3D Printing with PolyJet VeroUltraClear Material

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VeroUltraClear is a clear, rigid, 3D printing material with a glass-like appearance. Learn how to get the best results for your prototyping needs.

  1. Step 1: Introduction

    VeroUltraClear (RGD820) is a new clear rigid material that improves on the existing VeroClear. It has a glass-like appearance and is the clearest 3D printing material in the market today.


    VeroUltraClear has mechanical properties that are similar to the rest of the Vero materials, making it ideal for:

    ·        form and fit testing

    ·        simulation of transparent thermoplastics

    ·        concept modeling

    ·        design verification of clear parts


    This tutorial will give a few guidelines for how to print and treat models printed with VeroUltraClear to maximize results. 

  2. Step 2: Tech specs

    Supported Printers and Printing Modes

    Composition:

    VeroUltraClear parts are actually printed as a digital material: a VeroUltraClear core and a VeroClear coating.

    The VeroUltraClear Digital Material option in GrabCAD Print settings


    Light transmission and yellow index stats:

    The following table shows the light transmission and yellow index levels for Stratasys clear materials compared to polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). These results were obtained from 6-mm thick parts printed on PolyJet 3D printers.





      





  3. Step 3: Pre-Printing Steps for VeroUltraClear

    Traces of other materials can adversely affect the clarity of VeroUltraClear. To ensure maximum clarity:

    • Run the Material Replacement wizard if you are switching from another material to VeroUltraClear and thoroughly flush the system.


    • Run the Cleaning wizard and thoroughly clean the print heads, roller, wiper and roller waste collector.


    · When printing STL files, the clear part is printed with a VeroUltraClear core and a 0.5-mm thick coating of VeroClear. For best results, wall thickness should not be thinner than 1.3 mm.


    ·  When printing color-per-texture type VRML files, the clear part is printed with a VeroUltraClear core and a 1-mm thick coating of VeroClear. For best results, wall thickness should not be thinner than 2.2 mm.


  4. Step 4: How to Print with VeroUltraClear

    a) Load both VeroClear and VeroUltraClear into the material cabinet. (Remember, VeroUltraClear is actually a digital material of both clear materials). 

    b) Print with a matte surface finish when possible. The support material that covers matte surfaces helps protect the part’s layers from excessive UV radiation, thereby improving clarity.

    If you do need to print glossy, arrange all parts on the tray to have similar heights. This ensures that shorter parts do not get unnecessary UV radiation while the taller parts complete printing. 

    Parts with similar heights

    c)Position parts at a 45-degree tilt for best clarity on the X and Y surfaces. 

    Part oriented with 45° tilt 

    d) In some cases, when printing clear-texture VRMLs, the print job stops due to a Bumper error. If this occurs, change the grid type from Lite to Heavy and print again.


    Additional information about printing with VeroUltraClear:

    The following settings are automatically adjusted by GrabCAD Print to ensure optimum VeroUltraClear part quality.


    When printing in High Speed Mode with SUP705:

    • Reinforced, 3-mm thick pedestal

    • Heavy grid type

    • Activation of one UV lamp when there is a part with glossy finish on the tray


    When printing in High Mix Mode with SUP705:

    • Reinforced, 2-mm thick pedestal

    • Heavy grid type

    • Activation of one UV lamp when there is a part with glossy finish on the tray


    When printing in High Mix Mode with SUP706B:

    • Reinforced, 2-mm thick pedestal

    • Lite grid type

    • Activation of one UV lamp when there is a part with glossy finish on the tray


    When printing with VeroUltraClear on J7 Series printers:

    The color and texture profiles automatically change to the Vivid 1.1 D50 (Relative) – VeroWt profile (Figure 4). This is a CMYW profile that does not include VeroBlackPlus™, and enables full-color 3D printing with VeroUltraClear.








  5. Step 5: Support Removal for VeroUltraClear Parts

    When removing Support material with the water jet, keep cleaning time to a minimum. 




  6. Step 6: Photobleaching for VeroUltraClear Parts

    Parts printed with VeroUltraClear have a slightly yellow tint when removed from the printer, especially if you selected a glossy surface finish.


    The yellow tint fades naturally over time, but you can greatly accelerate this process by using a suitable photobleaching treatment. This involves exposing parts to intense LED flood light. Within six hours of exposure, there is a tint reduction of approximately 70%. After 24 hours, there is tint reduction of 95%.

    Two recommended photobleaching methods include:


    Method A: Using an Illumination Chamber

    • Off-the-shelf chamber

    • Enables controlling temperature and light intensity

    • Assures predictable results

    Method B: Using LED Flood Light

    • Self-assembly from readily available components, including a cabinet lined with mirrors and a 100W LED flood light, 6500K daylight.

    • Low-cost solution

    • Varying results, due to the lack of precise control over temperature and light intensity

    Photobleaching Instructions:

    1. Immediately after printing, place the parts in the cabinet/illumination chamber.

    2. Arrange the printed parts in the cabinet with enough distance between them to allow light to reach all sides of each part.

    3. Turn on the light. Verify that the ambient temperature is between 30 – 40ºC (86 – 104ºF). Higher temperatures may cause part distortion; lower temperatures may not produce satisfactory results.

    4. Inspect the model tint after six hours of treatment.

    • For parts with a matte finish, this should suffice.

    • For parts with a glossy finish, continue the photobleaching treatment for up to 24 hours to achieve the desired results.









  7. Step 7: Gluing VeroUltraClear Parts

    When gluing parts printed with VeroUltraClear, use clear glue to ensure clarity in the joint areas.

    Apply glue only where necessary to minimize the glued surfaces.

    Check the glue’s UV resistance. High UV resistance indicates more resistance to yellowing after UV exposure. Some yellowing is not critical for an opaque model or concealed portion, but might affect appearance for a clear model. You can use a glue designed for glass or one specially designed for 3D printing, like Loctite. 

  8. Step 8: Polishing or Lacquering VeroUltraClear Parts

    Clear models come off the printer covered in 100-120 microns of model material mixed with matte surface finish.


    Removing this layer via polishing or lacquering greatly improves the appearance and clarity of a part printed with clear material. 

    Before getting started, we recommend reading this tutorial about hand-sanding and polishing.



    1.      To begin, wet-sand* with a 200-400 grit size sandpaper. This is a crucial step for optimizing clarity. Higher grits of sandpaper will simply not do the job as effectively if you do not remove whatever you can with a lower grit size first. 


    *We recommend applying water during the sanding process. Make sure you are using sandpaper for wet sanding.


    2.      Gradually progress to 800-1000 grit size sandpaper. 


    3.      Complete the process by either:


    A)     Applying Lacquer. This will add shine and a protective layer, as well as fill in gaps and imperfections in the geometry. 2K is one example of a good lacquer.


    B)     Increasing grit size to 2500-3000, in increments of 500 at a time. You can then progress to more advanced polishing methods like rotary buffing with compound. This is useful for some automotive applications, for example.


    *Whether you choose to apply lacquer or continue polishing depends on your individual circumstances and the equipment at your disposal.


    The diagram below provides a summary of the workflow:



    For more polishing instructions, refer to the “Guide to Post Process Applications” on creating translucent 3D parts.


    This concludes our tutorial. Let us know if you have any questions or comments below. 

  9. Step 9: Download the Best Practices Guide

    If you like this tutorial, download the guide for easy access!

    VeroUltraClear Best Practices Guide



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