Tensile Test

If you’ve always wondered what a plastic component from a 3D printer can withstand, you’ve come to the right place. As part of the SmaP research project, we teamed up with the UTS Chair of Forming Technology and literally put our prints to the test (yes, well, maybe more like clamped).

The Attempt

The test we have carried out is the tensile test according to DIN EN ISO 527-1. This DIN standard contains the basic information about the exact execution of the tensile test for plastics.

The Sample

The specimen was dimensioned according to DIN EN ISO 527-2. This standard specifically defines the test conditions for molding and extrusion compounds. In our case, it is an extrusion compound, which is due to the manufacturing process (FDM 3D printers like the ones used extrude liquid plastic into an extrusion compound). Our specimen is a flat specimen of type 1A, this has a rectangular shape with so-called heads for clamping wedges. The width is 10 mm and a thickness of 5 mm.

Test Execution

3 different materials from 2 different printers were tested. 5 samples each were made. Samples of polylactide (PLA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PETG) were printed on one of our Prusa i3 MK3s printers. Furthermore, samples of onyx were produced on the Markforged MarkTwo. Onyx is a nylon with portions of carbon short fibers. For the test, a material sample in standardized form is inserted into a tensile testing machine. This machine stretches the specimen during the test until it breaks or elongation occurs without breakage (looks then like an elongated chewing gum). The specimen is stretched at a standardized speed (1 mm/min). The tensile testing machine continuously pulls the specimen apart during the test. The force that the specimen opposes this imposed strain is meanwhile recorded via the strain. The values in the evaluation can then be determined from the measured data. In the video below, you can see the experimental procedure and the tearing of a sample.

Results

The evaluation contains all essential information about the test and its boundary conditions, as well as a stress-strain diagram, the images of the specimens, and the data on material properties obtained from the test.

PLA

In the stress/strain diagrams of PLA, the range of elastic deformation can be seen in the range of about 0 – 1.8 %, which then stops abruptly when the tensile strength is reached, and changes to plastic deformation. From the area of plastic deformation, approximately between 1.8 and 2%, the quite pronounced part of the necking begins. The material still allows about 1.5% elongation until it finally breaks.

PETG

With PETG, the result cannot be reconstructed quite as nicely as with PLA. Sample PETG_P1, the upper outlier in the diagram, changes from the elastic to the plastic range at about 55 MPa, which then leads to necking at 60 MPa and ends in fracture of the sample at an elongation of 5.1%. The four other specimens behave similarly for the most part and also have only a small area of plastic deformation and pronounced area of necking. Compared to PLA, the elastic range of PETG is more pronounced.

Onyx

The onyx material also has a continuous transition from elastic to plastic deformation, although the region of elastic deformation is difficult to discern. Apparently, this ends at about between 8 and 10 MPa and then turns into a very pronounced part of plastic deformation, which subsequently leads to fracture with only slight necking.

Comparison

In this comparison, all evaluated specimens are summarized in a stress-strain diagram.

Here it can be seen that the specimens made of onyx (black) allow almost twice as much strain until fracture occurs, compared to the specimens made of PETG (red). Compared to the other two materials, the samples made of PLA allow even less elongation and are all already torn at an elongation of ε = 3.4 – 3.8 %. The comparison diagram also shows how much stress the materials can withstand, with PLA being the best performer except for the one outlier (PETG_P1). This is followed by PETG and in third place by the onyx material. Comparing all three materials with each other, it can be seen that PLA allows the least elongation in its elastic deformation range, but also quickly leads to breakage of the specimen after exceeding this range. Therefore, it can be said that PLA is certainly the material with the most brittle behavior. If you now want to realize one of your projects, you can follow these results to some extent, at least as far as tension and elongation are concerned, although the three materials naturally have other strengths and weaknesses.

Production of a prototype for a bending machine (Master thesis mechanical engineering)

As part of my master’s thesis at the Chair of Micro- and Nanoanalytics in cooperation with the Chair of Forming Technology at the University of Siegen, I developed and subsequently commissioned a bending machine for plastic forming in the scanning electron microscope.

The bending machine will be used to perform three-point bending tests to investigate the crack initiation of bent specimens in order to better utilize materials in bending forming. Forming processes are used in the manufacture of products in many areas of daily life: Cars, aircraft, ships, piping, sheet metal forming and many more.

For a detailed examination of the bending specimens during the bending test, I built the bending machine to fit the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Since there is little space available in a scanning electron microscope, the machine had to be relatively small and light – it fits on the palm of a hand. Initial bending tests in the SEM have already been carried out.

Rapid Prototyping

During the design phase, I used 3D printing as a rapid prototyping process. Compared to machining processes, this method has the advantage of fast production of parts based on CAD models. The first 1:1 scale prototype was designed and 3D printed during a planning and development project, also as part of my studies.

Especially at the beginning of the project, it was important to quickly get a good idea of the real dimensions of the components to be manufactured later. Thanks to the friendly support of the Fab Lab in the person of Fabian Vitt, the required components were printed quickly and without any problems. Thanks to the friendly support of the Fab Lab in the person of Fabian Vitt, the required components were printed quickly and without any problems. In this way, all those present can get a very good picture of the shape and details of the component that will later be manufactured through the 3D printouts. This is less possible with the otherwise often used printed construction drawings. 3D prototyping can lead to new fitting ideas and facilitate the identification of necessary optimizations.

A short animation video of the bending process:
https://lmn.mb.uni-siegen.de/in-situ-em/

Soviet hand drill repair

Pre Story

My father bought the thing at the flea market sometime. The price of 5 rubles (Ц. 5Р.) is incorporated in the handle, because at that time in the Soviet Union there was the planned economy and you could get a pack of butter for the same price in the big whole country.

Problem

The drill always did its job. It is particularly suitable for small jobs and you can dose the torque manually. Only at some point the drill got stuck somewhere and my father exerted too much momentum on the big bevel gear until a few plastic teeth sheared off, rendering the thing useless. The old bevel gear consisted of two parts: The front side with the teeth was made of a plastic casting and the back side was made of some kind of metal, which was somehow connected to the plastic (unfortunately no photo). So a new bevel gear was needed.

Solution

First, the teeth of the bevel gear had to be counted. There are 60 teeth. The driven bevel gear has 15 teeth, so there is a ratio of 1:4. In addition, all dimensions, such as the height of the teeth, their width and the bore diameter of the bevel gear had to be measured with a caliper gauge. The problem: the teeth are not simply arranged in a straight line, and their “focal point” is somewhere in the air. They are also wider at the outermost diameter than at the inner diameter of the bevel gear. So the geometry is a real challenge and you can’t just build the thing with a CAD program if you’re not a professional.
But what to do? Fortunately, I happened to come across a solidworks tutorial on the internet. It shows how to create configurable standard parts using the solidworks (SW) design library. And that worked well!

Procedure

Open Solidworks, open any assembly and throw out all the parts. Somehow it didn’t work out any other way for me. Then, on the right side of the screen, open the construction library and shimmy through the tree. Toolbox, ISO, power transmission, gears, degree bevel gear (driving).

Solidworks

For me, the ISO standard matched well with my Soviet part. Then the “Degree bevel gear (driving)” must be dragged and dropped into the assembly window. Now the “Configure component” dialog opens on the left. The module, the number of teeth, the pressure angle, etc. can be set. Here you have to experiment, have the bevel gear with the green check mark built again and again and measure it. (Tip: If you click on a component edge, the bottom info bar of SW conveniently shows the measured length directly).

SolidWorks-2

However, you cannot specify all dimensions and geometry properties in the configurator. And here’s where it gets a little tricky. If the tooth geometry of the blank created fits so far, the rest must now be added manually. I used the function “Attachment/Base rotated” to build a created sketch as a body of rotation to the blank (see screenshot). Again, I had to measure the old bevel gear over and over again.

SolidWorks-3

Once you are satisfied with the part, you need to export it to *.STL format for 3D printing. And off we go to the Fab Lab Siegen! Here Fabian helped me out, showed me the 3D printers and started the printing. Thanks a lot! 😊

Result

The first print was unsuccessful (of course). In 3D printing, for example, the holes are always slightly smaller compared to the model. The teeth were also too small, so that they could not engage deeply enough with the opposing teeth. These teeth also sheared off during initial attempts. In addition, the bracket for the crank was a bit too thin and is therefore broken off.

Gears printed

Drill machine open

But now it was possible to measure the printed bevel gear and improve the dimensions in SW and finally start a second attempt. However, the second time it went better than expected and the bevel gear installed beautifully. The hand drill runs very smoothly and if any problems should occur in a few years, I’ll just print out the bevel gear again 😉 .

Drill-machine-composed-1

Drill-machine-composed-2

A Child’s Book, or: Saving Plastic, Starting 3D Prints New

During the summer semester 2020, there was a printer in the Fab Lab that was constantly cancelled for testing. The printer with the name “Hades” had to serve as a test object for a children’s book. But what does a children’s book have to do with highly experimental, plastic-saving techniques? Let’s lunge a litte bit.

Earlier this summer semester, I decided to develop a children’s book for 3D printers. Together with my fellow student C. Ajiboye, this became a manual that tells a story on one side, one of Ursa, a girl exploring 3D printing through “Learning By Doing.” On the other side, there were explanations of how Ursa finds problems and what solutions it gives for each of them.
But the last page was special:

A WLAN-enabled (ESP32) microcontroller was embedded in this page. This one could feel touches via its touchpins. I then soldered these pins to copper surfaces and hid them under the page. One laser cut later, the copper surfaces could be seen shining through.

Thanks to these surfaces it was now possible to give commands to the ESP32. And thanks to the Octoprint servers, it was then possible to give commands to the printers. Yes, you read that right, this little book has a remote control for a 3D printer built in.

But What is the Point of All This?

Restarting a 3D print is not an easy task, so far there is not a single Octoprint plugin that dares to do this. The result is that when a print fails, which the sensors do not notice, a lot of time, sometimes days, and also up to kilos of plastic are lost. This book was intended to prevent that.

A book has many advantages: it’s quickly at hand, it’s often where you want it, and the software doesn’t change much. It is also lighter than a laptop and thus handier to use. What’s more, you don’t have to boot it up or preconfigure it. The interface is simply there.

But How do You Restart a Print With a Book Now?

A 3D print is stored in machine code. This “code” is written line by line and executed line by line afterwards. So a group of lines represents a layer, because a 3D print is done layer by layer. If a 3D print fails at one point, the commands could be executed again from this point. In the file, as well as in the real print, an exact height is defined for this. You could measure this height, but neither with the eye nor with a ruler you can find it exactly. With the 3D printer itself, on the other hand, you can find the exact height. Like calibrating old 3D prints, you can now use a piece of paper and the tip to determine to within 0.1mm where a print failed. So, with the book in your hand, you move the nozzle exactly over the pressure, lower it very slowly, and try to feel with a piece of paper placed in between when the nozzle touches the pressure.

The printer then knows exactly where this nozzle is located, if it is still referenced. Based on this height, the code is then split, the necessary initial steps are executed and then the printer prints again as if it had never stopped.

I Want This Too

After this semester I found the time to develop this project as a plugin for Octoprint. So you don’t need your own book and you can try it out in the web interface. But ATTENTION! This plugin is highly experimental and has also once caused damage to a 3D printer. I do not make any guarantees or take any responsibility for future damages and advise to always hover with your hand over the emergency switch until the first layer prints again and you are sure that the printer is working on the correct line.

Yours, Gerrit.

A Suitcase Filled With Heart

At the beginning there is a story. A reappraisal of feeling, put into words and released into the world. “Du dunkles Herz” (“You dark Heart”) by Tobias Gruseck comes as an appealing red booklet and is a story about a suitcase full of money that darkens hearts. But promoting literature depends on more than the content of the text. A myth around it is good, maybe an eccentric author, a scandal. Or a suitcase, in it: hearts. If you touch one of the hearts, or the oak leaf next to it, you suddenly hear voices. Text passages that match the object touched resound softly and wonderfully recited from the case and make you want to listen to the story.

A story is told here with multimedia and attention to detail

Jenny and Simon took on the presentation of the work and built the suitcase. Wired inside is a touch board from Bare Conductive® that is connected via conductive yarn to things that are historically significant and, in some cases, 3D printed. Touching the thread closes the circuit and the text passages stored on the chip and previously recorded with virtuosity are played.

Literature as a haptic experience

All this was first presented in Bad Säckingen at “Kunst trifft Handwerk,” an annual outdoor event at the picturesque Trompeterschlößchen, where Germany and Switzerland bundled streams of tourists before the pandemic moved in. The title of the event also fits perfectly with this haptic project, which combines literary effusion with gifted tinkering. Currently on display at Fab Lab Siegen.

The Pool Bottom Suction Robot Wheel

Anyone who has ever been to an outdoor pool knows how important it is to clean pools thoroughly. In the past, people might have been sent down there with a rag, but nowadays this is done by pelvic floor vacuums, small waterproof robots made of plastic and electronics that move back and forth tirelessly on the floor after closing time. The open-air swimming pool in Kaan-Marienborn has just such a machine, and one of its wheels was broken.

Lab manager Marios, Ms. Königsberg and Mr. Wagner from the city of Siegen, mayor Steffen Mues, operations manager Dirk Räwel and Jonas from Fab Lab, who built the wheel. Picture: City of Siegen

So we received an inquiry from the city’s sports and pools department asking if we could print something. The original manufacturer was no longer available and a new device would probably have blown the already tight corona budget. So Jonas and Marios took care of rebuilding the old wheel, first digitally and then printing it out in durable ABS. The mayor was also there and saw for himself that everything works – the application possibilities of Fab Lab Siegen are well received. So now spare wheels are no longer a problem and the robot is looking so confidently ahead, it has even taken on a part-time job at the indoor swimming pool at Löhrtor!

Press echo

10.07.2020 – wirSiegen
Outdoor pools: replacement wheel for pool cleaner comes from 3D printer

13.07.2020 – Westfälische Rundschau
Siegen: Wheel for outdoor pool vacuum cleaner from 3D printer

Face Visors Against The Virus

After the closure is before the start of production. After all, we, like many other public institutions, had to cease our operations on March 16. Now there were a dozen 3D printers standing around unused. MakerVsVirus and other ideas and projects that developed online in the following days invited us to do something against the virus.

Well, to make a long story short, we are now producing facial visors to reduce the risk of infection to medical personnel and other at-risk groups(the hip girls and guys also call them covid shields). The visors are given free of charge to medical facilities.

Our dear colleagues from the press office have also enriched the whole story with a little more detail and written it down here: Fab Lab of the University of Siegen prints face visors.

What Can I Do?

We can use donations of materials and assistance in making them!

Concrete we are searching for:

  • PETG-Filament 1,75mm
  • PETG-plates 0.5mm, transparent and clear
  • Elastic head hole rubber bands
  • Companies and individuals who have free 3D printing capacity themselves

Feel free to contact Peter Kubior:

Help, I Am a Medical Facility and I Need Visors!

Medical facilities interested in the facial visors can contact Peter Kubior by email:

I Am from The Press and Want to Know More!

Please contact our press office directly for further questions.

Stay healthy. #physicaldistancing not #socialdistancing
Your Lab-Team!

Pressreview

Not Bad for Friday The Thirteenth

A contribution by Ingo Schultze-Schnabel

On the evening of that December day in 2019, I held in my hand the first copy of a 3D print of one of my designs.

Finished print still on the 3D printer

I have been working artistically with multipart images and objects since the 90s and was looking for a method to transform a design into a sculptural object from the 3D printer.

Members of Fab Lab Siegen accompanied me in several steps: From the basic information about the Fab Lab and its possibilities, the ways of designing from “my” graphics programme via CAD programmes to the printer control, a lot was new for me. But in the great working atmosphere it was fun to get involved with new things.

Now the new object hangs provisionally on the wall, for “test viewing”, so to speak. I am concerned with the mechanisms by which our perception “sees” something as a whole with the help of partial information. The quality of visual information, redundancy, the “information gap” – such terms run through my head.

3D print hung on the wall

Here in the work you can see how, despite the distances between the stripes, the impression quickly arises in many places that rectangles, seen in perspective, are being depicted there. The gap suddenly becomes information. With David Amend at the end of the day, I got to talk about how the exact same thing is happening with fake news, an area in which he had experience from a computer science perspective. This is how fragments become a narrative and how easily “truth” emerges in our minds. That brings me back to my artistic theme.

If you want to go a little deeper, you can find more material on my blog.

If you want to experience more art in Siegen, please refer to the ChaosFlux from 24-26 April. Mehr Infos: https://chaosflux.de/de/about/

The Creation of a Bow Handle

A contribution by Philipp Dasbach

The Problem

In archery, the repeatability of the entire shooting process is
crucial for a good result. I myself have owned an Olympic recurve bow with sights (aiming device) and stabilization system (weights for balancing, for smoother aiming) for several years.

Characteristic of this type of bow are the curved or backward bent ends of the bow, from where the English term “recurve” comes.
Unlike other shooting sports, where, for example, is shot over the rear sight and front sight, the sight of the recurve bow has only the front sight. Thus, the body posture and the stopping point of the bow (anchor point) form the second reference point of the recurve bow to define the direction in which the arrow flies. That is, even if the front sight always points to the gold (center of the target), but the bow is slightly different in your hand than it was when you shot it before, the arrow will hit somewhere else.

Therefore, many archers customize the grip of their bow with grip tape or modeling clay to craft a grip that is perfect and stable in their own hand. Since I was not satisfied with the grip of my bow, I decided to design my own grip, which also looks professional due to 3D printing.

The Recurve Bow

Attempts to apply known knowledge

Before I designed the grip according to my ideas, I first wanted to copy the original grip of my bow, so that I could make the adjustments that seemed reasonable from this basis.

Due to my mechanical engineering studies at the University of Siegen, I am familiar with the use of CAD software and have confidently approached the design. However, two things caused me an unexpected amount of problems.

First, it took me a long time to design the many interlocking fillets of the handle. These fillets are very difficult to reproduce with software solutions from the mechanical engineering sector, since they usually have defined geometries. This took me some time, but also forced me to learn new features and capabilities of CAD software.

The second issue that cost me a few tries in 3D printing is the measurability of the hard-to-define geometries.
Since the handle has only a very narrow, straight edge, it was very difficult to measure the position of the hole, bevels and radii. However, it is important for the attachment of the grip piece to the sheet that the geometry of the grip piece corresponds exactly to the geometry of the receptacle provided for it on the sheet. Since I could only roughly estimate many dimensions, I had to approach the correct geometry step by step through trial and error.

During this trial and error, I was able to learn a lot about 3D printing from the staff and makers in the Fab Lab. Above all, they helped me find the ideal slicer settings for my part and the right material. In addition, the Fab Lab works with different CAD programs, all of which have their strengths for different problems.

Prototyping

After four attempts I had copied the original grip of my bow sufficiently well and started with attempts to adapt the grip geometry to my hand. In the process, I tried a total of five different versions.

First, I made changes that seemed logical to myself to stabilize certain areas of the hand to prevent it from slipping back and forth. On the other hand, I combined this with geometries of grips from different manufacturers to arrive at my individual and optimal grip.

Currently, I have mounted a version of the grip on my bow, in which I have rounded some disturbing edges of the original grip and minimize the back-and-forth slipping by changing the angle of the contact surface.

Arch with mounted handle on bracket

Satisfied, but surely there’s more?!

I definitely achieved my goal of getting a better grip than the old one. Whether I have already found the ideal solution, I do not know, because there are still some geometries that I could try.

In the meantime, I uploaded the latest version of the grip to Thingiverse and hope to run into an archer who also uses my grip. Overall, I have to say that through the exchange in the Fab Lab I got ideas and tips that I would never have come up with on my own.

Handle piece, mounted on bow

Copyright Pictures: Philipp Dasbach

Creation of a Tabletop Game

A field report by Tim Dümpelmann

When I entered the Fab Lab for the first time in November, I was really amazed that there was such a great place here in Siegen. The people were very nice and open-minded and I felt comfortable right away. I guess it’s also because I’ve always been a bit of a technology nerd.

An Idea is Quickly Found

The 3D printers have aroused special interest in me. Not only because it was exciting to watch them work, but also because I am somewhat involved in 3D modeling as a hobby. Over the next few weeks, I was at Open Lab every Friday. There I met many nice, interesting people who were all working on great projects.

I think creativity is somewhat contagious. Therefore, it did not take long and I had also decided on my first project:
i wanted to create a tabletop game, model all the game pieces myself and make them with a 3d printer.
Since I had just rendered a great picture (see below) of a “MechMiner” for a science fiction contest, I took it directly as a template for my first figure, the “resource collector”.
mechminer-modell
minersmall

The Right Manufacturing Process

Then I just started modeling. In doing so, I often reached the limits of the FDM printing process due to the small dimensions of my figures and the many details in the 3D models. Therefore, I considered a modular plug-in system to be able to print as efficiently and detailed as possible. I was offered to use an SLA printer, which has much higher precision, but dealing with resins and other liquids is not really my thing.

IMG_20190329_223633_426
IMG_20190329_223626_578

Build, Build, Build

With most problems, both in modeling and in manufacturing, someone was always ready to help me. Since the laser was a little more complicated to use than the 3D printers, I was also quite happy about it.
Since the laser was a little more complicated to use than the 3D printers, I was also quite happy about it. This one was perfect for making a nice modular game board. At the moment the game is not finished yet, so here you can see only a prototype for testing the game mechanics.

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IMG_20190329_223410

It will be some time before the first version can be played. Balancing will take a long time, and there are still many game cards to be designed.
I have already put the 3D models into a Github project. Stay tuned!

And Around It: The Lab

I myself could also help some people with their projects with my knowledge, and it makes me a bit proud :). I think coming together and working with like-minded people is what makes Fab Lab such a great place.
The technical competence of the staff is high and they do their work very professionally.
The Lab provides opportunities for everyone to try out technology. And I definitely found some people there that I would call friends.
In the meantime, I own my own 3D printer to move the project forward.
Thanks again to everyone who helped set up and troubleshoot!

IMG_20190316_193046

In my opinion, a place like the Fab Lab is an enrichment for Siegen. I just don’t understand why so many people walk past it. 😮 Anyway, I’m looking forward to spending more time there.

Until then: Happy work!