RE: [rp-ml] Comparison of ABS parts from Stratasys and Others

From: Sean Wise <>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:28:57 -0400

I happen to have run an experiment very similar to what people are asking
about, at least with respect to the finish. I had a figurine (a bust of a
child) built on the Cube, and Afinia machine, Makerbot, U-Print and a Fortus
system. I plated all but the Cube figurine (it was un-platable due to gaps
in the skin) in copper, applied a patina and highlighted the surfaces. It's
a great way to process something if you want to see every flaw in a part.

Cube - unplatable due to gaps in the skin, unsupported surfaces under chin
had excess material, very rough surface
Afinia - hollow shelled part. 6 mil build layers. Reasonably tight surface
for a hollow FDM. Artifacts from support left behind giving it a bit of
roughness but could be sanded away. (build with dark plastic to make
Makerbot - built with solid 1/8" walls from PLA, 0.010" layers. Areas under
chin and back of head had dangled ribbons of plastic that had to be repared.
Sealed with solvent prior to plating. Start stop line on from the build of
each layer was on the face. Don't know if this can be controlled.
U-Print - Seemed a bit coarse in the finish. Quite porous and hard to seal.
Fortus - ABS 5 mil (?) layers. Had most uniform look on vertical walls,
easily sealed even coated one part without sealing.

What I noticed is that the Fortus machine probably built the most uniform
surface of all 5. Even though the layer lines were apparent, the
consistency gave it an acceptable look. Most of the low cost printers had
intermittent lines indicating a slight shift of the part during build and
these really caught your eye in the finished product. (The platforms and
plotter mechanisms just aren't as rigid.) The parts made in these low cost
machines would likely need some sort of secondary work to improve the
surface uniformity.

Sean Wise

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of Markus Hitter
Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2013 12:59 PM
Subject: Re: [rp-ml] Comparison of ABS parts from Stratasys and Others

Am 27.06.2013 17:28, schrieb Robert Jaquiss:

> I would also like to see comparison data. I am totally blind and read
> braille so I have a good sense of touch. I have felt one part from a
> Cube printer (February 2012) and parts from Stratasys and 3d Systems
> machines. The parte from the Cube had a rougher texture than those
> from the more expensive systems. In my opinion, the best way to study
> this would be to have the same part made by several different systems.
> > Has anyone done a comparison of part quality
> > (strength,smoothness,etc) between the Stratasys systems and other
> > less expensive systems (Cube,etc). We would like to see the results if
> >
> > <>

Not to disappoint owners of these $100'000 machines, but for me it's hard to
imagine why a $400 RepRap should print parts substantially different.

Strength is a matter of the used plastics and the layer bonding, i.e.
the nozzle/room temperature it was printed with. Texture is mostly a matter
of layer thickness. And you can fill any plastics - as long as it's
available as filament - into a RepRap and print it at any temperature and
layer thickness imaginable.

What you're really asking for is a comparison of different plastics and
different printer settings. And this can be set for every print or even
every layer individually.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dipl. Ing. (FH) Markus Hitter
Received on Thu Jun 27 2013 - 21:10:35 EEST

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