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Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

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Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Dr.Al » 13 Apr 2022, 17:53

I know this is a long way from hand tool woodworking, but given we have a CAD forum area, I thought this might be of some interest to someone (mods feel free to close if you think this is too far off topic). I bought a 3D printer at the end of last year. I'd wondered about one for a while but I have no interest at all in printing models of computer game characters or similar and it took me a while to convince myself that it would get enough use for workshop type stuff. Since I've had one, it's hardly had any down time, so I thought I'd start a thread where I could post pictures of workshop-related stuff my printer has made. Some of these I might have posted already.

I'll start with storage...

This is a rack for Narex carving chisels - the printer makes it easy to make tapered square holes:

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On the left of that image is holder for two taper shank adaptors for a hand brace (with custom shaped holes to match the taper):

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There are even more of this sort of thing in the next two photos (chisel racks, drill bit racks and holders for two planes):

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This:

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is a very simple thing that I made to mount under my bench so I could slide a short bit of guide rail under there and have it close at hand:

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This is a holder for a small drill:

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and a holder for lots of bench dogs (some of which were also 3D printed) and some belt clip things:

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This is a holder for t-handle hex-keys, with hexagonal holes so the keys don't rotate and get in each others' way:

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This is a simple rack for holding Forstner bits (with holes for all the readily available sizes, many of which I don't own):

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This rack (with magnets embedded into the 3D printed object) clips onto the back of my home-made filing machine and gives some storage space for the files etc:

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and finally (for storage stuff), this is a complete custom drawer unit for threading taps and dies with dedicated spaces for taper, second, bottoming, serial, spiral flute, spiral point and fluteless taps:

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example drawer:

Image
Last edited by Dr.Al on 13 Apr 2022, 18:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Dr.Al » 13 Apr 2022, 17:59

It can also make some directly-useful workshop things...

This (not designed by me) is a set of 3D printed paint points for supporting something while painting or oiling:

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This (also not designed by me) is a different design that uses a screw to provide the point:

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This is a little widget that helps extract bench dogs from their holes if the dog is a little stiff:

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This is a simple chuck spider to help holding thin parts where accuracy isn't that important:

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This is a simple adaptor to attach my vacuum cleaner onto my small router.

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I've printed a few different vacuum cleaner adaptor type things, but I didn't think you'd want to be bored with photos of all of them!

The purple thing in this photo (with the big crack on the corner :oops: ) is an extended base for the router to give a more stable surface:

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While we're on the topic of routers, this (which filled the bed of my 3D printer) is a template to help with routing:

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It gets put on a few small dowel pins which are inserted into some carefully drilled holes and the router (with guide bush) hollows out the space:

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You then flip it round on the pins:

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and after repeating a few more times:

Image
Last edited by Dr.Al on 13 Apr 2022, 18:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Dr.Al » 13 Apr 2022, 18:05

It can also be used to make simple measuring tools: this (not designed by me) is a simple gauge for sorting out that messy pile of machine screws:

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This is an attachment for a digital caliper to measure radius:

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These are some track saw "waste side kerf" jigs for cutting with the track saw along a line with the guide rail sitting on the waste side:

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Thus:

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This thingy clips on top of my TIG welding torch and gives me current control (with the wheel) and start/stop control (with the button):

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and on a similar theme this (not designed by me) helps with sharpening tungstens for TIG welding:

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In this photo you can see two adaptor things (combining 3D printing and electronics) that sit between the battery and the power tool and automatically turn a vacuum cleaner on when the power tool starts:

Image

I think that's it for now, although I'm sure I'll add to this thread gradually. Has anyone else found any interesting workshop-related uses for their 3D printer?
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby DaveL » 13 Apr 2022, 18:09

That looks a really useful addition to your workshop, I have thought about buying one but don't have any space for another machine.
I think there could be an opening for a 3D printed parts service.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Dr.Al » 13 Apr 2022, 18:21

DaveL wrote:...don't have any space for another machine.


Mine lives in the dining room :lol:
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Mike G » 13 Apr 2022, 18:58

Blimey, Dr Al, you've spent some time drawing........
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Dr.Al » 13 Apr 2022, 19:03

Mike G wrote:Blimey, Dr Al, you've spent some time drawing........


They're not all designed by me Mike (although most of them are). I find 3D CAD quite an enjoyable process and for most things, it really doesn't take long with a decent parametric CAD system if you've already got an idea in your head of what you want and you know the dimensions.

Take for example the chisel holders you can see in one of the photos in the first post. I was in the process of applying Mike's Magic Mix to the plywood sharpening thingy in the second post. I put the gunk on the plywood, started a 10 minute timer (so I remembered to wipe it all off) and then thought I'd use the waiting time to have a go at a chisel mount. I measured a chisel, checked another one to make sure it was the same size and taper, walked into the house, created the CAD model and started the printer. The 10 minute timer went off just as I stood up to go back out to the garage.

Things like the drawer unit and the cordless vacuum starter took a LOT longer though :D
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Malc2098 » 13 Apr 2022, 20:41

Nice.

Still trying to get my head round Fusion 360. ;)
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Andyp » 14 Apr 2022, 07:31

Great stuff Dr Al.
I am sure you will have given ideas to others who are contemplating a 3D printer.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Dr.Al » 14 Apr 2022, 07:38

Malc2098 wrote:Nice.

Still trying to get my head round Fusion 360. ;)


I don't get on with Fusion 360 either: it's different to any of the other parametric 3D CAD things I've tried (and I tried quite a lot of them). OnShape is much easier to use.

Andyp wrote:Great stuff Dr Al.
I am sure you will have given ideas to others who are contemplating a 3D printer.


Thanks Andy. Hopefully some who already have one will be along shortly to share their ideas!
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Lons » 14 Apr 2022, 09:25

Not everyone would get away with using the dining room - nice one. :lol:

I've often looked and wondered about a printer but also about a laser engraver and have so far resisted as being honest with myself they would just be more playthings, not that there's anything wrong with that. :eusa-whistle:

Some of your projects look very interesting, others could easily be made from scrap wood, out of interest do you know the rough costs of producing an item, not time just filament etc. and electricity?
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Dr.Al » 14 Apr 2022, 09:50

Lons wrote:Not everyone would get away with using the dining room - nice one. :lol:


Before the dining room became my home office, I probably wouldn't have got away with it either!

Lons wrote:I've often looked and wondered about a printer but also about a laser engraver and have so far resisted as being honest with myself they would just be more playthings, not that there's anything wrong with that. :eusa-whistle:

Some of your projects look very interesting, others could easily be made from scrap wood, out of interest do you know the rough costs of producing an item, not time just filament etc. and electricity?


The short answer is no; I treat it as a hobby and accept that there's a cost associated with any hobby. Filament cost is small (you get quite lot of tool holder things out of 1 kg of filament, which costs about £20): I just checked and the chisel holders use about 50 g each. I haven't bothered to calculate electricity cost though.

I agree that some of them could be very easily made from scrap wood: a good example is the chisel holder - I already have one for my Narex chisels that I made out of plywood:

Untitled.jpg
(28.45 KiB)


For this sort of thing, the main advantages of the 3D printer are time and flexibility. I mean flexibility in the sense that for something like the hex key holder, the hexagonal holes that stop the keys from rotation wouldn't be possible in wood (at least for smallest keys). For things like the chisel holder, it took me less than 10 minutes to model it and then I could wander off while it merrily made two identical chisel holders with snug tapered holes for me. It wouldn't have taken me very long to make that out of scrap wood (assuming I had a piece of an appropriate size), but I've got lots of little jobs I want to do and I didn't want to spend the time making something like this.

A big benefit for me is that I can spend a few hours after work pottering in the garage doing the woodwork / metalwork stuff I want to do, then when my back's starting to ache or it feels like beer o'clock, I can spend a bit of time indoors drawing stuff on the computer. The 3D printer then makes the part(s) overnight and I've ended up with more bits made in the same amount of free time.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Andyp » 14 Apr 2022, 10:03

I’m fascinated to read that wood based filaments are available.
I can’t see my having the time nor inclination of learning new skills and tools but that doesn't make it any less interesting to see what others are doing.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Lons » 14 Apr 2022, 10:33

Thanks Al

I take a similar view to yours it's difficult to put a cost on the enjoyment factor of a hobby apart from if I can't afford it then I don't do it. I didn't realise filament was so cheap, when I first looked it appeared to be expensive.

I admit I remain very tempted as it's easy to imagine many items that could be made and as our old dining room is now my space I'd get away with that as well.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Dr.Al » 14 Apr 2022, 11:37

Lons wrote:I admit I remain very tempted as it's easy to imagine many items that could be made and as our old dining room is now my space I'd get away with that as well.


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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Dr.Al » 14 Apr 2022, 11:43

Lons wrote:I take a similar view to yours it's difficult to put a cost on the enjoyment factor of a hobby apart from if I can't afford it then I don't do it. I didn't realise filament was so cheap, when I first looked it appeared to be expensive.


I had assumed it was an expensive thing to buy, but then I asked someone on the metalworking forum to print something for me and he decided it wasn't worth charging me for such a small part so I looked into it in more detail!

The price of filament does vary a bit with material and manufacturer. The little computer game character models (or whatever they are) that a lot of people seem to use 3D printers for are generally printed in PLA, which is by far the cheapest option (I think I've seen 1 kg reels for about £10). I use PETG for everything as it's more suitable for workshop type things and that's all I'm interested in. That varies in the £15-£30 range but even at the top end it's not that bad.

More expensive options exist for more specialist applications (e.g. ABS/ASA for higher temperature use, PVA for soluble supports if you've got a multiple extruder printer, flexible filaments for things that need to be rubbery etc). There are also mixed material filaments like the wood filled or metal filled ones. These are mostly PLA based I think and are filled for aesthetic reasons. I haven't bothered looking at these really as I'm more interested in function than aesthetics and I'd imagine they're even weaker than the pure PLA prints.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Peri » 14 Apr 2022, 11:53

Brilliant and interesting thread. :)
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby novocaine » 14 Apr 2022, 12:17

PLA would have worked for everything you've shown. don't discount it because "it's for models". I use it for the majority of my prints that aren't structural or under load/flexed. things like your chisel holders would be fine, I'd have considered PETG for your dog remover, but PLA would have worked too given the small amount of force and flex.

at some point I'll put up some of my stuff, for the most part, all of them could be made by hand in the workshop, but would take considerably more time. I tend to print utilitarian items, occasionally models for the kids.
I have a fair few small parts trays, dials, handles, tools (daft things like spoke tension gauges, or one offs that aren't worth buying). I use PLA+ a lot, 18 quid a kilo, prints at lowish temperatures and works with a lined hot end without gumming up. I also have PETG on the shelve that gets used for things like flexed clips, frames etc. I'm working on making a bottle to filament maker, so I can make my own PETG.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Dr.Al » 14 Apr 2022, 12:57

novocaine wrote:PLA would have worked for everything you've shown. don't discount it because "it's for models". I use it for the majority of my prints that aren't structural or under load/flexed. things like your chisel holders would be fine, I'd have considered PETG for your dog remover, but PLA would have worked too given the small amount of force and flex.

at some point I'll put up some of my stuff, for the most part, all of them could be made by hand in the workshop, but would take considerably more time. I tend to print utilitarian items, occasionally models for the kids.
I have a fair few small parts trays, dials, handles, tools (daft things like spoke tension gauges, or one offs that aren't worth buying). I use PLA+ a lot, 18 quid a kilo, prints at lowish temperatures and works with a lined hot end without gumming up. I also have PETG on the shelve that gets used for things like flexed clips, frames etc. I'm working on making a bottle to filament maker, so I can make my own PETG.


That's very interesting to hear. I've only made a few things in PLA and found it quite brittle so didn't pursue it much further. To be honest, a lot of the reason I avoid PLA (apart from reading stuff suggesting PETG might be better for the things I make) is that PLA smells quite a bit when printing (and the printer is about half a metre from my home working desk). It's also noisier when printing as the part cooling fan is running. I've not tried PLA+ but maybe I should give that a try.

Having said all that, there's a certain amount of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it": most of the filament reels I've got are PETG, they cost me £15-£20 a kilo typically and involve minimal thinking to print (I clean the bed with IPA after each print, but otherwise I just send the file directly from the slicer to the printer and it just works). I'm sure most (if not all) of that would be true of PLA too, but unless there's a good reason not to use PETG, I'll probably just leave it all as is.

I'll definitely look forward to seeing some of things you've printed!
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Malc2098 » 14 Apr 2022, 13:05

I'm struggling to register with the fee Onshape product as a hobbyist/maker. The next form it gives me is for a commercial business.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby novocaine » 14 Apr 2022, 13:14

That's very interesting to hear. I've only made a few things in PLA and found it quite brittle so didn't pursue it much further. To be honest, a lot of the reason I avoid PLA (apart from reading stuff suggesting PETG might be better for the things I make) is that PLA smells quite a bit when printing (and the printer is about half a metre from my home working desk). It's also noisier when printing as the part cooling fan is running. I've not tried PLA+ but maybe I should give that a try.

Having said all that, there's a certain amount of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it": most of the filament reels I've got are PETG, they cost me £15-£20 a kilo typically and involve minimal thinking to print (I clean the bed with IPA after each print, but otherwise I just send the file directly from the slicer to the printer and it just works). I'm sure most (if not all) of that would be true of PLA too, but unless there's a good reason not to use PETG, I'll probably just leave it all as is.

I'll definitely look forward to seeing some of things you've printed!


if your fine with PETG then I agree, no point in changing. PLA is available in a few other colours, so I guess that might be a reason at some point, but for the most part, meh.

No smell from PLA (or non from the brands I've used), the only filament I've found with an odor is ABS and nylon so far (printer is on my desk next to the computer).

noiser, yer ok, the fan is running, but I run the fan for all filaments (petg at a much lower through put) so I guess I'm used to it.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Dr.Al » 14 Apr 2022, 14:10

novocaine wrote:No smell from PLA (or non from the brands I've used), the only filament I've found with an odour is ABS and nylon so far (printer is on my desk next to the computer).


Interesting. I've only used two brands of PLA (and not very much for either of them): Prusament and whatever the other PLA that Prusa sell (marked something like "Made for Prusa Research by verified manufacturers"). Both had a definite pong. I've heard ABS and Nylon are a much stronger smell.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Dr.Al » 14 Apr 2022, 14:10

Malc2098 wrote:I'm struggling to register with the fee Onshape product as a hobbyist/maker. The next form it gives me is for a commercial business.


Did you start from this page and click "Get started"?

https://www.onshape.com/en/products/free

It was years ago that I signed up, so I'm not exactly sure what's involved these days.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Malc2098 » 14 Apr 2022, 15:12

Dr.Al wrote:
Malc2098 wrote:I'm struggling to register with the fee Onshape product as a hobbyist/maker. The next form it gives me is for a commercial business.


Did you start from this page and click "Get started"?

https://www.onshape.com/en/products/free

It was years ago that I signed up, so I'm not exactly sure what's involved these days.



Been in touch with them and a nice chap activated an account for me. You might have to give me some lessons.
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Re: Workshop Uses for 3D Printing

Postby Dr.Al » 14 Apr 2022, 15:33

Malc2098 wrote:
Dr.Al wrote:
Malc2098 wrote:I'm struggling to register with the fee Onshape product as a hobbyist/maker. The next form it gives me is for a commercial business.


Did you start from this page and click "Get started"?

https://www.onshape.com/en/products/free

It was years ago that I signed up, so I'm not exactly sure what's involved these days.



Been in touch with them and a nice chap activated an account for me. You might have to give me some lessons.


No problem, give me a shout if you get stuck or you want me to record a short video showing a simple part (e.g. the chisel rack) being made. The tutorials are also excellent.
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