I just came across http://www.sculptyourprint.com 3D printing filament that will act a bit like sculpting wax. Actually, it seems to behave like a machining plastic at ambient temp and like clay/wax around 50C.
Besides the obvious faster cleanup it seems like it could have a deeper impact on design workflow. Right now, 3D printers seem to be used mostly to have a look at what the CAD looks like in real life. With this filament, I could see part of the concept refinement happening in a sculptural way by tweaking the print. It could become a very fast way of checking “what if” situations and refining ergonomics.
Also a decent video on it:
If that plastic has similar properties to PLA at room temperature as they claim, it’s a great idea.
It can bridge a gap between CAD and clay modeling. Having a model physically in 3D gives different insights into the shape that you don’t fully get from the screen so now you can alter a shape physically and then scan it back again and resurface or resculpt your model to match the sculpted one. That will also work for sculptors as with a physical model it is easier to get proportions right and get a feel for how much it resembles what the sculptor is going for. Plus you can print out several blanks to do experiments with. I see this material, if it has the right properties, also very fit for end use items since you can smoothen out the surface, make it look better as well as making it waterproof. I wonder if they have ways to strengthen and color the material and if it will come out in a 3mm filament as well. Thanks!
Really cool find!
I can see this also being really useful for debossing small text or logos into a print. I’ve struggled getting small text to print out on my FDM printer so being able to print, heat up a set of metal letter stamps and press them in would be awesome!
From what I’ve seen it’s pretty strong at ambient. There were a few demos where they were machining it. They were getting nice chips rather than the stringy spaghetti you get with a lot of plastics.
I’m not sure how fit it is for end use. The stuff will probably be quite expensive seeing the price of the non filament version of Cx5. Luckily you can melt down and reuse finished projects or failed experiments.
Wonder if you could use this to investment cast with with its low melting temp.