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3D Printed Classic Telescope Parts Files

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#26 Ben Bajorek

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 10:56 AM

Terra, soon we will be printing out metal parts on our kitchen table! There are now metal 3d printers out for around 100G's.  They have their practical limits, but the technology is getting better, accessible and less expensive.

 

I also made some TPU lens caps for the Cooke's finder.  Until I get my metal printer these will have to do.   

 

IMG_5677_zpsgsj0lljf.jpg


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#27 terraclarke

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 12:30 PM

Isn't there a 3-D metal printer on the ISS?



#28 ftwskies

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 01:03 PM

I was discussing this idea of using 3D printing to make telescope parts with a friend who works in a shop that has several 3D printers.  We were discussing the roughness of the finished parts, and he described a technique taught to him by his more experienced colleagues, which results in (according to my friend) a smooth, fairly glossy finished part with no sanding required.

 

As he described it, they would print a part and, as typical, it would come out of the printer looking rough and a bit jaggy, especially curved surfaces.  They would then set the part on a grate within a crock-pot that had a little acetone poured in the bottom.  The pot would be covered and then turned on and warmed until the acetone suddenly flashed off with a >poof!<, and the part would come out of the pot looking smooth.



#29 terraclarke

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 02:25 PM

Boy! Don't try that at home! If you do, stand back and have a fire extinguisher ready! Acetone is highly volatile and extremely flammable!


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#30 ftwskies

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 02:28 PM

I did some looking online and found this link...  Maybe anyone interested in the technique could pull on this thread and see where it leads...

 

https://www.shapeway...rock-pot.19572/



#31 terraclarke

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 03:55 PM

I read that! Wow! "Has anyone tried using a slow cooker instead of a rice cooker to achieve the smooth melted finish with acetone? I need to use a slow cooker because my 3D prints are about 9" long which can't fit in any rice cooker manufactured."

 

Sounds about as safe as operating a home meth lab! :bomb: :lol:


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#32 halx

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 09:32 PM

That technique is called "acetone bath". Though, I'm not sure about the "poof", but originally the ordinary conventional oven was suggested where you put your print and a cup of acetone. The idea is that the very low oven's heat evaporates the acetone in the enclosed space and the thick vapor melts all the tiny imperfections evenly. That's definitely helping make nice looking pieces of art like dinosaurs skulls, but really hard to control if you need to mate some surfaces precisely. Also it works only with ABS (and some other plastics). The PLA is fairly resistant to the acetone.

Here is the trusted source on the subject with a more safe method as well: http://makezine.com/...-acetone-vapor/

 

In a case you really need smooth surfaces - sanding and polishing is the only proven way as usual. However, you can often alter your design to eliminate the need. For example you can leverage the fact that the PLA is softening in boiling hot water. Mating it with a metal part will remove all the imperfections preventing smooth sliding of that part (i.e. the eyepiece barrel) in and out with very high precision. Or you can opt for a multi-faceted surface which will be equal to the round one mechanically but any imperfections will be removed by the mating metal or plastic part. E.t.c.

 

Edit: PLA is very easily spray painted. I bet a brass looking epoxy paint is available, it creates very glossy, enamel like surface finish after curing in several layers.


Edited by halx, 09 January 2017 - 09:44 PM.

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#33 Ben Bajorek

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 07:09 AM

Isn't there a 3-D metal printer on the ISS?

I think they were / are experimenting with a FDM printer that extrudes plastic.

 

ABS, the filament you can smooth the acetone fumes, is not easiest to print with.  It thens to warp off the build plate during printing.  It's strong and the prints have a nice clean look but it's being use less as better filament options appear.  I also don't really give a fig about the negative aesthetics of the layer lines.  You can tell a lot about the quality of the print by layer lines appearances.  Sometimes I print with a very large nozzle (0.8mm) and the large layer lines enhance the beauty of the part.  This panel was printed with a carbon fiber infused PETG filament with a large .8mm nozzle.  

 

IMG_4116_zps69revkyu.jpg

 

IMG_4109_zpsoql19pgg.jpg


Edited by Ben Bajorek, 10 January 2017 - 07:12 AM.

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#34 Ben Bajorek

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 12:43 PM

Here a link to a Deutsche Welle (DW) video that demonstrates 3D printing in metal, building parts for gas turbines engines.  There are some good shots of the metal sintering process that's used to produce the parts.  It's an expensive machine, I won't have one anytime soon.      

 

 

http://www.dw.com/en...try/av-37075707


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#35 Ben Bajorek

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 10:11 AM

A link to 3D printing in glass.  The sintering process, used here, allows "less" expensive printers to create metal and now glass parts.  Development continues......

 

 

https://www.nature.c...061.html#videos


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#36 grendel

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 11:41 AM

I recently bought an off the shelf 3D printer, it has a built in scanner, the scanner well what can I say, none too accurate. but as a draughtsman, I can say if I can draw it I can print it.

one cold acetone method that is safer for smoothing calls for immersing the part in an enclosed container, with something like paper towels soaked in acetone for about 40 minutes, then leaving the part to set as it goes quite soft.

I have yet to print any telescope parts, but in the two months since I got the printer I have used up 5 spools of filament.


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#37 astrowolf67

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 06:49 PM

Hmmm, I wonder if anyone has started making replacement tips for tripod legs?  I have all three on my Sears scope, but, they are in pretty sad condition.  I see so many classic scopes with these missing, although, some originally just had the metal spikes with no tips.


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#38 Ben Bajorek

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 05:50 AM

Hmmm, I wonder if anyone has started making replacement tips for tripod legs?  I have all three on my Sears scope, but, they are in pretty sad condition.  I see so many classic scopes with these missing, although, some originally just had the metal spikes with no tips.

I did print some out some tips for the Unitron 128 telescope that I recently traded away.  One of the metal cones was missing when I got the scope, I designed a 3d printed "boot" that would slip over the metal cone.  A bonus was that the boots might protect wood floors from being scratch up by the metal cones.  It was all reversible, the boots were only held in place by a dap of silicone adhesive.  

 

  

 

IMG_4886%202_zpsuqyx3pqx.jpg

 

IMG_4887%202_zpsdsms7rid.jpg

 

IMG_4889%202_zpshzjvegjo.jpg


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#39 Ben Bajorek

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 07:45 AM

A new 3d printer to make classic telescope parts and other stuff.  This is a SLA machine that uses UV light, projected through a LCD screen, to cure and buildup resin layers into a 3d print.  The printer has a definition much higher than the other FDM 3d printers I've been using until now.  It's also the least expensive printer in my stable, priced at around $500!  I've been busy learning how to set up this Wanhao Duplicator 7-1.4, now I'm ready for it's first print attempt, a .965"  to 1.25"eyepiece adaptor.            

 

 

IMG_6836_zpsjkk6iysh.jpg


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#40 Ben Bajorek

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 03:44 PM

Here's the link to a file for a lens cap for a Zeiss AS60/840 telescope which I made out of semi-flexible TPU plastic.  

 

https://www.thingive...m/thing:2527629

 

IMG_6960_zpstppom6t1.jpg


Edited by Ben Bajorek, 10 September 2017 - 03:45 PM.

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#41 Chuck Hards

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 03:54 PM

Nice dust cap!

 

Can parts be printed in structural, machinable metals yet, with resolution to equal at least a sand-cast traditional part?  How long until a machined-quality surface can be printed, including functional fine threads?

 

Edit:  Never mind, I just found the link earlier in this thread.  So I guess my question is how long until the home-based maker can do it ecconomically?



#42 celestronlover57

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 04:08 PM

Interesting.  Okay, I know one way of measuring resolution in a 2D (conventional printer) is in dots per inch.  How does one measure 3D printer resolution, I wonder. 



#43 ryanlu92

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 10:13 PM

 May I suggest OP to try 3D printing the adapter of microscopic EP to 0.965/1.25 inch ?

It would be great when you want to try some microscopic EP.

 

Ryan


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#44 celestronlover57

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 10:32 PM

Way back when Edmund Scientific used microscope size eyepieces in its 3" reflector which sold for $29.95 for nearly three decades.  While the Huygens eyepieces might not be worth adapting, I recall they did offer a 19mm symmetrical design.  But plenty of much better microscope eyepieces out there to adapt.  Of course a cheap Huygens or Ramsden adapted to 1.25" would be good if you need a cheap eyepiece for solar projection.


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#45 jag767

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 03:12 AM

Nice dust cap!

 

Can parts be printed in structural, machinable metals yet, with resolution to equal at least a sand-cast traditional part?  How long until a machined-quality surface can be printed, including functional fine threads?

 

Edit:  Never mind, I just found the link earlier in this thread.  So I guess my question is how long until the home-based maker can do it ecconomically?

 

 

I print parts for motorcycle regularly, and in short, the high end parts have a totally different process, and they are extremely expensive machines. I send my files to shapeways.com to be printed. Very high end, excellent quality. It's done with power and a laser rather than extruded layers.



#46 Ben Bajorek

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 05:45 AM

 

Nice dust cap!

 

Can parts be printed in structural, machinable metals yet, with resolution to equal at least a sand-cast traditional part?  How long until a machined-quality surface can be printed, including functional fine threads?

 

Edit:  Never mind, I just found the link earlier in this thread.  So I guess my question is how long until the home-based maker can do it ecconomically?

 

 

I print parts for motorcycle regularly, and in short, the high end parts have a totally different process, and they are extremely expensive machines. I send my files to shapeways.com to be printed. Very high end, excellent quality. It's done with power and a laser rather than extruded layers.

 

Going the Shapeways route for making metal parts makes the most sense right now.  The powdered metal laser sintering 3d printing machines run into the millions of dollars, but as patents expire there is no real reason for them to be all that expensive.  That said, 3d printing is an addition to long history of machining practices and innovations, not some sort of replacement at this point.

 

The route I plan on to try to make small metal parts is using a castable resin on an SLA 3d printer, like the Formlabs or my Duplicator 7.  Then giving these castable resin patterns to a jewelry casting company to get investment casts in metal, like brass.  This can be very cost effective.  

 

I think the most important thing I've gotten out of the 3d printing is needing to learn a CAD program to produce parts.  The power of CAD programs to help design things is astonishing.  You can use Autocad's Fusion 360 as a hobbyist for free, I highly recommend you give it a try.    


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#47 Chuck Hards

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 06:33 AM

I have a Solidworks certificate, use it at work for 3D modeling all the time.  I'm also a patternmaker so can make my own patterns by hand anyway.   About 11 years now using Soldidworks.  My problem is that after being on a computer at work during the day, I like to get away from it as much as possible when at home.  :lol:


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#48 halx

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:37 AM

Powdered metal printers will never find their way into our homes, patents or not. They need an industrial grade electric power hookup (dozens of amps) and plenty of power per simplest print (dozens of KWatts). Sadly, household grade nuclear reactors (promised by Japan) somehow didn't hit the shelves...



#49 Ben Bajorek

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 12:45 PM

Powdered metal printers will never find their way into our homes, patents or not. They need an industrial grade electric power hookup (dozens of amps) and plenty of power per simplest print (dozens of KWatts). Sadly, household grade nuclear reactors (promised by Japan) somehow didn't hit the shelves...

The efficiency of lasers has and will likely continue to improve.  A 100watt CO2 laser back in the 1970's use to be the size of a railroad boxcar, now it's the size of briefcase.  

 

Also there is the chance that something totally unforeseen will advance the technology in another direction, like the LCD-based resin SLA 3D printers just emerging on the market.  Basically using $30 smart phone screens to get rid of expensive laser galvanometer systems with something new, far cheaper and better.  


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#50 halx

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 03:36 PM

New materials, - yes. Miniaturization - yes. But metals smeltering requires a certain amount of raw energy to do the job. Furnace or Laser - just how much of it you waste.




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