Frequently Asked Questions

Solidscape’s technology is based on the same process as an inkjet plotter. There are two inkjet heads, both depositing a material. One head deposits a cyan thermoplastic material (Solidscape® Model) – similar to an investment casting wax. The other deposits a purple wax (Solidscape® Support) that serves as a sacrificial support material for the model and is dissolved in a mineral oil bath after the model is complete.

± one thousandth per inch in X, Y, and Z dimensions per linear inch.

The materials are all manufactured on-site at the Solidscape factory in Merrimack, NH. The materials are non-hazardous. The melting point for Solidscape® Model is 221° to 239° F (95° to 115° C) and Solidscape® Support is 122-162° F (50-72° C).

About three thousandths of an inch in diameter (.076 mm). This means that a model that is only one inch on a side contains about 40 million drops.

Ten thousandths of an inch (.254 mm).

All systems can run for approximately 72 hours between refills.

The machine provides an estimated build time and the geometric volume via the 3Z Works software.

No, our materials are designed to work with our printers for the best results.

Yes, using certain types of paints such as Testor and Plasti-Dip.

We recommend clear nail polish as the adhesive.

Absolutely! In fact, because there is no ash or residue contamination from the Build material and a negligible co-efficient of thermal expansion, our models are ideal for casting.

MCP EP250, Investment Casting, and Vacuum Casting to produce silicone molds.

CAD software is not included. Solidscape 3D printer systems all include easy to use 3Z Works software for preparing your .stl file for printing.

Yes, however they must all be built at the same layer thickness.

Models can be built with varying thickness of one half thousandth, one thousandth, one and a half thousandths, two thousandths, and three thousandths of an inch.

Configurations are a set of instructions that the Solidscape printer uses to draw individual layers from the 3D printer software. These layers stacked upon each other in the Z axis create the Model. Variations in a configuration are similar to variations of a line type in a graphic arts application. These configurations are fine tuned for each type of the rapid prototyping machines in order to produce the best quality model.

The primary distinction between configurations is the slice thickness or resolution. Other varieties may include light or heavy, solid or non solid. The configuration notebook is a database or storage place to keep these configurations. The reason there is a database is to allow for updates created at the factory to be easily incorporated into the users 3Z Works program. It is advised to always have the latest configurations loaded into 3Z Works.

The configuration you choose should be determined by:

1.) Slice thickness. The slice thickness or resolution will control the number of steps in the Z axis. The finer the resolution, the more steps it will create to define the total Z height. You should examine your model in 3Z Works and take note of the number and location of slopes. The slighter the slope, the more a step will be noticed. Steeper slopes will not show the stair stepping as pronounced. Features like a slight taper on the shank of a ring or a long curve on the surface of a cell phone cover may require a higher resolution to eliminate stair stepping.

2.) Time. The coarser the resolution, the more time it will take to complete the model. You should base your decision on the potential stair stepping that will occur versus the time constraints. As a baseline test, you can run a typical model at multiple resolutions and then determine what resolution is the coarsest you can use.