Aug 7, 2013

New 3d printing filament: T-glase

From manufacturer page,

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.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with RichRap, i.e. Richard Horne as one of the reprap communities leaders in color. Richard released an excellent piece on color dying the taulman nylons and with the release of t-glase, Richard has signed on to be our color expert. He will provide direction on an initial color set and applicable pigments. In that t-glass is so clear, we expect Richard will continue to impress us all with his color touch.
t-glase is very strong, yet different from our nylons as it’s stiff, like PLA and ABS. And based on our first industrial trials, meets all the requirements for the three industrial customers that had an applicable need. To these customers, the clarity was a significant advantage for their quality control departments.