Thermwood tests 3D printed carbon fibre-filled PPS panels without coatings

Thermwood has taken a major step toward its goal of 3D printing autoclave capable tooling from high temperature carbon fibre filled thermoplastic materials.

The manufacturing company 3D printed 50% carbon fibre-filled PPS panels on its LSAM additive manufacturing machine, maintaining the part’s vacuum to an industry-standard level, without coatings. Testing of the part was conducted by the Fleet Readiness Center, located at MCAS Cherry Point, NC, under a previously announced Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) partnership. The results met FRC-East acceptance criterion that the bag must not lose than more than 2 in Hg over five minutes.

As an added benefit, Thermwood believes it will soon be capable of producing moulds and tooling that function properly under vacuum in a heated, pressurized autoclave, also without the use of any type of coating to seal the printed tools.

Previously, other unaffiliated companies have tested actual tools printed by Thermwood from 20% Carbon Fibre-filled ABS and have also found that those tools held vacuum to an acceptable level without the use of any sealer or coating; however, the ABS material is not suitable for high temperature applications.

Yet, several parts have been made from those tools under vacuum at room temperature and at slightly elevated temperatures. Thermwood has also already printed a 50% Carbon Fibre-filled three dimensional PPS mould which has not yet been tested. Thermwood’s goal is to produce moulds that will be used in a production autoclave, moulding finished parts suitable for actual end use.

Thermwood’s additive printing process differs fundamentally from conventional Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) printing. Most FDM processes print parts by melting and extruding a relatively small bead of thermoplastic material onto a heated build plating that is contained within a heated chamber. The heated chamber keeps the extruded material from cooling too much before the next layer is added.

Thermwood machines print a large bead at such a high rate that a heated environment is not needed. It is basically an exercise in controlled cooling. Print speed is adjusted so that each layer cools to the proper temperature just as the next layer starts to print resulting in a continuous printing process that produces high quality parts. Thermwood believes this fundamentally different approach produces superior parts.

One other feature that Thermwood engineers believe helps produce solid, void free parts, is a patent pending compression roller that follows directly behind the print nozzle, flattening the bead while fusing it tightly to the previous layer.

TORLO: a 3D printed clock with an two-tone minimalist design

Jun 13, 2017 | By David

In an increasingly digital age, the humble analog clock has begun to undergo a surprising resurgence, partly thanks to the accessibility of 3D printing technology.

3D printing enables all kinds of components to be produced relatively cheaply and easily, such as custom gear mechanisms and other parts. After using 3D printing for these very uses, one enterprising Hackaday user recently showed off their own 3D printed time-telling creation, the TORLO.

The clock was designed and built by user Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi, an architect who likes to tinker with engineering in his spare time. Kalsi initially set out to make a clock using a self-oscillating motor, but this task was fraught with difficulties: the motor struggled to keep consistent time, and contacts would wear out. These kinds of problems are not uncommon with electromechanical systems, particularly those working with points ignition.

So Kalsi sought an alternative, and eventually decided to use an Attiny 2313 motor, giving a more precise oscillation. Kalsi also took a coil from a laptop HDD, as the magnets would be strong enough to turn the gears. The motor was set up to pulse every two seconds, pushing the clock forward through a simple 3D printed ratchet and pawn system.

The finished clock is a really impressive thing to behold, with an incredibly simple but effective twist on the traditional clock face we’re used to from the grandfather, the carriage, the Mickey Mouse watch—pretty much everything post-sundial.

The ring gear that forms the outer edge of the clock is turned by the gear train, and it moves the hands along with it. The indicators are angled towards the empty centre of the circle, making it seem like they’re suspended in mid-air. It’s a minimalist, aesthetically pleasing design, and the fact that every part of the clock’s mechanism is clearly visible gives it even more modernist charm.

The two-tone white and red color scheme also adds to striking overall impression of the TORLO.

Kalsi has left instructions as to how to assemble the clock on his Hackaday page, with a detailed log showing the various experiments he tried along the way and the modifications and changes that were made. Anyone with an interest in mechanical engineering, 3D printing technology or design could, with a little effort, put together their own version of the TORLO. The component count is relatively small, and everything is either scavenged or made from affordable 3D printed materials.

Kalsi’s Hackaday account shows a few other clock projects that he’s been working on in the past, showing the potential scope for invention that is inherent in such a classic, simple but functional device. 

Not long ago we reported on a 3D printed clock that was modelled after the lunar phases, and this is just the tip of an increasingly large analog iceberg of time-telling treats from talented tinkerers. More and more people are geting into 3D printing and even more people are starting to think about abandoning their fancy smartphones and digital devices, so only time will tell what the future of time-telling technology holds.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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This 3D printed portable mini PC is the perfect DIY project for 3D printer host control

Jun 4, 2017 | By Julia

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Adafruit has uploaded a new tutorial for 3D printing a portable mini PC. Featuring a 7-inch display and built-in battery, this handy and highly portable gadget works with any HDMI device, making it the perfect setup for 3D printer host control.

Posted by the Ruiz Brothers, the 7” Mini PC provides a solid alternative to a Raspberry Pi when running 3D printer interfaces such as Octoprint. Particularly when running maintenance checks and updating firmware, a full blown PC is a key tool to have, but can often be too bulky. For that reason, the Adafruit duo designed and constructed this DIY project to easily control some of their 3D printers.

“We like this because it’s actually a lot smaller to bring this over to a printer then it is to bring over a MacBook Air,” explain the Ruiz Brothers. “So much smaller that we can fit the display right inside the printer and configure printers that can only use windows software.”

In progress for some time now, the 3D printed 7” Mini PC is actually an update to Adafruit’s earlier 7-inch design. Added benefits include an easier assembly thanks to snap fit nubs (as opposed to the previously seen screws) that fasten the lid onto the case.

Mounts are an easy addition to the model, making attaching your preferred tiny computer (whether a PC or Rasperry PI) a synch. Alternatively, threads can be made directly onto the lid.

For this DIY project, the Ruiz Brothers decided to go with a PowerBoost 1000c for easy circuit powerage, ensuring a simple recharging process from the USB port on the side. The makers also included tripod compatibility into their model. The case geometry provides the option for adding a tripod-compatible screw so the whole enclosure can be mounted efficiently to a tripod. Don’t want to use a tripod? The tripod screw fits flush against the enclosure, so the mini PC can still stand upright even without the use of a tripod.

Last but not least, small interchangeable 90 degree up-angled HDMI connectors feature a nifty latching mechanism for linking up flat flexible ribbon cables. These connectors are available in all different types of angle configurations, making it easy to mix and match depending on the specific project.

To prep for this project, the Ruiz Brothers recommend checking out their previous guide for a 7″ HDMI Monitor Backpack. Required tools and accessories include a soldering iron and solder, some silicone wire, PLA filament and a desktop FDM style 3D printer. The full list of parts can be viewed here, which mainly revolves around basics that any tech-inclined makers will likely have in their toolbox. Happy DIYing!

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Linnhoy Unisex Casual 3D Printed T-shirts Short Sleeve Tops Tees L

Linnhoy Unisex Casual 3D Printed T-shirts Short Sleeve Tops Tees

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