How to get transparent models

Prototype of a trasparent model

Guide on the production of transparent models (2 of 3)

This guide is intended to help you understand how transparent models can be obtained from 3D printing and vacuum casting /and, starting from the definition of the concept of transparency, provides indications on the possibilities and limits of these two solutions.

The guide is divided into three articles that deal with the following topics:

In the support area of the site is also available the guide on transparent models in complete and printable format.

How to get transparent models?

In the field of prototypes, the two ways to obtain this kind of result are stereolithography and vacuum casting.

In the case of stereolithography, it is necessary to use a transparent material such as Somos Watershed 11122XC and then proceed to finish the surface of the product until it is smooth and shiny. In most cases the object is then painted with transparent varnish to enhance the final effect.

The second path that can be followed to obtain a transparent model is to cast a transparent polyurethane inside a silicone mold. In this case, to ensure the transparency of the casted object, it is necessary that the master used to fabricate the mold, usually made by stereolithography, is perfectly polished and reflective, i.e. with the surface characteristics, and related problems, described in the previous paragraph.

Confronto tra prototipazione rapida e repliche siliconiche

Generally, it is worth following the first road when you want to make a single prototype and you want to contain costs, it makes sense to follow the second way if you want to make a small series of models and you are looking for more performing materials (in terms of mechanical strength and aesthetic quality).

In the next article we will talk about the difference between Technical and aesthetic transparency.