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Howdy Y'all, I am trying to to use Cura slicer for WAAM. To say I have hit some hurdles would be an understatement. The first technical challenge I have ran into is overlap setting. For successful laying of welds there has to be a relatively large overlay between beads. I have looked through Cura and can not find any settings that specifically allow me to dictate the overlap between skin and walls. I also am not sure if Cura is capable of calling a weld start or stop opposed to retraction and extrude. I am not super code savvy and do not have the ability to personally modify Cura. Has anyone had luck with Cura for WAAM?
In the manufacturing process for tape we make a shaft is aired up to 90 psi to expand the shaft. This allows the spools of product to slide off when the air is released. We have been using store bought air gun nozzles (Picture 1 circled in red). We are burning through these every 2-3 days per machine, multiplied by 4-5 machines running 24/7 at $3.50 a piece it adds up. I was tasked with 3-d printing a replacement that was cheaper and lasted longer. I started with just ABS (pictures next to store bought). I realized that ABS won't seal the shaft and therefore won't inflate the shaft. I bought some Black UM TPU 95A to make a flexible tip to seal. I used White ABS on the bottom and made some "zig zags" to transition from ABS to TPU. I originally had a cone with a hole in it to make up the nozzle (#1). This was way to stiff to seal. I then made a hollow cone with a wall thickness of 0.03 inches (#2). This provided a lot more flexibility but the "Z" (up) direction was still really stiff. The "Z" is the part that needs to seal and it would be nice if it was softer. The design may need to be changed to achieve this. The issue with my first and second successful print was there was a under-extruded part 1/3 of the way up which when pushed side to side it expanded and looks to leak or fail there and did when I pushed to hard on #1. I then changed the flow settings to 130% instead of 106% (#3). I also changed the retraction to 20-30 mm?? because the TPU was leaking out and caused blobs and possibly some "under-extrusion" layers where material wouldn't stick on #1 and #2. This provided a smooth finish and no under-extrusion but is very stiff and may not seal. I am waiting for them to go on the machines but need to find some time when we are less busy in case they fail fast. I thought it would be helpful to document this process and also ask for help with making a flexible air tight part. I am cutting 1/8" NPT threads into the ABS. Some parts I have yet to cut the threads in yet.