xCERAMIC3280 Application Notes

Introduction

xCERAMIC3280 is a stiff, temperature resistant, fast curing, ceramic filled resin produced by BASF and available on Nexa3D resin printers including XiP and XiP Pro. If using NXE400 printer, it must have LE4 or higher (a Pro model). This material is a higher density than most other resins and is sold by volume not weight.

Printing Tips

Mix or stir xCERAMIC3280 well before dispensing. Mix with a silicone spatula immediately prior to printing to dislodge and mix any ceramic particles from the membrane surface. If leaving in the vat, keep the door to the printer closed and leave a clean build plate in the vat to prevent sediment from settling on the membrane. 

The material will exotherm significantly when printing. Ensure at least 1L of excess resin is in the vat at the end of the print. Uncured material will help absorb and dissipate the heat, extending the life of the LCD.

Some discoloration (gray-green) on the resin may occur when used with an uncoated aluminium build plate. This does not affect mechanical properties. Anodized aluminum build plates are available for XiP and XiP Pro.

Material Handling

xCERAMIC3280 is more reactive than most other photo-plastic resins. You may need to black out windows and put UV blocking films over ambient lights to avoid unwanted curing. RoscoLux #10 Medium Yellow film works well for blocking the 350-420nm spectrum and gives your room a nice yellow ambiance without blocking much of the visible light spectrum.  If you have a radiometer, target ambient UV in the 405nm band below 0.02mW/cm2.

Store out of sunlight in a cool location (10-20°C) and in opaque containers. 

Wipe up spilled material immediately and thoroughly! Some ceramic residue will typically remain on surfaces after cleaning. We recommend dedicating a vat, build plate, and wash tub exclusively for xCERAMIC3280 to avoid cross contamination and reduce cleaning effort. 

Post Processing

Properties of xCERAMIC3280 are affected by printing, washing, drying and post-cure/post-bake workflows. Limit wait times between steps and use consistent process for consistent results. 

Crazing

xCERAMIC3280 is prone to surface cracking (crazing). Wash by hand using a silicone brush or glove to wipe excess material from the surface in clean Isopropanol (IPA) for 1-2 minutes MAX, then immediately dry with compressed air to avoid crazing. 

Post Bake

Post bake will improve most mechanical properties, including HDT. Post bake is not required. Printing at 100um layer vs. 200um layer will also improve mechanical properties. When baking heat and cool in the oven at 1-2°C per minute ramp rates before and after the baking cycle. Here are tested workflows on the XiP Pro for 200um (top) and 100um (bottom) cure times: 

Finishing

Material can be sanded conventionally. It is normal for sanded surfaces to appear yellow. Upskin will typically be white, and downskin typically yellow. The white means the ceramic fill is dominating the surface, and yellow means the ceramic fill is below a coating of polymer. 

Bead blasting with clean glass bead at low pressure works well to even the surface of xCERAMIC and will result in a uniform color and appearance more yellow. Rubbing with isopropanol and mild abrasive cloth will expose more white. 

Design Guidelines

Tooling

Tooling can be placed directly on the build plate. Adding a 2-3mm chamfer is recommended for edges contacting the build plate to compensate for elephants foot (base layer over cure) and any fillets if the insert will be placed into a milled cavity. Base Edge offsets of -0.7mm is recommended when printed directly on the build plate. For tools larger than 150mm across, it may be difficult to remove without damage from the build plate; consider cuts to the surface contacting the build plate to limit the shrinkage (ie expansion joints).

Mold vents of 0.2mm deep by 2mm wide work well. 

Flat tooling is prone to warp during post-cure. Flip the part mid-way through curing. If performing post-bake, consider baking between weighted glass plates. To reduce mold stress during clamping, relief the mold face about 7.5mm from the cavity edge by 0.4mm

Use of Large Solid Part Enhancement for tooling larger than 80mm across is recommended but not required. You may notice the outline overlap of the LSPE on the top surface of the part. 

xCERAMIC3280 works well as a spacer in injection mold tooling (ie with xMOLD), or directly as a mold insert for multiple shots. Refer to the attached BASF application guide for more information.

Due to brittle nature, we recommend installing with a 1/8" silicone backing into the mud base of the molder. 

(Image courtesy of APSX)

Use of mold release is typically not required with this material. Refer to BASF attached guidelines for other tips. 

Wind-Tunnel Models

xCERAMIC3280 is a great material for wind tunnel models due to the high stiffness. For delicate geometry, you may want to keep supports on until post-cure. Keep contact points of supports below the wall thickness to avoid part breaking upon support removal. Pillar supports work well for most geometries. 

If you don't require the maximum heat resistance, skp the post-bake. If you have small internal passages for pressure taps, print with 100um layer settings, but reduce exposure time from 0.75s to 0.6s or 0.5s. The default exposure is longer than necessary to improve mechanical properties. We also recommend to orient the passages vertically and use an inner edge offset of -0.3 to -0.5mm.  Clean and dry the internal passages using a syringe or pressurized solvent then pressurized air before the post-cure.

Sintering / Casting

This material is designed as a ceramic polymer composite. It is not formulated for sintering after the post bake, or for use as an investment casting insert. 

Updated

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Comments

2 comments

  • Comment author
    Denis Corte

    I noticed that the RG 3280 User Guide has a suggested curing time of 1.6 seconds for 3 mW/cm2 405nm printers. If i'm not mistaken the XiP is just under 3 mW/cm2, but the default profile for xCeramic on Nexa X has the exposure time set to 1.15 seconds. 

    Wouldn't this potentially cause some issues? Should I work with a higher exposure time than the default profile?

    Thanks

    0
  • Comment author
    Brent Zollinger

    Denis,

    The default exposure times in NexaX are validated to achieve the properties on the TDS. If you are observing delamination or other signs of undercure, then it may require a longer exposure. Note that there can be significant variation in radiometer readings, so "3mW/cm2" may not carry the same significance if different brands of radiometers are used. 

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