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valentt

Best material for outdoor wifi mesh router?

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Hi,

we are building an open source wifi mesh router for crisis situations (MeshPoint), and we are still searching for ideal outdoor material to 3D print our cases.

What would you recommend? Our requirements are:

- no warping (because we have high walls, 10 and 20cm high parts)

- can stand desert and winder temperatures (-20°C / +60°C or -4F / 140F )

- price (because we use around 400g per device price or material is also really big concern)

- fast printing (we use 0.8 nozzle but still we need material that can handle fast prints)

- UV resistance is not an issue because paint can take care of that...

What would you recommend?

Thank you in advance for all your comments and your knowledge.

Edited by Guest

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I'd simply order a bunch of samples, print a few small boxes with those and test it. I don't think anyone went that far as to how well (printed) materials hold out by extreme temperatures.

I do know that PLA doesn't like cold, heat & UV, so you can pretty much scratch that of your list.

As for having to print to much; You might want to look into not printing the entire thing, but using sheet / plate material instead. That will always be cheaper, at the cost of having to do more assembly.

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Does ABS not cover these specifications?

Printed warp-free in a heated chamber?

 

I know bunch of people with 3D printer, and none have heated chamber... if you have heated hamber could you try one print run?

MeshPoint STL 3D files

Are there any printers with heated chambers that have around 25x25x25 build volume and full metal hotend?

Edited by Guest
proper ulr

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I would go with Colorfabb nGen, it can print pretty fast, it is quite easy to print, has reasonably high tg and should have pretty good low temperature resistance (according to the datasheet i retains about half of its impact strength at -40C).

http://colorfabb.com/files/AmphoraAM3300-TDS.pdf (nGen is basically a Amphora AM3300 filament)

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There is a material called ASA. It is basically ABS but with UV protection built it. It could save you from painting maybe. I have not used it yet though.

As for a heated chamber, I just put a front cover on my UM2 and put a box over the top. I have seen people use plastic table cloths or shower curtains to cover the top too. Or ever just cover the whole printer with the box that the UM2 came in. :) So, it is not too hard to set up a basic enclosed chamber for successful ABS printing.

For cheap and outdoor rugged, I cannot think of anything that fits better than ABS (or ASA maybe?). ... or wood planks nailed together! ;)

Anyway, just some thoughts. Hope it helps.

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Does ABS not cover these specifications?

Printed warp-free in a heated chamber?

 

I know bunch of people with 3D printer, and none have heated chamber... if you have heated hamber could you try one print run?

MeshPoint STL 3D files

Are there any printers with heated chambers that have around 25x25x25 build volume and full metal hotend?

 

I can give it a try when I get home tonight...

As mentioned in other posts here, a heated chamber dosn't need to be that fancy... The one I made for my UMO is made from acrylic sheets, cut to form to fit in the holes of the machine.

The UMO is open in both front, top and sides, the UM2 already has closed sides, making it easier to cover it up.

To begin with I wouldn't worry too much about the top. With a 100 degree heatbed I find that the build area gets nice and cozy-warm without me having enclosed the top.

Edited by Guest

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I would go with Colorfabb nGen, it can print pretty fast, it is quite easy to print, has reasonably high tg and should have pretty good low temperature resistance (according to the datasheet i retains about half of its impact strength at -40C).

http://colorfabb.com/files/AmphoraAM3300-TDS.pdf (nGen is basically a Amphora AM3300 filament)

 

I used nGen and in my UM2 with all metal E3D V6 it worked perfectly, but coleagues who have PTFE lined E3D V6 heads couldn't print with it :( So I'm looking for some a bit cheaper and universal material that works also with PTFE lined hotends.

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I used nGen and in my UM2 with all metal E3D V6 it worked perfectly, but coleagues who have PTFE lined E3D V6 heads couldn't print with it :(So I'm looking for some a bit cheaper and universal material that works also with PTFE lined hotends.

 

That sounds weird, Co-polyester based filaments usually does work very well with PTFE lined hotends, i do print a lot of nGen on my UM2+ for example.

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Does ABS not cover these specifications?

Printed warp-free in a heated chamber?

 

I know bunch of people with 3D printer, and none have heated chamber... if you have heated hamber could you try one print run?

MeshPoint STL 3D files

Are there any printers with heated chambers that have around 25x25x25 build volume and full metal hotend?

 

I can give it a try when I get home tonight...

As mentioned in other posts here, a heated chamber dosn't need to be that fancy... The one I made for my UMO is made from acrylic sheets, cut to form to fit in the holes of the machine.

The UMO is open in both front, top and sides, the UM2 already has closed sides, making it easier to cover it up.

To begin with I wouldn't worry too much about the top. With a 100 degree heatbed I find that the build area gets nice and cozy-warm without me having enclosed the top.

 

As a little update I tried printing the model you posted in ABS yesterday, and while the print itself went ok, the part delaminated as the printer cooled off, So I might do a little troubleshooting with that...

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Yesterday I printed a small piece with abs and with just a plastic covering the front area I got really nice abs print. Personally I don't like abs but it's quite easy to just cover the front side and get a nice and warm printing area.

Also there's a filament called ASA that's supposed to be made for outdoors (it's like abs but supposedly prints easier). I never tested it but if you google some reviews looks quite ok.

Edited by Guest
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As a little update I tried printing the model you posted in ABS yesterday, and while the print itself went ok, the part delaminated as the printer cooled off, So I might do a little troubleshooting with that...

I'm really interested to see images of your results. Maybe I didn't mention it before, but my UM2 has heated chamber.

I prined with plexy doors that close front openning and with heated bed at 80°C and if you missed the result here is it again:

https://goo.gl/photos/wabKy9RWgdZvbxis5

Please share your results, but I'm sceptical that ABS can handle this kind of object with high walls, even with heated chamber... but I have almost no experience with printing using ABS.

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thinking out of the box :)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Waterproof-Plastic-Electronic-Project-Box-Enclosure-Cover-CASE-158x90x60mm-New-/221894067588?hash=item33a9eac584:g:fHcAAOSwiLdWAnnN

why does is need to be 3dprinted? of the shelf is probably a lot cheaper ....

We used all kind of off the shelf enclosures, pipes, but it all sucks :) 3D printing your case is only way to get features you need/want in a device...

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As a little update I tried printing the model you posted in ABS yesterday, and while the print itself went ok, the part delaminated as the printer cooled off, So I might do a little troubleshooting with that...

 

I'm really interested to see images of your results. Maybe I didn't mention it before, but my UM2 has heated chamber.

I prined with plexy doors that close front openning and with heated bed at 80°C and if you missed the result here is it again:

https://goo.gl/photos/wabKy9RWgdZvbxis5

Please share your results, but I'm sceptical that ABS can handle this kind of object with high walls, even with heated chamber... but I have almost no experience with printing using ABS.

 

Apart from mine being printed in white ABS instead of Orange, my result looked almost identical to yours...

Delamination in the walls of an otherwise nice and warp-free print...

I printed the whole thing in a little over 2 hours with a 1.2 mm. nozzle in a E3D Vulcano hotend.

Have since switched back to a 0.4 mm.  for another project, but I have another thing for the 1.2 mm. coming up, and will try and give your model one more go when I switch back.

I got a suggestion from a 3D print group I'm in, to modify the end gcode to slowly turn down the bed heat over time, rather than instantly when the print finishes, so I will do that...

If you are interested in trying out the slow shutdown as well, have a look at the end of the gcode file when done slicing (you can open it in a regular text editor)

Down in the bottom you'll find a line saying:

"M140 0", which is the gcode to set the bed temperature to 0 degrees.

combining that with the dwell command "G4 Snnn" (where nnn is the time in seconds to wait), you can string those two up in series to gradually turn down the heat of the bed... eg.:

M140 70;

G4 S60;

M140 60;

G4 S60;

M140 50;

G4 S60;

M140 40;

G4 S60;

M140 30;

G4 S60;

M140 0;

This turns down the bed temperature in 10 degree intervals with 60 seconds between each interval, until we reach around room temperature at which time we shut the bed off.

Edited by Guest
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Does it need to be 3D-printed?

Another option might be to print a negative in 3D, thus a mould, carefully sand that so it has a perfect shape, and then use that to cast the models in any appropriate material? For example polyurethane? This comes in a lot of different qualities, from hard, to tough but still hard, to very flexible. If it needs to be stiffer, or reflective, you could add in filler particles, such as metal.

If you need a lot of copies, this might be the fastest way? In Youtube, search for: mould making and casting, to get an idea.

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