Lotus Elan

3D printing

PostPost by: oldchieft » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:19 pm

Hi All
I wonder if the new techniques can be roped in to help make parts to keep rare cars on the road?

As an engineering dinosaur I don't know the answer, can any of you new guys help?

Can 3D printing build the hard to find parts? I was looking at the price of cam covers and was thinking that some sellers are having a laugh. I thought I could make one out of wood and epoxy that would work.

Then I noticed online news about rocket and aircraft parts being 3D printed.

Why not print a cylinder head? At the current price of over 3,000 pounds you should be able to do a lot of spray metal.

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PostPost by: rcraven » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:32 pm

Robert
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:23 am

I don't think you could yet print a whole cylinder head, it's rather large and the prepared metal wire for that amount would probably cost far more than the £3000 or so for a cast head.

They do use computer controlled milling machines for finishing the castings though at SAS engineering.


Metal 3D printing would probably require equipment way above what an amateur could afford, so realistically you can probably only print plastic bits for classic cars.

Jay Leno seems (from that webpage) to be mostly using the 3D printer to make plastic replicas which are then sent off to make moulds to make a metal part, or are used as plastic trial fits of parts which then use the same computer dimension file to make a metal replica with a computer controlled milling machine.

Heh, heh if you can persuade a 3d printer to print using wax or a soluble plastic, you could easy use it to make a lost-wax mould in plaster to cast a replica in metal.
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:37 am

If you are prototyping, you can print a part in resin and then have it electrocoated and plated with electroless nickel plating. The part can be used as if it were die cast metal.

http://www.repliforminc.com/RePliKote.htm
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:10 pm

Classic website failure there, it talks on every page about what they can do to RP models..


AND so lost in their own little world of jargon that it FAILS TO TELL YOU WHAT AN RP MODEL ACTUALLY IS. !!!
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PostPost by: Tahoe » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:36 pm

3D printing in near and dear to my heart. When I worked at Hughes Aircraft back in the early 80's we had a 3D printer that used resin and a laser. It was expensive and slow and was useful to a degree, but was subject to warping at times during the curing process.

fast forward to the 90's and a friend had an LOM machine. It's a 3D printer that used layers of paper bonded to each other and then cut to shape with a laser. It worked extremely well and they could be sanded and painted to look like castings, etc. This was used by me when I flew to Germany to meet with AMG. I had designed an air to water intercooler system that fit in the V of the 3.2 V6. When I arrived the 3D printed cooler with all it's manifolds arrived at the same time and we were able to fit in in the engine bay of the prototype SLK32 AMG. later we did the same for other AMG cars. From those 3D prints came production units and lots of business. FYI, we did the same when working on Ford's supercharged Lightning, Ford GT (40) etc. well int the early 2000's

Fast forward to 10 years ago when I purchased two 3D printers for Honeywell Turbo Systems which were close to what's available today, using plastic weed eater string. At least that's what I call it. We used them like Jay Leno does to develop parts for fit, form, and function before making real ones. The cost savings was incredible in the long run. You can actually use some of the parts as prototypes in real life applications. For example you can make make something similar to the Weber air box and it would function perfectly. Just paint it.

I'm seriously thinking of buying my own 3D printer along with my own 3D CAD system for home. I've lost all 3D capability at work these days and might (I say Might) start my own CAD/3D Printing/Design business at home. A lot depends on the cost vs payback.
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:47 pm

Some home kits are coming down in price, but it is not clear how good they are are for serious work.

http://cpc.farnell.com/velleman-kit/k82 ... 3D+printer

Image

There's a fun video on this page:
http://www.k8200.eu/


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This week I've been looking over various videos on youtube of people who have made their own CNC router rigs, mainly for doing woodwork Routing, i.e the wooden equivalent of metal milling.

It struck me that there is not a lot of difference between a CNC router and a 3D printer, just what you fit in as the active head and which software you use to drive the stepper motors. Router/Milling software carves away the bits you don't want and 3D printing software builds up the bit you do want.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:14 pm

I have CATIA (3D design software), access to precision scanning facilities & a friend with a 3D printer, problem is the models would be of weak plastic as they are effectively like a hot glue gun. If you read the Leno article he says that he uses the plastic parts to make a mold.

The laser sinter machines (which make metal parts) are still expensive.

Interesting discussion though, what "hard to find" or unobtainable parts would we consider suitable for this process? You're never going to make a cylinder head...
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:20 pm

pharriso wrote:
Interesting discussion though, what "hard to find" or unobtainable parts would we consider suitable for this process? You're never going to make a cylinder head...



1. Starter motor Bendix cap? (I think I'm using a CocoCola tin at present :D

Pity we can't print the headlight vacuum pods.

I think some members might like to print the entire original toolkit, doesn't matter if the spanners & pliers are not strong enough, just as long as they look good for a concours inspection. :D
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PostPost by: oldchieft » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:45 pm

I am sure at some stage we will print cylinder heads, the question is when the price comes down enough.

The web site I was looking at speaks of 1000 degrees C soon.

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulleti ... ials/32047

I just wonder how close we are.

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PostPost by: DeanG » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:31 pm

This week I sat through an American Society of Mechanical Engineers webinar about 3D printing. There are some wild things being developed such as printing biological tissue (think heart valves). Different printers print wax, plastic, metal... One of the people on Lotus Elan Central was working on some drive pins for the electric mirrors. In a few years there will be some great things happening with this technology.
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:55 pm

billwill wrote:Classic website failure there, it talks on every page about what they can do to RP models..


AND so lost in their own little world of jargon that it FAILS TO TELL YOU WHAT AN RP MODEL ACTUALLY IS. !!!


Hello Bill,

Sorry for the frustration caused.
It is my brother's company. His business model serves the manufacturing industry, not John Q. Public. An RP "Rapid Prototype" model is any kind of part that may be molded or cast or machined for high volume manufacturing, such as a twincam valve cover, weber airbox, even a heart valve.

Most of the items he coats are pieces of prototypes that the customer wishes to keep confidential. He admits he is not a "marketer or product manager", he is a chemist.

Regards,
Dan
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:18 pm

It was no problem to me, taking only a moment to find out what RP meant in this context, but it really isn't a good idea of your brother's website designers to fail to define the primary object.

For a start it means that Google will not find the site for anyone searching for Rapid Prototype, or for Prototype, for second any new member of John Q Public not quite knowing how to get something made, will also probably fail to find the site or on reading it will not understand that it is what he needs.
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PostPost by: reb53 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:18 am

Whilst 3D printing is expensive, and not available with all metals I see the thing now is to 3D print sand for the moulds.
So you can print up your mould in lots of little sections that you then put together, pour in the ally, and presto, a twink head.
Little bit of machining to do though..... :(

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