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Subscribe3D printing your aquarium parts
santamonica
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Enthusiast
Posts: 152
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Registered: 19-Sep-2008
usa us-california
3D printing your aquarium parts

For those of you serious DIY folks, you may be interested in how you can make your own plastic aquarium parts by printing them on a 3D printer. Just this year, costs for the 3D printers have dropped to under $500 USD for a pre-built one, and under $200 USD for a kit. 3D printing of your plastic parts works well when:

1. You are good with computers.
2. You like trying new designs or colors.
3. The part is small, or can be put together with small parts.
4. The part does not require great strength.
3. There is no easier/cheaper way to get the parts.

Some aquarium parts, such as simple boxes or tubes, are not suited to 3D printing because they can be more easily made with simple plastic or acrylic shapes. But some parts are so complex that there is no other way to make them except to print them on a 3D printer. I'll be using 3D printers to make the next version of algae scrubbers because of the built-in air tubing, magnet compartments, holes, and bubble pathways that make it impossible for the part to be made (in one piece) any other way.

Some things I've learned that pertain especially to 3D-printed aquarium parts:

1. Only use ABS plastic, not PLA or PVA. The ABS plastic is the same type of plastic used in kid's LEGO toys and is very strong. PLA or PVA plastic, however, will slowly dissolve when underwater or when subjected to high temps.

2. Only use FDM (also called FF) printers. These are the types of printers which use coils of plastic filament. These are also the cheapest printers. Other types of printers such as SLA (liquid) use a photo-cured plastic that will get brittle under aquarium lights, and "powder-printers" make parts which are not water tight.

3. The 3D printed parts will not be "glossy smooth". They will instead be more like carbon fiber, with a texture (or lines) running in one direction through the whole part.

I'm too new at 3D printing to be able to recommend a particular printer, but I'm sure each reef or aquarium club has someone who has a 3D printer, and this is usually a great place to start.

Happy printing!




888-CORAL-REEF
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Post InfoPosted 07-Aug-2013 03:34Profile Homepage PM Edit Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi and thanks for the post.

I've watched TV reports that I could "print my own pistol" and some other things, and quickly decided that I had no use for one of those printers...Until I read your post.
Humm.

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 07-Aug-2013 22:57Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Enthusiast
Posts: 152
Kudos: 17
Registered: 19-Sep-2008
usa us-california
Summary of 3D printing links:

Endless things to print:
http://www.thingiverse.com/

General forum for all printers:
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/3dprintertipstricksreviews

Massive forum for lots of printer kits and DIY:
http://forums.reprap.org/

Current lowest-cost assembled printer to print aquarium-safe ABS plastic:
http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/pirate3d/the-buccaneer-the-3d-printer-that-everyone-can-use/

Current most popular U.S. based assembled printer:
http://makerbot.com/

Low cost Chinese clone of Makerbot:
http://www.ff3dp.com/

Another low cost Chinese clone of Makerbot:
http://www.wanhao3dprinter.com/

888-CORAL-REEF
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Post InfoPosted 21-Aug-2013 03:28Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Registered: 19-Sep-2008
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Here's my attempt at getting some printers for aquarium parts:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1079197168/1221025490?token=347e500b


888-CORAL-REEF
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Post InfoPosted 29-Aug-2013 19:12Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
SantaMonicaHelp
Fingerling
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usa
Anybody good at modeling, and would like to make a coral model for printing?



Research Studies: Reefbase.org
Post InfoPosted 06-Sep-2013 01:50Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
kanyesticks
Small Fry
Hey BooBoo - Where is the FISH?
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Registered: 06-Jul-2016
male canada ca-britishcolumbia
EditedEdited 30-Aug-2017 17:39
Great post but what kind of materials should we use. https://www.ordsolutions.com/3d-printing-filament/ and resins apparently are not designed for underwater products.

Maybe for certain parts its okay like this bubble:
https://pinshape.com/items/18837-3d-printed-aquarium-bubbler

Has anyone here used resin before? I know it's a old thread but I hope I can get a response on it.

Big fan of resin printers right now like this Form 2:
http://formlabs.com/ja/products/dashboard/
Post InfoPosted 07-Jul-2016 19:12Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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