Messin' With Resin - 3D printed track

Martin Wynne

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Hi Jim,

I think the main problem with the fumes is not the likely ill effects, just the awfulness of the pong and its extreme pervasiveness.

I can't stand the pong of most solvents, including butanone and dichloromethane, so I try not to use them. The only reasonable ones for me are butyl acetate (Humbrol Poly) and acetone, so I tend to stick with those (sorry!) if I can. So when I got the Elegoo Mars I went for the one with a built-in extractor fan and carbon filter. It does seem to help, providing I keep the cover lid over the printer. The downside is the rather noisy fan, without which the printer would be near-silent. Of course it doesn't do anything for the smell of IPA being sloshed about, but that's not quite so bad and tends to dissipate more quickly.

The presence of the fan in the base of the printer also means that it's possible to feel a very slight vibration buzz in the base. I'm wondering if that has any effect on the printing process, beneficial or otherwise?

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
Just a comment on 3D resin printer fumes. I've had a Phrozen Shuffle for over two years and recently added a Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K. When I originally got the Shuffle, I was aware of comments about fumes and started building a cabinet to house it with an exhaust fan routed outside. When the Shuffle arrived I hadn't appreciated that the door hinged upwards which wouldn't work with my cabinet, so I started printing with no provision for fume control and extraction and did not suffer any ill effects at all. The Sonic Mini is the same. It is actually housed in the cabinet built for the Shuffle but only to provide a stable temperature environment in winter months, otherwise no ill effects when it is used. I use Phrozen resins. So it might be worth trying to get up close and personal to a working 3D resin printer to see if any fumes affect you before buying one. If you are like me, fumes might not be a problem.

Jim
Hi Jim

I tend to agree with Martin - it's not the effects but the smell. In addition, any effects may be cumulative so wouldn't be noticed maybe until many years later. I have nowhere to escape from any smells in my flat, or for that matter smells coming up from downstairs! More than once I've had to sleep with one chemical smell or another (or cooking!) still lurking about. I don't have anywhere in my flat where I could set up near a window, so I think resin printing is a non-starter for me at home currently which is a real shame, given the affordability of printers now. Maybe when I move back into a house I'll have more space!

Unlike Martin, I quite like the smell of butanone but I'm very aware of it's dangers so try not to smell it!

Cheers,
Paul
 
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Martin Wynne

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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

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BTW in the US IPA commonly refers to India Pale Ale ☺

Same here, but Isopropyl alcohol or Isopropanol takes longer to write. :)

Old_Phipps_IPA_Claret_sharpened.jpg
 
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Phil O

Member
Location
Plymouth.
My favourite IPA is Palmers of Bridport, I nearly got caught out in the Pilchard on Burgh island, drinking it on an incoming tide, fortunately the staff give you about half an hour's notice of the tide covering the causeway, just enough to drink up and walk back without paddling.
 
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@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

Having both a FDM (filament) printer and SLA (resin) printer I wouldn't want to lose either of them.

The FDM is great for strong functional parts -- for hobbies such as model engineering, model aircraft, drones, spare parts for bikes and boats and lawnmowers. But also maybe a working gearbox in 0 gauge? unbreakable signal posts and telegraph poles? a large-scale lever frame? a turntable deck? point-motor brackets? or even the whole point-motor? all manner of modelmaking tools and jigs.

SLA is much better for fine detail on small-scale models, but unless you go high-end with expensive equipment and resins not so good for strength and working parts.

And when it comes to domestic user-friendliness there is no contest. You could easily have a FDM machine in the corner of a living room if using PLA polymer. The slight smell from hot PLA is actually quite pleasant -- it's made from sugar cane and non-toxic. When it's finished printing, that's it -- remove your new part.

Whereas an SLA printer is only for a workshop area (and preferably one of its own). The resin is toxic, smelly and unpleasant. The process is messy. When it's finished printing that's only the start. You then have to leave it dripping for 10-20 minutes or so (wafting the smell around in the process), before transferring it to a tub of IPA solvent (also smelly) for washing. Don't have any source of UV present (such as sunlight) until all liquid resin has been washed off. Intricate model parts will need careful brush washing in the IPA to remove all traces of liquid resin. At this stage the model is still soft and delicate, so needs careful handling. Finally it needs UV exposure to fully cure it and harden it. But the results are great!

The machine which is going to lose out to resin printing in this hobby in my view is the Cameo cutter. It's been a great disappointment. When I next need some signal box window frames, or a panelled coach side, I feel sure the resin printer would do a better job. Without the option to use it as a pen plotter, I think it would be in the bin by now. :)

cheers,

Martin.
Thanks, won't bother with a Cameo then as I already have an old Roland Pen Plotter than I haven't used in anger for quite some time, though I could if I wanted to.
 
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Martin Wynne

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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

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Thanks, won't bother with a Cameo then as I already have an old Roland Pen Plotter than I haven't used in anger for quite some time, though I could if I wanted to.
Hi Stephen,

I haven't binned the Cameo yet. :) I have a hunch it will be one of those gadgets which get left and forgotten at the back of the workshop for years. And then a job crops up for which it is the very thing.

Modellers do use it for cutting thin frets. But I think you have to regard thin as the operative word there for modelmaking -- up to about 10thou max. The deeper cutters are good for soft craft materials only -- just the job if you want to cut a fluffy bunny rabbit out of felt.

A 5 thou fret would be quite tricky to remove without damage from the build plate of a resin printer. It would probably need to stay on the plate until fully UV cured, and hope it's not stuck too firm. The Cameo might be an easier option.

There is a long topic on RMweb about using the Cameo for modelmaking. This post shows what happens if you try to go thicker and cut 20 thou plasticard:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/i...-cameo-cutter/&do=findComment&comment=3956613

But combined with a normal printer, a Cameo might be just the thing. Print you own brick paper on 160gsm paper (7 thou thick), including archways, window openings, viaduct walls, ... and then cut them out on the Cameo. Make your own card kits, with resin-printed details.

Like most things it's horses for courses. And track-building isn't the course for this one.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Phil O

Member
Location
Plymouth.
The Cameo is useful for cutting upto 20 thou plasticard, it won't cut all the way through, but once the cutter has done 4 passes, it's relatively easy to finish the job with a scalpel. Don't forget to add diagonals for apertures.
 
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Martin Wynne

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West of the Severn UK
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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

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The Cameo is useful for cutting upto 20 thou plasticard, it won't cut all the way through, but once the cutter has done 4 passes, it's relatively easy to finish the job with a scalpel. Don't forget to add diagonals for apertures.
@Phil O

Hi Phil,

Please can you post chapter and verse? Which blade do you use? Set for what depth? At what speed and force? Do you do all 4 passes at the same settings, or stop and adjust the blade depth or other settings for each pass?

How small an aperture can you snap out? I wanted to cut chair sockets 4mm x 2mm but there is no way it would score the outlines and diagonals cleanly, or in the right place, even with the overcut setting.

Does it need to be new plasticard? My stocks are several years old and getting a bit brittle. Does it need to be white plasticard? Most of my stock is black, which is tougher than white.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Phil O

Member
Location
Plymouth.
Hi Martin,

I use the standard blade, set at the maximum depth and the speed set at around 3 or 4. You can set the machine to do a double pass, once it has completed the first two passes, just start it again, don't alter anything and definitely don't eject the sheet from the machine.

I have only used white, which I have had for around 20 years or so, I have not tried to cut apertures that small, so I can't say whether you can snap out pieces that small. I think, I would drill a couple of 1.5mm holes and clean up with a scalpel and files. What the machine does do is give you is an accurate outline to cut to with a sharp scalpel blade. I keep the blade sharp with an oilstone.
 
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Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
Hi Martin,

I use the standard blade, set at the maximum depth and the speed set at around 3 or 4. You can set the machine to do a double pass, once it has completed the first two passes, just start it again, don't alter anything and definitely don't eject the sheet from the machine.

I have only used white, which I have had for around 20 years or so, I have not tried to cut apertures that small, so I can't say whether you can snap out pieces that small. I think, I would drill a couple of 1.5mm holes and clean up with a scalpel and files. What the machine does do is give you is an accurate outline to cut to with a sharp scalpel blade. I keep the blade sharp with an oilstone.
@Phil O

Thanks Phil.

I will have another go. The Cameo 4 can be set to do as many passes as you like, so that's not a problem.

But of course even 20 thou isn't much. I was hoping to cut 1.25mm (50 thou) card and mounting board, or similar. Given the availability of 2mm and 3mm blades I assumed that would be possible, but clearly it isn't, or at least not for precision shapes in solid material. They are for soft felt, foam and similar materials. The kraft blade is ideal for cheese slices. :)

But all is not lost, because I'm quite pleased with the pen plotter function and the ability to print long track plans up to 60ft long. Because of the buggy software it's quite a lot of faff to get it the correct size, but it is doable. For about half the price of any comparable CAD printer/plotter I can find. Given the prices charged by digital copy shops for prints of such a size, it should break even after a while. Silhouette have promised a fix to the bugs in the DXF import.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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AndyB

Member
I may have to unearth the engraving machine to see how it might do. If I remember correctly (which would be unusual) it wasn't too bad on wood but the small area is a problem. I suspect it might tend to melt Plasticard too but I never actually tried that.
 
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Hi Stephen,

I haven't binned the Cameo yet. :) I have a hunch it will be one of those gadgets which get left and forgotten at the back of the workshop for years. And then a job crops up for which it is the very thing.

Modellers do use it for cutting thin frets. But I think you have to regard thin as the operative word there for modelmaking -- up to about 10thou max. The deeper cutters are good for soft craft materials only -- just the job if you want to cut a fluffy bunny rabbit out of felt.

A 5 thou fret would be quite tricky to remove without damage from the build plate of a resin printer. It would probably need to stay on the plate until fully UV cured, and hope it's not stuck too firm. The Cameo might be an easier option.

There is a long topic on RMweb about using the Cameo for modelmaking. This post shows what happens if you try to go thicker and cut 20 thou plasticard:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/i...-cameo-cutter/&do=findComment&comment=3956613

But combined with a normal printer, a Cameo might be just the thing. Print you own brick paper on 160gsm paper (7 thou thick), including archways, window openings, viaduct walls, ... and then cut them out on the Cameo. Make your own card kits, with resin-printed details.

Like most things it's horses for courses. And track-building isn't the course for this one.

cheers,

Martin.
Interesting, I did consider trying to use my ancient pen plotter to mark out some designs on copperclad but swiftly realised that the pen lift would not clear the normal 1.6mm thickness. Now if I could subsitute a cutter for one of the pens, I might be able to utilise it this way if I ever have a need.

Though I would have to make sure the cutter didn't touch the static hold base.

Getting an HPGL driver might be the problem as I understand XP was the last OS catered for, but not to worry I have an old XP laptop, little used these days and if I ever needed to could even build a separate XP machine from the pile of obsolete bits I have accumulated over the years. In fact I even built a Windows 95 machine fairly recently but not used it in anger. Why I hear you ask?

Certain members of the family expressed a desire to re-visit some really old games that aren't playable on the more recent OSs. (it has a real Voodoo 3 video card in it)
 
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