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Thread: The 3D Printing and Scanning corner

              
   
   
  1. #1
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    The 3D Printing and Scanning corner

    I thought it would be great to dedicate part of our forum to the rapid advances of 3D Printing and 3D Scanning, and 3D other th-ing. And not just debating if it will ever become mainstream one day or not but to actually test it ourselves, share our experiences and learn from our mistakes and good shots !

    In the past 7 days I went from

    "it would be cool to 3D scan a part of my bike, upload it to my CAD system, develop a part to match it, then 3D print that new part"

    to

    "gee, this might be possible one day but you need expensive gear to do it, kind of many thousand bucks for a decent 3d scanner"

    to

    "well, the 3D printers are becoming pretty cool and below a thousand bucks now..."

    to

    as-of-today:
    "i just ordered my 3D printer at http://www.felixprinters.com capable of sub 100 microns prints"

    "and made my very first 3D scan with a free app and my IPhone !"

    you can see it here:
    http://www.123dapp.com/obj-Catch/my-...wNBvDHT8.email
    click on the 3D view icon below the picture to interact with the model.

    read on...more details below, that was just a teaser.
    Last edited by Hugues; 06 April 2013 at 0757.
    Regards from Switzerland
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    let's start maybe with 3D scanners, anyone one of you guys have used one ?

    as for myself, 3 hours ago, i had never used one. I searched the net and saw a lot of 3D scanners, ranging from expensive gear like 20'000 usd +, then some DIY kits requiring quite a lot of settings and set-ups, to some portable scanners with turn table, saw some cool stuff on Kickstarter, then this morning discovered you could use your iPhone to do some 3D scans, ok the first apps i've used were pretty lousy, then i came across this cool one:

    123 catch for iPhone and the associated website 123app.com
    operated by Autodesk.

    The app is free, rather easy to use ,the link in the above post shows my very first scan, just taking 40 pictures, without paying too much attention, then after free registration on their website, your pictures are uploaded and processed on their server, and after a few minutes you get the 3D model you can play with on your iPhone, and you have a couple of cool apps on their website too.

    Just spend some time browsing their library to see what kind of amazing scans some "normal" people have uploaded, all this done with their iPhone ! Not just the 3D greytones scans, but real colors ! For example , a cool pick-up truck, don't forget to click on 3D view button below the picture

    And you can scan small objects to bigger ones and even cars and rooms and buildings...i can't believe it.

    I'm just amazed !

    (ok, maybe i'm just too excited now, but heck , we're living in really exciting times !)

    EDIT: Autodesk also have a PC application to do 3D scan from any photos you like, taken with an iphone or whatever camera. check out their website. You can also increase the wire mesh quality, and clean out any part of the mesh you don't want to keep. Also, if you scan a large object like your house, you can scale your 3d model to the real dimensions of the house by measuring for example the precise width of a specific window, and then defining these points in your model and telling the system what is the dimension. Cool.
    Last edited by Hugues; 06 April 2013 at 1145.
    Regards from Switzerland
    My 2.5 Upgrade Thread

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  4. #3
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    Now that you got a pretty decent scan of a part of your bike, you want to bring this into your CAD system,

    I'm not an expert at all on this and some of you guys are already using some of these packages,

    I used to play with Sketchup, was developed by Google, now bought and maintained by Trimble or something like this. It's ok, i've done some modelisation on it, trying to fit my battery pack into my frame.

    But now i wanted to have a bit more functionality and stumbled upon Inventor Fusion from Autodesk (again Autodesk you'll say. No, i'm not affiliated with them, just a coincidence). I wanted to run this CAD work under Mac because the Windows PC i've got is too slow, and cool thing is that Inventor Fusion is a free MacBook app in the App Store.

    So I got started on it this week and it's amazingly simple and full of cool functionalities, especially if you are going to 3D print your model. I watched the 3 or 4 intro video they have on their web page and i could easily create some cool parts. I attach a picture of a simple part i created just in a few minutes.

    What i find interesting when designing a new part that will be 3D printed rather than say, made on a milling machine, is that you don't have to ask yourself too much how you are going to machine this or that face of your part, and you can make your part with all sorts of weird angles and shapes, it does not matter all that much anymore. Not that you can print absolutely anything on a 3d printer, but in my opinion you have much more freedom. Ok, the affordable 3d printers can do only plastic at this moment. But i think some are about to do polycarbonate if i'm not mistaken.

    So i would import my 3D scan into Inventor Fusion, clean it a bit, then build the part i want around. Example:
    On my AC-20 motor, i've got the plate where the 3 phase cables come attached with a terminal. It's just under the seat and I would like to cover the plate and terminals with a plastic cover to insulate it. So I'm planning to scan the part with my Iphone, import the model into Inventor Fusion, scale it to reality, build my plastic cover around it, and then go to the next step, 3D Printing -> next message. And that brings me to my next post:

    part.jpg
    Last edited by Hugues; 06 April 2013 at 0905.
    Regards from Switzerland
    My 2.5 Upgrade Thread

  5. #4
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    3D printers ! tada !

    ok, some will tell you it's the new industrial revolution, others will tell you it's just a fad.


    Well, let's just not only talk about it but let's try them and see.

    So i've spent the past few weeks reading reviews after reviews, being sure about one model, then less sure, seeing some cool stuff on kickstarter. A good place to start is from that list:
    http://www.3ders.org/price-compare.html
    i don't know how up to date it is, but you'll see how many 3D printers there are out there,
    it's actually difficult to keep up with it, and you're almost sure the one you'll buy will see a better one 6 months after, like computers.

    So I decided for this one:
    http://www.felixprinters.com/product...l#.UWBAVL-i4TM
    Why ?
    - it's available now and not in 6 months, they told me shipping within 1 to 3 weeks
    - it looks solid, important for precision of your prints
    - it's one of the few affordable ones that goes below 100 microns print quality, some pretty good prints here Look at the red nut for example
    - it prints with PLA (bio degradable plastic) and ABS but they also sell Arnitel which is a rubbery plastic and should be pretty good for the insulation parts i want to print
    - it's open source, unless i'm mistaken
    - it's made by some dutch guys and i like dealing with these guys, normally down to earth, no BS or sales pitch

    So i'll post my experience with it as soon as i'll receive it.

    In the mean time i already downloaded and installed the software you need to convert your 3d CAD model (normally a .stl file) into a printable file, i think in G-code. The Repetier Host software, runs on mac too, seems pretty easy to use, but time will tell. There are many settings you can play with and will affect the quality of your print, so we'll see.

    Any input on good softwares to use ?
    Last edited by Hugues; 06 April 2013 at 0842.
    Regards from Switzerland
    My 2.5 Upgrade Thread

  6. #5
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    This is going to be a great thread!

    You can print in water soluble plastic, and then use that to make a mold to poor aluminum.

    Here is a great site for 3D printer fanatics. http://www.3ders.org/3d-software/3d-software-list.html

    I am planing on using an Arduino and stepper motors to make one.
    "obstacles suck but challenges are fun"

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  8. #6
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    My second 3D scan with iPhone:
    http://www.123dapp.com/FullPreview/Index.cfm/ID/1350059
    it took me 10 minutes of pictures and maybe 20 minutes of processing.

    this time an object that should be a bit more useful on this forum, a 4 pack of GBS Batteries, 100 Ah, i painted them black.
    The light was not that great in the garage, especially on 2 sides, i think i can do better than this if outside, and maybe on a turntable and with a tripod, not even sure i need a tripod.

    EDIT: to put the object on a turntable is actually not a good idea. They recommend to have your object fixed and to move your camera. They link to this gear on instructables.com if you want to build a rotating rig for your camera

    I think that soft works best in plain light, no shadows, unlike some other soft i've seen who use the shadows to re-construct the 3D shape. I'll try again the battery tomorrow during the day, we have over cast skies, probably the best for this kind of scan i guess, uniform light from all directions.

    I just found these Video tutorials here, well explained, should watch before shooting your first scan:
    http://www.123dapp.com/howto/catch
    just learned from it that symmetrical patterns on the object are NO good, contrary to what i was thinking (after seeing the first generation scanners with laser lights). The automatic stitching process could get confuse between the different lines. Maybe i should stick some tape on my battery next time. That explains the deformation of my first scan which was a sphere with longitudinal lines.

    For some reason the model loads upside down when you load the page, so click on 3d View button and turn around, you can even read the news paper i laid around it (they say it's better than a plain background), but it's in french, ha ha

    If someone could scan their AC-20 motor, especially the terminals, i'd be happy, mine is not with me for a while, my bike being at the shop for body work.
    Last edited by Hugues; 06 April 2013 at 1151.
    Regards from Switzerland
    My 2.5 Upgrade Thread

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    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Will View Post
    ....

    I am planing on using an Arduino and stepper motors to make one.
    great idea !
    there is even an instructable on how to build a stereolithographic printer !
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Buil...ography-at-Ho/
    Regards from Switzerland
    My 2.5 Upgrade Thread

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    I bought a Nextengine 3D scanner when they first came out and had a lot of fun with it. The resolution back then was +- .005" which wasn't close enough for us to use in a plastic injection mold shop for much more than a hobby. It will most likely take decades for 3D printing or stereolithography to replace many of the current processes needed to produce precision parts. Honing, grinding, lapping, heat treat, etc. are all "processes" for a reason. I love new technology and invest serious money in our company to purchase good quality equipment but as much as I'd like to believe in our near future getting parts will be as simple as hitting print, I just cannot see it happening to the point where it will take over very many current manufacturing methods. 3D printing cores and cavities for plastic injection molds holds great promise in the fact that it would be possible to put in uniform cooling lines throughout the cavity in complex shapes verses the current methods employed. Likewise, 3D printing by its very nature cannot begin to compare to molding, casting, forging or other methods of manufacture when it comes to high volume, low cost parts.

    3D printing is a great technology and it will continue to evolve and develop into a viable solution to many manufacturing problems but it will always have its limits just like every other technology out there. It isn't going to be a one stop shopping type of technology for a VERY LONG TIME... It is a LOT of fun though, looking forward to hearing about your adventures and BTW, Nextengine scanners can be picked up for under a grand in the USA and they are very much worth the money.

  11. #9
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    Doing some further testing on the 3D scanner i was talking about here,

    I have scanned my batter outside and the results are indeed better.

    But as my first project is to print an insulation cover on the cables and terminals of my AC-20 motor, I decided to try to scan something with similar dimensions.
    As I don't have my AC-20 with me at this time, i just built a little mock-up using parts around the shop.

    I must say i'm pretty impressed with the outcome, all the parts show nicely on the scan, even the underside of the cable is clean. Maybe just the tip of the screws are mis-shaped a bit. Maybe i could fix this with a close-up picture but i don't really need that precision for my cover anyway.

    You can play with the 3D model here:
    http://www.123dapp.com/obj-Catch/test-rig/1352252

    again, don't forget to click on the 3D View button under the picture and wait for the model to load, then you can interact with it with your mouse. If it is the first time you go to that page, you might have to install a little plug-in.

    Pretty amazing stuff considering it's just normal pictures taken with an iPhone, 40 pictures, no special light condition. I just added some marks around the mock-up, it probably helps.

    So for my project i would bring the 3D model of my AC-20 terminals into my CAD software, enlarge it to about 110% for clearance, substract it from a rectangular box the size of the cover i want, 3D print the part, then , voilą, a nice fitting cover for my motor !
    Last edited by Hugues; 07 April 2013 at 1242.
    Regards from Switzerland
    My 2.5 Upgrade Thread

  12. #10
    Senior Member Hugues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugues View Post
    ... Ok, the affordable 3d printers can do only plastic at this moment. But i think some are about to do polycarbonate if i'm not mistaken.
    ..
    part.jpg
    i hate to quote my own posts but...


    After some research, it is indeed possible to 3D print polycarbonate, no that difficult actually, extruder must be set at 265 C at least. Main issue is with humidity in the filament which might create some white shades if you are printing in clear. Which should be less of a concern cause i will be printing black or some color anyway. My 3D printer vendor confirms my printer can do polycarbonate but it could reduce the longevity of the hot end, which is not an expensive part though.

    So i'll try some polycarbonate parts for sure....and keep you posted,

    who knows, maybe one day we'll be able to 3D print the whole bike frame out of polycarbonate or some other funky material ...that would be great.
    Regards from Switzerland
    My 2.5 Upgrade Thread

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