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The challenge of printing clear/transparent parts.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by BrooklynBay, Jan 17, 2023.

  1. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Active Member

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    I've taken on the challenge of trying to print something which is clear but only had minimal success. I know that it won't be 100% clear but I have read reviews saying that it's possible to get it to be around 90% which is acceptable.

    The best results so far have been with PETG & PCTG. A 1.5MM nozzle was used but the print quality was unacceptable. The larger the layer height the clearer it gets but it loses layer adhesion once the layers are too thick. My standard 0.4 MM nozzle prints with great layer adhesion but the filament looks like a frosty white or off white.

    To sum it up, clear filament being extruded needs to be as thick as possible to remain clear but lacks layer adhesion & print quality. I'm trying to find the perfect balance of layer adhesion, transparency, and print quality. Could anybody recommend the correct nozzle size & slicer settings?
     
  2. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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    Check out colorfabb HT clear. They had an old article showing pretty good results
     
  3. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Active Member

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    While doing more research online, many sources have posted good results because they used a solid infill. I'm doing a test print with a solid infill, and it appears to be much better. I'll see how it goes with a large print since the print quality changes after it's been printing for a while.
     
  4. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Active Member

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    My test print seemed to be a little better as far as the resolution, and the quality of the print but it still wasn't as clear as I wanted. The actual thickness is about an inch so the thick infill blocked most of the light going through it.
     
  5. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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  6. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Active Member

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    Will XTC-3D work with any PETG or just with Colorfabb?
     
  7. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Good question and sadly -- I have not tried that.
    It probably will have a somewhat similar effect on any PETG, but I personally tried it with the ColorFABB and it does indeed work exactly that way with theirs. XTC-3D is not crazy expensive (not cheap either, but heh) so might be worth a try :)
    Not sure I still have any (but I can look) also pretty sure I don't have any non-Colorfabb PETG either. I like theirs :)
     
  8. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Active Member

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    Is XTC-3D made by the same company as ColorFABB? Will acetone have a similar effect?
     
  9. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    No, completely different company (Smooth-On, Inc.) and no direct relation -- just a happy accident I imagine
     
  10. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Active Member

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    Are headlight restoration polishes similar?
     
  11. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Good question, but not one I have an actual answer for :)

    XTC-3D is chemically altering the plastic and I am not familiar with the chemistry of their product.

    Perhaps give it a try and if not satisfied then go the XTC-3D route (because I know that works).
    Google for : xtc-3d equivalent
    and you get a number of possibilities you could experiment with (I just used it because I knew it worked)

    Thinner walls helps too...
     
  12. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Active Member

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    I ordered XTC-3D on Amazon. They are going to cancel the Smile program soon. It was good while it lasted for 10 years.
     
    mark tomlinson likes this.

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