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Discussion Starter #1
So...

I bought myself a little after-Christmas consolation gift. It's a Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D printer.

I've been cranking out some pretty handy stuff. So far the best is probably a mounting block for all of my DeWalt cordless tools. It spits out a little plastic block in the shape of the battery top, which you screw down to the surface of your choice, then just snap any DeWalt tool onto the block.

Also, survival whistles for the entire Fam... and hooks, and brackets, and ... still finding stuff.

Now I'm beginning to look for stuff to crank out for the Jeep. GMRS radio holder maybe..... Switch panels.... Flashlight holders... Maybe some placards/labels/emblems... Not sure.

Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The print bed is 200x200mm and it'll print 250mm tall. Roughly an 8 inch cube.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm also considering printing some thin shelled models to use to make molds for casting aluminum parts. This would open up a whole new avenue for custom making things.

Custom door hinges... shift knobs, handles, hooks, mounts, winch line stops, light brackets, custom aluminum taillights...... etc... the sky is kind of the limit. Even larger items could be made by creating multiple piece items that lock together to use as the mold.

Lots to figure out....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
as long as it's short enough to fit in a 200mm square.

I'm looking at a process called photogrammetry, that let's me take a couple hundred photos of an object from all angles, and it produces a 3d model that I could print.

There's a lot I don't yet know, and a bunch of processes I need to figure out, but something like that would be cool to cast in aluminum.

The 3d prints themselves are pretty strong, but they do have limitations depending on the material used to print. The common PLA stuff I'm using so far won't fare well in a hot Jeep cabin. The PLA parts will weaken, distort and possibly de-laminate. Thus using the 3d prints to make molds and casting stuff in aluminum or zinc has a lot of potential.

There's a bunch of types of materials. https://all3dp.com/1/3d-printer-filament-types-3d-printing-3d-filament/

I see there's even a wax, which might work out better for lost-wax style casting.

I need to get a forge/furnace/crucible ,some casting sand, mold boxes and some different raw materials (brass, bronze, zinc, aluminum, ???).

However, given my day job, and miriad of other projects, I may not ever actually get around to this.... but it does sound fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Round with a hole it it seems pretty easy, but how does it interface with the shaft? Splines? D-shaped?

If you want to get me some real measurements, I can give it a try. Designing the part in the software will be the tricky bit, as I've still not done that 100% myself.

The PLA might crap out on a hot day, but if I can get it printed and a workable fit, then I can spit it out in some other material, or eventually cast it in aluminum.

Now if I had the right mill, I could just carve it out of metal directly.... I'm going to need more money. >:)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Also, I just had a thought... if it's splined, can you just clock it to get it out of the way?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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I have some experience with FDM printing and many casting techniques. Don't want to bore you or write a book, but I can take a stab at any questions you have, and I'll tell you what I don't know.


Few (semi-)pro tips randomly pounded out on a work break:

If your machine will print ABS, ABS is far stronger in use than PLA, but PLA will likely have better cosmetics as-printed.

It's not uncommon to to print ABS, then do high-build primer / sanding and finish with a good paint for an impressive finished product.

If you're printing foundry patterns to ram up sand molds, print it hollow, then fill the inside with epoxy or epoxy-based filler (Bondo is fine), then bodywork as above.

Large parts will have a boatload of sinks if cast solid - look at the ribbed structure of cast mechanical parts --> that's the ticket. Same for plastic parts: non-solid with ribs can give plastic parts equal or better strength than fully solid plastic parts while saving a chitload of material.

Printing wax for investment casting works awesome, but learning investment casting from scratch could be . . . frustrating. Local colleges or independent art foundries may take on investment casting jobs with your printed patterns. Also, investment casting opens you up to aluminum, brass, bronze, even iron or steel (but likely not at the school or art foundry level).

If you're home-casting aluminum, degassing is critical unless big porosity is OK or you set up your mold to put most of the porosity in the sprue or riser(s), or non-critical areas.

If something is equally easy to hog out vs. cast, machining is the winner 9X/10.

For high-detail aluminum parts, rubber-plaster casting will generally kick sand casting's ass for fine detail definition.

Cast parts with sharp corners are bad - run the biggest fillets you can live with.

Avoid thick sections in castings - you will get sinks, larger porosity, and shrinkage cracking in thick sections.

Gravity casting placards / emblems: put your presentation surface down so the porosity is on the non-presentation side (air bubbles rise).

Zinc is better at filling fine mold details vs. aluminum, and easier to cast due to lower melt temperature. If you don't need the light weight or strength of some aluminums, zinc is a good option.

Moisture can kill you! - if adding metal to your melt, make sure it's been preheated to drive off the moisture, or a steam explosion could ruin your day.



Dammit, I'm already writing a fookin' book :laughing:.

That was stream-of-consciousness, no particular order - sorry.

I'll shut up now, but let me know if you have any questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A wealth of knowledge as usual.

Thanks for the brain dump @ExWrench
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That can absolutely be done, I just don't know how...yet.
 

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that transmission linkage is probably worth the cost of the printer!! i bought the $7 part that the dealer thought would work but could only ever get the part in the linkage or on the lever but never both..... been running the old zip tie repair that likes to break every 6 months or so. I tried to use the stainless steel zip ties but couldn't get them tight enough to hold the linkage on the arm....
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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that transmission linkage is probably worth the cost of the printer!! i bought the $7 part that the dealer thought would work but could only ever get the part in the linkage or on the lever but never both..... been running the old zip tie repair that likes to break every 6 months or so. I tried to use the stainless steel zip ties but couldn't get them tight enough to hold the linkage on the arm....
Literlaly just ordered a Creality Ender3 Pro because I found this transmission bushing file.

First time mine popped out and the jeep died stuck in Drive was going down trail 51 at AOP. Had to push up against my buddy's buggy to keep the jeep from rolling down the mountain while we figured out what happened.

Can't wait to start printing stuff!
 

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That is a pretty interesting thing, I also want to buy a 3D printer and now I am searching for details, prices opinions and so one. The idea is that I want to make details for cars, mostly parts for outside. So, if somebody from my city would like me to create a part for him with purpose to tune it or to change the crushed one, it would be times faster then to order an original one form the dealer or from somewhere else. Moreover the prices are pretty good and also the quality of the created plastic is quite impressive. I saw some variants on Printer Ink Toner Cartridges and Office Products, but I'd like to know which one is better to work with.
 
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