3D Printing Material: Flexible Polyurethane CLIP (DLS) Resin

Octomesh Flexible Polyurethane Octomesh Flexible Polyurethane - Large GoProMount Flexible Polyurethane WallBracket Flexible Polyurethane
Octomesh Flexible Polyurethane Octomesh Flexible Polyurethane GoProMount Flexible Polyurethane WallBracket Flexible Polyurethane


Overview

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

General information

Flexible Polyurethane CLIP (DLS) resin material (FPU)

FPU is a semi-rigid material with good impact, abrasion and fatigue resistance. This versatile material was designed for applications that require the toughness to withstand repetitive stresses such as hinging mechanisms and friction fits.

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, size of 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 in 6 business days after the order is placed. An additional day or two is 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 is 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

Flexible Polyurethane 3D prints are created through a photochemical process that carefully balances light and oxygen to rapidly produce parts called the Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP). Your design goes through multiple steps before arriving at 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 (DLS) 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 Flexible 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 (DLS) 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 (DLS) 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 (DLS) 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 Flexible Polyurethane is a great material with properties that resemble injection-molded polypropylene. This material is excellent for housewares, toys, rigid packaging, living hinges, and anything that requires a lightweight and flexible plastic material. 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. 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.

With regards to water qualities, resin is water-resistant but not waterproof. Thus, the 3D object must not rest in contact with water for extended periods of time. In terms of temperature, if the plastic is subjected to heat above 50°C (122°F), it is possible that the physical form of the object can significantly altered. 

Finishing options

Polished and Non Polished

We remove the support structures for you during our post-processing steps, but the surfaces where the supports structures come in contact with the part will be visible but can be sanded and finished by a technician upon request. This means there are considerations you should keep in mind during the design of your part to facilitate not only the successful construction of your part, but also the removal of support structures and the finishing of your surfaces.

There are multiple finishing options available through Sculpteo:

  • Raw: Supports are removed from the model. Support scars/bumps will still be visible.
  • Polished: Supports and support scars/bumps are removed.

At-home finishes 

The Flexible Polyurethane FPU resin material is adapted to at-home post treatment. Thus, you can easily make your own finishes on your object: polishing, painting, varnishing, and more.

Design Guidelines

Printing Resolution

Layer thickness 100 µm

Our printer 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 180 x 110 x 100 mm (7.08 x 3.33 x 3.93 in)


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With CLIP (DLS), 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 150mm (6”) please contact us to review your design with you to help choose the most appropriate material.


Warning

CLIP (DLS) technology uses specific reagent resins which can cause chemical reactions during the printing process. The surface quality of the FPU can vary above height of 100 mm. Be sure that our technicians will do their best to guaranty the best possible quality, but keep in mind that very long prints (objects that are too large or too complex), we might get back to you and offer alternative solutions.



Minimum Thickness & Geometry

Wall thickness 0.8 mm
Living Hinge Thickness 0.5 mm

Instructional: minimum wall thickness for 3D printed resin objects is 2mm

For the upper limit, try to design your walls no thicker than 1cm as bubbles may develop. 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 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.

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.

The lifespan of a living hinge will vary depending on the design of the hinge and th printing orientation during production. Please refer to the technical datasheet to design the living hinge properly.

Don't Forget!

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



Part Accuracy and Tolerance

The CLIP (DLS) process is very reliable, but the parts it produces are susceptible to shrinkage and other sources of variation in the part. In order to classify the effects of these shrinking and other sources of variation, we conducted rigorous tests to determine the accuracy and tolerance of CLIP (DLS) these parts. It is important to note that tolerance and accuracy are dependent upon the material you select, and these values may change respectively. Furthermore, as the tolerance is tighter in the XY plane, you should consider placing features that require a higher degree of tolerance facing the same direction. This way, when the build is prepared, the part orientation can be selected to place these features in the XY plane.

Enclosed and Interlocking Volumes

Enclosed parts ? No
Interlocking parts ? No

Minimum Spacing and Clearances

Minimum spacing between fixed walls 0.5 mm
Minimum clearance between parts 0.5 mm

Instructional: minimum clearance between moving objects for resin prints

For a successful 3D print a minimum clearance between objects is required to prevent them from fusing together! If this space is not left within the design, the object will be a solid. This is particularly important for articulated objects - as the space left between the walls will define the object’s ability to move. Reaching deep areas is more difficult while removing support material. For this reason, the deeper the object is the bigger empty space should be. For the CLIP (DLS) process, we recommend designing a clearance of at least 0.5 mm into your part.

Piece Assembly

Assembly ? Yes
Minimum space 0.5 mm

Assembly minimum gap distance requirement for 3D printed resin of 0.4 mm

Objects printed in Flexible Polyurethane can be printed to be assembled. As long as a width of at least 0.5 mm is left between the different parts of the object.

Hollowing

Hollowing ? No

Instructional: hollowing not possible for 3D printed resin objects

If your design contains an enclosed volume like a cavity, be sure to include a hole in your model for the excess resin to drain from your part. We recommend that you design drain holes into your part that have a diameter of 3mm or larger.

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 (DLS).

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

Flexible Polyurethane CLIP (DLS) Resin

Mechanical Properties Unit Value
Heat deflection temperature 78
Young's Modulus MPa 860 ± 110
Flexural Modulus MPa 831 ± 36
Tensile strength MPa 29 ± 1
Flexural stress MPa 32 ± 1
Elongation at break % 280 ± 15
Impact Strength J/m 40 ± 5
Shore hardness -- 80, Shore D

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


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