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Old 03-28-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
dvebe9 OP
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3D Printers and Protective Parts?

Just curious if anyone has investigated using 3D printers to fabricate some of the smaller protective bits on a bike?

E.g. Brake resevoir's, hand guards, headlight protector etc.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:11 AM   #2
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sounds like a cool idea. I wonder if the material that you print 3d in would be useful for absorbing impact or just for rapid prototyping?
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:13 AM   #3
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I think its a great idea as long as the material is tough, which I believe it is.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:15 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mousitsas View Post
I think its a great idea as long as the material is tough, which I believe it is.

You can apparently use ABS plastic (Same stuff they make Lego out of), hence the smaller bits less likely to take a significant hit than a bash plate or crash bars.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by dvebe9 View Post
You can apparently use ABS plastic (Same stuff they make Lego out of), hence the smaller bits less likely to take a significant hit than a bash plate or crash bars.
These Lego are indestructible. Good info!
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:14 AM   #6
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i've been interested in 3D printing and hopefully obtaining one someday. I guess the main issues have been types of lasers used to have the plastics dense enough to withstand abuse. Also the time it takes to print some parts can take hours or days.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:17 AM   #7
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:17 AM   #8
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Saw a video the other day where a guy made a fully functional lower receiver for an AR-15 with a 3D printer (likely one of the more expensive units )

I think the day is coming soon and may already be here for some parts ...

Depending on tolerances required it can take a long time, but for most brackets, and protective bits the tolerances can be pretty loose (from the machine's perspective) and still make a part acceptable to a guy that's going to go cover it up with mud anyway ... which speeds up process time quite a bit...

I have a buddy that built his own unit, as soon as I get my taxes done I'm gonna go pester the hell out of him about it.........

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Old 03-29-2013, 07:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by dvebe9 View Post
Just curious if anyone has investigated using 3D printers to fabricate some of the smaller protective bits on a bike?

E.g. Brake resevoir's, hand guards, headlight protector etc.
Expensive and fragile. The machines are even more expensive and very vibration sensitive, so special installations. Then you need a Solid modeler (3D CAD solids modeler) and software to translate the CAD into machine code for the stereolithography unit....

If you are making a model for a production run of a hundred thousand, yeah. One offs? No.

An injection molding machine can make 20 or more brake reservoirs in a single 45 second cycle...
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:46 AM   #10
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Expensive and fragile. The machines are even more expensive and very vibration sensitive, so special installations. Then you need a Solid modeler (3D CAD solids modeler) and software to translate the CAD into machine code for the stereolithography unit....

If you are making a model for a production run of a hundred thousand, yeah. One offs? No.

An injection molding machine can make 20 or more brake reservoirs in a single 45 second cycle...
Are you kidding? The beauty of 3D printing is that one-offs don't require extensive building of molds and such. If you look around, there are sites sharing CAD files that are pretty much ready to go. Sure, it's not economical if you're only going to build a single piece for yourself, but I work with a guy who uses one for pretty much anything that pops into his head that he can draw..

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Old 03-29-2013, 08:11 AM   #11
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Are you kidding? The beauty of 3D printing is that one-offs don't require extensive building of molds and such. If you look around, there are sites sharing CAD files that are pretty much ready to go. Sure, it's not economical if you're only going to build a single piece for yourself, but I work with a guy who uses one for pretty much anything that pops into his head that he can draw..

John

See one operate first. Great for rapid prototyping is the key here. Prototype doesn't always mean 100% functional.

These machines build in layers, imagine thousands of small seams to create thousands of stress risers. The process is no where near as good as a seamless injection or even roto molded part.

The ones that are getting big media attention are fine to make low stress parts and all, but no where near as functionally sound as a regular manufacturing process at this time.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:31 AM   #12
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See one operate first. Great for rapid prototyping is the key here. Prototype doesn't always mean 100% functional.

These machines build in layers, imagine thousands of small seams to create thousands of stress risers. The process is no where near as good as a seamless injection or even roto molded part.

The ones that are getting big media attention are fine to make low stress parts and all, but no where near as functionally sound as a regular manufacturing process at this time.
Mark53 is right on the money here.
Prior to getting into the lighting biz. I managed a RP service burrow for the largest provider and manufacture of equipment around, 3D systems.
The thought that you can pop a part off of the platform that will be usable is a fallacy to say the least.
Typ they are used for design reviews, sales presentations or to make patterns for RTV mold on limited production runs.Even then there is a ton of hand or machine work that goes into a good part.
There are some machines that will make alloy parts, even titanium, however the parts are still relatively weak compared to the real McCoy,s and require a lot of Hand/machine work to be useful.
You cant believe everything you read on the interweb.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
See one operate first. Great for rapid prototyping is the key here. Prototype doesn't always mean 100% functional.

These machines build in layers, imagine thousands of small seams to create thousands of stress risers. The process is no where near as good as a seamless injection or even roto molded part.

The ones that are getting big media attention are fine to make low stress parts and all, but no where near as functionally sound as a regular manufacturing process at this time.
I saw some eyeglass frames done on one. They looked decent, but weren't strong enough for use.

last company I worked for just bought a pair of them for prototyping. 100 grand each. And they make small handheld medical tools.

However there are a number of techniques that are pretty easy at home. For a reserviour you can cast it in epoxy or polyester from a silicone mold made from a hand made pattern or an old (and damaged) part. You can also hot bend plastics and vacuum form them at home. You can make a handguard out of fiberglass/epoxy that is close to unbreakable. Ditto complx shapes for bash pans. A 3/8" fiberglass plate is as strong as a steel one, lighter and easy to maintain. Doesn't have some of the virtues of steel but doesn't have some of the liabilities either. And it's easy to fabricate.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:15 PM   #14
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You cant believe everything you read on the interweb.
I've been supporting these things at work for 10 years or so. I've seen what can be done.

John
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:24 PM   #15
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There is one at a Tech Shop, it's pretty cool, I've seen some neat things being made, but no way are they strong enough for crash protection. Maybe it's the plastics they are using but everything I have seen is very delicate off that printer.

Cool for a quick prototype to hold in your hand and check fit etc before committing to a real part but not what I would trust for actual parts even if one off for yourself.
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