Easier printing

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David Corcoran

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Jul 25, 2023, 1:11:56 PM7/25/23
to FEDforum
Hello, I'm trying to modify the FED design to make it a little easier to print. I haven't printed any FEDs myself but the person I'm helping has, and says the chute is one of the tricky areas. I've tried to tweak the design to print the chute without support (and use support for the rest of the print as normal). The main change is to fill in the three holes that I think are there to provide access to the chute for support removal.

If anyone sees any problems or has any ideas about this please let me know. Including which parts of the model are tricky to print.

In the below screenshot from Cura it shows the bottom third of the FED, focusing on one of these holes (the lowest one of the three). The blue arrows show some tricky overhangs that would be a problem without support. The bottom screenshot is the modified design which removes that hole and so removes the tricky overhangs.

Tricky overhangs in chute holes.PNG

Tricky overhangs in chute holes.PNG

I also removed the other two holes in the chute. I also changed some bits other than the chute to make overhangs less overhangy. For example, in the hopper I made the "Max fill" part less overhangy. I didn't change any of the overhangs where support can be directly connected to the build plate.  

I haven't printed and tested it yet, so please bear that in mind if anyone tries it.

Here's a tinkercad link. I'll share the fusion360 file at some point, it's too big to attach here.

Lex

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Jul 25, 2023, 9:28:48 PM7/25/23
to David Corcoran, FEDforum
Hi!  Cool to see your modifications - keep us posted on how they work out!  The chute is tricky - I've printed lots of FEDs myself in PLA and you can't put any support in the chute - it is impossible to remove the support completely and a little bit of rough area or support left over will cause jams inside that chute that mess up the pellet dispensing and render the FED useless. 

You are also correct that the holes in the design are to let the uncured nylon powder out for MJF printing - early on we didn't have those holes and the parts would come back from Shapeways with uncured powder in the chute, which was also really hard for us to remove.  So the holes help the powder come out during the cleaning process and we get the chute back clean.  

Anyway we've printed lots of FEDs ourselves in PLA, but we migrated almost entirely to Shapeways Nylon MJF now... it's ~$150 to print an entire FED3, which is a lot more than the $5-10 to print yourself but the devices function better with the Shapeways parts so I think it's worth it.  We have also printed with HUBS.com, which ends up being ~50% cheaper than Shapeways but we've had some quality issues with uncured powder in the chute.  You can also buy the doors from HUBS and the big housing from Shapeways, that's the only really critical part.





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