[Harp-L] Brendan Powers 3D printed parts

David Pearce harpdog123@xxxxx
Wed Apr 22 23:27:42 EDT 2020

Brendan uses FDM printers with ABS plastic.  FDM printers extrude a tiny thread of plastic in layers.  Brendan uses acetone on the outside of the mouthpiece to melt the ABS and smooth the surface.  I've tried using these printers at a maker space and had a lot of difficulties.  The owner of the shop said that I was using the wrong process and recommended urethane casting instead.  The downside of urethane casting is that the silicone mold degrades with each part you make.  You get about 15 to 50 parts before you have to make a new silicone mold.  With ABS FDM printing you have to make sure the build plate is perfectly level and the prints will often split.  Most of the FDM printers now use PLA plastic because PLA prints much easier than ABS.  The problem with PLA is that it can't be smoothed with acetone or sanded nearly as well as ABS.  I'm quite impressed that Brendan is able to print mass quantities of parts using an FDM printer.
David Pearce       

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