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3D printing experiments

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3D printing experiments
#1
  This topic is about my 1970 Triumph GT6+ (MkII)
Bpt70gt Avatar
Bpt70gt Brian T
Westmoreland, NH, USA   USA
There could be lots of possibilities with 3D printing parts for our cars. Here is an emblem I may glue on to the center hub caps of the Panasport type wheels. There are a lot of parts that could be made using this method.

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clshore Carter Shore
Beverly Hills, Florida, USA   USA
AM (Additive Manufacturing) gets better every year.
Durability depends on the material used, and not all AM machines can handle every material.

Bpt70gt Avatar
Bpt70gt Brian T
Westmoreland, NH, USA   USA
True, PLA is the most popular material but more are coming on the market fast. This particular machine can handle several materials including TPU which is a pretty flexible rubber material. I've made a dome light for my GT6 but a true "clear" material is still a dream. It's more of a frosted clear at this point. I'm experimenting on making a seal that goes inside the vacuum module for my D204 distributor now. The TPU is the best bet at this stage of my experimenting, pretty flexible. The possibilities are encouraging.

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smellsofbikes John B
Arvada, COLORADO, USA   USA
1975 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Queen Anne's Revenge"
Hah, oddly enough, I was just modeling one of the knobs on the fan/defroster to print because my original bakelite version finally broke.

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Bpt70gt Brian T
Westmoreland, NH, USA   USA
That would be a nice one to do John. Another is the Hazard switch on my TR250. New ones are not available so those are the items that can be replicated quite easily. The detail can be astonishing. The dome light and retainers are just OK because of the lack of clear filaments. I've also done some real easy items.


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Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA   USA
There's stuff that's NLA that would be great to fab but how strong is this stuff?

RobTAR Robert I
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
The problem currently with plastic printers is the poor resolution. If looking to make more than one of something, I would use the printer for rapid prototyping and then hand finish and make a silicone mold to use with thermoplastics. For already existing parts such as the dome light, or knob that were mentioned I would just make a cast of the original part and skip the printer.

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smellsofbikes John B
Arvada, COLORADO, USA   USA
1975 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Queen Anne's Revenge"
I'm currently trying (and failing) to print in wax filament so I can enclose it in plaster, melt the wax out, pour in aluminum, and have knobs that will last FOREVER. Turns out printing in wax is tricky.

For clear shapes, vacuum forming is much easier than you'd expect, and you could even print a dome full of very tiny holes that the hot plastic pulls down against when vacuum forming, to get exactly the shape you want.

Bpt70gt Avatar
Bpt70gt Brian T
Westmoreland, NH, USA   USA
Doug, the plastic is pretty strong and can be brittle but that all depends on which plastic filament you select. It can be hard or flexible and elastic for rubber compounds, I've even printed PLA that is 40% WOOD and 60% plastic. It actually smells like wood when it is printing and is the color of pine wood. The strength depends on the
"infill" mode selected. You can increase strength by increasing the infill.
John, I'd be interested if vacuum forming could get into the nooks and crannies of small parts and then you'd have post processing to cut away excess flash. If you want to make aluminum knobs, it could be done on a Bridgeport mill faster than making a mold and pouring aluminum. I've made molds and have poured aluminum, actually had a home foundry back in the late 60's with my father. We made a lot of aluminum parts for live steam trains. Took a day or two to make the mold, then pack the sand forms, melt aluminum etc, You are talking about the lost wax method, now a days they tend to make the mold in Styrofoam and pour the aluminum and it melts out. The 3D printing is as easy as drawing up the part in CAD (metrically dimensioned) then convert the drawing to a stl. file. I use Autodesk Inventor and it takes 2 seconds to convert an ipt. file to a stl. file.
You aren't confined to just making one part at a time, the printer plate I use is 1 ft. X 1 ft. X 16" tall. So I can print as many parts as will fit in that space of the same part.
No, I wouldn't want to use the printer for making more than a half dozen parts at a time. But for my purposes, I don't need 6 knobs, or dome light lenses and in the case of the wheel caps, I just need 4. These home type 3D printers aren't intended to be mass production machines.
As far as accuracy, I made a barrel holder for a 1/2" rod, it needed to be a slight press fit, and that's exactly what I got. I was amazed. I've got a lot to lean about this 3D printing but for this old retired machinist and mechanical engineer, it's very interesting.
The other nice thing is once you load the program into the printer, you hit the start button and walk away for how ever long it takes to print the part. So far we've printed parts that take 20 minutes to 72 HOURS!!!. We've even set up a camera to monitor the process and if the printing screws up (it does occasionally happen) we can remotely stop printing from work. Helps to have a son who is an IT professional and knows about these things.

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clshore Carter Shore
Beverly Hills, Florida, USA   USA
In reply to # 1501039 by RobTAR The problem currently with plastic printers is the poor resolution. If looking to make more than one of something, I would use the printer for rapid prototyping and then hand finish and make a silicone mold to use with thermoplastics. For already existing parts such as the dome light, or knob that were mentioned I would just make a cast of the original part and skip the printer.

Casting reproduction parts using silicone or urethane molding is a well known and established method.
Great detail is possible, and augmenting the flexible molds with a supporting plaster structure can achieve high repeatable precision.
Clear parts are best done in conjunction with applied vacuum, or vibratory processing, in order to remove embedded bubbles and inclusions.
It is especially appropriate with optical components like lenses and light covers, since AM surface finishes are not typically smooth enough.

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Bpt70gt Brian T
Westmoreland, NH, USA   USA
I've watched the cast urethane methods on U-tube, lot of labor involved, For most any part we would need on our cars I can draw in CAD in less than a couple hours, Load the file in the printer, (a couple minutes) hit the go button and walk away and mow the lawn, go back in and the finished part is sitting there. Is it perfect for every part, no of course but casting every part wouldn't be either. I could make say, ten small parts at a time. Molding method would need 10 molds, then store them or throw them away. 3D stl. file can store mega-thousands on a thumb drive and share with others. Each method has it's advantages so to each their own. Please show us examples of parts our members of the forum have created using a casting method. I'm really interested in the possibilities. I can think of a lot of parts that are becoming NLA and could benefit from our collective knowledge.

clshore Carter Shore
Beverly Hills, Florida, USA   USA
In reply to # 1501070 by Bpt70gt I've watched the cast urethane methods on U-tube, lot of labor involved, For most any part we would need on our cars I can draw in CAD in less than a couple hours, Load the file in the printer, (a couple minutes) hit the go button and walk away and mow the lawn, go back in and the finished part is sitting there. Is it perfect for every part, no of course but casting every part wouldn't be either. I could make say, ten small parts at a time. Molding method would need 10 molds, then store them or throw them away. 3D stl. file can store mega-thousands on a thumb drive and share with others. Each method has it's advantages so to each their own. Please show us examples of parts our members of the forum have created using a casting method. I'm really interested in the possibilities. I can think of a lot of parts that are becoming NLA and could benefit from our collective knowledge.

Brian, having done this work professionally, I doubt if you can faithfully capture complex items like tail light lenses, etc. using manual CAD in 'less than a couple of hours'.
The bottleneck is not the operation of the CAD, it is the measurement and capture of the dimensions and relationships of complex surfaces and structures of the object being modelled.
Simple objects that exhibit symmetry, regular rectilinear planar or curved features, like knobs or panels or brackets are easy to measure and parse out.
Using a 3D optical scanner OTOH, gives the capability of capturing to very high precision and fidelity in very short time.
Unfortunately, the prices of such scanners have not kept pace with the AM printers.
And even though 3D scan services exist, they tend to be costly as well.

I learned my machinist skills from old school guys more than 45 years ago, on Clausing, Logan, Bridgeport machines.
I learned AutoCAD from it's very early days with V 1.0, when it was still Lisp based and ran on PC.

Make no mistake, I am a long time and enthusiastic supporter of AM and CAD technology, I have watched it emerge and grow from the beginning.
But I also have a clear and pragmatic understanding of it's current limitations and capabilities, and the tradeoffs available.
Just because you CAN do something, does not mean that you SHOULD do it that way.

1147cc Avatar
1147cc Silver Member Douglas Hansen
Westminster, SC, USA   USA
Ive already drawn and printed the GT6 lens but the clear print isnt as clear as I like.
Also have some other parts printed; some in metal too.



Douglas Hansen
New Parts; Engine Rebuilds; Sheet Metal work and Advice.
http://www.1147cc.com


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Bpt70gt Avatar
Bpt70gt Brian T
Westmoreland, NH, USA   USA
Carter, we have very similar work experiences, I too started out as a tool room machinist in one of the largest machine tool manufacturers in the Northeast. Did that and up through the ranks of management for 28 years, then went into engineering using AutoCAD and Pro Engineer systems. Did that for another 20 years. Inventor R13 is what I have now. Todays programs are so much better. It takes more time to take dimensions from the existing part than it does to input the information. Doug's rendering of the lens is excellent and one of those that would take longer than a couple hours to render and I agree the printed lens is not as good as it should be but is useable. I'd say Doug is well versed in the use of his printer and ahead of me for sure since I've only started printing in the past month or so.
Doug, what CAD program are you using? Did you make the half moon plastic retainers also? I did since you have to damage the OEM ones a bit removing them.
Carter, we agree again, having a 3D scanner would make producing parts very easy but the costs are far to high for us regular folks.
This is a good conversation and it bodes well for the future LBC enthusiasts and as the technology improves, it will hopefully help keep our cars on the road. When we both started "drafting" class as it was called back in those days (mid 60's) be did it on big drafting boards with pencil and paper. Think about how archaic that sounds today. Funny you mention Clausing and Bridgeports, I have both in my workshop along with my Southbend lathe. Old machines but they allow me to do lots of projects and have fun doing it. Good conversation Carter and nice work Doug. This is what's nice about this forum.

1147cc Avatar
1147cc Silver Member Douglas Hansen
Westminster, SC, USA   USA
Thanks
I didnt plan to make a perfect copy that could interchange but a replacement light with a modern bulb and attachment... and I really wasnt to bothered with the spinning detail.
My first plan was to glue the lens to the base and have an LEB bulb place inside thru the hinge cover.

and yes it took MANY hours to get that lens in shape



Douglas Hansen
New Parts; Engine Rebuilds; Sheet Metal work and Advice.
http://www.1147cc.com

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