VULCAN 400: OPTIMIZING PARTS FOR 3D PRINTING

Currently i am printing all the original parts for the build in 20% infill to test the overall geometry of every part. This is important , because sometimes a 3D cad model when 3D printed does not give desirable results. Things like: Bad geometry, long print times, excessive overhangs, … etc. For myself what i wanted to reduce was mainly print times and the amount of filament needed while printing at 100% infill. How to do this? Take away whatever isn’t needed while maintaining a strong structure.  I optimized  one of the parts. Using the idea of trussing. Simply use the geometry of a triangle to make the parts more rigid while same time “carving out a lot of wasted material”  from the part. This was no engineering, but a gut feeling on what should be stronger. I don’t yet have the knowledge to able to test this in any methodical way.

Here is the original part before being optimized:

untitled.185

As you can see its quite a ” blocky” part. To get a sense of it dimensions the four mounting holes are for a nema 17 stepper motor.

The mass properties of this part taken from Solidworks:

  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Mass = 66.88 grams
  • Volume = 66884.64 cubic millimeters

untitled.184

Now here is the optimized part. See how a lot of material has been removed while keeping the structural integrity of the part. A lot of triangles used as this is possibly the most structural sound of geometries. Plus it just looks so much cooler.

The mass properties of this optimized part taken from Solidworks:

  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Mass = 44.35 grams
  • Volume = 43480.54 cubic millimeters

Mass reduction: 66.88 grams – 44.35 grams = 22.53

Which is a approximately a 33 percent reduction in mass, meaning less filament used.

Not bad.

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