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  • #31
    Too many uses to count. Latest one was a couple extra bobbins for my wife electric spinning wheel. I printed the gears on my resin printer (elegoo mars), then the end plates on my FDM (kingroon kp3s) and the connecting tube was just some 1/2" copper pipe cut to length. Extra bobbins are about $100 from the company, and I made these ones for about $300 a piece.... Actually I think the printers have long "paid" for themselves, and have been pretty maintenance free so my part costs are way down in price. The bobbins probably cost me about $3 in material and a few hours of overnight unattended printing. There is no price you can put on a happy Wife though.

    As for other uses, casting patterns, jigs/fixtures for metal and woodworking, tool holders for organization, etc, you're only limited by your imagination.

    I doubt you could get away with printing a fully functioning 5c emergency collet, but the problem just needs to be approached from a different angle. You COULD very easily print an insert that fits in a 1" 5c collet, that would work just great, depending on how many parts you had to machine, and the accuracy required. There's no need to print the whole collet, just the business end you need to hold the part you're machining. Saves a lot of printing time and fussing over details (threads) that don't matter.

    That's a common problem I see with people ****ting on 3d printers, is that they try and approach things the same way they would if machining, and deem them useless and child's toys only fit for printing figurines. IMO They're just another useful tool that requires a slightly different approach and designing mindset. I've got great utility out of mine over the years, a very valuable addition to the stable.

    As for mill soft jaws, yes they work for that. Takes a LONG time to print a usable 6" kurt soft jaw though. Not bad if you can schedule it overnight, but as with most things 3d printer related if you need it NOW there might be better options. Again, perhaps taking an "insert" aproach would work best. Only print the unique parts that are needed and make them fit a standard or altered vise jaw.

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    • #32
      Well I just pulled the trigger and bought one, no more beer money this year. Good thing I don't drink it.

      It is the Creality Ender 3 V2 if that means anything to you. Supposed to be the one with the biggest following, not the best but lots of help available. My son has an older one and it works well for him.
      The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

      Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

      Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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      • #33
        Congrats, welcome to the party. The ender3 is a pretty well sorted platform with a pretty big user base. If you run into any issues it should be pretty easy to get sorted. I almost bought one this past winter but ended up with the kingroon instead, as I didn't want another large footprint machine.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by RMinMN View Post

          Two related thoughts about making the change gears. 1. Unless you are planning to make deep cuts on low thread pitches the plastic gear will probably do just fine. The possible failure would be the keyway to lock two gears together for compound gears. Make a metal bushing for the part with the keyway and that probably goes away. 2. How much would it cost you to make a gear to try out? PLA is fairly strong and quite cheap. Why not give it a try.
          Originally posted by hollo View Post

          Both good points. Hadn't thought of using a metal bushing. I might even make a really big one with a smallish rim of 3d printed teeth that would be quick to change when they wear out. The cost in money is pretty minimal, but it will take some time, so on the list of planned projects to look forwards to for now...
          Can you design the gear so that it sits on a metal rim, maybe with spokes. An old gear of appropriate size where there are a few missing teeth would make a good donor. Machine off the remaining teeth from the rim, then print out the gear "tire" with the needed tooth count and press in place, maybe a few drive pins to help keep it in place.

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          • #35
            Has anyone here made tooling for presses and brakes using their 3D printer? That's one aspect that really interests me, being able to trial and make custom tooling out of PLA for a fraction the cost of conventional tooling.
            Cayuga, Ontario, Canada

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            • #36
              My problem isn’t the extruder, it extrudes just fine. It isn’t the G-code I read the G-code just fine and I tried printing a file used many times before.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Tom S View Post
                Has anyone here made tooling for presses and brakes using their 3D printer? That's one aspect that really interests me, being able to trial and make custom tooling out of PLA for a fraction the cost of conventional tooling.
                It's on my list to try. Just ahead of it on my list is to fix the pump on my press .

                There's a few youtube guys who've done it with success.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

                  thanks, yes accelerometers. bottom left you can see a tab with four holes - accelerometers get mounted there, one on each pendulum (as I call the swinging part). I flash a high powered led as a triggered strobe and have been able to balance down to 1 gram cm irrc. or was that .1 gram/cm? can't remember but its pretty low. That's the rotor from a tool post grinder I was fine tuning. Still working on the project overall. 3D printing really improved by taking weight out of - less inertia. The Mark I was all metal...scraped in favour of plastic
                  that's really cool, thanks for the info!

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by thin-woodsman View Post
                    The reason for this is that I could not get prints produced to exact dimensions (a 1/4" hole, for example, might be 0.213, or the edges of a dovetail might be 0.010 oversized and therefore not fit the qctp)\.
                    This is actually something very important that i feel should get more attention than it does. As fantastic as 3d printing is, on the hobbyist side of things, its not really a high-precision operation, least not how people on this site view the term. Before anybody jumps down my throat, yes, it is possible to get fantastic tolerances on 3d printed parts, even on hobby machines. It is not, however, easy. Trying to hit a +-.005" tolerance on dimensions for a part is going to require a LOT of calibrating the printer and redesigning models to account for things like thermal expansion during the print. Calibrating the printer is a one-time thing, fortunately, but tweaking the model is going to have to be done for every different model and every different type of filament you use. Its doable, but not fun

                    Bottom line, reasonable expectations are needed. If youre trying to print tight-tolerance parts, either be prepared to spend a crapload of money up front on something like a Form Labs printer, or be prepared to spend more time calibrating the printer then actually printing. Hobby printing is very much a low-tolerance process (again, going by machinist terms). Your standard FMD printer is probably going to be good for +-.015" for any given dimension, something like an SLA printer is even closer, but getting subtractive manufacturing tolerances is a little much to expect out of consumer machines

                    Course, no reason you can split the difference if you need high-tolerance parts by post-machining the prints. Thats what i do when i need something better than what my printer can spit out

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by tom_d View Post



                      Can you design the gear so that it sits on a metal rim, maybe with spokes. An old gear of appropriate size where there are a few missing teeth would make a good donor. Machine off the remaining teeth from the rim, then print out the gear "tire" with the needed tooth count and press in place, maybe a few drive pins to help keep it in place.
                      Probably not, I am a very amateur CAD designer but someone with some experience probably could do so easily. The plastics used in the printing will determine how good of a fit you will get and how much of a press fit is necessary. It may be that no press is needed even if a suitable adhesive were to be used. If the width of the gear isn't critical a mounting flange might give extra adhesive area even.

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                      • #41
                        I successfully had a 2-part collar modeled in CAD, 3D printed including accounting for shrink, and cast in bronze. It made an unavailable part available again. And, it was very satisfying.

                        I have chosen not to acquire a CAD package/3D printer, though, because although the 3D printer is now affordable the CAD package IMO is not. Also, pre-retirement I worked for companies that sold enormous CAD programs to semiconductor manufacturers, and I have a very limited willingness to learn another huge CAD tool.

                        metalmagpie

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                        • #42
                          Raspberry Pi custom cases. I want to make a case with a fan on one side and a fan on the back.
                          A stacking sub case. Three 18650 batteries, a BMS, 120 VAC to 12 VDC to 5 VDC converters. An UPS for my network and RPis.
                          A pocket for glasses and remotes. I have a wall of 9 monitors in one room, 8 in the shop. I need a way to store the remotes in the same physical arrangement as the monitors. Arrange them like Anderson Power Pole connectors, mating slides on the top and sides so you stack them once and they stay that way.
                          Last edited by AD5MB; 06-16-2021, 11:24 AM.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post
                            I successfully had a 2-part collar modeled in CAD, 3D printed including accounting for shrink, and cast in bronze. It made an unavailable part available again. And, it was very satisfying.

                            I have chosen not to acquire a CAD package/3D printer, though, because although the 3D printer is now affordable the CAD package IMO is not. Also, pre-retirement I worked for companies that sold enormous CAD programs to semiconductor manufacturers, and I have a very limited willingness to learn another huge CAD tool.

                            metalmagpie
                            Have you priced out FreeCAD with its integrated CAM package. The biggest cost I see with it is the time investment needed to learn a new interface.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by AD5MB View Post
                              Raspberry Pi custom cases. I want to make a case with a fan on one side and a fan on the back.
                              That's a great example! Electronics cases are always wrong-sized, but easy to design and print (not to mention a ton of existing ones available for free download).

                              I whipped up an ESP32-CAM with a DHT-11 temp-humidity sensor to stick inside the enclosure (and connect to Octoprint). Making a case for it is pretty much the first job the printer will have when it is back online. That ESP32 stuff is fantastic, I might start making game cameras with it.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post
                                I successfully had a 2-part collar modeled in CAD, 3D printed including accounting for shrink, and cast in bronze. It made an unavailable part available again. And, it was very satisfying.

                                I have chosen not to acquire a CAD package/3D printer, though, because although the 3D printer is now affordable the CAD package IMO is not. Also, pre-retirement I worked for companies that sold enormous CAD programs to semiconductor manufacturers, and I have a very limited willingness to learn another huge CAD tool.

                                metalmagpie
                                Hi,

                                And there are a couple of other choices besides FreeCAD. Fusion360 or OnShape have limited but useable free options. FreeCAD is open source and runs locally. And rather than "calling the mothership" to use, FreeCAD is yours to do with as you choose and to install on as many computers as you want with no costs. But it does have somewhat more of a learning curve than say Fusion360.

                                While you can do CAM with FreeCAD, 3D printers don't use CAM software as CAD/CAM is traditionally thought of. A Slicer is used to generate proper 2D gcode for printing. Design your part in 3D CAD, export the file in the proper format, (generally .stl), and slice. Slicer software is free and open source.

                                Still I've dropped OnShape, Fusion360, and SolidWorks for the freedom of use that FreeCAD provides. Cost is no longer a reason to avoid 3D CAD.
                                If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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