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3D printing applications for C&V

Old 06-17-17, 02:32 PM
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3D printing applications for C&V

I was wondering what the applications of a 3D printer would be in the C&V bicycle world. Metal printing might not have the strength for a number of applications, not to mention it is not as available as polymer printing. It could be useful in certain pieces.

Anyone done any experimenting? I'm thinking it might be a solution to replacing some of the cracking delrin parts on Simplex bits, maybe plastic bushings for MAFAC pivots. What other applications can you think?
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Old 06-17-17, 02:58 PM
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Cannondale top tube cable guides.
Shimano mtb brake caliper spring retainers that crack.
Vintage rear fender mount reflectors for Raleigh and Peugeot.
Pedal dust caps.
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Old 06-17-17, 03:16 PM
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Someone has done the simplex skewer end caps, but without the brass center.
In observing things, the tech has been improving.
One comment I have is that eventually the tech will allow a same exterior shape to be replicated with an internal structure that might just provide equal or better strength and a lighter part.
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Old 06-17-17, 03:53 PM
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I have used 3-D printing to make plastic stamps for leather saddles, and also metal badges for the back of the saddle.

They can do a pretty nice job printing on wax and then turning that to brass or bronze by a lost wax casting process. This works for head badges and the like.

I also had a steel part made for a Resilion brake, but it wasn't strong enough for the job.
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Old 06-17-17, 04:22 PM
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I looked into it when I broke a first generation SA S-5 plastic top tube shifter. The expensive part was the 3D scanning to create the file. I ended up buying 2nd generation metal shifters.
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Old 06-17-17, 04:27 PM
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I will be taking delivery on a printed stainless steel prototype top tube/head lug soon.

I see no reason at this time to think that it would not work in the assembly of a frame. But I'll know more by the end of next week.

The current resins for plastic printing are good under compression, horrible under tension. Choose your applications wisely.
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Old 06-17-17, 04:56 PM
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Simplex prestige replacement derailleur parts? T.A. bottle cage replacement front hook?
Generally plastics don't seem too durable whenever repetitive tensile or particularly bending performance are required of them. And compared to many metals, they have a coefficient of expansion (over a temperature range) that's fairly high.
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Old 06-17-17, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Narhay View Post
Anyone done any experimenting? I'm thinking it might be a solution to replacing some of the cracking delrin parts on Simplex bits, maybe plastic bushings for MAFAC pivots. What other applications can you think?
I always thought the Simplex Delrin molded piece on front derailleurs would be a good candidate for 3D modeling. Someone must have a scanner. Shapeways aluminum would appear to have sufficient physical properties. It might take a bit of clean up, and I think you'd need to allow for adding a bronze sleeve for the plunger tube thing, as acetal is self lubricating and aluminum is not. A strong functional replacement piece would be a great kindness to many C&V'ers.

Shapeways aluminum - see MDS for material properties
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Old 06-17-17, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
I will be taking delivery on a printed stainless steel prototype top tube/head lug soon.

I see no reason at this time to think that it would not work in the assembly of a frame. But I'll know more by the end of next week.

The current resins for plastic printing are good under compression, horrible under tension. Choose your applications wisely.
This must be for your project bike. Have you found a builder to work with?
Could be exciting.
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Old 06-17-17, 09:12 PM
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The Simplex Delrin concept has proven to be a failure, so why try to reinvent it?
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Old 06-17-17, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The Simplex Delrin concept has proven to be a failure, so why try to reinvent it?
The tech is advancing.
It is being used by a locomotive manufacturer even. A fuel injector can now be printed as one part, before it was an assembly brazed, soldiered, crimped comprised of 34 parts.
What I found surprising was there are printers that can print two dissimilar materials at a time.
The equipment that is the best right now is very expensive, yes. But a Mac+ was too way back.
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Old 06-17-17, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The Simplex Delrin concept has proven to be a failure, so why try to reinvent it?
I guess I wasn't clear. What I'm suggesting is using 3d printing to make a replacement part from aluminum, not Delrin. That way you could toss the cracked plastic part, and reassemble your now all metal Simplex. Paint it black if you like...

Delrin (acetal) isn't normally 3d printed, but a few freaks are experimenting with it. With some trouble then, they probably could be remade from Delrin if you were inclined. Some reinforcement to the section that fails would be in order.

BTW, I don't really agree that the Simplex Delrin concept was a failure, with caveats.
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Old 06-17-17, 11:41 PM
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I've had dozens of parts 3D printed for work in the past decade. The cost has come down, and the number of material options have come up. You can even 3D print stainless steel and titanium now. But it's pretty damn expensive. I haven't tried aluminum yet. An example of a material that's almost as strong as aluminum is PEEK, I've used it in some applications as-printed with hand finishing.

Please note, however, that there is a lot of misconception about the finished product. Typically you'll get what looks like very fine sedimentary layers as most processes build it a layer at a time. Finer layers = more machine time = higher cost. You can ask for post-processing with some hand finishing.
@rhm did a few head badges for me out of brass using 3D printed wax and the lost wax process. They came out VERY nice, but keep in mind it was a planar application, with only two levels.

A great use of 3D printing is for prototypes. You can quickly get a sample in your hands to see exactly how it looks from different angles prior to machining or casting. We have several printers at work for just this type of use.
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Old 06-18-17, 05:50 AM
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I can see many parts being produced using 3-D printing technology. The use of these printers is progressing rapidly, and the details for using better alloys are being sorted out as well. I read an article in Leatherneck Magazine regarding the field use of an off the shelf 3-D printer to make a part for a combat vehicle that was continually being back ordered at the logistics depot level, and keeping the vehicle out of service until the part could make its way through the supply chain. Standard CAD software was used to set up the programming for production. The savings in time and cost was substantial, Hq Marine Corps is working on using this type of capability more in the future.

If items can be successfully put into combat conditions making some bicycle parts we cannot access now should become more prevalent. But, I can see some protests by the purists that the items produced by modern system not being correct or acceptable.

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Old 06-18-17, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
This must be for your project bike. Have you found a builder to work with?
Could be exciting.
It took me 2 years to get to a single lug getting made. I did it on a normal res printer, 30 micron layer thickness (high res is 20 microns) because the cost is more than half off.

They even had an issue printing the geometry, but from the pictures, it is likely cosmetic only.

I need to get the part in hand, polish the A surfaces, make sure it is fine by my standards, and then I would take that to a builder. I tried Waterford but I don't think Mr. Schwinn is much interested in working with a control freak IDer. I'd like to stay local so Dave Anderson is next on the list.

What I'd really like is to get my hands on some XCR tubing so I can check the ID of my printed part. The best they can guarantee is +/- 0.2mm on the diameter. I printed at match metal so I do have concern. I probably should have decreased the ID by 0.2mm and just ream out excess. But that is why you make a prototype.
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Old 06-18-17, 08:57 AM
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Interesting the tolerance stated without going to the high res disposition.
Also, the difficulty regarding the geometry. Assuming your model math was right, there must be an interpolation that is beyond the printer controller software.

Still exciting. I had a prior boss who felt after the styling, hand it off. I was in a position to not follow that and the result was always better, the suppliers not always happy but if you solved a production problem for them that saved money and provided better quality, they got on board. My old boss did grudgingly admit the outcome was better that way. Did not like the travel though.
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Old 06-18-17, 09:23 AM
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I checked the stl file, the geometry is solid. The flaw is symmetrical along the Y, defects on both sides, so yes, the printer obviously couldn't read properly. Probably would go away with a change in build orientation. But that opens the part to other potential flaws and an increased price.
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Old 06-18-17, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
I checked the stl file, the geometry is solid. The flaw is symmetrical along the Y, defects on both sides, so yes, the printer obviously couldn't read properly. Probably would go away with a change in build orientation. But that opens the part to other potential flaws and an increased price.
You know what we say...

Pics or it didn't happen!

Really would like to see this.
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Old 06-18-17, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
I checked the stl file, the geometry is solid. The flaw is symmetrical along the Y, defects on both sides, so yes, the printer obviously couldn't read properly. Probably would go away with a change in build orientation. But that opens the part to other potential flaws and an increased price.
Or, "goof" up the part data file to (assuming here) add mass to the flaw section so the printer driver directs the printer to print a slightly oversized part that is cut back later. I am assuming also that the exterior surface is to be filed back to create an ultimately finished part to match the Concept rendering.

Was there a wax or less expensive medium print done to prove out with the same service?
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Old 06-18-17, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Was there a wax or less expensive medium print done to prove out with the same service?
Did a few in Accura Clearvue. Excellent resolution, not bad tensile qualities for a printed plastic. Did not have the same flaw as the SS part.
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Old 06-18-17, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
You know what we say...

Pics or it didn't happen!

Really would like to see this.
As I wrote earlier, it is shipping on Monday, I should get sometime later. But if you would like to know more about it, here is some out-dated work.

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...m-project.html
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Old 06-18-17, 11:09 AM
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Interesting project @iab, I had forgotten about the earlier thread you refered to above. I reread that one just now and hopefully your issues with this new lug will be worked out easily. Will the use of the 3-D printer produce a more finished lug? Or is this still going to require some hand work to clean up the fine points? My nephew is looking into doing some work with these printers and I would like to educate myself about the intricacies of them, especially the programs in use now.

Please do share some pictures of the lug, if it isn't something you are considering propriatary. Not looking to cross that line.

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Old 06-18-17, 02:23 PM
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I'm using 3D printed Simplex replica skewer wing nuts now to replace my originals, one of which has cracked. They're made from hard PVC plastic and have brass insert nuts. So far they're working great. 3D printed one on the right


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Old 06-18-17, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
I can see many parts being produced using 3-D prinying technology.
"Welcome to Computer Airlines. This flight is controlled entirely by computer. Nothing can possible go wrinfffgxx"

The preceding announcement was provided for your enjoyment by Computer Prinying Corp.
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