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Tools for creating non printable parts

Posted by anton 
Tools for creating non printable parts
January 30, 2010 03:11AM
Although the conditions for winning the prize doesn't say so, at least the way I read them, some of the non printable parts could require machining which would be outside the capabilities of a cottage industry.

I've been thinking that providing printable objects to help produce those parts would be helpful, e.g cathalgarvey's Microlathe for a Dremmel, etc.
Re: Tools for creating non printable parts
February 01, 2010 01:12AM
I had thought of having a jig printed that you give out with the rest of the parts, whereby you just use a simple drill press to drill each of the pieces.

A lathe is hard to come by, harder to find one that you are allowed to use, but a drill press is very easy to come by and use.

The tough part is acquiring a 0.5mm or smaller drill bit for the nozzle, and centre
Re: Tools for creating non printable parts
February 22, 2010 12:42AM
Carburettor jets are common. Easy to file or grind away the surrounding material.
Re: Tools for creating non printable parts
February 22, 2010 12:11PM
The ceramic slip deposition or a printed wax investment process combined with an automated investment bath would be one way to precede. Like making candles. Dip, dry, repeat.

I didn't see anything in the GADA prize that required any specific solutions. Earlier: people were talking about the cost of plastic, however it seems to me that just as easy as using cheaper plastic is to use less of it in the design. The cost estimates being put out there were based on existing designs.

Is the plastic cheaper in sheets than as filament? Can a hot wire be used to cut it? Can a CNC hot wire be made with plastic sheets? Can thin sheets be stacked to create stereolithographic parts?
Re: Tools for creating non printable parts
February 22, 2010 09:11PM

This is my first post on the website, I'm hoping it will be helpful.

Sets of drill bits down to 343 ┬Ám are available cheaply ($3.26) on Amazon:

Re: Tools for creating non printable parts
February 26, 2010 05:44PM

Anton I think has got a tiger by the tail. Desigining other tools to be printed that boot strap aditional maufacturing technologies has got to be something of a must-have.

It is something I have mused on a touch and often. I have used a pillar drill as a lathe with limited results. Printing out some aditional jigs and aids to make this work better could push this a little further.

On Moulding.

Plastic lack some of the strength/stiffness that machine tooling needs. Some potential routes are:-

1. As sugested above, investment casting. We would need a method to FDM wax (reusable) or a cheap plastic with a very low melt/burn point.

2. Use existing plastics to printout a hollow object which you later infil with a more resilient material. I am thinking principaly here of concrete or epoxy concrete.

There have been some discusions on wax FDM a long time ago (And granite concrete machine tools). It never got past eh basic discusion though. Principaly because we were looking at the wax as being what the end part was made out of rather than a step on the route to... The other fly in the ointment was the properties of wax inthat it shrinks a lot on cooling and that wax has a fairly high specific heat capacity.

If there were some blend or method to moderate these properties I can see a huge demand opening up for cheap printing in wax targeted at an investment process. Some sculptors I can think of would love that.

I guess being able to print out investments for pelton wheels and such would be a boon in a developing country.

Necessity hopefully becomes the absentee parent of successfully invented children.
Re: Tools for creating non printable parts
February 26, 2010 05:58PM
Vik has shown that you can do lost PLA casting instead of using wax.

Re: Tools for creating non printable parts
March 02, 2010 03:38PM
I was thinking that a ceramic extruder would be useful for making molds for casting aluminum, tin, pewter etc. With advances in technology, this could be raised to the level of casting copper and/or steel. I remember seeing a 3D prototyper somewhere that cast plaster, cement, or some other ceramic like material, but I can not remember more clearly right now. A quick Google search has shown that there are ceramic rapid prototyping services, but I did not see machines for sale.

Another possibility is instead of lost wax investment casting is to use a thermoset plastic instead of a thermoplastic material. This would probably come in a power, or two part liquid, or some other process to produce a thin filament of plastic that once set has a very high working temperature and molten metal can be directly poured into it to cool and harden. This may allow for even more complex shapes then lost wax.

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