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3D Printing

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by tastybasslines, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Actually I'm learning MasterCam and Solidworks, so more advanced than the 3D printing stuff generally would be. Drawing the solids in any CAD program is really easy, it's just toolpath generating that gets tricky.

    That being said, it takes training to be able to draw a good solid. Much less many solids that fit together to make a functioning whatever. 3D printing will not take over manufacturing anytime soon.
  2. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Neither did I until someone very recently offered this over-simplification:

    3D Printing is additive fabrication

    Unlike milling, where you start with a big block of some material and carve away everything you don't want until you're left with a piece shaped like what you want, in 3D printing you start with nothing and add material until you have something shaped like what you want.
  3. It wont take over all of manufacturing anytime soon, but there are very specific things that it is perfect for, much better than subtractive manufacturing. Boeing is another company that uses 3D printing for parts that go into real things. They recently designed some sort of fuel nozzle that could only be made by 3D printing.

    The biggest leap in 3D printing right now is the material that can be printed. There are now metal alloys that can be printed on machines with 0.001" tolerances. That will revolutionize manufacturing, not the $400 MakerBots that anyone can buy.

  4. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    That pretty cool about Boeing using the 3D printers. We do some parts for companies that supply parts to Boeing for the Dreamliners. But those are gigantic boxes made from billet aluminum and miscellaneous magnesium bits.

    The .001" tolerances are generally for the smaller parts produced in most cases and is pretty common for absolute positions that could change between operations (which there aren't with 3D printers). With the printers, the tolerances stack up as the part gets larger (unless you get a machine that faces every couple passes). Obviously the much more expensive ones will be much better and the ones that put out metal alloys are commonly used for making molds that make parts that are later finish machined. In the OP, there was mention of the cheap ones that the average Joe can get a hold of, and how they could become a major influence in manufacturing. Which isnt possible.

    I haven't gotten to see an expensive one in action yet, but I look forward to it.
    So far I just deal with 3 to 5 axis machines and cell systems connecting those machines.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I don't know what your background is. However, I have used a couple of very nice 3D printers we have at my college. Tolerance levels are VERY high. We printed some pretty complicated parts that had to fit together to make a cube, or a sphere. We had to push them together pretty hard to make them fit. And the finished products were so smooth one could hardly tell they were made from multiple parts.

    The 3D models of buildings they make in our drafting department look amazing.

    Now, there printers are larger than the average fridge (and I don't mean Ampeg 8-10 cab... I mean the thing that holds cold food). And, yes, they do take a long time for parts of any size.
  6. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    Nothing in the home (say < $1k) range is that impressive yet. I've got a PrintrBot, which was a pain in the rear to set up and adjust. It's fun, and useful for one-off pieces that don't have to look too good or be too precise.

    The higher-end stuff (>$10k or more) gets very precise but is still too slow for mass production, though that's not really the point of 3D printing anyway.
  7. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    What do you classify as "high tolerance"? I assume you mean "tight" or "small", as a high tolerance to me means large acceptable range, or pretty low accuracy....

    By "tight" tolerance I would expect .001" or smaller (NOT +/- .001"). Yes, the parts may fit tightly together, but a fender neck pocket can be pretty tight, too. And that (probably) can be +/- .005" per side (or more, I'm not fender), so a .01" gap would be very possible. But that would still be very little movement. If they had to be forced together, then one part was either smaller or larger than perfect (so using the +/- tolerance). With press fit bearings, for example, it's common to see a +.0005" - 0." tolerance on what the bearing presses onto.

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