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New here, very interested! ... and a proposition. :)

New here, very interested! ... and a proposition. :)

Postby Ash Powers » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:36 pm

I have been an engineer and business owner for 14 years specializing in the development, manufacturing, and retail and wholesale of high-performance electronics, parts, and kits for the Nissan Z car lineup. Among the development of these items I have also engineered and built many of our own tooling and equipment necessary to manufacture our products. It has been more than fun, very rewarding, and profitable all at the same time... but on the same token, developing certain types of parts really lends itself to 3d printing of prototypes to make the process effective for business. A part such as an exhaust manifold has geometries to it that are very fluid and prototypes can be hand fabricated from basic materials to obtain the shape of the part to be used for comparative flow testing on a flowbench to optimize its performance. But, as you can imagine such an approach is a very brute-force method that just isn't economical from a time perspective.

I have been using SolidWorks for a few years now to design mostly small jet engines that I build in my spare time and that resource has been instrumental in the development of a new part I wish to design for the twinturbo Nissan Z; the exhaust manifold. I have used the computational fluid dynamics package with this software to refine the design to obtain optimal flowrates through the part compared to other manifolds on the market but I have never empirically tested to validate the computational simulation's results with an actual physical model on a real flowbench. This is the point I am at now and 3d printing is the next obvious step. :)

I have spent many hours searching the web for information on 3d printing, namely DIY construction of these machines. As I am sure just about everyone here agrees that commercially available 3d printers are quite anemic in their envelope to cost ratio. I've come across probably all of DIY printer designs to this point, at least, those which people have publicly shared. In the end there is always a set of requirements than any machine must meet in order to perform the desired result so for simplicity's sake they are all pretty much the same; 3-axis positioning control, print "head" material deposition control, and the associated electrics and software to put it all into motion. Mechanically these are simple devices and just about anyone with mechanical inclination could build one that would perform reasonably well.

The mechanical bits of a build like this, to myself, would start from scratch and would be a fun design and build. However, the electrics (stepper motors, motor control circuitry, etc) are really where my expertise ends so far as trying to sort through all of the systems that are available and which of those perform best. I could develop all of my own components for this side of the machine; stepper motors, motor control circuits, microprocessor programming, and OS drivers; I've engineered more complex electronics/programming before but why re-invent the wheel? :)

I am looking to construct a machine with an envelope of around 24"X24"X12" with a material deposition resolution in the neighborhood of around 0.004" or so.

So, as a newbie to all of this I would like to ask your personal opinion on what electrical systems to control these machines do you think is best? Which is more accurate? Which has the highest resolution of material deposition? Which is best suited over various sizes of the machine it controls (scalability)? Which is more reliable? Which offers the most configuration/control options?

As for the proposition I mentioned in the header: I have completed the drawings of these new exhaust manifolds and am looking to have them 3d printed so I can take the parts to a flowbench to have them flow tested before I commit to the tooling manufacture that will be required to begin casting these parts. As much as I would love to drop everything and start building my own 3d printer to do this myself, I would rather move forward with bringing the manifolds to market and as I have time, start into building my own printer. :) So, if you have built a printer of your own and would like to put it to use to make some disposable income, I would like nothing more than to speak to you.

I'm happy to have found a group of people that share the same enthusiasm as I! I look forward to it all!
Ash Powers
 
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Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:46 pm
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Re: New here, very interested! ... and a proposition. :)

Postby Awesomeness » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:14 am

Ash Powers wrote:So, as a newbie to all of this I would like to ask your personal opinion on what electrical systems to control these machines do you think is best? Which is more accurate? Which has the highest resolution of material deposition?


Are you talking about the stepper motors? If so, they all (generally) have the same 1/200th of a revolution resolution. So you just gear down from there to achieve whatever mechanical movement resolution you want.

Ash Powers wrote:As for the proposition I mentioned in the header: I have completed the drawings of these new exhaust manifolds and am looking to have them 3d printed so I can take the parts to a flowbench to have them flow tested before I commit to the tooling manufacture that will be required to begin casting these parts. As much as I would love to drop everything and start building my own 3d printer to do this myself, I would rather move forward with bringing the manifolds to market and as I have time, start into building my own printer. :) So, if you have built a printer of your own and would like to put it to use to make some disposable income, I would like nothing more than to speak to you.


How big are these? Most 3D printers have a very small build envelope, due to a number of technical challenges. Usually it's making stuff in the "coffee cup" size or smaller.

You may want to check out http://www.makexyz.com too, if you need stuff made. It's a site where people who own 3D printers can offer their services.
If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
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Re: New here, very interested! ... and a proposition. :)

Postby Plastiligula » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:44 pm

Awesomeness wrote:
Ash Powers wrote:You may want to check out http://www.makexyz.com too, if you need stuff made. It's a site where people who own 3D printers can offer their services.


This website is also useful at this point - https://www.treatstock.com/
On Makexyz this year I waited for the answer for month or more to order just a replacement corner for A8
Plastiligula
 
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