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Is it worth

Old 08-12-2020, 03:51 AM
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Is it worth to 3d print parts?
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:22 AM
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imho NO . fragile they break way easier. you can print in steel or nylon. but then your talking Really alot of money to buy( we aren't all Adam Savage and have a company print a 3d iron man suit to have )

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Old 08-12-2020, 04:26 PM
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Original poster may never come back but for others who might also ask the question i would disagree with RC Guy's comment.

Is it worth it to make A-Arms or shock towers. Probably not - materials generally dont hold up to the abuse.

But i have made camera mounts, wing mounts, revised battery mounts for various RC cars. Most are pretty simple to design and print with a 200 dollar budget.

Other little parts for my kids toys (most recently a walkie-talkie mount for there bikes and some lost game pieces to a board game).
For my race miata - gopro mounts and cases, lap timer mount, front splitter installation support, timing gear holder for belt changes.

Thats what comes to mind but i have printed about 3kg of parts in 1 year. Most being functional parts.

If you like to tinker and have some basic CAD skills, some space and cash for a printer I think its worth it.

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Old 08-12-2020, 08:14 PM
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Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Is it worth it? I was in the boat of yes just to simply make small things for our cars like sacmiata said.
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Old 08-12-2020, 10:12 PM
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Just reinforcing what others have already said, there's plenty of scope to use 3D printing in RC. Like any technology, it has strengths and weaknesses.

There's quite a few people selling useful 3D printed things, so there's clearly some applications. Anti-tuck devices, set-up tools, fan mounts/ducts, cases, ornamental pieces are just some of them.

The materials that are commonly available have characteristics that will make them less useful for some situations like suspension parts, but I have seen people use 3D printed braces successfully. Lots of free designs for quadcopters floating (ha - pun) around.

For me, it's a fun extension and complement to other parts of RC. Designing, building and testing my own ideas is something I enjoy. No plans to 3D print a full chassis, but there is an open source RC F1 car which people have had a lot of fun with.
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Old 08-12-2020, 11:22 PM
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I would add, it is only worth it if you have the software (CAD) and the knowledge to design your own parts. Only relying on thingiverse or something similar is not really ideal.
As other stated, the standard materials like PLA, ABS or PET-G are not so good for functional parts. But there are many new materials out there, Nylon (also reinforced with some carbon or glas short fibers for increased stiffness), Polycarbonate or PC blends can give you enough strength to even make functional parts in the suspension (at least in 1/10th scale). You need some knowledge about the behaviour of FDM 3D printed parts under load and design it accordingly.
For me, it totally is worth it, but I have an engineering degree, so that makes it a bit easier for me.

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Old 08-13-2020, 07:58 AM
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As the other responses have said, yes and no. No to any part that need substantial strength. But yes to a bunch of other parts. I've 3d printed bumper mounts (yes they break occasionally, but it's better than not having one), body post extensions and relocators, battery hold downs, shock spring spacers, motor fan shrouds and setup wheels. One of my SCTs has a professionally printed transmission case. I'd guess that about 50% of my RC fleet has at least one 3d printed thing on it.

But I wouldn't buy a 3d printer just to print a couple of things. The cost will be too high. That's why I never invested in a small CNC. I could buy dozens and dozens of parts before I'd break even.

There are lots of services out there that will 3d print parts for you. If you just have an occasional part, that's the more cost effective way. Plus they usually use higher end printers for a better result and have a wider selection of materials.
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:58 PM
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I agree with the previous.

Its revolutionary if you have ideas you want to test or break things that would ordinarily get thrown away.

learning cad is easy. if you want to get a real value out of it you have to learn to draw.

The capability you unlock in your imagination is worth 300 bucks alone.
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Old 08-14-2020, 10:21 AM
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sure it can make a part will it last Nope . most dont make it 1 run.. can it help some sure . can you learn it .got a answer ? (possable or Never).cost hmm. what all will 1 need .$$ more money.it might help some.
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Old 08-14-2020, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by the rc guy View Post
sure it can make a part will it last Nope . most dont make it 1 run.. can it help some sure . can you learn it .got a answer ? (possable or Never).cost hmm. what all will 1 need .$$ more money.it might help some.
if you can grab a circle with a mouse and drop it like an icon, click on the circle and define the diameter and thickness....drop another circle into the center of the first one and click on the handle to define the diameter and thickness and then click on the button that says make it a hole you have a shim. or a rim, or a steering wheel or ...

squares, triangles, circles all work the same. if you put enough holes and pieces together you have a complex part. If you take a complex part someone else made you can modify it and add to it anyway you like.

you have heat and stress limits with everything. material selection is key to anything you use. a combination of heat, flexibility, ...is part of anything. a hobby grade printer can do more than you can imagine but less than the limits of the material. there are very good materials available that require time to learn their limits. its similar to learning to drop a hole on a circle to make a shim. there will be mistakes and great things will happen at the same time.

if you have ideas you want to test or a tinkerers mind it 300 bucks will unlock 10,000 dollars worth of opportunity but the outcome is up to you.
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Old 08-19-2020, 03:56 PM
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I would echo the sentiments of those who posted before. For load bearing parts, I typically don't trust 3DP. However, 3DP has a lot of potential in terms of cosmetic parts, mounts, or other aesthetic modifications.

In terms of drafting, Fusion 360 is available free for hobbyists under a certain revenue threshold. I design on Solidworks (thousands of dollars in software costs) professionally for Motion RC, and I can say that Fusion 360's free software does 80% of what Solidworks can do. It's very capable.


3DP replacement (top of photo) to replace the stock part. 3DP replacement part adds recoil function on a 1/16 scale tank from Motion RC.



*EDIT* It appears I cannot post a photo yet because I'm a new member on this forum. I mostly visit the HobbySquawk forum.

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Old 08-24-2020, 03:07 PM
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I've had quite a bit of success printing even load bearing components for my cars. I upgraded my printer with an all-metal hotend and use Taulman Alloy 910 filament. The suspension components I drew up and printed are more durable than the ones that came with the car (to be fair, they were crap). The downside is that over time, they have been twisting from the constant spring pressure since the Alloy 910 has some flex to it. Not a problem for bashers though... The same car has a fully 3D printed Roll Cage now as well (Hobby King Desert Fox)

If I was stuck with just PLA, then yeah, I would agree with the "a few parts here and there", but an all-metal hotend was like $70.
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Old 08-26-2020, 06:22 AM
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It's cheaper but they break really quick, so overall, No
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Old 08-29-2020, 12:06 PM
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3D printing is almost never not worth it. Like has been mentioned, could I print shock towers for my Losi 4.0 Nitro? Sure, would they survive? Heck no! You'll need a CNC printer for that and let me tell you, prices are coming down more and more on those, it's only a matter of time. There are so many useful, RC related items to print that it's almost crazy not to have a 3D printer, for instance, I 3D printed my own custom battery box for my Mad Force VE so I could run one of my GensAce 4S packs and eliminate the two side mounted battery boxes. The key is printing with the right materials too, for example, I originally printed my box out of PLA but since it has a low melting point, heat from the battery warped the box. I switched to PETG and all is well now with the box.
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:26 PM
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Itís fun but gets old quick. Always have to tinker with it. I see it collecting dust in the near future.
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