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3D printing parts

Zork

New Member
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.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
Subject comes up from time to time but that's as far as it goes. Need someone
who's both a 3D printer enthusiast and Sunfish enthusiast. Drain plug and Rudder
bracket come to mind. It would only take one person and the 3D designs would be
floating around on the internet for eternity.
 

Zork

New Member
I can do designs using Tinkercad and then publish them on Thingiverse, and I can also do rudimentary 3D scanning using a homemade platform, but I was hoping someone had already tackled some of these. The drain plug can be made with flexible PETG, and *maybe* the rudder bracket with ABS, though I would be concerned about the torsion loads on the piece. I would not use PLA as it softens when exposed to the heat of the sun. I was thinking of using the bow handle as a starting point.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
Rudder bracket could use some additional webbing as
it has a cracking problem in the corners. Some gussets
in the corners might help. If you could print it in nylon
it would be pretty indestructible.
 

Zork

New Member
3D printing with Nylon filament requires specific hardware (all-metal extrusion head, for one...) because the extrusion temp is 250C+. Most consumer printers can't get that high. The thermocouples in mine that measure extrusion temp give up around 230-235C. Highest I can reliably print is 225C. Also, nylon filament is very hygroscopic (requires dry controlled storage) and is prone to warping during printing.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
No Sunfish bits yet but Skipper can print out houses and shipping containers for model railroad N scale layouts if anyone needs them. She's bugging me for dimensions of the Sunfish, might print out a scale model. Might be fun if it had a separate rudder, daggerboard and sail/spars.
 

sailcraftri

Well-Known Member
I have made 3D models of the boom and mast end caps. I also have a 3D model of the aluminum rudder cheek. My next goal is a 3D model of the plastic rudder cheek. I have printed the boom and mast end caps. Not with nylon so I would not use them on an actual boat. I used a 3D printer available at a public library. They charges me $1.30 per part.

I have investigated injection molding the end caps but would cost $12,000-$16,000 just for the three molds. Would love to find someone who could print these at a reasonable cost with the right material.
 

shorefun

Active Member
I would be suspect of printing any part for the Sunfish. All of them need to meet special conditions and failure is not a good thing. Rudder bracket = loose of steering, broken handle = hurt foot. I cant think of anything that can be printed out in a cost effective manner to meet the intended purpose of the part.

I know to do serious printing you need a printer with a cabinet to keep the temps up inside for some materials. There is a 3D printer at work and I it can do all sorts of stuff, but I know it was at the high end of the price scale.
 

Zork

New Member
The rudder bracket is a dirt-simple shaped piece of aluminum. There is nothing "special" about it that precludes it from being replaced with a properly engineered 3D printed bracket. Simple proof: NASA uses essentially a consumer version of a fused filament fabrication 3D printer to make things like tools needed for a spacewalk job. FFF is the same process used on the 3D printer on my desk, and I have in fact printed the same tools (a ratchet wrench, for example) that NASA printed in space.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
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
hold up.
 

kmisegades

Swamp Goose
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.
 

Zork

New Member
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
hold up.
I found nothing when searching for "Sunfish". Do you have a URL for that?
 

Zork

New Member
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.
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.
 

Zork

New Member
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!
 

kmisegades

Swamp Goose
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.
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.

Sunfish_CAD_3D_Printed.jpg
 

Attachments

4cpus4me

Member
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!
Creality's new belt printer could possibly print a rudder if the width will fit.
 

4cpus4me

Member
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.
 

Zork

New Member
I would think that for this it would make more sense to use a wood carving duplicator with a rotating mount, like the ones used to duplicate gunstocks. A heck of a lot faster and true to the original.
 

4cpus4me

Member
What were the problems with the stl for the Sunfish model?
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.
 

Zork

New Member
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.
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. :)
 

Zork

New Member
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.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
Put it on a waterlogged Sunfish, pull it 20 yards up a
grass incline and report back. I think someone sporting
a pirate hook on one arm would like it.
 
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