Exploring 3D Printing in the Wood Shop


JohnG

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Hi All! I’m starting this thread to document my journey exploring 3D printing in the shop. I am not trying to convince anyone to buy one, justify owning a 3D printer, or portray myself as an expert on the topic. I just bought a 3D printer and I think there might be some good opportunities to use it for shop things. 

I’m planning to focus on its application in the shop, but if this thread evolves into non-woodworking focused, I’ll kindly ask a mod to move this to Off-Topic.

A quick note about 3D printing ethics… 3d printing really reduces the barrier to clone the design of a product or a part and produce it relatively inexpensively and/or make it widely available for others to produce instead of supporting a business. In most cases, I do not support this practice. However, 3D printing also opens the door to producing parts that are not readily available, improving upon available products, or customizing products to your own needs. 

I’ll be more than happy to answer questions (if I am able to) along the way and openly discuss the opportunities and limitations of 3D printing. 

I own a Prusa printer and may reference some Prusa pages, information, or products. I am in no way affiliated with Prusa and am not endorsing them or their products in any way, it’s just what I have and I have found some of their information helpful. There are a lot of product offerings out there.

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28 minutes ago, JohnG said:

I’m planning to focus on its application in the shop, but if this thread evolves into non-woodworking focused, I’ll kindly ask a mod to move this to Off-Topic.

Looking forward to the information! 

(But for selfish reasons, I'd rather the thread were in the CNC section--that way it would be easier for me to find again months or years in the future).

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There are quite a few different technologies for 3D printing, but I’ll be focusing on FDM (fused deposition modeling), where a spool of plastic or composite material is fed through a heated nozzle, much like a hot glue gun, in many layers to create the designed piece. 

There are also many different types of filament material that can be used in FDM printing, such as PLA, PET, ABS, nylon, Polycarbonate, and metal/wood filled variants. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses. PLA is generally regarded as the “easiest” filament to print with, has good tensile strength, and is pretty inexpensive but does not have great heat or impact resistance. It’s quite a rabbit hole to go down, similar to comparing the technical specifications of different wood species. 

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On 9/2/2023 at 9:09 AM, Mark J said:

(But for selfish reasons, I'd rather the thread were in the CNC section--that way it would be easier for me to find again months or years in the future).

I’m not opposed to this, mods? 

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I can see endless, almost, uses in the shop.  Odd bits for a jig, DC parts and on and on.  Although you could end up making multiple versions to solve all your problems for said parts.  I recently purchased a DC piece for my Bosch Miter saw that greatly improved the dust collection almost to perfection.  The guy detailed his design journey on YouTube and the one I purchased is marked Version 11.

I will move this to the CNC forum.

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Looking forward to seeing how this develops.  I've thought about getting one but I have three friends who between them have about seven 3D printers so I do CNC work for them and they do 3D printing when/if I need something.

There's a fairly new 3D printer forum that's starting to take off if you're interested - https://www.3dprinterful.com/ and I only mention that for your support, not to take away from this thread or forum (mods please remove this paragraph if needed).

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