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Old 11/10/2016, 01:12 PM   #1
Enoonraefi
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3D Printing...

Does anyone here have any experience using a 3D printer to print parts for the reef aquarium? I came up with a design for an algae scrubber to go on my 28G Nano that I would like to get some feedback on.

I'm Planning on using an ABS Filament. I've been reading up on how to give the final product an acetone vapor bath to seal up ay small holes and give a nice finished look. I plan on mounting acrylic windows in the box using MEK to bond the clear acrylic sheets to the abs.


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Old 11/10/2016, 01:16 PM   #2
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Yeah quite a few have printed parts..
If you have a 3d printer and a tank chances are you have printed something for it..
ABS is just fine and won't dissolve over time like PLA,etc.. will.. so good choice there..
Have fun..
Post up some pics when you get a chance of the progress/finished product..


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Old 11/10/2016, 01:21 PM   #3
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the biggest issue you will run into is size. most DIY printers will max around 10"x10"x10" in size. Mine I can go up to 8"x8"x8" which is good enough for me.

check out jrhupp's build thread: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2547305


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Old 11/10/2016, 05:10 PM   #4
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I print quite a bit of stuff for my tank. CafeReef has already posted a link if you want to see what I have going on.

If you want some feedback, post up the design. I think several of us have experience and would be happy to comment on whatever you are interested in.

What printer are you using? What are you modeling in? And what are you slicing with?


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Old 11/10/2016, 07:16 PM   #5
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Interested to see what you end up with - the rough surface of a non-polished part would make a great algae growing surface too


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Old 11/10/2016, 10:09 PM   #6
Enoonraefi
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I have no idea what printer It will be. I'm having a friend print it for me but, I have been told that my design will fit within on printbed. I designed it in Autodesk 123D Design though.

I'm planning on buying a Lulzbot TAZ 6 or getting a membership to the Dallas Maker Space sometime in the near future though. I just can't currently afford it.

I can send anyone that would like a copy of the drawings that file if you'll pm me your email address and what file type you'd like.

So on to the plans... The angles may not be the best but I think it hits the highlights.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg Total Scrubber Set Front.jpg (19.3 KB, 114 views)
File Type: jpg Total Scrubber Set Top Left.jpg (24.6 KB, 113 views)
File Type: jpg Total Scrubber Set Inside.jpg (26.3 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg Total Scrubber Set Bottom Right.jpg (14.7 KB, 99 views)
File Type: jpg Total Scrubber Set Bottom.jpg (14.0 KB, 93 views)
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Old 11/10/2016, 10:17 PM   #7
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Oh... and I'm planning on using LED Growlights, attached to an aluminum plate to help dissipate the heat, in the pockets on each side to light the whole thing.

...Speaking of... I need to add a little wire run to the box to hide all of that and make it look pretty.

P.S. I tried to edit the above post but couldn't figure out how to... apparently I don't have the rights.


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Old 11/10/2016, 10:31 PM   #8
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That large of a box is going to give you trouble with printing in general, and with ABS in particular. Best bet is to print flat panels and glue them together.


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Old 11/10/2016, 10:40 PM   #9
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I guess I should have included this as well.. the main box dimensions are:
Width: 181mm
Height: 164mm
Depth: 88mm

This is my first forey into the 3D printing world so I am open to any suggestions. I did inquire about what printer he is going to be using so when he gets back to me with that I'll post that here as well.


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Old 11/11/2016, 04:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaMonica View Post
That large of a box is going to give you trouble with printing in general, and with ABS in particular. Best bet is to print flat panels and glue them together.
I would say that this statement warrants some qualification, as it really depends on the printer and whether it is enclosed or open and how support is handled. I have no problem printing large boxes in abs. But an open frame printer would be likely to have lots of issues with delamination during printing.

As to the design, it looks quite nice; well done.

Do you know how the printer it will be printed on handles support? I see a lot of unsupported overhangs in the design that will not print well without some support.


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Old 11/11/2016, 07:44 AM   #11
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I thought supports were added by the slicer prior to sending the print to the printer?


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Old 11/11/2016, 09:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDave View Post
I thought supports were added by the slicer prior to sending the print to the printer?
They certainly can be..

Personally I "attempt" to design for no support material at all... Its just better that way..
But yes.. That design is really not 3d printer friendly (but doable) and quite a bit could be modified to improve it..

Thats going to take a long time to print as is and require massive support structure..

I doubt they will be happy with the 3d printed outcome..


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Old 11/11/2016, 10:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgyvr View Post
They certainly can be..

Personally I "attempt" to design for no support material at all... Its just better that way..
But yes.. That design is really not 3d printer friendly (but doable) and quite a bit could be modified to improve it..

Thats going to take a long time to print as is and require massive support structure..

I doubt they will be happy with the 3d printed outcome..
Agreed on all points.


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Old 11/11/2016, 03:30 PM   #14
Enoonraefi
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So, if I'm reading this correctly, a more simplified design is going to be in order if I would like to have a solid final product. I can start on that... But before I do I have a few questions:
What kind of wall thickness should I be using to get a solid outer shell?
How can I best create a large window without needing to add a bunch of supports?
Other than the top of the window where am I going to need supports?


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Old 11/11/2016, 05:39 PM   #15
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Best way to make boxes is to do each wall by itself, flat, then glue them together. Could include some little toungue/groove latches too, like in woodwork.

2mm thick walls should be good, at 0.3 mm layer height, 100% infill. Or maybe 5mm thick walls with 2 solid outer shells and 20% infill.


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Old 11/12/2016, 07:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoonraefi View Post
How can I best create a large window without needing to add a bunch of supports?
A circle or diamond shape (square turned 45deg) cutout requires no supports if its orientated vertically..

Or as stated by santamonica if you make each piece separate then print it so the opening horizontal flat against the glass.. (aka total print height would only be 5mm or whatever wall thickness you decide on)


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Old 11/12/2016, 04:49 PM   #17
jrhupp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoonraefi View Post
What kind of wall thickness should I be using to get a solid outer shell?
This is set by the number of perimeters or outer shell thickness specified in the slicer. For vertical walls I often use a 1mm wall thickness (0.4 mm nozzle) and then model the wall at 2 or 2.4mm thick. That has given quite satisfactory results on my printer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoonraefi View Post
How can I best create a large window without needing to add a bunch of supports?
Do you know how the printer that you will use performs at bridging? It is quite possible when supported on two sides for the printer to bridge horizontal gaps of up to a couple of centimeters with out additional support. Much more then that and the first layer that supports the span will either break or sag.

For larger openings that will print vertically I will often leave them filled partially and then bevel the edges of the opening. So for a 2.4 mm thick wall, I would for example leave a 1 mm thick wall up the center of where I want the opening and bevel all the edges from the 2.4 mm down to 1 mm at a 45 degree angle or so. The thin wall in the opening I either remove with a razor blade or Dremel after the print finishes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoonraefi View Post
Other than the top of the window where am I going to need supports?
In theory, anywhere where the overhang has a slope greater than layer height divided by the nozzle width.


As to the idea of printing the parts flat and then assembling, this works but it pretty much defeats the purpose of using a 3d printer. A well designed part on well tuned and enclosed printer is no problem. Where delamination and warping occur during a print (the reason folks are suggesting printing flat and assembling), this is typically due to differential cooling as the part is printed. Thin walls on open frame printers are notorious for this because they cool so quickly and there is so much plastic laid in close proximity to itself. Thin walled boxes of significant height are quite doable if you enclose the printer. Just take a look at my build thread, especially the enclosures for my electrical receptacles. Those are a 2.4 mm wall and about 100 mm tall.


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Old 11/15/2016, 09:53 PM   #18
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Here is the Latest rendering. I'm planning on letting the slicing program handle the bottom supports but the window supports I have designed in as you mentioned above. I'm having my friend check everything over to see if he thinks it will turn out. The printer I am using is a FlashForce Creator Pro if anyone knows anything about that particular printer.


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Old 11/16/2016, 08:56 PM   #19
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Yes a Flashforge is a common enclosed fdm printer, copied after a Makerbot. The modelling is the important part though.

Nice spiral drain; that's what printers are good for... printing that vertically. The lid is easy too.. upside down. The box though, depending on the slicer (I use slic3r), is going to have massive supports that are going to take hours or days to clean up nice. And if ABS, there is still a chance the whole thing lifts/warps up after the print is 1 or 2 inches high, even though it's enclosed. Large tall boxes are just the worst shapes to try to print.

If you are paying to have it done, specify that you'll only accept a non-warped print.

Probably is going to take 9 to 18 hours to print.


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Old 11/17/2016, 08:26 PM   #20
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Yea. The spiral is my attempt to keep the splashing noise to a mimimum we'll see how it works. Like I said I'm new to all of this.. in a few months I'm hoping to buy a printer for myself so this might just end up waiting until then. I want the algae scrubber now, I just don't know how doable it's going to be with the printer I have at my disposal currently.

As far as cleanup. I have time. I work 24 hour shifts... But then I get 48 hours off. So time I have more than most. I may be wrong but if I get the final product that I want I think the time spent cutting away the supports will be more than worth it. Now... If anyone has a hook-up with a carbon 3d printer... I'd be interested in chatting with them... Those things are bad ***!


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Old 12/13/2016, 01:28 AM   #21
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Is there an update on your 3d printing experiment? Sounds interesting. I wanted to purchase one and not sure which one to get. I saw these review https://www.allthat3d.com/best-3d-printer/ but it still confuses me.


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Old 03/10/2018, 06:42 PM   #22
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I was able to create a couple of reefs with a 3D printing pen (this one: https://www.reviewsbyhumans.com/best...est-pen-to-buy). Took me a bit of practice to be able to properly use the tool. The first few projects looked ridiculous, but you can't go wrong with the price. A real 3D printer will cost you a few hundred bucks.


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Old 03/12/2018, 01:30 PM   #23
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You probably free-handed it, which would be a lot like sculpting.

A real printer would have needed modeling first, which would be very difficult.


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Old 03/14/2018, 11:31 AM   #24
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I was looking to replace my overflow box teeth with something finer that will give me a more laminar flow into the sump.

I was looking to 3d print it as i can make a finer mesh using the 3d printer than what's out there and molded, but since i have an overflow box bonded into my tank, how should i cut out and mold in this adapter?


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Old 03/14/2018, 10:34 PM   #25
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First, you would only print it flat; not vertical. Then you just model into it an L-shaped lip around it, so that it fits right into the cutout. You can even get crafty and include little tabs so that it will snap in and be removable.


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