I'm 3D Printing a set of Dash Panels with Gauges

Dana67Dart

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The Fdm printers we have at work use a cured silicone like substance as support material.
 

KevinB

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The Fdm printers we have at work use a cured silicone like substance as support material.
The first requirement I have for support material is that it’s water soluble, so that wouldn’t work unfortunately
 

Dana67Dart

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The support is not water soluble but it comes off fairly easily, then a high pressure wash down with a slightly caustic solution.
 

gzig5

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I don't want to derail your thread but if you could briefly explain the support material you are discussing I'd appreciate it. I'm familiar with the results of several types of 3D printing from prototypes at work but I've not heard of this support material. Is it something you are feeding in addition to the base material and it provides structural support somehow? Is it an additional option I need to look for on the machine I buy or can any one be adapted? I'm retiring in a few weeks and the first purchase will be a decent 3D printer and then I'm converting my milling machine to CNC. I have a lot of ideas to play with for car parts.
 

KevinB

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I don't want to derail your thread but if you could briefly explain the support material you are discussing I'd appreciate it. I'm familiar with the results of several types of 3D printing from prototypes at work but I've not heard of this support material. Is it something you are feeding in addition to the base material and it provides structural support somehow? Is it an additional option I need to look for on the machine I buy or can any one be adapted? I'm retiring in a few weeks and the first purchase will be a decent 3D printer and then I'm converting my milling machine to CNC. I have a lot of ideas to play with for car parts.
Yeah no problem. I use a Bambu X1c printer with the automated material system. It allows printing of 4 different materials through one extruder head. Because I can print multiple materials in the same print then I can use a different material for supports. Supports are generated when you bring a model into the printers slicing software and there are areas that cannot print well because the filament would fall. Think of a table…you have 4 legs, but if you were printing it the main part of the table has nothing under it.

So the slicer generates supports that build up from the bed as you print the part, and then serve as a raised area for the part to print on where needed. You can print supports with one single filament, but when supporting a completely horizontal overhang it’s nearly impossible to both a) leave enough of a gap so that the support can be removed later and b) have the underside where the support touches the part be a good smooth surface.

So if I need a support that can be removed and I want the surface to be smoother, I need two filament materials. One for the part, and one for the support that can dissolve or break away. Soluble supports can get expensive, so in my case for my radio module instead of printing the entire support in soluble material I left a .04mm gap between the support and the underside of the part, and printed two layers of support material at .02mm height to fill the gap and provide a complete raised surface for the overhang. These two layers are called the support interface. Specifically, the support material I use is called Ionic and is a type of material called PVA

When it works it’s brilliant, but in these high temp materials it is tricky to get all parameters right, especially considering it’s an attempt to balance the needs of two different materials. For a beginner, the X1 would be a great printer choice as so much of the process of dialing things in is automated for you

If you do order an X1 there will be a wait…while you’re waiting join the Bambu Facebook group and look at the issues others have and note what respondents say is the fix, that way you won’t waste too much time and filament or damage something.
 
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gzig5

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Thank you, that was a good description. That unit looks nice, might stretch my budget, but go big or go home tends to be my motto.
We use a lot of printed parts for prototypes in our new product development and I have been wanting to get into it for a while, but with something more capable than the $300 entry level units. Another tool/hobby to keep me out of the bars.
 

KevinB

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Thank you, that was a good description. That unit looks nice, might stretch my budget, but go big or go home tends to be my motto.
We use a lot of printed parts for prototypes in our new product development and I have been wanting to get into it for a while, but with something more capable than the $300 entry level units. Another tool/hobby to keep me out of the bars.
The leap forward they made with this printer is amazing. They basically took all the modifications people were doing to their printers, and used all the knowledge gained by people spending years tinkering and perfecting their settings and packaged it all up while also adding LiDAR. This thing prints 3x faster than my $500 Ender 6 did, it’s a larger initial investment but you’re saving the hassle and money of upgrading it down the road anyway if you bought something else

Think of it like: if when cars were invented you got the frame, engine and wheels, but to really make it work well you had to add a body and suspension and electronics and figure out how to make it all work yourself…then someone just sold a complete car that works the way a car should work. That’s what it feels like going from another printer to the Bambu
 

Big_John

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Thank you, that was a good description. That unit looks nice, might stretch my budget, but go big or go home tends to be my motto.
We use a lot of printed parts for prototypes in our new product development and I have been wanting to get into it for a while, but with something more capable than the $300 entry level units. Another tool/hobby to keep me out of the bars.

The leap forward they made with this printer is amazing. They basically took all the modifications people were doing to their printers, and used all the knowledge gained by people spending years tinkering and perfecting their settings and packaged it all up while also adding LiDAR. This thing prints 3x faster than my $500 Ender 6 did, it’s a larger initial investment but you’re saving the hassle and money of upgrading it down the road anyway if you bought something else

Think of it like: if when cars were invented you got the frame, engine and wheels, but to really make it work well you had to add a body and suspension and electronics and figure out how to make it all work yourself…then someone just sold a complete car that works the way a car should work. That’s what it feels like going from another printer to the Bambu
I'll give the other side of the coin and how I'm good with starting with an entry level machine.

I bought an Ender 3 Pro about 6 months ago. I'm retired and was looking for something else to have some fun with. I looked at a few and kept coming back to the Ender.

So, does it have all the bells and whistles to start with? No... But it printed right out of the box without too much drama. By going with this printer, I didn't spend a lot of money up front. That wasn't real important, but the cheap side of me didn't want hundreds of dollars sitting in a closet if I didn't care for the hobby. So that was my goal and the machine fit nicely.

Since then, yep, done some upgrades. The first major was replacing the main board and that made it run quieter if nothing else. Then I swapped the control board out and that has a few more bells and whistles.

Yea, probably spent as much to upgrade (never checked) as buying a higher end machine to start... But I also learned a lot about the machine and how it works. Doing the upgrades meant spending some time working on the machine itself along with doing the research on what to upgrade and how to do it. Had to learn a bit about modifying the firmware too.

I'm never going to make a dime with this... Probably never going to take on a huge project like this one either... I'm just having fun. I feel that by taking the path I did, I learned a lot more than I would have if I'd bought the "better" machine. So for me, it's all good. IMHO, it's a good way to start and you can always move up to a bigger/better machine if you want AND keep the first one as a spare and to do things like print out a soap dish for the wife (did one last night LOL) and stuff like that.

Using a car analogy, you learned more from fixing that cheap car in the driveway then the new car with the warranty that goes to the dealer. Probably had more fun doing it too!

That's my two cents. @KevinB also makes a lot of sense about buying a better piece too.. It's up to you and what you want to achieve and what path to take. If I was doing this to make money, it would have been the best I could afford with the best bang for the buck options so I didn't spend any unproductive time learning when I could be making money.
 

gzig5

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I'll give the other side of the coin and how I'm good with starting with an entry level machine.

I bought an Ender 3 Pro about 6 months ago. I'm retired and was looking for something else to have some fun with. I looked at a few and kept coming back to the Ender.

So, does it have all the bells and whistles to start with? No... But it printed right out of the box without too much drama. By going with this printer, I didn't spend a lot of money up front. That wasn't real important, but the cheap side of me didn't want hundreds of dollars sitting in a closet if I didn't care for the hobby. So that was my goal and the machine fit nicely.

Since then, yep, done some upgrades. The first major was replacing the main board and that made it run quieter if nothing else. Then I swapped the control board out and that has a few more bells and whistles.

Yea, probably spent as much to upgrade (never checked) as buying a higher end machine to start... But I also learned a lot about the machine and how it works. Doing the upgrades meant spending some time working on the machine itself along with doing the research on what to upgrade and how to do it. Had to learn a bit about modifying the firmware too.

I'm never going to make a dime with this... Probably never going to take on a huge project like this one either... I'm just having fun. I feel that by taking the path I did, I learned a lot more than I would have if I'd bought the "better" machine. So for me, it's all good. IMHO, it's a good way to start and you can always move up to a bigger/better machine if you want AND keep the first one as a spare and to do things like print out a soap dish for the wife (did one last night LOL) and stuff like that.

Using a car analogy, you learned more from fixing that cheap car in the driveway then the new car with the warranty that goes to the dealer. Probably had more fun doing it too!

That's my two cents. @KevinB also makes a lot of sense about buying a better piece too.. It's up to you and what you want to achieve and what path to take. If I was doing this to make money, it would have been the best I could afford with the best bang for the buck options so I didn't spend any unproductive time learning when I could be making money.
That's a fair assessment too. I'll be retired in six weeks but I've got a lot on my plate and to be able to leverage features on a better machine may be a better use of my time, in the near term. I am planning a CNC conversion on my milling machine so I'll have plenty of opportunity to futz with mechanicals, electricals, and software on that project. I'm still up in the air on it and really need to spend some time understanding the capabilities of the various features and how I might utilize them. Right now I'm not even a raw rookie.

I still think the OP's project is one of the cooler things I've seen in a while. Looking forward to further progress reports.
 

DionR

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Certainly but everything comes with a tradeoff, right? ASA is similar to ABS, which is already used extensively in cars, but ABS can withstand higher temps. The drawbacks of ABS are it's not UV stable (though most of my printing will be painted), and ABS is a pain to print in large pieces, as it warps very easily as it's printing. As the part starts to cool from the 240c degrees of extrusion temperature to the 100c of the heated bed it begins to shrink in reaction to the stretching it has undergone in extrusion. As it shrinks, the edges of the print begin to pull away from the bed, resulting in a bottom surface that is curved. I've had much better printing with ASA so the tradeoff is worth it. There are other more exotic materials such as Nylon, and variations that infuse carbon fiber, but there are huge drawbacks in terms of wear on the printer and it's just not worth it in the long term. I've been printing with ABS and ASA for over a year now, and have now all the tricks you have to do with these higher temp materials

Looking at buying a Tronxy X5SA.

https://www.tronxy3d.com/collections/all/products/x5sa-diy-3d-printer-kit?variant=40095811895474

It doesn't support ASA, but it does support ABS along with several other filaments. Curious if the lack of ASA material is going to be a problem. Any suggestions for material for test parts?

First project would be caliper adapter plates for Scat Pack calipers on disk brake spindles and they are all just flats plates of about 6"x3" with varying thickness, the thickest being 1/2" or possibly 3/4" to reduce the number of prints. Did a wood mockup of the plates but the paper template that I glued to the wood swelled due to the glue and put the holes off by a significant amount. So thinking of dropping the wood mockup idea and jumping into a 3D printer instead.

Ironically, I could order the plates from sendcutsend.com for like $50. So I could do 5 revisions that way before spending the money I would on the 3D printer, but there are certainly other things I would use the printer for as well.
 
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