Hi all, so I didn't want to hijack someone else's thread and I know there seem to be a ton of these Navpod threads popping up lately. You'll just have to deal with one more. I've started the prototyping process and my first thoughts are, "WOW these are some long prints!"
The first print that I have a video on takes a complete day to print. The second is going to take 3 days to complete. Now, granted I'm printing at 0.1 layer height for as tight of a look as possible. I really am not a fan of layer lines. I also have the option of printing at 0.06 mm layer height with this 3D Printer, but I can only imagine how long that would take. In the end, the final product I think will need to be done on a resin printer to achieve the near-perfect OEM look I am trying to achieve, but I am getting WAYYYY ahead of myself honestly.
For now, I'll say my goal is to see if I can provide Navpods to the community for around $150-$200 tops. It's going to take me quite a while to get to a final product with this because I will be doing torture tests throughout the prototyping process. I live in the Central Florida area and we are heading into summer, therefore, if I do produce a final product I'm willing to stand behind and sell, you can rest assured it has gone through almost the most brutal of environments considering the sheer heat, high humidity, and UV rays my car contends with when sitting in an unshaded parking lot of my job.
One reason behind my ability to offer such aggressive pricing is that the company I work for is a non-profit organization. They are not concerned with making money off of 3D priting but instead only charging for materials consumed. Since I work for the company, I do not pay anything for the usage of materials. If I can go lower on cost I will, but I need to charge and be fair on the cost of my time and the materials cost so I can replace the material I use.
This will take a few months because I want to test all summer long. Therefore, if you are expecting a Navpod before September, then I must urge you to look elsewhere. I haven't even purchased the final product printer yet because I am still doing research as to what resin printer will give me the best results.
Right now, I am using the Ultimaker S5 Pro for prototyping.
I have access to a VERY wide swath of materials and have started with Ultimaker's Tough PLA, which according to them has a lot of the characteristics of ABS. Good impact strength and a melting temperature of 151C. Now I know PLA and ABS will yellow out when subject to UV rays, but I'm curious as to how long it will take to yellow out. I also have just about every color.
I also have nylon which is good up to 185 degrees celsius and way better impact strength. That is going to be the material I try next. Not sure how that does against UV rays and yellowing out.
Lastly, I do have some Stainless Steel composite that I want to see what I can make for the spyder out of this. Specifically, 316L Stainless Steel, but this stuff is expensive. Everything else is $50 a roll, but this stuff is $150 per roll, so I really need to know I'm going to use something that actually demands the usage of this material. The 17-4 PH I don't even know the properties of that haha.
In any case, I should have the first part of the prototype done in 3 more hours, been printing since yesterday, but the main part won't be done until this weekend. I'll keep this thread updated of course.