Sunday, May 28, 2017

Carbon Fiber Printing Update

I am about 1/4 the way thru my first roll of the CF(carbon fiber) filament.

I did a couple test bits with a brass nozzle, but it is highly abrasive so I did not do much until my order of stainless nozzles arrived.

I ordered the nozzles from Anycubic in China, and they usually do fast shipping.  However this time I paid for the DHL on a small item making it $20 for shipping and $6 for the nozzles.

They sent me a bogus tracking number and after a bunch of back and forth messages they coughed up the legit number.

It arrived Friday along with my new CNC control boards for the LumenLabs CNC clone and the my new design CNC machine.

So far I am liking the finish and dimensional accuracy of it.  Although, I am finding my inside  bolt holes to still be off.  The file is 3mm but a m3 bolt wont fit in it.

The good news is that it drills really nice and with a good finish vs regular PLA plastic.

I showed the fit and finish to a client and he placed a nice order of printed parts.

The plastic is 15% carbon fiber although there are brands that go up to 30 and 40%

I will be also getting some of the nylon carbon fiber in soon to print with as I have clients looking for high strength items.

It does print much slower than regular filament.  I tried going faster but my printer kind of jams up a little.

At present I am starting a 30+ hour print job and  total print for the whole project is probably 38-48 hours.

I also have to run off some more sets of printer parts as I expect more printed items orders, so I need more machines.

As I can build myself, expansion is a lot lower cost than buying finished machines.

In other news my metal foundry arrives today.  I have a Yoda head I will cast and pour as my first test.

The Yoda heads were kind of the first thing one would print back several years ago when getting into printing, it was kind of the benchmark and saying I have arrived.

Seems rather fitting.

In other news, The blowtorch hot season here has abated somewhat.

My productivity was really low once the heat season began at the end of April.

It usually lasts until monsoon arrival which was early this year.  Now its hot and humid like south Florida.

My electric bill has gone up to the $200USD a month range now with the air conditioner on and the fridge working harder.

The high heat was making me get heat exhaustion easily and I was feeling it probably 1/2 of the days I was working.  Despite drinking gallons of water and taking 3-6 showers a day.

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