Does anyone know a good source for designs for 3D printing replacement parts for Sunfish boats? I've checked a few like Thingiverse but so far, nothing.
I found nothing when searching for "Sunfish". Do you have a URL for that?Thingverse has some Sunfish parts including a rudder blade. The
mast cap looks like a improvement over the stock unit. We just
need someone to print these and try them out. I'd be interested to see
a sunfish with as many printed parts a possible, see if they all
I agree with *all* of this. PLA is ok for prototyping but no way you can use it on a boat. One day you'll go look for it and all that's left is goo. It is also possible to convert 3D printers into CNC machines, but most people use it for low Z-axis engraving, at least from what I have seen.We offer a few simple parts now for the Sunfish and Laser made with a conventional 3D printer. See aerosouth.net We'd rather have them injection molded as 3D printing is glacially slow and strength is limited on standard 3D printers. When our sales volume can justify it, we will have molds made. This technology continues to evolve rapidly and there are now printers that combine carbon and plastic for strength comparable to aluminum. But they still remain very slow so not ideal for production parts. Printing services are a nice option, however not cheap. For small production of parts that are not heavily loaded, 3D printing should work fine. For simple things like tube end caps though, unless you know CAD and are patient, prices of mass-produced parts are hard to beat. When you develop a new 3D printed part, expect to need 5-10 iterations on the design until things work correctly. There are so many variables to tweak. The choice of materials is important. PLA is the cheapest but is water soluble and loses strength in UV exposure. We prefer PETG as it is a good compromise, resists water and UV well, and is reasonable in price. ABS is OK but tricky to get a good print, at least on our printers. For our larger parts, especially rudders and daggerboards, we prefer precision-milled laminates of sapele, a wood similar to mahogany. We go straight from CAD to the CNC machine's CAM software, not unlike a 3D printer really. Plastic is OK, but it is hard to beat nature's composite (wood) for many applications, especially when CAD/CAE/CAM is used for geometric flexibility, combined with carbon fiber where needed and advanced, epoxy-based coatings. Plus it sure looks great! There are plenty of shops around with excess capacity who will probably be happy to make a few parts for you for little money. Look for instance for furniture, cabinet and sign makers. Or buy your own Shop Bot, a very neat tool made in Durham, NC. The company's founder, a local university professor, was building a wooden boat and wanted to speed up construction, how the Shop Bot was born.
Really like what you are doing. I have a CAD (STL) model of the Sunfish that is pretty good - only has the hull and sail, but is still useful. I found it on one of the 3D model sites. See attached. The printed parts below were made with PLA (red) and PETG (clear). The mast and sail are one part. There are some problems with the STL but my printer's slicer was able to fix them.I agree with *all* of this. PLA is ok for prototyping but no way you can use it on a boat. One day you'll go look for it and all that's left is goo. It is also possible to convert 3D printers into CNC machines, but most people use it for low Z-axis engraving, at least from what I have seen.
Creality's new belt printer could possibly print a rudder if the width will fit.The pictures and details don't load but you can still download the file. As I suspected, it is HUGE, most likely for use on a CNC carver and not a 3D printer. Thanks!
But now I *am* getting more results for parts!
I pulled the Sunfish STL models into Meshmixer and there is a teeny tiny spot around the upper part of the cockpit on the hull but I doubt it will cause any printing trouble at all. I think you could print the parts as-is.What were the problems with the stl for the Sunfish model?
I have two window fans in my home office to suck out the fumes as well as the heat generated by my server half rack and Dell servers.If you need or want 3D printed parts out of ABS, PETG, and possibly Nylon or carbon fiber then you can send your 3D model to TH3DStudio get a quote and they will print them and ship them to you for usually a lot less than the commercial printing places will. They have a print farm and proper printer enclosures that most home users do not have. ABS and other materials give off toxic fumes in some cases not well suited for breathing.
Shouldn’t the shape be something that’ll be easier on the hands? Maybe more like the existing handle?
It's a prototype. That's why I shared the STL file. Also, the connection to the parts that screw to the hull are stronger this way. And if you try to get fancy with compound curves you're going to spend a lot of time removing supports unless you have a two-extruder printer and print the supports in a water-soluble filament.Shouldn’t the shape be something that’ll be easier on the hands? Maybe more like the existing handle?