Progress on my Ironside has slowed down, with all the other things that I have been working on. I thought that I would put my 3D printer to better use and add to my Ironside.
I had already made two of the neck rings out of foam board, when I read an article about joining 3D printed items together. One of the things I promised myself was that I would print a lot and it would not turn out to be the equivalent of a bread maker (used twice and then pushed to the back of a cupboard).
I used the same software that I designed the Pepakura dome with. I started with the middle ring because that would be simple and a good test to see how it all fits together.
At first I printed the small modules separately and then I thought why, when I can print it all in one go. For it to print comfortably on my print bed I cut the ring into pieces. I added a tongue and groove arrangement so I could align them easily.
The technique I read about was basically getting a Dremel style rotary tool and inserting some filament and powering it on and then using the plastic to weld.
It takes some practice to do this cleanly. Started on the back side of the ring and then sanded then filed the gaps again. The result is quite strong.
One drawback of this method is that it beads up and is a rough finish. The other drawback is that you can only add about 3 inches of filament at a time and it melts down fast.
I printed a group of 4 pieces at a time and it took 2 groups of approx 4.5 hours to print with 100% fill.