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erohslc
erohslc Reader
12/21/10 10:46 a.m.

Check this out:

http://www.designnews.com/article/511949-Additive_Manufacturing_Technology_Expands.php

'The photo shows an exhaust manifold laser-sintered out of EOS NickelAlloy IN625.'

OK, a manifold is not quite the same as a set of headers, but it's just a metter of time until it's possible. More immediately, turbo manifolds should be no problem. Use CAD to design exactly what you need for a given motor, in a given vehicle, for a given turbo and location. Hit the 'print' button, wait for the 3D printer to finish the job. Oh, need the turbo moved 1/2" to the right? Edit the CAD file, hit 'print' .....

How long until we can make custom cylinder heads the same way? (DOHC 16 valve Spitfire anyone?) Or truly custom bell housings? EFI intake manifolds? Suspension uprights? Engine blocks?

Carter

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Webmaster
12/21/10 10:52 a.m.

I love the idea of rapid prototyping hardware like this.

...but if it costs me $60 to refill an ink cartridge, what will it cost to create an exhaust manifold?

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt Dork
12/21/10 11:06 a.m.
erohslc wrote: How long until we can make custom cylinder heads the same way? (DOHC 16 valve Spitfire anyone?) Or truly custom bell housings? EFI intake manifolds? Suspension uprights? Engine blocks? Carter

You can get them now - there were a few examples on display at the PRI trade show of metal castings generated from a 3D printer output. It's just ungodly expensive. Using a 3D printer to make a pattern and having a foundry do a production run of the part might be more cost effective.

Lesley
Lesley SuperDork
12/21/10 12:03 p.m.

I was talking to a Nissan designer at the LA Auto Show, he was describing a similar machine in their studio – worth about a million dollars.

turboswede
turboswede SuperDork
12/21/10 1:51 p.m.

A million dollars? Pssh, this is GRM!

http://reprap.org/wiki/Main_Page

or MakerBot:

http://store.makerbot.com/makerbot-thing-o-matic.html

That idiot who can't spell
That idiot who can't spell SuperDork
12/21/10 2:02 p.m.

We have a plastic RP machine at the student machine shop. I think the quote on it is $60 per square inch. Keep in mind this is plastic. I can't imagine the metal ones.

BowtieBandit
BowtieBandit New Reader
12/21/10 2:03 p.m.

This stuff is cooler than the other side of the pillow.

That idiot who can't spell
That idiot who can't spell SuperDork
12/21/10 3:00 p.m.

A girl on my Formula team has gauged ears and she made spinning turbine blade gauges. I will try to find pictures.

FlightService
FlightService Reader
12/21/10 3:23 p.m.

http://www.tenlinks.com/news/PR/eos_gmbh/120310_eosint_m_280.htm

ansonivan
ansonivan HalfDork
12/21/10 3:34 p.m.
That idiot who can't spell wrote: A girl on my Formula team has gauged ears and she made spinning turbine blade gauges. I will try to marry her.

Good call sir.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Webmaster
12/21/10 3:38 p.m.
That idiot who can't spell wrote: A girl on my Formula team has gauged ears and she made spinning turbine blade gauges. I will try to find pictures.

Please do this. I am a fan of girls, gauges, and turbines, so you/she wins the trifecta.

4 Pumpkin Escobar's of fury
4 Pumpkin Escobar's of fury SuperDork
12/21/10 4:43 p.m.

Yep, as far as casting goes, its still the cheaper by the kagillion method. Use RP to create a plastic pattern with metal shrink allowances engineered in, and Voila...wash rinse repeat!

aeronca65t
aeronca65t Dork
12/21/10 6:54 p.m.

We have a plaster-based 3D printer in the engineering lab at my college. My students use it all the time. It cost about $9000, I think. Makes objects up to about 10" cube.

Inventor and ProE seem to work well with our printer. Google Sketchup works too, but there are some issues.

We're trying to get the money to buy a polymer printer (like the one in Jay Leno's garage). There are some decent versions in the $12000 to $15000 range.

4 Pumpkin Escobar's of fury
4 Pumpkin Escobar's of fury SuperDork
12/21/10 7:08 p.m.

yeah, somewhere out on the world wide interwebz there was a thread where some engineer was working on a manifold for 70s P cars so he could convert to EFI. He made several RP models from some kind of high test polymer that can withstand higher than usual temps, and installed them briefly so he could make a few pulls, and determine what runner length, diameter, rate of venturi etc worked best across the widest range of RPM, load etc etc. He then used the data to create a RP pattern, cast it out of aluminum, and had a swanky, custom, EFI ready, cast aluminum manifold, that looked OEM, and he could make a bazillion of. Each model (not counting the machine to print them) cost the guy like $44 each. Do you have any idea how long it would take to make that many patterns from wood? Let alone cast each one, and be able to run real time tests to determine which model was best? Thats a lot of time, patterns, and useless castings. RP is heaven sent for the automotive industry. I expect there will be a influx of higher quality for lower price parts coming out of startup garages over the next 5 years...taht is until ZOMFG ALLTHEOILISGONEGOTTABUYELECTRICAUTOMOBILES

FlightService
FlightService Reader
12/21/10 8:05 p.m.

Look for used previous generation equipment, or demos.

You can get great deals

EricM
EricM Dork
12/22/10 8:50 a.m.

a friends garage. All it needs is a raster file.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave SuperDork
12/22/10 9:15 a.m.
erohslc wrote: More immediately, turbo manifolds should be no problem.

My concern would be temperature. Turbo manifolds literally can get red hot. Awesome if the SLS material can handle that though.

That idiot who can't spell
That idiot who can't spell SuperDork
12/22/10 10:24 a.m.

In reply to DILYSI Dave:

I am pretty sure I remember hearing NASA has a RP machine which can do metal for some of their rockets and such. So I would guess that the technology is out there to do turbo manifolds.

Raze
Raze Dork
12/22/10 10:47 a.m.

Just a matter of time as the tech progresses and scales. Just think, in 20 years your car is 'grown' instead of 'poured' . One of the things that I think technology like this will improve is control-ability in the process which should improve quality. I mean if Georgia Tech's Nanotech Research Center is working on nano-assemblers to build items from the ground up, this seems like the next logical progression in material construction on the road to more precise and means of construction.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt Dork
12/22/10 1:23 p.m.

Nickle alloy is usually better able to stand up to high temperatures than steel. It's about as strong as steel at room temperature, but stays that way until it gets red hot.

Looking through my brochures from the PRI trade show, I knew I'd saved the contact information for a company that does something like this:

http://www.wisconsinprecision.com/

You send them your computer model, and they'll ship you a casting about a week later. I'm not sure if they use a 3D printer to make the pattern or if it's carved out of wax on a milling machine.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy Reader
12/22/10 2:06 p.m.

sweet.... step is part of the whole... nice.

erohslc
erohslc Reader
12/24/10 12:56 p.m.

It's ungodly expensive right now to go direct to metal, $60+ cubic inch. But as stated, the hybrid approach that yields castings is already viable. Use the 3D printer to make the master, or to make the sand cope/drag, or (for investement casting) wax plugs, or silicone masters to make the wax plugs. Factor in the ability to do the sprues and vents in one shot, process repeatability, ability to make on the fly changes, and hybrid becomes very attractive.

Eventually though, direct to metal will become a commodity, and Grassroots friendly.

Carter

Keith
Keith SuperDork
12/24/10 1:19 p.m.

We used RP when developing our recent turbo kits. Once we had the manifold and turbine outlet prototyped and tested, we sent them off to our exhaust manufacturer so he could do the downpipe layout in CAD. Worked beautifully - the downpipes fit perfectly and every single one pooped out by the CNC mandrel bender is identical, a far cry from the previous hand-fabricated units. It also cut time off the development process.

Unfortunately, we didn't know about the RP-to-casting step at the time, but it still helped.

Look at the printing industry if you want an idea of where this is going. Digital printing has made customized printing possible so that every customer can get their own specially-tailored catalog, for example. Small print runs are much less expensive. But when it comes to pounding out 10,000 copies of the same thing, we go right back to the old school methods because it's simply less expensive. Your custom turbo manifolds may never be inexpensive, but they'll be a whole lot less expensive than they would have been if you'd had to cast a single unit with all the overhead that entails.

Monster Toad
Monster Toad Reader
12/24/10 2:51 p.m.

This is relevant to my interests.

aeronca65t
aeronca65t Dork
9/8/12 6:52 a.m.

Since I commented previously on this thread, we have built a Maker-Bot kit.

Here it is printing Yoda

And here it is printing a VW bus

I am looking to buy a Solidoodle this Fall. Under $500!

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