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Aug 24, 2019, 05:05 PM
Registered User
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Discussion

Basic 3D printer questions


I think I'm heading down the 3d printer path but?

-Can you make things that take stress or just items that are more decorative (e.g. Pilots)?
- Is nylon used for stressful items (if at all) Control horn for example?
- Can I make a model and then use to cast metal part (bronze, silver, etc) . I've taught Delft Clay casting in the past.
- With 2 nozzle , can you make 2 colors like pilot clothing one color and face different color?
- Or is it better to use single nozzle and make separate parts for different colors?
- There are a lot of basic models of items online (Threed??) Is there particular 3D software necessary to modify these (resize, separate into parts, etc)?

I do know better than to ask "which printer" but, appreciate beginner tips. I have interest in metal colors but, not metal

Thanks for any help,
Regis (in middle Tennessee)
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Aug 24, 2019, 08:02 PM
Anti-gravity = Lots of Watts
Gnat666's Avatar
Stress? Depends what you mean/want. If you tiny parts that take kgs of force, not likely.
Want small-medium part that take up to a kg or so, can do.
Wear? Well, these aren’t commercial grade solutions, but can take “household” wear.
Yes, Nylon is a solution to improving the above situations, but it’s better to have printer more suited to nylon because not all are (enclosed, high temp etc).
2 nozzles: you can print that way, but you have to design that way too and the general solution (today) isn’t simple. I wouldn’t bother myself.
Different coloured parts, or paint.
Thingiverse for models is an example.
Modify them? Not simple unless your ok skilled with various CAD software.
You still need Slicer software like Cura (free) or Simplify3D (not cheap) to slice models to suit your selected printer.

You could just start with a cheap, common,single nozzle “lots of community” printer, and see whether it’s going to be what you thought.

Me, never regretted it !! Theres always something in the hobby or around the house I print!
Aug 24, 2019, 08:29 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Thank you for helping me learn a bit more.
Regis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnat666
Stress? Depends what you mean/want. If you tiny parts that take kgs of force, not likely.
Want small-medium part that take up to a kg or so, can do.
Wear? Well, these aren’t commercial grade solutions, but can take “household” wear.
Yes, Nylon is a solution to improving the above situations, but it’s better to have printer more suited to nylon because not all are (enclosed, high temp etc).
2 nozzles: you can print that way, but you have to design that way too and the general solution (today) isn’t simple. I wouldn’t bother myself.
Different coloured parts, or paint.
Thingiverse for models is an example.
Modify them? Not simple unless your ok skilled with various CAD software.
You still need Slicer software like Cura (free) or Simplify3D (not cheap) to slice models to suit your selected printer.

You could just start with a cheap, common,single nozzle “lots of community” printer, and see whether it’s going to be what you thought.

Me, never regretted it !! Theres always something in the hobby or around the house I print!
Aug 25, 2019, 02:53 AM
Registered User
There are a few tutorials on you tube about using 3d printed parts as moulds for casting , you can use a process much like lost wax casting where you melt the plastic out before pouring metal inn or you can print a split mould for sand box casting .
If you want strong parts then nylon is the way to go but you do need a printer designed for it or other high temperature plastics , most printers come with the ability to print plastics that need a temperature range from 190°C to 240°C , to go above that you need to go for an "all metal hot end" , a lot of the cheap printers advertise that they can go up to 260 but its false advertising , the hot end in most printers has a Teflon tube inside that guides the filament to the nozzle and the end of this tube is in the heated section , Teflon starts to break down at about 250°C and can collapse causing blockages but more importantly it releases some toxic gasses as well , so to reach the 255+°C that Nylon or other strong plastics need you need to either replace it or buy a printer fitted with an all metal hot end to start with.
Aug 25, 2019, 06:54 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by dadio
There are a few tutorials on you tube about using 3d printed parts as moulds for casting , you can use a process much like lost wax casting where you melt the plastic out before pouring metal inn or you can print a split mould for sand box casting .
If you want strong parts then nylon is the way to go but you do need a printer designed for it or other high temperature plastics , most printers come with the ability to print plastics that need a temperature range from 190°C to 240°C , to go above that you need to go for an "all metal hot end" , a lot of the cheap printers advertise that they can go up to 260 but its false advertising , the hot end in most printers has a Teflon tube inside that guides the filament to the nozzle and the end of this tube is in the heated section , Teflon starts to break down at about 250°C and can collapse causing blockages but more importantly it releases some toxic gasses as well , so to reach the 255+°C that Nylon or other strong plastics need you need to either replace it or buy a printer fitted with an all metal hot end to start with.
I had no idea about the temperature issue that you brought up. Delft clay is between the 2 you mentioned. It is intended to duplicate an existing piece so, it's non-destructive. I no longer have lost wax setup but, am sure that would be best.
Hopefully I can find a printer that is "really" suitable for nylon around the $500 range

Thank you very much.
Regis
Aug 25, 2019, 09:04 AM
Registered User
Just a note, there are 3D printable filaments specifically intended for use in casting operations. One example can be found here: https://stacker3d.com/product/beam-b...ers-2kg-spool/
or https://www.amazon.com/PORO-Lay-Mold.../dp/B00WAJBB48

Also worth noting, most of the more durable/heat resistant materials (like ABS, Nylon & ASA) require appropriate ventilation if used in a confined area (like inside a living space). You would want a negative pressure envelope with the exhaust either going outside (just like venting a propane heating device) or possibly through a very thorough (i.e. expensive) filtration device.
Last edited by nikdfish; Aug 25, 2019 at 09:12 AM.
Aug 25, 2019, 09:29 AM
Registered User
Regarding "sturdiness" vs "decorative" the model below was built entirely from 3d printed PLA / PLA+ / TPU components, with the exception of the electronics, bearings, some nuts & screws. The only part that has broken so far was a track piece that cracked when the model struck a wooden water barrel while moving at high speed (it currently has 2 45T 540 motors driving the tracks via an 8:1 reduction) & the planetary gear carriers after extended runs at high revs. I later replaced the fully printed carrier with a version incorporating pressed in metal shafts for the planetary gears.
Aug 25, 2019, 11:59 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
nikdfish,
Those are great.
Thank you very much.
Regis
Aug 25, 2019, 01:15 PM
Registered User
I've tried using PLA , PET-G and ABS for off road RC car suspension components and none of them were up to it , nylon works, your experience may be different , PLA can be very strong in the right place .
Last edited by dadio; Aug 25, 2019 at 01:55 PM.
Aug 25, 2019, 06:24 PM
treefinder
springer's Avatar
I think you will find PLA (the basic, starter, easiest to use) filament to be surprisingly strong for most uses. I have made control horns at 1/16 thickness that have performed fine on many of my foamies. Also made a new PLA gear for an old electric pencil sharpener that has been in use for over a year. Many times I find that the size and shape are defined by usage or where it fits, and is more strong than expected. I actually can't remember anything I have made that I have broken. I have used PLA, PET, and have a roll of Taulman nylon not yet tried. The PET and PLA run about the same, PET a few degrees hotter.

I have an Anet A8, one of the simple entry level machines, and haven't yet found anything I cant make with it. I use Sketchup V7 to design parts, and the version of Cura that came with the machine. Sketchup exports .dae (collada) files, and the version of Cura takes them seamlessly. Newer Cura releases don't seem to take .dae file format, so I stay with what I have. My point in all this is, you can spend a lot of money on machines and software, but you don't have to!
Aug 25, 2019, 07:27 PM
If it flies, I can crash it.
rocketsled666's Avatar
There are many, many types of FDM plastic, with new ones showing up all the time, all with different engineered properties. Some plastics are designed to be easy to print, some are designed to produce strong parts. I think I have a couple of spools of PLA (which is generally considered to be not very strong) that get annealed (put in an oven) after printing, and become as strong as ABS as a result. Never used it, but it exists.

I routinely make functional parts with both FDM and SLA printers. But for parts that need to be small and strong, I make them with CNC. Even the best 3D printed ABS part isn't going to be as strong as the part hogged out of a block of ABS.

I've recently become partial to Carbon Fiber infused PLA. Parts are a bit more brittle than they'd be if printed in ABS but they take a decent beating without breaking. And it's a lot easier to print than ABS.

To some extent, you need to learn to design for 3D printing. There's an art to learning where you have to add reinforcement to a part that I think can only come from trial and error. Also, there are some things 3D printers do better than others that will effect the outcome of your part. With judicious adjustments to a design, quite functional and strong parts can definitely be printed.

If you search this forum, you'll find there are a few threads on fully 3D printed RC planes. Almost anyone with a decent sized 3D printer can make one of these. You pay them for the files and print yourself, or you can buy pre-printed parts from people.
Aug 26, 2019, 07:44 AM
Registered User
I agree with all the above if you design for PLA then its a superb material , if however you are trying to reproduce to the same design a part that was injection moulded then other materials may need to be considered .
A basic Creality Ender 3 with a Micro Swiss all metal hot end is still not that expensive , maybe £225 to £235 and throw a very basic enclosure over it and you can print virtually any filament you like .
Aug 26, 2019, 02:11 PM
Newbie WW1 Flying Ace
tww1fa's Avatar
One important aspect to take into account when printing parts that are going to have high stresses is the orientation of the print. Similar to the way wood behaves with respect to grain, 3D prints are weakest where the layers bond together. So, for example, you want to print a bellcrank flat against the bed so there's minimum stress on the layer lines.
Aug 26, 2019, 03:05 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
I appreciate all the tips helping to educate me. Lots of great info.

Thank you,
Regis


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