At the recent Plastics Design and Moulding show in London we met with Tim Smith of Tri-Tech, who demonstrated some of Objet’s amazing new materials. One of the materials is “Clear”. That’s right, you can actually see through the material when it’s printed. In fact, the specs you see above were entirely produced on an Objet printer using this (and other) materials. It’s amazing to see wearable shoes come out of a 3D printer, but even more amazing are glasses. The clarity of the image through the clear material isn’t quite perfect, but this is major progress.
Objet’s printers are capable of printing more than one type of material at the same time using their Polyjet technology. This printed object shows how it works. The printer was loaded with two materials, white and dark, as you can see – but these were also rigid (white) and soft (dark). By adjusting the ratio of rigid to soft during printing, the Objet 3D printer can produce a variety of materials of varying rigidity – on the fly! This snake-like object actually shows the eleven different ratios of mixing that can occur, with very rigid on the left and very soft on the right. Amazingly, it was printed all at once!
Finally, listen to Tim Smith of Tri-Tech who explains how a rather unique foldable 3D item was produced on the Objet 24 3D printer.