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View Full Version : 3-D scanners, 3-D printers, lightwave, moldmaking.



lesterfoster
06-16-2004, 06:23 AM
3-D scanners, 3-D printers, lightwave, moldmaking.

Hi everyone,

I make molds at work for making press tools. I’ve been doing them the old-fashioned way by hand and it takes me about a week or more to make the tools.
It is very time-consuming and requires an incredible amount of hand work.

Now with the new 3-D printers, I want to try and make them with my computer using lightwave, I feel I can do a mold a day with lightwave. So I am looking for someone that I can send a part to and scan it in for me. Then I want to make the mold with lightwave, and then send the file to someone who has a 3-D printer and print it out for me.

http://www.acornwelding.com/new/images/stampings.jpg
Hear is a photo of some stampings made from the tools that I made.

You can check out this web-site to see what I do for living, and the type of stuff I’m talking about-http://www.acornwelding.com/ -click on what’s new button.

I hope someone can put me in contact somebody with a 3D-scanner, and someone with a 3D-printer.

Thank you for your help. http://www.acornwelding.com/

PS: How do I upload a photo to the forums?

Skunk
06-16-2004, 04:10 PM
Hi,

I don't have a 3D printer (unfortunately) but i do know how to put an image on the Forum

If the image in on your computer only, then use Attach File (down below, just above Submit Reply).

It it is on the web (and this is useful, because you can put more than one on, and it can be wherever you want) you can use IMG (a button right below SIZE and above the Reply box). That gives you a pop-up box where you enter (or copy-paste) an http for it to get the image.

Enjoy,
and i hope someone out there has what you're looking for,
SKUNK

EDIT: I just took a look at your site. Good stuff, good stuff

pdrake
06-16-2004, 04:24 PM
there's a place in nocal that makes models from lw files. you can send them a file and they give you a quote. it looks quite reasonable.

http://www.3darttopart.com/index.php

starbase1
06-18-2004, 06:43 AM
Now that is a really cool link - the prices are MUCH lower than I expected. Not sure I have anything worth sending to them, but its an interesting hint of the future - after all this kind of technology can only get beter and cheaper!

Nick

Gordon
06-18-2004, 11:31 AM
A road block is still how to scan these aircraft parts and turn them into accurate 3D LW models. Oh and this needs to be inexpensive so that the whole process becomes cost effective.

So far the industry doesn't see the cost saving in spending 10's or 100's of thousands of dollars for 3D scanners and 3D printers. Lester has been looking for some time for solutions but anything that has been presented has been met with indifference (largely due to price). This is why Lester is looking at outsourcing the 3D scanning and 3D printing.

The thinking is that if using 3D scanning and 3D printing can be shown to make the company more profitable, then Lester's job position would change from mold making by hand to mold making by computer. Kind of a cool new way to do things, be more profitable at it and he would enjoy his job way more! :)

lesterfoster
07-05-2004, 03:54 AM
I have checked out the link that pdrake suggested. 3D Art to Part (http://www.3darttopart.com/index.php) I liked what I saw. So I showed it to my boss. He liked it and gave me the O.K. to try doing my mold making this way. I see that the size is limited to 8"x8"x10". I think that I need to make bigger molds than this. The other thing is this well be sent out for brass casting and that requires that the 3D print well be pressed in to sand and than removed so that they can fill the impression with brass. Is the 3D printout going to be able to withstand the pressure of being pressed into sand? How hard and strong are the 3D printouts?

The other thing that I am still looking for is 3D scanning. Has anyone gotten anything scanned into 3D for LightWAVE?
I found on the forums that some one had started a thread on 3d scanning. And he had made his own using a RadioShack pen laser. It looked quite good. But I can not fined this thread agene. Any one know what this thread is?
http://www.acornwelding.com/new/images/PRODUCT-PICTURE-FOR-WEB.jpg
And thank you <-pdrake-> for the link

javier_ntk
07-06-2004, 08:00 AM
LF, we've done some scanning of figurine maquettes (made of clay)
and brought those models into LW for texturing and rendering.
Here's some things to consider with regard to 3D scanned data:

1. the meshes are VERY dense and therefore you're not likely
to be able to do any manipulation within LW's modeler. Texturing
and rendering are about your only options for these dense meshes.
2. the meshes are all non-ordered triangle geometry and so you do
not have some of the benefits of the quad-poly toolset.
3. scanning can be very accurate input I've found, capturing even things
like putty knife scrapes along the clay models (talk about dense meshes!)
4. as far as I know, LW can work with typical file format output from these
scanners (like .obj, or .dxf files). The most common file type is the
stereolithography format, or .stl. There is a freebie plug-in somewhere
you may need first in order to use .stl files in LW.

Best of luck. Neat to see LW used in such a 'real world' capacity.
regards,
-Jav

lesterfoster
07-06-2004, 10:55 PM
Quote: from Skunk
__________________________________________________ _
If the image in on your computer only, then use Attach File (down below, just above Submit Reply).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I just tryed to put up a photo on to my message that is on my computer but I do not see it hear. It is a photo of the mold that I just make with lightwave.

What did I do wrong? I did not see any http: address and I see nothing that is telling me that there is an Attached File.

:(

lesterfoster
07-06-2004, 11:19 PM
C:\WINDOWS\Desktop\Movie1.gif


I just tryed to upload a photo from my computer and I still do not see it. I dont know what to do now

pauland
07-07-2004, 01:54 AM
For some reason, I've never managed to get a photo attached properly either. What does work is putting photos on a web server and linking to those.

Your photo reference C:\WINDOWS\Desktop\Movie1.gif refers to your local drive, so that is why we can't see it.

Paul

danilo
07-07-2004, 08:52 AM
If you go to Preview Reply,and reatach image,it works ( jpg from desktop).
danilo

lesterfoster
07-07-2004, 06:16 PM
This is a test to see it I could up load a photo:)

lesterfoster
07-07-2004, 06:21 PM
One more test to see if I could upload a file from my computer

Gordon
07-08-2004, 10:12 AM
Hi Lester;
Have you read the instructions at?:
Attaching A File (http://tinyurl.com/yrerq)
What I have done is to use the 'Browse' button to find the image on my hard drive and made sure that it was less than 5 MB in size. (Won't work if it is bigger than 5MB). I also followed Danilo's suggestion and 're-attached' using the 'browse' button after I hit Preview Reply.

To test this I've attached a Grass With Dew texture.

pauland
07-08-2004, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by lesterfoster
http://www.acornwelding.com/web/new/images/movie6.giff

One more test to see if I could upload a file from my computer

http://www.acornwelding.com/new/images/movie6.gif

These images don't exist on your web server, so they can't be displayed!

Paul

WizCraker
07-08-2004, 05:33 PM
3d Art to Part is for rapid prototyping. Are you going to be using these for actual use?

Gordon
07-09-2004, 10:23 AM
Lester was going to use them to make a sand mold for casting. They appear to be manifold parts so nothing really delicate nor easily broken but they would have to stand up the pressure of pushing them into the sand in order to make an impression.

I've been at Acron Welding and Lester has shown me the process. I think the procedure would go something like this:
1. 3D Scan the existing worn out part.
2. Bring into LightWave to patch holes, broken pieces and touch up. Split into two or more pieces (Bandsaw? or Knife? tool) in LW for making the molds.
3. Send pieces of the object as separate objects to 3D Art to Part to create the part in composite material for use in making the sand mold.
4. Make the sand impression(s).

If the composite material from the 3D print was ideal it would be far better would be to just make the mold out of composite instead of sand. I've read that they are able to make a 3D print similar to the hardness of a golf ball. I wonder how much heat the composite material can take?

5. Send the sand impressions for casting (I think they use brass first).
6. Fill the cast with molden metal to create the part.
7. Judging by the pictures, it looks like they still have to weld (and then grind/finish) the pieces together again.

I'm going to take an educated guess as to what is hoped to be accomplished by scanning and 3D printing is the following:
1. More accurate parts duplication.
2. Reduce time to manufacture and therefore ...
3. Reduce cost to manufacture.

Gordon
07-09-2004, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by javier_ntk
LF, we've done some scanning of figurine maquettes (made of clay)
and brought those models into LW for texturing and rendering.
... scanning can be very accurate input I've found, capturing even things like putty knife scrapes along the clay models (talk about dense meshes!)

Best of luck. Neat to see LW used in such a 'real world' capacity.
regards,
-Jav

What did you use to scan the fiqurines? (This is important.)

Accuracy is good. I would think that you can work with dense meshes somehow. Maybe a Dual or Quad Xeon (3.2 Ghz each) rig with 8GB of RAM?

lesterfoster
07-09-2004, 08:07 PM
Finely got my movie6.gif file up. I forgot the <-http://-> part of the link. Now it works!! As you see now.

This is a giff animation of a stamping tool of a half of an elbow.

The proses of making the press tool with lightwave.

Each stamping tool consists of 4 parts. Meaning at least (4) 3D print out's for each part. I would send the part to someone with a 3D scanner.

Than I would bring this file into lightwave's Modeler. I would put a box over half of the 3D scanned image. Then hit boolean-subtract. Now I have the female part of the tool.

Next I would add a box over the 3D scanned image and then hit boolean-add. Now I have the male part of the tool.

Repeat the same proses for the other half of the press tool part.

Next I would save the file.

Next step is to send the lw modeler file to some one like 3D Art to part (http://www.3darttopart.com/index.php) . For 3d printing. After receiving the (4) 3D print outs, send them to the brass casters so they can press the 3d print out's into sand. Than they would remove it from the sand and poor molten brass in to the sand impression. Now I have a stamping tool.

I think that I could make a stamping tool in less than 15 minutes with LightWave as apposed to between 5 to 10 day's by hand.

3D Art to part (http://www.3darttopart.com/index.php)

WizCraker
07-10-2004, 01:02 AM
Ah, Now I understand. That makes more sense now that you explained it.

lesterfoster
07-11-2004, 03:39 AM
Originally posted by Gordon

I'm going to take an educated guess as to what is hoped to be accomplished by 3D scanning and 3D printing is the following:
1. More accurate parts duplication.
2. Reduce time to manufacture and therefore ...
3. Reduce cost to manufacture.



Yes Gord:

This is what I hope to accomplish by using LightWAVE to make mold's with.


Plus I do not like the chemicals and all that dust. It is hard hand work and I am afraid of chopping off one or more of my fingers.

lesterfoster
07-11-2004, 04:12 AM
Originally posted by Gordon

If the composite material from the 3D print was ideal it would be far better would be to just make the mold out of composite instead of sand. I've read that they are able to make a 3D print similar to the hardness of a golf ball. I wonder how much heat the composite material can take?


This is very interesting, Thanks Gord.

It is something that I've been thinking about a lot. I think it may be possible to make steel or plastic castings from these 3-D printers..

If somebody was to make a inverted model, meaning a cavity, that they could fill that cavity with steel or plastic. Thus coming out with a steel or plastic object.

Gordon
07-21-2004, 10:18 AM
I wonder if you could fill the cavity with some sort of plaster or clay so that you could bake it in a kiln to create a really hard - high heat object that would withstand the casting process?

Anyone done real (not LightWave) object making (like pottery)?

pauland
07-21-2004, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by Gordon
I wonder if you could fill the cavity with some sort of plaster or clay so that you could bake it in a kiln to create a really hard - high heat object that would withstand the casting process?

I would imagine it wouldn't be accurate enough. The clay/plaster part would inevitably change size in the baking process making the mould less and less accurate.

Not that I know anything about any of this, of course.

Paul

lesterfoster
08-27-2004, 07:00 PM
LF, we've done some scanning of figurine maquettes (made of clay)
and brought those models into LW for texturing and rendering.
Here's some things to consider with regard to 3D scanned data:

1. the meshes are VERY dense and therefore you're not likely
to be able to do any manipulation within LW's modeler. Texturing
and rendering are about your only options for these dense meshes.
2. the meshes are all non-ordered triangle geometry and so you do
not have some of the benefits of the quad-poly toolset.
3. scanning can be very accurate input I've found, capturing even things
like putty knife scrapes along the clay models (talk about dense meshes!)
4. as far as I know, LW can work with typical file format output from these
scanners (like .obj, or .dxf files). The most common file type is the
stereolithography format, or .stl. There is a freebie plug-in somewhere
you may need first in order to use .stl files in LW.

Best of luck. Neat to see LW used in such a 'real world' capacity.
regards,
-Jav


Hi Jav.. Can you give me some more advice. I have been talking to my boss about the benefits of me using something like LightWAVE or some other program to make the molds, instead of me making them by hand.. He is just now starting to see the advantages.

Can you tell me who did your 3D scan, and how much did it cost?

I have found someone that is willing to do a 3D scan for me. But he wants something like $1200.00 per day. At that price, I only need to do something like just 6 scans to pay for my own.

As far as 3D printing, I have found 3 or 4 sources to print this stuff for me, and at a good price.

The thing that is holding me back is the 3D scanning process at a good price. ;)

lesterfoster
09-07-2004, 07:07 PM
Almost chopped off a finger today, thank goodness it was not my main mouse finger. I am still looking for help. Especially with the 3D scanning part of this process.