3D Printing...

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3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:11 am

:as:

Many of you have heard about it. :book: Basically we take material and lay it down layer by layer and build objects. This is opposed to the traditional method of squirting materials into molds or using machines to remove material.

I have... several 3D printers now. Been working twords a business based around manufacturing by 3D printing, and we are for the most part successful. It's the pricing that eludes us, we aren't making any headway in that regard. :rich:

As we go forward I will post some pictures of the process in action on our machines. Feel free to ask questions about the process or 3D printing in general. It is an amazing world-changing technology, and my family and I are in on the ground floor. :dance:
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:36 am

Image

Here I am explaining how I upgraded part of this home-made machine to print hotter, which results in better prints. :book:

What exactly do we print with these machine? Well check out http://www.thingiverse.com for some ideas! :thumbsup:

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When I rebuilt this machine recently (I wore out the heating system) I reprogrammed the boot-up sequence to display this. Those of you who were fans of the anime Big-O know what I am referring to... :D

I'll have some more pictures and explanation up as I get time. :loopy:
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:40 pm

:coffee:

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Some examples of the parts we produce for customers. All of these are hard-to-locate or impossible-to-get replacement parts for various machines. :)

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Great example of a gag-gift we fabricated for a client. One can never have too much hot-sauce. :loopy:

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One of the many computer programs we use to prepare models for printing. I am adding supports to various protruding sections of the model and overhangs that may sag. Ahem. Move along now. :as:

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This is a bracket for a Christmas light display I will be making this evening out of PLA resin. I get a lot of orders like this, someone emails me a design file and some notes, I convert it to run on the printer and they either pick up the item or I ship it to them via post. All our business is handled over Paypal currently. Of course cash talks, and when it does we listen. :P
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:45 pm

One of the major manufacturing processes used worldwide is metal-casting. Basically you create a mold out of sand, and pour metal into it. There are other versions but sand-casting by far is the most widely used version, especially in situations where you want to create lots of different versions of the same item.

To create the sand mold you need a pattern, either a wood or ceramic sculpture of the item you want to create. You then press that into the sand, pack sand tightly around it, split the sand-box in half and lift the pattern out. Then your pour your metal into it.

This allows you to rapidly create dozens of molds in rapid succession.

There is a variation where you use a plastic pattern, leave it in the mold and pour the metal in. The metal vaporizes the plastic and you end up with a perfect casting. The downside to this is you have to have one pattern for each mold. The upside is plastic patterns are cheaper to make than a ceramic or or wood patterns... especially if you 3D print them.

I am making a set of gear-blanks for a customer who makes replacement gears for obsolete and vintage-collectable farm tractors. All 32 of these gears (ranging from five inches down to 3/4 inch) go in a single transmission, I am making two sets of 32 for this project. One for production and one as backup in case they mess up during the casting process.

This is just one example of what 3D printing can do, right now it is practically limitless in those regards. Being able to build objects layer by layer out of nearly any material has opened new doors... Especially in the medical community. I'll talk about THAT next time.
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:08 pm

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Boy that looks familiar.. Wonder what it could be... :D
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by RJDiogenes » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:31 pm

3D printing is indeed world changing. It's definitely in its infancy now, the same place that home computing was back in the 80s or mobile technology was in the 90s. Twenty years from now, there's no saying how the world will be different. Or worlds, I should say, because this is a technology that will help summon the age of Solar System exploration and colonization.

I've done some 3D modeling with programs like Poser and Bryce. I wonder if 3D printers are compatible with stuff like that.
Lord_Plecostomus wrote:What exactly do we print with these machine? Well check out http://www.thingiverse.com for some ideas! :thumbsup:
I got a kick out of the pulsar signal model. I wonder if it's possible to print out a 3D Mandelbrot Set. :lol:
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:26 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:3D printing is indeed world changing. It's definitely in its infancy now, the same place that home computing was back in the 80s or mobile technology was in the 90s. Twenty years from now, there's no saying how the world will be different. Or worlds, I should say, because this is a technology that will help summon the age of Solar System exploration and colonization.
The technology has been around since the 1970s early 80s. A project (RepRap) was started to take cheap Chinese computer boards (RAMPS) and servo-motors and make an inexpensive machine that can replicate most of it's framework. The goal was to bring manufacturing to underdeveloped regions, and it exploded.

The basic principle is use a machine that follows an XYZ grid to lay down layers of material in a pattern. It's really not all that "complicated" and it can be adapted to just about any material. That's the scary/wonderful part. Hardly a day goes by without someone coming up with something utterly wacky. Last one I read was a form of biological scaffolding that can replace bones. Some of you may remember I lost someone to bone cancer. We joked around before her death "Well we just need to remove your bones! What can we replace them with?!" Now, it will be possible. And sooner than you think. :thumbsup:


I've done some 3D modeling with programs like Poser and Bryce. I wonder if 3D printers are compatible with stuff like that.
If you model an individual object and export it as STL or OBJ and sent it to howcanwehelp@plastic-fantastic.us I'll take a look at it and let you know!

I got a kick out of the pulsar signal model. I wonder if it's possible to print out a 3D Mandelbrot Set. :lol:
At least print out the classic image of one. :D

I'm sure someone is using a machine right now to do 3D models of complex and imaginary number sets.
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by scottydog » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:32 am

Lord_Plecostomus wrote: Boy that looks familiar.. Wonder what it could be... :D
The Enterprise!

All these pics are cool. When can I print out my own animatronic girlfriend?

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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:15 am

Ask your wife. I'm betting the answer is "never." :dance:
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:32 am

Image

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Ipod holder (clear rubber and black carbon-fiber), tentacle Ipod holder.


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A spool-holder I made for a client so they can unwind rolls of labels at an assembly station.

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Contrary to popular confusion my lips were not caught in the gear, the camera-woman just caught me at an awkward moment as I was adjusting.
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:35 am

Image

Wonder what THAT is...

Color-coding indicates what speed the print-head will move at. The machine calculates the print-speed based on a variety of factors. Cooling rate is the big one, we have to move slower for thinner for example.
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:18 pm

^^ Very cool.
Lord_Plecostomus wrote:Last one I read was a form of biological scaffolding that can replace bones.
I read somewhere, probably Wired, that they have printed out organs using cells as the ink. I'm not sure how close the tech is to being viable (so to speak), but it's been done.
If you model an individual object and export it as STL or OBJ and sent it to howcanwehelp@plastic-fantastic.us I'll take a look at it and let you know!
Poser and another modeler I've used can export in OBJ. I don't think Bryce can export in anything but its native format (at least not the old version I have). I'll have to give it some thought.
I'm sure someone is using a machine right now to do 3D models of complex and imaginary number sets.
Now that is something I would love to see. :D
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:54 pm

The "organ printers" print a protein framework upon which Stem Cells can attach and grow. By triggering certain specific genetic sequences they can make those stem-cells grow into specific organs (on paper, done with mouse and other animal cells.)

There is no reason to think it can't be done from human stem-cells, it's just a question of ethics, politics and religion at this point. ;)


I'll put some pictures up tonight after I finish printing these dice towers. Ever play a game with lots of dice? Ever lament that they get all over the place and fall off the table? Then these are for you. :)
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:56 am

As promised here are the dice towers I made... Tabletop games like Dungeons And Dragons, Shadowrun, Paladium and some board-games require quite a few dice. Now normally you roll them and they scatter on the table. Sometimes they can fall, get lodged in the blouse of attractive female gamers and so on. A flubbed roll can be a major source of contention with competitive players.

So the community came up with these designs and released them to Thingiverse. Thingiverse is a major repository of ideas, models, designs and concepts. Most are ready to print or manufacture.

You drop the dice the top, a series of baffles roll the dice randomly and they collect neatly in a tray. No more dice under the table, stuck in cleavage, flying across the room never to be seen again or landing in the snacks. I hate when that happens!

My customer wanted two towers, sent me the links to the files and I printed them out.

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Here they are side by side, about six inches tall.


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This one is green PLA plastic and glow-in-dark (GID) PLA/PHA. PLA is made from lactic acid which is often derived from corn, soybeans and other biomass as a byproduct of processing them. PLA is fairly common now, it's related to the soft-drink bottle material and leisure-suit wonder-material PET... PHA is a unique polymer that is basically made from a bacterial process. ALL of these materials (PLA,PHA, PETG) are known as Polyesters. Yes the same as the fabric. That's just really tiny fibers instead of a molded product.


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Blue PLA, glow-in dark trays...

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Here is a shot of the blue one being printed.

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And the green one being printed.
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:17 pm

Fantastic. :geek:

You should do a time-lapse of something being printed. That would be amazing. :D
Lord_Plecostomus wrote:You drop the dice the top, a series of baffles roll the dice randomly and they collect neatly in a tray. No more dice under the table, stuck in cleavage, flying across the room never to be seen again or landing in the snacks. I hate when that happens!
That's a great idea. You could also print the many-sided dice. Which brings up another question: What about products that require stamping or painting?
My customer wanted two towers,
Guy by the name of Tolkien? :unsure:
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:10 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:Fantastic. :geek:

You should do a time-lapse of something being printed. That would be amazing. :D
Lord_Plecostomus wrote:You drop the dice the top, a series of baffles roll the dice randomly and they collect neatly in a tray. No more dice under the table, stuck in cleavage, flying across the room never to be seen again or landing in the snacks. I hate when that happens!
That's a great idea. You could also print the many-sided dice. Which brings up another question: What about products that require stamping or painting?
3D printed dice would be troublesome for a variety of reasons though I'm sure I could make some large novelty dice....

RJDiogenes wrote:
My customer wanted two towers,
Guy by the name of Tolkien? :unsure:
Funny, I made the same joke over the phone. :D
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:37 pm

:D
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:49 am

I'm feeling quite a bit better than I was earlier, so I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

I was showing RJ my collection of failed prints, and explaining to him how I can recycle most of them. I am working on a method to turn soda bottles (PET resin) into usable material for printing. It's a bit more complicated than it seems at first glance. More on that tomorrow too... :)
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:09 am

RJDiogenes wrote: I wonder if it's possible to print out a 3D Mandelbrot Set. :lol:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:195169

Here is a model of one that I found while looking for something else overnight...
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:23 pm

Lord_Plecostomus wrote:I'm feeling quite a bit better than I was earlier, so I'll post some pictures tomorrow.
I'm glad you're feeling better. :yes:
I was showing RJ my collection of failed prints, and explaining to him how I can recycle most of them. I am working on a method to turn soda bottles (PET resin) into usable material for printing. It's a bit more complicated than it seems at first glance. More on that tomorrow too... :)
That's a cool idea. Not only is it recycling, but it probably makes them worth a lot more than a 5-cent deposit.
Lord_Plecostomus wrote:Here is a model of one that I found while looking for something else overnight...
That's pretty sweet. Mandelbrot statuary is probably very marketable. What's the name of that place that sells nerdy merchandise, like the 2001 Monolith action figure? Geek-something. You could probably sell them Mandelbrot stuff.
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:25 am

I prefer to sell directly to people not dealers.

So if you want one you know how to reach me. ;)

I'm thinking translucent material with a light behind it, might make a nice desk display. I'm not an artsy kind of guy I just handle the technical side of things.
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:21 pm

Image

Hose adapter for a company that makes custom woodworking machinery.
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:02 pm

^^ You could make props for sci-fi fan films or independent films.
Lord_Plecostomus wrote:So if you want one you know how to reach me. ;)
Mayyyybe. How much would a Mandelbrot cost? :unsure:
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:20 am

Nuked from orbit, see post below.
Last edited by Lord_Plecostomus on Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3D Printing...

Post by Lord_Plecostomus » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:36 am

Well.

I opened the file in my software, and there are significant problems with it.

Whoever rendered it, rendered certain sections too thin for the software to slice. Which means the curls and tails won't print at all.

You'd end up with a jagged ameoba-shaped lump of plastic. Frankly you can do that yourself by melting Lego in your waffle-iron. :D

I'll send a message to the author and see if we can't redesign it. Depends on the skill of the author and his software. I'm not up to the challenge -- I don't have the right kind of software for that kind of manipulation.
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