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PolyMaker announce brand new Polysher and Polysmooth for 3D Printing
3D printing is an exciting industry with significant advancements over the years by everyone from established industrial companies and the rise of new start-ups bringing innovative products crowdfunded by the community. PolyMaker are one of those innovative companies, with their first kickstarter campaign back in 2014 they raised over $100,000 to bring 3 brand new filaments to the market, PolyMax, PolyFlex and PolyWood.
Since then PolyMaker have continued to innovate the industry, changing the way we think of manufacturing and how we view 3D Printed Parts. Last year saw the release of PolySupport an easy to remove support material and PC-Plus a Polycarbonate material fit for those of us wanting strong 3D Printed parts.
Continuing their promise to relentlessly innovate, Polymaker have found a solution to one of the issues we face when printing with FDM/FFF machines, layer lines. Whilst a minor aethsetic issue for trinkets and models at home, layer lines can be a real hassle for those interested in the manufacturing applications of 3D Printing like investment casting. For investment casting, sanding and filing involve labour and take time. There are methods like acetone baths but those are involved processes and only work with ABS which when burns, is too toxic for the casting process. Polymaker are here today with a brand new solution, Polysher and PolySmooth!
“At Polymaker we always want to make 3D printing more useful; we want to see 3D printing in real-world applications rather than being used just to print useless trinkets. This has always been our core mission. We, therefore, challenged ourselves to solve this difficult problem. Today we are here with an affirmative answer. We are excited to introduce to you our latest innovation – PolySmooth PVB and Polysher – an entirely new solution to dramatically improve the surface quality of 3D printed parts.” – PolyMaker
The core of this technology is PolyMakers brand new material – PolySmooth. PolySmooth offers excellent printing characteristics, balanced mechanical properties and “polishability” when exposed to common alcohols such as isopropyl alcohol or ethanol. The polishing process then occurs using Polysher, a machine that exposes the 3D printing part of PolySmooth to an aerosol of alcohol.
Polysher is run using a device called the nebulizer. The nebulizer consists of a thin membrane of hundreds of tiny (<10 microns) holes, attached to a piezoelectric actuator. When actuated, the nebulizer generates a fine aerosol of micro-sized alcohol droplets. These droplets absorb evenly onto the surface of the 3D Printed part, melting the surface layer resulting in a smooth finish. This process is done quickly, efficiently and effortlessly by the PolySher.
Since there was nothing like this in the market when PolyMaker started, the Polysher was designed from scratch. After multiple design iterations with their collaborators Pragmatic Designs Inc. and Gyre9 LLC, they came to a design that is aesthetically pleasant, functional, reliable and fits right on your desktop.
HOW TO POLISH
Printing with PolySmooth is just like printing with PLA. Once your part is printed place the part into the Polysher. The Polysher can polish parts up to 15cm x 15cm x 20 cm (L,W,H).
Set the polishing time by turning the knob; a typical part takes 20-40 minutes depending on the size and environmental temperature.
Once polishing is finished, the Polysher stage automatically lifts up so you can easily access the model.
Suitable alcohols to feed your Polysher are Isopropyl alcohol (also known as isopropanol) and Ehtanol with concentrations no less than 70%. Concentrations 90% or higher are recommended by Polymaker.
PolyMaker have shared that PolySmooth has easily removable support material, is suitable for investment casting, no heated bed required, low odor, wide printing temperature range, no warping and is smoothable.
Typical printing conditions:
• Nozzle temperature: 190-210 ˚C
• Build surface: adheres well to common build surfaces including the blue tape, BuildTak, polyimide/Kapton tape, etc.
• Heated bed: not required, but can be set to 60-70 ˚C for better consistency
• Layer adhesion and warping resistance: similar to PLA; you can easily print large parts without warping and/or delamination.
• Odor: minimal (barely noticeable)
Mechanical/thermal properties of PolySmooth (based on 3D printed parts with 100% infill):
• Tensile strength: 40-45 MPa (compared to 30-40 MPa for PLA/ABS)
• IZOD Impact Strength: 15-18 kJ/m^2 (compared to 2-3 kJ/m^2 for PLA and 5-15 kJ/m^2 for ABS)
• Softening Temperature: ~ 70 C (compared to 55-60 C for PLA and 90-95 C for ABS)
PolySmooth and Polysher was successfully crowdfunded with an estimated delivery time of September – October 2016. After the kickstarter rewards have been shipped, Polysher and the PolySmooth PVB filament will be available to purchase from your friends here at 3D Printing Solutions!