Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Wanted: Powdered ABS Plastic
yeah, i had the idea after 2 things:
1. reading about candyfab and how they use the powder as both printing material and support
2. reading about people taking apart DVD drives to get cheap lasers that can melt/burn plastic.
i was thinking that if you could combine the two, then maybe you could print things in ABS! that would be pretty rad.
Another possibility is a powder coat supplier. Not sure if any are ABS-based. Should come in just about any color your want, though.
Hmm, I just found this site. It looks like some place in Staten Island is trying to get rid of ABS waste powder. Pretty cool site. All sorts of scrap material.
wow... that abs powder site is awesome, but they are selling it in like 10 ton loads. maybe i could beg a sample from them.
that sounds like the best bet. i'll give him a call!
at this point in time the most important thing to do is achieve reliable 3D printings. we're going to be reliant on existing industries for a long while. even when we do achieve full self replication, it will be a while until we have machines to generate feedstock. even then when we have machines to make filament or grind ABS, then we'll still need to get raw materials from somewhere.
also, we've looked into extruding our own filament. its alot harder than simply pushing it out a hole. theres a whole bunch of dynamics that are hard to control. grinding plastic down may turn out to be easier.
personally, i'm fine with buying the raw materials pre-made. they are super cheap and makes our research easier.
I wonder how much room 10 tons of ABS powder would occupy.
I could see it working if we took the temperature down below the glass transition temp but not otherwise. Anybody tried it?
I've been reading the blogs and forums here for a couple of months now and actually came up with the same idea. This a pretty cool place with lots of info. Good job.
I tend to lurk here and at Candyfab. One of the things they've discussed there is using plastic blasting media for a sandblaster. If you shop around you should be able to find it in very high grit values and at pretty cheap prices per 50lb bag. Just be careful not to get urea based plastic media. Apparently, its not a thermoplastic. Also, you'll want to make sure you get an opaque color as you're looking to use a laser and you'll want it to absorb as much of the light as possible.
Consequently, the guys at Candyfab also discussed the possibility of using focused light instead of a true laser. It has the advantage of being somewhat less dangerous to play around with than a laser as the light is only focused at one point in space then diverges. A laser like the one you talked about getting from a DVD player can cause permanent eye injury or blindness just from indirect reflections of it's beam long before your body can physically blink.
Good luck and make sure you get adequate eye protection for the proper wavelength laser you play with.kfe
i found a place that sells the 250mW laser diodes + housing + power circuit for $50. i ordered that, and it should get here next week. that will save me the time and effort of actually having to try and extract a diode manually.
secondly, i googled around and did some general sleuthing. following steve's suggestion of powder coating, i found an online store that sells powder coating powder. here's the link:
according to the site, its a Polyester based powder coat. its not ABS, but maybe it will still work. i guess i'm about to find out =)
I've bee doing research on a powder based ( SLS ) system also, glad to see someone else looking into it too!
one detail to keep in mind about SLS -- most commercial systems perform the process in a heated chamber for two reasons:
1. reduces the energy needed to melt the powder, and
2. allows the finished part to cool gradually to anneal it and remove internal stresses to avoid warping and cracking
You might check out google patents. Cool enough, all of the commercial system vendors have documented how their systems work in their various patent applications, and they are free to read....
... what's with solving plastics-foam, as styropor/polystyrol or others with acetone?
Then you mustn't file a block but simply pour some acetone on the foam and it melts down to a solvent.
When the acetone dries away or you heat it with an laser or heater, then the solved plastic solidify ...
did you end up getting in touch with the guy with the tons of abs powder?
and, were you able to try the power coat powder?
I've got a 3W IR laser, and as soon as I get my power supply i'm going to experiement with some materials myself...
or are there any interesting findings? :-)
Does anyone know if a successful attempt at a home made SLS has been accomplished yet?
I plan on ordering a 30 - 50 watt CO2 laser tube and building the cooling and power supply for this. Then, using a mix of RepRap and CandyFab technologies to get it up and running.
With that in mind, I will likely open up a new support board to start getting anyone interested in this project involved.
Thoughts on this from anyone?
Links to this post: