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Brian Leavitt
01-10-2017, 1:28 PM
Anyone here 3D print fixtures and/or clamps for engraving? I'm thinking about printing some similar to the attached image because most of mine are pretty jacked up and I'm too cheap to buy new ones. I'm wondering if there may already be some .stl files out there for such things. I can't find any. I can draw them if I need to - just trying to avoid it.

Kev Williams
01-10-2017, 2:50 PM
funny, I'm using those exact fixtures to hold watches I'm engraving right now. 3D printing them sounds like an actual good job for a 3D printer considering what they cost. I only wish they actually held watches decent. ;)

Sorry, no blueprint designs to offer up...

Mike Null
01-10-2017, 5:11 PM
I'd make them with the laser using 3 layers of 1/8" inch acrylic and solvent cement.

Brian Leavitt
01-10-2017, 6:03 PM
Well I just went ahead and drew something up. I'm going to make them for different sized objects that we do often. This one is for 2" discs. I'll do another one for 3" medallions and 1.75" coins. Should be easier than the beat up old clamps we've been using.

Jason Hilton
01-10-2017, 11:20 PM
I just got a Form2 3d printer, I'll have to try making some jigs.

Gary Hair
01-11-2017, 9:20 AM
I just got a Form2 3d printer, I'll have to try making some jigs.

Should have bought a Glowforge, apparently they do 3D...

Jason Hilton
01-11-2017, 10:10 AM
Should have bought a Glowforge, apparently they do 3D...


LOL I used the money from my Glowforge refund to buy the 3d printer :)

Doug Griffith
01-11-2017, 10:20 AM
I agree with Mike. Anything 2 1/2D (stacked 2D profiles) can be made 100 times faster using a laser.

Brian Leavitt
01-11-2017, 10:28 AM
I agree with Mike. Anything 2 1/2D (stacked 2D profiles) can be made 100 times faster using a laser.
It might be faster overall, but with the printer, I can get ten of them printing at once and walk away. When I return, they are ready to use - no assembly required.

I'm happy to say I actually got it right on the first print. Got my tester printed and it fits nice. Now I have to print off a few more.

Bill George
01-11-2017, 10:40 AM
I used my 3D printer to make cones for my rotary for my fiber laser. Someday I will post a picture of the completed project.

Brian Leavitt
01-11-2017, 10:51 AM
I used my 3D printer to make cones for my rotary for my fiber laser. Someday I will post a picture of the completed project.
That is another project I want to undertake. With the Universal rotary, I can't mount anything with a base larger than 3.125" so I want to make larger cone and cup adapters for it.

Mike Null
01-11-2017, 1:25 PM
Brian

Nice work. How much pressure do you think that material can handle?

Brian Leavitt
01-11-2017, 1:55 PM
How much pressure do you think that material can handle?
I don't know, but I don't think I could hurt it at all with what I do here. I know I couldn't hurt it by cranking down on a medallion in the center vice. I cranked down on a 2" brass disc and it just bent the disc in half with no harm to the plastic piece. Also - despite my best efforts, I have not been able to break it by hand. I kind of want to break it, just to see how much effort it would take.

I created a couple more and labeled them. They'll probably all be different colors as well. It's going to make life easier here, for sure.

Matt McCoy
01-11-2017, 2:14 PM
I don't know, but I don't think I could hurt it at all with what I do here. I know I couldn't hurt it by cranking down on a medallion in the center vice. I cranked down on a 2" brass disc and it just bent the disc in half with no harm to the plastic piece. Also - despite my best efforts, I have not been able to break it by hand. I kind of want to break it, just to see how much effort it would take.

I created a couple more and labeled them. They'll probably all be different colors as well. It's going to make life easier here, for sure.

Very cool. If it's ABS with a good infill, it should be pretty durable. Did you reproduce by scanning the existing fixture and then model?

Mike Null
01-11-2017, 2:20 PM
Good news that they appear to be durable. Given the excessive prices Gravograph and others charge for those things, you may have just found a nice little business.

I use mine frequently and usually have to jerry rig something to adjust to the various small items I engrave. I do gold and silver medallions and they are so thin that unless I elevate them in the holder, I can't engrave the full surface. I also cut a notch through the jig to allow the jump ring to center.

Brian Leavitt
01-11-2017, 5:36 PM
Did you reproduce by scanning the existing fixture and then model?
I just took some measurements off the original and drew it up in Corel. Then I "3D-ized" it with FreeCAD. I didn't want it exactly the same as the original. I needed it to hug a 2" disc better, which my version does.

Brian Leavitt
01-11-2017, 5:40 PM
Good news that they appear to be durable. Given the excessive prices Gravograph and others charge for those things, you may have just found a nice little business.

I use mine frequently and usually have to jerry rig something to adjust to the various small items I engrave. I do gold and silver medallions and they are so thin that unless I elevate them in the holder, I can't engrave the full surface. I also cut a notch through the jig to allow the jump ring to center.
The prices on these things are ridiculous.
I'm probably going to make several more versions for various things. Now that the basic design is done, making different edge sizes and patterns is a breeze.

Tony Lenkic
01-11-2017, 7:06 PM
Great work Brian,

What is the max size of the part you can produce with your 3D printer?

Rich Harman
01-11-2017, 7:26 PM
Very cool. If it's ABS with a good infill, it should be pretty durable.

I used to prefer ABS over PLA but now it really depends upon the item I'm making. PLA is very strong, the interlayer bonding is generally better than ABS. PLA is also significantly stiffer than ABS. PLA is also waterproof and does not crack when making large parts like ABS is prone to.

The downside of PLA is that it is not good for parts that will be outdoors (exposed to UV) or parts that will be subjected to high heat. PLA will soften and deform at a lower temperature than ABS. When it comes to just durability though, I think PLA has the edge.

Bill George
01-11-2017, 7:39 PM
PETG is the way to go, all the strength of ABS none of the absorbing moisture problems or print layer separation issues. I think I have about 6 rolls of PETG and maybe one of ABS left on hand. Switched over a year ago.

Matt McCoy
01-11-2017, 7:49 PM
I used to prefer ABS over PLA but now it really depends upon the item I'm making. PLA is very strong, the interlayer bonding is generally better than ABS. PLA is also significantly stiffer than ABS. PLA is also waterproof and does not crack when making large parts like ABS is prone to.

The downside of PLA is that it is not good for parts that will be outdoors (exposed to UV) or parts that will be subjected to high heat. PLA will soften and deform at a lower temperature than ABS. When it comes to just durability though, I think PLA has the edge.


PETG is the way to go, all the strength of ABS none of the absorbing moisture problems or print layer separation issues. I think I have about 6 rolls of PETG and maybe one of ABS left on hand. Switched over a year ago.

Thanks guys.

Brian Leavitt
01-11-2017, 8:54 PM
Great work Brian,

What is the max size of the part you can produce with your 3D printer?
Thanks, Tony. The largest I can print is 220 x 220 x 240. This is in millimeters, of course.

Brian Leavitt
01-11-2017, 9:03 PM
I've printed nothing but PLA to this point. I want to do PETG, but I think I need to upgrade to an all metal hot end for that. I want to try nylon out as well.

Bill George
01-12-2017, 9:58 AM
I've printed nothing but PLA to this point. I want to do PETG, but I think I need to upgrade to an all metal hot end for that. I want to try nylon out as well.

If you do ABS you can do PETG. About 245 C on the extruder and heated bed a little cooler than ABS at 70-80 C and I get most of my filament off Amazon.

Brian Leavitt
01-12-2017, 10:38 PM
That's good to know, thanks. I can do ABS no problem.

Steven Taitinger
02-17-2017, 2:28 PM
You guys might want to consider OnShape for 3D design. It is free for public documents and is pretty quick to pick up. I tried to use Freecad but gave up because of the state of its sketching mode.

David Somers
02-17-2017, 3:48 PM
Brian, Would you be willing to share the make and model of your 3D printer? Assuming it isn't Glowforge of course!

BTW....I have turned my Brother Inkjet Printer into a 3D printer by first printing on a flat sheet of paper, and then using Origami to come up with the 3D side of the equation!! Brilliant if I do say so myself!!!! Watch for it in the trades......its gonna be Yuge!!!!

John Lifer
02-17-2017, 6:04 PM
HA! I've turned my Laser into a 3D Printer, can you top that? :cool:

Actually, pretty simple to take a 3D stl file and using 123D make, slice into your material thickness and export into dxf in order to laser it up.

Brian Leavitt
02-19-2017, 5:24 PM
Brian, Would you be willing to share the make and model of your 3D printer? Assuming it isn't Glowforge of course!
No Glowforge for me!

My printer is an Anet A8. I've done some upgrades to it and it actually prints quite well - as good or better than prints I've seen come off much more expensive machines. I'm just getting started with PETG filament. I typically print PLA, though. PETG is a different animal, I'm finding out. I've been able to get decent prints with it, but I need to do something about heat bed adhesion because the PETG does not seem to like the blue painters tape I've been using.

Brian Leavitt
02-19-2017, 5:26 PM
Actually, pretty simple to take a 3D stl file and using 123D make, slice into your material thickness and export into dxf in order to laser it up.
I did a skull out of engraving plastic using this method, a while back. It was pretty neat. I just heard that 123D Make is going away, though.