By QuartZ
#4913678
Hello there!

My name is Dana, and I'm a new member here. I recently started working on a proton pack and spent some of my free time over the last month working out a 3D model that I could use to start printing parts for my pack. Research was a good chunk of the process and without posting a hundred links I'd like to credit this community and all of the threads here that I scrubbed to get this far. I'm really pleased with the resulting design/model. Here's my work-in-progress (created using Fusion 360):

Image
Image
There are still parts that I haven't made and areas that need refinement. But, my first goal was to get the Shell printed so I built any part that needed to attach to the Shell or would influence tweaks to the Shell proportions. I wanted to have all of the mounting hardware and corresponding holes worked out before I started printing. If you look at the images above you may note that I split the Shell into sections and created rectangular alignment keys so that it could be printed on small desktop 3D printers and easily assembled. My main printer these days is a Prusa MK2S so the parts you will see were made on it.

Here's 1 of 4 Cyclotron parts printed in PLA. This took 8.5 hours to print:

Image
Once all of the Shell parts are done (might be over a week of printing), I'll glue, sand, fill, prime, texture, all of the parts and you won't know it was printed until you look at the inside. I'm also getting quotes to have my motherboard fiber laser cut from aluminum. I found a place that looks promising and affordable. I just need to finalize some more holes accounting for the L-Brackets, electronics, and sound components I plan to add.

That's all for now, thanks for checking out my thread. If you have any questions or suggestions... please don't hesitate to chat me up!

-Dana
By QuartZ
#4913690
Just a quick update to show how 2 of the 4 Cyclotron prints turned out and how they fit together using the keys I designed into them to help with alignment. The second piece took about the same amount of time to print as the first:

Image

-Dana
err404 liked this
By err404
#4913693
Looks really good so far. As much as possible keep in mind how it will be printed. Where you separate parts can make a big difference in post while filling/sanding. I learned this the hard way last month.
For example the cyclotron rings as separate parts will make sanding and filling seams a lot easier. Also the vacuum tube on the crank case will have stair stepping if printed horizontally. If you make the curved part separate, you can print it vertically. Little changes will save you time down the road. Good luck!
By QuartZ
#4913696
Looks really good so far. As much as possible keep in mind how it will be printed. Where you separate parts can make a big difference in post while filling/sanding. I learned this the hard way last month.
For example the cyclotron rings as separate parts will make sanding and filling seams a lot easier. Also the vacuum tube on the crank case will have stair stepping if printed horizontally. If you make the curved part separate, you can print it vertically. Little changes will save you time down the road. Good luck!
Thanks, I've actually setup that cylindrical 'vacuum tube' on the crank case as a separate part (great minds think alike). I think I'll be ok with the sanding but in general I know what you mean on the cyclotron. Thanks for the tips!

-Dana
User avatar
By Banjo
#4913722
Looking good so far. I am in the process of doing the same thing as you. I already have my shell printed, and motherboard cut. Now I'm working on my thrower.
I don't have your skills with 3D modeling, so a fellow member here was kind enough to hook me up with his model files that have worked very well!
I had well over 200 hours, probably closer to 300, in my pack prints. I had my printer churning away almost every night for over a month.
I'm running a Creality CR-10. so I have the luxury of making bigger pieces, but that also means very long prints. some over 30 hours (and yes, a couple of them failed!!! )
I have also burned over 4 spools of filament! and I need to order one more. but all said and done the only parts on my pack and thrower not printed are the ion arm cap and bars, the ribbon cable clamp (both aluminum), and the barrels on the thrower (PVC for strength)
My build thread is "GB1 pack from a little bit of everything" if you want to see how mine is shaping up.
I also sanded primed and painted, because I did not want it to look printed. I thought it came out pretty good.
I'll be watching your build to see how your doing! have fun, and happy printing!
By QuartZ
#4913753
Looking good so far. I am in the process of doing the same thing as you. I already have my shell printed, and motherboard cut. Now I'm working on my thrower.
I don't have your skills with 3D modeling, so a fellow member here was kind enough to hook me up with his model files that have worked very well!
I had well over 200 hours, probably closer to 300, in my pack prints. I had my printer churning away almost every night for over a month.
I'm running a Creality CR-10. so I have the luxury of making bigger pieces, but that also means very long prints. some over 30 hours (and yes, a couple of them failed!!! )
I have also burned over 4 spools of filament! and I need to order one more. but all said and done the only parts on my pack and thrower not printed are the ion arm cap and bars, the ribbon cable clamp (both aluminum), and the barrels on the thrower (PVC for strength)
My build thread is "GB1 pack from a little bit of everything" if you want to see how mine is shaping up.
I also sanded primed and painted, because I did not want it to look printed. I thought it came out pretty good.
I'll be watching your build to see how your doing! have fun, and happy printing!

Thanks for the post! I'll have to go check out your post (I admit that I've probably seen most recent 3D printed pack posts but I'm not sure which was yours). Speaking of printing, I picked up 4 more spools of grey PLA yesterday to make sure I could keep my printer going as well.

Cheers!
-Dana
By QuartZ
#4913754
Minor update. The final piece of the Cyclotron finished printing last night. I took a sanding stick to the edges as I did with the other pieces to help clean them up, rough up the surface for glue adhesion, and help get the keys to lock into place easier. The last piece was the trickiest because it has to lock on 2 sides. It wasn't too bad. I just went slow and sanded a bit at a time. Then I used more CA and accelerator to lock it in place:

Image
I got a little bit of glue on the outside but I wiped it off before it set up. No biggie. I'm going to add some more glue to the seams from the outside for additional strength and to fill in any minute seams before I start filling/sanding with body filler and primer. If the weather improves (it's cold/rainy right now), I hope to be able to start that process soon. The spacer pieces are starting to print now, stay tuned.

-Dana
dr.paul liked this
By err404
#4913758
I find CA glue is not great for PLA. It hardends, but doesn’t really bond. You have a large surface area, so it should be ok. I still use CA for small PLA parts, but have moved to JB Weld Plastic Weld for structurally parts. It is cheap and easy to source locally at any hardware or automotive store.
By QuartZ
#4913759
Hmm, thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to pick some of that JB Weld Plastic up to experiment! For several years now I've been having success with Zap-A-Gap Medium CA and PLA prints. I rough up contact surfaces with coarse 80 or 100 grit sandpaper and clean off any dust/debris before applying the glue. Sure it doesn't melt or weld so I bet there's a better bond to be had. I just haven't had an issue yet.

I am planning on assembling all of the parts as I have been and then brushing a coat of epoxy resin like Smooth-On XTC on the inside once all of the Shell pieces are joined to help add an additional unifying skin. We'll see how that pans out!

-Dana
By QuartZ
#4913785
The first of 5 Spacer pieces came off the printer last night. Another one is going right now and is probably the biggest of the 5. I'm really happy with how this one came out:

Image
I just set the Cyclotron on top (not glued) for this photo to show how they look together. I'll wait until I glue up all of the spacer parts before I mount the Cyclotron permanently. There are tabs built into the Spacer parts that center/align the Cyclotron which I will try to show in a photo later. Gotta run!

-Dana
dr.paul liked this
By QuartZ
#4913829
That looks freaking awesome

Thanks! I appreciate the kind words.

I have some more photos to share of freshly printed Spacer parts later today, but I have to head off to work. I can at least leave something interesting here before I go. I started working on a Clippard Valve last night (R701) and got pretty far. I'm not positive of all of the dimensions so if anyone has real measurements I can tune this really fast (that's the beauty of solid-based CAD modeling, you just punch in new numbers when you get to this phase).

Image
-Dana
By QuartZ
#4913837
I lied. I do have a moment to post some more photos! Below is my progress with 3 of 5 Spacer parts printed. Again, they aren't glued at all just standing on their own and aligned by the 'keys' in my model:

Image
Here's some insight into printing with support material if anyone is unfamiliar. Sorry if this is covered in other threads. A piece like you see below weighed in at 300 grams with the support material:

Image
Once you pull it all off the part the weight is reduced significantly. Here you see the actual piece as intended only weighs 119 grams. I chose to give my pack Shell a thickness of 3.2mm (1/8"):

Image
BTW, this one piece took 20 hours and 56 minutes to print. It's been the longest part so far. I'm keeping records and hope to provide a full breakdown of the time spent and hopefully a decent estimation for how much filament was required to print the Shell. And with that... I'm off!

-Dana
By err404
#4913847
Looking great! I agree with using supports and eating the cost, vs the designs that cut off the top face and create more manual post cleanup.
It looks like your shell is about 3-4mm thick. Given that thickness and that the underside will not be visible, you should be able to drastically reduce your support density (I find 8% works) to save on print time and filament. for a flat surface, there should be minimal if any visible impact. But even if there is, you seem to have plenty of surface thickness for it to cleared up before the face layer is printed.
Then again, can can be nerve wracking to test this on a large print. It may not be worth the piece of mind.
Banjo liked this
By QuartZ
#4913941
You are doing a wonderful job. Very clean.
Thank you very much! It's clean now which is what should expect with a good model and a well-tuned 3D printer. I do intend to soften things up as I start sanding and filling to look more authentic and less 'machined'. But I'll have control over that with traditional tools. I definitely don't want this to look 3D printed when it's done :)
This is some seriously next-wave stuff. Impressive modelling work. :)
:blush: Hehe. Thank you! I've been modeling/sculpting forever (traditional and 3D) and I picked up CAD/solid modeling a few years ago. It's now my favorite method (along with ZBrush) and both are great for 3D printing.

-Dana
By QuartZ
#4914041
Never mind. Found it!
No worries, since it might get additional visibility, it's an Original Prusa i3 MK2S for anyone else who doesn't catch it skimming the thread.

-Dana
By QuartZ
#4914042
The last big piece of the Shell is on the printer. I started the part last night and I think it's going to take over 24 hours to complete. Then I just have to print the cylinder that goes on the Gear Box (you can see that area is flat right now). So here's what I've gotprinted to-date:
Image
Image
I want to have all of the parts dry fit before I continue with glue. I jut plopped all of the parts on the ground outside for these shots to get some different angles. It's starting to get a bit big for locations I was previously conducting my 'photo shoots'. Overall I think things are looking good. I should have a good estimate for time and filament used once these last bits are done.

-Dana
Kingpin liked this
By Coover5
#4914046
...for anyone else who doesn't catch it skimming the thread.

-Dana
Good call. I had spotted it earlier but i still get names confused between slicer software, building software, printers, filament brands etc and I was thinking it was slicer software.

Pack is looking fantastic!
By QuartZ
#4914092
It feels good to have the last big piece in place!
Image
That half cylinder piece that goes below the crank should be off the printer in a bout an hour, then I'll officially be done with this step (printing the Shell). It feels like a significant milestone to me.

-Dana
robandliv, NotSabbat, JWils23 and 4 others liked this
By QuartZ
#4914122
Ok, as I promised earlier in the thread, here are some numbers for printing all of my Shell parts:

Total print time: 196 hours 34 minutes
Number of 1Kg filament spools used: 3
Total weight of parts as printed (with supports): 2496 g
Total weight of parts (supports removed): 1261 g
Total cost of filament used: $41.63 USD

That's over a week of continuous printing time for the machine. I began printing these parts on February 3rd and finished February 13th so it took 10 calendar days. I used 1.75mm Matterhackers Build Series Grey PLA that I purchase for $16.65 USD per spool (I buy 4 at a time to get the discount). I didn't have any failed prints and I still have a healthy amount of filament on that third spool so I'm saying I needed 3 spools to complete the job but since I only used 2.5 Kg, I calculated the cost based on the actual plastic used. And finally, the Shell parts have a combined weight of 2.78 lbs with the support material removed. I expect the glue, body filler, primer, texture, paint, etc. to add some weight to that. Hopefully I can keep it close to 3 lbs.

I hope someone finds this information useful.
-Dana
Christof liked this
By Tommorris22
#4914132
This is profoundly badass and beyond impressive. I’m seriously contemplating purchasing an Original Prusa MK3 printer now and attempting this kind of build. The 3D printed stuff I had seen before this didn’t look nearly as smooth so I hadn’t even considered it. Thanks for posting all the cost info as well. I’m really looking forward to seeing how your pack progresses!
User avatar
By Banjo
#4914145
Excellent!
I believe for what you have in 9 pieces there, the models I used had it split into 23 pieces.
The advantage I see in mine was the seams all landed at natural joints and were hidden well
and individual print times were a little shorter making the failures I had a little less devastating.
the disadvantage was it took me much longer to do all the prints at a rate of a print a day.
I had a month into the printing of my build, but that includes all the other parts of the pack too.
and there were many more parts to glue together. It probably weighs more than yours as well.
I like your approach to the way you separated the parts. the only thing I see you may wish you changed
is the "half round tube" on the gearbox.
having that hole only half open may make it a bit tricky to get the corrugated tube
to fit in the hole and not look cut off at the opening.
Still, that is a very efficient way to print a pack shell. Well done
I can't wait to see how you tackle the thrower.
By QuartZ
#4914237
This is profoundly badass and beyond impressive. I’m seriously contemplating purchasing an Original Prusa MK3 printer now and attempting this kind of build. The 3D printed stuff I had seen before this didn’t look nearly as smooth so I hadn’t even considered it. Thanks for posting all the cost info as well. I’m really looking forward to seeing how your pack progresses!
Wow, thank you! I love my Prusa. They just updated the MK3 with some new features (the latest model is now called the MK3S).

-Dana

It's tricky duplicating that font. I did it a coup[…]

What are your desires for new Merch? The item I […]

Is this Blu-Ray set a "WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.[…]

Proton packs full scale

The Marketplace is the most likely to come acros[…]