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Making Tires with 3D Printed Molds

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Making Tires with 3D Printed Molds

Old 09-09-2022, 07:42 AM
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Thanks for the input guys, but turns out it was my retraction settings. I'd been using the slicer default settings since I started printing, but I only recently got around to calibrating my e-steps. The unintended side effect of that was increasing my retraction distances enough to start causing problems. I decreased my retractions and now I'm getting good prints again. Took a while, and a good bit of filament, to figure out though
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Old 09-10-2022, 04:04 PM
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I got a chance to try my latest pair of tires the same outdoor dirt track I tested the blue tires on. This time I tested this tire (my tire on the right, a JC DDv2 on the left for comparison):



Like I posted before, these tires weren't as soft as the blue tires I made last week and firmed up a bit more over the last few days. They felt more consistent and predictable around the track this time due to the smaller profile and closed cell insert, but they just didn't have as much grip as the JCs or even my blue tires from last week. I need to go softer for sure.
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Old 09-20-2022, 05:01 AM
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oof, I had a bit of a setback yesterday. I thought resin softened with So-Flex II wouldn't have the demolding problems on a brand new mold. Well turns out I was wrong, it still sticks like glue and now I've got a ruined mold that will take a few days to re-print. Looks like I can't skip the seasoning step even with softened rubber, darn.

I also molded a couple of Mini-B tires using various mixtures of So-Flex II and let them sat for a week to cure. Previously I thought 15% was a good mix based on how the tires felt the day I de-molded them, but now I'm leaning towards somewhere between a 20 to 25% mixture based on how the samples feel after a week.

Also, I've been looking for things that could be mixed into the resin to make the tire grippier. I've found some conflicting sources regarding graphite and graphene's effects on the cured rubber's coefficient of friction. The various sources all seem to use slightly different versions of graphite and slightly different versions of polyurethane rubbers so it's hard to draw any clear conclusions, but a small tube of graphite powder lubricant is cheap enough to warrant testing.
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Last edited by RC10Nick; 09-20-2022 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 09-28-2022, 06:50 AM
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It's been a couple days since my last update and things haven't been going that well for me. I'm running into a new problem now where the resin I use to season brand new molds is sticking too well and causing demolding issues. It's happened a few times now so I know it's not a fluke. I think the problem is my new pressure pot. I can run it at higher pressures than my old DIY'd pot and I think that's forcing the resin even deeper between the layer lines of the print and causing these new issues. I'm going to try printing a new mold and seasoning it at a lower pressure to see what happens.

I also got a small tube of powdered graphite to try mixing into the VytaFlex60 to see how that affects the cured rubber. I'll probably do that tonight using one of the small Mini-B tires molds I have that are already seasoned so I won't have to worry about de-molding issues.
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Old 10-01-2022, 02:44 AM
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I decided to work to improve my printer cooling : at this stage, I had still some problems with overhangs and bridges which results some of the spikes being improperly printed for my moulds.
A few prints and test later I'm able to print with overhangs at 70 angles without any issue and with a proper quality and this with a 0.2MM thickness by layer. going down on the thickness per layer should even improve this.

Next is to add some centering plots to my mould and reprint the mold in lower layer thickness than my first print. This will be long prints, but with the quality improvement and lower layer thickness it should be good enough to start with...

RC10Nick , what product do you use to prepare your moulds? Unmoulding agent only or do you do something else in addition?

Thanks
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Old Yesterday, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by silvertriple View Post
I decided to work to improve my printer cooling : at this stage, I had still some problems with overhangs and bridges which results some of the spikes being improperly printed for my moulds.
A few prints and test later I'm able to print with overhangs at 70 angles without any issue and with a proper quality and this with a 0.2MM thickness by layer. going down on the thickness per layer should even improve this.

Next is to add some centering plots to my mould and reprint the mold in lower layer thickness than my first print. This will be long prints, but with the quality improvement and lower layer thickness it should be good enough to start with...

RC10Nick , what product do you use to prepare your moulds? Unmoulding agent only or do you do something else in addition?

Thanks
I use Stoner E236 Urethane Mold Release.

Funny story, I accidentally bought a can of Stoner Zero Stick Mold Release because I wasn't paying very close attention when I ordered it. Pretty sure that's the reason for my recent mold release problems. I've got a can of the E236 on the way so hopefully that's all my problem was.
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