It seems like only yesterday that 3D printing technology was only a theory. Today, though, you can find 3D printers in schools, universities, hospitals, dental offices, and businesses around the world. As people continue to embrace the technology, researchers continue to offer newer, better products. Water washable printing resin from Full Spectrum Laser is one of the latest (and greatest) offerings in the 3D printing industry.
What Is It?
Water washable printing resin is a form of 3D printing material that requires absolutely no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to dissolve uncured resins. This means that the finished product is safe for humans, animals, and the Earth as a whole. This new compound is crystal clear, too, which provides a host of benefits in a variety of industries. In fact, researchers believe that it may become the go-to product in years to come.
How Does It Work?
In a traditional 3D printing scenario, an object is made of liquid polymer resin and then selectively hardened by lasers or other sources of light. Thus, parts of the object are cured, and others are not. Then, it becomes necessary to soak the object in a vat containing a VOC-toting chemicals like isopropyl alcohol or acetone. This removes the excess, unhardened resin and allows the object to take its final, intended form.
Water washable printing resin is different in that the specially-designed substance does not require any chemicals at all. Like traditional 3D printing, lasers or lights harden the resin selectively, while leaving some parts uncured. However, instead of soaking the partially-cured object in a tub of chemicals, it only needs to sit in a tub of water, which dissolves any excess uncured material.
Does It Work in All 3D Printers?
This resin was designed to work with SLA (stereolithography) and DLP (digital light printers), such as the Pegasus and Phoenix models offered by Full Spectrum Laser themselves. Scientists from Full Spectrum tout that they wanted to fulfill consumers’ desires for a safer product, particularly in education settings. This new resin offers phenomenal mechanical properties perfect for developing prototypes and object models, including those with many inner moving parts. What’s more, because the finished product is clear, smooth, and durable, these models and prototypes last for years to come, providing invaluable tools to teachers and other educators.
How Much Does It Cost?
The good news is that the water washable printing resin costs roughly the same as the acrylic resins already widely available, but because no additional chemicals are needed to dissolve excess resin, those who choose the water washable resin actually save money over time. As of the time of writing, the resin cost an average of $150 per liter – along the same price as standard resins offered by Full Spectrum Laser and their competitors.
Water washable printing resin is a revolutionary technology that allows more educators than ever before to bring the innovation of 3D printing into the classroom. With no need for harmful chemicals, this resin offers even younger children an opportunity to learn more about complex objects in brand new ways.