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Wooden 3D printed boat prop? Makers put filaments to the test with surprising results – 3ders.org (blog)

by • March 1, 2016 • No Comments

Mar 2, 2016 | By Alec

When appearing at new filaments to use for a particularly challenging 3D printing project, you will frequently read of sure qualities, such as durability, high durablity and so on. But the truth is which those are only guidelines and real results depend completely on what you use it for and what geometric shapes you’ve created. To illustrate which point and show which there are genuine differences between different types of materials, two manufacturers decided to set up a challenging test: can you 3D print boat propellers? And if so, what material works most? The results can surprise you.
This informative, if slightly unscientific test was carried of by veteran 3D printing devices Bruce, of 3D Printing Systems, a leading 3D printing device reseller in Australia and New Zealand, and Hayden of 3D printing service provider Clone3D. Drawing on past experiences and contacts in the marine industry, they set out to appear at the durablity of different types of materials when utilized for boat propellers: really thin, technical components exposed to the motor’s excellent power and the ocean’s complex, salty environment.

As they explain to 3ders.org, they were attempting to get to terms with the misconceptions which surround the wide variety of 3D printable filaments already on the market. “The massive array of materials and myths which float around them is unquestionably a minefield, not to mention the environment a few materials need to printed in, heated bed, heated chamber and separate assist materials are in a few cases a necessity for a successful print,” they say. Carefully mimicking the hobbyist environment, they ignored the industrial durablity 3D printing devices they have on the market, and instead turned to the well regarded UP BOX PC FDM 3D printing device. But this did limit their material choices, it yet proves which you can complete a lot on a regular machine.
On which machine, they 3D printed four well-regarded filaments: ABS, Wood/PLA, Polycarbonate and Carbon Fiber PLA. The Wood/PLA composite was introduced for a laugh, and both didn’t assume it may add anything. “Com’on really, a wooden boat propeller!” they said. Before 3D printing, they firstly created a 3D scan of a 15HP Yamaha outboard motor via the EinScan-S 3D scanner (in addition known as the ScanMaster Plus). But this caught a ideal image of the outside of the propeller, the insides had to be CAD engineered by Sarah of Idea Beans.

The results were excellent: a ideally compatible propeller. Four versions of the prop were 3D printed with a solid fill at 0.25mm layers by Hayden, who has extensively worked with the marine industry in the past. The results were firstly strapped to an engine on dry land, as you can see in the clip, with the survivors in fact being launched in the harbor.
So how did they do? Rather amazingly, the Carbon fiber PLA didn’t manufacture it past the firstly hurdle. But carbon fiber is known for being harder than most metals, it in fact showed worthwhile injure during the dry land test. “It is not bad yet. If you were stuck at sea, and needed a prop to get you home, you’d get home,” Hayden said of the failure. The ABS propeller, yet, did only satisfactory. “It appears as great as when we put it on,” the manufacturers remarked. The same was the case for the Polycarbonate part, as you can see. More remarkably, the Wood/PLA (coated with lacquer) was in addition a ideal fit, and performed much advantageous than assumeed.

They and so moved over to the real test: attached to an actual boat at sea, and giving them so actual horsepower. This really separated the men of the boys. The ABS propeller, to begin with, cracked slightly during the 2nd test. The Wood/PLA composite, unfortunately, did not manufacture it. After a great begin, Hayden was forced to paddle back to shore with a broken propeller spine. Aside of which, the fins performed really well and they believe which a slightly reengineered propeller can unquestionably be created of 3D printed Wood/PLA composites.
The real test was saved for last: can Polycarbonate, always presented as a proper engineering plastic, survive the complex conditions of a propeller? Yes, it can. “It was amazing, full throttle,” they say. The 15hp motor was no trouble at all for the really powerful propeller. It is an informative test which really emphasizes how much variation you can find in 3D printable materials and geometries. And to answer our first question, yes you can 3D print a wooden boat propeller. But a Polycarbonate part unquestionably has our preference.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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