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Old 20-05-2019, 03:00 PM
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3D Printed Pier Adapter Plate

I'm not sure if this is the right place for questions like this so I apologise in advance if not so.

I've been contemplating 3D printing an adapter plate for the pier. I was going to go ahead and give it a shot but thought that someone else here has most likely already tried and knows if it's worthwhile.

I was thinking of using polycarbonate which strength wise should suffice. I guess the main issue is, if it would hold alignment well enough as the temperature shifts?
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Old 20-05-2019, 03:06 PM
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Good question. I'm keen to hear the answer too.

Peter
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Old 20-05-2019, 03:24 PM
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I think plastic is not good idea for adapter plate. Sytress sis simply too high for material like plastic (even polycarbonate)

Perhaps, asa proff of concept, yes, but ...

I would (and did) go strait to aluminium.
BTW, which mount you have in mind?
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Old 20-05-2019, 05:45 PM
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Bojan, my mount is an EQ6 and I do agree that plastic is not the best material. It certainly wasn't my first choice but I've just got my budget shed obsy up and running and was surprised by how many of the printed parts became final parts. All of which so far have held up better than expected in all sorts of weather conditions.

I guess that's where this crazy idea spurred from (me trying to push the envelope a little). Currently I'm using a timber placeholder as my adapter plate (which gets me by) until I have the time to design my own and get it machined.
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Old 20-05-2019, 06:01 PM
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Printed plastic will not be much better than wood... actually I think properly treated hardwood will be way better.
I saw some examples of using brake disks for that - it doesn't cost much and machining is minimal.
I also use 3D printer for a lots of stuff... but not where structural strength and stability is required (after all, what is the point in building a permanent pier when you have to adjust before every use?).
BTW, this is how I did it.

Last edited by bojan; 20-05-2019 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 20-05-2019, 07:09 PM
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That's a beautiful pier you have and I saw your Obsy plans too, looks great. I usually don't print structural parts either but I have been able to lately in some instances where loads are light but a fully loaded EQ6 isn't light.

I did have a look at the disc option a while back one's manufactured by Volkswagen off memory are best suited. They have a 65 mm inner diameter which is a perfect for the EQ6 but unfortunately their outer diameter doesn't work with my pier. I always planned to get something made up but was just curious if it could be done in plastic.

Here's a pic of how I'm managing for now.
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Old 21-05-2019, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostInSp_ce View Post
....
Here's a pic of how I'm managing for now.
It seems you have mount extension fixed on wooden base (mount itself is out of frame)? You want this wooden part printed?
Hardwood may cope OK with side-load (and bend) if oriented properly (like a pole), but plastic will definitelly not, especially if it is printed (it can delaminate if printing density is not 100%).
Long time ago I used high pressure 160mm PVC pipe as pier (wall thickness was 8mm), and it was sor of OK, but there was significant vibration (swinging) side-to-side.

In your case, I would use 3x or 6x reinforcement like this - even stronger if possible, fixed both on mount extender and your base.. even woodden corners might be OK.

Last edited by bojan; 21-05-2019 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 21-05-2019, 08:57 AM
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BTW, have a look at this project (there are more on thingiverse):
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3063800


No report on performance...
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Old 21-05-2019, 06:40 PM
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Yes I was thinking of printing only the section under the mount extender which would replace the timber. I wouldn't print the entire extension as this would not handle the lateral stress loads and like you said would delaminate or snap through one of the layers.

It looks like someone has already tried it from that thingiverse link. It's a shame there isn't anything in the description or comments going into greater detail about how its performed, but I guess if we're going by the photo it looks like it was a success.

I'm very tempted to give it a shot now. Maybe once I finish making all of the other bits and pieces for the obsy I'll come back to this and be a guinea pig for anyone else interested.
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Old 21-05-2019, 07:56 PM
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I would still advise you not to waste material.... and time.
Just reinforce what you already have and use it as is until you stumble on suitable piece of metal and them do it properly.
Or do it in concrete...
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Old 30-05-2019, 01:18 PM
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maybe printed in metal from shapeways. but I'm guessing it'll be a huge cost. I agree with bojan, just wait and sort it properly. One thing i've learnt from 3d printing is no matter the "what ifs" you account for something will fail in a surprising way. I find it useful to use toys as tests to give to small children, they'll find the weaknesses. plus its not a perfect or homogenous manufacturing process. trying to get a perfect fusion of material with 100% zero gaps or deviations is difficult and yes strong parts are possible. But. You gotta ask yourself. Do you feel lucky, Punk?
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Old 30-05-2019, 08:55 PM
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I know of a proprietary titanium manufacturing process which isn't cheap but is definitely capable, however I was asking from a DIY point of view which I understand isn't the best method. Depending on use/material I sometimes anneal my prints for added strength but in doing so I've never done anything in pure plastic that I would ever consider structural.

I was just curious to know if anyone had been able to pull it off. There's a thingiverse link Bojan posted showing a successful print but was it a successful component? Probably not, anyway I'm going steel (not printed), just don't know what type yet.

I managed draft a couple of rough concepts today for a new extension pillar. They both allow me to use the original adapter on top for connection to the mount.
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Old 31-05-2019, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostInSp_ce View Post
...
I managed draft a couple of rough concepts today for a new extension pillar. They both allow me to use the original adapter on top for connection to the mount.

Don't forget rebars at pier sides, they will significantly rise the mechanical resonance frequency of the pier-mount-telesope system.

I have 3+3 (they are just vertical 50x6mm steel bars welded at 60 around pier).
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Old 31-05-2019, 10:03 AM
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This image is of older version. later I added 3 more rebars (twice the height of those shown on below image).
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:13 PM
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Might be easier to keep an eye out at auctions for the base of an old drafting machine (typically a cast-iron column with generous proportions) or a stand for hospital medical gear.

Back in the 1980's I scored two superb piers for scopes this way. One had a motorised height adjustment with a 4" central stainless steel pipe, the other was on huge ball-bearing casters that allowed it to be wheeled around easily even with 200kg load on top.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:03 PM
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Thanks for the feedback and ideas. I was able to source an off cut of aluminium so now my design has changed to this. It's less work, cheaper and has a cleaner look with hidden fixings. Fingers crossed it's ready for the new moon.
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Old 20-08-2019, 05:26 PM
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Things took a little longer than I was hoping but I thought I’d share the finished adapter/pier extender. Now it’s time to move on to the next project.
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