RE: [rp-ml] Materials for 3D Printer

From: Jonathan Harris (
Date: Fri Jun 10 2005 - 16:08:59 EEST

... and then of course this might be really interesting (if you can get hold
of any - sorry I know this probably doesn't fit your availability
Quote from Nature, Research Highlights Vol 435|9 June 2005
"Going soft
Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 205502 (2005)

You can squeeze and mould it like putty. But
the material developed by WeiHua Wang, of
the Institute of Physics in Beijing, and his
team is not a plastic made from polymers
- it is a metallic glass that goes soft in
boiling water.
Wang's blend of cerium, aluminium and
copper, with a dash of niobium, is completely
amorphous. At room temperature, it has the
hardness, toughness and electrical
conductivity of a typical metal. When heated,
it displays plastic properties, becoming
malleable at just 68 C. This unusually low
glass transition temperature, combined with
resistance to crystallization, means the
material should appeal to manufacturers."

Sounds like fun to me!



From: Jonathan Harris []
Sent: 09 June 2005 08:57
To: 'Eric Lie'
Subject: RE: [rp-ml] Materials for 3D Printer

Some thoughts....
Polycaprolactone melts at around 60 deg C and is relatively tough - a bit
like nylon. Only drawback in my experience is that when molten (even using
indirect methods, e.g. immersing in hot water) it sticks like crazy to just
about anything. (People have tried RPing it before (Zein, Hutmacher, Tan
and Teoh, Fused deposition modeling of novel scaffold architectures for
tissue engineering applications, Biomaterials, Volume 23, Issue 4, 15
February 2002, Pages 1169-1185.
Something else that might be suitable, which I came across courtesy of
another list, is this:
It melts at approx 60 deg and doesn't become adhesive when molten (though I
have only ever used it in conjunction with the manufacturers instructions).
I can't really comment on pricing as I don't know your definition of
Biomaterials Unit
University of Birmingham
School of Dentistry


From: Eric Lie []
Sent: 09 June 2005 07:46
Subject: [rp-ml] Materials for 3D Printer

Dear all,


Does anyone have any idea of a material that has melting point of lower than
80 degrees Celsius or below that won't give out foul burnt smell and yet
still not brittle (e.g. cannot be wax)?


I am looking for materials for home-based 3D printer. The materials cannot
be expensive (ie commonly available).

Thank you very much for the help.




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