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3D printed tools & replacement parts.

BrooklynBay

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At one time, owning a 3D printer was something only colleges, large companies, universities or wealthy people could own. Now with low priced machines comparable to the cost of an average ink or laser printer, it's been in the price range for the average person to own.

There are many people uploading their designs for people to print or remix into something else. Here's an example of a tool which I made by remixing two designs: Driver handle for a Harbor Freight 06770 gasket punch set. by BrooklynBay
 

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BrooklynBay

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It comes in handy for making things which are almost impossible without special super expensive machinery. My tool set would be useless without the ability to make a custom replacement part. I once saw a Youtube video of Jay Leno's garage. He has an amazing team custom making parts for his antique cars. He needed an engine part for a steam powered car that they custom manufactured for him.
 




BrooklynBay

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Here's another example of a printed part coming in handy where it's difficult to locate a replacement. I was working on my A4LD valve body, and saw that I needed accumulator pucks. I did a search online, and found several places selling them very cheap but the shipping charges are 6 to 10 times the price of the part before tax! Shipping also takes a week or more. Here's a link if somebody wants to download the file: Ford A4LD transmission valve body accumulator puck. by BrooklynBay.
 

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BrooklynBay

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There are printers capable of printing very high temperature plastics, metals, concrete mix, human organs, food, etc. The technology has improved since it was created around 30 years ago. Large machines which cost as much as a car years ago have shrunk in size & price. There are kits for people to custom make their own machine. The machine which I use is an old, discontinued model, and wasn't perfect when I bought it used. It was upgraded with more modern parts from several manufacturers to make a customized model.
 




LorenzoGarbanzo

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There are printers capable of printing very high temperature plastics, metals, concrete mix, human organs, food, etc. The technology has improved since it was created around 30 years ago. Large machines which cost as much as a car years ago have shrunk in size & price. There are kits for people to custom make their own machine. The machine which I use is an old, discontinued model, and wasn't perfect when I bought it used. It was upgraded with more modern parts from several manufacturers to make a customized model.

I agree, it's amazing how far the tech has come. At one of my current gigs, we're using 3d printed prototypes of our product to test fitment in customer installations before having the injection molds made. They look great and work great. The only reason for molding is for cost over time & production speed.

I gave it a shot about 5 years ago on a cheap printer and found it absolutely frustrating and returned the unit. Never could get the bed level or get things sticking properly after a couple of uses. Thankfully if I need something I can go to our library or the local RC hobby shop and get something printed. May try buying my own again soon.
 




BrooklynBay

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BrooklynBay

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Here's something which I've wanted to do for many years but wasn't capable of until now. I was able to design & print a set of rear tailhousing plugs for the A4LD transmission. They might fit other Ford transmissions as well. This prevents fluid from leaking while the driveshaft is removed. The tool is also good as a desktop pen holder when it's not being used for anything else. I have more information here: A4LD tailhousing plug set. by BrooklynBay
 

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nedion

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There are printers capable of printing very high temperature plastics, metals, concrete mix, human organs, food, etc. The technology has improved since it was created around 30 years ago. Large machines which cost as much as a car years ago have shrunk in size & price. There are kits for people to custom make their own machine. The machine which I use is an old, discontinued model, and wasn't perfect when I bought it used. It was upgraded with more modern parts from several manufacturers to make a customized model.
I am pleased with the general trend. However, I am saddened by the understanding that these technologies will not be generally available for a long time. Yes, it makes sense when it comes to small plastic parts. But when it comes to my old Yamaha, it's easiest for me to navigate to these guys. Vintage motorcycles, like old cars, can be successfully restored and used if you have a lathe and a drawing of a part)) I do not have such skills, so I order everything in the store. I wouldn't mind having a dedicated printer for such details. And here I have two questions. How strong will it be for metal parts? And what is the cost of a separate part for such a production?
 




BrooklynBay

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The strength of the filament depends upon two factors, infill & material composition. Nylon is stronger than PLA, ABS or PETG as far as how much abuse it could withstand. TPU or TPE are very flexible, and a better choice for parts which are similar to rubber such as bushings or gaskets. Layer adhesion with those filaments will also be better, ABS & nylon will warp easier than PLA, so they require an enclosure around the printer. Some printers have a heated enclosure.

SLA printing is another technology which uses ultraviolet light to cure a resin. I don't have a printer capable of printing with metal filament, but I've used filaments with metal such as stainless steel, copper, iron or aluminum. You could place a magnet next to iron filament, and attract it.

There are websites such as WWW.Thingiverse.Com which people upload designs. You might find something already made instead of designing your own thing. A lot of people remix another design instead of designing a new thing. Another option is to get a 3D scanner to copy an object but it still needs editing since the scan isn't perfect. The high end models are very expensive, but are capable of producing a high resolution file which still needs editing. Maybe they will make better models as the technology improves.

I would suggest reading a book or watching Youtube videos about how to use programs such as 123D Design or cloud based software such as Tinkercad to learn how use CAD software.
 




Rick

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How strong will it be for metal parts? And what is the cost of a separate part for such a production?

Here is where the state of the art currently is for producing metal parts...


 




fordpickupman

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That ended up being a 20 minute rabbit hole journey......
 




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