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3-D printers: getting cheaper now...

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#1 amicus sidera

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:22 AM

Interesting article from Arstechnica.com regarding the continuing drop in the cost of 3-D printers:

Why basic 3-D printers are crazy cheap right now

I can see this being a boon to ATM'ers; while certainly not taking the place of the big stuff, such as mirror grinding and the machining of metal parts, lots of neat little appurtenances can be made to finish off an instrument via this method. Additionally, those attempting to restore classic telescopes to their original appearance can make up identical-looking parts for their projects without necessarily having to resort to metal-casting or machining, provided the plastic parts retained sufficient strength for the particular application. Libraries of part specifications for printing could be created and stored online, and a useful part that one ATM designs can be easily duplicated by others.

Fred

#2 BoriSpider

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:34 AM

Yes they are dropping in price. I believe there is/will be
a kit for like $299.00 by PrintRbot called "Simple". It's
a little itty-bitty thing that you can use to print parts
for a larger printer. Then cannibalize the parts from the
"Simple" kit to make the larger printer.

Someone is working on a Mirror-Grinding Machine as we speak.

#3 BoriSpider

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:35 AM

lol. Now that I look at the article they mentioned the "Simple" I was talking about.

#4 don clement

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:36 AM

http://www.industryt...20-hours/905...

#5 BoriSpider

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:19 PM

Now MS Win8.1 is jumping on the bandwagon.

#6 BoriSpider

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 05:10 PM

So the mUVe , a UV resin based 3d printer, was a successful KickStarter
that was fully backed and shipped. Now they have released
the documentation so you can build one yourself.

It's open source so hack-away. I don't know what the properties
are of resin plastics compared to the plastic I print
with but the detail should be much better on this one.

#7 BoriSpider

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 08:17 AM

Here is a video explaining how MS will support 3d printing.

#8 AlphaGJohn

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 10:31 PM

I had a perfect application for 3D printing: an adapter base for the AT Multi-reticle finder to attach to my Vixen-type finder holder on the refractor's focuser. There were none of the adapters available at any of the retail sites I checked. There was some info suggesting that future availability was uncertain too.

If I'd had a way to print it out, I'd have been set. This is a low stress part that does not have to be particularly precise (the adjustment is on the finder itself)--it just has to be rigid enough to keep the finder parallel to the optical train in multiple orientations (I have a GEM so this involves a pretty broad range of orientations), allow the laser-reticle finder to attach firmly to it, and attach firmly to the receiver on the scope itself. The real thing is aluminum, but a good hard plastic should be able to do that--let alone a UV-cured resin (which would presumably be tougher). Amazing stuff happening.

I did find a conventional adapter through the classifieds here on CN (very happy about that). If anyone into 3D printing wants the measurements, let me know--I think there's others who'd be glad to use the AT Multi-reticle finder if they had an adapter available.

John

#9 Chriske

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:59 AM

I don't know what the properties
are of resin plastics compared to the plastic I print
with but the detail should be much better on this one.


Hi guys,

We use (casted) resin for telescopeparts for nearly 10 years now. The only drawback resin has no 'memory'. For a few parts in our telescope setup it really is necessary. We've printed the same telescope part using ABS and the result was far better.
Compared with a printed part quality of a casted part is far better(not strength, that we don't know yet). A casted resin part is actually so good that a untrained eye cannot tell which one the original or the copy is..!
Let's hope quality of the 3D printers will improve soon.
On the other hand, if the quality of 3D printed objects will improve it will be the end of an area in our community...Pitty...!

Chris

#10 BoriSpider

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:25 AM

AlphaGJohn: Are you talking about this type of finder and mounting rail?
Is the Mounting Rail the part you are talking about?
And is this for your 102GT?

#11 AlphaGJohn

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 05:39 PM

Maybe should take this to another thread, BoriSpider, but yes, it looks like that would have been just the ticket.

[Edit: On further review, no I don't think the OPT version would have fit my (I think--scope was 2nd hand) upgraded focuser's receiver . In fact the dovetail is substantially wider than the mentioned 5/8": the narrow part is 20mm, wide part 30mm. It fits into the focuser receiver with about 3mm of extra space when the locking screw is tightened up. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the measurements of the dovetail on the unit you pointed me to. In any case, the part I got is referred to as "Vixen-style".]

What I bought was this:

Multi-reticle finder w/ unhelpful base

So I also needed this widely unavailable part:

Mounting bracket to work w/ focuser's receiver

Which a CN subscriber sold me--so I'm all set. BTW, the focuser was upgraded before I bought the 102GT, so I don't know if this is the same bracket you'd need on the stock focuser.

It just seemed to me that the bracket (2nd link) could easily be made of plastic and still work just fine--perhaps fabricated on a 3D printer (or molded in ABS, certainly). And as I said, it's hard to find--I consider that I got lucky on the CN classifieds w/ my WTB request being filled so neatly.

John

#12 D.T.

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:19 PM

Rather than buying my own 3D printer, I would rather just upload a CAD document to a company and then pick up the part at the local UPS store. The price on doing it that way is probably also coming down. Any 3D printer you buy will be obsolete in a year. And at that time, you might realize you had only used it twice.

I think another possible way to use the 3D printer, and keep the cost down, if your part had significant mass, would be to print a thin shell of what you want, and fill it with urethane casting material. Or, you could print a shape and strengthen it with carbon fiber.

Lot's of possible ways to play with this.

#13 BoriSpider

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 01:59 PM

Looks like laser-sintering 3d printers are going to drop in price in early 2014.
This is 3ders.org's article on the subject.

#14 Chriske

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 08:53 PM

Just finished assembling a Prusa Mendel i2 printer.
This is our first print, a part of a crayford focuser.

Posted Image

#15 BoriSpider

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:41 AM

Gratz.
That is a nice print.

#16 BoriSpider

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 11:55 AM

Well not only are 3d printers getting cheaper, but smart people
are getting involved in there design. Here is a KickStarter
for the Peachy Printer. . You just got to watch the vids.

Genius, I say, Genius.

oh did I mention it's under $100? :bow: :shocked: :D

#17 Gary Fuchs

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 10:50 PM

Nice work Chris, as usual...any more pieces?

Here's a lap mold mold Matt printed:

Posted Image

And the urethane mold:

Posted Image

And the lap:

Posted Image

Gary

#18 Pinbout

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 11:32 PM

I like that mold.

what size is it.

#19 BoriSpider

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 10:26 AM

Some VERY nice prints here.

#20 Gary Fuchs

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:17 AM

Thanks.
It's a 6", made in two parts so shouldn't be a problem to make larger sizes. Or different patterns/draft angle etc.
We thought the slight gap between the pieces might be a problem, but it wasn't--worked perfectly.
Gary

#21 Edward E

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:40 AM

Now that is the "cat's meow". How long did it take to print the form? Did you have any issues with removing the mold after the pitch was pored?

#22 BoriSpider

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:50 AM

And is the .stl used available for d/l?

#23 mikey cee

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 12:32 PM

It's like all electronic stuff. It all gets cheaper and cheaper and obsolete ad infinitum. It's the resin they make the money off of. That stuff will always be high priced for the amount you get. Just like fasteners in air nailers and smart phone plans. It's the on going never ending need for "stuff" to make the dang junk operate. That's where the real money is.:foreheadslap:

#24 Gary Fuchs

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 01:19 PM

How long did it take to print the form?

I'll find out.

Did you have any issues with removing the mold after the pitch wast pored?

The urethane peeled off easily without any pitch sticking, and no broken tiles. I'll post a picture later. Even easier than the much cruder rubber molds I've made.

And is the .stl used available for d/l?

I believe Matt's going to post it soon.
Gary

#25 Gary Fuchs

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 09:52 PM

Here's the mold coming off the pitch:

Posted Image

(I forgot to ask the printing time)

The printing file should be posted soon.






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