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 Post subject: Determining the melting temperature of Shapeways WSF
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:44 pm 
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As part of an effort to figure out the best way to dye Shapways WSF material I need to know the temperature it starts to melt. I figured the best way to measure it would be to heat a few parts on the stove. Because water boils at such a low temperature I used baby oil (mineral oil).

Of course I made a video of the experiment.

Unfortunately I heated the pot too quickly so the bottom of the pot was hotter than the bulk of the mineral oil. Because of that the best I can provide is a range of temperatures. Also, the melting process was somewhat confusing. I was expecting the material to go from hard to a liquid but it seems to change properties over a wide range of temperatures.

As best I can tell, the material starts to soften but will still (mostly) hold shape at between 155C and 165C. It starts to deform and won't hold shape between 170C and 180C. This is below the published range for common Nylon variants so the material must be some sort of special Nylon with a lower melting point.

I got the material up to about 190C which resulted in this:
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The black portions of the melted white piece are not burn marks. They're where the two pieces stuck together and some black grit transfered over.

The strange gradual melting / softening of the material really confuses me. I'm not sure how the laser in the printer is able to so completely melt the powder together so quickly. The printer must be extremely carefully tuned to achieve such accurate prints with sharply defined edges despite the lack of a sharp melting point.

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 Post subject: Re: Determining the melting temperature of Shapeways WSF
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:14 pm 
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Nice video. Very interesting.

What temperature does water boil inside a 15psi pressure cooker? I should know this but don't off the top of my head. I sure its well less then the temperatures you reached here.

And you have the biggest assortment of RIT dye I've seen in one location before. If that is all black I'd need to go to about a dozen stores in order to get that much.

Regarding how the laser in the printer works, at that state the material is a powder and your are probably just melting a few grains of power at a time so you have a very low thermal mass which you are probably pumping a ton of power into. In short I suspect its getting much hotter much faster and the cold neighboring grains would also serve to cool it down very fast as a few of them are incorporated into the print likely without ever fully melting.

Carl

P.S. I'm glad you stopped lifting that weight fully out of the liquid when you did. I was having visions of that falling into the hot oil before you commented on just that concern.

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Last edited by wwwmwww on Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Determining the melting temperature of Shapeways WSF
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:49 pm 
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wwwmwww wrote:
What temperature does water boil inside a 15psi pressure cooker? I should know this but don't off the top of my head. I sure its well less then the temperatures you reached here.

Using
Attachment:
Phase_diagram_of_water.svg.png
Phase_diagram_of_water.svg.png [ 388.25 KiB | Viewed 779 times ]

It looks like water at 15 PSI (above atmospheric pressure) boils at about 120C.

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 Post subject: Re: Determining the melting temperature of Shapeways WSF
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:50 am 
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Just spotted this:
http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/2356-Testing-the-Melting-Point-of-Nylon-3D-Prints-VIDEO.html

Looks like Brandon now has the official title of "Shapeways material tester". Congrats on the recognition. And I also see this isn't the first mention of your videos on Shapeways:

http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/1631-Want-to-See-3D-Printing-up-Really-Close-3D-Printed-Nylon-at-200x-Magnification-VIDEO.html

I'd seen those videos before... though hadn't noticed the Shapeways article till today. Just curious... did they approach you? Or did you approach them? I'm assuming you had some notice these were getting posted.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: Determining the melting temperature of Shapeways WSF
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:02 pm 
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wwwmwww wrote:
Looks like Brandon now has the official title of "Shapeways material tester". Congrats on the recognition.
Thank you :D. We (collectively as a community) spend a lot of money on WSF prints and we want the best possible puzzle results we can get. That alone motivates me to spend the time and money to try to experiment. Unfortunately the motivation doesn't come with a lot of free time. I'm trying to find a better way to polish and dye the material so I'm doing lots of tests. I'm hoping to post a whole video series on the process but there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work (read: time) that has to be done to make an experiment presentable on the web.

wwwmwww wrote:
I'd seen those videos before... though hadn't noticed the Shapeways article till today. Just curious... did they approach you? Or did you approach them? I'm assuming you had some notice these were getting posted.
Duann from Shapeways emailed me to let me know it had been posted.

In general though I have no problem with reposting (with attribution) without either notice or permission.

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 Post subject: Re: Determining the melting temperature of Shapeways WSF
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:34 am 
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Brandon Enright wrote:
It looks like water at 15 PSI (above atmospheric pressure) boils at about 120C.
That's correct according to this.

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