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Armor/AFV: Techniques
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3-D Printing small parts
bgcmd59
#353
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Connecticut, United States
Joined: October 20, 2013
KitMaker: 90 posts
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Posted: Friday, July 01, 2016 - 01:27 AM UTC
I need about 170 copies of a small part. I don't have the exact dimensions yet, but it should be on the order of 12x6x6 mm. The geometry is pretty simple. I can certainly cast them in resin, but was considering farming them out to a 3-D printer. I would provide a prototype in 1:1 or larger if that would be easier to scan or draw. Any ideas on the practicality (technical or financial) of this scheme would be appreciated. Also any recommendation for a reliable printer would help.
MikeyBugs95
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New York, United States
Joined: May 27, 2013
KitMaker: 2,210 posts
AeroScale: 63 posts
Posted: Friday, July 01, 2016 - 01:51 AM UTC
It should pretty feasible to print depending on the printer used. 12x6x6 is a pretty good size. What are you looking to print?
bgcmd59
#353
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Connecticut, United States
Joined: October 20, 2013
KitMaker: 90 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, July 01, 2016 - 10:42 AM UTC
I may have overestimated the size. I have yet to scale it and draw it up. May be closer to 4x10x4 mm. Not ready to disclose too much, other than suspension parts. Too early in the project to count the chicks. I know this is an unusual way to ask for guidance. If anyone can print something this size with reasonable resolution I can email a rough sketch and can have a master in the mail in short order, that'll take about an afternoon of work.
jon_a_its
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: April 29, 2004
KitMaker: 1,330 posts
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Posted: Friday, July 01, 2016 - 01:19 PM UTC
Intrigued!

Definitely a possibility, but search on shapeways, etc for Sherman tank, there are a lot of talented people who make their designs available to print.
Many designs in CAD pictures, but few pics of actual 3D printed objects.

I dabble a bit at Uni, & you would have to get a 3D file output from a program like Rhino, Autocad, sketchup etc. Learning curves like a vertical cliff.

There is a thread called looking for ideas to 3D print, check that out & talk to him

Some people produce masters this way then resin cast, as pricing of 3D printing is by volume, so resin casting is the best production method, & most economical

Please give more details if possible? & good luck


barkingdigger
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
ARMORAMA
#013
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: June 20, 2008
KitMaker: 3,975 posts
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Posted: Friday, July 01, 2016 - 05:49 PM UTC
Jon is right - the cost of 3D prints has no volume discount - each one is as expensive as the last. I'm intrigued enough to suggest I might be willing to CAD your part for you out of sheer curiosity, and upload it so you can order prints. Best financially for you if you buy one print and then make rubber moulds to cast copies the traditional way, but easier (though more costly) if you have the whole lot printed on a sprue. See my Shapeways Shop for examples to get an idea of how things can be sprued for printing, and rough costs for different-sized items in their "Frosted Detail" resin which is best for scale model parts.

By the way, 3D printed parts can be rather brittle - is this suspension component likely to be under any bending stress? While something like a trailing arm/axle combo can be printed, it would be prone to snapping - more so than a plastic kit part.

Keep us informed of your progress!
jon_a_its
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: April 29, 2004
KitMaker: 1,330 posts
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Posted: Friday, July 01, 2016 - 07:19 PM UTC
Barking Digger & MM Calc are the 2 guys I was thinking of, a bit ahead of me in he design & production

Mike Gold berg has a thooughtful thread here Looking for ideas for what to 3D Print

Lots to think about. In terms of production companies, there are more than just Shapeways, who may have other materiels and/or be closer to your location?
MikeyBugs95
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New York, United States
Joined: May 27, 2013
KitMaker: 2,210 posts
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Posted: Sunday, July 03, 2016 - 08:54 AM UTC
To be honest, I also sent a message as I too am very curious.
varanusk
Staff MemberManaging Editor
ARMORAMA
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Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain / Espaņa
Joined: July 04, 2013
KitMaker: 1,282 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, July 05, 2016 - 12:07 PM UTC
Have you considered using traditional casting with resin, with multiple copies?

Being so small, you can cast say four parts, make a new mould of five then you have 10 parts, make a new mould and with that you can cast 15 parts at once.