PDA

View Full Version : Printing vs Machining.. your view.



754
03-16-2019, 10:42 PM
First off, not trying to offend any one here on either side.
There seems to be many that enjoy printing.

Myself however, have never found myself wanting to do or try it.
If I can't machine it, I don't think much about it I guess I just either enjoy or spent too much time machining.

What are your thoughts about it.?.

tyrone shewlaces
03-16-2019, 10:53 PM
Meh. Machining is by far the better method for good durable parts, but 3D printing is just fun. I frequently print parts for my little quad hobby. They are durable enough and quads are like lawnmowers - they are breaking little things all the time anyway and are ultimately "expendable", so the ease and speed of printing the parts is efficient. FYI, my printed parts sometimes break, but usually they survive while sitting next to other parts that fail. Go figger.

RB211
03-16-2019, 10:54 PM
First off, not trying to offend any one here on either side.
There seems to be many that enjoy printing.

Myself however, have never found myself wanting to do or try it.
If I can't machine it, I don't think much about it I guess I just either enjoy or spent too much time machining.

What are your thoughts about it.?.

Don't knock something until you try it. Some things don't need to be made out of metal and can be printed for pennies, while you go do something else. I find myself fixing friends R/C airplanes that have crash damage, designing and printing replacement plastic parts saving them a ton of money. Hell, I just bought a 200$ airplane off a club member for 50$ and fixed it for pennies.
I also thought Japanese Wagyu beef was overpriced bullcrap. Let me tell you, I spent $300 last night on Shiga Wagyu beef during my stay in Japan, and it was worth every penny. You just don't know, until you know!
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190317/db6235639a5c599c859addef22cb8013.jpg

enginuity
03-16-2019, 11:03 PM
Don't knock something until you try it. Some things don't need to be made out of metal and can be printed for pennies, while you go do something else. I find myself fixing friends R/C airplanes that have crash damage, designing and printing replacement plastic parts saving them a ton of money. Hell, I just bought a 200$ airplane off a club member for 50$ and fixed it for pennies.
I also thought Japanese Wagyu beef was overpriced bullcrap. Let me tell you, I spent $300 last night on Shiga Wagyu beef during my stay in Japan, and it was worth every penny. You just don't know, until you know!
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190317/db6235639a5c599c859addef22cb8013.jpg

You'd think for $300 they'd at least cook it :)

754
03-16-2019, 11:03 PM
I am trying not to knock it, but no interest in trying it.

A bit about me.. no Facebook , no Instagram, just don't feel the need for more distraction.
No cell phone the last few months either. And that actually has gern sort of nice

I am embarking on a new adventure , which I feel is very noble and will be very fulfilling.
And that is handforming parts for mostly my motorcycles, ..
I have been studying it for 20 years, finally got to start getting my feet wet this year. It's fun, challenging and fulfilling, and you can get paid well for it. So right at this point, I see no need to find any non pertenint distraction..

Mcgyver
03-16-2019, 11:10 PM
What are your thoughts about it.?.

That its hardly something to be so invested in that one would be offended either way. Its a hobby, have fun, do what you want to do....if you want to be better, learn more and new things, machining, welding, 3D printing, electronics, casting, cnc.......or not. Its all good cuz it only matters if its good for you.

RB211
03-16-2019, 11:12 PM
I am trying not to knock it, but no interest in trying it.

A bit about me.. no Facebook , no Instagram, just don't feel the need for more distraction.
No cell phone the last few months either. And that actually has gern sort of nice

I am embarking on a new adventure , which I feel is very noble and will be very fulfilling.
And that is handforming parts for mostly my motorcycles, ..
I have been studying it for 20 years, finally got to start getting my feet wet this year. It's fun, challenging and fulfilling, and you can get paid well for it. So right at this point, I see no need to find any non pertenint distraction..
Then why ask the question? Sounds very relaxing, almost therapeutic what you are doing.

RB211
03-16-2019, 11:15 PM
You'd think for $300 they'd at least cook it :)

Ok, believe it or not, wasn't trying to derail this thread. However, to answer your question, in Japan, they present you the beef for inspection before they cook it(for the ultra high quality $$$ stuff. If the establishment doesn't do that, you shouldn't be ordering it from them. The filets were 14,000 Yen per 100 grams.

Rich Carlstedt
03-16-2019, 11:33 PM
754
What you are referring to is called RP ( Rapid Prototyping ) by some, or AM ( Additive Manufacturing ) by the Industry .
It is not the home hobbyist printing a plastic part for his game or model airplane, it is serious stuff.
I know, because I am currently taking a college class in AM and am blown away with the progress this industry has made.
I would suggest you look at this video to see a automotive part that has been redesigned for minimal use of material ($$$) and yet
the material is in the right places to withstand grueling punishment. The fact that you can make parts unhindered (unfortunately--yes) by our "normal" shop methods. The reason for the name ...AM..is because you start with nothing and add to a part where needed. The shops we all know and love (machine shops) are now known (AKA) as SM , or "Subtractive Manufacturing"

Hate to break the news, but we are looking at a whole new crossroads here. You are witnessing the birth of a new age .
Watch this video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIphWzTBeFU

Rich
You may slough off the timing, but it took Henry Ford about 35 years to make a V8 ......We are in the single cylinder age my friends.

754
03-16-2019, 11:46 PM
You are not starting with nothing, you have material that you then print with.
All manufacturing requires material , pretty much.. just with additive machining, you don't have waste.

I realise the scope of what can be made, and the importance of it, I just don't feel a burning need to get onboard..

I should mention though I got into machining pretty much full time from 87 thru to end of 2014, and I enjoyed it, and am not done with it yet.,

Dan Dubeau
03-17-2019, 12:15 AM
Rich
You may slough off the timing, but it took Henry Ford about 35 years to make a V8 ......We are in the single cylinder age my friends.
What an interesting way of looking at it. I agree, we've only just got "our" feet wet.

For the home gamer, it's just another way to make a part for whatever it is you're making. It's up to you if printed plastic will work or not. Not everything needs to be machined, formed, welded etc, and on the contrary not everything should be printed. They're handy for some stuff, and useless for others. Just another tool IMO.

RB211
03-17-2019, 12:21 AM
The nice thing about AM is that you can make a part entirely out of inconel or another extremely difficult material to machine in complex shapes that would be impossible to SM. I wonder what material that caliper was made from?

754
03-17-2019, 12:28 AM
Henry Ford built economy cars and did not get to the V8 for a long time.
Meanwhile Curtiss built a v8 motorcycle by 1907 and went unreal speeds with it. BY 1915 through 1917, they sold v8 aircraft engines, 12.,000 of them.

Let's compare Ford with maybe South Bend lathes... they both took their time getting to the more advanced stuff.

J Tiers
03-17-2019, 12:52 AM
Ultimately, additive machining will be THE method by which most stuff is made. Get used to it now, or be grumpy forever.

It is generally the lowest energy method of doing the work, when you count the energy cost of the material which is cut away in subtractive machining. Yes, some of that material may be recycled, But the sum of transportation, re-melting, etc is more than NOT doing any f that because you do not have to. Some material is not very amenable to re-melting, and net shape manufacturing without machining will be the norm. Similar to molding plastic parts, but with potentially less waste.

Remember "near net shape" processes like casting? They were cheap because not much of the material was wasted, the part was made using the least amount that was reasonable, and most of the surfaces were the final part surface. Machining was limited to the portions which had to be machined due to tolerances.

Among the reasons for going to a fabrication process vs casting was the ability to get better material properties, and the use less net material for lighter weight, while retaining strength. By using a standard material, and not having to melt it, the total cost was less in many cases.

It is likely that for quite a while, AM manufacturing to very close tolerance will be very expensive, and it will be cheaper to "print" it to near-but-over net shape, and grind to final size and finish. properties and internal stresses may also require some finish machining.

Now, because 3D printing is essentially a hybrid between a casting process and a welding process, there may be locked-in stresses, and the material properties may not be what is desired, because the forging type processing inherent to rolling sheets and ingots is not ever done. I do not know if the properties can be made to be similar to fabricated parts in metals, but stresses may be able to be removed. What movement occurs is unpredictable, and may agin require some subtractive process to finish.

The ability to cheaply make shapes that would cost a lot to make molds for allows making small numbers of parts for repair or spare parts use.

You are going to see a lot of it in future, probably much more than you think.

Punkinhead
03-17-2019, 05:59 AM
I was very much against 3D printing for years. After all, the material is fairly weak, the tolerances aren't very good, and the finish looks like crap. On a lark, I bought a Prusa i3 kit about a year ago. I'm amazed at the things I can make on it that would be very difficult and/or time consuming to machine. It really shines making stuff with compound curves generated with splines. I think my initial disgust with the technology was the number of people who were touting it as a cure-all replacement to more traditional fabrication methods. It's not. 3D printing is simply one more tool in the toolbox, to be applied appropriately.

DrMike
03-17-2019, 06:41 AM
I have been 3D printing polymers at work for going on 5 years now, every day. We have high-end printers, $25k-$110k when new (all of them are now obsolete but still working fine). ABS and nylon-12 filament costs about $5/cu-in for these printers, and they print with a bath-soluble support material that leaves the print clean. This allows us to print complete mechanisms as one part that operate properly as they are removed from the bath, without further assembly.

Our printers can hold 0.003" in all dimensions all day long, but close tolerances have to be carefully planned for (holes are always small, outside dimensions are always large). Parts that are stressed have to be oriented correctly when printed since they are weakest across the layers. Alternatively, parts can be reinforced significantly by gluing in bits of stiffening metal at strategic locations (metal rods into holes, metal tubes around bosses, metal strips glued into recesses, etc). For example, we regularly design for strong, reusable, fine threads simply by leaving a hex recess and gluing in a nut.

We've also been successful 3D printing injection molds for other polymers, mainly for epoxies (gears, cams, higher stress items) and liquid silicone rubber (medical equipment prototypes). It's far easier, cheaper and faster to design and print a prototype ABS mold for $10-$20 than it is to machine an aluminum mold.

There is a significant adjustment in design thinking between subtractive manufacturing (taking a chunk of something and carving away everything that isn't your part) and additive manufacturing (where material is applied only where it is needed). There is little to no waste of material in additive, waste is mandatory in subtractive. Additive techniques can easily produce parts that are impossible to produce via subtractive methods, even more so when considering cost and time. Both are satisfying for the craftsman, in very different ways.

That said, my garage contains a couple of small lathes, a small mill, bandsaw, etc. I leave the 3D printing at work.

RMinMN
03-17-2019, 08:13 AM
Think about things that need to be light but strong. Choose materials appropriate to the use. How do you machine a solid part with most of the center made up of reinforcing honeycomb that doesn't need great strength but some rigidity. A cheap 3-D printer will slowly build the part and that can be the final form if sufficiently strong for the purpose or a working model that can be made stronger with a more expensive machine/material and it costs pennies for that working model. The interior fill can be made at different fill densities to make it stronger or cheaper/lighter. Once designed, the design can be used for additive or subtractive machining. Rapid prototyping.

michigan doug
03-17-2019, 09:04 AM
It's another tool. The tool gets cheaper and more powerful by the month. Also, don't forget that you can make very complex parts out of PLA, and then make a "lost wax" mold where you burn out the PLA and cast in metal. Here is an excellent video by MyFordboy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVgPM1ojyLw

Still haven't pulled the trigger, but this video made me think twice about the Ender 3 for $200:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8Z-9ncYsps

loose nut
03-17-2019, 09:18 AM
First off, not trying to offend any one here on either side.


To late you've done it now!


Ultimately, additive machining will be THE method by which most stuff is made. Get used to it now, or be grumpy forever.



Maybe but probably not for most things.

How is printing a part better than injection molding for plastics or casting metal parts. Printing is fine for one offs or prototyping but is to slow and expensive for mass production. It's going through the "fad" phase right now and when that will passes it will settle down into it's spot. No doubt it will improve over time into something better.

I have no problem being grumpy and passing it on to the masses. Actually I rather enjoy it and the power it gives me making other miserable.

vpt
03-17-2019, 09:44 AM
I was just talking about getting a 3d printer for the kids last night. get them into all kinds of fun learning.

greystone
03-17-2019, 10:25 AM
I am on both sides, but mostly negative re: the foo-rah-rah done by some or vocal printing advocates.

I have zero doubt endless possible technologies may increase the speed and more importantly the speed/resolution exponential equation => power of 3 curve of parts production time via printing.
Going from 0.1 mm resolution to 0.01 mm means 10 x 10 x 10 = 1000 times more movement == time.

I also have little doubt that some time in the future extremely fine line resolutions and better materials tech may make printed parts fairly strong.

Metals have about 0.01 microns resolution, to be strong.
Gage blocks are lapped to 0.01 microns, to wring, according to Moore, pre-eminent authority on the planet.

No doubt 3d printing simple bits like brackects in motorcycles, kitcheware, appliances, etc. is feasible.
In many cases polycarb etc and solvent glue would make similar brackets stronger and faster and much cheaper.

3d materials tend to cost 25$ / kg.
Cast iron == 2$ / kg.
Plastics, half or much less.

E.
30x40x100 mm cube in volume.
So if one really *wants* a single complex bracket/thingy with compound curves or complex geometry, 3d printing will make one, fairly easily, fairly slowly, fairly expensive in materials but cheaply vs other processes today.

3D printed part might cost 6 hours of print, from a 3d model. Materials maybe 25$ including printer cost for home level.
Maybe 40-60$ for ordered print with top level printers.

An alu part milled from solid might cost 5$ in material and 2-6 hours in time.
A jobshop could charge 500$ for one, and 30$ each for 100.

A hobby 5 axis mill would do it for 100-200$ for one.

Dragons_fire
03-17-2019, 10:28 AM
I bought my printer for making parts to be lost PLA cast. Ive made a few basic things, but am still learning the casting process. I find to design and 3D print a complex part, is much easier than trying to machine some wax or carve it by hand. Since then, The printer has been used for lots of other projects as well.

Im using YurisToys DROs on my mill and lathe, and i had to make brackets for the displays. 3D printed parts from plastic are light weight, strong enough and quick compared to machining something. I also made brackets to mount IKEA lights to some cheap magnetic bases so i can stick them wherever needed on the lathe or mill.

RMinMN
03-17-2019, 10:29 AM
To late you've done it now!



Maybe but probably not for most things.

How is printing a part better than injection molding for plastics or casting metal parts. Printing is fine for one offs or prototyping but is to slow and expensive for mass production. It's going through the "fad" phase right now and when that will passes it will settle down into it's spot. No doubt it will improve over time into something better.

I have no problem being grumpy and passing it on to the masses. Actually I rather enjoy it and the power it gives me making other miserable.

It sure is too slow for mass production, one man, one printer. How about one man, 20 or 50 printers. Hiring men/women is expensive between wages, insurance, workermans comp, taxes. Printers are cheap.

754
03-17-2019, 10:33 AM
Are they making bicycle pedals or cranks by printing ?
How much do they cost and how are they holding up ?

RMinMN
03-17-2019, 10:36 AM
I was just talking about getting a 3d printer for the kids last night. get them into all kinds of fun learning.

Do the free download of Fusion 360 and get them started in designing their own projects. Their interest in the printer will last longer if they are the ones doing the design. I followed this Youtube video to get started and found it really helpful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5bc9c3S12g

A.K. Boomer
03-17-2019, 10:43 AM
Are they making bicycle pedals or cranks by printing ?
How much do they cost and how are they holding up ?

I agree - I by no means think its a "fad" and realize it's just going to get better but to me the basic quality of the parts being built (like many of the examples iv seen on here and no offense) are total porous low quality bad finish junk,,, but it's still pretty amazing,

biggest advantage ? they can build hollow parts, yet bike cranks are a good example because they can be built hollow also and im not talking with tubing and welding (although that is yet another example) as they can be hollow forged...

Iv done some pretty intricate parts on my mill for RC craft also and some were needing a very nice finish like the intake ring for the ducted fan unit that gave me an extra ounce of thrust enough to finally get my little bird up in the sky, or my UHMW rubber band engine mount that allowed me to eject the entire motor and fan unit under severe impact which saved the rest of the plane,,,
I can see the allure of printing parts but also see the quality and can honestly say it's just not for me and probably never will be because I know what I can do with my machine and can honestly say it can do everything I need and has... so if you can't find a use for something - why have it?

754
03-17-2019, 11:04 AM
A few years back I went to a monthly or bi weekly makers meet.
Most of them were building some kit form of a printer at the time. I asked a few of them, what are you planning on building with these. And most of the answers were like stuff, I asked what kind of stuff, they said well you know you can print just about anything.
It was a bit strange to me to want to learn something with no clear goal in sight.

There is no doubt in my mind that many things will be built by printing, and there are clear advantages. But small cheap machines, usually don't have great output rates they have limitations.
I like hands on work, I would rather make chips and fit things , than sit while it's being done.

DrMike
03-17-2019, 12:03 PM
Another thing to consider is the concept of building by laying down layers of thin material has already taken a lot of other applications by storm.

For example, very complicated concrete structures, weatherproof and complete with interior walls and insulation layers, can be 3D printed in just a few days with a fairly crude "extruder," structures far more complete and complicated that can be poured with forms.

Another application is applying very thin layers of cells to "build" bio-materials for grafting or transplant.

dalee100
03-17-2019, 12:38 PM
A few years back I went to a monthly or bi weekly makers meet.
Most of them were building some kit form of a printer at the time. I asked a few of them, what are you planning on building with these. And most of the answers were like stuff, I asked what kind of stuff, they said well you know you can print just about anything.
It was a bit strange to me to want to learn something with no clear goal in sight.

There is no doubt in my mind that many things will be built by printing, and there are clear advantages. But small cheap machines, usually don't have great output rates they have limitations.
I like hands on work, I would rather make chips and fit things , than sit while it's being done.

Hi,

And yet we regularly see people in here asking about what lathe or mill to buy with no more clue on what they want to use it for. And you guys are happy to recommend them to spend $1000's of dollars on something.

There is NO manufacturing process that is intrinsically better or worse than any other. There is only what is appropriate for a particular task. It is up to the user to choose wisely.

754
03-17-2019, 12:52 PM
I get that, but this is a machining forum, and it's the place to ask.

A bit more background on me. I went to school for pre app. I knew I would have money to buy machinery in the next few years.
I knew what I wanted to make, and I bought accordingly, and I got for the most part the right stuff. Of course I needed more tooling. But I set out to do certain things, did it on a daily basis for 27 years straight. Still have a strong interest in machining and custom parts., at the present time I am without a shop, but still have my equipment.
So I am not looking for a diversion, or a new hobby , because I am stil, involved in my original quest.
So I am not going to wander off in different directions because I am told I might find it interesting, or its new technology.
I have my bandwagon, and have not fallen off it.. like AK says, the tools I have, did what I wanted to do. And I am still happy with it.

RB211
03-17-2019, 01:49 PM
A few years back I went to a monthly or bi weekly makers meet.
Most of them were building some kit form of a printer at the time. I asked a few of them, what are you planning on building with these. And most of the answers were like stuff, I asked what kind of stuff, they said well you know you can print just about anything.
It was a bit strange to me to want to learn something with no clear goal in sight.

There is no doubt in my mind that many things will be built by printing, and there are clear advantages. But small cheap machines, usually don't have great output rates they have limitations.
I like hands on work, I would rather make chips and fit things , than sit while it's being done.

People ask me the same question about my machine tools, and my answer is exactly the same, "stuff".
Theres unlimited number of uses, only held back by money and ones own creativity. If pressed harder, my answer is, "I learned to machine because I wanted to build a live steam locomotive, but have done everything else but!"

Dan Dubeau
03-17-2019, 02:28 PM
I really don't know how to explain it. But with a printer being so different than already established and known manufacturing technologies its only natural to compare them, and find major faults with printing. If you can detach that way of thinking, and think instead of things that better fit a printers capabilities and strengths, than you can can make many things cheaply and easily that fall within those boundaries.

My printer has been stuffed away in the basement for the past year almost, but I need to get it going because I need to make some thumbscrews soon. It's pretty easy to draw something up in cad, that's unique and aesthetically pleasing while being ergonomically friendly, and send it to the printer. Print up the base, and stop, leaving a hex shaped depression. Drop in a nut, and continue printing around it. That's just one example that's quick and easy and falls well within the capabilities of a home grade printer. I've made plenty of thumbscrews and knobs, many different ways out of wood, metal, plastic, but printing them like this is easily the quickest (man hours) and easiest I've come across. Obviously they have use limitations, like you wouldn't use one on a high production welding fixture, but for a lot of different things they are perfectly adequate.

That's another big downside of a printer is the need for cad and modeling skills. For many that is a barrier to entry, and you then become limited to what people upload to thiniverse and other similar sites. From the outside looking in, it's easy to think a 3d printer is then only good for printing action figures, and ****ty boat whistles lol. Modeling things in cad is 2nd nature for me, and it's very quick and easy for me to come up with a model for something out of an idea in my head. If it's something who's fit and function lends itself to printing, so be it. If it would be better machined, machine it. Weldment....you get the idea. Use where appropriate, don't where it's not.

To give you an example where YOU might find some beneficial use is the printing of forms, or bucks for sheet metal forming. If you can draw it, you can print it, and easily mirror it to get symmetrical forms. You can then use those forms to test panels for fit and symmetry as you shape them. I know most of that work is not traditionally done that way but that's just a quick example of the top of my head that would be within a printers capabilities. Another one would be a custom gauge bezel pattern, or battery box/seat unit. You could cheaply and easily print a few patterns to test fit and function then scale one up a bit for shrinkage and send it out for lost pla casting. Want a custom logo on the side of it? I'm sure I could come up with more. But I also totally get the need, and want to do everything by hand the old fashioned way. There something to be said for keeping the old skills alive, and I also find handwork is very relaxing and rewarding.

Another big thing with the younger "printer crowd" is the lack of traditional skills and knowledge that could benefit the printing process. Just an example is the lost PLA casting guys who complain about surface finish of the casting etc, but do NO sanding or prefinish of the pattern before casting. Take 5 minutes to sand some surfaces smooth, and blend some stuff together and the end product would be so much better. They'll spend hours tweaking the printer, and settings, to get better results but won't pick up a sheet of sandpaper and spend 5 minutes. Then they make a video of it, and the Old boys see it and instantly write the whole thing off as useless because the finished product sucks, and they could do it better via traditional means. "it sucks, I can see layer marks" etc. Ya, it does suck, and it would suck if you machined it and left cutter marks too. Or trying to cast threads in pieces instead of just drilling and tapping. The younger guys right now have the bigger voice, but there's a few older guys on you tube adapting to the new tech, and blending old with new. If the 2 sides would work together a bit to better integrate this new tech it would benefit BOTH sides. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, and you can't put an old head on young shoulders....Rant off.

enginuity
03-17-2019, 02:41 PM
I look at 3d printers like EDM machines.

EDM machines have revolutionized certain types of manufacturing. It allows shops to be very productive and make things they could not have in the past.

But EDM isn't a mass manufacturing technology. Unless 3D printing (metal) becomes Star Trek replicator quick I don't see how in the near future it is going to replace stamping or injection, or other highly developed mass manufacturing techniques.

Within the hobby scope do what you enjoy doing. Don't like 3D printing? No big deal. Maybe you enjoy the CAD work and fiddling with a printer. Great.

I don't like working with wood like I do metals so that's why my shop has limited wood working tools.

enginuity
03-17-2019, 02:42 PM
Ok, believe it or not, wasn't trying to derail this thread. However, to answer your question, in Japan, they present you the beef for inspection before they cook it(for the ultra high quality $$$ stuff. If the establishment doesn't do that, you shouldn't be ordering it from them. The filets were 14,000 Yen per 100 grams.

I was just being a dumb donkey.

754
03-17-2019, 03:24 PM
Thunbscrews , i made big ones out of brass for vintage gas pumps m fun to me and you get 25 but for each.
Made quite a fee repro gas pump parts.

I am not a computer guy, only have a Samsung tablet.
Big computer component to using a printer, that I don't want to learn in my 60s. Yeah , I know it's not too late, but it just does not fill a void I my needs... I can think of a single thing I would make honestly. .
Most stuff I work on needs to be metal and durable.
It's also a matter of scale of things.. I find it difficult to use my South bend 9, and a lot of it is lack of tooling and short bed, after using a 7.5 horse 16 inch lathe for a quarter of a century.
I guess if I only had a small mill and lathe, and lacked tooling it would be much easier to perhaps explore other aspects.

Of late the metalwork and hammerforming has been my new interest, and I am helping a buddy set up a section of his shop to do so. And because not everyone can do it, and it's not highly mechanized, there is money go be made at it.,
Without a 50 K investment only to discover in 2 years your equipment is becoming outdated.

RB211
03-17-2019, 05:01 PM
I find it strange just how well 3d printing complements and aids the R/C airplane hobby.

https://www.thingiverse.com/Marco_D/collections/magnetic-building-board

754
03-17-2019, 05:11 PM
I thought about it, and printed is a good fit, parts need lightweight and are not as highly stressed, and lives don't depend on it.
The RC parts that is..
But if you are building bicycle pedals and cranks, motorcyle brake parts, and triple trees , front struts for dragsters that run 250 plus mph... your life or your nads depend on it.
Ever been on a bicycle when a pedal, crank or chain failed......big ouch..

I am not ready to buy a printed side stand or crank for a motorcycle.. maybe it is at the point they can print those parts but I can wait a few years

RB211
03-17-2019, 05:20 PM
I thought about it, and printed is a good fit, parts need lightweight and are not as highly stressed, and lives don't depend on it.
The RC parts that is..
But if you are building bicycle pedals and cranks, motorcyle brake parts, and triple trees , front struts for dragsters that run 250 plus mph... your life or your nads depend on it.
Ever been on a bicycle when a pedal, crank or chain failed......big ouch..

I am not ready to buy a printed side stand or crank for a motorcycle.. maybe it is at the point they can print those parts but I can wait a few years

Carbon fiber composites are established in those areas

loose nut
03-17-2019, 07:13 PM
Maybe when the cost of metallic based printers comes down we can all buy one to print out bar stock for machining.

J Tiers
03-17-2019, 08:09 PM
I look at 3d printers like EDM machines.

EDM machines have revolutionized certain types of manufacturing. It allows shops to be very productive and make things they could not have in the past.

But EDM isn't a mass manufacturing technology. Unless 3D printing (metal) becomes Star Trek replicator quick I don't see how in the near future it is going to replace stamping or injection, or other highly developed mass manufacturing techniques.

.....

For high volume production, molded materials are cheaper.

But, if you are at all familiar with mold costs, you will see that at some intermediate point, the mold makes sense above that volume, and printing could make sense below that.

And, the material properties vary at this time. You cannot, as far as I know, print plastic that has all the properties of the molded material. Even the so called 100% fill is not quite there. Metal printing has the same issues, as does powder metal manufacturing, you cannot, as far as I know, print a part that has the properties of a forged part. Printed landing gear for aircraft is not likely in the near future.

Many things need a fine finish, and printing so far cannot provide it, and may never be able to. You cannot cast iron or steel to those finishes either, nor do normal machining processes provide them.

Properties and finish are normally due to specific processing. It is not productive to point out that sort of thing and proclaim from that the utter uselessness of printing.

Sparky_NY
03-17-2019, 09:24 PM
For high volume production, molded materials are cheaper.

But, if you are at all familiar with mold costs, you will see that at some intermediate point, the mold makes sense above that volume, and printing could make sense below that.

And, the material properties vary at this time. You cannot, as far as I know, print plastic that has all the properties of the molded material. Even the so called 100% fill is not quite there. Metal printing has the same issues, as does powder metal manufacturing, you cannot, as far as I know, print a part that has the properties of a forged part. Printed landing gear for aircraft is not likely in the near future.

Many things need a fine finish, and printing so far cannot provide it, and may never be able to. You cannot cast iron or steel to those finishes either, nor do normal machining processes provide them.

Properties and finish are normally due to specific processing. It is not productive to point out that sort of thing and proclaim from that the utter uselessness of printing.

Did you watch the video in Post #9 ???? The technology might be progressing faster than you are following. Its not a aircraft landing gear, BUT it isn't that far removed from one either !

Arcane
03-17-2019, 10:22 PM
......... But if you are building bicycle pedals and cranks, motorcyle brake parts, and triple trees , front struts for dragsters that run 250 plus mph... your life or your nads depend on it.
Ever been on a bicycle when a pedal, crank or chain failed......big ouch...........

Funny you should mention that...many years ago when I rode a bicycle up the side of a railroad embankment rather than getting off and pushing it up the ersatz foot path.

About halfway up a crankpedal broke off...

BCRider
03-17-2019, 10:44 PM
Been tied up for a few days so I have not read all the replies. But I'd say that 3D printing is a totally different hobby or study than machining. The only thing they have in common if the person doing them is doing both has CNC machines on hand is the use of a good 3D CAD package to do the designing. After that they differ by one being subtractive and the other additive.

For most of us HSM'ers that don't have CNC I see the CAD work and printing as a wholly other pursuit that is separate from the home shop activities and products. Oh sure, printed objects might have a use in the shop to aid with machining an item. Or a machined item may be embedded in a printed object as a "hard point". So there might well be common ground in terms of use that bring machined and printed objects together. But the processes for printing items is so far removed from machining that I really don't see much common ground between them although the goal might be the same.

skunkworks
03-17-2019, 11:13 PM
I bought a 3d printer to help push me into parametric cad....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEPBl9W6PyE&t

I really did surprise me how easy it was to print things...

Sam

Willy
03-17-2019, 11:40 PM
Been tied up for a few days so I have not read all the replies. But I'd say that 3D printing is a totally different hobby or study than machining. The only thing they have in common if the person doing them is doing both has CNC machines on hand is the use of a good 3D CAD package to do the designing. After that they differ by one being subtractive and the other additive.

For most of us HSM'ers that don't have CNC I see the CAD work and printing as a wholly other pursuit that is separate from the home shop activities and products. Oh sure, printed objects might have a use in the shop to aid with machining an item. Or a machined item may be embedded in a printed object as a "hard point". So there might well be common ground in terms of use that bring machined and printed objects together. But the processes for printing items is so far removed from machining that I really don't see much common ground between them although the goal might be the same.

Very well put and pretty well sums up my thoughts on it as well.
There is definitely a very large future with AM and although the process opens up some huge opportunities I don't see it supplanting SM. The two processes will coexist well together for a long as it matters to anybody reading this thread at least. For now though conventional machining makes me very happy in spite of it's limitations

I think one has to look at the demographics of the end users to some extent as to what their adoption rate of this technology will be when asking their opinion. Myself pushing late 60s, I just can't justify the time and expense associated with what I stand to gain. Hell I still have to to catch up on a few more details of conventional machining or SM before I go off on a whole other tangent.:)

Now if I was thirty years younger, hell yeah I'd get on that boat as the ride is only going to get better and faster. Just can't see me getting on that boat though at this point, as interesting as the trip maybe.

BCRider
03-18-2019, 12:23 AM
A buddy of mine dropped by a few days back. He had not up to now come out to see the new retirement digs and shops. Over a beer he mentioned that he had gotten a good entry level 3D printer a while back and was still learning. So far he's printed up a lot of the discussion forum suggested upgrade and adjustment parts that are on Thingiverse for that printer and a few other bits. He also offered to lend me the printer since he has only worked with it in spurts of a few days at a time with gaps of a couple of months between. I may well take him up on that but it won't be for a while yet.

I can see a healthy role for a 3D printer for us HSM'ers in terms of printed "soft jaws" for holding delicate parts and a host of other useful tricks. I can also seem them as useful for a number of other bits and pieces. If I end up with his printer in my lap I'll be happy to post the results that relate to home metal machine work in new threads.

Dan_the_Chemist
03-18-2019, 01:54 AM
I do both, and each have their place.

For example, the hose on our vacuum cleaner developed a leak on the inside of the corrugated hose. The compound curves meant that electricians tape wouldn't bend to cover the hole, etc etc etc. Then I realized that the hose is nothing more than a flexible screw ... So I used Fusion 360 to make a one inch long "round nut" that would fit the "screw", and I split the nut into two parts. I printed those up, and sure enough they fit the hose nicely. Some JB Weld and it's airtight again, and all I've lost is the flexibility of 1" of hose.

On the other hand, I'm making a clamp that will hold a DSLR on a stand. I don't want to risk $$$$ of a good DSLR and lens on a printed part, so I'm machining the clamp bracket out of metal. At the same time I'm printing the holders for some LED lights because they only cost $15...

RB211
03-18-2019, 03:10 AM
Been tied up for a few days so I have not read all the replies. But I'd say that 3D printing is a totally different hobby or study than machining. The only thing they have in common if the person doing them is doing both has CNC machines on hand is the use of a good 3D CAD package to do the designing. After that they differ by one being subtractive and the other additive.

For most of us HSM'ers that don't have CNC I see the CAD work and printing as a wholly other pursuit that is separate from the home shop activities and products. Oh sure, printed objects might have a use in the shop to aid with machining an item. Or a machined item may be embedded in a printed object as a "hard point". So there might well be common ground in terms of use that bring machined and printed objects together. But the processes for printing items is so far removed from machining that I really don't see much common ground between them although the goal might be the same.

I have always used parametric CAD to design my parts before manually machining the part. I think 3D cad is every part of the homeshop machinist tool kit. Especially when you can quickly generate 2D drawings from the 3D model.
The 3D printer was such an incredibly easy thing for me to add to the work flow, just a few extra button presses. I can design complex parts in cad very quickly.

RMinMN
03-18-2019, 08:00 AM
Very well put and pretty well sums up my thoughts on it as well.
There is definitely a very large future with AM and although the process opens up some huge opportunities I don't see it supplanting SM. The two processes will coexist well together for a long as it matters to anybody reading this thread at least. For now though conventional machining makes me very happy in spite of it's limitations

I think one has to look at the demographics of the end users to some extent as to what their adoption rate of this technology will be when asking their opinion. Myself pushing late 60s, I just can't justify the time and expense associated with what I stand to gain. Hell I still have to to catch up on a few more details of conventional machining or SM before I go off on a whole other tangent.:)

Now if I was thirty years younger, hell yeah I'd get on that boat as the ride is only going to get better and faster. Just can't see me getting on that boat though at this point, as interesting as the trip maybe.

I think you might be surprised at the demographics of the users. Who has the time and money for something like 3-D printing? The kids just married and starting a family and buying their first house or the retired machinist who wants a new hobby?

I'm 67 and think that the 3-D printer is an interesting addition to my interests, especially since my bigger lathe is in the unheated garage where the temperature may be -35 in winter, certainly too cold for using it. The printer fits inside the house and with a Raspberry Pi to push jobs to it and monitor its progress, it can be anywhere in the house. That addition to my hobbies has pushed me into parametric modeling too, stretching the brain to the max to learn some simple projects. Oh, by the way, I don't believe that upper 60's is too late to get started. I plan to live forever.

RMinMN
03-18-2019, 08:03 AM
A buddy of mine dropped by a few days back. He had not up to now come out to see the new retirement digs and shops. Over a beer he mentioned that he had gotten a good entry level 3D printer a while back and was still learning. So far he's printed up a lot of the discussion forum suggested upgrade and adjustment parts that are on Thingiverse for that printer and a few other bits. He also offered to lend me the printer since he has only worked with it in spurts of a few days at a time with gaps of a couple of months between. I may well take him up on that but it won't be for a while yet.

I can see a healthy role for a 3D printer for us HSM'ers in terms of printed "soft jaws" for holding delicate parts and a host of other useful tricks. I can also seem them as useful for a number of other bits and pieces. If I end up with his printer in my lap I'll be happy to post the results that relate to home metal machine work in new threads.

Don't wait, you aren't getting any younger. Download Fusion 360 (free for hobby use) and get started on designing your own projects. Learn the advantages of 3-D printing and its drawbacks. Adapt the projects for subtractive machining and compare the results to additive machining. Keep your brain exercised.

RMinMN
03-18-2019, 08:06 AM
I bought a 3d printer to help push me into parametric cad....

I really did surprise me how easy it was to print things...

Sam

What program are you using for design? I see you bolted the fan to the end of the shroud. Did you print the threads into the shroud or drill and tap or some combination?

skunkworks
03-18-2019, 08:23 AM
I just printed the holes the tap size for 8-32.. they tapped great. Should be strong enough for this situation..

Currently it is fusion 360 -> Cura.

DR
03-18-2019, 10:27 AM
Yean, Fusion 360 is great for threads. My other CAD programs have to do a helical cut for threads which is cumbersome in comparison.

Yesterday I made my first attempt at printing a nut screwed onto a bolt drawn in Fusion. Threads weren't timed correctly so they printed fused together. No real need to do the two together, just wanted to prove I could do it.

skunkworks
03-18-2019, 11:10 AM
I am pretty happy with fusion so far.. Can't wait to try its cam...

Sparky_NY
03-18-2019, 11:27 AM
I am pretty happy with fusion so far.. Can't wait to try its cam...

You will love it ! I have been using Fusion with LCNC for over a year now, the pathpilot post processor works great as-is.

I also use NativeCam a lot too, its fantastic !

Doozer
03-18-2019, 12:50 PM
In the engineering department at work we have 5 of those 3D printers.
Some are the cheaper ones and some quite expensive models.
All I see is the engineers are constantly swearing at them and scrapping
parts left and right. It seems the more expensive printers have the most
problems. I can't believe the boss puts up with all this wasted time.
What a toy and a distraction they are. I am sure the novelty will wear off
in a few years.

-Doozer

fixerdave
03-18-2019, 12:59 PM
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-strength-d.html


...have shown that an additive manufacturing method, called selective laser melting, is well suited to building components from CoCrFeNiMn. The process uses a powerful laser beam to melt tiny powder particles of the alloy, which then fuse to make a solid object. Remarkably, the researchers found that the process actually produces a stronger material than conventional casting methods. "It exhibits an enhanced strength with a relatively good ductility," says Zhu Zhiguang, a research fellow in the SIMTech team that led the study.

So, it's easier, faster (for prototyping), can print complex shape as easy (if not easier) than solid cubes, and the results are actually stronger (presumably in some modes) than solid castings. I wonder how long before they come around to comparing it to forging?

Oh, and then there's the gyroid pattern, now an option for fill in Cura.

http://news.mit.edu/2017/3-d-graphene-strongest-lightest-materials-0106


The new findings show that the crucial aspect of the new 3-D forms has more to do with their unusual geometrical configuration than with the material itself, which suggests that similar strong, lightweight materials could be made from a variety of materials by creating similar geometric features.

In some (approaching many) applications, traditional subtractive machining is becoming inferior, I don't think this trajectory is likely to change. Of course, they still forge... and hobbies don't have to be practical.

Edit: and then there's this:

https://phys.org/news/2019-03-acoustic-metamaterial-cancels.html


They calculated the dimensions and specifications that the metamaterial would need to have in order to interfere with the transmitted sound waves, preventing sound—but not air—from being radiated through the open structure. The basic premise is that the metamaterial needs to be shaped in such a way that it sends incoming sounds back to where they came from, they say.

A shape that lets air through but blocks sound. Lots of places I'd like to see (and not hear) that. Go ahead, try to machine it.

David...

MichaelP
03-18-2019, 01:22 PM
I am sure the novelty will wear off
in a few years.

-Doozer
The novelty will wear off, and the 3D printers will become as simple to use and as reliable as modern computer printers. They progress very quickly.
Although I'm a newcomer to the FFF home printers (thanks to Dan), I was using SLA models professionally for almost two decades.

My desire to learn Fusion3D was the main reason behind the purchase. Modifications made to the hardware and learning fine points of successfully using the printer are quite enjoyable and rewarding too. Self-designed and printed parts are both satisfying and very helpful. Does it replace my machining? Of course not! It's just another tool.

But it would be stupid to argue that the modern 3D printers still require some black magic and tweaking, indeed. Give it another decade or so.

ikdor
03-18-2019, 03:24 PM
It seems as if some people perceive this as a battle between printing and machining and one will completely replace the other. However if you have spent enough time watching how-it's-made and have a proper appreciation for mass manufacturing you can clearly see that printing will only be cost effective in certain areas.
In general it comes down to scoring in the following categories:
- one-off to low volume
- small
- complex or hollow geometries
- internal features that could not (easily) be machined
- no tight tolerances
- bio compatible
- high weight penalties

There's some clear niches that tick multiple boxes and that's where you see them appearing; skull repair, aerospace, race cars, manifold blocks, prototyping.
There's others where we'll never see them like most parts for volume production.

We have a Form 2 resin printer at the office for printing parts for prototypes or models which is convenient because most test parts don't need the properties of metal. It also costs less to print a complex part than to have it machined.
Different benefits apply to my 3D printer at home, some complex parts are easy to draw in CAD and then you just start the printer and go do something else. I don't have a milling machine, let alone a CNC one, so this allows me to easily make parts I otherwise couldn't.
I also have young kids, so I also can't spend hours in the shed.
The printing has virtually nothing to do with machining, except it's a way to make something you need.

Igor

engineerd3d
03-18-2019, 08:18 PM
I wanted to chime in a bit from a different perspective.

I 3d print quite a bit for both fun and shop money. I have 3 workhorses that are doing quite a bit of work for me. I am also working with my manual machines while the printers are doing work.

The fact of the matter is sometimes I print a part, treat it like a casting and machine the part after. It allows me to make some parts while I work with my manual machines. I can say this though the barrier to entry is as cheap as it's ever been. You can setup a quite successful 3d print environment for about 300$ including software and computer and the printer. If you have the proper product you will have that 3d printer pay for itself week after week, this requires knowledge of the machine, tweaking and tunning will deliver excellent results. The key is to design with 3d printing in mind. As a technology it won't replace machining as of now, but it does make a good compliment to it.

RB211
03-18-2019, 10:08 PM
Every process has its place. Wire EDM, Plasma, Oxy Torch, Mig, Tig, Manual, CNC, AM, Thai hooker, etc. Even a drunk pilot can simply explain it.

Willy
03-18-2019, 10:52 PM
Thai hooker, etc. Even a drunk pilot can simply explain it.

You got a whole lotta splainin' to do if your wife reads this.:D

754
03-18-2019, 11:31 PM
RB211, you better stay away from that Hands Free Bar...

RB211
03-18-2019, 11:52 PM
First, my Thailand layover was canceled, never made it there. Second,am 100% faithful to wife, 3rd, very inebriated right now.

Willy
03-19-2019, 12:06 AM
First, my Thailand layover was canceled, never made it there.

That's the spirit, and remember, stick with that story and don't elaborate too much, it'll just get you in trouble down the road.

vpt
03-19-2019, 08:23 AM
yup, keep it simple and deny, deny, deny.

greystone
03-19-2019, 10:12 AM
An injection molded part of hand-sized cube (light-use gear) costs a few cents + material (1$-0.1$ material).
A 3d printed one costs 25$ in material.

Those voluble advocates of 3d printing in mass production, ignore the fact that the printed part must cost about the same, and have similar surface finish and strength, for the majority of applications.
A cheaper, better-finish, stronger, molded or milled part will be preferred by most customers even when finish and strength are not strictly needed.

Many 3d advocates quote spacex rocket fuel pump blades/nozzles, similar.
Why ?
At 200.000$ a pop, they are not what one will be printing at home.

Dan_the_Chemist
03-19-2019, 11:04 AM
Myfordboy on YouTube does a nice combination of machining and 3D printing. In the linked video he is making a boiler for a train model, and he uses a 3Dprinted form to shape the end plates for the firebox... i.e., hammering the copper sheet around the 3D printed form.

He has also printed patterns that he uses for sand casting. Print one in plastic, made many in metal.


https://youtu.be/7sFdjT-6IZs?t=1005

If the video doesn't start near the end where he makes the firebox plate, that part happens around 17:16 You can see him use a turned wooden former to make the symmetrical round boiler ends in the beginning of the video.

RB211
03-19-2019, 11:13 AM
Myfordboy on YouTube does a nice combination of machining and 3D printing. In the linked video he is making a boiler for a train model, and he uses a 3Dprinted form to shape the end plates for the firebox... i.e., hammering the copper sheet around the 3D printed form.

He has also printed patterns that he uses for sand casting. Print one in plastic, made many in metal.


https://youtu.be/7sFdjT-6IZs?t=1005

If the video doesn't start near the end where he makes the firebox plate, that part happens around 17:16 You can see him use a turned wooden former to make the symmetrical round boiler ends in the beginning of the video.

If I have to carve something out of wood, my preference is to 3d print it instead, if applicable. My jigsaw never gets used anymore.

J Tiers
03-19-2019, 11:58 AM
An injection molded part of hand-sized cube (light-use gear) costs a few cents + material (1$-0.1$ material).
A 3d printed one costs 25$ in material.

Those voluble advocates of 3d printing in mass production, ignore the fact that the printed part must cost about the same, and have similar surface finish and strength, for the majority of applications.
A cheaper, better-finish, stronger, molded or milled part will be preferred by most customers even when finish and strength are not strictly needed.

Many 3d advocates quote spacex rocket fuel pump blades/nozzles, similar.
Why ?
At 200.000$ a pop, they are not what one will be printing at home.

Yes. Each has it's advantages.

Definitely a volume thing, except for items that are not really possible to make a mold for.... but most of those can be molded in more than one piece.

Printed parts are not (yet) of the same strength as the material if solid, because they are made of "pieces sorta stuck together" and not a solid material, even when done at "100% fill". Properties will not be the same, no forging, no grain orientaton, etc.

But printing has a lot of advantages also, it uses the least possible material, because it is essentially "net shape" as-printed, similar to casting. Not as good as molding plastic, where even appearance surfaces, and bearings, can be made as part of the molding, with zero further processing. Die casting also is often net shape, and would have the same situation. Both are high volume production methods, well developed, and involve relatively little waste.

I do not see fine finishes in printing processes, they seem to be inherently unable to do that, certainly at the moment. It would seem difficult to ever get a fine finish with a printing process without laying down the material against a polished surface, as is done in molding.

Printing will probably take over from machining for a large number of purposes in the low volume area, and where the properties are sufficient to do the job. There is just a lot more freedom in design when one need not design with the limitations of machining in mind. I would expect that material properties as-printed will improve, although the idea of ever getting to the same properties as a forged shape seems remote. It is possible that newer materials might have different properties and also be "print-friendly".

dalee100
03-19-2019, 04:19 PM
Hi,

I was bopping around looking for some 3D printing examples being used in industry. And I came across this short video clip.
https://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/comments/b2vqex/3d_printed_bearing_assembly_machine_figured_some/

While nobody is going to use 3D printing to mass manufacture consumer goods for Wal-Mart, anytime soon, there are uses for it beyond proto-typing and playing.

754
03-19-2019, 04:40 PM
I too took a look...
I found major bicycle frame components printed or sintered in 3d.. and then you can weld Ti tubing to the pieces making a frame. . I found that quite interesting..

fixerdave
03-19-2019, 04:59 PM
Yes. Each has it's advantages. ... Printed parts are not (yet) of the same strength as the material if solid, because they are made of "pieces sorta stuck together" and not a solid material, even when done at "100% fill". Properties will not be the same, no forging, no grain orientaton, etc. ...

Agreed, not yet. But, it seems they've got it better than casting now. At some point, I expect they'll beat forging too.

That page I linked to, https://phys.org/news/2019-03-strength-d.html where they used "selective laser melting" on some exotic new metal, it turns out to be stronger than cast because it is isolated regions that don't fracture in the normal way. They looked... each little melted part is like a miniature molten casting, not a weld, but because these regions are not directly connected, the fractures don't spread.

Again, I don't know how/if they tested in various failure modes, rather than just compression (which is 3D printed best mode), but still. And... next week, something new. They'll probably figure out that varying the intensity of the laser and creating dovetail-linked regions or some other bizarre idea, makes it stronger still, and stronger, and stronger.

Forging is an old art... been beat to death (sorry, coudn't resist). I doubt there's any amazing new discovery just around the corner for that process. Meanwhile, they're now welding glass to metal with lasers... somebody will figure out how to make laminated 3D structures that weave nano-sized bits of this and that together to make some crazy new thing.

The part I find fascinating is that a lot of it is just software. Like, some scientist comes up with a new gyroid pattern... a few weeks later, there it is in a Cura update.

At the shop level, right now, I find it rather interesting to tear apart 3D prints. They fail in interesting ways, not nearly as much snap as you'd expect from mostly-hollow plastic. More of a slow, flexing, ripping, kind of thing. They fail well, from a safety standpoint. So far anyway.

David...

dalee100
03-19-2019, 05:49 PM
I too took a look...
I found major bicycle frame components printed or sintered in 3d.. and then you can weld Ti tubing to the pieces making a frame. . I found that quite interesting..

Hi,

I think powdered metal sintering/printing is still a few days off for us homegamers, :) But that too will eventually show up. Maybe my Grandsons will be 3D metal printing 4-wheeler parts in their shops someday. One thing is for sure, they will shake their heads at the tools in my shop and wonder how we could make anything with such crude processes.

But reading through the comments of the video I posted brought up a good point about why we don't see much industrial usage in articles and on youtube. And that's NDA's. They are using it, but can't talk about it or show how they use it.

fixerdave
03-19-2019, 08:37 PM
Hi,

I think powdered metal sintering/printing is still a few days off for us homegamers, :) ...

Markforged is selling a system that is FDM with stainless steel in a plastic carrier. You then bake the part to fuse the metal together and eliminate the plastic. They say 25% shrinkage, but their software compensates. The only results I've seen are from their website, and Markforged isn't exactly hobby machine territory, but it's getting close. Even from Markforged, it's way cheaper than laser whatever. Probably can't do hollows like FDM normally can (can't see that surviving the oven) but even a 100% fill basic part with no overhangs, and a bunch of other restrictions... well, I want one... when the patent expires or gets busted and I can afford it.

David...

Michael Moore
03-24-2019, 01:55 PM
A pal sent me photos of about 20 different items (just a sample set) of things he's printed (filament) for his vintage motorcycle hobby and for using in his home shop. He clearly does not have a "what would I use it for?" problem with the 3D printer. He's also recently used the printer to make patterns and core boxes for casting some intake manifolds for a vintage Italian bike and those worked great. He did do some sanding/filling to improve the surfaces, but it was way easier than making traditional wood patterns.

There are filaments (FDM) and resins (SLA) that are designed to burn out well (better than PLA) for lost "wax" castings. The Form 2 SLA is very appealing to me for the good surface finishes and the range of resins, but the casting resins (which have a shelf life) are about $300/liter which is pretty pricey. But if you only need one part (like a watercooled cylinder or head for a motorcycle) and you get a successful print the first time it could be money well spent. Or you could print the molds to make conventional waxes.

I exchanged a few emails with the owner of a very successful motorsports part manufacturing company about his use of printing. He spent $30K or so on an Objet printer and it sounds like it was not much fun to get it to actually work, and the consumable costs are high. But it lets him print patterns in-house (no IP leaving the building) with those patterns including the gating/feed system, and he then sends those to a foundry for them to use. It sounds like even with the hassles it has been saving him significant amounts of time and money.

The printer is another tool, and it is how you use it that is important. Not everyone needs a mill or lathe or TIG welder, and not everyone needs a printer. But if you have a need for a printer it looks like it could be very useful.

cheers,
Michael

danlb
03-24-2019, 05:14 PM
I propose that additive manufacturing has been part of our hobby for a long time. While much of the time we do subtractive machining, we also make parts that go together to make larger, more complex parts.

Case in point; My friend was 3d printing a part. It included a hollow with sharp corners on one end. Unfortunately it was not hollow, since a support matrix was added to the design so that it would not collapse. He asked how I would make the part without 3D.

I explained how I would make it in several parts and weld, screw, press or glue them together. It never occurred to him to do that.



Dan

Dan Dubeau
03-27-2019, 12:31 PM
Here's a great example of a 3d printer being put to reasonable use in a home shop.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c4--yQMc-0