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Thread: 3D Printing

  1. #1
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    Default 3D Printing

    A mate showed me some stuff he'd made for his bike the other day... and provided some links to various sites.

    Like this one:

    https://www.thingiverse.com/search?s...75d4a631764a68

    Anyone have experience with these 3D printers?
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    A couple of guys at work have them. My son is trying to model some velocity stacks for the bike carbs he's going to fit to his Merc. First test print of the bottom 15mm was just to test the fitting to the carb. Just as well, because it didn't fit, so back to the drawing board.
    'When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find. When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind...'

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    What's the material?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    My company regularly prints hundreds of items, where a steel or aluminium alternative would be hugely expensive. We need bespoke technical items to perform single jobs where a long run of perhaps 3 months is needed. Commonly ballistic nylon, which stands up to the rigours of industrial sectors where thousands of cycles are needed. A great tech.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    I got one a couple of months ago. Anything specific you'd like to know?

    The only downside I've found so far is that it's a money pit!

    Others might consider the fact that they are not plug and play a downside...I like to tinker!
    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Been around a long time in industrial use. Used to be called stereo lithography. The ability to use more structural materials keeps expanding.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Pal has one.
    A toy.
    A plastic waste generator- the amount of usable stuff is zilch.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by birlinn View Post
    Pal has one.
    A toy.
    A plastic waste generator- the amount of usable stuff is zilch.
    Let me politely call BS on this statement. Perhaps your pal has only produced plastic waste, but that is the fault of your pal not the technology.

    Most of my first prints were upgrade parts for my printer. They have proven to be quite useful. If one needs a part that is not available commercially, one can draw it in a 3d cad program and print it, or download a ready to print file from the internet.

    Have a broken gear in your $100 margarita machine? Buy a new machine, or print a new gear for pennies?

    One of the primary motivations for my purchase of this device is the restoration of a garden railroad layout. We have about 20 remote controlled turnouts. 30 years of weather has not been kind to them. They can be replaced for just under $200 apiece, or repaired for about $85 each. I can print new ones and install new electronics for under $10 each. I'd say that's pretty useful.

    The best use for a 3d printer is rapid prototyping. You can design your idea in 3d cad, print it, figure out why it won't work, redraw it in cad, print again, repeat. When you're happy with your part, use it to make a mold and use the mold to cast your part in bronze, or injection molded plastic, or...

    Your pal seems to have neither the knowledge or the desire to use the tool he has purchased. That doesn't make the tool a worthless toy!
    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    My teenage pal is probably in the majority of buyers of chap 3-D printer buyers though.
    He is not a designer, or that practical.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    You might be right. I haven't seen any statistics. I still disagree with you characterization of 3d printers as useless toys. I hope you can see that your sample size of one was just too small to draw any conclusions from. There's still hope for your teenage pal. Point him to Youtube. Let him see the power he has at his fingertips!
    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Like any "new" technology, 3D printing has a long history, and is used in lots of applications. Making it available to the hobbyist is similar to how CAD fairly quickly became available for a home computer.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    I can see the attraction but have to wonder how many people are willing to invest the time in becoming proficient in 3D modelling. The only alternative is to hope somebody has made a part you need available for download. The actual printing might or might not involve a bit of tweaking of parameters of the printer.A good bit further up the cost scale there are interesting things being done with 3D printing of metal,ok selective laser sintering if you want the process description.Then having the part in your hand,you can do some other processes to finish it or to improve the mechanical properties.The stuff of dreams a few years ago and maybe in hobbyist workshops before too long.

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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Our design team always has 3D printed prototypes made, before committing a few hundred $k on production tooling. Two reasons.
    One, for all that CAD is amazing (they use SolidWorks), having a very close representation of the real thing is still the best way to confirm fit, airflow, temperature rise etc - and catch the occasional oops.

    Two, it is the ONLY way that 99% of people can get their heads around form, function, scale etc - especially sales/marketing types, who actually have to promote the widget.
    We don't 3D print in-house yet, as some of the parts are quite large, but the spend with third party manufacturers is getting up there enough that it might happen.

    Pete
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    I can see the attraction but have to wonder how many people are willing to invest the time in becoming proficient in 3D modelling.
    I suspect it may be greater than the number of people willing to invest the time in becoming proficient at wooden boat building. If not now, then soon. The tech is blasting away at boundaries.

    I first got the 3d bug back in the early '90s. I've periodically checked on their practicality every few years since then. The last time I checked was 3 or 4 years ago. It was still many thousands of dollars for the capability that I just got for $230. To be honest, I probably need $300 or $400 in upgrades before I get there, but improvements in the tech are happening quicker all the time. The plastics are getting stronger and easier to print with. I will soon be upgraded to be able to print with plastics that are reinforced with carbon fiber. I'll be able to print with plastics that contain metal, and then send my prints out to be treated to be real metal parts.
    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by birlinn View Post
    Pal has one.
    A toy.
    A plastic waste generator- the amount of usable stuff is zilch.
    A ferry-making modeller I know acquired one for the kits he sells, and he's enamoured at the quality and detail he can now produce quietly, overnight.

    Andy
    "We were schooner-rigged and rakish, with a long and lissome hull ..."

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by SchoonerRat View Post
    I'll be able to print with plastics that contain metal, and then send my prints out to be treated to be real metal parts.
    I'm intrigued by this. Are you saying they can now take a printed model and transform it into something like a cast or machined part via something like a heat-treatment process? If so, that could be a real game-changer. What kind of metals are we talking about?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Jay Leno finds them very useful. He often uses them to make patterns for castings.

    1934 Frazer Nash - Jay Leno’s Garage


  18. #18
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Bartlett View Post
    I'm intrigued by this. Are you saying they can now take a printed model and transform it into something like a cast or machined part via something like a heat-treatment process? If so, that could be a real game-changer. What kind of metals are we talking about?
    https://www.thevirtualfoundry.com/

    Quoted from their web site.

    We currently have over 30 special request custom metal filament solutions. Our online store sells 5 metal filaments including aluminum filament, bronze filament, carbon iron filament, copper filament, and stainless steel 316L filament. We also sell metal pellet options, 3D printer nozzles, 4 sintering refractory ballast solutions, and high capacity sintering furnaces.
    This is the future. Your local auto parts store will no longer have to stock the bazillions of odd parts to fit the wide variety of autos on the road. Need a throw-out bearing for your 1966 GTO? Your local guy will just download the file and print it for you while you eat lunch.
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    "3d printing" of metal parts is similar to making them out of powdered metal. The shape is accomplished, but the metal still needs to be solidified in a furnace--not so dissimilar as casting. That is problematic for many low-volume or amateur applications.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    "3d printing" of metal parts is similar to making them out of powdered metal. The shape is accomplished, but the metal still needs to be solidified in a furnace--not so dissimilar as casting. That is problematic for many low-volume or amateur applications.
    I'm not certain just what you mean by problematic. Too expensive? Too long to produce?

    This is still a new technology, but I suspect that even now the cost and turnaround time are on a par with other methods of turning my drawing into a metal part I can hold in my hand; perhaps even cheaper and quicker. Are there other problems that I'm not seeing? How much less problematic would it be for me to get my part made without using a 3d printer?
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by SchoonerRat View Post
    I'm not certain just what you mean by problematic. Too expensive? Too long to produce?

    This is still a new technology, but I suspect that even now the cost and turnaround time are on a par with other methods of turning my drawing into a metal part I can hold in my hand; perhaps even cheaper and quicker. Are there other problems that I'm not seeing? How much less problematic would it be for me to get my part made without using a 3d printer?
    Mainly, the heat and related equipment needed to sinter powdered metal is similar to casting. That's not something you do in an auto parts store. As I noted, so-called 3D printing has been in use a fairly long time--GM has had an internal division in operation for several decades that produces some 30,000 parts a year. Powdered metal; injection molding; continuous casting; lost-foam patterns; laser cutting; water cutting, open die stamping also are new technologies, since WWII, compared to the 3,000-year history of metal forming. The all have had a significant impact on manufacturing.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    I have a few friends who are in to competitive drone racing. They print their own airframe, constantly tweaking them to suit their flying styles. That would have been massivly cost prohibitive without the technology.

    I have been eyeing synthetic rigging for a while. A printer would make it easy to make things like deadeyes and blocks. Colligo Marine proudly advertises that their new line of high performance blocks are 3D printed.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    Mainly, the heat and related equipment needed to sinter powdered metal is similar to casting. That's not something you do in an auto parts store. As I noted, so-called 3D printing has been in use a fairly long time--GM has had an internal division in operation for several decades that produces some 30,000 parts a year. Powdered metal; injection molding; continuous casting; lost-foam patterns; laser cutting; water cutting, open die stamping also are new technologies, since WWII, compared to the 3,000-year history of metal forming. The all have had a significant impact on manufacturing.
    There are now benchtop metal 3d printing systems that use microwaves to perform/assist the sintering - see 'Desktop Metal' or 'Markforged'. They work in steel, titanium, aluminium, copper and some other metals.
    Last edited by Clarkey; 08-12-2019 at 09:58 AM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarkey View Post
    There are now benchtop metal 3d printing systems that use microwaves to perform/assist the sintering - see 'Desktop Metal' or 'Markforged'. They work in steel, titanium, aluminium, copper and some other metals.
    Saw that one demonstrated about 10 years ago. What was interesting is that they used part of a household microwave oven to generate the heat. Powdered metal forming is a well-used process that can reduce the expensive and time of making smaller production runs.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Instead of buying a "toy" 3D printer or spending thousands on a good quality one I have outsourced 3d print jobs to Shapeways or a local 3D print shop. I once had a metal part made for $50. It was stainless steel powder fused together with bronze. I think outsourcing is a good way to leverage the advanced skill, high quality of equipment and variety of materials.
    Will

  26. #26
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    Mainly, the heat and related equipment needed to sinter powdered metal is similar to casting. That's not something you do in an auto parts store. As I noted, so-called 3D printing has been in use a fairly long time--GM has had an internal division in operation for several decades that produces some 30,000 parts a year. Powdered metal; injection molding; continuous casting; lost-foam patterns; laser cutting; water cutting, open die stamping also are new technologies, since WWII, compared to the 3,000-year history of metal forming. The all have had a significant impact on manufacturing.
    Sorry, I should have been more specific. The NEW tech I was referring to was the ability to print my design in metal on my "Hobby Level" printer. Yeah, it's a pain to send my part off to somebody with a $30,000 sintering furnace, but I don't have a foundry. I have no desire to get or learn how to use one. Until the introduction of this particular new tech, I had to print my part, or somehow otherwise make a plug, and then send it out to somebody to make a mold out of it and cast it for me. This workflow seems well suited to production. I don't think I'll ever do production. For prototyping and producing the hand full of parts I need that aren't available commercially, print and bake seems to be more efficient and less costly than molding and casting a single part.

    I can still go sorta old school, print my part in plastic, clean it up as needed, and then send it off to be made into a mold. I guess instead of referring to new technology, I should have said the sudden availabilty of this tech to somebody with the vast fortune of an ex-schooner captain who is living on SS.

    While it won't replace them, this 3d printer is my table saw, band saw, jointer, lathe, chisels and mallet, etc., all rolled into one. And furthermore, the process is additive. Woodworking is subtractive. It has always galled me to take a $100 lump of teak and turn it into 1 beautiful part for my boat, and $35 worth of sawdust and scraps that are too small to make anything out of.
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by willmarsh3 View Post
    Instead of buying a "toy" 3D printer or spending thousands on a good quality one I have outsourced 3d print jobs to Shapeways or a local 3D print shop. I once had a metal part made for $50. It was stainless steel powder fused together with bronze. I think outsourcing is a good way to leverage the advanced skill, high quality of equipment and variety of materials.
    And instead of buying saws and planes and chisels to build a wooden boat, and spending all that time learning the necessary skills, you could outsource the job to a shipyard. That doesn't seem to be the mindset of most of the people here.

    As to the quality of my "toy" 3d printer, I've dialed it in to a tolerance of less than 0.1 mm on a 20mm test cube. I haven't attempted to get it any closer because I have no need to but I think I could because the errors are repeatable within a couple hundredths of a mm. It is no longer necessary to spend thousands on a quality 3d printer. When I finish all of my planned upgrades, I should have about $700 in it and it will be a much more capable printer.

    3d printing as a useful tool is now available at a hobbyist level investment.
    Last edited by SchoonerRat; 08-12-2019 at 11:52 AM.
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  28. #28
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by SchoonerRat View Post
    And instead of buying saws and planes and chisels to build a wooden boat, and spending all that time learning the necessary skills, you could outsource the job to a shipyard. That doesn't seem to be the mindset of most of the people here.

    As to the quality of my "toy" 3d printer, I've dialed it in to a tolerance of less than 0.1 mm. I haven't attempted to get it any closer because I have no need to but I think I could because the errors are repeatable within a couple hundredths of a mm. It is no longer necessary to spend thousands on a quality 3d printer. When I finish all of my planned upgrades, I should have about $700 in it and it will be a much more capable printer.

    3d printing as a useful tool is now available at a hobbyist level investment.
    Wait, wait, wait...

    You can print metal parts?! I just quoted this post because it was the latest, and still related to your printer.

    This sounds AMAZING! Like, whoa!

    Peace,
    Robert

  29. #29
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    It's sheer coincidence, but I've spent the past couple of weeks attempting to cast a new anchor roller/stemhead fitting in bronze. My daughter is a sculptor, and works with a group that does metal casting as a co-op. Using 3-D printing would be a natural part of this effort. I have discovered that casting isn't as difficult as I had thought, but it's hardly a basement project. Dunno how many are finding industrial processes can be made into something available to the average person. A friend a few years ago built an NC milling machine capable of making boat-size molds for fiberglass molding. He made it from some scrap iron, a used computer and some stepper motors--ended up costing about $700. Another friend bought a laser scanner that generates the data for a milling machine, which then cuts the parts. Interesting way to make a pattern for an interior bulkhead. There also is a kind of rental workshop co-op near here that has a huge array of this kind of stuff that it makes available to members.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Wait, wait, wait...

    You can print metal parts?! I just quoted this post because it was the latest, and still related to your printer.

    This sounds AMAZING! Like, whoa!

    Peace,
    Robert
    Check back on post #18. I need to do some upgrades before I can use the process. The idea is that you print with a plastic filament that contains metal powder. There is only enough plastic to allow the filament to melt and extrude through the nozzle on your printer. You then send your part to a company that can bake it for you. Some time later you receive your metal part in the mail.

    Other technologies are on the way. I have no doubt that need for the sintering company will disappear in the future.
    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

  31. #31
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Might add that the co-op casting operation made their furnace out of some old propane tanks and a leaf blower. Seems to work for metals up to cast iron.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by SchoonerRat View Post
    Check back on post #18. I need to do some upgrades before I can use the process. The idea is that you print with a plastic filament that contains metal powder. There is only enough plastic to allow the filament to melt and extrude through the nozzle on your printer. You then send your part to a company that can bake it for you. Some time later you receive your metal part in the mail.

    Other technologies are on the way. I have no doubt that need for the sintering company will disappear in the future.
    I just wanted to be sure I was adding it all up correctly. That is incredible. You could print thimbles and round eyes, sheaves...

    Peace,
    Pintles S. Gudgeonworth Esq.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    It's sheer coincidence, but I've spent the past couple of weeks attempting to cast a new anchor roller/stemhead fitting in bronze. My daughter is a sculptor, and works with a group that does metal casting as a co-op. Using 3-D printing would be a natural part of this effort. I have discovered that casting isn't as difficult as I had thought, but it's hardly a basement project. Dunno how many are finding industrial processes can be made into something available to the average person. A friend a few years ago built an NC milling machine capable of making boat-size molds for fiberglass molding. He made it from some scrap iron, a used computer and some stepper motors--ended up costing about $700. Another friend bought a laser scanner that generates the data for a milling machine, which then cuts the parts. Interesting way to make a pattern for an interior bulkhead. There also is a kind of rental workshop co-op near here that has a huge array of this kind of stuff that it makes available to members.
    A CNC machine is basically the same tech as a 3d printer. CNC machines are available for similar prices and similar qualities as 3d printers. The same goes for laser etchers and vinyl cutters. I could actually convert my machine between them.

    When I'm done upgrading my printer I'm gonna have to decide between getting another, or going CNC. So many tools, so little time.
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  34. #34
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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    "3D printing" requires a way of building up layers that create the three-dimensional object. I've seen it done by layering paper; a UV laser that catalyzes resin in layers; other systems that lay down a layer of some material. It is ideal for complex shapes in foam or wax used in investment casting.

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    Default Re: 3D Printing

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    I just wanted to be sure I was adding it all up correctly. That is incredible. You could print thimbles and round eyes, sheaves...

    Peace,
    Pintles S. Gudgeonworth Esq.
    ...and bears, OH MY!!

    There are limits to the shapes you can attain, and the process is not quick, but incredible is just how I begin to think of my new "TOY"!

    There are things that can't be produced with any other process. Multi-color and multi-material is available as an add-on for my toy printer.
    Schooner captains love to get blown offshore!

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