3D Printing Material: Elastomeric Polyurethane CLIP resin

Caps Elastomeric Polyurethane Lattice Cube Elastomeric Polyurethane Lattice Elastomeric Polyurethane Detailed Elastomeric Polyurethane
Caps Elastomeric Polyurethane Lattice Cube Elastomeric Polyurethane SampleEPU_175.jpg EPUdetail-175.jpg



Overview  

On this page you will find all of the information, hints, and advice you’ll need to create an object with Sculpteo’s Elastomeric Polyurethane CLIP resin. By the end of this page you'll understand:

General information

Elastomeric Polyurethane CLIP resin material (EPU)

EPU is a high-performance polyurethane elastomer. It exhibits excellent elastic behavior under cyclic tensile and compressive loads. EPU is useful for demanding applications where high elasticity, impact, and tear resistance are needed such as cushioning, gaskets, and seals.

Processing times and pricing

The printing price of your design is calculated automatically the moment it is placed online. As you modify your object you will note that the price changes automatically. The pricing is based on a series of factors, including volume of material used, the size of the object, and multiple other factors. To see your price in just a few clicks you just need to upload your file.

We estimate our resin prints will be shipped 4-5 days after the order is placed. An additional day or two may also be required depending on the finishing options you choose. In some outstanding cases, the print can take more time to be shipped - this  usually depends on the volume of prints being processed. The exact shipping estimate will be given upon checkout.

Delivery time should be added to processing time and depends on the delivery option you choose.

Printing techniques

Elastomeric Polyurethane 3D prints are created through a photochemical process called the Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP), that carefully balances light and oxygen to rapidly produce parts. Your design goes through multiple steps before arriving to your object:

  • Model transferred to 3D printer
  • Before printing your object you must create a 3D model using a program dedicated to 3D modeling. Your 3D model details are then sent to our Carbon printer and arranged within the next available batch.

  • Object is 3D printed
  • With CLIP technology, the 3D print is grown continuously without stopping from the vat of resin. A continuous sequence of UV projected images, similar to a digital video, is projected as the object is drawn out. The result is a part that is smooth on the outside and solid on the inside, with predictable mechanical properties that much more closely resemble injection-molded parts.

  • Support removal
  • After the photopolymerization is completed, the build platform is removed from the 3D printer and the objects are detached. The supports are carefully cut and the part is gently sanded to remove most of the support marks. The part is then finished with mineral oil.

  • Finishings
  • The Elastomeric Polyurethane Resin is already colored. There is no post-processing color application on the object. More information on the coloring options available if you enroll in our CLIP Pilot Program.

Uses and maintenance

With the CLIP Process, we’re able to deliver prototypes and end-use products ranging from very small parts that meet tolerance demands to medium parts with precise patterns. CLIP enables product designers and engineers to produce polymeric parts that have the resolution, surface finish and mechanical properties required for both functional prototyping and production parts for industries as varied as automotive, medical and consumer electronics. 

CLIP leverages a range of materials which were designed to meet common engineering requirements — from the elongation and resilience expected of an injection molded polyurethane elastomer to the temperature resistance of a glass-filled Nylon, and much more. The Elastomeric Polyurethane is a rubbery, stretchable material that exhibits elastic behavior through a wide range of temperatures. This material is perfect for the use in gaskets, grommets, and flexible watertight seals.

Resin 3D prints create objects which are particularly smooth and precise. They are perfect for ornamental objects, but they can also be used for more mechanical uses if the strain on the object is not too great. The resin is also often used by large companies when prototyping new designs and can also be used for creating end products. Though everyone from beginning designers to experienced professionals can also benefit from the great liberty in design the material offers.

Design Guidelines

Printing Resolution

Our M1 by Carbon3D allows us to print with a layer thickness of 100 µm or 0.1 mm. In consequence, it is important that your prints are exported with the highest quality possible. This will avoid any sort of triangulation during the print - though keep in mind your file cannot be greater than 50mb.

Size limitations

Maximum size 141 x 78 x 100 mm (5.55 x 3.10 x 3.94 in)

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With CLIP, parts are limited by the area of the build platform and the height the platform can travel to. If you need to build something larger, you’ll have to print your design in several parts and assemble it later. Check out our tips regarding Minimum Clearance and Spacing! While this is the maximum volume possible, certain materials currently have more restrictive envelopes, particularly in the Z axis. If you have a specific need for items with an axis greater than 100 mm (4”) please contact us to review your design with you to help choose the most appropriate material.


Part accuracy and tolerance

The CLIP process is very reliable, but the parts it produces are susceptible to shrinkage and other sources of variation in the region.

It is important to note that accuracy and tolerance are dependent upon the material you select, and these values may change respectively. Furthermore, as tolerance is tighter in the XY place, you should consider putting features that require a higher degree of tolerance facing the same directions. This way, the build is prepared, and the part orientation can be selected to place these features in the XY plane.

The CLIP process is capable of printing with the above 95% of features falling within a +/-0.1mm tolerance in the XY plane and +/-0.5mm in the Z direction.


Minimum Thickness & Geometry

Wall thickness 1.0 mm

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Recommended thickness for certain structural features will vary based on their specific nature. For example, a vertical wall 5 cm in height will be somewhat flexible if it is printed at a thickness of 1.0 mm, but sturdier if it is printed at a thickness of >1.0 mm.

The walls of your object must be thick enough to support the weight of the object without breaking under its own weight. We recommend designing your model with the material's minimum design standards located in “Tips & Tricks.” This resolution holds true for short walls on the order of 2mm protruding perpendicular to the build direction (XZ and YZ planes) as well as in the XY plane. As it is the case with any thin or small feature, anything with a high aspect ratio (long and thin) will be fragile and need to be supported by other design features (ribs or fillets) or removable support structures. When designing thin/small features, keep the aspect ratio 1:5 to minimize distortion. For the upper limit, try to design your walls no thicker than 1cm as bubbles may develop.

Moreover, tall and large parts have a tendency to warp and must be supported to maintain rigidity throughout the printing process. Warping can be caused by heat, vacuum forces, and thin walls. For larger parts, 1.0 mm may not be enough to avoid warping depending on the cross sections.

Etching/Embossing Depths

Minimum Etching Detail   0.5 mm
Minimum Emboss Detail   0.5 mm
Enlargement ratio   1:1


A detail’s minimum precision is mainly determined by the resolution of our printers. However, during the cleaning process, a fine layer of detail can also be lost. In order for a detail and text to be visible, we recommend following our recommended sizes at the very least. It is possible to go to a minimum etching and embossing detail of 0.1 mm but visibility will decrease. To ensure details will be visible, their width should be at least as big as their depth.

Minimum Size of the text

The smallest resolvable text is 8 point (which equals to 11 pixels or 2.9 mm), in both recessed and protruding features. In some instances, especially in the XY plane, font sizes smaller than 8 point may be possible but run the risk of losing detail due to over-curing, the unintended resin of curing across a feature.


Sculpteo offers an online solidity check tool which highlights parts of the print that may be too thin for a print. From there you are able to tweak your design in order to create an object that is an appropriate thickness. To use it, you just need to upload your 3D file, select your material and click on the “Verification” tab.

Keep in mind that our solidity check tool does not detect physical aberrations such as floating parts, unstable position, part supporting too much weight relative to its thickness, etc. Particular care must be given to the geometry of your design and the most stressed parts must be thickened.

Don't Forget!

Keep in mind that our solidity check tool does not detect physical aberrations such as floating parts, unstable position, part supporting too much weight relative to its thickness, etc. Particular care must be given to the geometry of your design and the most stressed parts must be thicken.



Enclosed and Interlocking Volumes

Enclosed parts ? No
Interlocking parts ? No

Piece Assembly

Assembly ? Yes
Minimum space 0.6 mm

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Objects printed in Elastomeric Polyurethane can be printed to be assembled. As long as a width of at least 0.6 mm is left between the different parts of the object.

Hollowing

Hollowing ? No

Instructional: hollowing not possible for 3D printed resin
                objects

Multishell Files

Files with multiple objects ? No

Instructional: multishell multi shell not allowed for 3D printed
                resin objects

It is not possible to upload a file to be printed in resin with multiple objects.

Multiple objects and clusters

It is not possible to print a 3D file containing several objects, that's why we cannot accept files that contain clusters of multiple objects . However, don't worry, this doesn't mean you'll pay more for your multiple objects: to reduce the 3D printing cost, we set up a different price calculation as soon as you order two or more objects with CLIP.

You can also use our online tools and see our tricks and tips on how to reduce your 3D printing price.


To get more information on our additive manufacturing service, you can contact our qualified sales team.


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Technical Specifications

Elastomeric Polyurethane CLIP Resin

Mechanical Properties Unit Value
Tear Strength, Die C kN/m
23 ± 3 kN/m
Young's Modulus MPa 8 ± 1 MPa
Tensile strength MPa 6 ± 1 MPa
Elongation at break % 190 ± 10 %
Hardness, Shore A -- 68 ± 1

For more information about Elastomeric Polyurethane resin's specifications, refer the following document:


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