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  1. #1

    Light Proof 3D printed radiation shield - which material is the best?

    We are trying to make 3D printed weather stations. One of the obstacles we face is finding a lightweight, durable 3d printing material, that is impenetrable to light. Inside the radiation shield is the temperature sensor and we have to shield it from solar radiation to get proper readings.
    We tried with ABS and HDPE, but even black plastic at 3 mm thickness permeates light. We are using a TEVO Tarantula 3D Printer.
    The solution we found, is to paint the plastic parts, but the results are not satisfactory and it is very time consuming.
    We have examined professional weather stations and the plastic parts are very durable, thin and 100% light proof.
    This is the pro Radiation shield.
    And this is one of ours:
    Do you have any suggestions? How can we achieve better results?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    abs wouldn't be much good anyway as it breaks down in sun light.
    Pla fairs much better in the outdoor.

    Also i don't think it's as much down to the material as the way 3d printing filaments are coloured.
    The natural filament is usually fairly transparent and if you add too much colourant it effects the way the material behaves when you print it.

    Not something I'd thought about before. But just grabbing the stuff in my workshop - the only thing that is completely opaque when i hold it up to the window is the painted axe head.

    If you use spray paint it only takes a few seconds to paiint even a large item. I use a big cardbaord box as a spraying 'room'.

    (has a thought) holds two items up to the window - one of them is 100% opaque :-)

    Not sure how useful this is, although it will make the weather station look really rural and cool.
    But no cheap.
    Are you screaming at the screen: 'for christ's sake tell us what it is !'

    Both these were printed with the same settings:

    The one on the left is properly opaque.

    Screaming at the screen yet ? (i'm just in one of those moods :-)

    It's colorfabbs woodfill.
    I suspect that other opaque filaments would also have non-chemical colourants.
    So filaments coloured with metal powders, laybrick (coloured with ground limestone).
    Basically standard colourants are not opaque. But non-standard colourants/texturisers are.

    Basically anything coloured with a physical opaque product will be much better at blocking light.

  3. #3
    Thank you! We will try with wood filament and we will report the results.

  4. #4
    Staff Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Oakland, CA
    Lead? What kind of radiation are you talking about?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post
    Lead? What kind of radiation are you talking about?
    Solar radiation aka sunlight.

  6. #6
    ABS is not suitable for this part. According to our experience, maybe you could have a trial with ASA material. It has similar properties and have better weather resistance. If you need to be impenetrable to light, black color is good options. Below are some place for ASA filament.

    ECO ASA filament - From China(Need mail to order, Could customized Color)

    3DTech - From MI USA

    3D Printing Canada - From Canada

    3D4Makers - From Netherlands

  7. #7
    No matter what material you use, there is no material that is 100% impervious to light. Light can still pass through. You need an opaque surface.
    There are several ways to do this: painting, printing, and adding layers of transparent plastic. It all depends on your budget, you can find metal as well. You can create your own 3D printed material out of any material, if you just need something to be opaque, it's all about the coating. I know solar lanterns use the right material Really, I haven't researched it and can't remember what it's called.
    Last edited by Barberry; 09-27-2021 at 04:32 PM.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    there are many many materials that are 100% impervious to light.

    Light wavicles are quite large and are deflected by a huge variety of materials.

    You must be thinking of a different type of radiation.

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