3D printing viability


#1

I apologize if this topic has come up before but, has anybody experimented with 3D printing the structural pieces of the PFC 2?

In the spirit of digitizing recipes and democratizing information, it seems like a well designed modular CAD model would solve a lot of issues with construction and portability. It would also help with rapid prototyping and be a solution for scalability, since you could add/edit new modules by simply printing them.

On the flip side, what kind of issues could this cause?


#2

I guess i will answer this, though i don’t know if it’s exactly the answer you were hoping for.

I’ve 3d printed a few items, but not from the PFC 2.0 specs. In fact i’ve only briefly glanced at the PFC 2.0 hardware and have not looked at it in much detail. Though i do like that it is in Solidworks format, so that would make it very easy for me to check out the CAD files and/or modify them if needed.

I did start a thread about my Food Cube though, which i hope to finish at some point (so many projects, so little time). But it is basically an alternative hardware frame i’m planning on first turning into a grow box, and then possibly adding the Food Computer electronics and sensors to turn it into a fully functional food computer system. Many of the parts for it use 3d printed connectors and corners.

You probably could 3d print some of the actual PFC 2.0 hardware i suppose, but the bigger the item the longer it takes to print, the more printing problems can arise, the more money it costs. The biggest issues i see are time and money. 3D printing large things can add up fast. But some in the 3d printing communities are trying to work on those. You are correct that well designed geometry can make 3d printing a viable tool for printing structures that might otherwise be more costly to mill out of a block of aluminum. But i would recommend to keep it to smaller structures in general.

I could certainly see it being used for holding structures like hose clamps, zip tie bases, small unique fixtures, etc.

-Just my two cents. Not sure if that helps or not.


#3

It does answer a lot of questions.

From a perspective of ease and cost do you think it’s possible make it work, or is commercial 3D printing just not reliable enough in its current form?


#4

@Bkirkland, Sorry i never replied to this. Got busy with school and stuff. Yeah i totally think 3D printing certain fixures is totally possible for a Food Computer. I hope i can help foster more 3D printed ideas in the future. Take a look at my “Food Cube” thread and watch for more updates on that. It will use many 3D printed structures.

-Andrew