I had a chat with the friendly folks at DyeMansion about their latest system.
DyeMansion (which must have my favorite 3D company name) is in the business of post processing 3D prints, specifically for industrial purposes. Their tag line describes this perfectly: “We turn 3D printed raw parts into high-value products.”
While the company began with color dyeing services, they now offer smoothing systems as well. These can polish the otherwise rough surfaces of SLS and MJF parts to a shiny state.
Their latest innovation is the Powerfuse S, a device that can accept a variety of 3D printed parts and smooth them through exposure to a special solvent they call “VaporFuse Eco Fluid”.
The benefit of this style of smoothing, as opposed to mechanical sanding or tumbling, is that the fluid is able to easily access all surfaces of the part, even those “deep inside”.
One of the most interesting features of the Powerfuse S is that it is able to handle polypropylene parts. As far as I know, this is the only industrial system that is capable of smoothing polypropylene parts. That’s important because “PP” is an increasingly popular 3D print material for end-use production parts. It’s highly durable, strong and sufficiently resistant for outdoor use.
There are many smoothing systems on the market, but DyeMansion’s happens to use a certified eco-friendly solvent, unlike most others. Not only can it be considered “green”, but it also smells like Eucalyptus”, according to DyeMansion representatives.
The other innovation coming from DyeMansion recently is their ability to very colorfully dye parts produced on HP’s MJF system. DyeMansion’s color systems are extremely precise and can reproduce specific colors repeatedly, which is ideal for large batch production.
The MJF capability has a bit of a story behind it. It turns out that the change was really done by HP, not DyeMansion. HP recently tweaked their base material color to a brilliant white, whereas previously it had been much darker.
It turns out color dyeing works best when used with pure white parts, so older HP systems produced parts that could be dyed, but the resulting colors were a bit flat. While that level of coloration was likely OK for many applications, the new bright white material enabled new color styles.
DyeMansion is now able to dye MJF parts to incredibly bright and vibrant shades, as you can see in the images. DyeMansion has quite a selection of bright colors, so this opens up plenty of interesting production possibilities. One possibility is that they can now dye to “skin tone”, which was previously difficult with older HP MJF parts.
All of these developments when added together mean only one thing: there are even more types of production parts and applications that can be 3D printed.
That’s a good thing.