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ATMers: Any Use for a 3D Printer?

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#1 saemark30

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 02:25 PM

http://money.cnn.com...printer/inde...

#2 BoriSpider

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 03:41 AM

This guy might be a CN'er and has alot of telescope parts
modeled for printing. Good if you need a replacement until
your part comes in the mail.

#3 BoriSpider

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 03:44 AM

Oh, and a little lite reading while you wait for your printer to come
in the mail from Staples.

#4 Mirzam

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 06:46 AM

How much is the ink?

I could see using this to make some things like focusers, finder rings, spider hubs etc., but a lot would depend on the strength and stiffness of the plastic, and of course the cost.

Protostar, for example, uses injection-molded plastic for their secondary holders and stems, taking advantage of the stem flexibility to allow slight bending for collimation.

JimC

#5 Joral

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:13 PM

They use a 1.75 mm plastic filament. The cartridges for this hold 0.7 lbs for $49. Normal 3d filament is closer to $30/kg for ABS.

#6 don clement

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:44 PM

http://shop.seemecnc.com/

#7 Eden Orion

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 01:00 PM

I think 3D printing is the BIGGEST revolution of the 21st century.
It will change the way we think about consuming.

From ATM point of view I think it will change the designs of telescopes to something similar to enclosed picture.
Plastic quality will improve quickly. RepRap printers plastic is not good enough (to my opinion) to become a production material for log lifespan.

also lot of parts that we buy now, like focusers, secondary holders, etc, we'll make at home.

Attached Files



#8 Dick Jacobson

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 05:16 PM

How does the strength of 3D printed parts compare with steel or aluminum parts made by conventional methods? I've seen a contrarian opinion that 3D printers are good only for making worthless plastic trinkets.

#9 budman1961

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 05:56 PM

From another forum, a few bits to help tame a Meade Super Wedge.

Andy

#10 tim53

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 06:09 PM

There are metal printers as well, but they're not within reach of those of us Great Unwashed.

#11 don clement

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 07:04 PM

For me additive fabrication is still young or out of my price range. So subtractive fabrication is the way I will go for the time being. The jump to 3D printing is only a matter of CAM software or the additive equivalent software out of Solidworks CAD. Everything shown using a 3D printer so far is doable for me on a lathe or CNC mill. IMO 3D printing is not a revolution yet.

Don Clement

#12 ColoHank

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 07:09 PM

According to the Staples piece, "Users can print anything they can design..."

As with everything else, the devil's in the details.

#13 VectorRoll

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 08:22 PM

I remember seeing some 3D Printers in person at a MegaCon a while back. I think it was like the first version of the Replicator. I wanted one then and now I want one even more. After reading this thread I started searching the web on them and they are surprisingly not that expensive if you know where to look. The kits are cheaper if you are willing to put it together yourself. Even cheaper if you are willing to make a lot of the parts yourself. I saw some with parts made out of wood.

What is real cool is that you can use your first 3D Printer one to make most of the parts for another 3D Printer. You just need to add the electrical, hardware, and motors. It cuts the price down on them when you do this. It also allows you to make replacement parts and even cooler, upgrade parts.

I can definitely see these 3D Printers being used to make your own Focusers and even Small Telescope's. Maybe Larger Telescope's if you can design the parts to be connected together.

I am really thinking on buying one of these. Or at least a kit. I already know a bit on 3D Modeling. Having one of these would be fun to mess around with. I can already see myself making parts to add to my Dob, like another trey for holding my eyepieces and even a mount for my Laser Pointer.

If someone does get into this I would definitely like to hear about it more. Like how it works out.


Here is a link to a nice page I found on them if you all are interested. It is sort of a list with quite a few versions out there with links to there sites.
http://www.3dprinter...nal-3d-printers

#14 BoriSpider

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:51 AM

I think for astronomers the benifit would be in prototyping
designs and temporary replacement parts to keep things running
until official parts show up in the mail.

Under prototyping would be custom products like camera/cellphone
adapters to attach them to scopes. You could even print
gear boxes to automate telescopes. RepRappers have been
using PLA for their gears for years now.

Now that low-cost 3D printing is gaining in popularity, the
open-source community is collaborating together and
advancing/expanding the technology it will become one of
those tools everyone should have in their "toolbox".
As for "ink" costs, there are machines that only take high-
priced cartridges but, I believe, work-arounds have been discovered.
Plus many different technologies are being worked on to help
save on "ink" costs.

WOW, "Shutup Dave, let others talk now!" :lol:

#15 TopherTheME

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 03:32 PM

How does the strength of 3D printed parts compare with steel or aluminum parts made by conventional methods? I've seen a contrarian opinion that 3D printers are good only for making worthless plastic trinkets.


This is more or less the case. I've worked with parts from SLA, SLS, and even the MakerBot 3D printers and none of them are able to create what I would call usable parts. They're fine if prototyping for packaging and what not but for usable components they are more or less useless.

Hobby level printers have come a long way but theres only so much you can do with heating and melting plastic in layers. They're neat for making little toys and stuff but every time I've tried to make a usable part the machines are never able to hold a practical tolerance and the structural integrity is never there.

#16 Jeff Phinney

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:59 PM

How does the strength of 3D printed parts compare with steel or aluminum parts made by conventional methods? I've seen a contrarian opinion that 3D printers are good only for making worthless plastic trinkets.


This is more or less the case. I've worked with parts from SLA, SLS, and even the MakerBot 3D printers and none of them are able to create what I would call usable parts. They're fine if prototyping for packaging and what not but for usable components they are more or less useless.

Hobby level printers have come a long way but theres only so much you can do with heating and melting plastic in layers. They're neat for making little toys and stuff but every time I've tried to make a usable part the machines are never able to hold a practical tolerance and the structural integrity is never there.


Even after seeing this video,

http://www.youtube.c...?v=W1U5rEAUD4E

I'm highly skeptical of the claim that this is an automatic firearm that was completely fabricated using a 3D printer. Knowing what I know about the materials used, I don't think I'd ever want to put my face anywhere near this thing when it was being fired.

#17 bremms

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:49 PM

Worthless weak toys. No real structural integrity. A friend made a printer using plans and open source software. It works OK. He make a bracket for his printer with the printer, needed to machine it to fit properly and it separated after a while.. Made a decent Yoda head though.

#18 roscoe

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:09 PM

My son got all excited about getting one, but now gets parts made by a place called Shapeways - you send them a sketchup drawing, and a week later, have your part.
They work in several plastics, and a couple of metal-impregnated plastics also. He got a couple of quad helicopter frames made there that are darn close to indestructable...... you gotta need a lot of $30 parts from them to justify a $1K printer.....
Russ

#19 careysub

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:08 PM

Given the existing limitations of 3-D printed parts, I can think of a few ATM parts that should work well:
* finder mounts and mounting rings (at least in smaller sizes) - these are usually made of cheap cast metal and really very heavy for their function, an ABS version should serve as well and be lighter;
* the tangent-arm compensator cam for a barn-door tracker (very specific mathematical curve involved)

#20 gmussman

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:31 AM

My understanding of this technology is that the strength of an object printed with a 3-D printer is really dependent on the matrix (the "ink", if you will). There is interest in medicine for the 3-d printing of solid organs like kidneys, using a variety of different organic matrix materials.

Cheap plastics are an easy place to start. They are cheap and easy to extrude. I would be surprised if there aren't a variety of higher strength matrix materials out there in the near future.

I think there is a lot of ATM potential from 3-d printing -- but I agree that it might not be yet. That guy's gun is pretty scary -- I'd be pretty nervous firing that thing too! Still, it's sort of proof of concept ...

#21 careysub

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:21 PM

My understanding of this technology is that the strength of an object printed with a 3-D printer is really dependent on the matrix (the "ink", if you will). There is interest in medicine for the 3-d printing of solid organs like kidneys, using a variety of different organic matrix materials.

Cheap plastics are an easy place to start. They are cheap and easy to extrude. I would be surprised if there aren't a variety of higher strength matrix materials out there in the near future. ...


If you expand the range of technologies being considered then there are a lot of possibilities, the molten plastic ink-jet style printer may not be the best approach - for one thing is is hard to see how oriented fibers can be used.

The sheet lamination approach, sort of a hybrid CNC and 3-D printer approach looks interesting. Thin sheets are cut (perhaps by laser) and laminated together layer-by layer. You could use carbon fiber resin sheets in a system like this, and with the blackness of the fiber, and the fact that it is readily "burned" to CO2, oxidative cutting could be done by a very low power laser (as industrial lasers go). Solid carbon fiber/resin objects would be extremely strong.

#22 A. Viegas

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:56 PM

I have printed out Bahtinov focus masks and they are more robust than my Farpoint mask. With a 3D printer you are printing in 3 dimensions and so you can specify the thickness of the part, hence my masks are almost 2x thicker plastic than the Farpoint mask...I was thinking about printing a Duncan mask also when i first got it, but the key impediment is the designing of the part in the printing software. The free public do,ain software is cumbersome and not straight forward. For instance I needed to convert the bahtinov mask " .stl " files to a 3d printing " .svg" which took a few hours of tinkering... Free software like "tinkercad" is not free anymore and the learning curve is steep with the other design software...

I bought my 3d printer about 6 months ago and have just not had much time to use it. I have a friend who bought and built it for me, cost $550. I don't regret getting it and maybe this summer I will have more time to play with it... Still,unless you are really into the technology it just my not pay yet... I became very frustrated trying to build and design a little plastic bracket that held my son's indoor basketball backboard to his closet door... Easy concept... But whoa was it a bear to figure out and program, I worked on it over two full weekends, making SWMBO incredibly miffed... At least with Astronomy I can disappear at night and not be an 'absent husband'

Alas... Too many interests... Not enough time for them all... :bawling:

Al

#23 BoriSpider

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:13 AM

Here is a cool lil' tool printed on a 3d printer.
The turbine powered rotary tool.

#24 bleep

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 12:28 PM

I could use a bracket to fit a dual speed focuser to an xt8. if anybody has 3d designs for that I'd be interested!






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