3d Printing a hollow compressible capsule

Hello,

 

Does anyone know is it possible on whatever method method, on whatever printer using presumably a flexible material to print a hollow compressible capsule. Like single unit eye drops?

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Hi @Feargal_1 I should think it'd be possible, probably using an SLA machine and flexible resin.  You'd need to test for water-tightness and flexibility, but it's not beyond possibility.

 

Jon

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Hi thanks for your response! Could it be achieved through material jetting? or what is the difference between SLA and material jetting? I'm fairly new to anything that isn't SLS.

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Hi @Feargal_1 material jetting does have a flexible material option, but my understanding is that the parts produced are often not suitable to be "functional", as they have poor resistance to elongation (which does ask the question of why they even have a flexible option!).  SLA has a flexible material that can work as a functional prototype, having no such problems with flexing/elongation.

 

Material jetting is quite similar to a traditional inkjet paper printer in that it "sprays" microscopic droplets of resin to form the layers of the part, these being cured by UV light.  SLA creates layers by trapping a layer of resin between the print bed (or printed object) and the print tray, curing this layer with a UV laser.  MJ is probably the most accurate of 3D printing technologies, but to be honest, SLA can be pretty darn good and may well be sufficient for your needs and given that an MJ flexible object may not actually flex very well, or very often before failure, SLA may be the only real choice anyway.  Here's some good guides on the technology:

 

https://3dhubs.com/knowledge-base/introduction-material-jetting-3d-printing

https://3dhubs.com/knowledge-base/introduction-sla-3d-printing

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