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John_Hughes

Shapeways steel - any advice on shrinkage?

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Shapeways warn against using their steel material for finger-rings as the production system may (will?) result in unpredictable shrinkage of the final item.

 

Has anyone experienced this? I'm considering having some 4mm coupling rods 3D printed, and steel would be the obvious material to use, but dimensional stability is clearly vital. Brass would also work, and wouldn't have that difficulty, but it wouldn't look like steel!

 

Or are there any other thoughts that I should build into my mullings before I put mouse to screen? Engineering plasic, perhaps?

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Shapeways state that their "steel" is a 60% Stainless Steel / 40% Bronze Matrix Material.  This sounds like a very odd material and it is a mis-representation to call it "Steel".  The material properties as shown on the data sheet are surprisingly good.

 

Peterfgf

420 Stainless steel bronze matrix data sheet.pdf

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I've had some 7mm tram trucks printed in steel....it doesn't look like steel! It has a distinct yellow brown tinge to it obviously the bronze in it. I can't say I noticed much shrinkage, it is however exceptionally tough stuff, I tried drilling one out as an experiment, several blunted not cheap bits later I gave up.

 

It also has quite a rough surface, a bit like a sand cast, it definitely does not look like polished steel and I reckon given the hardness would be almost impossible to polish etc.

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Hi, Unless you have some particular need to use 3d printing I would consider Alan Gibson item 4M92 universal coupling rods for 4mm scale 

 

http://www.alangibsonworkshop.com/Catalogue.pdf

 

As far as I know you solder two half etched pieces together to give the length you require. Probably best to use a jig to accurately match the axle centre spacings. I've never used them myself but I expect someone on rmweb will have done. Check the kit building and scratch building forum.

 

Hope this helps, John

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Thanks to all for their very  helpful comments.

 

First of all, I know about the Gibson's rods and have used them extensively in the past; I set them up on my Hobby Holidays jigs, and they do work well,  although I find them a bit fussy. But they can't - for example - handle GWR-style fish-belly coupling rods, and their height means that they don't work for all prototypes, especially for some of the more elegant (and skimpy!) Victorian designs.

 

The comments about the Shapeways 'steel' are exactly what I wanted to know about that material, and effectively rule it out. Shame, but there you go, and at least I now know.

 

The Shapeways brass still seems a possibility for rods where the Gibson ones aren't quite right, so I may give it a whirl on something where the rods don't need to be visible steel - a Class 03 with painted rods, for instance.

 

Thanks again to all! Much appreciated!

 

 

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On 18/05/2019 at 15:30, peterfgf said:

Shapeways state that their "steel" is a 60% Stainless Steel / 40% Bronze Matrix Material.  This sounds like a very odd material and it is a mis-representation to call it "Steel".  The material properties as shown on the data sheet are surprisingly good.

 

Peterfgf

420 Stainless steel bronze matrix data sheet.pdf 408.87 kB · 6 downloads

 

That is a very interesting information sheet.

 

It seems to suggest that one could make good mould tools from it. Perhaps not durable enough for mass production but OK for the sort of short runs that many railway models require.

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Shapeways Steel is very hard, and has a very low definition finish with poor fine detail ability (below 1mm). I wouldn't recommend it for 4mm rods personally as reaming the bores will be a serious chore. The pic is of a 16mm scale con rod for my de Winton project in steel.

DSXT0091.jpg

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1 hour ago, Quarryscapes said:

Shapeways Steel is very hard, and has a very low definition finish with poor fine detail ability (below 1mm). I wouldn't recommend it for 4mm rods personally as reaming the bores will be a serious chore. The pic is of a 16mm scale con rod for my de Winton project in steel.

DSXT0091.jpg

 

Lovely work - as per your usual, of course - but it makes the point very clearly.

 

But for the de Winton I'm sure it will be just perfect!

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Thanks John, I've actually had Bronze ones made for the de Winton, as I need to drill and tap the holes, something that is not possible using carbon steel M1 taps in the stainless prints (It's hard enough in bronze) 

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