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Old 02-15-2017, 05:34 PM
93EXCivic 93EXCivic is offline
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Originally Posted by Marmoset View Post
3D printing will soon be ubiquitous, no doubt about it. the cost keeps coming down further and further.

Just a little bit of background: My day job required me to use rapid prototype frequently. I bought an FDM machine and have another on the way. I bought two 3D scanners because we reverse engineer so many things.

I have reverse engineered and "printed" discs but the prices are all wrong right now. It's fine for one-offs and proofs but you cannot sustain a production run as 93EXCivic mentioned. But those discs sure fly sweet
And the materials are getting better all the time. Champ/Z is a thermoset instead of a thermoplastic so we won't see any Champ/Z discs from a prototype machine. Unless there is a technology that I am not aware of, of course. SLS/SLA,FDM/etc are all thermoplastics.

And injection molding is never cheap to get into. Even the cheap, "disposable" aluminum molds are thousands of dollars. The tool-steel molds that all dg companies use are around $10k each if I had to guess. That is why they share pieces so often. Those buggers are expensive!
Man I want a 3D scanner.

I didn't think about Champion plastic being a thermoset. I don't know of any 3d printers out there that could do that.

$10k maybe on the cheap side for steel mold of that size at least if the tool is made in the USA at least in my experience. I have been involved in designing a number of parts for molding and I'd say the cheapest steel tool I have ever had quoted was $5k out of China. That was a fairly small part too and China tends to be 25-50% cheaper to manufacture the tool then making the tool in the USA. A couple parts I have done had the tool made in China then shipped to the USA to do the molding. I did a 12" polycarbonate tube that was around $40k made in the USA.

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  #22  
Old 02-15-2017, 05:38 PM
ISUME ISUME is offline
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You could use the 3D printer to create rapid die changes for the injection molding. This would allow for sleight modifications to the disc during the testing phase. A 3D printed die would allow for very few runs.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
Man I want a 3D scanner.

I didn't think about Champion plastic being a thermoset. I don't know of any 3d printers out there that could do that.

$10k maybe on the cheap side for steel mold of that size at least if the tool is made in the USA at least in my experience. I have been involved in designing a number of parts for molding and I'd say the cheapest steel tool I have ever had quoted was $5k out of China. That was a fairly small part too and China tends to be 25-50% cheaper to manufacture the tool then making the tool in the USA. A couple parts I have done had the tool made in China then shipped to the USA to do the molding. I did a 12" polycarbonate tube that was around $40k made in the USA.

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I'm trying to envision a machine capable of thermosets and I'm not coming up with anything profound. I assume the closest current technology would be SLA/SLS style where the laser cures the liquid polymer.

I love making injection molds. It was my favorite part my job. Unfortunately our supervisory staff always went overseas for the molds. The prices over there are tough to beat. The quality wasn't always there with the vendors I used but the prices were awesome. I wouldn't be surprised if your $25k-per-dg-mold guess is accurate. I looked into creating a mold and it was quoted roughly $12k. I think they were giving me a break since I throw them so much business. $25k for a highly polished, high quality tool-steel mold doesn't sound out of the question.

Our first 3D scanner was terrible to use but it worked. We just bought a Creaform and received it last week. I think I'm in love... that thing is phenomenal to use. I have been begging for one for the past 8 years and the prices are just starting to get low enough that we justified it.

back on topic... if anyone is looking to buy an FDM machine so they can print their own discs: pay attention to the material the machine uses to build the support structure. Some of the cheaper machines make poorly executed supports which means that the removal is painful and almost unbearable. This is because the support material is the same material as the part. You have to physically break off the support material and this usually leaves sharp artifacts. You can sand these down but that is not a slow process. Acetone dunking is an alternate method (for ABS materials) but it has its own problems. The more recent machines have better support designs. The water soluble support material is great and is what I would recommend.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISUME View Post
You could use the 3D printer to create rapid die changes for the injection molding. This would allow for sleight modifications to the disc during the testing phase. A 3D printed die would allow for very few runs.
I'm not sure I understand what you are proposing here... assuming I am picturing it correctly there are more than a few major hurdles to overcome.
The temperatures and pressures involved in the molding process and the internal coolant passages would make this a very tricky proposition. You might get one disc out of the mold. The surface quality would be terrible and would likely affect the flight path.
you'd have better luck printing a positive in SLA or a similar high-res material, then casting it in silicone, then making pulls from the silicone mold. This would essentially be an open casting so you would need a vacuum chamber to suck out the air bubbles. And your material would have to be perfectly weighted so that the disc would be appropriately weighted as it comes out of the mold. You can't "pack out" a mold with open casting.

The concept is interesting but like I said before, there are some significant hurdles to overcome. I'll have to do some more pondering on this.

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Old 02-16-2017, 12:22 AM
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3D printing is an integral part of our manufacturing. We design the discs with a basic understanding of how they will fly and then iterate a few times on the 3D printer to test them out. We have found that even without an acetone wash 3D printed discs actually fly very similar to production discs. We also found that PLA although extremely stiff makes a great print. It's reliable and at 100% fill has an almost identical density to our production plastic blend. So far we have made four molds from print to production and all have ended up very similar in flight to the 3D print. The only issue is that to make a high quality print currently takes 18-24 hours. I have included some links to 3D prints on our Instagram if you'd like to check them out.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIc9hbkD7XK/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BILz7OhjnGP/

Video:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BIKXyB_DSEM/

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Old 02-16-2017, 12:16 PM
ISUME ISUME is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmoset View Post
I'm not sure I understand what you are proposing here... assuming I am picturing it correctly there are more than a few major hurdles to overcome.
The temperatures and pressures involved in the molding process and the internal coolant passages would make this a very tricky proposition. You might get one disc out of the mold. The surface quality would be terrible and would likely affect the flight path.
you'd have better luck printing a positive in SLA or a similar high-res material, then casting it in silicone, then making pulls from the silicone mold. This would essentially be an open casting so you would need a vacuum chamber to suck out the air bubbles. And your material would have to be perfectly weighted so that the disc would be appropriately weighted as it comes out of the mold. You can't "pack out" a mold with open casting.

The concept is interesting but like I said before, there are some significant hurdles to overcome. I'll have to do some more pondering on this.
For the only getting one, I guess it would come down to material selection. The right material selections I would expect to see in the range of 10. Secondary machining would be needed on the die unless you are going for the missilen design.
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozone Discs View Post
3D printing is an integral part of our manufacturing. We design the discs with a basic understanding of how they will fly and then iterate a few times on the 3D printer to test them out. We have found that even without an acetone wash 3D printed discs actually fly very similar to production discs. We also found that PLA although extremely stiff makes a great print. It's reliable and at 100% fill has an almost identical density to our production plastic blend. So far we have made four molds from print to production and all have ended up very similar in flight to the 3D print. The only issue is that to make a high quality print currently takes 18-24 hours. I have included some links to 3D prints on our Instagram if you'd like to check them out.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIc9hbkD7XK/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BILz7OhjnGP/

Video:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BIKXyB_DSEM/
Very cool information. Jives with my thoughts on seeing the possibilites.
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  #28  
Old 02-16-2017, 10:11 PM
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Meulen Meulen is offline
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Interesting discussion going on here. There is some good information, as well as some misinformation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjhayes7 View Post
There will always be a problem "making or copying your favorite disc".

Where are you getting high quality plastic? Innova, the biggest producer of disc golf discs, has to buy cast off plastic from industries that do huge amounts of injection molding. And everyone complains about how inconsistent the molding is for them. Much of this is due directly to the plastic supply changing over time.

So how is an individual going to be able to buy enough plastic to one, test to find the plastic they really like, or two, have access to that specific plastic formula the next time they want to run a disc? 3D printers will certainly be able to do this in the future and possibly could now, but the real problem will always be access to materials that makes it worth the effort. That is actually true of any 3D printing, not just pieces of plastic meant to be thrown through the air.
I highly doubt this is the case, and would like to see some supporting evidence. You could call up a resin supplier today and purchase anything from a 50 pound bag to a 1000 pound gaylord of material. The variation of plastic from lot to lot is not unique to disc manufacturers because of the perceived lack of purchasing power. It's the nature of the creation of the polymers. Sure, you can pay more for materials that are tested post manufacturing for melt-flow and processing capabilities, but in the grand scheme makes such a minute difference when comparing all the factors that affect the final geometry of a disc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SD86 View Post
For those raising all the objections: again, this is a future technology. One day I believe we will be able to make our own discs out of high-quality plastics (even higher quality than what Innova gets, because we're making one disc at a time). We'll theoretically be able to make a TL out of Gold Line plastic, or an M4 out of Star plastic or a Wizard out of something consistent. And who gives a hoot if it's PDGA legal if we're using it for ourselves in casual rounds?

But you (plural) are right, it's not going to put Innova out of business....
There is really nothing wrong with Innova's plastic (my opinion), but not all materials will lend themselves to the 3D printing process. 3D printing has the inherent flaw of printing in layers. While the layers bond together, the bond pales in comparison to that of an injection molded disc. The molecular structure of the injection molded disc is far superior, providing the resiliency needed in our sport/game. The density with which an injection molded disc is produced won't be replicated on a 3D printer, as processing pressure are in the thousands of PSI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjhayes7 View Post
I promise this is not me trying to bash or challenge you, but an honest questions to someone who actually has knowledge of the technology and not just some idiot speculating on the internet like I do. Do you foresee the viability of 3D printers for everyone, or just for specialized use? Do you see the cost of materials coming down significantly, or is injection molding already so cheap that 3D printing will never be able to compete on a mass scale?
Absolutely, we're already there as others have pointed out. But there is a time and a place for such technology. From a hobby standpoint it is perfect for someone who wants to tinker. For robust disc golf discs, there is a long way to go.

On your second point, bingo! Technology improves over time, but on a mass scale injection molding is king for the frisbee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmoset View Post
3D printing will soon be ubiquitous, no doubt about it. the cost keeps coming down further and further.

Just a little bit of background: My day job required me to use rapid prototype frequently. I bought an FDM machine and have another on the way. I bought two 3D scanners because we reverse engineer so many things.

I have reverse engineered and "printed" discs but the prices are all wrong right now. It's fine for one-offs and proofs but you cannot sustain a production run as 93EXCivic mentioned. But those discs sure fly sweet
And the materials are getting better all the time. Champ/Z is a thermoset instead of a thermoplastic so we won't see any Champ/Z discs from a prototype machine. Unless there is a technology that I am not aware of, of course. SLS/SLA,FDM/etc are all thermoplastics.

And injection molding is never cheap to get into. Even the cheap, "disposable" aluminum molds are thousands of dollars. The tool-steel molds that all dg companies use are around $10k each if I had to guess. That is why they share pieces so often. Those buggers are expensive!
This is not true. I encourage you to challenge this by taking an open flame to one of your discs. A thermoset material cross-links during the manufacturing process. This is unique to certain materials only (Bakelite, epoxy, melamine, polyester, silicone, almost all rubbers). Once cross-linking has taken place, usually at high temperature, the object can no longer be shaped (melted). A thermoset material will simply burn when reheated again. I can guarantee that Champ/Z plastic will melt again, indicating it is a thermoplastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmoset View Post
I'm not sure I understand what you are proposing here... assuming I am picturing it correctly there are more than a few major hurdles to overcome.
The temperatures and pressures involved in the molding process and the internal coolant passages would make this a very tricky proposition. You might get one disc out of the mold. The surface quality would be terrible and would likely affect the flight path.
you'd have better luck printing a positive in SLA or a similar high-res material, then casting it in silicone, then making pulls from the silicone mold. This would essentially be an open casting so you would need a vacuum chamber to suck out the air bubbles. And your material would have to be perfectly weighted so that the disc would be appropriately weighted as it comes out of the mold. You can't "pack out" a mold with open casting.

The concept is interesting but like I said before, there are some significant hurdles to overcome. I'll have to do some more pondering on this.
It's already been proven out by Stratasys, one of the leaders in 3D printing technology. Here is a link to some information. It's not for mass production, but can yield from 10-100 sample shots off the insert. http://www.stratasys.com/solutions/a...ection-molding

Here's a video of the concept.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
I use 3D printers every day and I have found the plastic to be very consistent from the manufacturers we have bought from (Stratasys and 3DSystems).

I use a Stratasys Mojo and 3DSystems Projet 2500 at work and I have a 3DSystems Cube at home. The Mojo, Cube and the regular Projet material certainly would not hold up to one hard impact but the Projet has a elastomer that I think actually could hold up to an impact. But we aren't there yet. The cost is way to high. In my experience a mold costs around $10-25k depending on size and where is is made and then material is very cheap. The Projet is a $60000 machine and the material cost $450 for 1.5kg of material and $210 for 1.5kg of support material.
I use a Stratasys Objet 500 Connex3 at work which prints out some very nice quality parts. I think the original purchase price was around $300k. Depending on print orientation, the surface finish can come out very smooth and glossy. The ability to print easy-to-remove support layers is also very nice. Your material price sounds inline with what I remember, and the support material isn't much cheaper than the regular material. Unfortunately, I've only ever printed work related items, no golf discs .
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