3D printing our propellers using conformal slicing on a 5-axis 3D printer

Our 3D printed propeller blades are not as strong as we would like because they are printed perpendicular to their main surface if we don’t want to print supports that are time consumming.
5-axis 3D printing and conformal (non planar) slicing is possible along the main curved surface. Industrial solutions like the Vshaper do exist: 'VSHAPER 5AX - Professional 3D Printing five axis gamechanger! but at the price of 300,000usd.

For home users, a support-less 3D printing is now possible under 1300usd on a modified prusa mk3s+ (here using Rhino + GrassHopper)

The GitHub repository : 'https://github.com/FreddieHong19/Open5x

Non planar printing

Assembly of the 5th axis

3D printing a Helix

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2022 Nov 17:

Just insane:

The 5 axis board is a Duet2 and designed by Duet UK: 130 GBP

3D printing props is slow and tiresome. With a CNC you can cut props way faster.

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There is also a noise problem with CNCs, which makes them barely usable in flats.

Other 5 axis 3D printer projects: https://github.com/FreddieHong19/Open5x/blob/main/Other_works.md


If you cutting acetal and your CNC in enclosed the noise is actually pretty low. But it’s a lot faster than a 3d printer and stronger too.

Good point. The question is why don’t we see more acetal propellers on efoils ?

It might be that it’s a bit outside of the general experience of most users. Setting up a CNC is a bit more complex than a 3d printer. You’d need to make a jig to hold the prop as it needs machining both sides.

Print 90° overhangs without support material using this open-source Prusa mod

The RotBot is designed by a research team at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences.
It works by adapting the kinematic system of a Prusa i3 MK3s with a custom rotating tool head that allows it to rotate around its own Z-axis.
Contains open source hardware and software …

The original project press release published 13th January 2021, the research paper with underpinning theory, and an in-depth look at the slicing strategy are available for review, and STL files to fit a Prusa MK3s can be downloaded from Printables.

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