0
$\begingroup$

I'm trying to make a water insulated 1 cm3 (1 ml) transparent container and I bought some plexiglass, I cut and glued some pieces together but it looks really crappy and barely holds the water in. I was wondering, is there a transparent material (similar to plexiglass) that can order to 3D print the container out of it? Also, if 3D printing is not the best option, where can I order around a 100 pieces of 1 cm3 transparent water insulating containers with caps?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ If you search for "1ml vial" on, say, ebay, you will find many options. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Morton Aug 23 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ That's a pretty interesting idea! I think I'll make them on my own. $\endgroup$ – Novalium Company Aug 23 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ Nevermind, I just found a place where they sell exactly the containers I need. $\endgroup$ – Novalium Company Aug 23 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ 1cm³ containers are pretty common in labs - tiny test tubes for DNA machines. They are cent-products. $\endgroup$ – Trish Aug 25 at 10:16
3
$\begingroup$

Yes. You'll probably want to use SLA or Polyjet printers with transparent resin. For example, here's Shapeways' page on transparent SLA and their page on Polyjet (which says you need to phone them for transparent Polyjet parts as their online order system can't handle it).

FDM printing with transparent materials doesn't usually result in parts that look like transparent injection-moulded parts, because the lines of material laid down by the printer are visible. There are some techniques to make this better, but a printing bureau is less likely to offer this kind of special handling.

In any case, you should discuss your requirements in more detail with suppliers, and they'll be able to advise whether they offer any manufacturing processes that meet your needs. In particular, if you need your containers to be food-safe, you should mention that at the start, as it'll rule out a lot of possible suppliers, machines, and materials.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ You may have wanted to mention that injection molding would be a far cheaper/easier way to have these made if it is needed to be done in quantity, especially if the container itself needs to be transparent. $\endgroup$ – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 23 at 13:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For 100 units of such a small part, I think it's more likely that printing would be cheaper. It would probably be a single tray on the kind of industrial printers a bureau uses, whereas in injection moulding the tooling costs would dominate - and of course the longer lead time may be a problem. Which is cheaper could come down to just what suppliers are around and how their order books are looking this month. Anyway, I didn't want to go into more details on this, because 1) the answer is specific to details the OP didn't tell us, and 2) this is 3dprinting.se, not manufacturing.se. $\endgroup$ – Dan Hulme Aug 23 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ Nevermind, I just found a place where they sell exactly the containers I need. $\endgroup$ – Novalium Company Aug 23 at 15:56
1
$\begingroup$

3D printing services can do this, but you'll likely have better results at lower cost through an injection molding service. You probably won't even need to go through the internet; businesses doing this are common enough you can probably put a search in Google for "Injection Molding" along with your city or community and have a number or local choices, where you can go visit them in person to talk face to face about what you need.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, but I doubt any company in Bulgaria will want to do this, specially that I'm 17 years old. I'm not sure if they'll even have a machine for 1 cm^3 transparent container with a cap. $\endgroup$ – Novalium Company Aug 23 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ Nevermind, I just found a place where they sell exactly the containers I need. $\endgroup$ – Novalium Company Aug 23 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ The setup cost to inject a single container would be expensive. However I don't know if 3D printing can compete with the optical clarity of injection molding. $\endgroup$ – Perry Webb Aug 24 at 13:51
0
$\begingroup$

You could order an sla or dlp printed part(which would probably be more expensive, but also quite durable and a little more transparent). Or you could order an fdm printed T-glase print, which would come out pretty clear and not be quite as strong as sla, but still pretty good for holding water.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.