Unique problems require unique solutions
Prototypers and Makers, you can now print a 3D translucent object, that is not only ESD safe for a few weeks but for the lifetime of an object thanks to our translucent dissipative polymer. Until now, there has not been a viable solution for those who needed an ABS filament that is ESD safe, in addition to having visibility into the printed object. However, thanks to our engineers, you can!
Peak 3D’s sister company, Caroba Plastics Inc., has developed an ESD safe translucent ABS filament out of everyday need. Peak 3D develops innovative plastic polymer solutions for multiple industries that need special properties in their polymers and unique equipment for cleanroom environments. For many industries, a polymer that is ESD safe is paramount. After years of product development, testing, and real-world use, Peak 3D is releasing this electrostatic dissipative ABS compound, in a filament form, for the world’s prototypers and makers alike.
How does Peak 3D’s ESD transparent ABS Filament extrude?
In short, it flows like a dream. Our exotic ESD transparent ABS filament is one of a kind, and laboriously created at our headquarters in Denver, CO to maintain it’s unique color and properties. While the manufacturing process is laborious, the filament extrudes and prints similarly to most standard ABS filaments. It is vital to Peak 3D that all of our consumer-based materials work in conventional 3D printers despite the material’s unique characteristics.
Temperature Considerations and Layer Bonding:
Peak 3D’s ESD ABS flows most desirably at the standard recommended ABS temperatures. (See our specification sheet) Additionally, our ESD ABS has exceptional layer bonding, with the bonus of less shrink/warpage than other standard ABS materials. Our excellent layer bonding is due to our filament’s unique manufacturing process developed after 20 plus years in the plastics manufacturing industry.
To maintain Peak 3D’s ESD translucent ABS’ color integrity, makers must not leave filament in a heated extruder for more than three minutes. While leaving the filament in the extruder for more than a few minutes may cause a color change in the printed filament, it will not change the mechanical or physical properties of the end print.
How is our Translucent ABS Electric Static Discharge Safe?
Peak 3D classifies our ESD transparent ABS filament as “static dissipative.” For 80% of makers and prototypers knowing that our ABS is ESD safe is enough proof to use it for their projects, but for the other twenty percent of customers who want to see the science behind our classification, please read below.
What is Translucent ESD ABS filament good for?
In a short answer, Peak 3D’s translucent ESD safe ABS filament is optimal for almost any printed part that requires ESD protection and visibility. You may require printed visibility over electronic components, lights, or circuits.
Informed makers and prototypers ask themselves if they want their prints to be protected from ESD from the start, often they use ESD Safe ABS for peace of mind, and we recommend you do too.
Our product development team created this filament out of necessity, and ultimately, you have to ask yourself after all the effort of design and print, why not be ESD safe from the beginning?
- Static Dissipative
Plastics and filaments that are categorized anti-static have additives inserted into the material called hydrophilic (tending to mix with, dissolve in, or be wetted by water) molecules that rise to the surface of the material. These hydrophilic materials attract water molecules to the surface of the material. The tiny amount of moisture on the surface will prevent a static charge from building up. This moisture is not noticeable by the human touch, and the part will feel dry.
Anti-static additive molecules can take several days to rise to the surface of a part. It’s important to note that an anti-static material with additives is not a forever solution. The additive can run dry within 4-8 weeks and require some relative humidity to work effectively.
Since conductive materials have little resistance, they allow electrons to move quickly through the surface of the base of the material. Also, electric charges are swiftly distributed through conductive materials, so they usually route to ground or another conductive pathway. Since most conductive materials are made of metals and plastics are naturally insulative, a filler must be added to a plastic compound to allow for a static charge to bleed off. The most common fillers are carbon powder and carbon fiber.
Conductive plastics are often used for shielding electronics for electromagnetic interference. While for most applications, this can be considered over the top protection, it is occasionally required.
Static dissipative allows an electric current to slowly flow through the material, which permits much greater control of a charge. Static dissipative plastics allow an electrical charge to flow to ground more slowly and in a controlled manner. The human body is a high conductor of energy which can create static. Since static dissipative materials slow down the energy transfer through materials, it is considered the ideal ESD material for objects that have human contact.
Peak 3D’s static dissipative ESD safe ABS has:
- Surface Resistivity of 1×10^10 – 1×10^12. These ratings classify our ABS as Static Dissipative.
- Our material also has a Volume Resistivity of 1×10^9 – 1×10^11 ohm.cm and Static Decay time of < 2.00s.
The Dangers of Electro Static Discharge (ESD)
ESD takes place when a surface that is nonconductive rubs against another nonconductive surface, and they then disconnect, which sometimes can cause a spark. ESD can erase magnetic storage and destroy sensitive electronic components, or spark combustion in flammable surroundings. Peak 3D’s translucent ESD ABS not only dissipates electrostatic discharge but allows you to see the lights behind printed parts
With Peak 3D’s translucent ABS filament, you can dissipate ESD before it happens.