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By TragicManner
#4916766
After the fun I had working on my modded Spirit Halloween Trap, I figured I would get started on the stuff for next Halloween now. I used a Spirit Halloween Proton Pack with a few modifications last year, but I really would love to have a full-size pack this year, so I'm going to give it a shot.

First things first, getting things together for a Proton Pack is quite a task in and of itself. With all the little parts you need it's quite the task. so I've started an excel sheet with every part I've identified by looking through Stefan Otto's plans and started listing off whether or not I want to 3D print each part or build it by some other means or just buy it outright.

Even though I haven't figured out how to tackle every single part, there are a bunch I already know I am going to 3D print. These are largely parts that will fit on the bed of my Ender 3, and I've started to print off a couple with the plan to print out one part each day if I can make the time for it. I've taken the time to get my printer all set for fire safety (I've outlined some of the stuff I did for fire safety on my Ender 3 in this reddit comment if anyone is interested) so that I can run it for long periods of time to get this massive amount of 3D printing done even when I can't be sitting right next to my printer. Definitely recommend that people do things like install a fire alarm over the printer, get a fire extinguisher and put it in the room with the 3D printer, make sure the printer isn't on a flammable surface and is clear of any hanging/dangling objects that might get caught up in it, etc. I've even set up a way to remotely monitor the printer, as well as a way to remotely shut it off if I need to. Safety first and all that.

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For several items in the proton pack build I'm thinking I'm going to go with found objects to avoid having to 3D print some of the really big things, or to avoid "reinventing the wheel" on stuff like tubes, dowels, etc. For example:
  • Cyclotron - This seems to make a lot of sense, to me, to use a 9" x 2" cake pan to make. I could then print out a little "skirt" for it to cover up the rim and make it as close to Stefan Otto's dimensions as possible.
  • Power Cell Injectors - With a 1.5" diameter I am curious if there is something out there that would be around that size. Having to print out a cylinder seems a bit much with how many common dowels/pipes/etc out there would fit the bill
  • Booster Tube - Again, like with the Power Cell injectors, seems like this is something that could be found instead of having to be printed
  • Ion Arm skinny cylinders - at a quarter inch diameter, seems pretty simple, right?
  • Main body of the HGA - Slightly wider diameter than the Booster Tube
Most everything else I plan on printing out, but I'd love some advice on what here is easy to find, and what isn't, or if there is anything else I can avoid 3D printing by using a commonly found item out there.

A note on 3D printed part post-processing: So I've found a process I REALLY like for 3D printed objects. If I'd like to have something that is going to be visible and needs to be smooth, I've found that printing out the object at about 0.8 mm layer height allows me to spray it with this Filler and Primer and get a really nice finish mostly without having to do any sanding. If after the primer is dry some of the surfaces are not quite as smooth as I'd like (especially angled surfaces) I sand it AFTER using the filler and primer with a 400 grit wet sandpaper. Once the layer lines are mostly not visible after a light sanding, I hit it again with the filler and primer and it's basically done. The downside is it takes longer to print at 0.08 mm than at the much more common 0.2 mm, but the amount of time I don't have to spend sanding is totally worth it to me. Here's a shot of a crank I had just printed and then coated with the filler/primer and done some VERY light sanding on (though a 1000 grit piece of sandpaper is in the shot, I used 400 grit in this case):

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Looks great, and another coat of the filler/primer will make it perfect. Then I just paint it black and it's good to go.
Last edited by TragicManner on April 24th, 2019, 8:51 am, edited 4 times in total.
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By GBforever84
#4916773
Looks really good! I'm printing some things myself and have been going the spot putty route, but I have the paint you speak of. Gonna try that one out! Good tip!
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By TragicManner
#4916791
@GBforever84: Yeah! It has worked really well for me. The spot putty approach is great and tends to be better for thicker layer lines. I should do some tests to highlight how well this approach works for different layer heights, but the one I know works flawlessly is 0.08 mm.

For example, here is a part I printed out the other day for my Spirit Halloween pack.

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I did a quick sand with some 100 grit dry sandpaper on the square part, but the detailed, rounded sections would be impossible for me to sand without messing them up. So I printed at 0.08 mm and then hit that part with the filler/primer and that was it. It came out perfect, no layer lines to be seen, and it took me all of about 10 minutes of work to do (not counting waiting for primer and paint to dry). The other great thing is, if there is a surface I do want to sand, I just have to do a really rough sand because this stuff fills in the imperfections and covers up the scuffs just like you would expect. So it's my favorite way to finish 3D printed parts by far because I just have to quickly spray it on and I'm done.
Last edited by TragicManner on April 22nd, 2019, 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By TragicManner
#4917070
Making slow progress, I started printing the parts to my cyclotron and Synchronous Generator. I was planning on using a cake pan for the cyclotron, but finding a 9" x 2" cake pan without sloped sides and with the correct curve at the bottom of the pan (the bottom being the top of the cyclotron) turned out to be way harder than I anticipated. I found a great pan that was 10" x 2" that met all the criteria, except it was too large. Oh well, 3D printing it is!

So, as I had decided to ultimately print the cyclotron instead of find a cake pan for it, I had to find a good 3D model to print out. Luckily, thanks to Stefan Otto's plans and how popular they are with people who have modeled proton packs over the years, it seems it will be relatively easy to pick and choose parts I like from different designers on thingiverse (and elsewhere). I found PakRatJR's pack on thingiverse which I liked because it was split into two parts, and then I split the main cyclotron body into four parts for easier printing on a small bed. You can see my remix of PakRatJR's cyclotron body here.

I had some issues with stringing and some failed supports printing the parts:
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Luckily I was going to have to clean them up anyway, so while they were a bit ugly off the bed, they turned out great with a bit of TLC.

Then I printed out the PakRatJR's cyclotron cover as it just barely fit onto my Ender 3's bed.
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taking the five resulting parts, I assembled them, then glued them together using JB Weld. Not sure if it's a preferred adhesive for PETG parts, but it seems to be holding up REALLY well. I used a thick rubber band to hold it all together while it dried, though it got stuck to the glue in several places so the rubber band was destroyed in the process. Totally worth keeping the parts pretty well held together while things dried.
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I then spent some time sanding things down. I started out with 100 grit sandpaper but soon found that 60 grit was much better for the job. Since I plan on spraying everything down with primer/filler anyway the coarse sand shouldn't be much of an issue. We'll see when I get to that point. Once I get all the parts for the cyclotron together I'll spray down that part and see how it goes.
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I've just started on printing out the parts for the Synchronous Generator. There's a lot of stuff to do here, and the scale of 3D printing a majority of the pack is starting to really become evident. I'm at around 70 hours printing and there's still a long road ahead!
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It's pretty fun to be working on my own pack. At some point I should weigh everything I've printed so far to see how heavy things are trending.
Last edited by TragicManner on April 22nd, 2019, 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By QuartZ
#4917102
Looks like you're on your way! I'm glad you found your way to 60 grit sandpaper early. I forgot to mention that on my thread and it's something I've used as a starting grit on several projects now. I don't go finer than 100/120 before using a filler primer. So you've got a good formula for time saving! If you don't have one, I highly recommend an oscillating power tool for use on all of the large flat/planar surfaces. It will save your life! Keep up the good work.

-Dana
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By TragicManner
#4917210
So, quick update. I'm in the middle of printing out the outer details for my Synchronous Generator. I'm about 110 hours total printing time not including the current prints going. I've printed over 1 kg of parts at this point. I've got a couple pictures, but they are a bit out of date since I took them a couple days ago, but here are all the parts I had printed out sitting on my scale:
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And here is half the Synch Gen (I've already printed the rest of the synch gen body):
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So, the two major proton pack files I've been pulling from for my prints so far have been from PakRatJR and tgoacher. The synchronous generator I'm printing out, specifically, is from tgoacher. Now, the reason I went with tgoacher's sycn gen was because it was already cut up into parts that fit on my printer bed, came with bolt holes for more easily mounting the parts together, and followed Stefan Otto's plans, and it's a pretty damn solid design that should hold up to abuse really well. Now, I do want to respectfully point out what I consider a pretty major issue, in spite of how cool the plans are. I initially thought tgoacher's synch gen looked like it did because of the nature of the synch generator. It's not perfectly round, it has flat sides around the bottom where the little plates go, and so I figured that's why his model looked the way it did without giving it much thought. But that's not the case, tgoacher's models are decidedly low-poly on curves. PakRatJR's plans don't suffer from the low-poly issues, but were not designed initially for my printer's bed size, and at this point I've already printed the whole synch gen out, so I'm going to try and do some post processing to smooth out those low-poly surfaces. Hilariously, someone going by ArdentProps posted a remix of PakRatJR's Synch Gen and Bumper just a couple days ago. Oh well!

Luckily, with the synch gen the low-poly curves are not as evident because of how much of it is covered by the rectangular details, the bumper, and the mount points for hoses and the clippard valve. I'm still going to put some time into my post processing to smooth it all out, though, and I'm assuming that is how tgoacher intended things to go, but I really do hate sanding things, haha!

@Dana (QuartZ), at this point I am seeing the wisdom in getting an oscillating tool with a sanding attachment. I just ordered one. Hopefully that will help me knock the sharp edges off of the low-poly curves and get the synch gen I printed out looking nice and smooth. With how much sanding I have ahead of me, I'm guessing it's definitely worth the investment. Plus, I love excuses to buy new tools!

Luckily, I printed out my synch gen with extra wall layers, so that will definitely allow me to sand more aggressively and reduce the chances of needing to use any fillers to touch stuff up afterwards. Feels good to be getting to this point. As I improve my post processing I'm hoping to keep things moving along nice and fast!
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By TragicManner
#4917285
So I finished printing out my Synch Generator and... I really am conflicted about it. As I mentioned before, tgoacher took a bit of a shortcut when he did this design. Basically, the bottom of the Synch Gen he did is just low-poly round, which has flat sides on it (like a synch gen should), but the flat sides DO NOT correspond with the flat sides in the original synch generator as detailed in Stefan Otto's plans. Here is a shot of the Printed Synch Gen sitting on top of a full-scale print of Stefan Otto's plans to illustrate this:

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Basically, the design takes a shortcut by just having the details for the synch generator glue onto the round surface without much worry for having the flat sides of the bottom and sides of the synch generator be the exact side they are as documented in Stefan Otto's plans. Which, you know what? They aren't SO bad.

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Especially when you get the details more or less roughed into place:

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Somehow, though, it still kind of gnaws at me that it isn't exact in this one little detail. Otherwise, the synch gen design tgoacher did is great, and I should just use it and move on. Especially when I start to even consider how long it'll take to print out another one, and how much of a waste it is to not use the one I've done:

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Considering that is only PART of a new synchronous generator, I don't know that I'd be looking forward to another 60 - 80 hours of printing to get things going on another one. But maybe I could just get my current one to someone who doesn't mind the way it's set up and make a new one for myself. Who knows.

Anyone have any opinions or thoughts? I'd love to hear what people think and to get feedback to help me determine if I'm being too nit-picky.
By QuartZ
#4917289
Anyone have any opinions or thoughts? I'd love to hear what people think and to get feedback to help me determine if I'm being too nit-picky.
That's a tough call. It's such a personal thing really. But maybe this helps?

If you're hell bent on accuracy, and plan to be really fixated on accuracy throughout the rest of your build, this may come back to haunt you if you don't deal with it now. Imagine slaving away on the rest of your build to get everything exactly the way it should be only to look back at that curved area and curse yourself for not re-doing it. Is that you?

Or if you're like me and are more interested in the feeling of authenticity over end-all-be-all accuracy, then maybe it's fine. and other choices will bring it all together regardless of details here and there that could be more accurate. As you said and showed in your photo, with the details added around the circumference, it does help to hide it. But you have to be happy with it.

You're making good progress, either way. Best of luck!
-Dana
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By TragicManner
#4917322
Well, I've made my peace and I'm moving on! I'm keeping the Synch Gen I've got and making it work, should work out fine. There is one other thing that is interesting about it: The hole for the hose to go to the proton thrower is lower on this synch gen than in Stefan Otto's plans, for whatever reason. Makes me worried about that hose taking more of a beating when the pack is set down, but it shouldn't be too bad, I don't think. Onward and upward.

I took some time last night to join together the synchronous generator using some JB Weld. When I did my cyclotron I used a TON of the stuff and wasn't particularly careful about removing excess, which I paid for in time sanding it down. With the synch gen I was more careful, I took my time to just put on the necessary amount, and I went over the joints with a popsicle stick to remove the excess epoxy as I went along to make sure sanding would be easier this time around. This also meant I used MUCH LESS to join together way more parts, which was nice as well. Here is everything with the JB Weld in place:

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That should be dry enough by tonight to start serious sanding on the synch gen. I've got to attach the bottom plates and then attach the details, so we'll see if I can do all that later.

The other thing I did was print out the top of my n filter. I had already printed out PakRatJR's hollow n filter base, but I wanted to not only print out the hollow n filter top, but I wanted to print out one that could be friction fit to the base and had the holes cut out. Here is the result:

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The friction fit worked perfectly and I'm able to push it into the base and have it stay in place very snug. This will aid in either joining these together permanently, but I'm also toying with the idea of tethering the top to the cyclotron and making it so I can remove it to have access to LEDs or smoke stuff in the N Filter for maintaining and/or replenishing fog juice if I ever get that all added in there.

And here it all is sitting on my cyclotron, which now has the rings added in:
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One thing I LOVE about the cyclotron rings that PakRatJR did is they have a little tube that comes off of them that drops into the cyclotron to facilitate attaching LED fixtures. It's great.

If you would like to use my modified PakRatJR n filter top, you can check it out here.
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By Mad Muppet
#4917488
My two cents regarding accuracy and post-printing and finishing work:

3D printing is only EVER a means to an end. It's a shortcut and a way to rough out your shapes. You're always going to have to sand/glue/fill/sand/fill/sand/fill/sand... you get the idea.. so as long as you're going to be putting the hours in, do it right and love it that much more when it's done.

All any of us ever see are the flaws once the project is over, so make them small and few.... :)
By PakRatJR
#4917545
Looking good so far 8) Following :D :D

I guess it might be a bit late now, but I actually printed the bulk of mine at .3 layer height. It will take a small amount more for the finishing but it really isn't too bad, and it will save a bunch of time and material on the bigger parts. If you have the option with your slicer to vary the layer heights, with something like the synch gen you could do the first 6-8mm or so at .2 and switch it to .3 once you get up into the sides.

For the post processing, I found that Bondo spot putty and high build or filler primer are "must have" items in your finishing of things tool box. 60 grit to level off the high spots, spot putty for seams and a couple coats of the filler primer with a quick sanding with 200 between coats. It should get you pretty darn close to nice and smooth.

Also it is kinda funny that you mentioned the low poly "hickup" with tgoachers parts. I almost went with his but I noticed that as well. It was actually what kind of made me decide to draw up my own instead. His was definitely usable but it would have kinda bugged me a bit also. Kinda figured it would have been....easier....than trying to tweak his. 8)
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By TragicManner
#4917561
Hey! PakRatJR! Thanks a ton for posting your work online. It's been awesome printing everything out. I have the gunbox base printing as we speak. This one I'm running at 0.12 layer height because I don't want to have to deal with sanding with the little details. Maybe I'm just a wimp. I do, though, have a pretty limited amount of time on my hands for post processing these days, and having the printer take longer to more or less do some of the work for me has been a pretty big help.

The gearbox, though, is going to take FOREVER to print at a 0.12 layer height, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that. I've got several days here where I'm going to have to put things on hold due to a REALLY busy schedule, but yeah, I'll have to decide how I want to go about it when I get the chance to run a long, multi-day print.

Looking back on some of the stuff I've printed already, I definitely could have gone for a higher layer height and been ABSOLUTELY FINE. Totally seeing the wisdom in what you're saying now, so oh well. Here's a great example:
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The Booster_Top could have easily been done at 0.32 layer height because all its visible surfaces are flat, making them incredibly easy to sand and post process. I can't quite remember what layer height I did, maybe 0.16? In retrospect, nearly cutting my print time in half would have been incredibly helpful. I guess I've learned my lesson for next time!

This also takes me back to the Synch Gen, because if I'm printing those out at 0.32 mm layer height I'd probably be able to print out another Synch Gen in about 40 hours print time. Not bad, all things considered. And, thinking about it now, it would probably be worth it because I would then be able to use the motherboard guide that you've got to get all my parts attached where they need to go.

Speaking of which, PakRatJR, I was curious if you have any stl files or anything I could use to CNC a motherboard with? I have a buddy who has a CNC machine that is the right size for a motherboad and can CNC aluminum, and so I would love to be able to just CNC the whole thing with the mounting holes and everything in one go.

Beyond that, I've gotten a few more parts printed out. I've printed my bumper, the shock mount, the Center Cover (Thanks ArdentProps for the Ender 3 remix!), the Synch Disk, the Fill Tube, the Cyclotron rings, the Booster Top, and part of the Ion Arm body! Phew! Here they all are together:
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On my Ion Arm, the print mostly looks great:
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But for some reason it didn't adhere well to the bed and the bottom of the print came out pretty rough:
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I'm actually really impressed at how lucky I was that the first layers came out so crappy and the rest of the print recovered and turned out pretty dang great. I'll just touch up the ion arm body to make it look nice, and since MOST of that part of the Ion arm body is basically going to be hidden away it shouldn't be too bad.
By PakRatJR
#4917571
Nice, making some pretty good headway their. Doing one of these was definitely a bit more of a undertaking than I had expected when I decided to make my own lol. :D

As far as layer heights for things, I definitely know where you are coming from on that. I have had more than a few projects over the years that i debated between print time and finishing of things time. Usually it ended up coming down to how much detail I had to work around. If it was easy enough to sand around things I would go with bigger layers and faster print time but if their was something that would be a pain to work around I would go with the longer print time to minimize the sanding.

I uploaded a STL and a DXF to Thingiverse for the motherboard for you. I have never actually tried anything cnc wise so I am not too sure on what is actually needed for the files. If they don't work let me know and I can try something else.

Also as a bit of a side note, my Cyclotron is actually drawn a bit taller than spec by about 2mm on the bottom ring part, It was meant to drop down into my sync gen a bit. With tgoacher's it will sit on top. It shouldn't really be noticeable as being a bit too tall unless someone is really looking or measuring or what not but their will probably be a bit of a gap between the bottom of the N filter and the top of the sync gen that you will need to fill, and the spacer for the bumper will need to be shortened up a bit as well.
By PakRatJR
#4917602
Nothing wrong with having two or more packs. "Hero" pack and stunt pack....or Stantz and Spengler....or a Tully pack maybe....?? :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Not that I would try to talk you out of or into printing mine or anything :-P but.....other than my cyclotron being off a bit and the motherboard mounting on tgoacher's, their is nothing else that I can think of that should really be off with it over mine. Unless the holes for the bumper would be off or something. When I drew mine I went with having the cyclotron removable for electronics access because it seemed easier to me than having to mess around with the all the screws for the on/off of the motherboard to get at things.
By ArdentProps
#4917702
Hey! Seen the Synch Gen parts I cut up! lol ya it will take a while to print those, I know I am holding back my bigger prints for when I get my CR-10 S5 at the end of June, going to allow me to print the full Synch Gen without cutting it up, I will be sure to post about it when that happens, same with the other parts that need to be cut.

But ya tgoacher's is good but, the only issues I had was gluing/screwing them together the thin tower parts are just too thin and lack strength I ended up breaking almost all of them.
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By TragicManner
#4917881
Printing continues! I've printed several more parts now, including the Power Cell box and the gun mount. Not a TON of progress, but I've been really busy and haven't been able to dedicate much time to keeping prints running. Luckily I'll be able to keep it going better now.

I've also figured out a couple things about the adhesion issues I was having. I went in and did a manual bed level routine even though I use ABL. I haven't locked my bed into position and so it still shifts from time to time. Not sure why my ABL was struggling to deal with the angle my bed was at, but after making sure the bed was nice and level I saw some improvement on the consistency of the first layer height on subsequent prints. This seems to be helping in adhesion. I also upped the temperature on my hot end to 240 degrees to see if that would help the PETG adhere better. I also just about finished my last spool of Amazon Basics PETG which worked great as far as I could tell, but I got a roll of eSun PETG since Amazon Basics PETG no longer comes in black and wow, talk about a difference so far. The consistency of the diameter is amazing and the layers my printer is putting down on the EDA box I'm printing out right now were beautiful. Even the first bit of infill is the most crisp I've printed so far.

So, depending on how this print goes, it seems I may have dialed in my printer really well. I am wondering if I'm going to reprint the Booster Top. The print I did turned out pretty well, but I have noticed my prints with a thicker layer were a bit too brittle and "crispy" than I'd like, which means the Booster Top could be improved by printing it again. Furthermore, I think I'd like to alter the design to allow for a 2" ABS pipe to fit. I even had a bit of 2" ABS pipe I should have measured to verify before printing, but I never did, so I'll need to print that again to take advantage of an existing part that fits the bill. Currently the Booster Top's opening is a little bit too tight. Though I suppose that the "crispiness" of my current print could be making it seem less accomodating than it would normally be. I'll do some measurements and check the part again. It'll go on the list of things to print again in the future.

I've been wanting to avoid printing with supports as much as possible. When I printed the power cell box I decided to just go with full supports with the power cell opening facing upwards because it would make the most visible of the print the most crisp. It turned out great.
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And the supports basically came out in a single piece:
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As I was saying, I wanted to cut down on support material, and after tha particular print I figured I could easily cut down on materials by cutting up some of the parts. I likely could have done this with the power cell, so maybe someone will do that as well, but since I had already printed the power cell by the time I had the idea I went ahead and cut up the HGA body into two parts:
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What this ultimately did was allow me to print the main cylinder with the flat side towards the print bed, allowing me to print it without supports. Then I printed out the "cap" of the HGA body, which naturally did not need supports either. The two parts will have screw holes that will line up perfectly, so I'll join them together using screws as well as JB Weld. After the main post-processing with the spray filler I've been using, I'll also probably put a line of hot glue around the top to create the "weld" effect just before painting.

You can get my HGA remix here.

I also finally decided to join together my bumper. Man was that a bit of an endeavor. I'm PRETTY sure I finally got it so it'll be a permanent bond between the parts, but I had a hard time figuring out how to stablilize the part AND keep pressure on the joints without any pegs, notches or guides. I do have to say, though, it was REALLY convenient that ArdentProps had already done the cut-up on this part (thanks again for that!), but I let my complacency get the best of me and I didn't go the extra mile of adding on some pegs and notches for joining them together before printing. ArdentProps and I had even talked about that very topic and I kind of thought I could figure out some clever way of joining things without it. Nope! After trying to join them together by using clamps I tested the bond the next day and they just snapped apart.

Not wanting to reprint the parts, I decided to try and make a jig to drill holes into the joining surfaces and use some nail shafts as pegs.

Here's one of the jigs on one of the bumper arms:
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Here are the holes in the side of the middle part:
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I used a bolt cutter to clip off the heads of some finishing nails I had. I made the jigs so the holes would fit a 7/64" drill bit, and kept the holes long enough to more or less keep my drilling straight. I printed them with really rough settings before I had made my recent optimizations, so they came out pretty ugly, but they did the job.
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Here are the nails with the heads removed:
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And here they are in place between parts:
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I sanded off the failed adhesive and then, with the nail pegs in place, redid the glue.

It was still a challenge to get things held together to glue properly. I tried using clamps, I tried using rubber bands, I tried using a combination. The rounded shape of the bumper made it really hard to put the right pressure where it needed to be. While handling the part, I realized that, if the arms could be held properly in place, pushing down on the center part would cause the right force to be placed on all the joints. So I did this:
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Basically, I put a couple nails into the table on either side of the bumper. I adjusted them until there was just shy of 20 inches between the inside of the arms and things looked square.
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I then piled a few things on top of the middle of it and it SHOULD be nice and solid now, especially with the nails reinforcing everything. We'll see.
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By ArdentProps
#4917980
Not sure if you are going to end up using the current Spacer but I have been working heavily on a few parts in fusion 360. It took a while but I added the extra parts to the spacer that are fully aligned no worries about gluing. I have a full version and am in the middle of cutting everything up and have a few prototypes with pegs to help snap it all together with glue!

I will be sure to post an update soon.

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By TragicManner
#4918109
ArdentProps, it would be AWESOME to see your upgraded spacer parts! I'm still planning on printing out a different spacer, and I'll get into that later, but yeah, that would help a TON.

As for progress, I guess it is pretty well summed up with one picture:
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I FINALLY figured out the final issue that was causing some of my larger prints to have corners lift off the bed: I had reduced the number of clips I was using to secure the removable surface of my print bed, and in the process one of the corners of the print bed surface was lifting slightly when the bed was heated. I didn't notice until recently, and I've started clipping it down and the problem has gone away. Can't believe I didn't notice that for so long!

But things are coming along well. I've still got to finish printing out the Booster plug and buy the pipe I'm going to use for that. I tested some scrap 2" ABS plumbing pipe and it fit in the space perfectly (or at least will once I sand the inside of the main booster body) so once I buy a pipe that is long enough to use and get the plug put into it and the booster disks printed out (printing those as we speak, they should be done in half an hour) I'll be moving on to some of the more detailed prop bits and starting to figure out the motherboard. I'll also be figuring out if there are any other pipes I can use instead of printing out the parts for other aspects of the pack. I know it seems silly to try and buy pipes when I can just print them out, especially because I've printed so much out already, but it seems obvious to me to just get the pipes if they will work.

So, on the spacer, I'm definitely printing out a new one. With the cyclotron as tall as it is the bumper doesn't quite reach the holes on the current spacer even when it is resting right on the face of the cyclotron. I'm not in love with how that looks, and I may as well get a more screen-accurate spacer while I'm at it, right?
twmedford23, ArdentProps, PakRatJR and 2 others liked this
By ArdentProps
#4918155
ArdentProps, it would be AWESOME to see your upgraded spacer parts! I'm still planning on printing out a different spacer, and I'll get into that later, but yeah, that would help a TON.

As for progress, I guess it is pretty well summed up with one picture:
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I FINALLY figured out the final issue that was causing some of my larger prints to have corners lift off the bed: I had reduced the number of clips I was using to secure the removable surface of my print bed, and in the process one of the corners of the print bed surface was lifting slightly when the bed was heated. I didn't notice until recently, and I've started clipping it down and the problem has gone away. Can't believe I didn't notice that for so long!

But things are coming along well. I've still got to finish printing out the Booster plug and buy the pipe I'm going to use for that. I tested some scrap 2" ABS plumbing pipe and it fit in the space perfectly (or at least will once I sand the inside of the main booster body) so once I buy a pipe that is long enough to use and get the plug put into it and the booster disks printed out (printing those as we speak, they should be done in half an hour) I'll be moving on to some of the more detailed prop bits and starting to figure out the motherboard. I'll also be figuring out if there are any other pipes I can use instead of printing out the parts for other aspects of the pack. I know it seems silly to try and buy pipes when I can just print them out, especially because I've printed so much out already, but it seems obvious to me to just get the pipes if they will work.

So, on the spacer, I'm definitely printing out a new one. With the cyclotron as tall as it is the bumper doesn't quite reach the holes on the current spacer even when it is resting right on the face of the cyclotron. I'm not in love with how that looks, and I may as well get a more screen-accurate spacer while I'm at it, right?
For sure! I have a good idea on what to use for pegs, I will be doing some test prints here soon, if you have discord or anything like that shoot me a PM and we can talk about it more on there, and I can get some stuff sent over, I would post to thingiverse but it is no where near ready yet.
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By TragicManner
#4918263
Incredible build! Can I suggest moving the clippard disc up slightly? There should be about a half inch of space between it and the cyclotron.
Thanks! I haven't finalized anything yet, but yeah, the spacing on that will be a little tricky for me to get just right. Luckily, I'm printing out a new spacer that has a hole that lines up with the middle of the mount, so that will take out the guesswork.

The other day I ran out to the hardware store and picked up a 2" ABS pipe for my Booster. I also picked up a sink drain pipe that just happens to be around the size of the injector tubes. At 38 mm they are pretty much perfect, and even fit right onto the mounts that PakRatJR has on his injector part that hooks onto the power cell. I'll update when I finally get to giving all of that a try and start mounting it together.

Anyway, the ABS pipe fits really well:
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I sanded the base and the inside of the booster body to make sure everything fit into place properly, and it pushed in really smoothly.

As for the pipes on the face of the center part above the spacer, I'm going to go pick up a 1" PVC pipe later and print the short one from the PakRatJR plans and see which I prefer. Probably won't be too much difference, so I may end up using both.

Finally, the spacer itself IS getting reprinted, like I said above. I've got the main part of it done, I just need to print out the top portion and get it all epoxied together:
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I'm already really happy that I decided to do PakRatJR's spacer because, well, everything else I'm printing at this point for the main body is PakRatJR, so it makes sense. I'm using the cut up spacer bottom section that ArdentProps modified from PakRatJR's parts, but I made one small change: After discussing options with ArdentProps I decided to add holes to the parts to allow me to add finish nails with the heads and tips removed, sort of like I did with the bumper when I joined that together.
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The holes are JUST BARELY small enough to fit into the body of the parts and the nails only did some minor damage to some of the sections as I inserted them. Luckily, when I join everything together with epoxy all of that will get sealed up and repaired and it will be really solid. I just need to figure out the top part and get that printed out and tested into place before I do anything else.

I've also printed out a few other parts. The booster ladder I printed a while back and you can see in the picture above with the ABS pipe, but I also printed out a clippard valve.
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Currently I'm working on an idea I had to be able to make a 3D printable, fully working knob for the crank gen. I already printed a knob for this pack but wondered how hard it would be to make one that has a rotating handle. We'll see how that goes.

At this point I'm wrapping up most of the 3D printing. Printing off a few final parts and the spacer and then I'm going to start assembling things.

Then I need to move on to the motherboard. Current plan is to find a place I can get some aluminum of the right thickness that is also good for milling and using my buddy's CNC machine to mill out the motherboard using the stl that PakRatJR uploaded to his thingiverse page. That's something I've never done before and am really excited about, because if I can pull it off it'll be a nice touch to the whole thing. We'll see, it mostly depends on if I can find the right aluminum, since most places around here have one that I read online is not great for milling. Though, the aluminum will be really thin compared to most milling projects, so I wonder if it would be okay. Probably best to stick with a grade that will play nice with the CNC, though, so I'l keep looking.
By PakRatJR
#4918265
Nice 8)

Kinda funny you using the PVC tubes. One of the things I wanted to play with if I could ever get back to this was seeing what would be needed for "adjustments" to use PVC instead of printing the tubes.

You and ArdentProps are saving me all kinds of work here :D :D

For the crank gen knob, mine is the on/off and volume for my sound so making it a functional thing is perfectly doable :)

Also for the Clippard disk, if you use a bolt for alignment and remove the bolt after the glue is dry, or a really short bolt possibly, I designed it so a real valve will fit without modification.
User avatar
By TragicManner
#4918491
Thanks again for all the help PakRatJR! It's definitely appreciated!

So I have printed out all of the parts from PakRatJR's plans, and that only means one thing!

SANDING

SO. MUCH. SANDING.

I don't know if I've stated enough how much I hate sanding 3D printed parts, but man do I really hate sanding 3D printed parts. A lot. I really don't have the patience for it, and as a result a lot of my choices with how to print out parts has been to reduce the amount of time I'll have to sand, mostly by just printing things out with a much lower layer height (0.12 mm for a lot of parts, and even 0.08mm for some). The only parts I printed out in 0.2mm or higher were ones I knew I could REALLY easily sand with my oscillating sander (Thanks again for that advice QuartZ). We're talking flat sides only.

For the most part, things are coming along pretty well, I guess. It's slow, but progressing. Basically I go out to my garage and get a bunch of parts ready to epoxy together, by sanding, and then I start joining them together, and then once several parts are ready to get the epoxy treatment I do a bunch at once.

One of the more fun things I've joined together is the center piece that goes between the spacer and the upper portion of the pack.

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As you can see here, it was an easy join together with a clamp job. I did that with both parts I had to epoxy together, and I now have a full part ready to go.

Several other parts are coming along quite nicely:
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I've made a bit more progress since working on these as well, so it's not all bad. Just kind of trying to get everything I'd like to epoxy together for the main "shell" ready for that. I probably should have waited to put the booster tube in place at this point, but I think I'll be okay, I'll just prime and paint the EDA box before adding it in or something.

Not much more going on except for one thing:
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I got some aluminum for the motherboard! It's a pretty decent piece for milling, so I'm getting close to trying to mill out the motherboard. I've got a buddy with a CNC machine. It's a nicer consumer brand one, so we'll probably need to do some trial and error, but hopefully we'll be able to get it milled out without TOO much trouble. We'll see!
By QuartZ
#4918549
LOL, I hear you on the sanding. I don't know anyone who really LIKES the sanding aspect of turning 3D prints into finished looking pieces. I know it's something a lot of people/companies are working on to figure out better post-processing techniques, products, and tricks. In the mean time, you can do it, it just takes patience. It is really satisfying to see the finished results when the parts look smooth...

You got this!

-Dana
User avatar
By TragicManner
#4920995
Progress is slow, but continuing!

All the way back at the beginning of May I posted about my Ion arm box. The thing was really, really messed up, so I decided to try and repair it. The approach I decided to take was to take a cardboard box, plaster a ton of JB Weld on the bad side of the Ion Arm box, then press the ion arm into a corner of the cardboard box to make it more or less work like a mold and give me a nice square box with a surface that would be easier to sand up and clean. Here's how it turned out:

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My dad once told me: You can polish a turd, but in the end, it's still just a turd. The process helped, to be sure, but I would need to do it again, and at that point I was going to end up using so much JB Weld that it wasn't really worth the effort (I probably should have used bondo). Anyway, I gave up completely and just printed out a new one:

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I had been having a lot of problems with my 3D printer and large prints where the prints were separating from the print bed. Or so I thought. After some investigation, I actually found that after a while the removable surface of the print bed was separating from the aluminum plate on the print bed because I had stopped securing it with a binder clip. I was also having a little bit of separation due to the bed surface getting a little dinged up over time, so I decided to get a PEI Coated sheet of sprint steel and HOLY CRAP was that a great investment. It comes with a magnet sheet that goes down on the bed, and then the steel sheet goes over that, meaning that there is no way the removable surface will ever lift on its own. And no more stupid binder clips! Also, the PEI is fantastic. Removing prints from the surface is a dream, and stuff is adhering really well. Definitely a great investment.

ANYWAY, I focused then on finishing up the powercell injectors and the filler tube and beam plug. For the shorter beam line tube I had already printed it out, but for the filler tube I got a 1" pvc pipe:

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The 1" pvc pipe had a very slighly smaller diameter than the tubes in the PakRatJR plans so it didn't fit snugly into the socket for it. So, I wanted to go the extra mile and make a little mount for it. You can check it out here at thingiverse and I have more details on how to mount it there. There are also files for caps for the 1" pvc pipe for both the filler plug and the beam line. Here's the mount after getting it on the center cover:

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And here are both tubes in place:

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Next are the injector tubes. I decided to look for a pipe of some sort to avoid having to print them out. I ended up finding a flanged polypropelene strainer tailpiece pipe with a 1.5" diameter (it's this one). It was within a fraction of a millimeter of the outer diameter of the tubes in Stefan Otto's plans, so it was perfect. Even better, they fit really well over the mount points in PakRatJR's plans.

I went ahead and made caps for them and then put those plans up on that same thingiverse page. I put them together and then did some basic finishing and sprayed them with filler-primer.

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I also had time to work on some post-process work on the bumper:

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It's looking pretty great, and I'm really happy with it. I can't wait to finally get it painted and put in place.

Finally, I decided to fill/prime the main shell and a few things that I've added to it.

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The next steps are to figure out the weld lines and then start a couple coats of aluminum paint to use as a base for wear and scuffs. I had a nice tip from ArdentProps to use a 3D printing pen to do the weld lines, and that may be the way to go. I've also had people suggest JB Weld or an epoxy that mixes as you squirt it out. I'm having trouble finding a good 3D printing pen for the first suggestion, so maybe I'll go to the store and pick up a few different epoxies and/or putties to try. Still not sure and would love suggestions!
QuartZ liked this
By QuartZ
#4921076
Looking really good there!! I'm also glad to hear you've upgraded to a magnetic/PEI coated bed solution. It seems like such an insignificant upgrade yet it makes a surprising difference in quality of life. May I suggest (if you didn't already know this) that you wipe down the PEI bed surface with a little bit of 93% or higher Isopropyl Alcohol prior to each print you kick off (when the bed is cool). I do this every time and find it keeps the bed clean, oil free, and I have never had an adhesion issue or lift with PLA o PETG.

Anyway, keep on rockin!
-Dana
User avatar
By TragicManner
#4921406
@Paco - Hey! So, right now the shell with a couple of parts already added to it (injector tubes, booster, filler plugs, HGA, n-filter, bumper, shock mount, PPD, and corner plate) comes out to about 6.8 lbs. So not too bad! Adding the other parts will probably bring it a bit above 7 lbs without the motherboard or alice frame and straps. The motherboard is going to be pretty hefty, as it is going to be aluminum, and the alice frame will add its weight as well. Plus, all the electronics, especially the battery that drives it all, will add their own weight. It'll be interesting to see what it comes in at with everything complete. I'm hoping to be less than 20 lbs, but we'll see.

Not much to show on the pack itself with this update. I've started to do a lot of sanding, filling, priming, and general prep work.

I got my bumper and shock mount more or less where I wanted them. At least for now:
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One thing I want to play with is getting a bit of a bronze/copper splash of color on the mid section of the shock mount, so I'll probably get to that once I start aging things a little bit.

I decided to use a satin finish on the bumper because in the Sony Lobby reference images the bumper has a bit more of a glossy look to it. I think I'm going to use flat black for the rest of the pack, but first I'm going to spray down a lot of the areas with an aluminum color so that I can put in some weathering. I'll probably smear a little bit of vaseline on the aluminum-painted areas where I'd like to see some weathering, then spray paint black, and then wipe off the vaseline to make it look like some paint has worn/chipped off in those spots.

Most recently I've also been focusing specifically on my cyclotron. To me it's a major focal point and I'd like to get it just right. Luckily, I don't feel TOO worried about making things perfect because, you know, Ghostbusters props are wonderfully forgiving of slight imperfections. But I love the cyclotron, and putting in some TLC here feels very enjoyable, even if I do hate the sanding.

I've done about five major coats of filler/primer on it now and I think I'm finally done. Here's shortly after the most recent coat:
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I'll take some time to sand out some of the last remaining blemishes and then it'll be ready to paint!

Finally, as I've been getting closer to painting everything, I've been starting to wonder how I will do the details that were done using dry-rub decals in the original packs. I have been tinkering with trying to reproduce some of that using my 3D printer. I've done one so far and I've left things a bit thicker to allow for more detail in the print, but I actually think it looks pretty good:
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The idea will be to eventually make the base a bit wider and thinner. Right now it's several layers thick, which isn't ideal for affixing and then finishing into a pack. But if I make it so there is only one 0.08 mm layer for the base, then I can glue that to the pack. The thickness of the lines in the actual decal will need to be made a bit thinner, as well, so they are only a layer or two (0.2 mm or thinner, preferably). Then I'd print it out with the base being black, and then I'd swap out to red filament to do the decal section. That would then be glued to the pack like a little patch, where I'd use some filler to blend it into the pack surface. The blending work would them be painted with the red portion taped off, and that might just look pretty good!

I am curious how well the print would look with an SLA printer, especially because of how much FDM printers struggle with the numbers in the decal. The problem with that would be that it would then need to be painted, and I really don't know how well I'd be able to paint something as detailed and small as that. At any rate, it's something I'll have to keep looking into, because I don't really like the idea of putting a sticker on the pack.
By GalmOne
#4921428
Congrats on that great work, I really enjoy the small 3d printed circuit-like thing, I'm eager to see the final result. 3D printing is really a revolution for so many hobbies... I've already ordered lots of model kit related stuff from a friend with a printer, I'll see what props we can come up with with him.

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