Designing My Own Sintershell

Discussion in 'Design and Modeling' started by miniaturemercantile, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Hi,
    I am new to 3D modeling and forgive me if this is already somewhere on the forums but I couldn't find information on designing your own sintershell.

    I haven't been happy with the results when I've used sprues so I thought I'd give the automated sintershell a try. It did cut the cost but still seemed to use a lot of material. I was considering making my own shell made up of some sort of miniature objects that I could just cut apart because it seems like such a waste.

    What exactly would the specifications be for designing a sintershell as far as thickness, escape holes, etc.?
  2. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    The rules would be the same as for regular objects but include lots of holes. What I don't like about the automated sintershell is that it's not so easy to cut the shell open and it's possible to damage the contents when cutting into it. I had proposed they create the sintershells that look something like what's in the following image. The loops are cut or snipped on the outside of the cage with less chance of internal damage. It shouldn't be too hard to create something like this from scratch to hold your valued itty bitty prints.You could even print a hinge on one side so the thing opens like a clam shell after cutting the loops on the other three sides. I've probably shown too many loops on this prototype image. You could probably get by with half as many. Just be sure your cutting tool can fit into the available spaces and cut each loop.

    miniaturemercantile likes this.
  3. Thank you so much for your help! I like your design a lot, especially the idea about the hinge!! I will work on my design this weekend and see what I can come up with. I remember watching a YouTube video a while back where a guy was struggling to cut open a sintershell and had that thought about accidentally destroying something in the process.

    Thanks again for your advice!! ☺️
  4. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    I think to increase sales overall another thing to do might be to make the sintershell something that can be used separately instead of being thrown out. Sort of how people save plastic cigar tubes to store little odds and ends. The shell could be designed to be a little animal like a frog with a hinged mouth or something else that's cute. Small rings could also be used instead of loops that connect to the surface so you don't end up having little rods sticking out from the shell.
    miniaturemercantile likes this.
  5. Great ideas! I like the thought of rings to connect it as opposed to connections directly onto the object a lot. I definitely want to make it something with some sort of function. I hate the idea of just tossing all of that material if I use the sintershell, especially since you can't recycle it. Thanks!!
  6. drloris
    drloris Well-Known Member
    Disclaimer : I have designed and tested only one custom sintershell, which you can see here.
    I too really like the idea of making a re-usable container as component of a multi-part item. However, the cost of doing this is significant. Like- several times the cost of the items it's intended to contain.
    What I ended up doing was making a disposable wrapper which just held the items, using as little plastic as I thought I could get away with, and maximising the aperture size (to reduce the increase in machine-space cost). This gave a reduction in cost of about 25% for 4 items, i.e. buy 4 for the price of 3.
    Also, if you want the stuff polished and/or dyed, you need reasonable holes to let the polishing media/dye in.

    So for moderate numbers of items, there really isn't much to play with before the cost outweighs the gain; I don't think 'nice' containers are economically feasible.
    If you need to hold many very small items, this is much less of a problem, though.
    If it were my own design, unless it was huge I'd put a hinge of some sort on one side and a single locking ring or bar through both sides on the other. Much less to cut through.
    ...Although I once saw a separate-the-bits puzzle which I believe was printed as a single part in 'locked' formation and went through the process fine - so theoretically, perhaps even no cutting is possible.
    miniaturemercantile likes this.
  7. Th
  8. drloris
    drloris Well-Known Member
    I found a way of chasing up that puzzle - it was the horse-shoe and ring puzzle by stop4stuff.
    Now although his video makes it look easy, I strongly suspect that it's actually quite difficult if you don't know the trick. And I am not sure I know for definite that it is only charged as one part - but nevertheless, it's an interesting thought.
    miniaturemercantile likes this.