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I have been working on this for a couple weeks.  It's a collapsible, customizable, self-contained, super light, 3D printed sluice box!  I know there are other folding sluice boxes, but none of them actually fit in a backpack, or are light enough to carry in one hand.  This solution would be EXTREMELY helpful!

I'm on my phone trying this, so when I get to my laptop, I'll write in a bit more.

 

 

So I'm currently in the CAD stage.  I have a guy that does 3D printing for me, and his machine is limited to 12"x12"x15" so I might have to shrink the size of the project down to fit, as I don't have access to, or can even afford, a larger 3D printer.

I have this up on Patreon to attempt to raise some funding to start getting prototypes printed, and boost this project towards the finish line!

This is my Patreon page:

https://www.patreon.com/M1dn1ghtN1nj4

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Not really a folding sluice.... more like a "recirculating sluice" setup with two sluices.   3 1/2" wide is really tiny.  Why so small?

Since there will be no recovery riffle/mats/screens, how do you propose a person hold their recovery setup to the bottom of the box?

Keep at it........get it right.

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26 minutes ago, LipCa said:

Not really a folding sluice.... more like a "recirculating sluice" setup with two sluices.   3 1/2" wide is really tiny.  Why so small?

Since there will be no recovery riffle/mats/screens, how do you propose a person hold their recovery setup to the bottom of the box?

Keep at it........get it right.

The user can use whatever mat they want.  I'll make little tabs on the side that will hold the mat down.  This is meant to be hand fed, after you've classified your material.

 

The reason for the size is three fold.  1, it'll fit into a backpack.  2, it costs less to make.  3, the only printer I have access to has a limited print area.

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Any feedback?  I'm looking at a 3D printer for $150, but of course, you get what you pay for.  I could probably make the sluice slides 6" wide.  I don't want to go TOO wide, or the whole thing becomes larger than it needs to be.  Plus, the bigger it is, the more it will cost the buyer, and I'm trying to keep the cost down.

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My thought that 1/4" thick plastic is heavier and, maybe more expensive than aluminum?  Have you compared weight and cost? Aluminum is a lot thinner.

Once you have classified your material, you can pan it down in just a few minutes.  A pan is a lot lighter than a recirculating sluice.... You still have to pan it after it goes through your setup.

Have you considered that?

Sorry if my comments seem towards the negative side.   But, you need to think about all aspects.

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2 hours ago, LipCa said:

My thought that 1/4" thick plastic is heavier and, maybe more expensive than aluminum?  Have you compared weight and cost? Aluminum is a lot thinner.

Once you have classified your material, you can pan it down in just a few minutes.  A pan is a lot lighter than a recirculating sluice.... You still have to pan it after it goes through your setup.

Have you considered that?

Sorry if my comments seem towards the negative side.   But, you need to think about all aspects.

I'll take all constructive criticism. 😎

 

This will take trowels full of dirt, and separate black sand and gold from the rest of the larger and lighter materials.  It just won't take boulders the size of your fist.  lol

 

I COULD design it to handle even larger material.  But this is meant as a second stage kind of thing.  It was never designed to have shovels full of dirt just crammed into it.

 

Basically, classify your dirt first, using at least 1/4" mesh.  Everything smaller than that can be fed into this sluice.  Classifying only takes a few seconds, so it's not really a burden.

 

I thought about making an aluminum version, but if I were to sell them publicly, I MIGHT be able to make one a week.  Not even a halfway decent return for the amount of time it would take.

 

But 3D printing it would allow me to make drop-in upgrades, digitally design upgrades, etc.

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My misunderstanding.....   I thought that being so small (3.5"), you were classifying your concentrates.

"This will take trowels full of dirt, and separate black sand and gold from the rest of the larger and lighter materials."  This is assuming that someone installs the correct recovery system.

My thought is that you should design the recovery system(s) also.  Seems incomplete without it.

"Classifying only takes a few seconds, so it's not really a burden".    That would be assuming that you have a classifier(and sprayer if material is wet) attached to the sluice to spoon feed one scoop at a time.    Classifying is time consuming and a burden.  I've classified many cubic yards of material to "scoop feed" a Gold Cube.   

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I print using PLA, so the end result is actually much lighter than aluminum.  Plus, it's not technically "solid" plastic.  Where it would be 1/4" thick, I add in some internal ribbing to make it stronger, while using less material because of the air space.

I COULD add in a classification system but remember, this will never be designed to run massive cubic yards of dirt through.  You want that, you'll have to stick to the man-size metal systems.  This is for trowel feeding, sort of like a blue bowl, spiral wheel, or something like that.  I just don't have the time or resources to make this out of metal, wood, or anything else.  I'm poor (my job is about to disappear when my company gets absorbed by another, in a couple weeks).

I think at this point that I'm just going to build one for myself, and call it quits.  As many parts and small details as are in this, it would take ages to make just one from metal.  It wouldn't be feasible to make it a public item.  Yes, it's expensive using PLA (sort of), and I can't justify making this thing any more expensive than it will already be.  I can't keep making it bigger and bigger to accept baseball size rocks to be fed into it.  It's just PLA, not aluminum.  This was never designed as a competitor to the 4' tall, Gold Hog setups or anything that you just throw in shovel fulls of dirt.  It's meant to go through stuff like this:  maxresdefault.jpg

Not trying to be negative here.  This is why I came to a forum first, before I spent any money on a physical model.  If it didn't pan out (haha, nice pun), then I'd abandon it.  It's very possible that this is just another one of my failed ideas.  It happens.  Suck it up (another stupid pun.  lol) and move on. 😄

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Just now, Sourdoughmoe said:

id buy it if it could fit in a backpack bring it into those stealthy areas 

That's the idea.  In addition to the video, what features would you like to see added to it?  Remember, I don't know what the final cost will be yet.  Material is the biggest factor.  Then there is the pump, battery, hose, mats, etc.

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