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Redocbew
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3D printers

Fri May 19, 2017 2:44 am

I was reading the other day that there's copper infused PLA filament available now which let's you create stuff made from(mostly) real copper on an "average" 3d printer. That turned out to be a very bad idea because now I've got all kinds of ideas(mostly related to watercooling) on what I'd want to build if I had one. It's not currently in the budget in any case, but now I'm curious, so... anybody ever used one of these things?
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synthtel2
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Re: 3D printers

Fri May 19, 2017 3:12 am

My brother intends to, I think. Pretty sure the hardware he's got is capable of it, and he just hasn't got around to messing with any exotic materials yet.
 
blahsaysblah
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Re: 3D printers

Fri May 19, 2017 4:11 am

Copper melting point is 1085 Celcius...

It's still just PLA, it has copper look/feel, its not actually copper. Just cosmetic. Googled some, just in case, they specifically said, not conductive.
 
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Re: 3D printers

Fri May 19, 2017 12:26 pm

I was going to say...the heat required to work with pure metals is very high, that's why commercial metal printing relies on metal powders and lasers instead of feed injection. Even then, you still need a bit of machining work to clean up the finished part.

The metalized PLA used in desktop printers adds enough metal powder that you can get the visual effect of a polished metal finish, but you're still working mainly with thermoplastic.
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Redocbew
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Re: 3D printers

Fri May 19, 2017 12:36 pm

Hmm... yeah, seems like this is still a ways off. That's probably for the best anyway. Now's not a great time for me to be jumping down another rabbit hole, but it's cool to see how this stuff is progressing all the same.
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Drachasor
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Re: 3D printers

Fri May 19, 2017 1:15 pm

I'm still waiting on 3D printing to get cheaper with higher XY resolution. Right now it just isn't very good. When I have the time/space/money I plan on getting a CNC router since you can make stronger plastic parts using molds. You're a bit more limited in the shape, but orders of magnitude better on the resolution. Most plastics parts are made using molds so it isn't like you can't duplicate most things you see.
 
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Re: 3D printers

Fri May 19, 2017 1:31 pm

You're not going to see great resolution & detail from the 'average' home 3D printer. I spent 10's of thousands of dollars on 3D printing parts, primarily PolyJet which had the best resolution that I was able to find. SLA is good too, but the material & color options on PolyJet were way better. I tried the commercial version of the home PLA models (FDM) and couldn't get nearly the results I needed. For some people it might be fine, but my application wasn't there.

DMLS (metal powder & laser) is the only way to do metal that I know of, right now. I know GE has started using DMLS (or something roughly equivalent) to start making jet engine parts.
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Drachasor
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Re: 3D printers

Fri May 19, 2017 1:39 pm

e1jones wrote:
You're not going to see great resolution & detail from the 'average' home 3D printer. I spent 10's of thousands of dollars on 3D printing parts, primarily PolyJet which had the best resolution that I was able to find. SLA is good too, but the material & color options on PolyJet were way better. I tried the commercial version of the home PLA models (FDM) and couldn't get nearly the results I needed. For some people it might be fine, but my application wasn't there.

DMLS (metal powder & laser) is the only way to do metal that I know of, right now. I know GE has started using DMLS (or something roughly equivalent) to start making jet engine parts.


Yeah, that's why I am not getting one NOW. The current common methods for home 3D printers have too poor a resolution. Some of the light-curing designs are a lot better, but the material is still too expensive for now.

So I wait.
 
NovusBogus
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Re: 3D printers

Fri May 19, 2017 10:49 pm

(Disclaimer: I work for Stratasys. Not representing company positions, etc.)

The PLA plus metal powder filaments are dense and hefty, but they don't have anything near the mechanical properties of real metal. "Sorta mostly metal" is a world apart from all-metal crystalline structure. PLA in general has crappy mechanical properties, though it does burn out nicely if you want to do some lost wax casting. If you need glorious metal off a 3D printer, what you really want to be doing is one of the following:
-Print a mold and then cast it
-Get a service bureau like Shapeways or SDM to make it on a big boy DMLS machine
-Wait a few years for next-gen "green part sintering" metal systems that Desktop Metal, etc. are working on

edit: Forgot the obvious choice, just CNC the thing. Aside from shops or making friends with a machinist, desktop CNCs have gotten much better in recent years too--they simply lack the marketing push that 3D printing currently enjoys. Better know what you're doing, of course, but none of these prototyping systems are "plug and play" especially on the low end.
 
e1jones
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Re: 3D printers

Sat May 20, 2017 6:51 pm

NovusBogus wrote:
Stratasys/SDM.


Yup... spent plenty of money with them; actually their local predecessor Solid Concepts. Might have been more economical to buy one of the low end PolyJet machines, but the company i worked for was a little short sighted.
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CScottG
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Re: 3D printers

Sat May 20, 2017 7:18 pm

http://www.thevirtualfoundry.com/

-they do talk a bit about using a kiln to "cook-out" the PLA. (..I'd think it would result in a pretty low-res result though.)

Another thing: from what I've read these sorts of filament need a very abrasion-resistant nozzle/hot-end (..like Tungsten instead of Brass).

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