bowman on October 3rd, 2014
Oh yes, we did.

“Oh yes, we did.”

For the past year we have been busy building, testing, documenting and refining the process of taking 3D printed parts and using “Lost PLA” burnout to cast for parts for more robust applications. The documentation is bordering 100+pages, with 20+ pages of brute force data. We will try to keep it simple, show off with a few shiny throwbacks, hopefully inspire ideas for the potential, and give some technical specs to boost the capabilities of those open source open hardware folks who love a good clean walkthrough.

This is a rough sketch of how to assemble a mini blast furnace

This is a rough sketch of how to assemble a mini blast furnace

This design prevents the vacuum from sucking up molten metal if the plaster in the flask fails to seal.

This design prevents the vacuum from sucking up molten metal if the plaster in the flask fails to seal.

The sketches go through the simple breakdown of a furnace in basic parts and vacuum trap parts. More information can be found here.  Any casting plaster can be used for when investing flasks for casting.

 

Load Kiln

Load Kiln

 

This is a generic burnout template, that works for most applications.

This is a generic burnout template, that works for most applications.

 

Clean burnout occurs ~1000-1300F

Clean burnout occurs ~1000-1300F.

 

Flasks are primed over a vacuum chamber before receiving the charge of molten metal

Flasks are primed over a vacuum chamber before receiving the charge of molten metal.

 

The test metal was scrap 6061 aluminum, and/or silicon bronze to ensure anyone could replicate the process easily.

The test metal was scrap 6061 aluminum, and/or silicon bronze to ensure anyone could replicate the process easily.

This is how parts look after they have been quenched, with no cleanup, simply rinsed with water.

This is how parts look after they have been quenched, with no cleanup, simply rinsed with water.

These parts yielded data about hole size requirements and edge cases. The goal was to quantify what was likely to succeed.

These parts yielded data about hole size requirements and edge cases. The goal was to quantify what was likely to succeed.

 

Casting Data

Parts can have clean interior corners, where CNC machines would fail to accomplish because of the cutter size. Self intersecting geometry is also not a problem. Edge case castings have been hearty with 13 fins space 1.6mm apart extending 15mm up and continuous for 40mm. This means complex geometry for cooling fins has little cost to prototype.The hard part is conceptualizing how volumetric shrinkage occurs. Basically the part will shrink ~2-3% depending on the alloy, but holes will get bigger as metal contracts from the side walls of the plaster. This means that parts need to be scale up ~2% while holes need to shrink by 2%. This allows parts to be well toleranced if machined afterwards.

The best part for testing the capabilities of any machine or process, thank you Loic.

The best part for testing the capabilities of any machine or process, thank you Loic.

A simple linkage cast separately and then assembled.

A simple linkage cast separately and then assembled.

Extremely complex parts that cannot be machined can easily be cast in production volumes allowing standard 3D print/cast parts to; withstand high temperature applications, parts have higher strength to weight ratio, parts can be custom bearing/bushing systems(when bronze is used), and parts can be used to create custom heat sinks (when aluminum is used).

The goal was to see if multiples could be cast simultaneously to minimize cost

Scalability for print to cast can minimize labor cost because sprue trees snap together like legos.

Scalability for print to cast can minimize labor cost because sprue trees snap together like legos.

Rapid manufacturing being applied to test injection molded screw caps [blue material is LDPE]

Rapid manufacturing being applied to test injection molded screw caps [blue material is LDPE]

 

Rapid manufacture of injection molds allows for even the smallest of shops to become competitive with standard injection molding. 3D printing adds ease and flexibility for companies to change their designs/molds faster and keep up with the demand.

Cast bust of a 3D scan

Cast bust of a 3D scan

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ganter on August 26th, 2014
flowerPsykopainted

{A flower image created with PsykoPaint. Ganter@2014}

Dear 3DP Readers,

We have attended a couple of 3D printing conferences, events and exhibits over the last few months.

It has been GREAT seeing all of you and sharing in all of the work that is being accomplished.

We have gotten many direct requests to start writing posts again. Okay, we hear your requests.

ganter on December 31st, 2013

There is a classic poem “The  Old Year” by John Clare which seemed quite fitting for this New Year’s Eve post.

Assembled-prusa-mendel

The Old Printer Day
by Prints Clear

The Old Bot’s gone away
To nothingness and blight:
It does not work all the day
Nor heat its bed by night:
It has no stepstick, heat or fan
Either in skein or slic3r:
The last year we scanned a friendly face,
In this year’s mesh we mixed and mashed.

All botch prints everywhere:
Smoke we on boards see
Have more of substance with chips fried
And lost of driver are we.
We have a spare for many a chip,
In many a box or bag–
A Pololu to every heart’s desire,
And now it prints for again.

Old models cast away,
Old printers cast aside,
The talk of yesterday,
Of things Mendelfied;
But bad prints thrown away
New voice of Kossel to call:
The eve of New Printer’s Day
Old Bots are lost to all.

minikosseldeltabot_pi

ganter on December 22nd, 2013

After a bit of a wait, the holiday elves brought us a new Sense scanner.   The Sense scanner is a new product in the Cubify family.   It is a reasonably low cost  device (< $400) and includes software suit (including drivers).      The good news is the software and hardware were easy to install and worked on the first try (although the software gives the impression that it is keyed to the hardware).    You must register your hardware to get a key to use the software (it happens in real time).

This scanner is a paint as you go (i.e. you move the scanner around the object rather than moving the object).   The software provides 5 different size/system settings (2 for people and 3 for objects).   The scanner is provides both color information and geometry (remember to save your file in PLY format if you want color).

Overall this product seems like a win.

Please check out the Ben Heck review on 3Ders.org 

ganter_bust2

The PLY file output as displayed in MeshLab.

ganter_bustBW2

 

The STL file out as displayed in MeshLab.

3DP_Ganter_Bust2

 

A picture of the 3D printed part.

ganter on March 11th, 2013

While everyone has been buzzing about the 3Doodler and especially the amazing success of their crowd-sourced financing, we thought that a little spoof was in order.

3Dougher:

the world’s first 3D printing dough device

Many hacker and maker spaces have been exploring new 3D printing devices and systems.   We even spent quite a bit of time exploring new material systems.

We all come back to wanting to 3D print food.    Ever wanted a hand-held device that would allow you to make 3D creations at the touch of a button.

Introducing the 3Dougher…

3Dougher

 

3Dougher. This electric dough dispenser allows your to take your 3D cooking skills to new levels.  Simply load the 3Dougher with your favorite dough or toppings and squeeze the trigger.   You are off 3doughing.   Included with 3Dougher are 12 different extrusion discs and three nozzle tips for the ultimate 3Doughing experience.

This simple tigger will set you free…

3Dougher2

 

Let your 3Doughing go wild:

3Dougher3

3Dougher6 3Dougher5

 

This product has been in development for quite some time.   Shown below is one of the early manual test models.   As you can see, we come a long way to bring you the 3Dougher.

3Dougher8

 

Why not 3Dough some liver pate’ (or crab spread) on a cracker?

{many web sites were raided to find these images to make this spoof possible.  please accept our 3D-polyogies}.

ganter on March 4th, 2013

First and foremost, I would like to offer congratulations to Mr. Hugh Lyman ( from Enumclaw, Washington) who very recently won the The Desktop Factory Competition  with his entry “The Lyman Filament Extruder II”.    This is a DIY filament extruder that allows one to make 1.75mm filament for FFF/FDM class 3D printers directly from pellets.      (We’ve had a couple of students groups playing with these ideas every since WOOF printed the milk-jug boat.)  Awesome job!  A big tip of the hat.

lymanextruder

 

{The Lyman Filament Extruder II}

Over the past couple of months of Saturdays, several of us have gotten together to build some plastic PrintrBots.    I printed the bag of plastic PrintrBot  parts for them (in traditional RepRap fashion).   I gave them some pointers to Brook Drumm’s excellent videos of PrintrBot assembly.      I observed the overall process happen and was amazed.  So many questions. “What’s a BOM?” “Why isn’t there just one BOM?”  “Why  do the BOM’s change almost daily?”  “This is the fourth time I’ve taken the X carriage apart, Why?”   “Why do two of my motors have different color wires than the rest?”   “What, I can’t see that… Where are my glasses?”   And MANY MORE…

None of the original team had ever really seen a DIY 3D printer up-close and personal.    It was fun.    Two Saturday’s ago, the first printer started to print!  We even had a member or two from the WOOF team stop over.  While, we just about have all bots up and running, the discussion turned to “What bot should we try next?”

Fred1

 

{Fred Metz from Spiral Arts with his new Plastic PrintrBot }

Remember, you don’t stop playing because you get old…. you get old because you stop playing.

 

ganter on February 24th, 2013

When Professor William R. Ledoux (an affiliate associate professor in ME and full-time researcher at the VA Center of Excellence for Limb Loss Prevention and Prosthetic Engineering first asked us to help him develop a teaching model, we thought it would be fairly easy.   Our first idea was simply to create a human sized foot made out of transparent material with the foot bones inside.  The idea seemed straight forward.  First produce a mold of the exterior skin surface and then 3D print the bones of the foot.   Place the bones inside the mold and then add transparent/clear material to the mold.   The idea worked but the result was not really all that useful.  It lacked articulation  {Recently this object is a demonstration print for one of the multi-material printing vendors}

Last year about this time, we had another meeting to discuss the teaching foot model.

Ledoux’s idea was much clearer.

“The primary purpose of the 2x foot model is for demonstrations during lectures. Often times, I will want to point to a specific bone or move a joint through a range of motion. This can be difficult to effectively perform with a typical commercially purchased foot model, which is about 20 cm long, as those beyond the first few rows of the room cannot see the demonstration. This issue is easily avoided with the 2x foot model as the bones are clearly visible from the back of most rooms.”

This time the idea was to create a twice size model of the bones in the foot which would allow articulation of each bone.    Again, the idea seemed straight forward.   A team of two students went into planning mode to create/model and then 3D print each bone in the foot and then connect them using flexible cord to allow movement.   The models was constructed from CT/MIR data.   The result is quite startling.

Little_Foot_vs_Big_Foot

{a normal sized human foot and a two times life size foot for teaching}

We know the Prof. Ledoux often asks students in lecture to guess how much larger than life is this foot.   He waits for the respones with a smile.

3D printing or Additive Manufacturing allows for change of object scale almost for free.   The result can make a big impression.

ganter on February 17th, 2013

It’s that time of year, time to attend meet and greets with potential employers (and their representatives).  How to stand out from the rest of the crowd?  Just add a 3D printed bow tie fresh off of Thingiverse (thanks to designers Papillon and Austin) and your 3D printer.

image

Here we have Corwin showing off that new interview look.

3DP_Tie

We asked Corwin “How did it go (with that tie)?”   His response “Folks thought it was pretty cool!”

 

 

ganter on January 15th, 2013

by Sydney Dahl

Haven’t you always dreamt of having miniature, edible figurines of yourself? Yeah, neither did I. At least not until this possibility became a reality in one of my classes last quarter. Taking ME480 (one of our AM classes) with Professor Storti opened up endless possibilities for creative gifts… assuming your friends would enjoy, quite literally, biting your head off  (like mine did).

Food friendly molds were used to create the gummi and chocolate figurines.  A two sided mold set was required to create the figurine of a single person (one for the front and one for the back, which are put together to create a mold for the full body.)

The process to create these molds began by 3D scanning ourselves using the Microsoft 360 Kinect scanner in the lab and ReconstructMe software (. These scans were then imported into Rhino3D to create the inverse of the desired final molds. Once the 3D model was completed, they were printed on the 3DP powder printer, also located in the lab. Below you can see the mold parts — one intact and another that was not so lucky. These molds halves together create the full 3D figurine. Both of the parts below have been waxed after being printed on the 3DP powder printer.

sydney1

A  food-grade Silicone mold material was then poured into these 3DP printed parts to create the final molds. The final molds (the pink squares below) were used to create various kinds of edible figurines. First up: melted gummi bears.

sydney2

The first run of gummi bears was not very successful. Without using any type of non-stick spray the gummi figurines were really hard to remove from the molds and looked more like an elongated Stretch Armstrong than a person. The next round produced much more desirable results. For this more successful batch, some standard non-stick spray was used before putting in the melted gummi bears and the molds were allowed to set overnight.

sydney3

 Next up: chocolate. Only one chocolate mold was attempted and it cracked, unfortunately. Others in the class were more successful in their chocolate casting endeavors than us. Below you can see some of the attempted casted figurines. Helpful hint: Don’t leave these out on the counter when your roommates are hungry.

sydney4

 

ganter on January 2nd, 2013

It’s THAT time of year when everyone will be making amazing predictions about AM for the 2013 year.  I was recently at a holiday party (wearing a silver tie and long tails) discussing “3D printing and AM, and it’s amazing feats”.     Someone then asked “Haven’t you been playing around with this technology for a while?”   “Yes, surely” came my response, “Perhaps over 20 years”.  

We should all enjoy having the spot light on us as the current shiny thing.      However, I was reminded by a song “Everything Old is New Again” by Peter Allen (and  Carol Sager).  My personal favorite version appears in the movie “All that Jazz“.

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN

When trumpets were mellow
And every gal only had one fellow
No need to remember when
Cause everything old is new again

Dancin’ at ya
Long Island Jazz Age parties
Waiter, let me have some more Bacardis
Let’s order now what they ordered then
Cause everything old is new again

Get out your white suit,
your tap shoes and tails
Let’s go backwards when forward fails 
And movie stars that you thought were long dead,
Now are framed beside your bed

Don’t throw the past away
You might need it some rainy day
Dreams can come true again
When everything old is new again

Get out your white suit,
your tap shoes and tails
Let’s go backwards when all else fails
Leave Greta Garbo alone
Be a movie star on your own

And don’t throw
Don’t throw the past away
We’re all gonna need it some rainy day
Dreams can come true again
When everything old is new again

I might fall in love with you again

(© WINDSWEPT HOLDINGS LLC, CARLIN AMERICA INC, Universal Music Publishing Group)

We hope that as a community we don’t forget the shoulders that we’ve built upon “everything old” and we all work hard to be “a movie star on our own”!

Let’s fall in love with 3D printing and AM all over again this year…

wiffle_cube_w_sphere

Wiffle = Box[4,4,4]-Sphere[2.35]+Sphere[2.00]

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