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Wouldn’t a milling machine be a better idea? Been around for decades and don’t make things out of the crappest plastic known to humankind? 

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I bought a Makerfarm 3D printer ( http://www.makerfarm.com/index.php/ )several years ago, but lack of space, and time to use it, have kept it packed in a box for a while.  Since I got mine 3D printers for personal use have come a long way. 

 When I started, I joined this forum: https://3dprintboard.com/ It appears to be still going strong.

 

For desktop use you are looking at a price of about $500 for something that is functional. The key points to look for are:

  1. Accuracy of movement of the printer head
  2. Temperature control
  3. Automated bed leveling
  4. Range of print material (PLA, ABS etc)

You can pay a motza for some pre-built printers, while a simple build yourself kit can produce equally good products.

 

Don't forget that you will need CAD software and G-Code generation software, but these are readily available on the Web

 

A 3D printer and a CNC machine are basically the same thing, except the 3D Printing involves adding material to make something, while a CNC machine removes material to expose the product. Thing of 3D printing as being like making a pot on a potter's wheel and CNC machining as making a statue from a block of stone.

Edited by old man emu
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I’ve got a Prusa Mark 3S that I got as a kit and have become a bit of a Maker-Nerd I guess. 

I’ve  used it for some Jabiru based stuff but nothing structural or requiring absolute strength. Some are pretty basic due to my just learning.

I just use TinkerCAD to design things and the Slicer program that comes with the printer to make the guide files that the printer itself needs.

 I have tried Fusion 360 CAD program but Fusion 360 is pretty intensive learning and requires a lot of getting used to. so I tend to just stay with TinkerCAD which is a simple free online CAD designed for school kids. It’s About my level! 🤣

 

So my list of bits: 

Dash bits - Instrument hole blanking plug

                    Small plate to hold USB extension plug from the sky view. 

 

Clips to hold sun visor up when not in use. Headphone cradle for the control/battery box on my Light speed Zulus

 

Camera mount for my 360 Fly “ball” camera on the vertical stabiliser. 

 

There’s not a lot of things I’ve made for the Jabiru specifically compared to other stuff in the workshop or round the house because I’ve been worried about structural strength. 

Some have to be heat resistant if they are going to be permanent in the cabin. 

ABS plastic has the highest melting temps of the simple,  easy to use plastics and is used for some motor vehicle parts but I’ve seen some examples where even they have melted so I’ve been a bit careful. 

 

I’d be keen to see what other makers/jab owners/pilots have done and extend my experience. 

 

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5 hours ago, APenNameAndThatA said:

Wouldn’t a milling machine be a better idea? Been around for decades and don’t make things out of the crappest plastic known to humankind? 

It's for prototypes. Mostly things that will be made of plastic. Not necessary for them to be super strong so I think a 3d printer would be a cheaper option 🙂

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5 hours ago, APenNameAndThatA said:

Wouldn’t a milling machine be a better idea? Been around for decades and don’t make things out of the crappest plastic known to humankind? 

 

Before saying that I would look at the specification for Ultem 1010 , 9085 or PEKK. These definitely capable of being used in secondary structures and at some serious temperatures, will be using PEKK for a custom inlet manifold. These is great strides being made in materials with the downside that you will need access to a high end printer.

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Talking about "CNC machine"

Sainty's, big billet (of aluminium) becomes a Beautiful V8 motor, for drag-racing.

Fascinating to watch the process. 

spacesailor

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3 hours ago, fly_tornado said:

there are a million people doing 3D printer reviews on youtube.

To the point that I still have no idea 😄

 

After a bit of looking around im thinking of an Ender 3 . Seems good enough for what I need it for 🙂

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7 hours ago, Jaba-who said:

I’ve got a Prusa Mark 3S that I got as a kit and have become a bit of a Maker-Nerd I guess. 

I’ve  used it for some Jabiru based stuff but nothing structural or requiring absolute strength. Some are pretty basic due to my just learning.

I just use TinkerCAD to design things and the Slicer program that comes with the printer to make the guide files that the printer itself needs.

 I have tried Fusion 360 CAD program but Fusion 360 is pretty intensive learning and requires a lot of getting used to. so I tend to just stay with TinkerCAD which is a simple free online CAD designed for school kids. It’s About my level! 🤣

 

So my list of bits: 

Dash bits - Instrument hole blanking plug

                    Small plate to hold USB extension plug from the sky view. 

 

Clips to hold sun visor up when not in use. Headphone cradle for the control/battery box on my Light speed Zulus

 

Camera mount for my 360 Fly “ball” camera on the vertical stabiliser. 

 

There’s not a lot of things I’ve made for the Jabiru specifically compared to other stuff in the workshop or round the house because I’ve been worried about structural strength. 

Some have to be heat resistant if they are going to be permanent in the cabin. 

ABS plastic has the highest melting temps of the simple,  easy to use plastics and is used for some motor vehicle parts but I’ve seen some examples where even they have melted so I’ve been a bit careful. 

 

I’d be keen to see what other makers/jab owners/pilots have done and extend my experience. 

 

That is impressive. 

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11 hours ago, APenNameAndThatA said:

Wouldn’t a milling machine be a better idea? Been around for decades and don’t make things out of the crappest plastic known to humankind? 

I think it’s “horses for courses!”  

There are some things that can be plastic and would be of the strength required.

Especially if you are designing them yourself they can be redone over and over again till you get them just right. Cheap, easy and don’t need the well appointed workshop. 

 

Some of the output of a 3D printer can be made really schmicko with post- production vapour  smoothing. 

 

Of course there’s some things that need to be metal and structurally sound  but honestly once they get to that level I’ll buy aviation grade ones  from Aircraft Spruce.  

 

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4 hours ago, danny_galaga said:

To the point that I still have no idea 😄

 

After a bit of looking around im thinking of an Ender 3 . Seems good enough for what I need it for 🙂

if you go onto thingiverse.com  you will find dozens of upgrades for the ender3

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The main use of a desktop 3D printer is for prototyping. It takes a very long time to print an object of substantial size as each layer put down is often only about 1 mm thick. Once the prototype has passed "proof of concept", then the drawing the 3D G-code was developed from can be used to generate the CNC G-code for use in a milling machine.

 

That Ender 3 looks just the thing for an intitial foray into 3D printing. Just note the points in this review: https://all3dp.com/1/creality-ender-3-3d-printer-review/

Looks like attention needs to be given to the leveling of the base of the frame - no giggy.

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On 13/09/2019 at 7:20 AM, old man emu said:

The main use of a desktop 3D printer is for prototyping. It takes a very long time to print an object of substantial size as each layer put down is often only about 1 mm thick. Once the prototype has passed "proof of concept", then the drawing the 3D G-code was developed from can be used to generate the CNC G-code for use in a milling machine.

 

That Ender 3 looks just the thing for an intitial foray into 3D printing. Just note the points in this review: https://all3dp.com/1/creality-ender-3-3d-printer-review/

Looks like attention needs to be given to the leveling of the base of the frame - no giggy.

Like everything it depends on your budget. 

 

There literally is a printer for every budget from about $250 up to tens of $1000s with the general principle of “ you get what you pay for” applying. It’s an incredibly finicky pastime and the cheaper you go the more work you have to do to get successful prints and the more failures you get. 

 

The band of about $1000 to $1500 being the broadly “best bang for buck”  for the home user.  

There are a gazzillion reviews on the internet both written and videos. 

 

When I bought mine I spent a bit of time researching and when asking the web for the list of the best printers you get a heap of “ my-top-ten” type reviews. In that price band mentioned the one brand that consistently was top of the heap was the Prusa. 

 

I haven’t had  any experience of Enders but the reviews seem to consistently put it  after Prusa. But they are in two different price bands so that  is what you’d expect. 

 

Prusa seem to have have gained solid reputation for support. The big issue is that 3D printing is still in the realm of the tinkerer. There are no home level “ works out of the box every time forever with every type of filament”.  No plug and play without learning the ropes type.

And they are a bit like home built aircraft - always something loosening up, wearing out or failing and support is a big requirement. 

 

Edited by Jaba-who

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Support, Quality and an endless supply of ideas and cad ware are the main things to look for. XYZ Printing has hundreds and thousands of free dowloads for printing.

I have a      dA Vinci 1.0 Aio   all in one 3D Printer (Scan/Edit/Print) for sale. 

The images tell the story. It has had only 14hrs use.    This printer will scan an object and print as well.

20190910_132446.jpg 20190910_132458.jpg 20190910_132558.jpg 20190910_132635.jpg 20190910_132732.jpg 20190910_132745.jpg 20190910_132756.jpg 20190910_132809.jpg

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I have designed my aircraft to use 3d printed parts for all load bearing parts except where elevated temperatures are involved.  I have used AutoCAD to design the parts. I bought a Leapfrog Create HS.  I paid $2.5k when the dollar was much higher, the printer has some serious problems when one tries to print nylon.  All bushes in my aircraft are nylon, all load bearing parts are nylon impregnated with carbon.  The design of these parts is very different to the conventional steel parts.  They are built a but like internal house doors, a honeycomb on the inside and a thin shell on the outside.  Nylon and carbon impregnated nylon are around one sixth the weight of Steel, half that of aluminium. 

I have had to modify the printer that I bought, it now has water cooled nozzles, an aluminium print bed, special nozzle feed (I have developed a nozzle capable of temperatures of hundreds of degrees centigrade) I print at 265 degree Celsius.  I have built a temperature controlled enclosure.

I am printing the wheel hubs, Azusa injection mould their wheels using the carbon impregnated nylon.  They work well.

I impact test each print, every now and then I get a layer that didn't weld to the layer below, once because I opened the enclosure to have a detailed look while printing.  

The parts have been conservatively designed.  The purpose of the aircraft is to confirm that a lighter aircraft can be built by this method.  I am thinking about designing the flaps using the 3d printer.  Experiments with nylon alone showed them to be the same weight as fibreglass flaps and not nearly as rigid.

 

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1 hour ago, roxy said:

Support, Quality and an endless supply of ideas and cad ware are the main things to look for. XYZ Printing has hundreds and thousands of free dowloads for printing.

I have a      dA Vinci 1.0 Aio   all in one 3D Printer (Scan/Edit/Print) for sale. 

The images tell the story. It has had only 14hrs use.    This printer will scan an object and print as well.

20190910_132446.jpg 20190910_132458.jpg 20190910_132558.jpg 20190910_132635.jpg 20190910_132732.jpg 20190910_132745.jpg 20190910_132756.jpg 20190910_132809.jpg

I’d probably be more concerned about the first two ( Quality and support) and not be as driven by the last two because they are not product specific. Libraries store their  designs as common format files.  The xyz library as well as about a dozen other libraries that are available are open to everyone. You can have a totally  different printer but still download the files for printing. Same with the cad software. There are a bunch of CAD programs available and they work independently of the printer type. Many are free and are often cutdown versions of the major industry ones. 

 

The slicer program - which converts the file made in the CAD program to one specific for that printer is the product specific one but seems to be fairly basic compared to the CAD program. Some printers will print files sliced on a range of slicer programs while some require their specific program. 

 

Roxy,  I actually first looked at getting an xyz because of the scanning capability. The plan being if I hd something that broke I could scan it and reprint a new one  without having to learn to use a CAD program. But in the end I went with a straight printer. I then got an app for my iPhone to scan stuff. But in the end I have never needed to scan anything so never actually done a print like that. Everything I’ve made I have CADed up myself because they inevitably end up being new designs. 

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I use a Wombot (Australian assembled from the usual Chinese parts) printer for making parts such as this NACA duct. Starting 3D printing even with a fully assembled printer has a steep learning curve. To successfully print ABS you need a fully enclosed printer.

DSCN1848.jpgDSCN1852.jpg

These ducts are printed in carbon fibre reinforced PLA but are not necessarily any stronger than ordinary PLA because in one direction the strength of the part still depends on the bond strength between layers.  Some models of Markforged printers can insert a continuous strand of glass or carbon fibre into the print so they are structural in two dimensions but still just rely on bond strength in the third dimension but they do at least have the potential to make structural parts.  Printers with that capability are very expensive, I think around $20K.  I have made (sort of) structural parts like impellers for water pumps but the only really structural things I have made are nylon blades for a brush cutter.

 

Peter

 

 

 

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Pictures show printer with water cooler left.  Also the water cooled nozzle and some nylon parts manufactured.

20190915_113521.jpg 20190915_113535.jpg 20190915_120106.jpg

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Landing gear support.  Green is proof of design, it was too small and was increased.  White part should have been a straight nylon part, it failed impact testing

15685185948576789816496390398579.jpg
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I ended up buying an Ender 3 Pro (pro really means mkll in their case).

Worked pretty much straight out of the box 🙂 printed a few test pieces in PLA and starting to get the hang of ABS . Very happy with the machine. Couldn't get the supplied slicer software to work but have downloaded Cura and that works like a charm

 

 

 

Edited by danny_galaga

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When making parts for the inside of the aircraft be aware that PLA (made from corn starch) will soften an temperatures that are common in summer.  ABS is the plastic often used in motor vehicles, use it by preference.  I used PLA for some support pieces for a bird restricted system, a week later had to make the 50 odd pieces out of ABS

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I'm mostly using it to nut out ideas I have. Probably the only thing I might make for my plane is a compass mount. Will be sure to use ABS 🙂

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This part was 3d printed.  A test piece.  Each end was bent to 12 mm deformation.  It maintained its integrity.  More interesting it returned to near its original Shope over the next few minutes.  It is very tough, it didn't delaminate.  This is so encouraging for the future of 3d printed parts.  It weighs 13grams. Is 65x25x12.  Carbon infused nylon.

 

15696393714124466721464921377555.jpg

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