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 Post subject: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Tue 23, 2018 5:32 am 
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Location: Minnetonka, MN 55305
Curious to know if anyone has researched 3D printers and radio parts reproduction. The price of printers has come down to the point where it might be practical to obtain one for knob and other plastic or metal part reproduction.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Tue 23, 2018 12:46 pm 
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI
My experience with hobby 3D printers is that the resolution is not good enough to get the quality most would be willing to accept. Printing with ABS material you can smooth out surfaces by exposing the part to acetone fumes but I found that to be hit/miss. I have not had a radio part made there but at work we started using a company called shapeways. You email them your electronic drawing, they quote it, and then they print it and send the part to you. They have a number of materials that they can print with. So far the quality is excellent.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Tue 23, 2018 2:29 pm 
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Location: DFW Texas
I have a 3D printer and have used it to print many different things.
It's usefulness to print radio parts depends on your needs. If you need a bracket or spacer etc. that's going to be hidden then it might be perfect. Need a custom made case for a small test project, perfect. Print a set of gears to get a certain ratio on a tuning dial, that'd work. Print up a couple of knobs for my tube tester that wasn't a showpiece.
Basically any part that's going to show on a showpiece is out of the question.
But if the part is unavailable anywhere, 3D would be better than nothing.
Here's a link to another thread that has some comments on the subject. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=287943

And here's a youtube link to printing a building. it shows what the texture of a 3d printed part looks like. Though the layers are only .1mm high. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ5Elbvvr1M&t=230s

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Tue 23, 2018 4:54 pm 
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What about knobs?


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Tue 23, 2018 5:46 pm 
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bullseyeguyz wrote:
What about knobs?



They aren't good enough to use unless one has a way to make them smoother.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Tue 23, 2018 6:33 pm 
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI
The knob below was 3-D printed by shapeways. The material used to print this knob is steel. The outside edge is fluted. The shapeways cost was $16.50. You have to create the CAD drawing, shapeways just does the 3D printing.

Attachment:
IMG.jpg
IMG.jpg [ 126.46 KiB | Viewed 1291 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 4:05 am 
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Steven Olson wrote:
The knob below was 3-D printed by shapeways. The material used to print this knob is steel. The outside edge is fluted. The shapeways cost was $16.50. You have to create the CAD drawing, shapeways just does the 3D printing.

Attachment:
IMG.jpg
\

Would it be possible for you to show an equally closeup photo of the original knob for comparison, for those who don't understand the quality limitations of 3D printing? This may not be a good comparison though for the more common bakelite or plastic knobs, or for wood knobs.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 2:15 pm 
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Here is a photo of the original knob. It is a machined aluminum part.

Attachment:
IMG_0647.JPG
IMG_0647.JPG [ 121.4 KiB | Viewed 1145 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 6:49 pm 
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Thank you, the differences are obvious. Some might find that an acceptable substitute for an unobtainable part. I would see it only as a last resort if nothing else were possible.

Eventually the technology should improve to the point where making perfect reproductions at home at a reasonable cost will be possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 8:40 pm 
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http://www.machinedesign.com/3d-printing/how-smooth-3d-printed-parts

I've been thinking about doing this myself. Reproduction knobs are a perfect use.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 9:10 pm 
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Thank you for all of the constructive responses. It appears that the technology hasn't progressed to the level of quality and detail that a significant radio's exterior requires; however for parts not visible or a better-than-nothing scenario this appears to be an option. The metal knob reproduction by a commercial printing company is impressive if not perfect. I'm puzzled as to how one would be able to provide the CAD that this company requires.

A corollary question: Would a scanner with sufficient capability overcome this requirement? Anyone have recommendations for a printer/scanner?

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 10:10 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz mountains
The cost for the device that prints that metal knob is many times what a hobby printer would cost, so that's not even a fair comparison.

An inexpensive metal printer would be a mind-blowing development. All of those radios that go on the trash heap due to unobtainable pot-metal parts that are falling apart would have a second chance at life.

For plastic parts, the current state of the art is Stereolithography. The extrusion printers will do a fine job with structural parts but don't do such a good job with cosmetic parts unless you do some post production work afterwards. Those printers cost a minimum of about 5X the cost of an extrusion printer.

As for scanners, you totally get what you pay for. The cheaper scanners aren't quite there yet. The better ones are still pretty pricey. It also depends on the complexity of the part.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Thu 25, 2018 3:33 pm 
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Primitiveradiogod wrote:
An inexpensive metal printer would be a mind-blowing development. All of those radios that go on the trash heap due to unobtainable pot-metal parts that are falling apart would have a second chance at life.


That would definitely be nice. Some antique speakers use pot metal as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Thu 25, 2018 3:55 pm 
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Location: Shelby Township, MI 48316
Two significant problems with 3D printing is color and texture.

The colors available to print with is very limited. Making it impossible to come close to matching the color of an original part unless it's black or white. Applying paint afterwards can work in some cases, but many times the part will not look good with a layer of paint over it.

At this time, there are no affordable (for the hobbyist) printers that will give you a smooth finish. There are liquids you can use to smooth out the surface, but they may leave a glossy finish when one is not wanted, or might change the color of the part slightly. While filling in tiny grooves left by the printer, they will also fill in some fine details needed in the part.

Ed

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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Sun 28, 2018 4:39 am 
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Location: Omak,wa,usa
Hello Guys,
yes I have a Flash Forge pro 3d printer in the clasroom and i also thought about making radio parts I found great website thou called mini factory

Anyway I have printed a few things for class like gears .

Sincerely Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Mon 29, 2018 2:08 am 
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Joined: Sep Sat 22, 2012 2:17 am
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Location: Mesa AZ
There is a company here in Arizona called STAX-3D that has both a shop and a retail store that does CAD and 3D work, they sell the printers and actually hold classes on how to learn to do the process. A neighbor of mine who works for a company that makes stamping dies as well as the finished stamped parts-minimum order 10,000-and I were talking and I told him about a phonograph that I was restoring that is an early changer model with a number of pot metal parts that were shot. I asked him if his company would help in this area and that's when he told me about STAX. I contacted them and sent them photos of 4 gears and 5 other parts. They figured about $200 for the CAD work. They could run the parts in high pressure plastic, or refer me to someone who could do them in metal-though they would soon be able to do that as well.

I checked with my neighbor about the quality of the finished parts and he told me that they are first class. The parts that i need have been made by others and are available but they are poorly finished and require hours of filing and adjusting and are close to $400.00.

Once I see some of the finished work ( I have a visit planned for next week) I will post some pictures.

Abe


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Mon 29, 2018 5:11 pm 
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Need4Art wrote:
...STAX-3D...

Can't wait to hear how it turns out!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Mon 29, 2018 11:27 pm 
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Post processing of 3D printed parts can make a huge difference in the quality. As someone mentioned, you can acetone-vapor smooth an ABS plastic part or wet-sand plastic with fine sandpaper. A spray filler-primer can also be used to mask imperfections if the part will be painted. A final coat of paint can then be used for both color and texture. These smoothing techniques don't work as well on parts with sharp lines, so it really depends on the type of part and what is acceptable.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio Parts 3D Printing
PostPosted: Jan Wed 31, 2018 10:22 pm 
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Location: Southwestern,Ontario Canada
Here is a good article on a guy that reproduced a battery for his Ryobi drill using 3D printing. The parts are shown under "instructions".

https://hackaday.io/project/38597-repla ... -72v-drill

Tony


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