Pattern for a Steam Engine

Discussion in 'Pattern making' started by PatJ, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. crazybillybob

    crazybillybob Silver Banner Member

    If it helps you picked up a good 3d Printer this time! I've had a few and have been thinking about tossing out the last one I bought (FT-5.... Don't do it...Garbage!) the Prusaa is the one I have been looking at moving toward. It's a rock solid little machine with a good company behind it. I met Mr. Prusa last year nice guy!

  2. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    I have an FT5 as well..... Great paper weight!!
  3. crazybillybob

    crazybillybob Silver Banner Member

    I have dumped a ton more $$ into it trying to make it usable. Proxy sensor for bed leveling, new E3dV6 Titan extruder....etc Nothing can fix it. Nastiest prints I have ever seen when it prints most of the time it just jams up an hour into the print. I loved my little Solidoodle 3 I wish those guys had stayed in business. It died a troopers death Hotend encase in Nylon (I made a mistake in the setting for the job then walked away for too long :(
  4. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    I asked several people I know who have them, and they vouched for a Prusa, and more importantly vouched for the Prusa support services.
    If the thing breaks, you can get a repair part quickly, and get the support you need to get it working right again.

    I think the fact that Prusa uses banks of their own machines to make the plastic parts for their printers speaks volumes about the capabilities of a Prusa, and so would force Prusa to make a very reliable machine since they rely on it for making their products.
    Edit: The video in the next post says that they use their printing farm as a proving ground for their own products, which is very wise in my opinion.

    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  5. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    This is quite an interesting video too.

  6. dtsh

    dtsh Copper Banner Member

    My sample size is 1, but I also fairly recently acquired a Prusa Mk3 and have been pretty happy with it. Several co-workers shared their frustrations with models from other vendors and that combined with what I had read suggested that in my price range it was likely the best buy. I suspect if one were knowledgeable on the topic you could build one for less (not counting your time investment), but since this was my first forray I wanted something that wasn't going to require a lot of changes to make satisfactory parts. So no big surprise; guy buys item and likes item he bought, news at 10.

    I use it to manufacture some custom parts for my employer and random hobby stuff for myself, some in PLA and some in ABS, both of which turn out acceptably for our application.
    I've been considering modeling up some small engines, was part of the initial drive to get one.
  7. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    My Prusa continues to churn out steam engine patterns.
    I keep it running 24/7, and so far so good.
    The quality is not perfect, but as good or better than I could do by hand, and a heck of a lot easier than hand-made patterns.

    I will try to get some more photos up today.
  8. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    More Dake steam engine 3D printed patterns.

    The assembly is starting to look like an engine.
    You can get an idea of the engine scale in the last photo with the soda can.

    The Prusa has been running almost non-stop for 10 days now, and no problems so far.






  9. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    There will be a Maker's Faire at the Soule Steam works in downtown Meridian Mississippi April 6,7 (Sat, Sun), 2019, and I am hoping to get down there at least for one day (work is crazy right now so I am not sure).

    I would like to bring some of the steam engine patterns I have been printing.
    Also, porositymaster (Clarke) will be there pouring iron.

    Here are a few flywheel patterns I have printed recently, and an incomplete model of the Soule Speedy Twin steam engine that I am printing just to have something to sit on the table.
    I hope to build a 40% scale Speedy Twin in iron one day, which will fit on an 11" x 17" drawing sheet.


  10. That sure beats making a pattern the old fashioned way.
  11. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    There are those who build steam engines who make all the patterns by hand, and I was doing that until the beginning of this year.
    The ones who do it mention how hand-made patterns have an "organic" look to them (I call it "visually correct"), and I must agree that hand-made patterns can look really good.

    However, given how many 3D engine designs I have, and how many patterns I want to make, it made sense for me to change course this year and do the 3D printed pattern thing.
    Generally what I do is fill the 3D printed patterns a bit to give the surfaces a slight convex shape (flat surfaces actually look convex to the eye), and that brings back the organic look to the pattern, and is faster than trying to make a pattern from scratch.
    Example below:




  12. Mister ED

    Mister ED Copper Banner Member

    Nice Pat. The finished part is PLA that has been filed and painted? Or is it ABS that has been treated with acetone?
  13. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    The blue part above was filled with DAP spackling compound and then painted.
    I generally make a permanent aluminum pattern from the printed pattern (allowing double shrinkage), because over time the PLA printed patterns become brittle and will break up.

  14. Mister ED

    Mister ED Copper Banner Member

    I should have reread your post ... I read file not fill, lol.

    Regular old spackling compound, that sure would have been easier to sand than the primer I used on that gear! I will have to give that a try.
  15. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member


    I use spackling compound because it does not dry too hard.
    Other fillers such as bondo and that water-based wood putty (I forget the name of it) dry too hard, and so when you try and sand those, you cut into the plastic too much.
    The spackling sands easily without damaging the plastic.
    The downside of DAP spackling compound is that it has a very short shelf life.
    I have started using a dry DAP filling putty, and mixing it with water as I need it, but it does not sand quite as well as spackling compound, but does not go bad on the shelf either.

    I have not forgotten your gears.
    The weather is finally warming up and the monsoons are subsiding too, so I hope to do some iron casting soon.

    And here is the brochure on the Maker's Faire at Meridian Mississippi at the Soule Museum.

  16. Mister ED

    Mister ED Copper Banner Member

    No worries. 4 months after surgery, I am JUST getting to a point of moving around without crutches.

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