July 22, 2015 | By Alec

While 3D printing is theoretically fantastic, how many of us have despaired over finished prints that are difficult to safely remove from the printbed, over warping and over failed prints? While many have just accepted it as part of the manufacturing reality, it doesn’t have to be this way. For the Californian 3D printer developer Airwolf 3D has just unveiled the Wolfbite MEGA, a chemical solution that can be applied to your glass or ceramic printbed to ensure easy and warp-free PC and PC-ABS prints. Another comparable product, the Wolfbite NANO, is also available for PLA prints.

Airwolf 3D, as you undoubtedly know, is a company that specializes in developing and manufacturing commercial 3D printers out of their 12,000 square feet complex in Costa Mesa, California. Their machines have made their way across the US and beyond into schools, garages and startups, but this latest product will probably be very suitable for more professional-level makers too. For this smooth-release solution for warping (which can work on any 3D printer with heated or ceramic printbeds), is especially suitable for high-strength and functional parts.

The reason for that is of course in the Polycarbonate (PC) and PC-ABS materials the Wolfbite MEGA is intended for. These materials feature superior tensional and flexural strength characteristics and are remarkably resistant to heat and shrinkage. PC-ABS is further renowned for its ability to be vapor polished.

However, the reputation of both materials have suffered from their tendency to warp, and that is where the Wolfbite MEGA comes in. ‘We’re extremely proud to have developed the first solution capable of effectively bonding polycarbonate to glass and ceramic build surfaces,’ said Erick Wolf, co-founder, Airwolf 3D. ‘Users will see a notable difference in the output of their 3D printed projects when using Wolfbite MEGA.’ By applying just one or two coats of this chemical solution with an applicator brush, PC and PC-ABS prints solidly bond to the printbed. After cooling, parts are easily removed – as is the case for Wolfbite NANO for PLA parts. A single coat can also be used for multiple prints, and printing can commence immediately upon application. Perfect for, among others, the next generation AXIOM series 3D Printers by Airwolf.

The product was developed because the Airwolf 3D team was fully aware of the limitations of PC and PC-ABS filaments. ‘As a leading manufacturer of high-temperature 3D printers that excel at producing large 3D printed parts in POLYCARBONATE AND PC-ABS, we are aware of the frustrations that users have with bed adhesion and removal of their polycarbonate parts,’ said Wolf. ‘After months of research and development, we are pleased to offer a solution that will benefit nearly all desktop 3D printer users.’

The material was developed in collaboration with well-known polymer chemist Professor Miodrag “Mickey” Micic, Sc.D., Ph.D., M.T.M., department chairman at Cerritos College in Norwalk, Calif. As he revealed, the solution relies on recent scientific innovations. ‘The solution is based on a combination of the latest results in green chemistry, advanced polymer science  and MEGA technology to create the best possible adhesion using compounds which are generally regarded as safe,’ said Dr. Micic.

As the professor further revealed in a short interview, this new solution is far superior to other methods to encourage adhesion. ‘People are now mainly using the standard adhesives such as elmer glue, glue sticks or ABS cement, but the problem with all of those solutions is the continuous adhesion of the printing, warping of the parts and peeling off because there’s not enough of the bond strength. If you apply too much of the standard adhesive, you might not be able to release the part off the bed,’ he says. ‘[In contrast], the new Wolfbite MEGA solution, which you can directly apply to the glass substrate on the heated bed. It perfectly forms with the ABS parts and after printing is done and the bed is cold, the part is completely free. It does not adhere at all to the glass substrate.’

The MEGA solution will be sold in two fluid ounce containers, complete with brush for an introductory price of $19,99. Airwolf 3D will also be demonstrating Wolfbite MEGA at the 3D Print Show in Pasadena. If you want to catch a detailed preview of it first.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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