Are you familiar with which PolyJet materials are compatible with Stratasys' Connex line of printers? Have you ever used the Tango family of simulated rubber-like materials, one of the most flexible sets of 3D printing materials on the market? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, then you are going to LOVE Stratasys' newly released formula for simulated rubber. Keep reading to learn why you should add Agilus30 to your toolbox of 3D printing materials.
Why Another Rubber-like Material?
Tango materials range from the harder, original Tango materials (Black and Grey) with durometer values of Shore 61A and Shore 75A to the newer TangoBlack+ and Tango+ (transparent) materials, which both are Shore 27A. With Stratasys' recent advancements to their flexible 3D printing materials, PolyJet users now have two new rubber-like materials joining the family — Agilus30 Clear and Agilus30 Black!
Agilus30, both in Clear and Black, have a natural shore A value of 30 when not being mixed with a rigid material. So you may be wondering, why add another simulated rubber material to the product offering if we already have a material in the Tango+ family that has a similar shore A value? The answer to that is simple — it’s WAY stronger! Take a look at the Agilus30 datasheet versus the other PolyJet materials datasheet, and in particular, note the dramatically increased Tensile Strength and Tensile Tear Resistance. Agilus30 is intended to hold up much better when being stretched and handled roughly, while also having slightly better compression characteristics as a bonus (relevant for use of the material when printing gaskets/seals into parts).
Here is a comparison between TangoBlackPlus FLX980 and TangoPlus FLX930 versus Agilus30 FLX935 (Clear) and Agilus30 Black FLX985:
What Can You Do Agilus30?
Similar to materials in the Tango family, Agilus30 can be printed either on its own at a natural durometer value of Shore 30A, or it can be mixed with another material to achieve different shore A values and colors. As of now, Agilus30 (both Clear and Black) can mix with VeroWhite, VeroPureWhite, all three VeroColors, VeroBlack, VeroClear, RGD450 Rigur (a simulated polypropylene like material) and Digital ABS Ivory (combination of RGD515 and RGD531).
To get an idea of just what this material can handle, we printed a 75mm square slab that was 3mm thick at shore A 30 (natural Agilus30 without a mixed rigid). We then measured how far we could stretch that slab to find the maximum percent change. What we found was astonishing! When pulled from the sides (75mm starting distance), we were able to stretch the slab to 130mm, which is safely a 173% change with absolutely no damage to the part. What is even more amazing is, within 15 seconds, the slab had fully recovered to its original 75mm x 75mm shape.
|Before Stretch||During Stretch|
Helpful Tips and Tricks To Remember
As with any 3D printing material, there are some important things to note when printing with Agilus30 that will help you get the most out of the material:
- Agilus30 works best with SUP705 support. In our shop, we typically use Agilus30 with 706 Support (Soluble), but it has been observed that the material prints by far the best when used with the traditional SUP705 breakaway support material.
- Don’t expose Agilus30 to water for too long. It is recommended that Agilus30 matte surfaces are not exposed to water for longer than one hour, as this will weaken the material and produce less than desired performance.
- Clean your parts right away. From observation, leaving Agilus30 parts encased in their support material for too long after a build finishes can pull moisture out of the air and into the support grid. As we went over in the previous tip, water isn’t exactly your friend when it comes to Agilus materials.
- Clean up after yourself. To ensure optimal print quality, make sure to clean your print heads following every build and your roller and roller waste collector at least once a week. The Agilus material is fairly thick compared to many other PolyJet materials. Semi-cured materials can build up in your roller waste collector over time, causing issues if unchecked.
- Mix Agilus30 with RGD450 Rigur to make RGD4630-DM. Trust me; this combination of the polypropylene like Rigur with the rubber-like Agilus can mix to create some of the most durable PolyJet parts you will ever make. It looks beautiful too!
How Can I Get Agilus30?
Currently, Agilus30 is available on all Stratasys Connex3 printers as well as newer Connex 1 and Connex2 level printers. Soon, it will also be available on the J750. The upgrade to print in Agilus30 is free while under service contract, and it can be requested by the Technical Support team at Stratasys. In addition to unlocking Agilus30, you will also then have access to the new VeroPureWhite material and the SUP706 soluble PolyJet support material.
All in all, Agilus30 is a great new addition to the already amazing line of Connex printer materials. Compared to everything else on the market, there isn’t a material out there that combines the low shore A durometer value and raw strength that Agilus30 brings to the table. Given the range of shore A values that you can achieve with Agilus (30, 40,50,60,70,85,95) in addition to this incredible tear resistance and dimensional memory, there is no reason why Agilus30 shouldn’t be your new simulated rubber material of choice from now on.
Want to learn more about which Stratasys 3D printing material is right for your application? Download our 3D Printer Material Guide below.