Intro: Material Options for 3D Printing Clear Parts
When it comes to printing clear 3D parts, it’s important to understand the clarity options available to you. Depending on the design requirements, the clarity level can play an integral role in your design review.
Here are 3 options for 3D printing clear parts to help you make the best material choice for your part:
Step 1: Transparent Unfinished
Unfinished Transparent material is more frosty than it is transparent. Its best use is for parts that require some translucency, but not optical clarity.
- Price: Low
- Technology: PolyJet (0.016mm layer resolution)
- Lead Time: 1 day with Rush Production
Step 2: Transparent Finished
You can achieve more optical clarity with Transparent material by finishing it.
To do this, we hand-sand the surface to remove build lines and then finish the surface with a 2-part polyurethane clear coat. A finished Transparent part is great for designs that require clarity for functional purposes (e.g. reading a sensor or checking internal component positioning).
- Price: Mid-range
- Technology: Polyjet (0.016mm layer resolution)
- Lead Time: 2 day turnaround with Rush Production
Step 3: Acura 60
Acura 60 provides the best visual clarity for parts. This material is best suited to mimic glass aesthetically and is great choice when creating packaging or housings that require optimal clarity.
- Price: High-end
- Technology: SLS (0.06mm layer resolution)
- Lead Time: 3 day turnaround with Rush Production