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Colinsk

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I use Fusion daily on my day job and I can’t imagine being without it anymore. I pay the subscription and for me it is a good deal.
I also have to 3D print often and dry sensitive filaments in a fruit drier. It was about $120 and I run it at 122F for 8hr and even TPA is dry enough for quality prints. When not in use I keep the filaments in large Tupperware like containers with desiccant that was dried with the filament.
 

Ken I

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Andy, I have also tried making some other usable parts but generally found the structural strength not there - like this outrigger support & extraction tube for a grinding spindle.
Guidetube.jpg

However the plastic model is a great aid to the toolmaker who then had to machine it from aluminium. (You can of course also have it 3D printed in metal but tends to be outrageously expensive currently).
I spotted one old hand surreptitiously measuring a plastic model with a vernier to confirm his understanding of the dimensions in the drawing.
I would guess the availability of the model speeds up toolmaking times 20 to 30%.
Regards, Ken
 

awake

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I recently used 3d printing to model up a part, tweak it until it was just right, and then convert to metal. Actually, I'm still in the "convert to metal" stage - about half-done with that. But modeling it in plastic first was invaluable to get all of the parameters just right.
 

awake

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I'd really like to know why Desin spark mechanical is never mentioned? I have used f360. I switched to DS mechanical because it's easier to rework .stl files, but the overall form and function is very much like f360 but easier interface.

You can save as .STL to send directly to your slicer. I guess fusion caught up on that too now. DS Mechanical is free for hobbyists and students. I even just renewed my free use. No restriction on the program, just what you do with the work. It's all personal hobby stuff for me. I designed a cutter tooth for a tooth bar on my front end loader bucket. I 3D printed one to pove the concept then had a friend CNC cut the teeth from 1/4 flat stock.View attachment 122809 View attachment 122810 View attachment 122811 didn't work" in the first half of the video







Please take 5 minutes to watch one of Jim Taylor tutorial on it and I think you'll immediately understand how it works.

This video is 16 minutes but really shows all the how to's you need to know to make just about any part



I can't speak for others, but the reason DesignSpark hasn't come up for me is that, as far as I can see, it is only available on Windows - and I don't use Windows. It does look like it could be a nice tool, though it was a bit hard to be sure, given that the first half of the video show all the things that weren't working in a particular model. (Not really meant as a knock against DS - I could show some things that just won't work a certain way in FreeCAD as well, and I'm guessing the F360 folks could do also.) It also looked like there might be some features that are only available for a charge (e.g., step and iges support) - ?
 

CFLBob

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I recently used 3d printing to model up a part, tweak it until it was just right, and then convert to metal. Actually, I'm still in the "convert to metal" stage - about half-done with that. But modeling it in plastic first was invaluable to get all of the parameters just right.

Have you ever used a 3D print to cast metal, or do you machine it? I've done lost wax casting for jewelry and see there's a lost PLA crowd.
 

awake

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Have you ever used a 3D print to cast metal, or do you machine it? I've done lost wax casting for jewelry and see there's a lost PLA crowd.

Not yet on casting, but working towards that. I've been assembling supplies and materials to make a foundry. Still have one more purchase to make ... and then to find the time! I've also been gathering cast aluminum scrap to melt down. I plan to 3d print the molds and mold it up in green sand, rather than doing lost PLA or such.

For now, I typically machine ... or fab and then machine, as I'm doing in the current project. A few months ago I managed to knock over my woodworking bandsaw (long story ...) and break the bracket that holds the table and allows it to tilt. Here is a rough model of what I need to reproduce:

bracket.jpg

I didn't have a piece of stock big enough to machine it out of one solid piece, and I would have hated to waste that much material in any case. Instead I have been welding up pieces to create a slightly oversized blank. I need to add a couple more short fillet welds, and then I'll be ready to machine to size. And yes, this would have been a perfect opportunity to print the model and cast it, then machine it to size and spec!
 

Colinsk

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I have made stainless valve castings from Fusion models that were studied by 3-D printing. It is a good visualization technique.
 

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