Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

Hey all,

So I'm a total amateur when it comes to this stuff. I've done some searches, and watched some videos, but am curious as to what the MA community thinks is the best way to go about this.

Long story short, I got access to a friend's 3D scanner - no printer available at this time - and scanned some random moped parts. The files are in .OBJ formats. What is the best way to go about reproducing these things? I'm talking switch mounts, body panels, etc. Things that would normally be made of some kind of plastic.

3D printing the larger pieces would surely be cost prohibitive, and I'm not sure what type of injection / vacuum molding can be done with these type of scans. Can .OBJ files be converted into other formats? What file type is best for each reproduction method? Do any of these options make sense for a limited production run of like 1-4 pieces?

Appreciate any guidance people can provide!

Andrew

Re: Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

Hey that's really cool, I would love to send you something to scan for me, I'll work through the hurdles and can help you out if you want.

Obj files can open right into cura which is the software that controls most of the consumer 3d printers. The file you will get will probably have errors on it so first you will want to open it in cad and clean it up. I just checked and inventor can open obj, I would guess that solidworks can as well.

You will also have to think about the orientation of the part and check the dimensions of measurable features in cad, and most likely tweak it.

If you have a file you want me to look at let me know, I can pull it into cad and see how it goes. I've got an FDM printer at home too (ender 3)

Re: Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

Hey Graham,

Sounds cool! Appreciate you offering to take a look at it. PM me your email and I'll send you an OBJ file to look at. I only opened it on my phone and played around with some of the features in a free app I found, but I'm really curious to see if this could be use for reproduction purposes. You'd know better than me.

Talk soon.

Andrew

Re: Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

Injection molding isnt gonna be viable. You looking at over 5k probably more like 10 to get the dies made.

Vaccine molding is probably the most accessable for production. But if your only doing a few, 3d printing is the best option financially

Re: Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

Just got a 3D printer and have been fooling with various prints. Depending on what you want to produce, you may have to consider your materials.

PLA (which seemingly most people use) may not do well for long term use due to temperature swing, strength characteristics and the fact that it may break down after a while.

ABS or some types of nylon may be your best bet on some parts, however there are some trade offs with those. Some are harder to print successfully, but I think it's doable. Maybe print in PLA for mock up / fit then go from there? I'd be willing to give it a shot as well even though my printer won't handle much above 220mm or so.

I don't have access to Autocad, but have been playing around with Fusion 360 (free from Autodesk for a year) and so that may be an option for you / others. I've never dealt with 3D rendering / drawing before but it's pretty fascinating if you're into that type of thing.

Have any photos of the stuff you're trying to produce? I think there's a list in the wiki of moped related 3D print models available and I've even found one or two that aren't on that list.

Re: Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

Johnny Braaapp /

Not trying to hijack your thread or anything, but I didn't feel the need to post a whole new thread on the topic.

I am in the market for a 3d printer, but have no idea what's decent, and what's just rubbish. I have my eye on this ANYCUBIC Mega X.

Link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083JB2YTW/

Would this work for a beginner printer?

Re: Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

I've been running an ender 3 for over 2 years now, it's fried 2 motherboards (one was due to operator error) and needed some basic maintenance but for the most part it's working great. I have a $6000 ultimaker at work and the ender prints every bit as good, just requires a little more dicking around sometimes.

You will definitely want a glass bed for doing any functional parts. There is a German guy on YouTube that has great tutorials and really explains stuff well.... Can't remember his name.

Most moped parts I run with petg, it's cheap and very rigid with good temp stability. I have run some stuff with taulmann nylon 6/6 which is fantastic but also very expensive and not much stronger, it's tougher so it's good for things that will see a lot of abuse. ABS I don't like because it stinks but it is really good for cosmetic parts like sidecovers that don't see a lot of abuse, it accepts paint and sands up better. It's very brittle and will crack with no warning.

Re: Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

Anycubic is an ok brand. But for the money you can make somthing much better yourself. Buy your controller, steppers, rails, extruded alu and a platen...tons of forum threads and even parts lists. Diy kit style

your in the lower mid range at that price point. Certainly good enough for a beginner.

I built my first out of floppy drives years ago...now that's beginner level.lol had like a 2.8 in cube I could print in. Man it amazes me how far it's come

Re: Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

Johnny Braaapp /

Cool, thanks for the input. I'd do a bit more researching!

Re: Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

I've also got an Ender 3 (v2) and it has done very well for me as a beginner printer. It's not that expensive and has outstanding user community support. I'm about a month in on this thing and I love it! it's done some great intricate prints and works seamlessly with Cura and other software.

I haven't tried PETG yet but I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking to do some minor upgrades to mine like a filament guide for the back and some new / stiffer bed springs (they look like puch clutch springs!) but other than that it's been great.

Re: Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

Yeah when I got into it, I made the decision that I didn't want '3d printing' to be my hobby, for me it's just a means to an end, I bought the cheapest thing I could and put all my effort into designing parts and getting good prints. If I had bought a bunch of stepper motors and junk It would probably still be sitting in a box in my office next to a million other stalled projects.

The real sophistication is knowing how to actually design a part, that's the hard part, knowing the material and understanding how the printer works so you can get the strength you need. If you actually want to make functional stuff, spend your time building your skills at the design part and let someone way smarter than you figure out how to design and build a printer.

Re: Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

Johnny Braaapp /

Well said, Graham

Re: Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

Dirty30 Dillon /

Yeah, absolutely no interest in building a 3D printer when I started looking into it. I'm in Graham's boat, this is a tool, not a toy.

Given my available space restrictions, I decided on entering the printing world with a Prusa Mini, and I cannot tell you how satisfied I am with it. 7x7x7 is enough bed size for pretty much anything I can do, and self levelling bed, filament sensor, etc. are all dumby proof. I was leaning towards the Ender, but honestly was put off by all the fidgeting that people were having to do. I really wanted something that was fast to setup and get printing.

Using Fusion360/Prusa Slicer, it's basically the plug and play tool I wanted it to be.

After all this, I am using it to prototype some parts in both PLA and PETG, as well as a bunch of other hobby building stuffing, and I can't be happier.

Moped scale tends to make people think that they need a much bigger build area then you really need. It's all about smart building of your parts.

Re: Need 3D Printing / Injection Molding / Vacuum Molding Guidance

The process absolutely depends on the part you're trying to produce. Large format 3D Print might be out, but a vacuformed piece from a CNC'd foam buck might make sense. I've goofed around with DIY methods quite a bit. Let me / us know what you have in mind and we can be more helpful.

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