3D Printing News Briefs: January 21, 2021


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In today’s edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re taking a look at some unique projects that were completed using 3D printing. A maker modified a Creality printer to try and make rims for an old Mercedes out of ABS, and Papadakis Racing 3D printed a turbo manifold out of Inconel powder. Moving on, there’s a DIY project about 3D printing a motorized film carrier that uses LiDAR technology. Finally, you can learn how to 3D print your own MagSafe Duo charger.

3D Printed Mercedes Rims Out of ABS

A recent Hackaday post details the work that Dutch maker Jón Schone of YouTube channel “Proper Printing” put in trying to 3D print wheel rims for an older Mercedes car, which isn’t exactly the easiest application. It can be done, but it’s not a real feasible automotive print project, and as Hackaday blogger Danie Conradie put it, “some things just aren’t meant to be printed.” Schone decided to use ABS filament to make the 19″ rims for the Mercedes, and in order to reduce the amount of warping with this material, modified a Creality CR10 S5 printer with a heated chamber. Because it was a pretty large-scale project, he also tried to make a filament joiner so he didn’t have to sit around and wait for the next time he needed to replace the spool, but that didn’t work, so he ended up using filament in bulk-size spools. While Schone did 3D print a full wheel rim in two halves, which were later bolted together, the parts were still warped, which caused a gap at the seam; not ideal for a tubeless tire that needs an airtight rim. He tried to fix this issue by filling larger gaps with sealant and painting the entire interior surface, but ultimately it did not work out.

“In the end it was still unable to hold pressure with a tire mounted, so it was test fitted to the car just to see if it would carry the weight. This test also failed, splitting on the thinnest part of the rim. [Jón] has headed back to the drawing board to try again in 2021,” Conradie concluded. “We probably would have moved on by now, but you have to admire his tenacity.”

3D Printed Racecar Turbo Manifold

California-based sport performance business Papadakis Racing is a multiple championship winner in drag racing and drift competitions, and has started using metal 3D printing to fabricate some of the parts for its 2020 Toyota GR Supra engine, such as an aluminum intake manifold and an Inconel header, the latter of which is what this story is focused on. A FaroArm was used to 3D scan the engine and the engine bay, so the team would know the exact dimensions they were dealing with when designing the parts. Full-Race Motorsports designed the part for 3D printing, and the new SOLIDWORKS Connected software product was used to design both the 3D printed and fabricated parts. Owner Stephan Papadakis worked with Full-Race Motorsports via the software platform and Zoom calls to design all of the individual components, including the wastegates, turbocharger, and header, and then assembling them all.

“The SOLIDWORKS Connected software gives you all the normal 3D design tools, plus cloud-based management and project planning and communication tools, all powered by the software’s connection to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” Papadakis said in a YouTube video.

While the project was ultimately successful, Papadakis mentioned in the video that there were some challenges with the 3D printer, and that it was taking so long to print the parts that they worried they might not be able to use them for the last race of the year. So just in case, Full-Race Motorsports also made them an Inconel header with traditional manufacturing techniques, which ended up being the one used at the last race. But the 3D printed version will definitely be used in the future. Check out the video below to learn more about this project:

Making a LiDAR-Driven, 3D Printed Motorized Film Carrier

Photographer and programmer Seckin Sinan Isik had never used a 3D printer before, but went all in when he decided to use the basic function of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology on a 3D printed, motorized film carrier that can digitize film negatives faster. He designed the film carrier using FreeCAD, and randomly chose PrusaSlicer to create the G-code, noting how helpful the online 3D printing community was when he needed help understanding something. His Creality Ender 3 v2 was used to print the film carrier, the design goals and features of which he listed in his blog post. Seckin ended up 3D printing ten parts for the film carrier, though one was optional, out of PLA; however, due to warping issues he thinks he’ll try something like carbon-filled nylon in the future. Even though it was his first time, he said the printing was “relatively easy even for the inexperienced person, such as me.”

“Two make up the main body, 2 spacers that ensure a specific length between the main bodies, 4 rollers (2 for the film intake and 2 for the push out), and lastly, the tactile round handle. The optional round collector part is for anyone who have their uncut film wonder off to a mysterious location on a desk after a scan,” he wrote.

“Some typical 3D printing setting I have use are the following. For the main body I generally use at least 2 solid bottom layers and 5 top solid layers, 2 perimeter lines, with 20% infill (10% is also fine). The z-axis resolution was set to 0.25 mm, using 50 mm/s extrusion rate for the perimeters and 70 mm/s for the infill. The two main body can take around around 12 to 15 hours print time. For the rollers I would suggest higher than 40%, possibly even 100% infill.”

If you’re interested in this project, the STL files have been uploaded to GitHub, and you can check out the how-to instructions here.

3D Printed MagSafe Duo Charger

Apple came out with the MagSafe Duo Charger for its new iPhone 12 models not too long ago, and it features an integrated Apple Watch charging puck on one side, with a MagSafe wireless charger on the other. Revealed at the iPhone 12 event this fall, the portable MagSafe Duo Charger is just one of four new accessories for the iPhone 12 phones, and it can charge any compatible iPhone, Apple Watch, Wireless AirPod charging case, and other Qi-certified devices. But, with a price tag of $129 and no upright phone charging or power brick, a lot of people aren’t too happy with the new product. Reddit user blitzkriegtaco took matters into his own hands, and 3D printed a less expensive version of the MagSafe Duo that can be used with the new charger and an existing Apple Watch charger.

This 3D printed charger allows for upright charging, which definitely takes up less space on your desk or counter, and only costs $39 plus the cost of printing, whether you use your own filament on your own printer or use a 3D printing service to make the MagSafe Duo. You do have to use your own Apple Watch charger in conjunction with this 3D printed one, but the file is free to use on Thingiverse, though you can always make a donation to its creator, DonSonsi. I went searching for the file, and didn’t find it, but I did find several remixes of the 3D printable MagSafe Duo Charger here.

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