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Old Oct 05, 2014, 12:16 PM
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Mini-HowTo
3D Printed ABS for Mould Making

Hi all,

An introduction and overview for a series of videos showing how Im using 3D printing for mould making. The series will cover inspecting, repairing, joining, plastic welding and finishing FFF printed ABS parts for mould making.

The series would also be of interest for anyone interested in post print finishing.

A second series will follow showing some of my techniques for casting light weight parts, suitable for radio controlled aircraft in urethane foam.

You can follow the 30mm EDF Hawker Hunter RC project on the RC Groups Micro EDF forum - LINK

Cheers, Steve

3D Printed ABS for Mould Making – PART 1 (9 min 5 sec)
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Old Oct 05, 2014, 02:26 PM
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Hello,

We've been using printed ABS moulds for the carbon fibre parts of our UAV project:

AMRC UAV powered flight (2 min 25 sec)


They worked really well.

Here's a link to the full thread:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2259045

And some pics attached of the moulds etc.

Looking forward to more info on yuor project.

Cheers!
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Old Oct 05, 2014, 03:23 PM
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WOW, awesome work D_RG!

Just going to read your thread now...exciting stuff!!
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Old Oct 05, 2014, 03:24 PM
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3D Printed ABS for Mould Making - PART 2

Topics covered in Part 2 are

... Inspecting the 3D printed part
... Part orientation on the build plate
... Modelled rafts
... Slicing
... ABS related defects

3D Printed ABS for Mould Making – PART 2 (9 min 13 sec)
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Old Oct 05, 2014, 03:39 PM
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Very cool, thanks for sharing this. I'm actually interested w/ moulding of the parts. It sounded like you were using expanded foam, are you injecting that into the mould? Curious what materials you are using for the casted finished part. Thanks!
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Old Oct 05, 2014, 04:15 PM
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At the moment I'm casting with Foam-it 8, by Smooth On as it's the most consistence, if a little heavier then other Foams.

I cast with the mould open for the 1st 90 seconds and close and clamp. I've found that it's all about timing and back pressure to get a consistent cell structure.

I will do some video on all this as well. Other things I've tried is glass fibre outer skins with the cast foam inner structure, but way too strong / heavy for a micro.

I'm no expert at this and have very little previous composits experience, but I'm improving with every cast and I'm starting to get fairly consistent results.
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Old Oct 05, 2014, 05:29 PM
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This is all very good stuff...
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Old Oct 05, 2014, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR_G View Post
We've been using printed ABS moulds for the carbon fibre parts of our UAV project..
Cool project.

You molds don't appear to have the usual 3Dprint striations. Are you doing a post-finishing operation?

What kind of releasing agent works best on ABS?
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Old Oct 06, 2014, 03:03 AM
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Hey Steve,

Thanks for taking the time to post on this, I picked up a bunch of handy tips. I have been working in a similar space but creating hollow thick walled parts by using HIPS mandrels which I dissolve out later in acetone.

Some pics here: facebook.com/TransScooters
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Old Oct 06, 2014, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclor View Post
Hey Steve,

Thanks for taking the time to post on this, I picked up a bunch of handy tips. I have been working in a similar space but creating hollow thick walled parts by using HIPS mandrels which I dissolve out later in acetone.

Some pics here: facebook.com/TransScooters
Cheer Cyclor,

It great how so many of us think alike. I did something similar with ABS & HIPS - LINK

Some nice composite work with the scooter - I have yet to really get stuck in with Carbon Fiber & Kevlar
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Old Oct 06, 2014, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ptxman View Post
Cool project.

You molds don't appear to have the usual 3Dprint striations. Are you doing a post-finishing operation?

What kind of releasing agent works best on ABS?
Thanks.

If Meerkat13 doesn't mind the thread hijack, I'll post a link to our full case study once it's approved, but basically we sealed the moulds with acetone before hand finishing with wet and dry abrasives. We are looking at vapour polishing to automate/semi automate this process.
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Old Oct 06, 2014, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DR_G View Post
Thanks.

If Meerkat13 doesn't mind the thread hijack, I'll post a link to our full case study once it's approved, but basically we sealed the moulds with acetone before hand finishing with wet and dry abrasives. We are looking at vapour polishing to automate/semi automate this process.
No worries here, I would love to read the full case study.
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Old Oct 07, 2014, 09:40 AM
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3D Printed ABS for Mould Making PART 3

Topics covered in PART 3

--- 1st Stage Clean up / part dressing
--- Removing Supports
--- Mistakes with percentage of infill used
--- Identifying areas for repair

3D Printed ABS for Mould Making – PART 3 (10 min 48 sec)
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Old Oct 07, 2014, 06:56 PM
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Heya Steve,

Loving the vids. Also, Dr_G, I'm eagerly looking forward to hearing about your processes. I have done a little work with acetone for smoothing but for one off moulds, I have been using vinyl tape as a release/ surface layer to avoid the striations. I am also thinking about having a play with contact film to coat the mould which would save me having to line up all of the little strips.
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Old Oct 09, 2014, 05:46 PM
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Steve, that is fantastic! I've talked to a few people doing this over the phone in Universities and such, but yours is the first 3D printed foam mold I've had the pleasure to see in detail.

We just acquired a printer at work for R&D and this is one thing I'd love to do some work with. Glad Pdawg's Electrolyte project was a catalyst for you! We had fun with that one and I did my own wing project that proved successful as well: LINK

Looking forward to more videos and info on the process. I'm on the learning curve for dialing in our printer...
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