Taulman T-Glase PETT - first test

posted 28 Dec 2014, 14:29 by Colin Bell   [ updated 28 Dec 2014, 15:01 ]

Next up on the new materials to try is Taulman's PETT material called T-Glase (pronounced T-Glass, as it was nicknamed Tough Glass by testers). I'm really interested in this material for a number of reasons, not least of which are the optical qualities, and the amazing strength it offers. Additionally its FDA approved food contact safe, which opens a number of interesting possibilities.

This material prints at lower temperatures, from 212c up to around 248c. I decided to use my standard ABS profile of 235c for this test. 

In a previous test, I'd been having de-lamination issues with 618 Nylon, so I wanted to see if this material had the same issues.

As you can see from the image to the left, I need to play with some hardware settings for this material. On the edges of the spiral running all the way up the model there are several rough patches, although these only seem to be on one side of the model - the other side is nice an smooth with no roughing. I'm pretty sure this is a calibration issue on the Printrbot rather than a slicing or material issue, so I'll re-calibrate before printing anything else. The model used is the Twisted Gear Lamp/Vase by BenitoSanduchi and as I mentioned, I printed it using my standard ABS profile of 235c, 0.1mm layer height, 3 bottom layers and 1 perimeter at 20mm/sec.

I got very little stringing using this material, and what was produced was very easily removed.

As usual, I printed the model on an unheated Kapton tape bed, with a light glue stick covering. This set the model like concrete and was actually incredibly hard to get off the tape once complete - I even managed to rip off about a third of the first bottom layer when I pulled it off. Now, normally, this would be an issue, and still would if I had less than a three layer bottom, but in the case of T-Glase, the stuff is so strong that even with part of the layer removed, the bottom is still water tight and it hasn't affected the structural integrity of the model at all. Next time I use this material, I'll try without glue stick and see if it bonds as well to the Kapton. I have a heated bed waiting to be fitted so that will also be tested with this material.

I tried pulling the model in all directions to deliberately de-laminate the model, but it's layer bonding is incredibly strong and I had no de-lamination in the main body of the model at all. 

This material is (to quote Taulman) ' ..is considered "water clear" as it will not degrade to a colour in multiple layers of applied thickness.   T-Glase’s clarity supports industry’s requirements for non-destructive evaluation of 3D Printed parts.

What this basically means (and the link above does go into more clarifying detail) is that multiple layers will reduce clarity in prints - stands to reason if you think about it. The finish on the model is very smooth, especially at a resolution of 0.1mm and feels quite glossy to the touch. As you can see it's somewhat opaque when used for vase and lamp type applications is quite pleasing to the eye. I would say that its more transparent than natural/transparent ABS and PLA that I've used in the past. Now, if I'd done what they recommend, and used a larger layer height, I'd get much more transparency, but at the cost of vertical resolution. More testing required!

Now their product description gets really interesting, talking about how it can be used for light pipe applications...I sense a project coming on there! I'm thinking the combination of a vase like the one pictured, with an embedded array of light pipes arranged into shaped or letters, and an LED array in the bottom might just give a really unique effect. I'm almost sorry I'm now off on holiday for a week and won't be able to try it until I get back!

YouTube Video