Check out the brand new super-clear, super strong 3D printing material T-Glase (pronounced “tee glass”) launched by Taulman3D, a print materials company best known for the nylon co-polymer filaments 618 and 645. It has been described as printing more like ABS or PLA than the nylon filaments, but introducing more of a nylon-like strength to the printed parts.
This material has the potential for future wider adoption as the kinks for printing with it are worked out. We will keep checking in with the brave print materials testers such as Matt Stultz and the 3DPPVD.org crew and the design studio nervousystem about their experiences.
From the posting at Taulman3D:
Today, taulman3D has released another high strength material. One for those users that print mostly with PLA or lower temperature 3D Printers. This new material is called “t-glase” (tee glass) short for tough glass. As a side note, t-glase was actually released to our local testers as “taulman 810”, however, it soon became known among our local testers and a few industrial customers as t-glase, so we kept that title.
Like 618, t-glase started with requests from you, the 3D Printing community. We initially released 618 in 3mm and things moved along very well. When we released 618 in 1.75mm a month later, we started to receive emails from users around the world that were using PLA and/or printing at lower temperatures. With an understanding of our processes, it was actually our chemists that came back to us and suggested we try a polymer known as PETT and introduced us to one of the world’s largest mfg of PETT components for industry. While printing in various types of PET isn’t new, we decided to work with the strongest of the PETT polymer combinations available. Most of us have seen a similar polymer in the form of clear high strength water transport containers. These are known to be extremely tough and resistant to breakage. Then the chemical company and manufacturer worked together to make us some evaluation line. With a few industrial customers along with some local operators, t-glase quickly went into testing. Within just 15 days, we gave away free for testing or sold the entire 124kg of available t-glase. Our goal now is to open t-glase for pre-sale to the 3D Printing Community.
The main features of t-glase:
- Strength – First, as it’s a taulman3D industrial line, it has to be strong and we, along with our local testers and some selected industrial testers, are very pleased with the strength of t-glase. Especially with the larger nozzles used on industrial units.
- Temperature – Optimum temperature is about 212c to 224C, but will print down to 207C and up to about 235C.
FDA approved – t-glase is specifically made of FDA approved polymers for direct food contact/containers. This includes cups and other liquid storage parts as well as utensils.
- Environmental – While t-glase is not biodegradable like PLA, it is a material that’s considered 100% reclaimable. Thus the new “struders” that convert failed prints back to usable line work perfectly with t-glase. If you have a “struder”, you can actually mix in 12% of the total weight in discarded clear water bottles.
- Clarity – like 645 nylon, t-glase’s clarity supports industry’s requirements for non-destructive evaluation of 3D Printed parts.
- Shrinkage – Very low shrinkage makes printing large flat surfaces a breeze. And it easily prints to acrylic, glass, Kapton and other platforms.
- Bridging – Those of us that have printed with acrylics and polycarbonates are always envious of their bridging capabilities due to glass temperature. And the new t-glase is very impressive at bridging.
- Fumes – Unlike some lines, there are no odors or fumes when 3D Printing with t-glase.
t-glass will come in “clear” as clear is a natural color for this polymer. We will begin to offer t-glass in colors around the end of the year….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!