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Question Printing advice - Orientation of part

Discussion in '3D Printing' started by RandomCoder, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. RandomCoder

    RandomCoder Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Hi all,

    I'm still awaiting the arrival of my 3D printer and in the meantime I've designed a coupling for my linear actuator. Not sure if this will be strong enough but intend to prototype out of PLA first then see if it works before possibly having the part machined.

    Here's the design I'm thinking of using....

    [​IMG]

    My question is for those of you that know about 3D printing and best practices. Should I print the part lay on its side as shown in the first image or upright as shown in the middle image?
    Thinking about the grain of the part when 3D printed I'm pressuming that lay on its side would be the stronger option?

    This is basically the size of a 1605 ballnut, the intention being to slide it over the ball nut and secure in place using the standard fixings, then offer up a 22mm polished steel tube into the clamp end and lock in place.
    Can you spot anything fundamentally wrong with the design?

    Sorry no dimensions yet, I'm only just getting to grips with Fusion 360!!
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  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

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  3. Zed

    Zed VR Simming w/Reverb Gold Contributor

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    @RandomCoder - another thing to consider is support if needed for the printed parts. With the part on its side, the overhangs as you follow the curve up the sides will probably be manageable depending on the settings you use, layer thickness, and such so you may not even need support material. But if you do, it can leave slight texture where the support contacts the part. If you don’t use support, your circles printed on their sides could have more imperfections.

    It can also lead to a bit of distortion in the roundness. You’ll just need to try it and see. There’s actually a lot of variables in 3D printing and a lot that will depend on your printer, the ambient temperature, air circulation, and such.

    Printing vertically you probably won’t need support as any overhangs are small like those rectangular cutouts, but you can get slight filament sagging across those kinds of things. Again, it’s something you’ll need to experiment with your printer to get a feel for. Or at least I did. But printing vertically should get you the roundest bores for the parts it is to fit as well as those six holes in the one end if those are important.

    Only other thing is 3D printing is amazing but it’s easy to design in features that can’t be machined easily or cheaply. That’s a huge bonus for stuff that can stay as plastic, but can be a trap if you need things machined. Some design changes may save a lot of money.

    I am not at my computer to tell you the company name I used but there are online companies that let you design with their CAD software and will give you automated online quotes on parts. If you can do everything in one axis, it can be way cheaper than if they have to cut metal on multi-axis machines, or at least that’s how they charge. It can be a handy guide and reference if you prototype in plastic but need to get metal parts for strength in actual use.

    Maybe old news but maybe is useful. Part looks nice!
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  4. RandomCoder

    RandomCoder Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Thanks @Zed I take on board what you say. If the 3D printed part is not strong enough I'll modify the design slightly so that the fixings onto the ballnut are threaded holes so no need for the cutouts for captive nuts.
    Having seen some of the things being made from 3D printed components I'm hopeful that the part will be strong enough without needing to go the machined route.
    I also plan to further modify it to include a wiper for the soft-pot linear resistor that I'll be using for positional feedback and contact areas for the end of travel limit switches.

    I'm still very much playing with the design at the moment and waiting for parts to arrive. Plus I'm quite enjoying playing with Fusion 360 although I can see why @Pierre Lalancette got so frustrated with it ;)
  5. Zed

    Zed VR Simming w/Reverb Gold Contributor

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    Totally agree on Fusion 360. It forces you to do things its' way which isn’t always intuitive. And on the strength part, the fill pattern you use and density and number of wall shells can really affect the strength. You may be able to make them very strong for the application pretty easily. And you can also do inserts. There are hex standoffs and such you can press fit into appropriately-sized cutouts if you need extra strength for threads and such. Another trick, I think it was in @Brett Horton's build thread where I saw it, but you can embed nuts in the part if you are careful to catch the print before holes get sealed up. I’d bet you’ve already seen, but thought I’d mention if you haven’t.

    Designing and printing is addictive and easy. For me it opened the door to all sorts of possibilities and had I known what I know now, it could have saved me more money as well as sped up my build. I bet you will get a kick out of it. It also really ups the build quality. People are amazed when they see all the custom parts.
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  6. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Sir Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    Me! FRUSTRESTED at Fusion360 !?
    LOL, I'm building myself a bad reputation.

    I agree that printing up right will be better for the roundness of your piece. I would keep the place for the metal nuts, because printed plastic parts are not precise enough, nor strong enough to just use fitting treads. I use smaller hole on my parts to force screw into them. Fitting threads did not work for me.

    The part looks really fine to me. Sometimes, I use the fillet command to help to open hole a bit more. Like the nuts holes, you could use the fillet command on the top edge so it would be easier to place them. But I don't really see the need here.
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  7. RandomCoder

    RandomCoder Active Member Gold Contributor

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    I'm actually thinking that it would be better to print on its side rather than upright just for the strength factor as it's not too crucial how round the part actually ends up.
    I can't wait to get my 3D printer and start having a play. I'll try both ways to see which works best. However I think it will be a while before I'm printing this part as I've bought the Anet A8 in kit form and have a list of upgrades that I'll practice on first. :)
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  8. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Sir Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    I wanted to print the connection between the tube and the 1605 ball screw. But for now, I went back to the puck for my testing because printing takes time, a long time, even longueur for fully fill strong parts. It would be more precise, but it would take hours to do, and it would not be as strong. I may change my mind, depending of the results of my experiments.
  9. llluis

    llluis Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Print on its side. Holes will be acceptable.
    Upright it will eventually break in 2.
  10. llluis

    llluis Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Well, I read again your question. I thought it was a motor coupler. Just the 1605 coupler for the tube, it should be OK upright too. I'm doing something similar and it will be upright. :)
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  11. 69th_Zeb

    69th_Zeb New Member

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    Yeh, nice idea on the nutserts. My Anet A8 will allow you to pause it mid-print. It's burried way down into the menu but you could do it. You want to keep everything hot, so it'd have to be quick...or risk inducing a stress gradient. For threaded areas, I just make bosses bigger. I bulk everything everywhere since I can. I also get excessive with supports and rafts. I don't mind whittling away for hours I guess.

    I also print exclusively in ABS and upgraded the wiring. My printer head dynamically disassembled itself during the night (in my shed haha) and mashed the uncoupled heater end (thermal runaway with temp sensor off) into the print. Glad my shed didn't burn. Also upgraded the wiring behind the heater bed with silicon + high current J plugs. The heater bed connector will eventually burn!

    Let us know how the build goes!
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  12. RandomCoder

    RandomCoder Active Member Gold Contributor

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    @69th_Zeb thanks for the useful advice. My printer arrived this week. I've already done the MOSFET upgrade which everyone that has an Anet recommends to do. I also have the silicon wire ready to upgrade the wires on the bed and plan to install a separate power supply for the extruder and bed.
    I'll check the print head as that's now the second time I've read of problems with it falling apart or the thermistor coming away from the head causing thermal runaway.
    As it's currently on the kitchen table I'd rather not have to explain to my wife why there is a big scorch mark in the middle of the table, I don't think she'd be very understanding :mad:
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  13. 69th_Zeb

    69th_Zeb New Member

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    Looks like you're all set randomcoder and beyond where I started. I'm wondering too if I should put some high temp loctite on the element retention screw. It came loose just because I got too lazy to check preload after several days worth of printing.
    It's a stinky affair too, as your kitchen (like mine) will start smelling like a moldshop. I made an enclosure out of aluminum, got a drier vent for the window and picked up some case fans. Now in the shed though it's not a biggie.
  14. lysa elec

    lysa elec LYSA ELEC

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    whitch soft CAO you use for draw ?
  15. RandomCoder

    RandomCoder Active Member Gold Contributor

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    I'm using Fusion 360 which is free for hobbyist use.
  16. ivan jack

    ivan jack Member Gold Contributor

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    Hello RandomCoder , you can find very much information about this on CNC Kitchen



    I'm waiting for my printer too and in the last days I collected as much info about this as I could. This guy really explains everything, check his channel.