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Is it actually feasible to design part that will last 5+ years when exposed to outdoor conditions ? Which material ?


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Posted · Is it actually feasible to design part that will last 5+ years when exposed to outdoor conditions ? Which material ?

Hey there,

 

So i'm wondering if it's actually possible to get 3d prints that would last for 5+ years with, let's say, 75% of its initial specs, when exposed to outdoor condition ?

 

If so, which material ? Please do elaborate regarding humidity / UV / thermal condition if you have some knowledges / experiences about it.

 

I can be expensive materials, using expensive 3d printers (up to 25k$ let's say) of any tech currently available, be it filament, powder, etc. But the priority would be for desktop FDM printers, i'm really struggling to find comprehensive information about it, apart from the very basic "PLA / PETG / blabla will degrade when exposed to UV and Humidity or excessive temperature". There is maybe some not so common filament that actually are pretty resilient. Maybe even for our UMS5 ? 😉

 

What about PEAK on a dedicated printer ? Does it better handle outdoor condition fairly well ? Do you have other material in mind ?

 

The context is the following : being able to print parts and components to equip our products (I can't really say more, but exposed to outdoor condition 😛) just like we would do with

plastic injection mold, on elements that are not really constrained mechanically speaking, simple ones (and other not that simple, geometry wise), they would just need to handle the environmental condition during years. Maybe it's something that won't exist yet but I can't find proper data about it.

 

Thank you in advance !

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    Posted · Is it actually feasible to design part that will last 5+ years when exposed to outdoor conditions ? Which material ?

    What plastic would you use with injection molding? Perhaps that material is available for 3d printing as well.

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    Posted · Is it actually feasible to design part that will last 5+ years when exposed to outdoor conditions ? Which material ?

    The thing is, FFF will add a major modification to the state of the material. Layers construction will affect a lot the ability to withstand humidity, water / air sealing, structural resilience, etc. Material Data Sheet is not a big help here, and I can't find proper studies / experiences / feedback of people using FFF for End-Part able to will 5+ years in harsh environment (no under direct rain or sunlight, though, for most). Except some guys who used FFF basic material for garden decoration, which is a good start actually, while not very promising.

     

    I keep thinking that most components could really be printed with some well chosen filament, be they classic one (PETG, ASA, etc.) but I can't find use-case / paper about them being exposed for year in outdoor conditions.

     

    BTW, if SLA / SLS with proper cheap-ish (not metal haha) unlock this ability, that's interesting too, and I have a bit more insight since there is way more professional use about them than FFF. Thing is, it needs to be cheaper than conventional manufacturing for small (50-100) batches.

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    Posted · Is it actually feasible to design part that will last 5+ years when exposed to outdoor conditions ? Which material ?

    @rooiejoris, how are your planters that look like your children doing? It must have been more than 5 years ago that I saw them, and I think they were already >5 year old prints then.

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    Posted · Is it actually feasible to design part that will last 5+ years when exposed to outdoor conditions ? Which material ?

    I don't see that much difference after many years with regular PLA, but they get more dirty. In theory ASA should be better outdoor, but there is hardly mechanical properties needed for the statues and planters.

     

    On the other hand, if it is easy to change the part, it should be worth a try and replace when needed. You than at least buy some time to find a better solution, or maybe you find out that this is a good solution.

    A bit more difficult when you 'sell' the product since you must communicate that this is a beta test for outdoor 3d printing. But most (all!?) of my projects include this kind of expectation management.

     

    cheers / joris

     

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    Posted (edited) · Is it actually feasible to design part that will last 5+ years when exposed to outdoor conditions ? Which material ?

    The first design project I used my UM2 for was a replacement outside swimming pool skimmer flap so exposed to sun wate and pool chemical's, after five years I chose to reprint and replace mainly because of alge build-up inside the print (in the spaces made because of infil during printing).

     

    The material I used is just normal PLA

     

    good luck with your choice of materials

     

    S

    Edited by stu_le_brew
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    Posted · Is it actually feasible to design part that will last 5+ years when exposed to outdoor conditions ? Which material ?

    Thanks to both of you !

     

    I guess we'll have to try for ourselves as conditions might vary a lot. I hope a 1 year duration use of printed parts would reward us with enough knowledges without the need to wait even more haha ! Your answers are at least a good start that this is not instantly impossible.

     

    Now let's find out with more mechanical end-part 😄

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