The meaning is still the same. For me, I am saying I am going to revisit my attempts with Resin based high-definition 3D printing for making master models for casting metal jewelry items.
Using wax master models (in lost wax casting) remains the ultimate choice for me in high quality models and excellent burn-out in the casting process. The attraction of 3D prints is for making detailed models that cannot be hand carved or 3 and 4 axis machine-milled in wax.
The very best surface finish quality 3D prints are made using photosensitive resins and extremely small (0.035mm) layering. My previous attempts with 3D printed masters resulted in inconsistent burnout of the resins from the mold investment.
The solution is to use only the very best (and expensive) casting resins specifically designed for clean burn-out. Those resins required a printer of sufficient power to completely cure the resin on exposure.
My WanHao D7 shown elsewhere on this website is/was not quite up to the job on slow cure resins. The casting resins I could use with the D7 gave me inconsistent results as mentioned above. I abandoned my attempts, and much time passes.
My residence suffered a direct lighting strike last year. I just now discovered the Wanhao D7 must have suffered some damage from the EMP of the strike. The electromechanical parts, the cooling fans, start but the printer is unresponsive to computer inputs. I never thoroughly tested the printer after the strike as it wasn’t being used.
It’s a mixed blessing and curse. Total replacement of the electronics is about $200. But newer and far better 3D printers of this type now exist. The hardware is so improved, it is much better to upgrade than repair.
I have replaced the Wanhao D7 with the Anycubic Photon Mono SE.
The physical size/print capacity are nearly the same with both. The mechanical and hardware difference is a giant leap improvement in the Photon Mono SE. Prime improvements are dual Z axis linear bearings, anti-backlash z axis drive, huge UV exposure improvement in Light unit and 2K mono video screen.
Enough improvements in hardware that I am willing to re-visit 3D prints for use in metal casting masters.
I will cover the casting results in my KautzCraft Studio Blog. The new resin 3D printer shown here will from this point be the AnyCubic Photo Mono SE. The Wanhao D7 Rhino is now a goner. It was fun and useful while it lasted.
I print them four at a time but there is no time savings in doing multiples. The print time for four (one chair) is six hours. Total print time for all 36 pieces was 54 hours.
The material used is called TPU which is Thermal Plastic Urethane, a rubber material. Very tough and durable once it has been printed. Very good for this use.
I made a TPU (RED) case for my Apple SE cell phone. This too was a great application. I earlier posted some other red TPU prints in this blog. I now have to look for other uses for the TPU material.
Now that I have mastered the process for printing TPU, more projects with TPU will soon be underway.
I was kicking back wondering what kind of Three-Dimensional Print project I could design before Christmas 2020. Time is getting short. Whoa! Did I just think about time?
Some folks design and print the operating parts of a CLOCK. But usually, the 3D hobby printing process is a bit crude for fine gear work. I wasn’t thinking of the operational parts inside the clock. I am thinking about the case that contains the clock and the face where the time is displayed.
The display could be old fashioned round analog dial or digital. I can and probably will design cases for both systems. Analog has a traditional appeal for me.
I figured there were probably dozens of makers of the actual clock mechanisms. A look on Amazon.com proved that was an accurate assumption.
I wanted something for a small case that would be easy to print on one of my smaller 3D printers. I found a series of 70mm analog clocks that simply press fit into a 61mm round opening. Woodworkers use these clock “works” in their wooden-made cases. Certainly, a perfect choice for a 3D Printed case.
I made a few pencil sketches then I fired up my favorite 3D CAD, Autodesk Fusion 360. In short order, I had my design drawn in CAD and out-put to an STL file. The STL file is fed to another computer program, Simplify3D. There it is sliced into hundreds of layers for 3D printing. A new file called G-Code is created by Simplify3D, which is sent to yet another computer in the 3D printer. It’s the G-Code that instructs all the actions the printer performs to make a 3D print.
I have printed five of my original design and purchased clock “works” for all of them. The actual clock (from Amazon.com) is in the $10-$15 range. They are gifts for friends and family.
I then got really ambitious about clock cases and designed a larger clock for myself. It uses the same “works” as the other clocks. My inspiration was the Texas “Lone Star” logo. This clock maxed out the build surface on my two-color printer.
All but one of my new small clocks were printed blending two colors of plastic in a two-color single nozzle printer. The Lone Star clock is also two-color print using a 50/50 mix of beige and brown. It required 17 hour 15 minutes to print. I almost ran out of brown filament.
I love the design stage and the 3D CAD as much, probably more than the printing. The creative is in the design drawing and how the computer variables are set to cause the printer to do exactly what the creator / artist desires.
It’s very technical but if you know me, it’s right up my ally. The actual printing is the results of a lot of advance preparation. A 3D printer is simply an output tool. Same as a text printer. Both printers need the proper input before they produce text or a 3D object.
Hope you find my “time machine” creation story, interesting.
The Cetus printers do not have any mechanical leveling of the build plate. It is bolted directly to the linear bearing with three small screws with no method of adjustment. What you have for level is fixed.
The leveling is done by using a four-layer raft and a four-layer base support on top of the raft. The first layer of the raft is 300% over-extruded and squishes out broadly. This heavy first layer and the buildup of the raft and support eventually results in a build surface that is parallel to the X and Y axis. Then the print is started on top of this level surface.
The result is the use of a lot of filament material to build a flat working surface. With a Cetus printer, one throws away a lot of raft leveling material at the end of the print.
The raft and support do not provide a nice polished build surface for the base of the print. The print bottom is always ruff like about #80 grit sandpaper. I usually “flame polish” the bottom to remove the little sharp points, but the surface is still quite a bit grainy.
I have installed a 3mm thick sheet of borate glass 200mm x 200mm using binder clips on the Cetus build plate. I simply tolerate the bit of non-level of the build surface. It is a bit larger than the 190mm x 200mm Cetus bed. I can live with a bit of overhang as well as the level issue.
I have to remove the ~5mm excess nozzle calibration height to get the nozzle low enough to print without the raft and support layers.
What I get is perfectly smooth bottom prints from Big MamaCetus! (*Read the first line above again.) I can stick some thin Build-Tac on the glass for TPU and PETG.
I am exceedingly pleased to be able to print without the raft. Some prints may still need the raft if I run into serious leveling issues on a big print. I have had no serious issues with prints up to 100mm diameter so far. First layers may be a bit thin on the high side but as long as the low side will stay attached to the build surface, the second layer evens out the height. I can not see this slight deviation in any of my finished prints.
Big MamaCetus is a MK3 with a heated build surface and the auto level probe. Early electrical problems have been resolved. (See previous posts.) I still consider the flexible power ribbon connected to the heated bed a weakness in design of the MK3. Careful protection of the cable must be maintained. I know to be careful.
The picture shows BMC printing a PETG cap and the glass build-plate with build-tac surface. Nozzle temp is 240C and the bed is 85C. 55mm/s speed. The print is excellent.