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printing joined moving metal parts [message #7631] Thu, 05 November 2009 19:34 UTC Go to next message
avatar dadrummond  is currently offline dadrummond
Messages: 246
Registered: August 2008
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I'm working on a mechanical design to be printed in metal -- hinges and springs, mostly. I'd become convinced that printing moving parts in metal was impossible. But then, for the tenth time, I watched the "Shapeways 3D metal printing" video (here) and realized that at the end, a) the Moebius Ants model is printed as a single piece, and b) the ants remain free to run around the track.

My intuition for the steel process is now in disarray. I had guessed that parts would remain separate after the initial printing, and perhaps even the sintering/curing step, but had thought that the bronze infiltration step would be certain to fuse any parts that were touching. Because the ants (again, in my head) were lifted out of the support material and put back in for infiltration, I believed they would almost certainly end up touching one another. Obviously, that didn't happen.

So: why did the ants work in metal? What are the design principles for moving parts? Can we print separate parts with clearances of, say, 1mm, and have confidence that they won't fuse during the later production steps? Thanks for the guidance.


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Elytra on Shapeways: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/elytra
Re: printing joined moving metal parts [message #7638 is a reply to message #7631 ] Fri, 06 November 2009 14:08 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar GlenG  is currently offline GlenG
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Registered: April 2009
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There are tricks to keep closely spaced parts from fusing during infiltration. However, results still may vary. These configurations give the shop techs fits! Also the raw print surfaces are relatively rough and if a smooth running fit is desired, allowance for lapping must be considered. I have seen some "ball and socket" joints that worked out pretty well. Make sure to use fillets on high stress areas to increase strength of the joints.


"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
Leonardo da Vinci
Re: printing joined moving metal parts [message #7641 is a reply to message #7638 ] Fri, 06 November 2009 14:28 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar dadrummond  is currently offline dadrummond
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Thanks. You say there are tricks -- what are they?


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Elytra on Shapeways: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/elytra
Re: printing joined moving metal parts [message #7643 is a reply to message #7641 ] Fri, 06 November 2009 14:47 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar dadrummond  is currently offline dadrummond
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Registered: August 2008
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Note that I don't want to give the operators fits! What I do want is to understand the process at a deep level so that, in an ideal world, I can design the most interesting mechanisms that will reliably print.

In my defense, I figure that if Shapeways didn't want us to print things like Moebius Ants, they wouldn't have featured them so prominently on their video about metal printing.


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Elytra on Shapeways: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/elytra
Re: printing joined moving metal parts [message #9205 is a reply to message #7643 ] Sun, 24 January 2010 22:02 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar designerica  is currently offline designerica
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was the verdict that we can't print moving metal parts? Is there a distance that will work?
Re: printing joined moving metal parts [message #9207 is a reply to message #9205 ] Sun, 24 January 2010 22:33 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Magic  is currently offline Magic
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In the case of the Brunnian Pendant the clearance is 1 mm.
I suspect the minimum clearance necessary to avoid 2 moving parts from getting fused depends on the area that is in quasi-contact. In my case (cylinder vs perpendicular cylinder), the area is nearly 0. That why I wanted to try with only 0.5 mm, but I did not do so yet. Sad
Re: printing joined moving metal parts [message #21271 is a reply to message #7631 ] Sat, 04 December 2010 15:09 UTC Go to previous message
avatar noesis  is currently offline noesis
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Registered: October 2010
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Bump.
I received an email from Shapeways implying that moving parts aren't possible at all in metal, which I just refuse to believe! Now that it's been a while are there any other conclusions about this?

 
   
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