A Guide to Clear Prototype Part Options

Dependent on your product you may occasionally have a need for clear parts. Rapid Axis has got you covered! We can build clear pieces in several prototype processes including Machining, SLA and Polyjet.

CNC – Material options include Acrylic, Polycarbonate and Polysulfone.

Acrylic: A UV stable, inexpensive material available in many tints and colors. Acrylic passes 92% of light and is scratch resistant though smaller features may be brittle.

Polycarbonate: Often referred to for its brand name Lexan, Polycarbonate parts are strong. Impact and scratch resistant though true clarity post machining requires vapor polishing. PC is stronger and has better chemical resistance than Acrylic and dependent upon grade can offer USP Class VI biocompatibility.

Polysulfone: An expensive material compared to Polycarbonate and Acrylic though it benefits from higher continuous service temperatures than either material. It is highly brittle though USP Class VI and allows for autoclave.

3D Printing – Material options include SOMOS Watershed XC11122 and Vero Clear

SOMOS Watershed XC11122: This material is used in our SLA machines commonly as it’s a 3D Printed equivalent to Polycarbonate. It requires minimal post processing to achieve clarity and can be clear coated (spray) or hand polished if you require class transparency. It boasts USP Class VI biocompatibility though it requires specialized sterilization.

Vero Clear: This material is built in high resolution by Polyjet. It comes off the build platform clear and is suitable for light pipes and small transparent pieces. If you require glass clarity it will need hand polishing. This material tends to be brittle and is recommended for small pieces (light pipes, lenses) only.

Note: Rapid Axis has capabilities to make clear production parts in tooled processes such as Urethane Casting or Injection Molding. Just let us know you project requirements such as materials and quantities and we’d be happy to make a recommendation.

Go back