Create a telescope with various colors and textures


Using advanced 3D printing software

Software used

Materialise Magics, Materialise 3-matic


Apply Boolean operations between STL files with different textures


Consumer goods

Astronomy aficionados know that the diameter and mount are important features of a telescope, but what about its appearance? At present, there is a wide array of options beyond the standard grey or black telescope. Those looking to stand out with their newest acquisition can go for a 3D-printed telescope with different textures and colors. More recently, Materialise’s design enhancement software Materialise 3-matic and Stratasys’ Objet printers were employed to devise a demo part whose components are worth considering.

Smooth Sharkskin & Luxury Leather Textures

Stratasys wanted to create a multi-textured telescope demo part, colored white, grey, black and yellow. With this in mind, Materialise 3-matic was used to create a sharkskin, leather and polygon texture. To create a varied consistency, Boolean operations were applied between several STL files, each containing a different texture.

Designers and engineers often mimic nature to improve the properties of their own creations. The so-called sharkskin texture improves the aerodynamic properties of an object. In fact, Materialise had previously applied this texture to the nose of the world’s first 3D-printed race car. While some textures can thus have a functional value, in the case of the telescope, the sharkskin texture was chosen purely for aesthetic purposes.

After applying the textures, the telescope file was uploaded to the data preparation software Materialise Magics. With Materialise Magics, the Materialise and Stratasys labels were placed on the object, and the file was subsequently fixed and prepared for 3D Printing.

VeroWhite, VeroBlack and VeroYellow

The telescope lens and the mount were printed separately on Stratasys’ Objet 500 printers. To obtain different colors on the lens, three materials were used: VeroYellow, VeroWhite and VeroBlack. Given that the PolyJet inkjet technology allows the user to combine different materials, VeroWhite and VeroBlack  were mixed to obtain a grey color. The black sharkskin color was then applied in gradients, meaning that the color gradually fades across the surface of the object. Using the grey color, the mount was printed in one piece with fully functional legs. The lens and the mount were then assembled and the multi-textured telescope was born.

Throughout the design process, Materialise enjoyed the good collaboration with Stratasys. Ultimately, our Materialise 3-matic software, coupled with Stratasys’ Objet printers, resulted in this unique multi-textured and colorful part. Let’s hope that this demo part can serve as a source of inspiration for future designs!

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