Apr 20, 2016 | By Benedict

Belgian 3D printing company Materialise has added a new DLP printing material to its i.materialise printing service. Smooth Detail Resin provides a smooth surface texture in an easily paintable gray color, and can be printed at a resolution of 50 microns.

Scale modeling has been a popular hobby for many years, but its landscape is slowly changing. Ever since 3D printing came onto the modeling scene, the hobby has become a more personal yet more social enterprise. New technology has given amateur modelers a means of turning their fantasy designs into tangible plastic pieces, which can then be shared through online platforms and downloaded by likeminded makers.

Given the immense technical and social possibilities afforded by 3D design and 3D printing, you’d be forgiven for thinking that all previous means of manufacturing scale models would be near-obsolete. Not so! Even though 3D printing provides a cheap and cost-effective way of producing customized models, many serious modelers remain skeptical of the quality of 3D printed models. When minuscule detail is paramount, models made via traditional casting techniques still offer the edge (or lack thereof) over 3D printing, giving ultra-smooth surface textures where 3D printed pieces retain a grainy, layered finish.

Although many die-hard hobbyists will always favor casting over printing, the new Smooth Detail Resin purportedly offers some of the finest quality prints available through a third-party 3D printing service, making it ideal for elaborate and intricate scale models. Customers who choose to have their models 3D printed in Smooth Detail Resin via i.materialise’s high-quality Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printers can choose either the “with support” or “without support” option—the latter (shown below) giving modelers a familiar scaffolded package which they can disassemble themselves.

Even though the new 3D printing material has been designed with miniature models in mind, customers can upload designs up to a relatively large size of 260 x 160 x 193 mm—no need to be conservative when designing your next Warhammer-style figurine, accurate model airplane, or scale statuette of yourself. Since the material has been primarily introduced to cater for the scale model market, i.materialise is only offering it in gray, the standard base color for paintable models.

Smooth Detail Resin is currently undergoing an “official trial”. The material will presumably be added to the permanent family of materials should it prove popular with its target audience.



Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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