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 Author  Topic: Shapeways parts crystallizing
Capt Speirs

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Capt Speirs  Posted on: Aug 21, 2020 - 1:09pm
I searched this forum and could not find any mention of Shapeways parts crystallizing. I have about $200 in parts that are useless now and can not be returned. Below are some links of this issue. I had no idea this had been an issue with Shapeways since 2016 and it seems they don't care, silence says all. I have been in contact with Luis Holden over this issue and he is stunned to say the least.

https://www.shapeways.com/forum/t/fine-detail-plastic-crystallization-formation.68722/page-12#post-239517

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?/topic/306292-serious-quality-issue-at-shapeways-fed-fud-plastics/

https://www.therpf.com/forums/threads/problems-with-shapeways-frosted-detail-3d-printing-plastics.286382/


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Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Aug 22, 2020 - 12:45am
I dont know about model building stuff maybe some of the members are more informed about this issue than me. Sorry I cant be of much help. I am not sure even what do you mean by crystallized? Can they be painted over?

Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

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JEno

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of JEno  Posted on: Aug 22, 2020 - 5:36am
I am using a lot of Shapeways and find that the crystals are present on brand new cleaned parts as well. It must be a result of the printing process, but given Shapeways costs now charged, it is questionable whether it is worth the effort to clean them, be it by scrapping, sanding , or air eraser.
Fortunately, many of the designers on Shapeways are moving to alternative printing services. I have found some that produce a better, stronger, cleaner, smoother, less expensive product AND deliver in 2weeks average form overseas. Hard to beat that. Sadly Shapeways has made it's bed and decided it is comfortable in it.
Jonathah


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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Aug 22, 2020 - 8:27am
Links fixed Capt. The last one is especially interesting with nkg's experiments. I can't believe that this has been going on for years and I'm just now hearing about it. I'm giving serious consideration to removing my store although I'd sorely miss the about $40 a month I make from it. I also can't believe that SW hasn't responded on their forum with any useful information. The 1st link Capt posted was started in 2016 by Model Monkey. The image he posted on the 1st page is bad, it shows the crystal growth appearing on painted parts. Can't have that... I'm going to contact them to see what they say.



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Capt Speirs

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Capt Speirs  Posted on: Aug 22, 2020 - 4:30pm
Jeff, I like you was amazed on how wide spread this issue is yet no one seems to be making too big a stink about it.

When I opened my parts after years of storage I was shocked to what I found. I then started to investigate the issue and found it to be quite widespread. Some of my parts are completely coated in this crud.

David Waples posted a response on the forum that he too was amazed and found that an Air Eraser showed promise. I'm just concerned that it may come back after being painted. Either way I'm done with Shapeways service. A friend of mine is looking into a high rez resin printer, may have to learn how to make the models myself.


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Lew Zee

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Lew Zee   Send Email To Lew Zee Posted on: Aug 22, 2020 - 6:47pm
I have been using Shapeways for several years and have a store there. All of the parts I have made and sell are using the Versatile White Plastic - a nylon type material. Some of theses parts are working items used on RC vehicles. Have not had any problems to date.

I have not had any problems with Shapeways' customer service as well. For me the worst thing about the (other than their prices) is their search engine on their site. I made a recommendation on using boolean searching but it seems they did not want to go there. Their search results come back with too many items not even related despite being specific.

Lew

Lew Zee

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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Aug 26, 2020 - 5:07pm
Greetings guys
This is going to be a topic for our model ship club meeting. Crystallization is a known issue with what used to be called FUD/FED prints. Today they're called Smooth Fine Plastic Detail. They have always had this issue.

The parts are fine but require work. The process I use is the following.
1. Clean the part. There is often a greasy film remaining on these parts and the crystals seem to form on this. I put dish washing soap and ware water in an ultrasonic cleaner and clean for about four minutes. After it comes out the parts typically look like this.



2. The next step is to remove that white crystal material. I'm not sure what this is but it is part of the Shapeways printing process. You can scrape it off but I've found that the best solution is to use an air eraser with baking soda as the abrasive. Don't use what came with the air eraser! As you're using the air eraser you'll see that crystal go away. It's not nearly as hard as the print. But make no mistake, if you work at it long enough you'll start cutting into the print. The result is this.



As you can see this part looks perfect and ready for priming and finishing.

Now, the million dollar question is, will this crystallization come back? I wonder about this because the crystallization I believe increased over several years. My guess is that it will not because we've removed whatever that film was on the part which seems to cause the crystallization to form.

What a pain in the ass, right? As mentioned earlier some of our favorite designers like Panzer vs Tanks (HOLDEN8702), Model Monkey, and Micro Master have all purchased their own machines. They use SLA machines which are liquid resin. They do require cleanup of the support sprue, but trust me, compared to what we go through with Shapeways parts, these are a dream.

It doesn't hurt to check with some of the designers on Shapeways to find out if they are printing their files outside Shapeways. Typically it's just a matter of sending them funds through PayPal and they mail the parts to you.

Good luck guys. Let me know if you have any questions.
Dave


David Waples

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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Aug 27, 2020 - 4:54am
Interesting, thank you David. The crud looks especially bad where wax is printed on top of the plastic, like under the pedestal there is a clear line on the ring.



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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Aug 27, 2020 - 7:06am
It's really strange Jeff. You can get a part that is perfectly clear and no crud. Then you get parts like this where certain panels or sections have crud and some are clear. Best course of action is to follow the cleaning guidelines.

I'm going to keep my eye on this piece I cleaned to see if any of the crud comes back.

David Waples

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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Aug 27, 2020 - 2:27pm
It sure is David. I've been wondering if maybe the support wax is mixing with the resin during the printing process, where the 2 materials are in contact with each other, leaving an unstable partially UV hardened crust that is impervious to the cleaning oil used to melt the wax. The reason for the lack of consistency might have something to do with machine calibration, I'm sure there are many adjustments that can be made. Or temperature / humidity when a part is printed. Or the fact that SW has subcontractors outside their quality control, that might be buying sub-par consumables even though according to someone at the SW forum the wax and resin are supposed to be proprietary from the same manufacturer. Wow, that's a lot of WAG'ing (Wild Ass Guessing) huh?


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