Prime Gray is suitable for A-side visual models with limited functionality. The surface of the material is very smooth, much smoother in fact than almost all other 3D printing materials. The color is Air Force Gray and the material feels almost “luxurious” to the touch. The material has a medium mechanical resistance. Freedom of design is limited because of the structure necessary to support your models during printing.
Prime gray costs 1,55€ per cubic centimeter (plus a 5€ handling cost per model). For each extra copy of your model you order, the handling cost gradually drops from 5€ to 2,5€ per model. After 5 parts you reach a price of 2,5€ .
Models made in Prime Gray are typically used as high quality show models. Design and engineering departments use the models as visual prototypes or for presentations. We are now introducing this material here because we’ve noticed that it works really well for character and toy models. For some reason, the combination between the Air Force Gray color, the smooth surface, and the level of detail possible make desk toys and character models look much more desirable than if they are done in other 3D printing materials.
Stereolithography is used to build your design with this material. Starting from a 3D model, a model is built by cutting it into thin layers via specialized software. A support structure is created, where needed, in order to deal with overhangs and cavities.
The process takes place in a large tank, and begins when a layer of liquid polymer is spread over a platform. This machine then uses a computer controlled laser to draw the first layer onto the surface of a liquid polymer, which hardens where struck by the laser. The model is then lowered and the next layer is then drawn directly on top of the previous one. This is repeated until the model is finished. In this way, layer by layer, an object is “drawn” in the liquid by the beam, with the layers being consolidated throughout the process.
When the object is complete, it is raised out of the tank via the supporting platform – much like a submarine rising to the surface of the water – with the excess liquid flowing away. The supports are removed manually after the model is taken from the machine.