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3D Printing a transparent plastic object...

  1. Jan 29, 2017 #1
    Hello Forum,

    I am new to 3D printing and wondering if any of you have been able to print transparent plastic object with 3D printing. It seems that translucency is the best that we can get. Is that true?

    Are today's affordable 3D printer still only work with PLA and ABS or are there other more interesting materials
    to work with?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2017 #2


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    Yes. FDM parts can never be flat so light will always be defused. There are post processing techniques that help:

  4. Jan 30, 2017 #3


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    Stereolithography (SLA) processes do have some clear options. I've gotten some parts printed by a vendor using 3DSystems Visijet SL Clear material, and they came out very clear. See here: https://www.3dsystems.com/materials/visijetr-sl-clear. Getting parts very clear does sometimes require mild polishing after printing though, it depends some on the geometry and where support material is needed.

  5. Jan 30, 2017 #4
    Thank you.
    SLA seems to achieve pretty good clarity. I think there are some affordable SLA printers too out there....

    Two more questions if I may:

    I would like to 3D print using a material that is soft, flexible and resistant, like the rubber that makes shoes sole. What polymer would you advice using? Would any type of 3D printer work with such material?

  6. Jan 31, 2017 #5


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    I recommend a simple internet search. Not all machines support all materials, you'll have to find a system which meets your needs both in materials and mechanical properties. If I had to guess I'd say you won't find a material which is clear and flexible, it will be one or the other.
  7. Jan 31, 2017 #6

    Sorry I was not clear. I don't need the clarity in this case, just a polymer that is rubbery, like a running shoe sole, and not as stiff as PLA or ABS....I will do some internet search...
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