It’s easy to see that the market for 3D printing jewellery is steadily coming back in vogue. As a result, many firms are jumping on the gravy train and showing off new devices for complex geometries. Solidscape’s S300 series is a pair of printers that uses wax modelling to make castable wax models. The printer also uses Solidscapes patented smooth curvature printing (SCP) system.
Solidscape unveiled the S350 and the S370 at the JCK Las Vegas show. The core difference between the 2 printers is the level of accuracy. Along with the printer they also debuted some other products to go with it. The company showed off Midas (their new casting material) and Melt-J (a dissolvable support). When combined, these products can produce smooth wax models for jewellery production that rival mass production prices.
The brochure for the product shows off some very interesting features like gravity-defying overhangs and fast melting materials with no ash or residue. It also boasts wax model prints that require no finishing or post-processing. As of yet the company has not given out a price for the machine.
Solidscape is a subdivision of Stratasys ltd. Their primary focus is on producing printers with wax modelling capabilities and smooth surface finish. Aside from jewellery their printers can help produce turbine blades, medical, orthopedics, consumer goods and many other high-end products.
What is Wax Model 3D Printing?
3D Lost wax casting or investment casting is a method that allows printers to produce casts for prints with various metals. As the name suggests, it utilises wax as the casting material. In the case of the S300 series, the printers use wax and along with Melt-J a dissolvable, non-toxic support material. The Midas material has a clean burnout with no thermal expansion.
Wax modelling allows users to create a cast or mould that then serves as an incubator for molten metal as it hardens. When the wax is dissolved, the user can retrieve their jewellery print. Wax 3D printers usually deposit wax using multi-jet modelling (which is quite similar to ink jetting).
|Build Volume||6 x 6x 4 in (152.4 x 152.4 x 50.8 mm)|
|Exterior Dimensions||21.4 x 18 x 16 in (558 x 495 x 419 mm)|
|Weight||80 lbs (36 kg)|
|Technology||Lost wax casting/investment casting|
|Voltage||110 – 240 V|
|Layer Thickness (S370)||0.001 inch (0.0254 mm) to 0.002 inch (0.0508 mm) at 0.00025 (0.00635 mm) increments|
|Resolution||5000 X 5000 dots/inch (197 X 197 dots/mm) in X, Y|
|Accuracy||±0.005 inch (127 μm) for 1st inch (25.4 mm), ±0.001 inch/inch (25.4 μm) each additional inch X,Y and Z|
|Surface Finish||Layer thickness-dependent, up to 32 micro-inches (RMS)|
|Start Process||Fully automated, one-touch operation|
|Status Monitoring||Fully automated fault detection, restarts build from point of interruption|
|Calibration Capacity||Adjustable Frequency (allows quicker calibration, means less wasted material)|
|Operating Temperature||60° to 75°F (16° to 24°C)|
|Print Materials||100% castability in gold, silver, platinum and all castable materials|
|Software||One Click Software automatically formats CAD files for 3D printing|
|File Formats||CAD file output in .stl and .slc files|
|Compatibility||Windows, PC-to-printer connectivity via high-speed USB 2.0 or Ethernet|