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Thread: Newbie help

  1. #1

    Newbie help

    Hello All,
    Looking at getting into 3D printing. My company manufactures performance engine parts. Making patterns to make a casting is very expensive. We are wanting to develop a new cylinder head from basically a clean slate. We would like to print some intake & exhaust port shapes to do flow testing with before hard tooling is built. Possibly print an entire cylinder head. The current project cylinder head has overall dimensions of 15 x 17 x 6" The intake & exhaust port portions would be much smaller. Probably fitting into a 6 x 6 x 10" envelope. I would like to work within a 6K budget.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Can not help you with your printer choice but you will surely need a duel extruder so you can print with dissoluble supports. Also you do realize that there is a lot of post processing of parts to make them smooth, the way I would assume you would need them of your intended purpose.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    I agree that a dual extruder printer is going to make things easier for your project. Wash-away support material allows you to create shapes that would be difficult to impossible to construct with a single extruder printer.

    Your budget allows for substantial flexibility of choice and especially allows for a quality printer with features not typically found in a consumer level product.

    Straight off, look for an enclosed print chamber. This will allow you to use more exotic filaments or more difficult filaments. Even the "simple" ABS filament does better in an enclosed chamber. If you can find a machine with a heated chamber, all the better.

    You may not have to use exotic filaments, but why limit your options?

    An aspect of FFF or FDM printing is that the parts created will have layer lines. These lines can affect the airflow and require post-processing to remove. ABS permits a process called acetone smoothing which can completely remove the layer lines at the expensive of some dimensional changes. Test modeling will provide the numbers necessary to counteract such changes. There's a filament on the market from Polymaker that uses an alcohol vapor to smooth away layer lines on their product. I've performed acetone smoothing on ABS with pretty good results and didn't have to buy special filament or a smoothing chamber, but with your budget, you might find it a better option.

    Depending on your model size requirements, you may want to consider an SLA or DLP resin type 3D printer. There are layer lines, but you need a powerful magnifier to see them! It's a bit messier process and typically used for tiny models, but there are some larger format printers on the market. The primary characteristic of resin printers is surface smoothness. An FDM printer will go as low as 0.050 mm (50 microns) for layer thickness (rare, but they are out there) while half that is standard for the resin type. Printing duration for the models printed with such thin layers is increased, of course.

    Check the 'net for your options as noted above, then post some candidates here for discussion.

    good luck

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