I want opinions for producing a six inch gear, with best structural strength in mind. The options I've come up with so far are:
1. Print it in polycarbonate (or nylon)
2. Print it in PETG with a gyroid fill, and then fill the inside with polyester resin
3. Print a reverse mold in PVC, and cast the final gear in polyester or epoxy
Considering it will take 12 hours and 300 feet of filament, I'd like to start with the best idea first rather than print twenty failed attempts as usual. 🙂
I'm guessing the strongest would be PC with some sort of filler or casting epoxy again with filler (glass maybe?). There is the option of lost wax (in this case plastic) metal casting.
Some of the best gears are printed in good old PLA - if you don't expect shocks or hot running it's well worth a try (use extra perimeters) otherwise you are looking at exotics, carbon fibre filled nylon for eg, or sending the file for metal printing.
Call your local CNC friend and do it in steel or aluminum
Thanks for the response, Diem. I decided last night to print it in PLA just as a test. I have PLA that I never use, and what the heck, right?
I am much more comfortable printing long jobs overnight and while I am gone because:
- I put my printer up on paver blocks, and now it is whisper quiet, regardless of the settings.
- I also put up a smart smoke detector which is tied to the Prusa electrical outlet. First whiff of smoke and the power is shut off.
- I am running an instance of the Spaghetti Detector, so I can check the status from anywhere.