Community 3D printer network 3D Hubs announced another significant step into the world of commercial 3D print services by adding PolyJet materials.
Wait, what are PolyJet materials? They are from Stratasys’ Objet line of industrial 3D printers, which use liquid resins. These resins selectively deposited by a high-resolution inkjet-style print head, where they are quickly solidified with an accompanying UV light source. The fine inkjet heads can achieve a resolution of as little as 16 microns (0.016mm) per layer.
Even better, some of the PolyJet machines from Stratasys can mix two or more resins on the fly to create a number of hybrid materials. For example, you can mix a hard curing resin with a soft, rubber-like resin to obtain a range of materials with different stiffness.
These properties are available on the Stratasys Objet line of industrial 3D printers. They’re quite expensive to purchase, and the materials are also pricey. However, these machines can produce very high quality objects in more materials than any other 3D printer we know of.
Now you can get such capabilities on 3D Hubs’ network. Evidently the service gained a critical mass of Objet-equipped participants around the world, sufficient that 3D Hubs declared the availability of PolyJet materials as a standard feature. Here are the materials now available:
- Rigid opaque plastic
- Transparent plastic
- Rubber-like plastic
- Simulated polypropylene
- Simulated ABS plastic
- Heat resistant plastic
For users of 3D Hubs, the new feature provides a way for anyone to quickly access very high quality 3D printing equipment. The prices for printing such items will be significantly higher than your typical plastic extrusion 3D prints, however.
For 3D Hubs, this is a big step into the world of commercial 3D print services. While 3D Hubs’ origins are with small hobby-level 3D printers, it seems they’re now drifting deeper into the higher-paying 3D print services, too.
Via 3D Hubs