3D printing your aquarium parts For those of you serious DIY folks, you may be inter

Discussion in 'Anything DIY Related' started by SantaMonica, 7 Aug 2013.

  1. SantaMonica

    SantaMonica

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    3D printing your aquarium parts

    For those of you serious DIY folks, you may be interested in how you can make your own plastic aquarium parts by printing them on a 3D printer. Just this year, costs for the 3D printers have dropped to under $500 USD for a pre-built one, and under $200 USD for a kit. 3D printing of your plastic parts works well when:

    1. You are good with computers.
    2. You like trying new designs or colors.
    3. The part is small, or can be put together with small parts.
    4. The part does not require great strength.
    3. There is no easier/cheaper way to get the parts.

    Some aquarium parts, such as simple boxes or tubes, are not suited to 3D printing because they can be more easily made with simple plastic or acrylic shapes. But some parts are so complex that there is no other way to make them except to print them on a 3D printer. I'll be using 3D printers to make the next version of algae scrubbers because of the built-in air tubing, magnet compartments, holes, and bubble pathways that make it impossible for the part to be made (in one piece) any other way.

    Some things I've learned that pertain especially to 3D-printed aquarium parts:

    1. Only use ABS plastic, not PLA or PVA. The ABS plastic is the same type of plastic used in kid's LEGO toys and is very strong. PLA or PVA plastic, however, will slowly dissolve when underwater or when subjected to high temps.

    2. Only use FDM (also called FF) printers. These are the types of printers which use coils of plastic filament. These are also the cheapest printers. Other types of printers such as SLA (liquid) use a photo-cured plastic that will get brittle under aquarium lights, and "powder-printers" make parts which are not water tight.

    3. The 3D printed parts will not be "glossy smooth". They will instead be more like carbon fiber, with a texture (or lines) running in one direction through the whole part.

    I'm too new at 3D printing to be able to recommend a particular printer, but I'm sure each reef or aquarium club has someone who has a 3D printer, and this is usually a great place to start.

    Happy printing!
     
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  3. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    SeanH likes this.
  4. Quintin

    Quintin

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    And you can even print your own gun if you downloaded the plans a couple of months ago from one of the US web sites that offered the plans for free.
     
  5. shan

    shan

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    was this not on CSI recently
     
  6. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    ha ha funny you mention that...I just recently saw a CSI NY episode with the exact scenario..:biggrin:
     
  7. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    Yip haha...posted the same time...:p
     
  8. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    yip

    we use them here at work to make proto's of our gearing mechanisms etc
     
  9. Quintin

    Quintin

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    This was big on the news in the US and UK on CNN and BBC.
    Plans for printing your own gun was leaked onto the internet and loads of people downloaded the plans that could be used with most 3D printers.

    The entire gun is printed out of plastic and only required a firing pin made out of metal, so this could not be picked up by metal detectors....

    As the law stands in the US, UK, Europe and SA.
    It is not illegal to own the plans as long as you don't use it to manufacture the firearm....

    Banned 3D Gun Plans Still Available Online
    Feds defend decision to scrub 3D gun plans from Internet | Fox News

     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Apr 2016
  10. 519franco

    519franco

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    yea we had a part printed here in SA about the size of a 17 in laptop..
    for the part it cost us between 30 to 50 gs
     
  11. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    they saw you coming
     
  12. Quintin

    Quintin

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    Full video for you on the producers of the 3D printable gun...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Apr 2016
  13. seank

    seank

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  14. SantaMonica

    SantaMonica Thread Starter

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  15. seank

    seank

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    Very interesting. Gonna make myself some Plastic Coral...lol
     
  16. 2balive

    2balive

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  17. SantaMonica

    SantaMonica Thread Starter

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    Summary of 3D printing links:

    Endless things to print:
    Thingiverse - Digital Designs for Physical Objects

    General forum for all printers:
    Google Groups

    Massive forum for lots of printer kits and DIY:
    RepRap Forums

    Current lowest-cost assembled printer to print aquarium-safe ABS plastic:
    The Buccaneer® - The 3D Printer that Everyone can use! by Pirate3D Inc :: Kicktraq

    Current most popular U.S. based assembled printer:
    Home

    Low cost Chinese clone of Makerbot:
    Flashforge 3D printer

    Another low cost Chinese clone of Makerbot:
    3D printer—JINHUA WANHAO SPARE PARTS CO.,LTD
     
  18. SantaMonica

    SantaMonica Thread Starter

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  19. SantaMonicaHelp

    SantaMonicaHelp

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    Anybody good at modeling, and would like to make a coral model for printing?
     
  20. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    use a 3D scanner
     
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