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HomeAircraftHelicopterMain Discussion › LF 3-D Printing Help!
10-09-2013 04:35 PM  4 years agoPost 1
NitroMedic

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Southwest, Louisiana

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Let's see how much I can get wrong here. So, let's say you want to design a resin or polymer vent or step or handle to install on your scale helicopter. 1st, you'd draw it up in a 3D CAD program, correct? After you design the drawing, how do you get that image cut out of a piece of polymer or resin?
As you can see, I'm a TOTAL NOOB to this. But it is something I'd love to get in to more.

Thanks for reading and any advice offered.

Shayne

Hey y'all, watch this!

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10-09-2013 05:51 PM  4 years agoPost 2
dyuen888

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Brooklyn, NY - USA

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Its not a "Cut-out" process but a laying and building up "printing" process. -Think of a very fine glue gun printing out to your spec.

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10-10-2013 05:19 PM  4 years agoPost 3
Two Left Thumbs

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Houston, Texas - USA

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The main export format used for 3D printing is STL. If you can export an STL file, that is generally all that is needed to make the 3D print.

The STL file must be "manifold" or water tight. The various upload sites will check your file before printing, and manifold problems are common. There are several solutions to fix STL files when needed.

A small tip, do your design in millimeters. That avoids scaling issues down the road since most 3D printing that I have seen assumes mm in the input file.

3D printing is an additive process. Nothing is removed or cut away (as with a lathe or mill), the part is built based on your model from the ground up. Well, sometimes upside down, but that doesn't matter too much

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10-10-2013 11:47 PM  4 years agoPost 4
icanfly

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ontario

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this process great improves the prototyping end of design when things are test fitted for final assembly before becoming cnc'd or a mold is made.

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10-11-2013 12:05 AM  4 years agoPost 5
qraptor

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Illinois

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And if you are going with cheaper hobby grade 3D printers ($500 to $2500), they can use either PLA or ABS plastics. Generally, ABS is stronger.

But the output of these printers require some post finishing. There will be layers or lines created as the printer lays down the plastic.

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10-11-2013 12:35 AM  4 years agoPost 6
NitroMedic

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Southwest, Louisiana

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Thanks!!
Hey guys,

Thanks SO much for the information! Now it's at least starting to make more sense. Do any of you have a 3D printer? If so, what kind? What would be the next (upgrade) printer for you?

Thanks,
Shayne

Hey y'all, watch this!

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10-11-2013 05:33 AM  4 years agoPost 7
cudaboy_71

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sacramento, ca, u.s.

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the form1 looks pretty cool, even if it is still in preorder (shipping feb '14). a little on the high end of the consumer price range. but, it's a completely different technology, with no finishing work needed.

not sure about the durability of the plastic. but, for scale work it could make some nice looking stuff.

http://formlabs.com/

if it ain't broke, break it.

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10-11-2013 12:57 PM  4 years agoPost 8
Peter Wales

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Orlando Fl

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New 3D printers are coming out of the woodwork these days. Prices range from $100 to $1,000,000 and generally speaking, the more you pay, the better the quality of the final product straight out of the machine.

There are 2 different types of material, liquid and wire. The wire ones use a spool of plastic which goes through a heating nozzle and is squirted into place as the head moves. These are available is kits to build your self or ready built but as has been said, the final product will need some finishing as there will be lines all over it.

Th liquid resin ones will provide a better finish but as the product is built up in layers there will still be lines. The thinner the layer, the less obvious the lines are. Ass it happens the cheapest one I have seen coming to market with a projected price of $100, looks like it could produce some good results.

I bought my first one some 5 years ago and and it was pretty crap, even for $15,000. I traded up and the one I have now costs $60,000. Material is expensive but the quality is superb. This is an intermediate gearbox I have made.

If you watch the video of the formlabs machine cudaboy suggests, you see at the end, the girl has to chisel the parts off the build plate with quite a lot of force. This may not be a good thing for small scale parts. My printer also requires me to chisel the part off the build plate but the printer puts down a layer of soft build material first which makes getting the finished item off easy. Then the build material is water soluble so it can be washed off the finished part, but you have to buy build material as well.

My 10 year old grandson is fascinated by my printer so i intend to buy him a wire one from Hammacher Schlemmer for about $1500. They offer a lifetime warranty with the stuff they sell and knowing my grandson, it will probably be needed. If he ever comes up with a good stl file he has created, I'll run it through my printer.

Peter Wales
http://scalehelicopters.org

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10-11-2013 02:44 PM  4 years agoPost 9
kingmeow

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The Garden State, US

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You can even pick up a 3D printer now a days at Staples!!!!

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HomeAircraftHelicopterMain Discussion › LF 3-D Printing Help!
10-11-2013 10:33 PM  4 years ago •• Post 10 ••
qraptor

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Illinois

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This is an intermediate gearbox I have made.
Wow, that is quite a nice piece of work, Peter.
And talking about getting the stl file, what software do you use?

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10-12-2013 01:06 AM  4 years agoPost 11
NitroMedic

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Southwest, Louisiana

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Good Info!
Thanks for the feedback, guys. It's much appreciated.

I don't think I'll be dumping $60k on my 1st attempt but will keep my options open.

Yes, the Form 1 definitely looks promising. I may hold out until it comes out.

Peter,

Your finished product (gearbox) looks very clean and I do realize it's a $60k machine. What do you think of this one? (link) I'm not looking to make a masterpiece and don't mind doing some touch-ups once the subject is made.

http://www.iprint-technologies.com/...5&product_id=58

Hey y'all, watch this!

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10-12-2013 01:13 AM  4 years agoPost 12
Ace Dude

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USA

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There are liquid metal 3D printers available. Very expensive, but I recently saw a non-working prototype at Maker Faire that is under development and expected to cost $100k. Still very expensive, but $100k is still a fraction of what the commercial units costs today. The units will continue to get better and cheaper.

By the end of Maker Faire I was sick of looking at 3D printers. There were many different units on display and available for purchase.

  

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