbering.

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3D Sprint Shells and Lattice Infill

- Infill lattice pattern functionality is built into the 3D Systems 3D Sprint slicing software.
- Able to create structures with high strength to weight.
- Significantly reduces weight and part cost.
- Typical application can reduce weight by 70% and cost by 20-30%.
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3D Sprint Splitting with Automatic Connectors and Joining with Adhesives

- Simply choose “Split” feature from the toolbar and follow the wizard.
- Cut can be on a plane or a line.
- Plane cut automatically creates user input for reattachment connectors.
- Line cut automatically creates user input for reattachment “teeth”, i.e. like a dove-tail joint geometry.
- Many standard adhesives can be used to join MJP parts including two-part epoxies and multipurpose plastic glues. - RTV silicone rubber type adhesives can bond well, yet allow disassembly.

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