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2 hours ago, phrunt said:

I have very little faith in 3D printed parts but perhaps its just the type of plastic the parts I've tried have been made with.  I know very little about 3D printing except stuff made using it is generally weak based off what I've experienced.

Can't comment to this specific parts durability, but I can say from many years of experience with 3D Printing that like any other manufacturing technique parts can be both well made, or poorly made.

3D Printing has specific design considerations that are often not taken into consideration due to the hype, and ease of access of the technology these days. As a result I agree it is common you find weak or brittle parts.

The first consideration, is the printer itself. FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling, sometimes also called FFF or Fused Filament Fabrication) is the most common as it's cheap and easily accessible in a hobbyist grade machine. But it has very different properties than for example SLA (Stereolithography) or SLS (Selective Laser Sintering).

With an FDM print, the parts are weak along the laminated layer interface. Essentially the print has a "grain" much like wood. If you design the part where mechanical strength is required against that grain, the part will be weak (much like if you turned long thin wooden shaft against a wood grain, it would be extremely prone to breaking, but if the length of the staff goes with the grain, it can be extremely strong). So design of the part to take advantage of the medium is crucial

Finally, choice of material is important. Different plastics (even with an FDM machine there is a wide variety) have VERY different properties. While PLA (one of the most commonly used materials by hobbyists) is cheap and easily accessible, and is the easiest to print with, it has very particular properties including:

  1. It is very "Hard", which also means very Brittle
  2. It has a very high tensile strength, but poor elasticity, again brittle, and unable to handle shock
  3. It has almost no UV resistance (breaks down quickly under UV exposure)
  4. It is Hygroscopic, meaning it will absorb moisture from the atmosphere, when it becomes "wet" it becomes even MORE brittle

But printing with a more suitable engineering type plastic, including ABS or PETG will give a much tougher part, which has some give/bend, and can take some impact. Or for example, you could even print in Polycarbonate if your printer can handle it (I print mechanical parts in Polycarb when it's appropriate, as it's the strongest/toughest material I can reliably print on my printer, but it's also difficult to print with, and more expensive).

Printed parts can be very practical, and mechanically strong in useful real-world scenarios, but unfortunately that is usually the result of good design, from good experience, with quality materials on a good machine.

From what I can tell in the photos, the "grain" in this part appears to run the right way, so it would depend what it was made with, how much abuse it could take 🙂

Edited by Glasswalker
Slight clarification
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Nice job, can your printer handle the new carbon/nylon filament? I'm sure that will hold up fine though.

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Sorry but I do not see the advantage of a 3D printing armrest vs the stock one. I have no problem with the stock Vanquish armrest which I find tough enough , just my opinion ...

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7 hours ago, palzynski said:

Sorry but I do not see the advantage of a 3D printing armrest vs the stock one. I have no problem with the stock Vanquish armrest which I find tough enough , just my opinion ...

I have been thinking about change the cuff on my Kruzer, find it a little tight and with winter hunts and a puffy jacket on it's a little too snug.

3d printed cuffs is a great solution for custom cuffs where people can order the size they want and there is no need to carry inventory.

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