Plenty of spare time - just get a 3D printer!!
#1
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My daughter told me I didn't have any spare time for a 3D printer.
I knew she was right but that didn't stop me letting the family buy me a Creality Ender3 Pro for a Christmas present. After all - the joy is in the giving ;)

Pretty happy with it so far. Cost around AUD$360 delivered with a roll of Creality PLA filament.
It was already partially assembled, so only took me half a day (with zero prior 3d printing knowledge) to assemble, calibrate and then successfully print a couple of test parts from Thingiverse.
To my inexperienced eye it prints quite nicely "out of the box" - and my daughter who has an older delta style printer was pretty impressed (and slightly jealous).
That was the easy bit.
One of the main attractions for me was the whole CAM thing. Model what you want and have a machine spit it out.

And so we dive into the rabbit hole of CAD programs.
Fusion360 and I just didn't see eye to eye. A friend uses Solidworks for his business and gave me a quick bounce through that which seemed to be very logical, but not an option from a cost perspective.
After investing a few hours I'm making some reasonable progress with FreeCAD. Its starting to make sense  and I had a milestone last night when I modeled and successfully printed this lathe change gear:

   

Thanks for reading!!

Steve
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#2
Don't give up on Fusion 360. It is a full featured professional CAD/CAM system. Took me a few months to be  able to design my own stuff with it.
Lots of great tutorials on Youtube. I highly recommend the series by Lars Christensen, and Paul McWhorter for starters, and Product Design Online also.
I have drawn and printed several lathe change gears with Fusion. Currently working on Drone/Quadcopter designs.
Micromark 7x14 Lathe, X2 Mill , old Green 4x6 bandsaw
The difficult takes me a while, the impossible takes a little longer.
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#3
I'm sure I'll end up going back to look at Fusion360 again, and hopefully will make more sense once I've got a few concepts already in my head.

How do the change gears hold up to actual use?

Steve
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#4
(02-04-2020, 09:50 PM)SteveG Wrote: I'm sure I'll end up going back to look at Fusion360 again, and hopefully will make more sense once I've got a few concepts already in my head.

How do the change gears hold up to actual use?

Steve

The change gears I made have performed as asked, though I haven't used the a lot. I also used Fusion 360 to design and print a custom banjo for fine feed. The fine feed banjo holds dedicated gears. I think the gears are 20t and 90t.
Micromark 7x14 Lathe, X2 Mill , old Green 4x6 bandsaw
The difficult takes me a while, the impossible takes a little longer.
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#5
A PLA gear probably won't hold up that well. ABS, on the other hand, should. PLA is somewhat soft and doesn't do well with any heat. The weather is still probably pretty warm there, put that gear on the dash of your car in the sun, you'll see what I mean.
Logan 200, Clarke 7x12, Index 40H Mill, Boyer-Shultz 612 Surface Grinder, HF 4x6 Bandsaw, ...
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#6
(02-06-2020, 12:06 AM)Vinny Wrote: A PLA gear probably won't hold up that well.  ABS, on the other hand, should.   PLA is somewhat soft and doesn't do well with any heat.   The weather is still probably pretty warm there, put that gear on the dash of your car in the sun, you'll see what I mean.

Thanks Vinny. Yeah, definitely not the ideal material. I think I need to get myself around the concepts with PLA first before I venture into the more tricky materials.
Still hot here for sure. We had mid 40's © one day last week (~110F) and I know the car gets around twice as hot. I've measured surface temps in direct sunlight around 85degC (185F) in the past. I won't be printing any custom dashboard parts with PLA !!!

I probably won't end up using that particular gear anyway one, but it was a good test of the whole "idea to item" development - and to see how it came out dimensionally.
Its a fraction too tight to slide onto the shaft on the lathe. Probably just needs a bit of clearance built into the bore dimension for printing, or a quick pass with a suitable reamer.

What I might end up doing is printing a larger gear for temporary use. I'd think the PLA would be fine for a few uses.
I've got a bit of chicken and egg scenario going on - I've previously set up on the mill to cut some real change gears out of mild steel blanks, but got caught out when I went to do the last couple of larger ones, as the arbor I've got doesn't allow the work to clear the head on the mill. I need to make a longer arbor.

There's a bit of work in making one with the special taper to suit the Van Norman mill, so I'd really like to have the larger gears (either 120 or 126 tooth IIRC) to be able to cut an appropriate "standard" thread on the arbor. Yes I could bodge it up somehow with what I've got, but that grates with me...
A PLA gear should do that once off job I think.

Steve
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#7
ALL printed parts need holes drilled/reamed out. We use a lot of printed parts on our FIRST team's robot build, and I have yet to find one that fits the shaft/pin/screw without some sort of secondary operation.
Full of ideas, but slow to produce parts
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