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DannyHarvey

3d Printing - great for astro stuff!

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I'm just knocking up some cable clips to tidy up the dew shield cable on my scope - has anyone else made any use of 3d printing for their scope projects?

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Watched 3D printers and Astro for a while now and to be honest not sure.

There seems possibilities but to an extent limited.

There was an excellent looking item to hold an eyepiece central but I bet I could not find it again.

Most of us are not going to sit and spend a day or two or five designing a simple item, I assume that to do so needs the equivalent of a CAD program of some sort - what is the cost of this.  Buying a printer for say £800 then needing a software package for £500 starts to get costly.

Suppose there is the option of a retailer getting one and keeping a library of designs for astro applications then you select the item and pay for it, it is printed and sent to you. Business opertunity for Gina there.

Could argue that something like SGL could have a section of downloadable files but I guess people would deposit whatever item they had made and so, I am sorry to say, the library would fill up with potential junk.

Gina has worked her way through a few 3D printers so it seems they are still not at the reliable amateur stage, they may get there.

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Are 3d printers a tad on the expensive side.? ....I saw one recently when I took my daughter to Huddersfield University, it was absolutely amazing....so was the cost.....

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I'm lucky to have a 3d printer at work so I don't have to worry about costs.

There are free CAD packages available to download so you could use one of those and send it out to be printed - so it is possible to do it for free.

Outside printers would generally be better quality too.

In terms of time  the cable clip above took about 5 mins (admittedly it's a very simple design).

I'm also printing a dew shield for my finderscope. That took 1 minute to draw as its just a tube!

r.

Danny

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It's a very exciting area. How strong is the plastic? Would it be strong enough for a dovetail, for example? They're so expensive and quite a simple design. Mind you, I couldn't do it! It would need someone with a good 3D mind!

Alexxx

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I wouldn't trust the plastic on a dovetail-but its ok for general low load stuff. Todaya colleague was showing me some plastic for the printer that Can stretch -this would be useful for suspension and springs etc.

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I'd probably print a case for my iPhone that I would be able to attach to an eyepiece.

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On tv yesterday i saw the worlds first 3D printed car. It has a life span of 5 yrs, but longer if you park it in a garage. I think it costs something like 15-20K to buy.

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I think Gina does her designs in Google Sketch-Up, which I've tried to use before it melted my brain.

I also remember last year hearing a bit on the radio about new technology which included an item about a jeweler making 3D GOLD jewelry with  a printer which used a laser to fuse gold powder into the object. A 1 kg canister was something like £35k at the time. Wonder if a similar system could be made to use eg ali or bronze. Be a bit cheaper!

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It's a very exciting area. How strong is the plastic? Would it be strong enough for a dovetail, for example? They're so expensive and quite a simple design. Mind you, I couldn't do it! It would need someone with a good 3D mind!

Alexxx

at the uni I work at they harden some of the plastick with a hardener one to make them water prof and stronger as they were making Cabretters for engineering for the students to test but they 3d printers are about 3000.500 to buy lol

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My cable clips didn't work too well - clip sides kept snapping off - I'm going to re-draw them with a bit more "meat"  behind them! 

Dew shield I made was just a little too tight - so that will be re-drawn too.

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My cable clips didn't work too well - clip sides kept snapping off - I'm going to re-draw them with a bit more "meat" behind them!

Dew shield I made was just a little too tight - so that will be re-drawn too.

I've been wondering how strong printed item's are due to their bonded layer construction. Is it a big weakness in their properties?

It's an interesting technology and I see NASA has started using it to make rocket parts cheaper obviously using the metal version and also medical research for scaffolds and framework for growing body parts around.

Will keep an eye on developments and see how things progress as its still pretty much in it's infancy for the amateur.

Damian

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I'm sure I've seen someone's made there own EOS clip filter (like the astronomik ones) using a 3D printer recently. Think it was in a post here on SGL.

A 3D printer is one of those things I've always wanted ever since I learnt of their existence despite the fact that I have absolutely no need for one.

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I know I can set the print density on my work system to different factors - this wastes more raw material but increases strength (and weight). 

There are other 3d printer systems using different printing techniques and materials. I don't fully understand them all yet.

I get as much fun tinkering and making things for the scope as I do looking through it so having access to a 3d printer/CAD software is great! 

Dan

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I don't have a printer myself, but my son's built a couple and has so far made me some very nice bahtinov masks. Measured the dew shields carefully, and the masks are a perfect friction fit with the help of some integral lugs. Simple enough, but very effective. More stuff in the pipeline...

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My cable clips didn't work too well - clip sides kept snapping off - I'm going to re-draw them with a bit more "meat"  behind them! 

Dew shield I made was just a little too tight - so that will be re-drawn too.

Seems like a good idea but you do know you can buy cable tidy clips like that for pennies?

That does not mean stop making them.

Us humans make labour saving tools not because we're clever but because we're bone idle.

We used hundreds of cable-tidies, cable-clips, P-clips and even string in the laboratories to keep the plumber's nightmare under control.

One of the best was a peel-off sticky-backed plastic square with a zip-tie attached.

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:-) 

Part of the fun of clip making is learning what can be done with the material and making the clips exactly how you want them!

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I am lucky enough to have access to a number of professional 3D printers at work and i also use cad as part of my job. I have designed and made quite a lot of stuff from collimating caps to a fancy vee block to collimate my laser collimator. Half the stuff i have never used but it's better than doing what i am supposed to be doing at work :grin:

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We have been working with our 3D printer for a while now. It's kind of a double edged sword really. On one hand you can make very specific parts that can be quite difficult to get a hold of, on the other hand it can be a huge pain to design and prototype something several times to get it right. I've only recently started to use it for astro stuff, but I did find a design on Thingiverse which is a case to attach my phone to the eyepiece of my scope.

Have only done some minor testing, but it seems like it might be a decent alternative to a webcam for planetary stuff for me.

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I am a boss at work and I encourage my team to find home jobs to do on our printer - in the process they are learning and improving their skills so it suits both sides.

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