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Finished my first 3D printed telescope - feedback appreciated.

DIY reflector 3d printing
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29 replies to this topic

#1 rfiol

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 10:36 AM

After many weeks of planning, modeling, and printing, I finally finished my first 3D printed Newtonian (6" f/5 primary mirror, 50mm secondary, 750mm focal length).  I am super happy with the way it turned out.  The truss tube structure is very sturdy and the scope was easy to collimate.  I used it last night for the first time.  I was able to see Jupiter's Galilean moons (tiny but visible). So fun!

Attached Thumbnails

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#2 rfiol

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 10:42 AM

The finished product...
 
3D Printed Telescope
P02
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P05
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P01

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#3 petert913

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 10:47 AM

Looks wonderful.  Start producing those suckers ! 



#4 charlieb123

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 10:48 AM

Amazing! Excellent use of the tech.

 

What was the total print time for the whole scope?



#5 Mike G.

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 10:53 AM

looks very rigid.  nice work!!



#6 rfiol

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 10:56 AM

@charlieb123, I estimate the total printing time to be about 200 hours.  I used a 20% infill on the primary and secondary mirror mounts.  I probably could have saved some time (and filament) with a 10% infill, but I was worried about the structural integrity due to the weight of the mirror.  In hindsight, because it's a small scope, I am sure 10% would have been fine.



#7 randcpoll

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 11:25 AM

Very cool! It looks like the verticals are the same profile as the structure of a well-known 3D printer we probably all know.



#8 kb58

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 11:33 AM

What's hard to know is how stiff it is. While looking at a star, move the focuser and see what happens; I suspect it's going to "ring like a bell" for a bit. Should be easy enough to add some Kevlar string for triangulation though.


Edited by kb58, 11 September 2020 - 11:33 AM.


#9 rfiol

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 11:34 AM

Very cool! It looks like the verticals are the same profile as the structure of a well-known 3D printer we probably all know.

Yep.  They are 20x20 aluminum t-slot rails.  My 3D printer does not use them, but Creality and many other brands do.  They are solid and great for truss tubes. :)


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#10 wrnchhead

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 11:37 AM

Dude this is COOL! Are the struts extruded aluminum? What's it weigh?

 

(edit, You answered as I posted, neato)


Edited by wrnchhead, 11 September 2020 - 11:38 AM.


#11 rfiol

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 11:38 AM

What's hard to know is how stiff it is. While looking at a star, move the focuser and see what happens; I suspect it's going to "ring like a bell" for a bit. Should be easy enough to add some Kevlar string for triangulation though.

The problem I am having is actually with the (terrible) mount I hurried together last night before the big test.  Moving the focuser did not cause any noticeable "ringing", but anytime I tried to adjust the position of the scope, all hell broke loose.  I need to put some thought into a proper mount design.



#12 rfiol

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 11:42 AM

Dude this is COOL! Are the struts extruded aluminum? What's it weigh?

 

(edit, You answered as I posted, neato)

Yes, extruded aluminum.  750mm in length.  The rails themselves are pretty light.  The entire scope (with mirrors and focuser installed) weights 13.8 lbs.


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#13 demorcef

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 11:52 AM

Amazing! Fantastic job! When can I buy one? :)



#14 rfiol

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 12:01 PM

Amazing! Fantastic job! When can I buy one? smile.gif

Thanks!  I'll post the STLs online for download soon.


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#15 rjaszcz

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 12:25 PM

 

The finished product...

 

Looks fantastic, congrats on your project!



#16 Dale Eason

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 12:34 PM

I like it.  What is the purpose of the off white threaded ring structure in the center of the bottom?

 

I have been wanting to make a bigger (14 -15 inch) version of my 10 F3 3D printed scope.  Now maybe I will try something with those extrusions.



#17 rfiol

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 01:21 PM

I like it.  What is the purpose of the off white threaded ring structure in the center of the bottom?

I had to print the mounts in three parts because my printer has a small build plate.  I essentially sliced the mount into a pie shape.  So, to add structural support, I printed the threaded coupler to join the parts together.  There is a threaded cap that goes with it.  

 

M07

Edited by rfiol, 11 September 2020 - 01:28 PM.

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#18 ad701xx

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 04:32 PM

Thanks!  I'll post the STLs online for download soon.

Excellent job! What filament did you end up using?  

 

I'm looking forward to downloading the STLs. Are you going to put it on Thingiverse? I have a 6" F/4 mirror I can try this out with.


Edited by ad701xx, 11 September 2020 - 04:34 PM.


#19 megachriops95

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 04:55 PM

Have you weighed the OTA? Fantastic build!

 

I am also starting a ball scope build with mostly everything 3d printed. This technology really opens up the possibilities and increases accuracy of parts far better than I could make with hand tools.



#20 rfiol

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 05:00 PM

What filament did you end up using?  

 

Are you going to put it on Thingiverse? 

I used PLA.  Easy to print.  No fuss.

Yes, I'll put on Thingiverse.  I'll update this thread when I do.


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#21 rfiol

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 01:48 PM

I decided against Thingiverse.  Instead, I have uploaded the STL files and parts list to BigBigSpace.com.  Get it FREE now.  Full disclosure: I just created the website (I'm a software developer by profession), and I plan to sell my 3D telescope designs.  But for right now, while I test everything out, I am offering it up for zero cash dollars.  Get it while you can.  Would love to get your feedback on the 3D scope and on the website in general.

https://bigbigspace.com


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#22 ad701xx

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 04:24 PM

Got it downloaded. Thanks!

 

I might start printing this weekend if I can find the time. I'm going to try it in PETG. 



#23 sbpb28314

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 05:47 PM

This is way out of my league BUT I admire your ingenuity and resourcefulness. Congratulations!



#24 rfiol

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 06:16 PM

Got it downloaded. Thanks!

 

I might start printing this weekend if I can find the time. I'm going to try it in PETG. 

Cool!  I can't wait to see how it turns out in PETG.  I built in a 0.25mm tolerance ("printer error") on most parts where it matters.  Also, it's designed for a 2" focuser.  Let me know if you need something different.


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#25 coinboy1

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 08:00 PM

Great job!!


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