I am using SolidWorks CAD Software to draw New Parts, as well as re-drawing many of my Old Parts, so that these new designs can be 3D-Printed with an amazing new type of 3D-printer which creates stronger 3D-Printed items …
On the Side are Recent Posts I have made detailing 3D-Printed Projects >>
The advantage of creating your own 3D-Printed Tools & Parts is you are NOT subjected to the limitations of Off-the-Shelf parts …
Want a special tool for your Workshop? – 3D Print it!
Need a Custom Fixture for Assembling items? – 3D Print it!
Sometimes the simplest items are the most helpful …
TOOL & EQUIPMENT DESIGN
We design items based off of the equipment available to produce those items.
In the past humans used wood, then brass, bronze, iron, steel, aluminum …
Different material’s abilities provided new design options; yet, each new material required new fabrication methods & equipment to create parts.
Metals are strong; however, machining is expensive due to the many different fabrication processes & experience needed to create parts for equipment.
Carbon-Fiber parts are lightweight & strong, but required custom made molds & chemicals of which the fumes limit fabrication locations.
In addition, plastic injection molded parts can be made inexpensive only by making hundreds, or thousands, of the same exact part; yet, if a change has to be made it costs thousands of dollars (and may take weeks) to re-machine a new injection mold out of metal.
The brilliance of 3D-Printing (Additives Manufacturing) is that just about anything one can draw into CAD software can be 3D-Printed into that shape.
Injection Molded parts require draft angles to get parts out of the mold; however, 3D-Printed parts can be whatever shape you need to create the best part possible for your project.
In other words – You Design your parts for their use, not by what methods you have available to fabricate the parts … Draw the specific part shape you need and then press the 3D-Printer’s START button.
Need to Change/Update a 3D-Printed Part’s Design?
No worries, just change the design anytime you wish and send the new file to the 3D-Printer. Within seconds you are making a new updated part.
( No financial punishment for creative design updates )
Markforged Stronger 3DP Materials provide more design options…
Markforged launched the first and only 3D desktop and industrial line of printers that smartly embed continuous fiber to created a printed composite part and they introduced a breakthrough method of printing same-day real metal.
Markforged 3D printed parts are much stronger, stiffer and more impact resistant than parts from any other 3D printer.
ONYX and NYLON parts starts with a base plastic filament extruded from the Markforged 3D-Printers first print head.
Parts made of plastics alone have excellent engineered properties such as toughness, stiffness, stability and strength over other plastic printers.
FIBER MATERIALS – Reinforce with continuous fiber for amazing properties through our second print head.
You have a choice of four fiber materials for tremendous boosts in strength, toughness and other properties for the most advanced uses any 3D printer can provide.
I have already posted many examples using metal fasteners (Bolts, Nuts, Screws) in combination with 3D-Printed parts, and have reached the limits of my current 3D-Printer …
Also, created 3D-Printed shapes to be used patterns for metal casting …
Unfortunately, I have reached the size & strength limits of my current 3D-Printer and wish to be able to design for stronger 3D printed materials …
The goal of my – Designed for Markforged – posts are to create items specifically designed to take advantage of stronger Markforged 3DP materials and the larger 3D-printing platform dimensions.
( Click on images to see a Larger View )
The equipment and parts one buys online, or in a store, have been designed for general use so as many people as possible can use those items.
Many individuals and businesses cannot use off-the-shelf parts and have to design and fabricate custom made items…
Several years ago I starting working with Bill create ‘remote access’ drilling equipment for Helical Piers & Micro-Piles for foundation stabilization …
Every location has different needs so we end up designing & fabricating custom items for different situations … Some items are for physical work and others are used as guides and/or measuring & alignment.
Sometimes holes have to be accurately drilled into pipes in remote locations and/or pipes have to be cut off shorter and the hole re-drilled to match the hydraulic drilling unit’s mounting holes.
Inside my workshop, it is very easy to cut off the pipe and then re-drill the mounting holes in the correct location, but on the job-site it becomes much harder for workers to do it quickly & accurate with a hand-held drill.
There are different types of drilling equipment and each one has a different purpose and method of use … Many times we have to create special tools due to the tight working conditions in remote access areas.
As an example, sometimes there isn’t enough room to use a long spike to line up holes, so I made a short hand-held spike on the suggestion of a worker.
It is amazing how much time a simple tool can save on a job, and how much time can be wasted when a process is done inaccurately with the wrong tool.
I use 3D-Printing almost daily to create fixtures for projects in my shop …
3D-Printed designs are much easier to create because what you draw can be printed by just pressing the START button and come back later to have a finished part … I’ll go to bed after starting a 3D-Print ~ wake up, and it is done.
Previously machined a drilling guide out of metal, and it worked great, but keeping track of it seems to be the biggest issue… Also with many job-sites we need a drilling guide in each vehicle so one it is available when needed.
I would show a photo of the original metal drilling guide, but that is part of the problem, we need more than one, because I have no idea where to find it?
Now I can easily 3D-Print several more Drilling/Measuring Guides and don’t have to spend the time machining them, and while they are 3D-Printing I can work on other projects … It is like getting two things done at once.
I decided to make several 3D Printed versions using a combination of Nuts, Bolts, Aluminum flatbar, and 3D-Printed parts …
Design works great, but wanted to make it even simpler so that anyone can push the START button on the 3D-Printer … and then press in a few 1/4″ nuts that can be found at any hardware store in any location where a job is taking place.
Teaching people to start a 3D-Printer is about like starting a Paper printer.
Re-designed the new Drilling & Measuring Guide to be 3D-Printed as one piece and the nuts would press into the 3D-Printed part.
For this post, I used SolidWorks CAD Software to cut out a small piece of the design and 3D-Print it as a test items for some of the features …
Would anyone else be able to use this 3D-Printed Drilling & Measuring guide?
Probably Not… but that is the great thing about 3D-Printed items, I don’t have to worry what OTHER people want; instead, I only have to design parts and tools that I need for my projects/business.
The features added to this 3D-Printed guide are:
– Drilled-out 1/4″ Nuts to align the 1/4″ drill bit for pilot holes in pipe
– Threaded 1/4″ Nuts to allow 1/4″ bolts to tighten guide in place on pipe
– Grooved areas that will hold paint to help locate drilling guide holes
– 3D-Printed 7/8″ Guide holes to check to make sure drilled hole are correct
– Cut guide so Top of pipe will fit into drill and holes will match up
. . .
If anyone has concerns about the accuracy of 3D-Printed parts you can view the image above – Very Accurate!!
Threads can be tapped in 3D-Printed items, just that same as parts made from other materials … and 3DP holes sizes can be the same as Tap Drill sizes.
By testing Hex Hole sizes, you can create a press in fit whereby the nuts do not fall out and can be hidden inside the 3D-Printed part; yet, still allowing the bolt or screw to be tightened from the outside.
Try machining Hex holes inside a round object on a Milling Machine – Not!!
But it’s simple to add Hex holes or shapes to 3D-Printed items … EASY!!
Another feature I like to add to my 3D-Printed tools is Paint Grooves …
By drawing grooves ( or lettering ) in my 3DP parts, when the paint wears off of the outer surfaces, the paint stays in the grooves showing off lettering or guide lines on the parts …
Usually I would paint the entire side and let it wear off on its own, but for this test, I put the paint on with a toothpick then (after drying) sanded the paint off the outer surface.
Used the blue paint I had in the shop, but would probably use a Bright Yellow or Florescent Green on the actual Drilling & Measuring Guide.
My AFINIA 3D-Printer does not have the ability to print the Drilling/Measuring Guide’s body as one part, so I used two smaller 3D-Printed parts.
With the Markforged 3D-Printer it can be created as one 3DP part.
I’m sure we will change the design many times as workers suggest new features they would like added to the Drilling & Measuring Guide …
But no worries, unlike having to create a new metal-casting mold, or machine a new part … I’ll just add new features to the SolidWorks CAD design and then just press the PRINT button on the Markforged Printer.
Markforged also has Metal 3D-Printing Technology!!
That’s all for now … More (3DP) 3D-Printed Designs to Come later …
If you are interested in designing something you feel could be printed out of strong material on a Markforged 3D-Printer, please send me a note.
We can discuss your idea and draw a SolidWorks CAD design … and see how your idea will look as a Photo-Realistic CAD rendering of the 3DP item.
Why am I offering to draw CAD items for people to try on Markforged?
Because they are on the correct track by producing 3D-Printers that print materials which can be used in real-world manufacturing & repair shop settings.
WELL DONE MARKFORGED!!
… CHEERS!! Charles Marlin ( @MetalDesigner )