Instructables

Experimenting with Small Parts On Your 3D Printer

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                          THIS IS A "LIVING INSTRUCTABLE" ABOUT A NEW DISCOVERY.

IT WILL GROW, MATURE AND IMPROVE DRAMATICALLY OVER TIME.    AS EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE  IS GAINED, I'LL UPDATE MY FINDINGS HERE FIRST, PROVIDING A CONVENIENT WAY FOR THOSE INTERESTED, TO FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE FORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THIS VERY COOL IDEA.  


           IF THIS IS YOUR SECOND VISIT, MOST OF MY NEW INFORMATION WILL BE IN STEP 6

In this Instructable, I'll be experimenting with an idea I had about making things... Really small things, on my MakerBot 3D printer.  I need small parts for models I make for museums.  The last model I made required 21 guns ranging from .137" to .500" in length.  And it took me forever to make them the "traditional" way.

The process I'll be describing is simple, but hard to believe it really works.  I'm fully aware that incredible claims require incredible proof.  Please watch the video, taken in 1 shot, of the extruder doing what I claim it can do.


This Instructable could be a "Game Changer" for people like myself who sometimes need many copies of small, highly detailed parts.  In my case, to help with those models.  3D printers are great for many things, but some things, not so great.  In the past, the only other way I could make small parts was by hand, with a high-pressure injection molder (which I don't have) or cast them in resin.  

By hand is tedious, my eyesight isn't what it used to be and it takes what little time I have away from other things.

Resin is brittle, costs $150 per gallon, has a shelf life measured in weeks and makes a horrendous mess every time I use it.

Injection molders are inexpensive, clean, easy to use and take up little space.  But, they require metal dies.  Metal dies are made with machinery called "mills".  Mills are horrendously expensive and take up lots of space.  They also produce tons of oily dirt, and require years of training before they can be mastered.


FORGET TEDIOUS, FORGET RESIN, FORGET INJECTION MOLDERS, FORGET MILLS

YOU HAVE A 3D PRINTER
... YOU CAN MAKE INJECTION MOLDED PARTS IN ABOUT AN HOUR... NEATLY AND FOR FREE:

With your printer, the filament that's sitting on your shelf and the demonstration mold I provide, you can make an injection molded "proof of concept" part without adding, modifying or removing a single thing on your printer.  And it will only take about an hour from start to finish.

This is one cool paradigm shift for people who love making things with their 3D printer, but also want small, highly detailed parts or jewelry, far beyond the printer's limited resolution capabilities.

Don't have a 3D printer?  Don't worry, you will.  As of this month, Staples is selling them, and within 2 years, I predict you'll be able to pick one up at WalMart.  3D printing is having the same growth cycle as the microwave oven had (remember when those came out?).  All "WOW factor at first, but in everyone's home within a couple of years.

Enjoy the descriptions and images I have so far.  And while you're waiting for me to post more information, please vote... 


Vote for anyone... But preferably me :)


This is a new idea and new ideas need data.  Negative feedback is actually more valuable than Positive.  And don't worry, I'm very comfortable with criticism.  You won't hurt my feelings and you may have a better idea we all can use.

Thanks,
bfk





 
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xFyrios1 year ago
Very neat :) I'll certainly have to try this out when I finish building my reprap!
bfk (author)  xFyrios1 year ago
Thank you. Can you try using just the extruder connected to its nozzle to move the plastic through? It should work... Also, maybe you could design your reprap's plate to accept a specially built mold container and program your machine to auto-locate the mold's opening. I'm not a programmer so that's beyond me. As you can see in the video, aligning the head with the opening in the die can be awkward.
the triscut bfk4 months ago

I might be able to figure out programming for that if I really wanted to, but I'm going to try this just using clamps to hold the mold down and using repetier to manually position the nozzle.

you are most welcome..
sorry, i can't accept them, i have to earn them.please save them for someone who deserves them..
I hope the same, 3D printers should become open and affordable for common people to use.
well, me too enjoyed your ideas alot.
bfk (author)  chiragkhatri9991 year ago
You did earn them... For the reasons i stated in my PM. With your forgiveness, I'll restate one thing publicly because I think it's important. (I have to paraphrase and go into more depth here to make it understandable).

Ideas need to be critiqued. Every person's ideas are every bit as important and valid as anyone else's. Everyone, even "Experts" know a lot. But there's a much larger expanse surrounding our personal areas of expertise that may or may not have an impact other people's ideas. Everyone... And I mean EVERYONE has knowledge of things others don't know about. And that knowledge may impact or improve other people's ideas.

I have no idea if what I just wrote makes any sense, but what it means is, "Everyone's input, whether you believe it or not, is as important as anyone else's."
Tomdf1 year ago
Nice stuff! Casting 3D prints is definitely the way to go if you want something useable.
bfk (author)  Tomdf1 year ago
Hi Tomdf: Thank you for your comment. For the first 2 months I owned my printer, most of the things that were printed on it were for the printer. Now, a good portion of the items on my car that aren't structural or require engineered plastics are printed, including the parts like badges that cost a gazillion dollars. Being able to hold the detail on the smaller things, just widens the door for 3D printers as they are today. I've just re-invented the Instructable, added another video and as soon as my favorite UPS guy drops off my RTV, I'll be adding a plethora of new things. Keep coming back and continue the conversation :)
whoa that`s a large pen!
bfk (author)  markusbartosch1 year ago
LOL.. i LIKE that!
crozzymoto1 year ago
This is awesome
bfk (author)  crozzymoto1 year ago
Thanks. If you have a 3D printer, please try it.
its nice work there bro..
i didn't get all technical aspect of it, but, as a whole, you seem to make progress towards less expensive and efficient way of 3D printing, this will help the next step of evolution for 3D printers.
hope you do best here on too..
and i think this thing worth comments...no need of anything in return.
bfk (author)  chiragkhatri9991 year ago
Thank you, thank you, thank you chiragkhatri999.

I'm good to my word and I'll PM you 6 months worth of Pro... You can use them or pass them on. Thanks again for breaking the ice.

As all technologies develop, the ways to use them increase along with them. AutoDesk gets kudos for their 123D work and Instructables. Open source is like steroids for inventiveness. because every mind on the planet has the opportunity to pitch in.

3D printing will be in everyone's home within a few years and is no more complicated than the inkjet printer sitting on your desk. As a matter of fact, it's the exact same technology, and everyone knows how an inkjet works.

Thanks again, I enjoyed your comment and wishes.