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thomasbennett

Printed Laptop Keys

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Posted · Printed Laptop Keys

Good morning Everyone, 

 

First, if this is posted in the wrong area; I do apologize, Mod / Admin please move to the correct location. Thank you. 

 

We have a need to print out replacement laptop keys and the laptop key hinges / scissor jack for our HP Stream 11 Pro G1 - G4 laptops. This project has been created to fulfill that need and I have several students working on modeling now in www.tinkercad.com. We have an Ultimaker 3 Extended; this is going to be some very fine work are there any suggestions on any settings that I should be using in Cura 3.5? 

 

Would any of you suggest this type of project for this printer? Currently we are able to get it to print out a blank key; but for some reason the edge / lip around the key won't print. Please let me know if I should attach some of our test .stl files and thank you for your time. 

 

By the way, happy Friday. 

 

 

 

 

Thomas

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Posted · Printed Laptop Keys

I would say that printing laptop keys is very ambitious. The required details, flexibility and strength will be very hard to achieve with FFF printers. If this is a first project with 3d printing, I would highly suggest starting out with something simpler.

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Posted · Printed Laptop Keys
7 hours ago, ahoeben said:

I would say that printing laptop keys is very ambitious. The required details, flexibility and strength will be very hard to achieve with FFF printers. If this is a first project with 3d printing, I would highly suggest starting out with something simpler.

 

Good morning ahoeben, 

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

 

Thomas

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Posted · Printed Laptop Keys

As always for fine details: print slow and cool.

 

I don't know how laptop keys look from the underside. But consider creating a different design than the original, to eliminate weaknesses and thin areas.


Maybe that is why parts wouldn't print: too thin? You should look in Cura layer view if they are shown any different from Cura normal view.

 

Also, find a material that is tough enough if there are fine parts. PLA is likely to break instead of flexing.

 

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Posted · Printed Laptop Keys
On 10/16/2018 at 5:44 AM, geert_2 said:

As always for fine details: print slow and cool.

 

I don't know how laptop keys look from the underside. But consider creating a different design than the original, to eliminate weaknesses and thin areas.


Maybe that is why parts wouldn't print: too thin? You should look in Cura layer view if they are shown any different from Cura normal view.

 

Also, find a material that is tough enough if there are fine parts. PLA is likely to break instead of flexing.

 

 

Good evening geert_2,

 

Thank you, I will take a look at those settings and take a look at the Cura layer view. 

 

Thank you again for your time, 

 

 

 

 

Thomas

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Posted · Printed Laptop Keys

Good morning Everyone, 

 

After many different models and settings; myself and my class were not able to reproduce such small pieces successfully. Thank you so much for all of your time, experience, and suggestions. 

 

Wanted to bring closure to this post.

 

Thank you again and have a great Thursday,

 

 

 

 

Thomas

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Posted · Printed Laptop Keys

Thanks for taking the time to wrap up this forum thread! If you get the chance, maybe you can reach your goal with an SLA print - but even then, the small details will be challenging, and also temperature resistance vs. toughness will be a trade-off you have to make with SLA.

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Posted · Printed Laptop Keys

Before we had bought our UM2 printers, I had a couple of testmodels made on an industrial Objet 3D-printer of my collegues (60000 euro printer if I remember well). This is one that sprays liquid just like an inkjet printer, and then it is cured by an UV-lamp.

 

These UV-cured models had a bit finer details than I can achieve with a 0.4mm nozzle on my UM2, but they are weak: very brittle, and they deform really quickly under continuous loads, even gentle loads.

 

Today there are cheap machines on the market with far higher details, and also UV-cured resin, from 500 to 1000 euro on I think. But if you would consider such technology, first have a couple of tests printed to see how strong and durable it is.

 

An alternative: make a silicone mould, and cast the keys in a touch polyurethane. This is probably going to be way stronger. Mould-making and casting is very educational too: it shows all the basics that occur in injection moulding too: undercuts, shrinking while curing, deformations, parting lines, unaccessible areas, draft, adding pigments,... So you can have the students do it. If you use fast curing silicones and PU, it can be done in a lesson.

 

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Posted · Printed Laptop Keys

The suggestion with mold making is a very good one, I think :)

 

As for detailed 3D prints, with SLA you can get way better detail (especially with very small features/prints) than with a 0.4mm nozzle. Of course, SLA has its own set of challenges, from resin handling to support structures, from temperature resistance to high initial and ongoing costs.

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