So we've been playing with using Scaffold to print soluble moulds/cores to lay up

So we’ve been playing with using Scaffold to print soluble moulds/cores to lay up carbon fibre (and a bit of glass fibre) onto. Although we’re terrible composites engineers we’re really happy with this tech-demo proof of concept.

Seems like a cheapish (single nozzle machine) way to do some really complex lay ups. Far from a finished result, but we’re excited for what could become of this process.

It’s well within reach of an enthusiast or small company, unlike the incumbent stratasys soluble core implementation.

Anybody wanting to create a design for a multicopter fuselage/chassis? Will gladly throw in some scaffold out to those who want to push this forward.

You guys sure know how to have a good time. Very cool

@Sanjay_Mortimer1 ​​ although it’s a cool idea I don’t think It can catch up to a traditional mould building. CNC milling is so fast today, we can mill a mould out of aluminium faster than 3d print it and aluminium one will work for 1000+ pieces. But not to spoil all of your fun, if you keep trying this out, try to use thinner fabric, like 200g/sqm, or even better, 160 or 100g. Also use twill stiching, will follow cornes more easily. Use plain stiching for even and flatish surfaces.

I tend to disagree with the statement above for CNC. I got both Printer and CNC that can mill considerably fast. I just want to mention two things:

  1. Wish you luck to be faster if you need to make only one or two parts only. If you don’t use 5D CNC monster with ATC like Fanuc/Datron/HAAS you will need to polish the mold, than to treat it with anti stick agent which will go above one day for sure.

  2. Not everything could be produced with molds and also when you use multiple molds and glue the parts they will be few times weaker than part produced of a single continues fibers. The part will always tend to break where the gluing take place.

I would like to test this soluble stuff. I want to bay it so if you can drop a link where I can place order I will be very happy. Thanks!

@George_Novtekov@Aric_Norine ​ for one piece like seen here, mill it from styrofoam, and I’m sure you will get it done faster than 3d print, even if you don’t own a fancy super duper state of the art milling center. I am lucky (or unlucky) enough to work with all the computer aided technologies and all have their advantages and disadvantages. And 3d printing I like when you cannot do something with CNC milling, lathe, cnc wire cut laser cutter or with hands. All this technologies beats 3d printer in time of making something, 3d printer only wins when there is something all other technologies fail, either to complicated piece or when you have absolutely no time. Printing wins in time saving when printing, if model large and complicated enough, you can have even 24h or even more off.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it, I make a living of it, but it’s just not for everything.

Oh, and my day job is carbon and glass fibre composites, and hell no, I wouldn’t print this ever, I’d just doesn’t make scence since nobody could pay this extra cost of 3d printing.

But, there is always but, I see this usable in everyday use, when you need some inserts in mould the has to be desolvable, but again, only for prototype, for serial production we have wax for this…hmm, probably would be cheaper to just mill one off wax insert too…

Yes agree with the above weaknesses but this is not because of the technology but because of its readiness. That’s why I am trying to make my CNC to mill and print. Imagine if you can print rough on 0.5mm layers and finish it with CNC milling. It will no longer be that expensive and slow. The problem with milling is that you need bigger part that will be trim down to the desired form. For me as hobbyist this is the killer of CNC. I can’t afford to keep large stock of aluminium neither to purchase in a big lots. This makes my cost of aluminum few times higher than yours. Just a little example I am often baying 1kg of Alu7075/Alu5083 for 5 to 10 euro per kg and I bay 1kg PETG Filament for 17 Euro. But from a kilo PETG I am printing quite a lot and from Aluminium I am making few parts. Also a good bit for the CNC will cost me same as 1kg of PETG :slight_smile:

I have had some great results 3dprinting with scaffold as a support, currently designing a 3dprinter with a large volume that will let me print a mountainbike frame structure in one piece using support material.